More than just an idyllic tropical isle, O‘ahu offers visitors a rare combination of town and country settings. Exploring transforming neighborhoods is part of the island’s charm and excitement. In Honolulu’s Kaka‘ako area, the weekly Kaka‘ako Farmers’ Market (farmloversmarkets.com) at Ward Warehouse showcases the abundance of O‘ahu’s farms and ranches. Over at Ward Village, MORI (artandflea.com), a gallery-like space, features a rotating list of designers and artists who make everything from jewelry to clothing and more. And at Paiko (paikohawaii.com), a botanical boutique and coffee bar named after a local beach, you’ll find amazing planters and related products. The monthly Eat the Street (eatthestreethawaii.com) food truck rally brings together the best street food vendors in Hawai’i and the monthly Honolulu Night Market (honolulunightmarket.com) is a giant indoor/outdoor block party with a fashion show, shopping, skate ramp, live music, two bars, art, and inventive street food.
Chinatown, the historic immigrant gateway known for traditional Chinese markets, ethnic eateries, and authentic lei shops, is also a trendsetting dining, arts, and shopping district that continues to evolve. Head to Fighting Eel (fightingeel.com) for breezy, trendy fashions; La Muse (lamusehawaii.com) for a highly curated collection of trinkets, luxe clothing, beautiful jewelry, and home goods; and Hound and Quail (houndandquail.com) for mid-century vintage treasures from Hawai‘i, the mainland, and around the globe. Sample O‘ahu-made artisanal chocolates at Madre (madrechocolate.com) and contemporary Southeast Asian fare at The Pig and The Lady (thepigandthelady.com), which started as a farmers’ market stand. Chinatown’s monthly First Fridays Art Walk (firstfridayhawaii.com) is an opportunity to experience the island’s progressive art scene at galleries and artists’ studios, listen to live music, and stay late to dine and enjoy Chinatown’s bar scene and night life.