Head to Hawaii's biggest city for art, food, and culture.
Long cherished for its stunning beaches, enchanting weather, and tiki entertainments, Hawaii’s capital boasts a lively arts scene and a locavore food movement. Area code is 808.
1 Two kapok trees’ massive buttress roots make a dramatic architectural statement among the bounty of orchids, bromeliads, and extraordinary tropical trees at the Foster Botanical Garden—the actual “tree museum” of Joni Mitchell’s song “Big Yellow Taxi.” 522-7066, honolulu.gov/parks/hbg.
2 Samples of ginger-and-passion-fruit jam fly out of the Honomu Jams & Jellies booth in the Saturday farmers’ market at Kapi‘olani Community College, where 65 vendors, all local, draw throngs of shoppers. 848-2074, hfbf.org.
3 A pair of scowling women—Alice Neel’s 1981 Marisol and the unsigned 19th-century Portrait of a Woman—adds a wry note to the year-old Portraiture Gallery at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Current exhibits present board shorts, tattoos, and erotic Japanese paintings and prints. 532-8700, honolulumuseum.org.
4 Colorful reef triggerfish await snorkelers in the waters off Honolulu. For a sighting, you can indulge in a scuba trip from the Waikiki Ocean Club’s double-decker boat (380-6800, waikikioceanclub.com) or amble down to the underappreciated Waikiki Aquarium (923-9741, waquarium.org).
5 Dulcet notes of the doxology, sung in Hawaiian, and the spoken Lord’s Prayer waft from the 170-year-old Kawaiaha‘o Church, built of 14,000 coral slabs. 522-1333, kawaiahao.org.
Photography courtesy of Dwijnker/Wikimedia Commons
This article was first published in January 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.