Honolulu Hints

honolulu hints[trip style = beach + sun + foodie + urban]

When you need a dose of sun, Oahu delivers. As one of the destinations to welcome early jetsetters in the golden age of travel, Hawaii's hottest city knows a little something about aloha-infused hospitality. Locals have been perfecting the art since mai tai mavens started flocking to its shores post WWII.

Over the past week, I've been buzzing around town on a treasure hunt for trip styled spots all over the island. Sadly, I did not find Dog The Bounty Hunter, but I did glean these Honolulu hints---both vintage and mod---beyond Waikiki's packed and palm tree-lined beach. Stay tuned for my outer island picks {coming soon}.

the modern honolulu Stay: The Modern Honolulu. The most au courant address on the shore. See my full write-up here.

IMG_9720 Stay: Vive Hotel Waikiki. A new boutique hotel, opened summer 2013, featuring complimentary WiFi and continental breakfast. I stayed for three nights and every staff member I encountered was standout, and the location is bang-on, sitting pretty between Waikiki Beach and the Ala Wai canal.

ala wai canal honolulu Do: Join the locals walking their dogs or jogging along Ala Wai canal {a few blocks inland from Waikiki Beach}. For me, it's become a tradition to run the near two-mile promenade every time I'm in town.

ala moana beach Do: Go to the beach {obviously, you're in HI} for sunning, splashing and swimming at Ala Moana Beach Park. PS. I love the swimming lane that's been dredged along the shore for suuuuuuuuuper long lengths. BYO goggles.

south king street HNL Do: Stroll along the historic South King Street to study structures from Hawaii's yesteryear like the King Kamehameha I statue, Iolani Palace and other landmarks in the Capitol District.

sunset hnl Do: Stop and savor the sunset; it's a Hawaiian tradition.

morning glass coffee Eat: Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe. Run by Stumptown Coffee-brewing hipsters who serve simple breakfast selections al fresco, like scones with earl grey-soaked raisins.

leonard's malasadas Eat: Leonard's Bakery. A Honolulu institution since it opened in 1952. Bite into one of their famed malasadas---a Hawaiian take on the Portuguese doughnut---and you'll be hooked for life {or your entire trip}.

rainbow drive-in Eat: Rainbow Drive-In . Another Honolulu institution that's been dishing up plate lunches since 1961. Back then, a BBQ steak plate was $1. Today, a similar dish is $7.50---still a steal---and includes two scoops of rice and a macaroni salad.

lucky belly Eat: Lucky Belly. A corner eatery in Honolulu's Chinatown serving punch bowl-sized ramen for $8 in a spartan space wrapped in wood and lit with Edison bulbs.

chef mavro Eat: Chef Mavro. If he wanted to, I'm sure Chef Mavro could have his own show on the Food Network. His kitchen know-how is that good, and every dish from his flexible prix-fixe menu is a piece of Picasso-worthy art. Literally, I took photos of every one of my nine plates like I was the paparazzi snapping a star. Expect a traditional restaurant physique and modern dishes.

Trip Styler Tip :: Check out more of my aloha aces from my trip to Honolulu in early 2012. I still dig the selections.

Do you have any Honolulu faves?

[photos by @tripstyler taken while as partial guest of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau]