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visit oahu

Photo by: Salty Glass Co.

Breathtaking coastlines, ono (delicious) food, the warm aloha spirit and crystal clear waters are some of the most common reasons for planning a Hawaii vacation. But trust us, there’s more reasons to book your ticket and reserve a hotel room than meets the eye.

From newly restored shopping centers to fresh dining options, Oahu is blossoming with buzz worthy destinations and new attractions for the whole family to try. If the 30 degree weather isn’t enough of a reason to trade snow drifts with sandy beaches, here are our top four reasons to visit Oahu in 2017:

Waikiki Yokocho

Inspired by the food alleys popular in Japan, drive down to Waikiki Yokocho located in the heart of Waikiki. This brand new ‘side street’ dining concept just opened in December of 2016 and already has diners eating out of their proverbial hand. Transporting guests to the quaint streets of Japan, the 16 stand-alone, dine-in restaurants are dishing out an endless amount of popular Asian dishes like tempura, curry, tsukemen, sushi, ramen and green tea parfaits. Some of our personal favorites are Tsujita ramen shop, which has a cult following in Tokyo and Los Angeles and Kaneko Hannosuke, which has attracted crowds in Tokyo with their quality tempura dishes. Waikiki Yokocho is located in the basement of the Waikiki Shopping Plaza and is open daily from 9 a.m. through 11 p.m.

International Market Place

If you’ve been to Oahu in the past, chances are you’ve visited the historic International Market Place – but not like this. The previous cluster of shopping kiosks peddling tchotchkes and all manner of tourist paraphernalia closed in 2013. After an extensive three year renovation the new International Market Place opened in the summer of 2016 and looks nothing like its predecessor. Still centered around the historic and infamous banyan tree, the new International Market Place features a modern and updated three story layout with nine restaurants and over 60 retail stores – several of which can only be found here. You won’t want to miss the destination’s nightly torch lighting and live entertainment – found sprinkled throughout the center.

Surfjack Hotel

Looking for a cool spot to kick- off your slippers and just chill? Check in to the Surfjack – the trendiest and most snapped hotel in Waikiki. Call it a night and bunk in one of their groovy one bedroom, two bedroom suites or penthouse bungalows, or dine in at their yummy restaurant, Mahina & Son’s (President Obama and Michelle dipped in for a bite here on their last visit to the islands). Since opening in summer 2016, this retro – 1950’s inspired hotel stands apart from your typical chain with a vintage 60’s beach club feel and service so friendly it feels like you’re a member of their ohana (family). While you’re there don’t forget to make a splash on your Instagram with a photo of their iconic pool. Wish you were here!

Coral Crater

Take a break from the sea and sand and venture to the west side to Oahu’s only full outdoor adventure park, Coral Crater. The new family friendly attraction is taking fun to new heights with ATV riding, rock climbing, a five-story aerial adventure tower, a 50-foot tandem swing and tactical laser tag. The park is located on 35-acres of terrain based on a former U.S. Navy coral quarry. Not interested in all the action? The $2 million adventure park also features a 10-acre crater for activities, a 6,000-square foot lawn, an observation deck and a landscaped picnic area all free and open to the public. Coral Crater is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.