Places I love: Honolulu

We went to Honolulu recently for a quick get-away and a number of you have asked me for the details.

Places I love: Honolulu

We went to Honolulu recently for a quick get-away and a number of you have asked me for the details. I'll be honest and tell you, very little planning went into this trip. We booked the flight and hotels just a few days before leaving and crossed our fingers. With the exception of one day (a day trip to the North Shore), we didn't bother renting a car, and walked, bused, or ride-shared. I love the city on a beach setting, and didn't mind the hustle bustle at all. It was also fun to walk around and wander through the old hotels, and neighborhoods. The weather was beautiful, water warm, beaches welcoming, and from San Francisco it was a direct five-hour flight. We flew out in the morning and were on the beach after lunch. So, for any of you considering a visit, here's a short list of a few of the places, meals, and details that made our trip to Honolulu really great. We do a lot of marathon flights and itineraries, and this was the opposite of that kind of trip, in the best ways imaginable.


Hotels: We picked two just to switch things up a bit...

- Parc Waikiki: Across the street from Waikiki Beach

- Surfjack: Five minute walk from beach (and a short walk from the first hotel we stayed in)

Places to Eat:

- The Pig & the Lady (vegan pho was on point)
- Town
- Bill's - easy brunch / dinner
- Piggy Smalls
- BLT Market (bar) - go at sunset for a drink / open air, beautiful interior
- ARS Cafe & Gelato (Diamond Head)
- Sunny Days (Diamond Head)

Shops & Markets:

- Olive & Oliver Hawaii (at Surfjack Hotel)

- Paiko & Arvo Cafe

- We weren't there on a Saturday, so we missed the largest farmers' market, but(!) we went to the Wednesday evening one at Neal Blaisdell Center where there were a handful of farms with their produce, as well as a pretty broad selection of prepared foods that you could sit and enjoy on the lawn with local families.


- Tin Can Mailman (pop in before/after lunch at Pig & the Lady)

- Mama'o Soap
- Makai Sea Salt Soap
- Kahala Tea
- Bolt Energy Tea (black & green teas, yerba mate', schizandra, mamaki, and more)
- Paiko ('OHI Hawaii Flora book)

Lead photo: detail of a mural I came across in the parking / reception area of one of the Waikiki hotel towers. I didn't see an artist's signature, but if you know the artist, please let me know.

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I've been looking for places that I can purchase the Bolt Energy Tea you purchased as a gift ever since I returned to the mainland. Do you remember where you purchased it from or where I can go to find more of it? It was one of the best teas I have ever tried.

HS Hi Chris: It was in Waikiki - in the back of a shop, somewhere between the beach, and the Surf Jack. The shop was on a corner...Yikes, that's all I've got.


Born and raised in Hawaii, and I was excited when I saw on your Instagram that you were visiting. I'm not sure about the commenter above, William, who said taxis are traditional. Seems like a strange comment in general. Most people who aren't driving a private vehicle use The Bus. But Oahu is definitely going to be the hardest island to travel around freely because the traffic is crazy. I think you'd love the other islands.


Thanks so much for sharing, Heidi. I always love your travel posts and this one in particular made me want to hop on the next plane to Hawaii. I love the little bento box that you used in the video, would you mind sharing where you purchased it? Thank you!

HS: Thanks Eva! I'm going to have to apologize - I'm blanking on where I picked that one up. I think it was online - search for bamboo bento perhaps? I didn't show it in the video, but it also comes with a T-shaped divider you can slip in to keep each item in its place, and a leak-discouraging silicon lid that can go on before the main lid :)


Supper lovely. I've never been to Hawaii (I live in Eastern Ontario, Canada......not really next door ;) I did however just come back from a 1 week trip to Cuba (yes, we Canadians are privileged to call Cuba our main holiday spot, it's beautiful, cheap, has a great history and best of devoid of Americans (not that we don't like you's just fun to have a place to "ourselves" ya know). And it's great for people who live closer to the east cost since it's a 4 hour direct flight to get away from our eternal winter (spring officially "started" yesterday over here). Anyway, love to read about your trips (I'm also a big fan of Japan so anything you post about this makes me happy.


I've been thinking A LOT about Hawaii lately and here's your beautiful post in my reader! Guess it's a sign that I need to plan a trip.

Rocky Mountain Woman

HI!! I would have loved bumping into you. I live on Oahu and almost each weekend my husband, son (2 yrs), and I run around the island admiring the beauty, taking in the scenery, or seeing something new. I haven't tried the vegan pho at The Pig & the Lady though, thanks for the suggestion.


You should have gone to bogarts its a million times better than Sunny Days I am sure it was crowded


I'm not a cook or a foodie but appreciate your tips on Honolulu. By commenting I hope I can retrieve this site. Thanks, D'

Donna Sarda

A plug for Na Mea in Ward Center. actual real and beautiful hawaiian crafts. food and goods. plus the best selection of books related to Hawaii - kids, mysteries, field guides, vintage, you name it - you can go on Da Bus :-)

HS: Thanks! Sounds great.


Hawaii is beautiful due to the local traditions. On that note you should use taxis as they are tradition in hawaii. Ride shares aren't accepted in Hawaii as they are not tradition and lack security. Too many drug runners and perverts.

HS: Hi William - here's a question. I nearly always use the taxi-specific app in San Francisco (Flywheel), is there an equivalent in Hawaii? We had a couple not so ideal taxi experiences - for example: getting picked up driving a bit, and then being told cash-only, and having to detour to find an ATM. Also, if you want to get back to your hotel on the later side after a meal, the options were bus (often long wait), phone call a cab, Uber....I think we used Uber twice, and both experiences were exceptionally professional. Let me know if there's a taxi app that you (or anyone based in Hawaii) use and like. Thanks in advance!


What a gorgeous holiday Heidi - winters get pretty chilly here in Melbourne and I know how it feels to crave that warmth and light! Lovely video - can I ask what the music playing through it was?

HS: Hi Kate! Yes - sometimes a jolt of sunshine is what's needed :)...Here's the music rundown - Track 1: Solar Flares Artist: Silent Partner // Track 2: Take You Artist: Vibe Tracks // Track 3: Dub Eastern by Kevin MacLeod xx!


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