OAHU The Island of Oahu, known as the Heart of HawaiiÒ, sets the rhythm of the islands with exciting new improvements, changes and additions on an ongoing basis. Below is a glimpse of new and dynamic updates with Oahus Hotels & Resorts, Activities & Entertainment, Restaurants, Cuisine & Chefs, Shopping, Festivals & Events and Miscellaneous information, which includes airline and transportation updates.
Hotels & Resorts
The Island of Oahu has a wide range of hotels and resorts for travelers of all ages and varying budgets. Oahus hotels are constantly updating and adding an array of activities and packages that are sure to make any trip to Oahu unforgettable.
- The JW Marriott Ihilani Resort will be redesigned, extensively upgraded and reintroduced as Oahus firstFour Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. The integrated luxury beach resort, which is slated to open in early 2016, will diversify Oahus tourism base and introduce a new era of luxury to Ko Olina, Hawaii.www.koolina.com
- Hilton Worldwide recently announced plans to open its first Hilton Garden Inn on the island. The 623-guestroom Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach is set to open in early 2016 after undergoing extensive renovation of the former OHANA Waikiki West. Upgrades will be made to the hotels public spaces and guestrooms. Design plans include a contemporary Hawaiian aesthetic, the addition of a full-service restaurant and lounge, a grab-and-go market, a welcoming modern lobby, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Guest rooms will be completely re-envisioned, adding poolside family suites and maximizing Hawaiis scenic vistas. The hotel will also feature an enhanced pool deck complete with a bar and grill and poolside cabanas. www.hgi.com
- Courtyard by Marriott Oahu North Shore opened its doors in Laie this past June. The property features Courtyards latest contemporary room design offering flexible yet comfortable spaces that allow guests to seamlessly transition between working and relaxing. Centrally located on Oahus North Shore, the property offers convenient access to the Polynesian Cultural Center and world-renowned beaches of the area. www.courtyard.marriott.com
- In conjunction with World Oceans Month, Outrigger Resorts announced the launch of OZONE(Outriggers ZONE) a global conservation initiative centered on coral health and resiliency in oceans surrounding the iconic beach destinations where Outrigger Resorts are located. The program will generate awareness surrounding the status of coral reef systems while simultaneously enhancing the Outrigger Resorts guest experience through education and authentic interaction. Accordingly, guests will have the opportunity to learn more about the platform via in-room videos, on-property lectures, and planting coral at participating properties. www.outrigger.com
Activities & Entertainment
The Island of Oahu is brimming with fun-filled activities that everyone can enjoy. Visitors to Oahu can explore Hawaiis special culture and iconic history, or choose from a wide variety of outdoor and indoor activities that are sure to energize the spirit.
- Bishop Museum presents an original exhibit that honors the legacy of one of Hawaiis greatest native sons: Duke Paoa Kahanamoku. On display Aug. 9-Nov. 30, the exhibit highlights his extraordinary life as an Olympian, surfer, ocean hero, movie star, ambassador of aloha, and family man with a unique collection of archival video, photographs and objects from his life. Interactive elements allow visitors to challenge one of Dukes Olympic swimming records, and replicate his famed mile-plus long wave surfed at Waikiki via a 3D videogame. www.bishopmuseum.org
- E Noa Tours introduced its Pearl Harbor by Air, Land and Sea tour in August. On land, visitors will learn about the history leading up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, eventually making their way to a boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial. The tour concludes with an astonishing 45-minute helicopter tour over Pearl Harbor along with sweeping views of Diamond Head and Waikiki. www.enoatours.com
- Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor invites guests to view the one and only Swamp Ghost in the restoration shop of Hangar 79. This legendary B-17E aircraft that crashed during WWII in the swamps of New Guinea was recently acquired by the museum and is the subject of a special B-17 Swamp Ghost Tour. www.pacificaviatonmuseum.org
- Kamaka Hawaii, Inc., one of Oahus most prominent ukulele manufacturers, is gearing up for its 100th anniversary. In 1916, Sam Kaialiilii Kamaka founded his one-man ukulele shop and today three generations continue his legacy. A free guided tour of the Kamaka factory is given Tuesday-Friday at 10:30 a.m. www.kamakahawaii.com
- Waikiki Beach Activities at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort offers guests a unique opportunity to learn about Oahus waters with its new Ocean Marine Life Briefing at Dukes Beach. Sessions will be happening every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. beginning Sept. 2. Guests can learn fun facts about the history of Waikiki Beach and hear great stories that will provide an increased awareness of protecting the Pacific Ocean and its marine life. www.waikikibeachactivities.com
- Honolulu Theatre for Youth presents the world premiere of DUKE, a one-man play about Hawaiis greatest athlete, grandfather of modern surfing, thirteen term sheriff of Honolulu and Hollywood actor, Duke Kahanamoku. Created in collaboration with the Bishop Museum, performances will be on Oct. 17, 24, 31, and Nov. 7 and 14 at 4:30 p.m. www.htyweb.org
- Located at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahus North Shore, the North Shore Bike Park offers exciting activities for friends, families, couples or the solo adventure seeker. Bikers can flow down professionally developed mountain bike trails, and twist and turn through lush jungle vegetation while an experienced guide shares interesting facts about local geography and history. www.turtlebayresort.com
Restaurants, Cuisine & Chefs
The Island of Oahu is known for its diverse culture, which is exhibited by the islands assortment of foods. With wonderful choices and a vibrant array of cuisine options, theres sure to be a restaurant for everyone.
