Fresh off the airplane from Honolulu three days ago it was quite fortuitous that the opportunity to write this article came along. Honolulu, a bustling city that boasts a few unique qualities unlike other American metropolises.It resides on the island of Oahu in the middle of the Pacific ocean where it’s tropical heat is tempered by constant trade winds blowing through an amazing display of flora and fauna. The Polynesian culture is a bi- polar mix consisting of gorgeous women who mesmerize with melodic stories of the islands to the frenetic drumming and fire-twirling tribe warriors. Honolulu marries its modern, busy hustle with its hang loose mentality very successfully. There truly is something for everyone.
The first thing most weekend visitors should do is experience the beaches of Waikiki. Most of the tourist hotels are within walking distance to the main beaches and all manner of water sports and beach paraphernalia are at your fingertips from para-sailing to surfing, boating to sun bathing.
For those who love their food, gastronomic delights of every ethnicity are yours for the eating. From the traditional Hawaiian fare of Pupus and Poi to Japanese, Vietnamese, French-Polynesian Fusion to good ole’ American Barbecue, it’s all available. Shrimp trucks are a big hit all over the island so whether you venture out of the city or not, fresh, delicious seafood is always at hand. Don’t forget the Dole Pineapple Plantation where pineapple in every available form is sold along with the history of Dole. Try the Dole Pineapple Whip, it is delicious!
If shopping is what works for you, you won’t be disappointed. The International Market Place is a long standing, famous venue replete with all things Hawaiian from the requisite Hawaiian flowered shirts to authentic grass skirts, Puka necklaces, Kona Coffee, Macadamia nuts of every flavor and hand-made Ukuleles. If you have a more contemporary shopping list then everything from Neiman Marcus to the Apple store is there as well. Many of the hotels have unique boutiques; jewellery stores, art galleries and often boast the artisans of the islands.
Are you into golfing? Honolulu offers a number of public and semi-private courses. Be sure to book tee times in advance as they book up very quickly, especially the early tee times.
A traditional Hawaiian Luau is a must, especially if your a first time visitor. This is when you really know that you are in a special place where the past meets the present and the warmth and hospitality of the locals is evidenced in their joy of sharing all things Hawaiian.
Are you into hiking? A short drive from Waikiki finds you at the famed Diamond Head Volcano. Take your hat, sunscreen, bottled water and good shoes and enjoy the spectacular view from the top. Blue sky, turquoise ocean and a city scape, all simply breath-taking.
Finally, nobody should leave a weekend in Honolulu without taking the time to experience some of the most spectacular sunsets you will ever see. As your day winds down, so too does the intensity of the heat and the heightened wind turns to a balmy breeze. The crystal blue skies lightly brushed with wisps of cloud become a canvas of colors only Mother Nature could provide. The blazing sun becomes a deep, smouldering burnt orange etched in brilliant pinks and yellows, sinking gracefully into the edge of the ocean, projecting the best picture show on earth.