Let’s explore a different side of Honolulu

The beaches and stunning island sunsets are just part of Honolulu’s story. Learning about the people, the food and Oahu history is just as important. To find out more about Honolulu and how to really experience a taste of the local culture, we asked our team of on-the-ground photographers for their tips, and here’s what they said:

Book Your Flytographer Photo Shoot in Honolulu

Book Now

Pick Up Some Local Lingo

“Learn some of the language. Hawaiians don’t necessarily speak ‘Hawaiian,’ but they love it when you are able to properly pronounce Hawaiian words. They actually speak Pidgin, which is kind of like a very unique version of English.” —Melissa

Try the Local Specialties

I always love experiencing culture through food. The best foods to try are shaved ice, ramen, poke, malasada (kind of like a Hawaiian doughnut), and spam musubi (a chunk of spam on rice wrapped in nori).”  —Tara

Cool off while eating

“Try shave ice and Acai bowls. Matsumoto Shave Ice and Hale’iwa Bowls are both on the North Shore and have some of the best on the island.” —Melissa

Take a Stroll Down Chinatown

“This is where the locals hang out and go out on weekends. There are lots of bars and restaurants in a small area. The first Friday of every month there is a special street festival with live music and all the local establishments open their doors to the street.” —Laura

Explore the Island’s History

“Visit the site of the World World II bombing attack on Pearl Harbour, the USS Arizona Memorial and the Polynesian Cultural Center.” —Melissa

Head into Kaka’ako

“I’d also recommend exploring the Kaka’ako neighborhood. You’ll find beautiful murals, lots of breweries, and new eateries.” —Laura (*This is also a gorgeous spot for a professional photo shoot! See a list of our Honolulu photographers here.)

Learn the True Meaning of ‘Aloha’

“Come, stay, and leave with Aloha. It’s an attitude of respect and kindness towards the locals and the environment. Picking up your trash, being kind and courteous, leaving behind things that don’t belong to you, including sand, rocks, etc., wearing reef-safe sunscreen, are all things that display Aloha. You may be on vacation, but remember that this is someone else’s home!” —Melissa

Four Words:

“Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. It’s a huge flea market that is great for souvenirs.” —Melissa

Get Your Hike On

“There’s also lots to explore outside of Waikiki. For hikes in/near town, Diamondhead is a must, as well as Manoa Falls. Both are pretty easy, my 60-plus year-old parents have done those hikes.”—Laura

Beach Bound

“Beaches are all around the island, but there are some that only locals go to. Part of the reason for this is because tourists have pushed the locals out of certain parts of the island. If you go to beaches that are less touristy (or any beach, really), make sure to practice Aloha.” —Melissa

A Ranch Experience

“Kualoa Ranch may not be super culturally relevant, but it should be on a list of things to do and see.” —Melissa

Fun on the Farm

“Dole Pineapple Plant—get some dole whip while you’re there!” —Melissa

Introducing the Pig and the Lady

“My favourite restaurant is The Pig and the Lady. It serves up lunch, dinner, drinks and sweets with dishes like sardines braised with Portuguese sausage in tomato sauce, twice-fried chicken wings with kaffir and shallots, and tiger-style noodle bowls.” —Laura

The Natural Beauty

“Sunrises and sunsets—don’t forget to take the time to watch both. Every sunrise/sunset is different and all are awe-inspiring.” —Melissa

Book Your Flytographer Photo Shoot in Honolulu

Book Now