What’s New on Oahu > Jun-Jul 2022
*This is a copy of the Waikiki Beach Stays Monthly Mailer (sent out 30 Jun 2022). Click here to subscribe for future editions.
Welcome to Waikiki Beach Stays monthly mailer, the best place to keep up to date with everything happening on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
At the start of June, the United States announced travelers no longer require a pre-departure COVID-19 test to enter the country! However, proof of COVID-19 full vaccination is still required. For more information, click here.
With travel restrictions lifted, Hawaii is seeing an influx of tourists returning to the islands. To avoid overcrowding, advance reservations are now required at Oahu’s biggest attractions.
- Diamond Head: Online reservations can be made up to 14 days in advance to enter Diamond Head State Monument. You need to purchase parking and/or entry fees online prior to arrival, anyone without a reservation will be turned away. Please arrive within the first 30-minutes of your reservation period. If you arrive after this you may be denied access. There will be no refunds. Entry fee is US$5 per non-Hawaii resident and children under three are free. Parking is limited, US$10 per vehicle. Alternatively, book a Diamond Head Tour.
- Hanauma Bay: Online reservations can be made two days in advance starting at 7am Hawaii Standard Time (HST). If you are not able to make an online reservation, you may purchase a walk-in ticket at the park when it opens at 6:45am. Walk-in tickets must be used on the day of purchase. Plan on arriving early as the daily walk-in tickets are limited and sell out quickly. Entry fee is US$25 per non-Hawaii resident and children 12 and under are free. Parking is limited, US$3 per vehicle. Alternatively, book a Hanauma Bay Tour.
- USS Arizona Memorial Program at Pearl Harbor: Online reservations are released daily at 3pm Hawaii Standard Time (HST) in two windows: 24-hours and 8-weeks in advance. E.g. On 1 January, tickets were released for 2 January and 28 February. The first-come first-served ticket distribution program is discontinued therefore online tickets are strongly recommended. You can however ask a Park Ranger or Volunteer about the availability of standby for space available seating. There is a US$1 service charge to reserve tickets online. Alternatively, book a Pearl Harbor Tour.
You’ll also find that other attractions, like Kualoa Ranch and Polynesian Cultural Center, as well as popular activities like ziplining, ATV rides and Hawaiian luau book out well in advance. If these activities are on your Oahu must-do list we highly recommend pre-booking these experiences!
There are lots of new tours, activities and experiences, as well as grand openings of restaurants and bars. Spend time reading over our past editions of What’s New on Oahu to get up to speed.
Speaking of new tours…
We had a blast gondola-ing Waikiki’s waterways this month!
We were skeptical at first but honestly it’s such a cool experience cruising with the harbor, city skyline, canal and a distant Diamond Head as your backdrop, while boats, kayakers and outrigger canoes zip by. Not to mention, being blessed by a rainbow! The owners are lovely and it’s a unique perspective being so low and close to the calm water. We toured Magic Island and went under three bridges along the Ala Wai Canal while snacking on tiramisu, sipping on sparkling wine (non-alcoholic for now until their liquor license gets approved) and we were even serenaded LOL. If you book an evening tour they throw in an under bridge light show, and if it’s the 7:30pm Friday timeslot you’ll catch the fireworks show! Each gondola tour takes up to four people, all ages welcome (kids under 12 are given a life jacket to wear). You can book a private tour if you prefer not to share the experience. They offer Daytime Tours, Sunset/Evening Tours, Private Tours and Small Group Fireworks Tours.
Please enjoy reading the latest local news rounded up below, and don’t forget to scroll to the bottom – there are some fantastic festivals and events on Oahu’s horizon!
Ash & Keli‘i
COVID-19 HAWAII TRAVEL UPDATES
- As of 29 June 2022: There have been 308,695 cases of COVID-19 in Hawaii to date, resulting in 1,504 deaths. Average daily new cases 685 island-wide (491 Oahu, 85 Maui County, 32 Kauai and 77 Hawaii Island).
- To learn more about how COVID-19 could affect your travel plans, and how to protect yourself, CoverMore Travel Insurance has a free COVID-19 Travel Guide.
- The Waikiki Friday Fireworks are back at 8pm every Friday night! The 10-minute show launches from the Duke Kahanamoku Beach and Lagoon area at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
- “Dr. Beach” has named Oahu’s Duke Kahanamoku Beach as one of the best and most picturesque beaches in the US in 2022. It’s the widest stretch of sand at the west end of Waikiki.
