Hawaii State Art Museum, photo courtesy Oahu Visitor Bureau

Venture beyond Waikiki to Honolulu’s historic Chinatown and discover a downtown neighbourhood that’s home to some of the city’s most exciting artists, designers and mixologists. 


Offering free admission at all times, the Hawaii State Art Museum is located on the second floor of the grand No. 1 Capitol District Building. Four separate galleries display several works of art reflecting the diversity of ethnicities, styles and points of view on the islands.


Honolulu’s cocktail scene has been heating up, and Manifest is one of the city’s premiere places to enjoy a tipple. This cool space—all exposed brick and dramatic lighting—offers a variety of house-created concoctions and a wide selection of American whiskeys. 


Founded by a couple who arrived on Oahu from China with just $100 in their pockets, the Little Village Noodle House is a popular lunch spot for downtown workers. Visit after the rush and feast on great dishes like beef with egg chow fun and a lamb stew hot pot.


Opened in 1922, the historic Hawaii Theatre—the so-called “Pride of the Pacific”—has been home to a range of entertainment, from ballet and orchestras to silent films. It continues to stage an astonishing array of productions, from highbrow performances one night to cabaret the next. 


Located above Hank’s Café, a popular neighbourhood bar, The Dragon Upstairs is a small space that offers arguably some of the best live music in Chinatown. Come here to hear a remarkable variety of styles, including gypsy jazz, blues, funk and even hip-hop. 


Part of Chinatown’s Art Walk, which encompasses about a dozen galleries, the Louis Pohl Gallery spotlights Hawaiian artists. Take in the colourful cats painted by Linda Bachrach and the abstract canvases of Lauren Okano (both resident artists), as well as rotating monthly exhibits.

This article appears in the August 2015 issue of WestJet Magazine.