The Hawaiian culture is a big part of Oahu’s identity and the luau at Paradise Cove takes people back in time by creating an authentic experience that shows how the Hawaiian people ate, lived and celebrated. Participate in activities such as stringing a lei, weaving a headband and throwing a spear while learning about Hawaiian history. In Hawaiian, “luau” means to feast and you’ll be able to eat food such as lomi salmon (cold tomato and salmon salad), taro bread rolls, cold haupia (coconut jello dessert), and juicy kalua pork. After eating, sit back and relax as entertainers showcase Hawaiian music and hula’s progression throughout the decades.
Hawaii being a melting pot of cultures means there is a melting pot of cuisines on the island. Food trucks play a big part in Hawaiian culture and while some children grow up chasing the ice cream truck after school, Hawaii children chase after the “manapua man” or neighborhood food truck for a chance to grab something small to eat that range from snacks to plate lunches. Eat the Street is a monthly themed event that happens in the hipster neighborhood of Kakaako on the last Friday of every month. Over 40 food trucks show up serving portions made for sharing — which means you’ll have room in your tummy to try more food. From waffle dogs with cheese, li-hing lemonade, malasada burgers and more, let your tastes run wild and enjoy the assorted flavors of Hawaii.
During the late 1890’s, Hawaii was ruled by a monarchy and Iolani Palace was the official residence of their Majesties, King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani. Walk through the corridors of the only royal palace on United States soil and imagine royal balls with dancing and music in the throne room, feasts in the state dining room. Visitors will see the private chambers of the royal family, as well as a room where the king used to play cards.
The warm sea kisses the soft sand surrounding the island’s coasts, and while it’s always great to take a dip in the ocean and bask in the sun, the beauty of the beaches also lies beyond the horizon. When the sun rises to greet the Windward side of the island, the best place to watch it ascend is toward the end of Kailua Beach. From there you will be able to have a panoramic view with the Moku Iki island in the foreground. To see the sunset, view it on the west or south shores of the island. Kahanamoku Beach lies right before Waikiki Beach and is a great place to bid the sun farewell. Take pictures near the boat docks or walk on the rock barrier near the beach’s showers.
Surfing was once a sport reserved only for Hawaiian royalty but eventually the boys of Waikiki Beach and Olympic gold-medal swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku were among the many who helped spread the joy of surfing. Hawaii’s pristine beaches and excellent wave breaks make it a great place to surf. Gone Surfing Hawaii is a fully-licensed and insured surf school with a team of qualified instructors. Everyone has a different way of learning and Gone Surfing offers private group classes. Whether you are learning to hang-loose on a surfboard for the first time or want to learn new tricks to be a better surfer, Hawaii’s waters and Gone Surfing Hawaii will be able to teach techniques that will have you standing up in no time. If you’re lucky, dolphins, turtles, whales and maybe a monkseal will greet you at sea.
Get away from the bustling streets of Honolulu and seek solitude in a more peaceful environment – the North Shore. The great thing about Oahu is that it takes only a 25-minute drive to reach the countryside of secluded beaches and mom-and-pops shops. When you are on the North Shore, you can’t miss sampling the area’s best cuisine — garlic shrimp. The best-known shrimp trucks are Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, one of the island’s original shrimp trucks, and Romy’s Kahuku Prawns, which allows diners to see shrimp and prawn farm pools right near the dinning tables. To satisfy your sweet tooth, pay a visit to Mastumoto’s Shave Ice for ice-cold flavored goodness or visit Ted’s Bakery and have a slice of their famous chocolate and haupia (coconut) pie. You also can’t leave without facing your fear of heights and jumping off the famous Waimea Bay Beach rock.
When it comes to buying souvenirs and snacks for friends and family members, many visitors don’t want to create a big dent in their wallet. With over 400 merchants, Aloha Stadium’s Swap Meet has a wide selection of gifts to buy. Consider purchasing a nice beach towel, a kukui nut lei, or a dashboard hula girl as a souvenir. Li-hing mui (sweet plum) powder gives an added kick to cold fruits and also makes a good gift. You could also buy Hawaiian-print shirts and even electronic gadgets. You’ll find something for everyone here, you may even find something for yourself.
Who needs the gym when you have a natural stairmaster with an awesome view that takes you up more than 1,000 steps? Located on Oahu’s South Shore, Koko Head Stairs is located within Koko Head Park. The trail was originally a railroad that was built decades ago to help bring military supplies to bunkers up top. If you are driving towards Haunama Bay, you will be able to see the skinny Koko Head trail ascend into the moutains. Bring comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, water, sunscreen and a hat. The suggested times to go are around sunrise and sunset in order to avoid the peak of Hawaii’s daytime heat. The 360-degree view of the mountains and sea will leave you feeling accomplished, empowered and lucky you are in Hawaii.
Visit http://www.gohawaii.com/ for much more helpful tourism information!
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