You probably know that Waikiki is home to the likes of Duke Kahanamoku, the famous “Pink Palace,” and a host of other landmarks and accolades. But there’s so much more to this storied shoreline than what’s been peddled to the masses. At the Surfjack, we pride ourselves in showing our guests the lesser-sung-but-oh-so-enticing side of Waikiki. Looking for the latest neighborhood restaurants serving up the tastiest fare? How about an off-the-beaten-path bar known for making the world’s most perfect mai-tai? Just ask and we’ll point you in the right direction. And when it comes to how you spend your days in Waikiki—whether you’re looking to dig your toes into the sand or get a few sets at Queens on your longboard—there’s no shortage of opportunities to make a memory here in Waikiki.
Chinatown and Downtown Honolulu
Just a 15-minute drive from the Surfjack, you’ll find the downtown district and Chinatown, the epicenter of Oahu’s art scene. Visit on the “First Friday” of each month, to shop the boutiques, mingle with 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 and downtown district will show you a good time.
An urban neighborhood where artists, eateries, and entrepreneurs come together, Kaka’ako is about 10 minutes driving distance from Waikiki. Walk through the neighborhood to discover urban art from around the world, sip a beer at a brewery, or mingle with locals at the neighborhood coffee shop.
On Oahu’s famed North Shore stands historic Haleiwa, a charming beach town with an effortlessly laid-back 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 and take you back to the Hawaii of old.
Diamond Head and Kapiolani Park
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.