I Heart My City: Malia’s Honolulu

honolulu.jpgAloha, city-lovers! Today’s city is sunny Honolulu, and it comes to us courtesy of Malia Yoshioka.

Want to see your hometown on IT? Copy and paste our list of fill-in-the-blank questions

into an e-mail, fill in your answers, and send your responses to IntelligentTravel@ngs.org. And if you’re still waiting for us to feature yours, fear not! We’re attempting to post them as fast as we can (include photos and links!).

Honolulu is My City
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for IHMC-NGT-logo-blog.jpg
The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to the Pali Lookout.

When I crave the best Greek food on the island I always grab a bottle of wine (BYOB!) and head to The Olive Tree Cafe.

To escape on the weekends I head to the north shore via the windward side–such a beautiful drive!

If I want to the world’s best shrimp scampi, I go to Giovanni’s Original White Shrimp Truck in Kahuku.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at a meditation/yoga retreat in Manoa.

If you come to my city, get your picture taken with the beach boys down in Waikiki.

If you have to order one thing off the menu from Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas it has to be the Chilean sea bass–to die for!

diamondhead.jpgAla Moana is my one-stop shop for great food, drinks, and shopping.

Locals know to skip Waikiki and check out the beaches out in the North Shore or the East Side instead.

For a huge splurge I go treat myself to a facial at Heaven on Earth Day Spa.

Photo ops in my city include Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach–too many to name. The best vantage points are everywhere you turn–take out your camera and start shooting!

The most random thing about my city is that our mayor loves to sing.

In my city, an active day outdoors involves a run around Kapiolani Park, surfing at Diamond Head, or stand-up paddle boarding – the latest trend.

My city’s best museum is the Honolulu Academy of Arts–check out their Arts After Dark theme parties once a month.

My favorite jogging/walking route is Diamond Head on a Saturday morning before the KCC Farmers’ Market.

Sorabol is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read MidWeek.

You can tell a lot about my city from the number of people who come to visit but never leave.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they can pronounce street and place names correctly–they’re all in Hawaiian!

In the spring you should keep and umbrella handy–rain is a Hawaiian blessing.

In the winter you should jump in the water–it’s Hawaii, you won’t freeze.

A hidden gem in my city is Hokulani Bake Shop in Restaurant Row. Try the red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Mmm!

For a great breakfast joint try Like Like Drive Inn.

Don’t miss the Honolulu Festival in March.

Just outside my city, you can visit a neighboring island–Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, the Big Island–all have their unique charms.

If my city were a pet it would be something sunny and cheerful like a golden retriever.

If I didn’t live in a city, I’d live in Upcountry Maui.

The best book about my city is Hotel Honolulu by Paul Theroux.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is Honolulu City Lights“.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park.

The Honolulu Marathon–and the craziness that surrounds it – could only happen in my city.

My city should be featured on your cover or website because it’s got something for everyone–beautiful beaches, nightlife, arts and culture, great food, and world-class shopping. It’s truly paradise!

Photos: Divermasterking2000 and Xcallibur99 via the Intelligent Travel Flickr pool


  1. Rahul L
    May 31, 2013, 9:24 am

    Honolulu there are a lot of places to see which include museums, natural scenic beauty, memorials, beaches, etc. Here is a list of top 5 places to see in Honolulu:

    Waikiki Beach: The Waikiki Beach is one the most popular tourist destination in Honolulu and is always crowded. This beach is a beauty in itself. It is a white sand beach and surrounded by luxurious hotels, spas, and the Diamond Head. It is perfect for surfing, sun bathing, swimming, etc.

    Hanauma Bay: It is located in Eastern Honolulu. It is situated along a backdrop of an extinct volcano which is open to sea and now full of beautiful coral reef. This place is famous for its abundance in marina life and calm waters. It is well known for scuba diving and snorkeling.

    Pearl Harbor: It is popular because of the tragic incident which took place here during the World War II. The Japanese open fired with their fighter jets on the U.S. Navy ships and men here which led to one of the biggest calamity in history of America. It now has military memorials like “Battleship Missouri Memorial”, “Pacific Aviation Museum”, “USS Bowfin”, etc.

