The Best Things To Do On Oahu Will Make Your Instagram Feed Glow Like An Influencer's
If you were to dream of the most extraordinary millennial getaway, what would you picture? For me, it would include planting myself in the sand with a Mai Tai, cooling off in the clearest teal waters you’ve ever seen, and enjoying the local culture. The trip would be comprised of equal parts relaxation and adventure, and feature fresh seafood, tropical drinks, and the best photo opps ever. If a paradise like this sounds like your kind of retreat, too, I put together some of the best things to do on Oahu that made me feel like an influencer on my most recent trip. This way, you can easily recreate the trip for yourself.
When I received an invitation from the Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger in Honolulu, Hawaii to enjoy a five-day getaway courtesy of the hotel, I couldn't say no. The hotel billed the trip to me as the "ultimate millennial experience" and it didn't hurt that everything offered completely lined up with my dream getaway.
As soon as I saw the private balcony attached to my room, I couldn't resist snapping pics with the stunning teal ocean backdrop. This was the perfect opportunity for me to live like a social media star: waking up in a cozy bathrobe, enjoying a cup of coffee in my plush bed, walking the beach at night with the faded glow of tiki lights in the background, and watching the sunset from my floor-to-ceiling windows.
This lifestyle hotel is such an awesome, millennial-friendly place to stay while in Waikiki Beach. As I sat inside a plush poolside cabana enjoying a few refreshing happy hour cocktails, I had one thought: "This is how every millennial should kick off their vacation." And that was only the beginning.
After I was done lounging around, I had the chance to experience as much of the culture as I possibly could in my short timeframe. I took a hula dance lesson, enjoyed the most incredible poké ever, surfed with the locals, and took advantage of all the Instagram opportunities possible, including local craft beer, poolside yoga, and selfies in my lei.
Although I would have been happy as a clam never even leaving the hotel, there are so many awesome things to do on Waikiki Beach and beyond — such as canoe surfing, snorkeling, shopping at the Waikiki Beach Walk, going on a catamaran sunset cruise, savoring shave ice, and more — so I couldn't resist stepping outside for even more adventures. (My camera did not oppose, either.)
I grew up surfing at the Jersey Shore, but surfing in Hawaii brought riding the waves to a whole new level. My first day was spent at the beach taking a surf lesson with Faith Surf School. I couldn’t have been more pumped, and my instructor, Barney, was the GOAT. He had an awesome, hilarious personality that made my surf lesson one-of-a-kind, and he gave me great tips — such as taking my time when popping up on the board and not leaning too close to the front so the board nose-dived — and was patient when I was getting the hang of things. An instructor who makes a new, potentially challenging activity fun and comfortable can make or break the experience, and I'd definitely recommend booking a lesson with Barney.
Another dreamy activity I tried included stand-up paddle board yoga, which was a first for me. I love yoga, but I’ve never experienced it on the Pacific Ocean, or on a paddle board, and Yoga Kai Hawai`i made this an experience to remember.
My instructor made me feel like I was a pro and having these pictures to look back on will always inspire me to go for anything and everything in life I want to try. Living your best life should be a priority, and honestly, so should stand-up paddle board yoga in Hawaii. Even if you just want to have a unique yoga session in the most peaceful environment ever, I suggest giving this activity a try while you're on Oahu.
The waves along Waikiki Beach were pretty rough the day we went, so we headed to Magic Island Lagoon, which is quite possibly the most serene, picturesque place I’ve ever been in my life. (I captioned my pictures, “Nama’stay here forever,” and really wanted to.)
My instructor, a group of locals, and I were some of the few people on this gorgeous man-made peninsula, and when I brought my paddle board into the clear water, I was in awe of the sun-drenched, palm tree-lined backdrop. My instructor was as impressed as I was, and she captured the most amazing pictures for my ‘Gram.
I was also able to hike Diamond Head while I was on the island, which is a volcanic crater and extremely popular landmark of Hawaii with extraordinary views of Oahu. Let me tell you, the view from the top is definitely worth the trek to get there.
