Kakaako (or Kaka’ako) has come a long way over the last decade. It has always been a place riddled with hidden gems, but ever since the 2015 arrival of SALT and its eclectic array of boutique stores, restaurants, and cafes the district is now one of Honolulu’s biggest draws. It’s the “live, work, and play” concept at its very best. Kaka’ako is what the town of Kaimuki hoped to become, but never could.
As a part of the Kaka’ako evolution, the City of Honolulu commissioned some of Honolulu’s most talented street artists to decorate buildings that were once an industrial eyesore. A hip art district was formed as a result, and now people come from all over the island not just to shop and dine, but to enjoy its vibrant murals. If you’re not into visiting brick and mortar art galleries on Oahu but have a deep-seeded appreciation for street art then you must visit Kaka’ako. Is there anything you need to know before you head over from your accommodations? Not really, but we have provided some helpful tips below.
How to Enjoy a Self-Guided Art Walk of the Famous Kakaako Street Murals
How to Get to the Kakaako Street Murals
While many of you are staying in Waikiki Beach, we have provided directions from all of the most popular accommodation destinations on Oahu. Here they are:
- Directions from Waikiki Beach (15 minute drive / 20 minute bike / 30 minute bus / 1 hour walk)
- Directions from Ko Olina (30 minute drive)
- Directions from the North Shore (45 minute drive)
- Directions from Honolulu International Airport (15 minute drive)
Best Time of Day to Visit
Arrive in the late AM just before the sun peaks at the onset of the afternoon. This will provide adequate lighting for the innumerable photos that you’re about to take.
What to Bring
Aside from weather appropriate attire, ensure that you’ve got a lot of data storage space left on your smartphone or DSLR camera. As alluded to above, you’re going to get snap-happy from behind the lens. The contrast between the colorful murals and industrial warehousing make for incomparable subject matter. We also encourage you to first stop at Arvo Cafe and order a latte and pastry to fuel your self-guided art walk.
Where the Murals Are
While some of the murals are immediately evident, you do need to explore the side roads and look down alleyways (it’s safe) to catch them all. Be sure to walk along all of the following:
- Cooke Street (approximate)
- Pohukaina Street (approximate)
- Ahuahi Street (approximate)
- Koula Street (approximate)
- Queen Street (approximate)
- Other (check out the nooks and crannies around the streets named above)
What Else to Do in Kakaako
The self-guide art walk will take about an hour at a causal pace. When done, return to SALT for the aforementioned shopping, sipping, and dining experience. Also check out the vintage record and book store across the road from SALT – Idea’s Music and Books which is a treasure trove of vinyl, comics, graphic novels, and more.
Some of Our Favorite Kakaako Murals
(images: property of @marcus_ocean)