Perhaps best known for its tourist trade and accompanying glitz, this region is rife with elaborate hotels, an abundance of shopping, and restaurants galore. As such, it remains the district of choice for folks vacationing in Hawaii who want to be in the midst of everything. For visitors who crave social activity, whether on the beach or in the bars, it's the ultimate destination.
See & Do
This esteemed facility, affiliated with the University of Hawaii, has been in existence since 1904. Almost on the beach, it seeks not only to entertain visitors but to educate them and preserve delicate marine species. Tropical Pacific creatures are its main focus, and coral propagation is a prominent goal. Exhibits on reef life and Hawaiian monk seals are among the foremost displays, and you'll also encounter eels, turtles, sharks, a variety of fish, and the elusive chambered nautilus, a relative of squids and octopi.
In tribute to Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaii's renowned swimmer, surfer, and Olympic athlete, Duke's Canoe Club offers patrons a wealth of island culture. Memorabilia, live Hawaiian music, fruity cocktails, and fresh local seafood are among the attractions that have folks returning again and again. Food is served all day, and the bar scene is constantly hopping, populated by lively barkeeps and folks from all walks of life. The oceanside setting just seems to make mingling that much easier.
Hugely popular thanks to great music and incredible views of Waikiki Beach, this hotel nightclub is a sure bet any night of the year. RumFire serves terrific European-Pacific cuisine, from fresh island fish and a grilled filet mignon to a wealth of flavor-packed tapas. Terrific cocktails and vintage rums add to the appeal, as does the daily happy hour, which often features DJ mixes and live bands. The atmosphere is upscale but friendly, and people often come with a group of friends for the most fun.
One of Hawaii's most luxurious hotels, Halekulani exhibits grand elegance situated on Waikiki Beach, within walking distance of shops, recreation, restaurants, and Honolulu nightlife one mile from the Hawaii Convention Center. Each superbly appointed room has a spacious balcony with panoramic views. Halekulani has been hosting visitors to Waikiki Beach for nearly 100 years. Today its reputation for gracious hospitality, impeccable service and magnificent cuisine is unequaled on Oahu and renowned throughout the world.
A local fixture that's changed amazingly little since its inception in 1955, International Market Place features more than 130 shops, kiosks, and artist's stands selling everything from fine jewelry to t-shirts, from quilts to candles. While the collection of shops unapologetically caters to tourists, you'll still see authentic Hawaiian-made crafts, as well as great bargains. The International Market Place is organized around a banyan tree that's more than a century old and is just one of the property's trees of importance.