The hike itself is pretty moderate and took about a half an hour. If you love hiking, I highly suggest heading there early in the morning to beat the crowds and the heat. Once you reach the very top, you’ll be inclined to throw a couple of hearts up with your hands and have someone snap a bunch of pics.
After working up a sweat and feeling pretty accomplished with my climb, it was the perfect time to treat myself to some serious snacks. I’ve bean in love before, but Hawaiian Aroma Caffé — a charming, chic, and tropical coffee-lover's heaven in Waikiki Beach — really perked up my soul and my Insta feed when I needed a caffeinated pick-me-up.
As a major fan of doing it for the foodie 'Gram (but also savoring each and every bite), I had my fill of fresh fruit, shaved coconut, peanut butter, and local honey, and was very pleased with the adorable little umbrella that topped off my açaí bowl. If you're on the açaí bowl bandwagon, your tastebuds and Instagram aesthetic will fall hard for this afternoon treat.
When it came to immersing myself in the local music and beloved traditions of Hawaii, I enjoyed a hula lesson at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. It's a free activity offered to guests through the hotel, so you can get a taste of the local culture during your vacay.
I've watched hula dancers before, but I never truly appreciated that hula is so much more than a beautiful dance and show until I tried it for myself. During my lesson, I learned that each movement tells a story through the dance and lyrics. As I danced to music from a live ukulele player, my body told a story about the flowers on the Hawaiian islands. I have never felt more graceful and more connected to a culture.
To complete my adventures, I went on an afternoon Holokai Tradewind Sail, which one of the local activities offered by Outrigger’s DISCOVERY program. By signing up to be part of the DISCOVERY program, you can peruse a list of really cool local experiences you're able to "redeem." They can be booked online ahead of time. I recommend this for any traveler who wants to make the most thrilling memories while on the island. Plus, it makes planning an epic itinerary nearly seamless.
The catamaran sail had a bar on deck for those who are 21 and older, which obviously I enjoyed to the fullest. As we sailed through the waves of the Pacific and got splashed in the front of the boat, I couldn’t help but stop, smile, and really think I was in a dream or starring in my very own version of a feel-good self-discovery movie. I mean, that was the point of this trip, right?
My exact getaway and itinerary felt like the perfect millennial statement vacay, and I felt like I did this beautiful phrase, "Oi kau ka lau, e hana I ola Honua," — "Live your life while the sun is still shining" — justice.
Featured in Hanako.Tokyo, Trill, Livedoor News, Woman Excite, Antenna, and PLAT by Navitime, Hawaiian Aroma Caffe is one of the top eight places to visit in Hawaii. With multiple locations in the heart of Honolulu, it’s one of the most convenient cafes to visit for locals and tourists alike. Visit us today!
FREE & OPEN to the public
Aug. 10, 6pm-10pm
Parking: $6 / 4 hours
This event is a celebration of communication featuring poetry and hip hop in an iconic Waikiki setting.
This fusion event is not only celebrating communication but also this year's Na Hoku Hanohano award winner for best Hip Hop album of the year, Punahele Kūkailimoku Kanikapila. Together we are combining our talents as a collective to utilize art as advocacy, poetry as protest and community as one voice.
As humans we are the only species that can talk and using this ability is what differentiates us. Choosing words over weapons is what believe.
15% of the proceeds go to Soundshop, a hip hop education workshop program for youth at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
2017 & 2018 National Poetry Slam Representative for Hawaii Slam
2018 Woman of the World Poetry Slam Representative for Hawaii Slam
Co founder: HI Poets Society
The Godfather of Poetry
2017 National Poetry Slam Representative for Hawaii Slam
Co-Founder: HI Poets Society
Pacific Islander, Worker, Student, Educator, part time Poet, full time Husband, full time Dog Daddy, former non-profit Director, former raw vegan Chef, Co-Founder: HI Poets Society
2018 National Poetry Slam Representative for Hawaii Slam
From Big Island
Co-Founder: HI Poets Society
Z From Baltimore
2019 Hawaii Slam Champ
Poetry Bodega Artist and Host of Hip Hop Karaoke
Mpho The Poetess
With a tongue fluent in five languages, Mpho is a South African Podcast Host and Poet.
