Our vision is to take you on day trips to cities around the world. Featuring the best local hangouts so you can experience life like a local on your adventures. Join us for A Day In Honolulu, Hawaii.
We usually expect sunny skies, ocean winds, and plenty of beach time when staying in Hawaii; what we got instead were torrential showers, flash flood warnings, and brief specks of sun (albeit it was at exactly the time when we needed it). Here's our guide to enjoying Honolulu, Hawaii, even on a rainy day.
STAY || Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach
349 Seaside Ave, Honolulu
Find a hotel where staying indoors is a treat. The Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach Hotel had a large hammock chair, poolside cabanas, and live performances at night to make staying in just as enjoyable. It also helps that they have a highly rated restaurant right on the lobby floor, where you can stay warm, enjoy the vacation vibes via a tasty Mai Tai, and savour a delicious meal.
View the rest of our visit at the hotel here.
CAFFEINATE || Starbucks Reserve
2255 Kuhio Ave, Honolulu
While some coffee lovers may have their opinions on the quality of Starbucks coffee versus independent cafes, we were quite happy with the airy, nature-inspired Starbucks Reserve decor, where one could enjoy a hot beverage while watching the torrential downpour outside. It also helped that it was directly connected to the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach Hotel; you can be sure you will get your caffeine to start your day off on the right foot.
BEACH || LANIKAI BEACH
Kailua, HI 96734
Lanikai Beach was described by our Uber driver as 'next level', with its sparkling, turquoise waters and fine, white sand. Make it your first stop early in the day, as the sun in Hawaii is especially strong and we do not recommend extended exposure during peak UV hours. Head out after your morning coffee and croissant around 9am to get to the north shore where Lanikai Beach is located in around 45 minutes. As the beach often gets packed on the weekends, going there early on a weekday lets you enjoy the tranquil surroundings to your heart's content.
For us, we couldn't choose the weather, so we ended up at Lanikai Beach on the day of the downpours, which had us occasionally seeking cover from passing showers. Though it was gloomy, the waters were still spectacular as we took a stroll down the beach. Rain or shine, you will still be able to see its natural beauty.
BEACH || Prince Kuhio Beach
Extremely popular for tourists as it is right beside the Westin and along the busy main street lined with shops. This section of the Waikiki beaches was only a five minute walk away from our hotel, so if you have the energy for a walk along the various beaches this would be a great starting point.
As you walk along the beach you will reach other sections, such as Malakei Beach Park, where large magical Banyan trees provide shelter from the sun and rain. As you wander you will see tourists taking surfing lessons and families playing along the beach. We stopped by a beach cafe for a fruit smoothie and poke bowl, both freshly made and delicious.
LUNCH || Kaimana Farm Cafe
Farm-to-table lunch in Hawaii - Japanese style. Expect the hearty brunch meals to be healthy and delicious. Their signature Egg Soufflé Omelette is bound to make your mouth water. Try their Matcha Latte as well, which is rich, creamy and foamy - a triple threat.
Read the rest of our visit to this cozy eatery here.
DESSERT || Leonard's Bakery
A meal isn't complete without a proper dessert, and the infamous donuts from Leonard's Bakery has a consistent lineup throughout the day and is a staple dessert for locals and visitors alike. We opted for a dozen donuts, half of them with Cinnamon Sugar and the other with their special flavour of the month, mango.
HIKE || Diamond Head Hike
In the early afternoon, drive up to the Diamond Head park entrance for a leisurely 1.5 hour hike, where you will get to see beautiful 360 views of the island at the summit. Here's a glimpse of the view you could see. For the full article of our Diamond Head hike, view the full article here.
HAPPY HOUR || Duke's Lane Market and Eatery
2255 Kuhio Ave, Honolulu
Need a pick me up before dinner time? Duke's Lane Market and Eatery has got you covered. Whether you are craving baked goods, pizza, a snack-sized poke bowl, ice cream or a burger, you can find it all here. The 4-oz angus beef happy hour burger at Basalt was our go-to whenever we felt a hunger pang. Their poke bowls were also fresh and tasty, and of course we couldn't leave without having a scoop of ice cream.
DINNER || Yokocho Gourmet Alley
2250 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu
After you rest your tired legs at your hotel room, venture out across the street from the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach Hotel to Yokocho Gourmet Alley, where you will find a variety of Japanese cuisines, from O-nigiri to award-winning ramen and yakisoba. Finish off with a matcha latte or soft serve ice cream and you will leave with a full stomach ready for a good night's sleep.
Overall a day in Hawaii is exactly what one would expect - ample sunshine, white sand beaches, a glowing tan and delicious, fresh seafood. We hope your trip to Honolulu will consist of more sunshine and heat than we had!