Having lived here 20 years, I can say that these are by far the best places to visit, eat at, and live.
(1) Iolani Palace – learn about HI’s history and the imprisonment of HI’s queen in her own palace
(2) Hanauma Bay – very crowded, but very beautiful
(3) Pali Lookout (Nuʻuanu Pali State Wayside) – amazing view of the most beautiful side of the island
USS Arizona Memorial – especially if you like history (World War II history)
(4) Dole Plantation – right by the shrimp truck, pick up fresh pineapple near the gorgeous North Shore after a long day at the beach. They also have a large maze that is fun for kids.
(5) Polynesian Cultural Central – my least favorite, but can be fun for the whole family
Honolulu also has a zoo, but it’s not any better than mainland ones. Still worth stopping by if you run out of beaches to see lol
(1) Bob’s Bar-B-Que – Aiea – my favorite place, right next to the ice skating rink – best malts and barbecue; make sure to bring cash
(2) Robeks – Aiea – best acai bowls and acai smoothies, bar none – extremely friendly owners, high-quality; you can switch out the apple juice in the acai smoothie for soy milk for a creamier, less sweet flavor – amazing!
(3) New Mui Kwai Chop Suey – Kailua – best Chinese restaurant on the island, if ever they have bad reviews, it’s only because of the service; friendly owners
(4) Zippy’s – everywhere – the chili is to die for, the fruit punch is amazing, and the jello cream cake with chocolate-coated crust (I get one slice) is unbeatable; they also have great donuts with a chocolate center.
(5) Macky’s Sweet Shrimp Truck – North Shore – won the best shrimp truck award! The most amazing garlic and butter shrimp, and the salad is so unique and refreshing. They also serve their shrimp with fresh pineapple on the side and are conveniently located next to the beaches and 7-Eleven so you can grab some drinks for a low price.
(6) Mililani Restaurant – Chicken Crispy Noodle – try it! Miss this plate lunch so much.
Best Place to Buy a House:
Mililani (nice cool temperature year-round)
Kahala (my top pick)
Kaneohe (my second favorite)
Places You Don’t Want to Live In:
Ewa Beach (traffic central)
Kapolei (far from town, drugs)
Of course, if you’re going to buy a condo and work in town, Honolulu is the best place, but it is very expensive. However, buying a place here, you can guarantee your home price will always go up. Also, you’re within walking distance of everything. Keep in mind though, this city is not ideal for a family, but perfect for a couple or a single person.
Stay tuned for my next post on how to make living in Hawaii possible.