Explore KaʻakakoO‘ahu

Urban meets island in KAKA‘AKO. This Honolulu quartier is shifting from warehouse mecca to a trendy ARTS DISTRICT attracting start-ups, young professionals and businesses. Eye-catching graffiti art—repainted annually by internationally acclaimed artists during POW! WOW! HAWAII—adorns buildings and street corners, adding to the appeal of this chameleon neighborhood. A colorful collection of proposed construction projects, cafes, boutiques, bars and open-air bazaars make Kaka‘ako a must-see for visitors seeking a dose of alternative culture in the pacific.

Tucked away in the AUAHI STREET vicinity, you’ll find hip cafes, shops and bars. PAIKO HAWAII, a botanical boutique and coffee bar ARVO CAFE, is a fun place to grab a cup of coffee and get acquainted with local flora and fauna. INSOMNIA ESPRESSO COFFEE plates Vietnamese favorites, such as rich pho and crusty French bread sandwiches. sit down meals are best served at MOKU KITCHEN, island-favorite restaurateur peter Merriman’s newest endeavor. For drinks, we recommend BEVY’S handcrafted cocktails, the massive array of beers at VILLAGE BOTTLE SHOP & TASTING ROOM or HONOLULU BEERWORK’S (over on Cooke street) frothy microbrews.

If shopping is your style, visit WARD VILLAGE in Honolulu. Boasting more than 135 specialty shops and eateries, a movie theater, and special events, in addition to

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monthly brunches, movies and hula. The Village is definitely worth a browse—refuel at one of the many tempting eateries! Also at Ward Village is the brand new SOUTH SHORE MARKET in Ward Village (on the corner of Auahi street and Queen Lane), an indoor market of local boutiques, vendors and restaurants that blend Kaka‘ako’s street art and city vibes. Visit wardvillageshops.com.

Every Friday evening from 4-9 p.m., EAT THE STREET hosts a food truck frenzy at Kaka‘ako park. A perfect place for a lively family outing or a get-together with friends, this weekly event also features live music and local shopping pop-ups. Each week has a different theme, and all the buzziest food trucks in Oahu come out to feed Honolulu’s foodies. Themes have included chocolate, garlic and even bacon. Great for people watching, entertainment, music and naturally, food! Visit eatthestreethawaii.com to stay updated.

HAWAII CHILDREN’S DISCOVERY CENTER gives parents an opportunity to sneak in a little educational fun with the keiki. Exhibits include: “Fantastic You,” an inside look at the human body; “Your Town,” which shows how communities function and gives kids the chance to role-play; and “Hawaiian Rainbows,” which shares what makes Hawai‘i so unique. Call (808) 524-5437.