- Island-born chef Ed Kenney opened his third Kaimuki eatery, Mud Hen Water, in early June. This community gathering place offers a Hawaiian sense of plate featuring a new cuisine based on old flavors, local ingredients, nostalgic resonances, and rooted in a profound love for Hawaii, its ethnic diversity, and indigenous culture. www.mudhenwater.com
- Chef Lee Anne Wong opened Hale Ԩuna, a modern Hawaiian noodle bar, in early September. HaleԨuna, which means secret home, is Wongs second Kaimuki restaurant. In addition to delicious noodle dishes, the restaurant bar features an eclectic mix of spirits that are near and dear to Wongs heart including high quality whiskies and exclusive sakes not found in Hawaii.
- Hawaiian Airlines and chef Lee Anne Wong of Koko Head Caf頨ave collaborated to create menus now being served on all flights from Japan to Hawaii. Starting Dec. 1, chef Lee Anne will also be the next chef in line for the airlines hugely popular Featured Chef Series, which will showcase her cuisine in the first class cabin on flights from Hawaii to the U.S. Mainland. www.hawaiianairlines.com/featuredchefseries
- Honolulu Coffee is prepping to open its 9,000-square-foot Honolulu Coffee Experience Center. The center will feature an engaging coffee tour where visitors will learn about what it takes to get the coffee from farm to cup. The tour includes a history of Kona coffee, Honolulu Coffees vintage 1940s German roaster, and quality control lab. HCEC will also feature a full caf鬠unique gifts and pastry kitchen. www.honolulucoffee.com
- Bread + Butter is a new island-style caf頳erving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Diners can enjoy an artisan coffee program developed by master roaster Raymond Suiter and in the evening, indulge in a wonderful selection of pinots handpicked by master sommelier Roberto Viernes at the Pinot Bar. The concept is brought together by executive chef Arnoldo Masa Gushiken, offering grab and go soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas by day and Spanish tapas by night.
