Visiting Hawaii? Chances are you will spend some time, if not a few days in Honolulu. See Pearl Harbor, get a tan, drink a Mai Tai and check out one Hawaii expert’s list of not-to-be-missed hot spots in Honolulu.
1. Best Lunch:
Giovanni’s White Shrimp Truck by the Polynesian Cultural Center…Garlic Shrimp is the best.
2. Best Beach: Waimanalo. It is in a residential area but all beaches are public so every fourth house has a side entrance to the beach. No one is there Monday thru Friday as the locals go to work. It also has trees that line the beach so there is always a shady area for someone who doesn’t want to be in the sun.
3. Best Donuts: Leonard’s Malassades. These are Portuguese donuts that will make you go back for more, and more.
4. Best Dolphin Swim: Wildside in the Wai’anae Harbor. Swim with the dolphins in the ocean and during whale season to see the humpback whales in the wild.
5. Best Fishies: Waikiki Aquarium. This is likely the smallest aquarium in the world, but probably one of the most interesting and educational when it comes to exploring the coral makeup of the islands and what it means to a healthy eco-system. Also, they are the only aquarium to have monk seals in captivity.
6. Best Dinner Deal: Side Street Inn near Ala Moana. This may be a somewhat seedy area, but what food! You can sit at a long table with strangers, see some of Honolulu’s great chefs take a load off as they arrive from finishing their restaurant shifts for the night and come here for dinner. The menu is all Asian food from Japan, Korea, Philippines, China and Hawaiian Cuisine.
7. Best Opera: Honolulu features a fabulous opera season during the first quarter of the year.
8. Best Fest: Hawaii’s Food and Wine Festival in September is quite unbelievable as it offers great opportunities to taste the food of so many famous chefs from near and far – many who regularly appear on television.
9. Best Farm to Table Lunch: Nalo Farms
10. Best Take-In: A private tour of the Arizona, USS Missouri, and Ford Island through a knowledgeable and able guide.
Hawaii Expert: Susan Tanzman, owner of Martin’s Travel & Tours in Los Angeles.