Just west of Waikiki, downtown balances historic Honolulu with contemporary Honolulu culture. Ask THE MODERN HONOLULU’s concierge for itineraries (or recommendations for Honolulu history tours) – it’s simple to connect landmarks like Iolani Palace, King Kamehameha I’s statue, Aloha Tower and the Hawaii State Capitol on a walkabout.
Year ‘round, signature events celebrate everything Oahu – ask our concierge what coincides with your stay. Spectators come for the PGA TOUR Sony Open, NFL Pro Bowl and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Not into watching? Run the Honolulu Marathon.
So much Waikiki history is woven with world influences – feel it at fetes like the Japanese-styled New Year’s Ohana Festival or July’s Dragonboat Festival. For pure Waikiki, target May or September (May begins with Lei Day, observed on the islands since 1927, and ends with a lantern-floating in the Buddhist tradition; September’s age-old Aloha Festivals distill Hawaiian music, dance and history into street parties and concerts).
Summer encourages art-appreciation through the respected Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival and juried Haleiwa ArtFest. Perhaps your best play, however, is an Oahu food festival, honoring staples like pineapple, coffee and our own James Beard Foundation Award-winning chefs Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi, who co-chair the annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival.