Located less than two miles from The Surfjack is Diamond Head and Kapiolani Park, a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Here, you’re free to nap under huge trees, stroll along the paved walking path, or head up Diamond Head to watch the surf lineup from the lookout at the top of the hill. Walk down the path to Diamond Head beach to find one of the most spacious beaches on the south shore.
Things To Do
You probably know that Waikiki is the home break of Duke Kahanamoku, you recognize the “Pink Palace” sitting idyllically on white sands, and you’ve most likely seen every other street corner in scenes on Hawaii 5-0. But what you’ll want to experience is the water lapping at your feet and soft sand in your toes after cruising through the high-energy streets of the city. Floating lazily in an inner tube while watching gentle waves roll past. Go ahead, melt into a joyful bliss somewhere on a beach in Waikiki because we’re just a few blocks away from the nearest beachfront. Easy peasy, ocean breezy.
If surfing isn’t your thing, but big waves are, try an outrigger canoe ride right off Waikiki beach. Ancient Hawaiians used outrigger canoes to travel between the islands and for fishing. Paddle the waters of Waikiki in a modern version of these canoes and see living reefs, a variety of fish (i’a), sea turtles (honu), and dolphins (nai’a).
Just a 15-minute drive from the Surfjack is the downtown district, the epicenter of Oahu’s art scene. Visit on the “First Friday” of each month to meet local artists and peruse open exhibits. A hub for urban dining, downtown is home to some of the best locally owned restaurants and cafes with menu items ranging from hand-crafted pizzas to full-size roasted pork (yep, head included). Stay into late evenings and you’ll be in the thick of Honolulu’s underground night scene with a variety of pubs (yes, craft beers), bars (whiskey, anyone?), and nightclubs (dance, like everyone is watching). No matter who you are, Honolulu’s Chinatown & Downtown district will show you a good time.
Warm Honolulu nights call for outdoor strolling while sipping a refreshing lemonade as exotic spices fill the air and music vibrates through the crowd. On the 3rd Saturday of each month, the Kaka’ako Honolulu Night Market offers all this, and more. Local designers, artists and vendors showcase pop-up shops, and street-style food trucks serve ono-kine grinds. Come and experience this cozy piece of the urban Kaka’ako community.
On Oahu’s famed North Shore is historic Haleiwa, a charming beach town with an effortlessly laid-back island country vibe. A place where chickens freely cross the road, surfers ride their bikes or skateboard to the nearest break, and the corner snack shop serves shave ice with a proper snow cap. Whether you’re visiting Haleiwa to kickback on the beach and eat a plate lunch or just passing through on the island cruise, the Haleiwa experience will set your mind on Hawaiian time, and *sigh* you’re gonna love it.