Dine on authentic dim sum at Legend
Honolulu has a sizeable and vibrant Chinatown that teams with early morning action with vendors selling fruits and vegetables, fresh fish and meats, along with many restaurants offering authentic Chinese food. Take your guests for a mid-morning breakfast at Legend Seafood Restaurant on Beretania Street, where you can order straight from food carts pushed along the rows of tables. Get the steamed dumplings filled with shrimp, bread buns stuffed with char sui pork, and tasty chicken feet. (Yes, chicken feet, and they are absolutely delicious.) All meals are served with a complimentary pot of Chinese tea as well. If you come with a large party, you’ll be served on a table with a Lazy Susan so you can pass along the dishes to one another. Legend is very popular and waits can be discouraging. There are several other dim sum restaurants in the same complex including Fook Lam, another well-known spot that serves an array of tantalizing dim sum.
Get your local poke fix almost anywhere
Apart from Japanese sushi, most folks don’t usually eat raw fish. But Hawaii is famous for our unique treat of marinated raw fish called poke. Pronounced po-key, the traditional Hawaiian dish consisted of basically fish scraps mixed with sea salt. Asian immigrants added soy sauce and sesame oil, and now the dish is found almost everywhere. Poke is usually made with cubes of ahi, or yellowfin tuna, and mixed with onions, seaweed called limu, and various spices. It can also be prepared with boiled octopus, which is locally called tako, tofu, and raw crab. Poke can be picked up at local grocery stores and fish sellers across the island. Some of the best spots are any Foodland grocery stores, Tamashiro’s Market, and Kahuku Superette.
Tour Hawaii's Hollywood backlot
Kualoa Ranch, on Oahu’s east side, has been the background for many iconic Hollywood movies and TV shows for decades. Jurassic Park, Hawaii Five-0, and Lost are just a few big shows to mention. Take your friends on a movie site tour at Ranch. The tour will take you to find Godzilla’s footprints, the road site from 50 First Dates, and many other famed locations. Kualoa Ranch also offers jungle expeditions and a trip to a beach on a secret island.
Be a duke for the day at Shangri-La
Near Diamond Head
Take your guests on a guided tour at Shangri-La, an ocean-side home owned by the globetrotting heiress, Doris Duke. Built in 1937, the home was heavily inspired by the heiress's travels through the Islamic world and the Middle East. The estate sits in the posh Kahala neighborhood and was built and furnished with items imported from Iran, Syria, and India just to name a few of the influential countries. The home has a central courtyard, gilded ceilings, wooden paneled walls, mosaic tile work, and Persian carpets. You can also check out the Hawaiian fishpond and tropical garden on the estate. Duke was a trendsetter and lived the life of luxury at her slice of heaven in Hawaii. The Honolulu Museum of Arts offers guided tours Wednesday through Saturday and takes about 2-3 hours.
Get boozy on a catamaran
Set sail with one of the many catamarans that line up along Waikiki beach that offer booze cruises at sunset. Cruise along the coastline and enjoy unlimited beer, wine, and house-made mai tais. Along the way, you’ll spot surfers, the occasional spinner dolphins, and sea turtles. In the winter months, you might even catch a whale breaching in the distance. The small crew serves as your bartender and the trips are infamously known for singing, dancing, and a lot of fun. The catamarans hold about 50 people and by the end of the 90-minute trip, you’ll have met everyone but you’ll probably forget their names the next morning. You can find several companies that offer these cruises along coastal neighborhoods like Waikiki, Ala Moana, and Kakaako.