Runner-up of Words of Warrior Wāhine 2019
Hawaii Grand Slam Finalist 2018
National Poetry Slam Competitor 2007-09
InDaPenDance Workshop Director
Check out his album:
TRUE Confessions of a Compulsive LIAR
on most music streaming sites
Poetry Bodega Artists
The Viking Poet:
The Viking Poet is a spoken word artist from South Compton, California. The son of a black panther and a civil rights activist, he is a two time Hawaii slam finalist who spends his nights writing po
etry for strangers on the streets of Waikiki.
In 2016, Cedric created a show called Freestyle Friday where he invites artists & producers over to freestyle & do a short interview which is live streamed every Friday on Facebook & Instagram. In 2017, he released his Na Hoku nominated album ArtChiTexture
Co-Founder: Bounce Back Mondays
Pinay hip hop artist, educator, and entrepreneur born and raised in Honolulu, HI.
You may also include my website: jehzanexclusive.com
2019 Na Hoku Hip Hop Album of the year award recipient
Hawaiian Aroma Caffe & Bar
Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel
2300 Kalakaua Ave.
Honolulu, Hi 96814
In partnership with Tantriq Entertainment and Summit Media, we’re excited to present our Wet Beats Pool Party: Watermelon Edition. It’s this Saturday, August 3, at the Ohana Waikiki East Hotel from 2 PM to 7 PM. 21+ welcome. Tickets are available at UHM Campus Center and MWR. Online tickets, cabana and room reservations at www.tantriq.net.
HONOLULU – Summer is here, and Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger continues its “Crafted Experiences” program with TOMA – Terrace of Modern Art – a summer series featuring celebrated artists who draw their inspiration from the beach.
This vibrant, surf-art exhibit kicked off on May 24, 2019 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger. The hotel pool deck adjacent to Hawaiian Aroma Caffe transformed into an outdoor art gallery – featuring the work of internationally renowned photographer and videographer Zak Noyle. Guests had the pleasure of meeting the creative in an upbeat atmosphere with a live DJ, handcrafted drinks, and delicious bites.
About the Artist: Zak Noyle isn't your typical extreme sports athlete. Considered one of the best extreme surf photographers in the world, Zak lives his life on the edge. He is an avid outdoor photographer with a truly unique perspective on surf and sea. Based on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu, Zak spends countless hours in the water, creating dramatic imagery and artful interpretations of the world's most magnificent ocean environment.
Surf Photographer Zak Noyle is an island boy with a lifelong love of the sea. His father, seasoned commercial photographer Ric Noyle, introduced Zak to a camera at an early age and by the time he was a freshman at Punahou School, Zak was already a published photographer in ESPN, Sports Illustrated,Transworld Surf and many more. In 2010, at age 25, Zak left Transworld Surf, and was made senior staff photographer of the nationally distributed Surfer Magazine where he continues his professional career today. His contract work opportunities have taken him half way across the world and back, and have made it possible to photograph some of the most sought after locations in the world; from Tahiti, Indonesia, The Philippines, Western Australia, Puerto Rico and back home to Hawaii. Zak Noyle's surf images can be seen in many high profile magazines such as National Geographic, London Times, ESPN and Surfer Magazine; he has been featured advertising campaigns with clients such as Chanel, Stussy, RVCA, Billabong; in online campaigns with Mastercard and Desillusion Magazine; and his images have won numerous awards over the years, including being voted "Best Photo of the Year" by Surfer Magazine in 2011.
Not only do his images appear in stories, advertisements and online videos; Zak proudly shares the results of his passion with fine art collectors through his limited edition prints. This site is a collection of awesome ocean waves capturing the essence of each wave from around the world.
