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, cafés, 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 cafés, shops and bars. PAIKO HAWAII, a botanical boutique, is a fun place to 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,

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and special events, in addition to 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 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.

Test your skills at CHAMBERS ESCAPE GAMES an immersive, high-tech escape game experience. The premium game, The Temple, has participants playing as a team of treasure hunters looking to steal the Pharoh’s Golden Idol in 60 minutes. Virtual Reality (VR) games include Space Station Tiberia, Depth of Osiris and Dragon Tower. It’s located at 550 Halekauwila St., Unit 201. Visit chambershawaii.com

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.