June 8, 2023

There’s more to this Hawaiian island than its most popular tourist spots

Visit the Kapahulu \”neighborhood within a neighborhood\” for an authentic Oahu experience without leaving Waikiki.


There are certain attractions on Oahu that first-time visitors are sure to hit: Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, Hanauma Bay. And as spectacular as these sites are, Oahu has much more to offer. If you’re looking for a unique experience on the island, check out a few of these off-the-beaten-path options and take in a different side of Oahu.

The Honolulu Night Market takes place once a month in the Kakaako district. This block party hosts vendors selling interesting foods, a beer garden, live music, fashion shows, art displays, and more – all showcasing Oahu’s authentic culture.

For more local art, the Honolulu Museum of Art hosts Art After Dark on the last Friday of the month from January to October. This art party event is themed according to the museum’s current feature exhibition, and offers food, drinks and live music for dancing.

Those looking for a glimpse of the past can head to Queen Emma Summer Palace, located in the Nuuanu Valley. This National Historic Registry site is home to a collection of Queen Emma’s belongings, royal antiques, and other memorabilia. For more of the same, Honolulu’s Bishop Museum houses a collection of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop’s royal family heirlooms and Hawaiian artifacts.

Byodo-In Temple, located at the foot of the Koolau Mountains, is a great example of Japanese influence on Hawaiian culture. Visitors of all faiths will enjoy the beauty of the temple, which is a smaller-scale replica of the 950-year-old Byodo-In Temple in Uji, Japan.

Travelers can even get off-the-beaten-path right in Waikiki by visiting Kapahulu, sometimes called a “neighborhood within a neighborhood.” The area has a less touristy vibe and offers a diverse and authentic dining scene.

“We always encourage visitors to explore Oahu beyond Waikiki. Discovering the island through adventurous experiences makes for great storytelling and memories that last a lifetime,” said Stacey Martin Alford, director of travel industry sales for the Oahu Visitors Bureau.

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