Surf photography requires a certain level of careful planning, hard work and a bit of sheer luck. When asked, Zak says "it's all about being in the right place at the right time," a sort of formula for finding the best waves of the day. He follows the wind and tide patterns throughout the week, notes changes in weather patterns or inconsistencies and any tips from fellow surfers are always welcome. For Zak, being in the water with his camera when the next big swell rolls through is a lifestyle; its an art, and its a passion.
By Christina O'Connor – Reporter, Pacific Business News
As Outrigger Hospitality Group President and CEO Jeff Wagoner phrases it, the Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger “has been reborn” following a $35 million modernization project.
The project was completed April 1, and the updated property made its official debut at a grand opening ceremony Monday evening. The Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger, which is also home to Maui Brewing Co.’s Waikiki brewpub and a Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, marks the first lifestyle property for the brand.
“This is just a fabulous location being on Kalakaua right next to International Market Place, and it was just screaming to be a lifestyle property,” Wagoner told PBN. “To be able to come in and modernize the property the way we have, it has really created a special, special hotel.”
“We felt like it was appropriate for the Waikiki market — it was a missing element for the market, and there are plenty of travelers that are looking for a unique experience and a product that has the art and the artesian vibe that we have been able to create.”
Updates to the property include a complete revamp of all 498 guest rooms, renovations to the lobby and other public spaces, in-room technology including 55-inch flat-screen TVs with streaming capabilities, and a refreshed pool area with new furniture. Plus, exterior changes have also been made to give the hotel a new presence from the street, including the addition of a multi-floor green wall displaying the hotel name near the entrance.
When asked what he is most excited about in the modernization, Wagoner said it’s the Beachcomber Originals, a collective of 12 local artists, photographers, musicians and restauranteurs that played a key role in curating various elements of the property.
The group, Wagoner said, is “really taking the spirit of Hawaii and Waikiki and bringing it into the property.
“It’s photography, it’s painting, it’s music, and all the things that can really create a very tangible mark on the property and create the kind of DNA and the culture and the authenticity that we’re looking for,” he said.
The Beachcomber Originals features an eclectic group of creators that includes muralist Erin Ibarra, who created hand-drawn flower murals at each floor of the hotel; print, collage and installation artist Margo Ray, whose work appears along a wall at Maui Brewing Company; musician Makana, who created new music specifically for the hotel; and internationally known surf photographer Zak Noyle, whose photography can be found in all of the guest rooms.
Ibarra, who is perhaps best known for her elaborate chalk illustrations at local bars, says that her floral mural project at the hotel aims to “give some love to some under-noticed species and little Hawaiian treasures.”
“My niche is in wayfinding and signage, so this is like a really radical, oversized take on that,” Ibarra said.
“We blew up all of these tiny flowers on this massive scale and kind of gave every floor its own identity,” Ibarra explained. “We arranged the flowers by the elevation in which they grow, so it’s got all these layers of information and meaning. And it helps — when you come off the elevator, you know which floor is yours because every one is different.”
In conjunction with the physical updates, Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger also has hired several new staff in key positions, including a new general manager, hotel manager and a Japanese guest service manager.
“It was important for us that as the property transitioned into a lifestyle property, we had the appropriate team and talent as we moved the hotel into the future,” Wagoner said. “There are things that are upgraded in the property that it is important that we have got the right team members there to handle.”
Plus, all staff has gone through additional training on service and Hawaiian culture.
“You can’t go through a renovation like this and just allow everything else to sit by,” Wagoner said. “The service piece is really important.”
The modernization was a part of the vision that hotel and resort management company KSL, which purchased Outrigger about two years ago, has for the brand, Wagoner explained. The company has plans to put $200 million in modernization projects for Outrigger’s Waikiki portfolio. Next up is the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, which will begin at the end of the year.
We hosted one of jiu jitsu's rising stars, Craig Jones, as he gave an in-depth seminar on the art of jiu jitsu!