- Newly opened, Makers & Tasters is Hawaiis first food park and marketplace along the Kewalo Harbor waterfront. Featuring a rotating number of local food trucks and pop-up vendors for lunch and dinner, visitors can enjoy plenty of seating, parking and a unique oceanfront dining experience. It is also home to the monthly food truck and street food rally, Eat The Street, happening on the last Friday of each month. www.makersandtasters.com
- Maui Brewing Co. and Outrigger Enterprises Group announced that the craft brewery will partner with restaurateurs Chris Thibaut and Bill Terry to open its first Oahu location at the Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber in the fall of 2016. The future brewpub will fill the Jimmy Buffetts at the Beachcomber space and will undergo a multimillion dollar renovation starting in spring 2016.www.mauibrewingco.com
- Slated for completion in fall 2015, Japengo is introducing a brand-new outdoor dining area. The new patio will allow diners to enjoy Japengos award-winning cuisine while taking advantage of the beautiful Hawaiian weather and scenery of Waikiki. www.hyattregencywaikiki.com/japengo
- DK Restaurants award-winning small plates and wine bar, Vino, will reopen at Waterfront Plaza in Honolulu. Executive chef Keith Endo is back in the kitchen with a new pizza oven and master sommelier Chuck Furuya will feature great new wine selections. www.vinohawaii.com
- Bills Sydney in Waikiki has unveiled an exciting new menu upstairs and at its downstairs caf頯ffering fresh, innovative organic fare including a range of grab-and-go options to take to the beach. Diners can enjoy granola yogurt parfaits, an eclectic range of sandwiches, light and easy salads, poke bowls and Bills famous coffees. www.billshawaii.com
- Pint + Jigger, the popular Honolulu pub, recently launched a new brunch menu created by chef Devin Beppu. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m-3p.m., the eatery will serve a variety of creations, from hearty dishes like the breakfast chimichanga, and biscuits and gravy with locally made sausage, to sweeter options like the french toast bread pudding. www.pintandjigger.com
- The Kahala Hotel & Resorts award-wining Hokus presents a new dinner menu designed by recently appointed chef de cuisine, Hiroshi Inoue. Maintaining the signature Hokus style that has become world renown with both locals and visitors, Inoue has incorporated Asian and the Mediterranean influences into the new menu using inspiration from his travels around the world. www.thekahala.com
- Sky Waikiki, Honolulus newest rooftop experience, opened in August. Set 19 stories above the heart of Waikiki, the new rooftop bistro, lounge and nightclub boasts 7,000 square-feet of interactive space and features a thirty-foot video wall, three full service bars, custom lighting, martin audio sound system, and a sky deck with a custom fire pit. www.skywaikiki.com
- In celebration of its 12-year anniversary, Longhis, located in Ala Moana Center, has added 20 new menu items. Among the options are lobster tail gnocchi made with a sage butter sauce, a sweet tiramisu pancake, and Longhis take on the classic loco moco which replaces the traditional hamburger patty with a prime rib beef patty at lunch, or a cut of filet mignon at dinner. www.longhis.com
The Island of Oahu is home to hundreds of fashionable designer stores, as well as markets that carry locally-made crafts. Visitors are sure to love the shopping experience no matter where they go.
- Tommy Bahama Restaurant, Bar & Store is set to open its doors in Waikiki in October. Celebrating the rich heritage of Hawaii and the relaxed style synonymous with the brand, Tommy Bahama Restaurant, Bar & Store will honor cultural island traditions while reflecting its easy resort spirit. The three-level, 19,323-square-foot restaurant, bar and store will be located on Beach Walk capturing views of legendary Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. www.tommybahama.com
- Early this year construction began on the revitalization of the International Market Place. Scheduled to open in August 2016, the 360,000-square-foot shopping center will feature open-air retail, dining and entertainment located in the heart of Waikiki. The International Market Place will include approximately 75 retailers, seven restaurants and the islands first full-line Saks Fifth Avenue. www.shopinternationalmarketplace.com
- Ala Moana Center, the worlds largest outdoor shopping center in Honolulu, is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar expansion project. The expansion project, which is slated for completion and grand opening on Nov. 12, will transform the Ewa end of the Center into an expanded three-level retail space and upgrade other common areas throughout the Center. This retail expansion will feature 650,000-square-feet of retail, including Bloomingdales department store (Hawaiis first), large format retailers, dining, entertainment, and 200,000 square feet of inline retailers. The Center recently announced a number of first-to-Hawaii stores set to open in the new area including The North Face, A糯p andZara. www.alamoanacenter.com
- Set to open in 2016 in West Oahu, Ka Makana Alii will offer residents and visitors a family-friendly, mixed-use center featuring more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment offerings, a department store, two hotels, and LEED-certified office space. The 1.4 million-square-foot regional mall is DeBartolo Developments first project in Hawaii. Future tenants include Macys, H&M, Forever 21, Old Navy and Banana Republic. www.kamakanaalii.com
- Shirokiya Holdings Inc. has begun the development and construction of Shirokiyas new $35 millionJapan Village Walk project, which will be located on the ground level of Ala Moana Centers Ewa Wing Expansion. The Japan Village Walk will be representative of a traditional Japanese town reminiscent of old Kyoto. Scheduled to open in June 2016, the 55,241-square-foot space will feature more than 50 stores. www.shirokiya.com
Festivals & Events
The Island of Oahu is home to the largest number of festivals and events in Hawaii. Each year, visitors have the opportunity to connect with the local community and experience renowned events that showcase the islands rich arts and culture scene, the worlds top amateur and professional sporting competitions and championships, and the many ethnic celebrations that are exclusive to Hawaii.