    Bishop Museum: It is located in Western Honolulu. It is the largest museum in all of United States which contains the biggest collections of ancient arts and artifacts. It has a large natural history hall, a planetarium, a special area dedicated to volcanologists and large number of science based exhibits.

    Diamond Head: If you are thinking about exploring the scenic natural beauty of Honolulu, Hawaii then Diamond Head is the place where you should start with. It is the ancient crater of an extinct volcano which sits on the top of Waikiki and has an incredible view of the whole city.

  2. […] I Heart My City: Malia’s Honolulu […]

  3. medyum
    July 2, 2010, 6:01 pm

    very nice subject medyum Want to see your hometown on IT? Copy and paste our list of fill-in-the-blank questions into an e-mail, fill in your answers, and send your responses to IntelligentTravel@ngs.org. And if you’re still waiting for us to feature yours, fear not! We’re attempting to post them as fast as we can (include photos and links!).

  4. Ryan
    December 24, 2009, 2:23 pm

    Out of the islands listed by you Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, the Big Island i have been to Maui once.It is truly beautiful.I stayed at Kaanapali Beach Hotel. It was a remarkable trip that i can never forget.

  5. hawaii real estate
    September 14, 2009, 2:49 pm

    Hey I can see my house in that first picture!
    I love Olive Tree Greek!. Ono eats!
    Greek Marina is pretty good too out in Hawaii Kai.
    Thanks for the great post!

  6. Waikiki
    September 10, 2009, 10:00 am

    Those are some really nice Oahu photos of Honolulu and Waikiki. I especially love the aerial one looking down at the Diamond Head.

  7. Shane
    July 2, 2009, 1:56 am

    Hawaii just like Ibiza beach it is known to its beautiful beaches, a good place to spend holidays.

  8. Eva Guibert
    June 29, 2009, 4:59 pm

    Mahalo for the write up on Honolulu; I’ve always loved it. It combines the city and the country all in one island! I used to go to Down to Earth for some mock chicken, rice and some veggies and head to kailua for a picnic on the beach or to Waikiki to watch some free hula by the Royal Hawaiian Center or even take some of their free classes! When I arrange their travel to Hawaii, I like to tell my clients about the great places they can find when traveling to Hawaii. I also have a blog called Hawaii Questions but it’s specifically about Hawaii. It’s still amazing to me that each of the Hawaiian Islands is so different and unique.
    I can understand your love for upcountry Maui, I lived in Olinda and still visit every chance I get. The fresh smell of Eucalyptus and the winding roads… it’s no wonder Hapa wrote a song about it!
    Thanks again for the stroll down memory lane!
    Eva Guibert

  9. jay
    June 20, 2009, 10:16 pm

    Honolulu is a must see place. Vacationing in Oahu can get pretty expensive, but right now you can get incredible deals from Honolulu Luxury Hotels to Discount Honolulu Hotels. This would be a perfect time to take advantage of the amazing travel package plan.

  10. Samantha
    April 2, 2009, 2:26 am

    A place to go when visiting Oahu has to be The Fat Greek.
    You will never have Greek food like it and if you leave the island with out it your life will truly be incomplete.
    It’s on the corner of Wailai and Saint Louis and it’s absolutely amazing!

  11. michelle
    April 1, 2009, 9:18 pm

    I visited Hawaii about four years ago and fell in love with the island state. I still talk about my trip with family and friends, and hope to return someday soon to hike the Na Pali coast. Thanks for sharing your post!

  12. Kimi Werner
    March 29, 2009, 2:36 pm

    Whoohoo! Great Post! It truly makes me appreciate living here on Oahu even more!

  13. Emmaline
    March 29, 2009, 12:56 am

    I have just discovered the “I Heart My City” posts and very much enjoyed reading yours.
    I would love to go visit Hawaii and since we do have kids I think the Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park is on the list of attractions to visit.
    Thanks for the great post.

  14. Mr. Carriage Clocks
    March 28, 2009, 9:28 am

    Wow me an my wife have talked about visiting Hawaii but after reading your article and seeing the photos it has changed to we definetly need to go what a beautiful place.