Honolulu-Waikiki Beach-Waikiki Downtown-International Market Place

Waikiki Sheraton Infinity Pool

This 2 mile stretch of beach is surrounded by fancy high-rise hotels and tons of tourists. Even though it’s extremely touristy, the beach is quite nice and relaxing, and sometimes it’s nice to be in the center of things. This place is basically the Times Square of the Pacific, yet unlike the real Times Square, there are plenty of decent restaurants and nightlife options around.

See & Do

  • Waikiki Beach: One of the most famous beaches in the world, this is the central stop for all tourist activity in the state of Hawaii. In spite of that, the beach itself is very nice to relax in, and it never really felt too hectic or crowded. Due to its proximity to most lodging options, it’s the easiest to get to, and provides nice views of Diamond Head Crater as well as Urban Honolulu set against the ocean. We spent some time in the ocean here to unwind from our long flight (and let’s face it, no matter where you’re coming from, it’s a long flight here). Rating: 4/5

Waikiki Beach

  • Waikiki Downtown: The main drag is more or less Times Square in the middle of the Pacific, with lots of chain stores and designer apparel. Filled to the brim with mostly Japanese and American tourists, it’s worth a walk through, but there’s no real need to spend too much time here. However, there are some pretty decent eating and drinking options to be found in the area–but good luck finding parking on a Friday or Saturday night. Rating: 4/5

Wakiki Downtown

  • International Market Place: A little mall-ish area with stands selling the usual cheap junk. There was a sign for a farmer’s market that attracted us in here, and I think we spent about $8 for two mangoes. Enough said about that. Rating: 4/5

Eat & Drink

  • Palace Saimin Stand: We headed straight here after we picked up our car from the airport–it’s about halfway between the airport and Waikiki. This place is totally no-frills, but the food is cheap and extremely tasty. It’s a tiny mom and pop joint with about 2 parking spots. We tried the saimin(ranges from $4 to $6 depends on the size and toppings) and the BBQ sticks($2.25 per stick), and both are highly recommended. This place doesn’t have an air-conditioner–I was still in jeans from the flight (hey, it was pretty chilly back home), and they were soaked and stuck to my skin by the end of the meal. Rating: 5/5
  • Leonard’s Bakery: Famous for their malasadas (Portuguese donuts), this place is a must-stop when you’re in the area. They have different seasonal custard fillings (Passion Fruit when we went) as well as some standard ones (Original, Chocolate, Li Hing, etc). $3 per malasada.Rating: 5/5
  • Waiola Shave Ice: Shave ice, a Hawaiian specialty, is (as the name implies) a finely shaved ice with a texture very similar to snow, and topped with your choice of flavor. We tried the Azuki bowl (Azuki beans, mochi, condensed milk–tasty) and a vanilla flavored shave ice (boring!). Service here was pretty gruff, especially compared to the rest of the places we visited. Around $4 per serving. Rating: 4/5
  • Yard House: Seems like your generic American-style bar/restaurant from the outside, but if you are in any way a fan of beer then this is the place to go in Honolulu. The bar has a massive selection of beer with a row of taps that wraps around the rectangular bar. If you can’t find something you like, then beer is probably not for you. We shared a plate of Ahi Sliders which was quite tasty. $6 to $8 per pint. They have a smaller size for $4 to $5 per glass. Rating: 5/5

Stay

  • Waikiki Backpackers Hostel: $44 for a double bed suite. This was one of our few hostel experiences. The room is equipped with the bare necessities such as a TV and bed sheets. Most of the people who are staying here are from abroad and in their 20s. They seem to be hanging around the hostel all day. Perhaps this has to do with the higher cost of living in Honolulu. Our overall experience with this hostel was alright. Rating: 3/5

Visit Date

  • 05/10/2013

 

 

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