36 Hours in Honolulu

36 Hours in Honolulu

Photo of The New York Times

The fragrance of an orchid lei; the taste of perfect sushi; grand island residences and the blue-green sea: This is Honolulu.

17 Places
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    Head to small, dark and crowded Jazz Minds, where the owner, Young Hae Yi, will sometimes get up on stage and sing jazz classics.
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    The hotel is situated near Diamond Head and Kapiolani Park, on the shore of Kaimana Beach.
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    L’Aperitif offers cocktails in a classic ambiance, with sumptuous floral arrangements and bartenders in white coats.
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    The Royal Hawaiian is where Clark Gable and the model-actress Sylvia Ashley spent their honeymoon in 1949. Shirley Temple, Amelia Earhart, the Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Rockefellers, Fords and du Ponts — all stayed here.
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    At Orchids restaurant in the Halekulani Hotel, the over-the-top brunch features a roasted pig with an apple in its mouth, exotic fruits and sashimi and sushi.
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    A mai tai at House Without a Key in the seafront garden at the Halekulani Hotel is perfection. Even the most jaded travelers fall under the spell of the Hawaiian music and swaying hula dancer.
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    Part of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Newt’s offers “Sombreros Montecristi,” the world’s finest Panama hats, made not in Panama but in Ecuador. The feel is more silk or linen than straw.
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    Stop at Waimanalo Beach Park, where you can stroll along the beach. You will see colorful tent villages that serve as residences for what used to be called hippies.
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    You can park and take an intermittently steep hike to one of the best places in the world to watch the sun come up.
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    You too can dine like Barack and Michelle, who eaten here. Specialties include ginger-crusted onaga and the president’s favorite dish, twice-cooked soy-braised short ribs.
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    Expert divers will be tempted to plunge off the volcanic cliffs into the pure waters below. Less experienced swimmers can sunbathe and admire the view.
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    Wood is celebrated here in beautifully crafted items, including bowls, calabashes and boxes made by local master turners in local woods such as koa, mango and macadamia nut wood.
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