Shopping in HonoluluHonolulu's several strikingly designed complexes offer shoppers everything from toothpaste to precious black coral and from tube socks to mu‘umu‘u. Music, dance and other entertainment are frequent added incentives that can't be missed during your vacation.
Ala Moana Center , at 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. across from the park of the same name, is the largest shopping mall in both Honolulu and the state. Amid gardens, pools, fountains and sculpture, over 350 stores sell products from the entire Pacific area, and a variety of dining spots satisfy hungry shoppers. The department stores—Bloomingdale’s, Macy's, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom—balance the center's establishments of haute couture (think Balenciaga and Escada), as well as other upscale establishments like Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.
Across from Kewalo Basin at Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward Avenue, you'll find more fun things to do at another Honolulu hallmark, Ward Village Shops . Its five contemporary complexes house about 175 specialty stores and restaurants. Ward Entertainment Center boasts a 16-screen movie theater. Koko Marina Center , 7192 Kalaniana‘ole Hwy. near Hānauma Bay, offers a number of shops and eateries as well as water sports rentals.
Downtown Honolulu, like mainland cities, has been experiencing some urban revitalization. One successful result was the conversion of Fort Street into an attractive pedestrian shopping mall. Chinatown is a 15-block area bounded by N. Beretania Street, N. Nimitz Highway, River Street and Bethel Street; the proudest development of its renovation is Chinatown Cultural Plaza , where Chinese shops and restaurants showcase the multicultural character of Hawai‘i.
One of Honolulu's most recognized landmarks is the centerpiece of the Aloha Tower Marketplace , on the waterfront off Ala Moana Boulevard. This 10-story tower, built in 1926, was for decades the tallest building in the city. Residents would line up along the docks and welcome the sailing ships and big steamers with a hula dance, music performances and flower lei. Today the tower can still be seen from the water, and the observation decks on the top floor provide a scenic view of the Honolulu skyline. The surrounding marketplace includes about 30 shops, dockside restaurants and other fun things to do with friends. Now part of Hawai‘i Pacific University, the mixed-used space also includes student housing.
In Waikīkī, the most concentrated shopping district is Kalākaua Avenue, which extends from downtown Honolulu all the way to the end of Kapi‘olani Regional Park. The Royal Hawaiian Center , 2201 Kalākaua Ave., is the area's answer to Ala Moana Center. Stretching three blocks and four stories, the center has more than 110 shops, places to eat and services. Chanel, Gucci and Saint Laurent Paris are among the retailers along Luxury Row , 2100 Kalākaua Ave. There are 150-plus establishments at the Waikīkī Shopping Plaza , 2250 Kalākaua Ave.
International Market Place , 2330 Kalākaua Ave., is a posh, three-level, open-air shopping and dining destination anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue. The retail center creates a relaxing environment with splashing water falls, shaded walkways and lush tropical foliage that includes a massive 100-year-old banyan tree.
Other Waikīkī area temptations for those on vacation are the slick, three-level Pualeilani Atrium Shops complex at the Hyatt Regency Waikīkī Beach Resort & Spa, 2424 Kalākaua Ave. and Rainbow Bazaar , which brings items from Polynesia, Japan and Southeast Asia to the grounds of Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikīkī Beach Resort. Yet more shopping and dining opportunities are found at the nearly 8-acre Waikīkī Beach Walk on Lewers Street, which intersects with Kalākaua Avenue.
Aloha Stadium Swap Meet & Marketplace , at Aloha Stadium, offers great bargains Wed. and Sat.-Sun. 8-3 (on Sun. the swap meet opens at 6:30; the marketplace opens at normal time). Admission is $1; free (ages 0-11).
Two large suburban shopping centers are Kahala Mall , beyond Diamond Head via H-1 at 4211 Waialae Ave., and Pearlridge Center , at Pearl City via Kamehameha Highway. Kahala's more than 90 specialty shops and eateries are anchored by Macy's. At the Pearlridge, a monorail connects the center's two buildings which house more than 170 stores, restaurants and services that are anchored by Macy's and Sears. Waikele Premium Outlets , off H-1 exit 7 in Waipahu, has 50 stores, including Coach, Michael Kors and OshKosh B'gosh.
Most of O‘ahu's shopping centers open daily at 9 a.m.; closing times vary.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
Hawai‘i has an excise tax of 4 percent (4.712 percent in Honolulu) on most goods and services. Honolulu has a lodging tax of 10.25 percent; rental cars are subject to state tax and a road tax of approximately $5 per day.
Kaiser Permanente-Moanalua Medical Center & Clinic, (808) 432-0000; The Queen's Medical Center, (808) 691-1000; Straub Medical Center, (808) 522-4000.
2270 Kalākaua Ave. Suite 801 Honolulu, HI 96815. Phone:(808)923-1811 or (800)464-2924
Hertz, (800) 654-3080, offers discounts to AAA members and has several area locations: the airport, (808) 837-7100; Kahala Hotel & Resort, (808) 735-8983; Hyatt Regency Waikīkī Beach Resort & Spa, (808) 971-3535; Imperial Hotel, (808) 922-3331; and Pagoda Hotel, (808) 942-5626.
The largest companies serving the island are TheCAB, (808) 422-2222; and Charley's Taxi & Tours, (808) 233-3333.