Fashion designer Roberta Oaks grew up in Missouri but has called Honolulu home for the last 13 years. Credited with modernizing the Aloha shirt, Oaks sells her designs at her namesake boutique in the heart of Chinatown. When she’s not presiding over her lifestyle brand, you’ll find her at one for these Oahu spots.
“Kuliouou Ridge Trail [just outside Honolulu] has 360-degree views of the whole island. It’s perfect for families because it’s challenging, but not dangerous. It takes a non-hiker four hours round-trip, but, if you’re skilled, it’s half that time. It’s a great workout that has the benefit of amazing views.”
“No matter where you go in Honolulu, there seems to be a happy hour somewhere. I love the one at Mahina & Sun’s inside the Surfjack, a retro-style boutique hotel. It has a pizza-and-two-local-beer happy hour for $20. It’s a hidden gem in Waikiki that’s a total locals’ hangout.”
“Architecturally, Chinatown is unique, and it’s the only neighbourhood on the island where all the businesses are locally owned and operated. Jewelry designer Ginger13 is well-curated, and Barrio Vintage has vintage Hawaiian clothing. Owens & Co. is a good place for gifts. Encore Saloon is a taco bar, and they have a slushy machine that makes margaritas with in-season fruit.”
“Waimea Bay on the North Shore is hard to beat. In summer it’s as flat as a lake, crystal-clear and you can see turtles.”
“The Manifest is a coffee shop by day, cocktail bar by night. I’m a die-hard mocha fan, and the Avocado Toast at their Toast Bar is always yummy, too.”
“The Republik is a great venue for shows from the mainland. Anything cool that’s happening is there. It’s a small venue, but it has an indie rock show vibe. Then there’s Downbeat Lounge, a small punk bar, which is also a good spot to catch local bands.”
Getting there: WestJet flies to Honolulu twice a day from Vancouver.
Three Hawaiian Road Trips to Take
On your next Hawaiian island getaway, rent a car and explore the sites nearby. Drive Chain of Craters Road through Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, stop at Waimea Canyon along Kokee Road on Kauai or see the beautiful beaches of the North Shore on Oahu.
The Top Three Dinosaur Attractions in Canada and the U.S.
Celebrate the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom by taking the adventure from the screen to real-life at Universal Studios Hollywood's Jurassic Park ride in Los Angeles, Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, and Dinosaur Provincial Park near Brooks, Alberta.