Growing up Jones was a very active kid, playing a variety of intensive sports such as Australian rules football and basketball while also briefly training in taekwondo and judo. His interest in rough playing activities was a sign of Craig’s frame of mind, who as a teenager turned to mixed martial arts (MMA) and by the time of his 15th birthday dreamt of becoming an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter.
With the UFC in his sight Craig joined his cousin Matt Jones’ BJJ academy (2006), a gym called ISOHEALTH. It was under Matt’s guidance that Craig started making a name for himself in Australia’s national grappling circuit, this before joining the Maromba Academy in Melbourne (later named Absolute MMA), as a purple belt, where his tuition was then picked up by Lachlan Giles.
On December 2015, after an epic performance at the IBJJF World No-Gi Championships, Jones earned his brown belt. It was also around this time that Craig became a regular BJJ instructor. One year later Lachlan Giles promoted Craig to black belt.
While climbing the ranks of jiu jitsu, competing regularly national and internationally, Craig Jones also managed to graduate with a degree in Behavioural Science (Psychology).
Check out pictures below from the awesome event!
HONOLULU – Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger is pleased to introduce its new “Crafted Experiences” program starting with TOMA – Terrace of Modern Art – a summer series featuring celebrated artists who draw their inspiration from the beach.
This vibrant, surf-art exhibit kicked off on June 1, 2018 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger. The hotel pool deck adjacent to Hawaiian Aroma Caffe transformed into an outdoor art gallery – featuring the work of internationally renowned artist Eduardo Bolioli this month, with more to follow. Guests had the pleasure of meeting the artist in an upbeat atmosphere with a live DJ, handcrafted drinks, and delicious bites.
About the Artist: Born in Montevideo, Uruguay – Bolioli moved with his family to New York where he studied at the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York. Initially he made a living painting surfboards for pros in Hawaii and then designing for big surf brands, including Quiksilver, Billabong and Gotcha. Following, his colorful and distinctive art could be seen on concert posters for Miles Davies, UB40, Aerosmith and Seinfeld and in an ad campaign for ABSOLUT HAWAII that appeared in USA Today, Newsweek and Time. Bolioli has been showing his work around the world including New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Tokyo, Seattle, Kona, Scotland, Caracas, Lima, Bogota, Quito, Uruguay, Miami, San Francisco and New Jersey, and his paintings are in private collections and published in books.
Thank you to our good friends for stopping by to enjoy our beautiful ohana east cafe location. Below is a link to view the article, written in Japanese! Mahalo!
Mahalo to our friends at mo-hawaii.com for there latest article on our Ohana East location. If you haven't been, you need to go! Adorned with location decorations, art, and furniture, our Ohana East location captures the spirit of aloha. Come by today and hang with us!
Mahalo to Lindsey for stopping by our cafe and spending some time with us!
This place is a relatively new find, they just opened up in 2016. But as soon as they did, my sister had to take me there to show off their beautiful decor and light airy ambiance. The walls are lined with tropical green plants and the bar, which on top of delicious coffee, also serves cocktails out of fresh pineapples!! To top it all off, the back wall is completely open and backs onto an outdoor pool deck. Acai bowls in a poolside lounge chair? I will never say no to that!"
Find her article here!
Local DJ and blogger Christa Wittmier hosted a fundraiser to help cover medical bills for her cancer treatment at Hawaiian Aroma Cafe on Dec. 21. The party featured music by DJs Keala Kennely, KK, Jem, Jimmy Taco and Wittmier.
It was such an incredible time. We were honored to support a noble cause and help a fellow artist in any way we could. Thank you for celebrating with us!
Click Here for the link to the Star Advertiser story and a photo gallery of our event.
We pride ourselves on not only being a place that serves incredible coffee, but also a place to experience the culture of aloha in Hawaii.
Hawaiian Aroma Caffe is expanding to more locations in Waikiki!
Mahalo to www.hawaii-road.com for stopping by our Holiday Inn Beachcomber location!
We are excited to announce a whole new menu of beverages and food items for our night time hours!