Here are ten tried & true tips you’ll want to save to help plan your next trip to Honolulu – whether it’s for POW WOW! or a romantic vacation. This Hawaiian lifestyle guide is brought to you by D’Blanc & RVCA Womens.
1. Fly Hawaii Airlines
When’s the last time you thought “Wow, this food is fantastic!” while flying coach within the United States? Never – until you hopped into a Hawaiian Airlines plane. Delicious spaghetti and meatballs and a glass of red wine right before landing in paradise set the tone for the rest of my trip, and in the spirit of a promising vacation I picked the white Mustang convertible instead of a boring sedan when I got to the car rental spot. Full disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post – I bought my own ticket. And so should you!
2. Stay with a local
Waikiki does have phenomenal historic hotels that might take your imagination straight back into that opening episode of Mad Men Season 6, but there is nothing like staying with a local to truly experience the spirit of Aloha. The change of pace is overwhelming. Outdoor showers, a hot tub right outside your bedroom window, a door that never locks, Kona coffee and the only reason why you would ever get bummed is when there are no waves to surf. Welcome to our sun deck…
3. Hike Diamond Head
Ok, it IS the most basic thing to do on the island, especially if, like us, you go up the trail with a to-go cup of coffee. But once you pass all the tourists, get to the top of the volcano and find your own little spot to look out at the beautiful Waikiki harbor, I promise you’ll be stoked.
4. Wear a good pair of running shoes
The first time I went to Hawaii, I packed a bunch of cute but oh-so uncomfortable stiletto sandals – as if I’d spend more time at Nobu and by the pool than chasing waterfalls! This year I knew better and made sure to bring lightweight, worn-in running shoes that are still pretty stylish!
5. Get the acai bowl at the Diamond Head Cove Health Bar
This is where you’ll want to get your green juice, healthy breakfasts and most importantly, an acai bowl that packs a punch. Make sure to ask for a topping of the delicious local honey and bee pollen. Heads up – it’s cash only.
6. Take the drive up to Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay is a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park formed within volcanic cone. Spend the day there snorkeling amongst multicolored fish and sea turtles and you will feel refreshed by the healing Hawaiian ocean for days to come.
7. Grab lunch at Fresh Cafe
At the heart of Kaka’ako – where all the POW WOW! murals are – is Fresh Cafe, the ultimate Internet cafe with amazing fresh foods, beautiful people and art everywhere.
8. Eat dinner at Tokkuri-Tei
Recently voted one of the 21 best sushi spots in America by Thrillist, Tokkuri-Tei serves the best spicy crab and avocado roll you have EVER tasted and a dish I like to call “little bowl of pleasure” with blue fin tuna, salmon roe, uni, quail egg and scallions over rice. For the most entertaining night, you’ll want to sit at the bar in front of Uji. Kampai!
9. Book a yoga class at Open Space Yoga
Start the day with an hour class at Open Space’s Waikiki studio, and then go chill and have coffee under a Banyan tree at Kapiolani Park across the way.
10. Have a Mai Tai at sunset
Chart House Waikiki is a classic spot to watch the sun set over the peaceful Ala Wai Yacht Harbor while sucking on a rum-soaked pineapple slice…
Until next year… Aloha.