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Experience Hawaii: A Guide from Locals

Updated: Nov 18, 2023

One of the best parts of traveling for JCI USA conferences is experiencing the local culture, and we've got the best guide for you! From historical sites to hikes and the best island drinks, we've done the research so you can relax and have the best time.




Going to an area that you've never been before and making the most of your time is a challenge - how do you know if a place is worth your valuable time and money? Thankfully you've got a whole list of activities below where the recommendations and locations come directly from our local JCI chapters in the area.


Make the most out of your trip without spending hours browsing Yelp and Google reviews trying to find a good spot that's not a chain!


So let's get into it - a curated list of can't-miss places for you to check out while you're in beautiful Hawaii with your fellow Jaycees and young leaders from around the world.


Something for Everyone


Whether you're a foodie or hiking extraordinaire, there is plenty to do!


 

For the Culture Enthusiasts


Experience a vibrant journey through Hawaii's rich cultural tapestry! Discover island traditions, flavors, and aloha spirit like never before with the below recommendations:


For the Foodies


Embark on a culinary journey through the vibrant flavors of Hawaii. From savoring freshly caught poke by the picturesque shores to exploring local delicacies in bustling food markets, our foodie adventure promises to be a gastronomic delight.

  • Rainbow Drive-In - Popular plate lunch location

  • Tamura's - Known for their alcohol selection and even more well known for their poke selection

  • Kau Kau Grill - Hole in the wall plate lunch location

  • The Alley at Aiea Bowl

  • Leonard’s Bakery - Known for their malasadas (imagine a giant puffy donut hole rolled in sugar) that come in different flavors and fillings

  • Kamehameha Bakery - Known for their poi glazed donuts

  • Liliha Bakery - Known for their coco puffs and poi mochi donuts

  • Kapa Hale - Great date spot and for groups up to about 10, farm to table eatery with local fusion flavors (Brunch only served on weekends)

  • Moku - Good happy hour with live music on certain nights

Join us to experience the exquisite world of Hawaiian cuisine, meet passionate chefs, and uncover the secrets of island flavors. Indulge in a mouthwatering escapade that will leave you saying, "Aloha, food paradise!"


Trying to find a great spot for your group or state dinner? Be sure to look at:

  • Jade Dynasty (Ala Moana Shopping Center) Chinese food that has semi-private rooms

  • Lucky Strike (Ala Moana Shopping Center) - Bowling alley/ arcade and bar

  • Liliha Bakery (Ala Moana Shopping Center)

  • Gen BBQ (Ala Moana Shopping Center)

  • Shokudo (Ala Moana Shopping Center) - Good for groups up to 10

  • Side Street Inn Kapahulu - About a 10-15 minute drive from Ala Moana hotel, known for their fried pork chops, kalbi, and fried rice, in a sports bar atmosphere (Semi-private rooms available)

  • Uncle Bo’s

For People Looking for a Good Drink


Raise your glass and toast to Honolulu's vibrant nightlife! Discover the best spots to unwind with a drink in hand, from tiki bars with tropical cocktails to rooftop lounges with stunning ocean views. Join us as we guide you through the city's coolest and coziest watering holes, where every sip comes with a side of Hawaiian hospitality.


  • Pint & Jigger - 1st floor Ala Moana Hotel

  • Mai Tai’s (Ala Moana Shopping Center) Local bar, usually live music in the evenings

  • Beer Lab - multiple locations

  • Aloha Beer - multiple locations

  • Waikiki Brewing

  • Off The Wall - Pour-your-own drinks with multiple local beers and seltzers on tap

  • Pitch - Local sports bar

  • The Row - Local outdoor bar that also sells cigars

Cheers to memorable nights in paradise!

For Outdoorsy People


Calling all nature enthusiasts! Dive into Honolulu's outdoor playground, where adventure awaits around every corner. From hiking lush trails to catching waves on legendary beaches, you can check out the best spots for outdoor fun. Embark on thrilling escapades amidst stunning landscapes and soak up the sun, surf, and aloha spirit that make Honolulu an outdoor lover's dream!

  • Makapuu Hike

  • Koko Head Hike

  • Hanauma Bay

  • Diamond Head Hike


For the History Buffs


Hey history enthusiasts, get ready to embark on an engaging journey through Hawaii's rich past! Explore the legacy of ancient Polynesian voyagers and delve into the historical significance of WWII sites.

Join us for an exciting and informative adventure through time in the enchanting Aloha State. Aloha, history lovers!


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