- View contemporary Hawaii art and enjoy live musical performances at the Hawaii State Art Museum during the first Friday of every month from 6-9 p.m. Exhibition galleries are free and open to the public during this time. www.sfca.hawaii.gov
- Celebrate Hawaiis food trucks at Eat The Street on the last Friday of every month from 4-9 p.m. in Kakaako. With over 40 food trucks and vendors, the event attracts over 7,000 people eager to sample the best street food Hawaii has to offer. www.eatthestreethawaii.com
- On the third Saturday of every month, Kakaako comes alive with Honolulu Night Market, an evening event that combines fashion, live music, art, shopping and local food. Held under the Honolulu city lights, this monthly night market celebrates the best of urban island culture featuring local artists, designers, musicians and chefs. www.honolulunightmarket.com
- Every last Thursday of the month, Art + Flea presents a unique monthly shopping experience for Hawaiis talented creatives to showcase their goods and talents. Over 60 independent artists, vintage collectors, food trucks, handmade aficionados and fashion designers are featured at each event, drawing an eclectic crowd of shoppers, music and art lovers alike. Additionally, on the second Sunday of every month Art + Flea hosts Sunday Funday Market at Ward Village.www.artandflea.com
- Ward Village hosts its monthly Sunday Courtyard Brunch featuring farm-to-table ingredients, local chefs and farmers and live entertainment. Guests enjoy a delicious assortment of themed brunch dishes, as well as contemporary breakfast cocktails. There is also an opportunity to shop from a variety of local farms offering fresh produce, cheeses and meats from popup market stands at the event. www.wardvillageshops.com/event/courtyardbrunch
- Some of the best female paddlers in the world will compete in the Na Wahine Ikaika on Oct. 10. The inaugural event had over 100 participants last year. The course begins in Hawaii Kai and ends at Kaimana Beach. www.kanakaikaika.com
- The Molokai Hoe has become one of the longest running annual team sporting events in Hawaii, second only to football. The race on Oct. 11 starts at Hale o Lono beach on Molokai and goes through the Kaiwi Channel, ending at Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki. The Molokai Hoe perpetuates one of Hawaiis and Polynesias most important and historic cultural traditions while honoring outrigger canoe paddlers around the world. www.molokaihoe.com
- EuroCinema Hawaii is pleased to announce its sixth annual independent film festival from Oct. 15-22. A special red carpet awards gala will take place on Friday, Oct. 23. EuroCinema Hawaii is dedicated to cultural exchanges between the people of Europe and Hawaii and the festival showcases the very latest and best films of Europe. www.eurocinemahawaii.org
- The City & County of Honolulu will host the annual Talk Story Festival on Oct. 17 at McCoy Pavilion in Ala Moana Regional Park. This years theme is, Hawaii, my home. Storytellers will share the unique qualities of Hawaii that has influenced their lives, making them who they are today.www.honoluluparks.com
- The 5th Annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival will be held in conjunction with the Food and New Product Show at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center on Oct. 16-18. A chocolate lovers heaven, festival attendees can learn the steps that go into making this sweet treat from start to finish. The festival features chocolate tastings, guest speakers, a chocolate inspired spa lounge, chocolate garden, coco caf頡nd tea house, live entertainment and more. The festival was created to raise awareness about Hawaiis growing cacao industry. www.hawaiichocolatefestival.com
- Millwood Ohana Productions is excited to announce the inaugural Aloha Aina Cultural Festival in Waikiki on Oct. 17. From the best local cuisine the island has to offer, to a variety of local arts and crafts, the festival is a celebration of all things Oahu. www.millwoodohanaproductions.com
- Marine Corps Base Hawaii is pleased to announce plans to host an Open House and Air Show Oct.17-18. This years show will feature the U.S. Navys premier flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels, along with many other professional performers. The air show will also offer static displays of vintage and modern aircraft, food booths and a carnival midway for children featuring rides, games and more. The event is open to the public with free admission and free parking.www.kaneohebayairshow.com
- The 4th Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival on Oct. 18 will feature 15 of the worlds foremost artists in the slack key guitar genre at Hoalauna Park on Oahus west side. Fabulous music, island crafts and delicious food await. www.slackkeyfestival.com
