THE INSIDERS WAIKIKI, HAWAII
TREAT: Fresh coconut juice from the Saturday morning farmers market at the University of Hawaii’s Kapiolani Community College is a must-try. The stallholders chop off the top of the coconut and drop in a straw — so simple, yet super-refreshing and delicious. After you grab a coconut juice, browse stands filled with fresh flowers, island-grown fruits and vegetables, local honey and baked goods. If you still have energy, head across the street for a hike up the volcanic cone of Diamond Head. The view is spectacular; kapiolani.hawaii.edu.
DRINK: Located on the beach, Duke’s Waikiki mixes a refreshing mai tai, which is best paired with the view of a gorgeous Hawaiian sunset. Named in honour of Olympic medallist and father of modern-day surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, Duke’s offers a fun, friendly atmosphere to kick back and enjoy lively performances by some of the island of Oahu’s most notable musicians; dukeswaikiki.com/.
SHOP: Vibrant Waikiki Beach Walk is a gathering place where visitors and residents shop, dine and play. Stroll through the two-storey, open-air centre and explore more than 40 world-class retailers; waikikibeachwalk.com.
EXPLORE: Walk along Waikiki Beach at night and you’ll hear gentle waves lapping on the shore, see the flames of hotel tiki lamps flickering in the breeze and hear Hawaiian music filtering out of beachfront restaurants. Find a spot under a coconut tree, watch the moon rise over Diamond Head and relax in the most romantic place in the world; gohawaii/com/au/.
EAT: Oceanfront dining on Waikiki Beach is an experience no one will forget. But like pizza in New York and hot dog in Chicago, Hawaii has a signature food ... Spam. The islands’ affinity for the canned luncheon meat stems back to World War II when it was served to GIs. We hold a street festival in its honour, this year on May 2 ; spamjamhawaii.com.
STAY: Of course I have to highlight our two beautiful beachfront resorts – the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort and Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. Each boasts spacious, modern guest suites, unobstructed views of Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean and all the amenities expected of a resort. What they also boast is a group of hosts who provide the very best in island hospitality and aloha; outrigger.com/.