- The Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), the premier cinematic event in the Pacific, will take place Nov. 12-22. Celebrating 35 years, HIFF is unique in discovering features, documentaries and short films from Asia, the Pacific and Hawaii. Each year, in preparation for the event, HIFF programmers view some 1,000 films and choose an average of 150 features, documents and short films. www.hiff.org
- The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing returns to Oahus North Shore from Nov. 12- Dec. 20. Kicking off with the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, the series continues with the Vans World Cup ofSurfing at Sunset Beach, and lastly the Billabong Pipeline Masters at the famous Banzai Pipeline. Oahus North Shore is home to these final events on the World Surf League (WSL) calendar that will crown surfings new world champions. www.triplecrownofsurfing.com
- After a successful debut in 2014, the highly-anticipated HONOLULU Fashion Week presented by Hawaiian Airlines will return Nov. 20-22. The three-day event will highlight international and local design talent with collaborative and individual runway shows, VIP events, pop-up boutiques, exclusive merchandise and other events. www.honolulufashionweek.com
- The whole family can kick off the holiday season on Dec. 5 with the 31st Annual Honolulu City Lights, featuring the City of Honolulus official tree lighting ceremony, and a parade that proceeds through Downtown Honolulu. www.honolulucitylights.org
- The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship will once again be held at Kualoa Ranch on Dec. 6. More than 2,000 runners of all skill levels are expected, and will have the option to take part in the 21K championship course, a 10K, a 5K, or an adventure walk. The race will take runners on trails through the stunning scenery of Kualoa Ranch.www.xterraplanet.com/trailrun/worlds
- The 4th Annual Jake Shimabukuro & Friends Concert is set for Dec. 12 at Hawaii Theatre. This special concert celebrates the ukulele virtuosos career, which was rooted by his upbringing, both personally and musically, in Hawaii. This year audiences will be treated to selections from Jakes newest studio album, Travels, which casts the spotlight on Jakes diverse artistry, from lilting self-penned compositions, to modern interpretations of beloved Hawaiian standards.www.jakeshimabukuro.com
- Thousands of runners from around the world travel to Oahu each year to participate in theHonolulu Marathon. Held this year on Dec. 13, the 26.2-mile scenic course includes spectacular views alongside world famous Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. www.honolulumarathon.org
- Hawaii Theatre presents a one-of-a-kind holiday season show featuring music from award-winning Hawaiian artists Amy Hanaialii Gilliom and Willie K. The show will run from Dec. 18-20.www.hawaiitheatre.com
- From Dec. 23-25, the nations best collegiate mens basketball teams will compete in the eight-team, 12-game bracket Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic tournament. The tournament is held at the University of Hawaiis Stan Sherriff Center. www.diamondheadclassic.com
- Virgin America announced the launch of its service to Honolulu. Beginning Nov. 2, Virgin America will offer daily non-stop service between San Francisco and Honolulu. The flights will be flown on new Airbus 320 aircraft. Fares are currently on sale. www.virginamerica.com
- Delta Air Lines will be returning to the Honolulu market with holiday season (Dec.-Jan.) flights from New York, along with new seasonal winter non-stop flights from Minneapolis, Minnesota (Oct.-March) and Portland, Oregon (Dec.-Jan.)
- Canadian air carrier WestJet will launch Boeing 767 wide-body seasonal service from Calgary to Honolulu this winter (Dec.-April), using its own aircraft. In past years, WestJet had contracted charter carriers with smaller, narrow-body aircraft to operate these flights
- The Island of Oahu was the backdrop for two recently released feature films – Aloha (released May 29) and Jurassic World (released June 12). Aloha, a romantic comedy-drama, was written, produced and directed by Cameron Crowe. The movie, which was filmed almost entirely on Oahu, stars Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Danny McBride and Alec Baldwin. Jurassic World was the top film of the summer becoming the first movie to gross $500 million worldwide in its opening weekend. The science fiction adventure film is the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park film series and stars Chris Pratt. Movie-goers can enjoy the thrill of this action-packed adventure while taking in scenes of the breathtaking Kaaawa Valley at Kualoa Ranch.
All information is subject to change without notice. For more information, please go to www.visit-oahu.com, follow OVBs tweets at @OahuVB, become a fan of the Island of Oahu on Facebook atwww.Facebook.com/OahuHawaii, and follow @OahuVB on Instagram.