- Hawaiian Airlines NZ resumes flying between Honolulu Airport (HNL) and Auckland Airport (AKL) on 4 Jul 2022, with three nonstop flights per week. YIPEEE!
- Hawaiian Airlines will resume service between Honolulu Airport (HNL) and Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) on 1 Aug 2022.
- Japan Airlines increases operations to Hawaii. It’s schedule includes routes between Honolulu (HNL) and Tokyo Haneda (HND), Tokyo Narita (NRT), Osaka Kansai (KIX) and Nagoya Chubu (NGO), and Kona (KOA) and Tokyo Narita (NRT).
- AirAsia X has announced it will resume routes between Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Honolulu (Oahu) via Osaka (Japan) from 1 Jul 2022.
- The fares to ride TheBus, Oahu’s public transport system, increase on 1 Jul 2022 to Single Fare US$3 Adult/US$1.50 Child and Day Pass US$7.50 Adult/US$3.75 Child. Pay exact cash on the bus (no change given) or get a pre-paid HOLO Card at 200+ stores, like ABC Stores.
- Biki, Honolulu’s bike-sharing program, has installed two new and convenient stops at Ala Moana Center, outside Foodland Farms (off Piikoi Street) and by Target (off Kapiolani Boulevard). Here’s our suggestions for Bike Rentals in Waikiki.
- The 5-star Kahala Hotel & Resort offers a luxury resort experience with DolphinQuest on-site. They’ve just resumed their guest shuttle service to five locations in Waikiki – vacation on the peaceful sands of Kahala Beach, and venture into Waikiki on occasion (15-minutes away).
- In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic many Hawaii hotels and resorts, like the Hilton Hawaiian Village, have done away with daily housekeeping service (unless requested). Housekeeping policies vary with each hotel, so check accordingly.
- A fifth case since 2021 of Legionnaires’ disease (a type of pneumonia caused by exposure to the Legionella bacteria) has been confirmed in a guest who stayed at The Grand Islander. If you develop symptoms following a stay contact a physician and Hawaii’s Department of Health.
- Click here for Hawaii cruise options.
RESTAURANTS & BARS
- The Queen’s Arbor has opened in the Kuhio Beach park pavilion on Kalakaua Avenue between Liliuokalani and Kealohilani Avenue. It offers sunrise breakfast on the oceanfront with farm-to-table ingredients and a cultural storytelling experience. From US$59 per person with two seatings at 6am and 8:30am (1.5 hours duration). Advance reservations required on the Open Table app or call +1 (808) 927-4936.
- Waikiki Music Lounge on the top floor of Royal Hawaiian Center is Waikiki’s newest live music and cocktail lounge. Enjoy listening to local musicians, request songs or sing along while sipping on craft cocktails and late-night snacks.
- Island Vintage Shave Ice’s new location is at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, open daily from 10am-9pm. Unlike most shave ice spots, it uses all-natural flavors and is committed to using locally sourced produce.
- Aloha Melt Waikiki are now open in the early hours daily 9am-1pm, along with their regular evening hours Mon-Sat 6pm-1am and Sun 6-11pm. They are the masters of grilled cheese melts (4 Cheese, Classic Melt, Bacon Patty Melt and more).
- Aloha Steak House re-opened on 23 May 2022 in a renovated restaurant space with open-air terrace seating and private dining areas (formerly Crakin’ Kitchen). They serve steaks on sizzling cast iron platters including their signature tomahawk steak.
- Weekend Brunch is back at Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi at International Market Place (10:30am-2pm). Enjoy specials like Brunch Cocktails, Caviar and Lobster Eggs Benedict and Brown Butter Waffles. Make a reservation online.
- Mana Sandwiches, a Japanese sandwich boutique, opened in The Lanai food court at Ala Moana Center. Sink your teeth into uniquely-flavored triangle sandwiches filled with different types or fruits, vegetables and proteins.
- Oreo lovers will be delighted to hear an Oreo-themed cafe is set to open on 30 June 2022 inside Ala Moana Center’s IT’SUGAR store. The menu will feature treats such as Oreo milkshakes, Oreo soft serve, along with Oreo branded products and more.
- Support a 16-year old entrepreneur, Kyra The Baker, by buying one of her giant freshly-baked cookies from her new shop at International Market Place (2nd Floor, next to Sketchers). Flavors include S’mores, Strawberry Cheesecake and Brownie.
- Happy Rainbow Food Truck is serving delicious sandwiches from a new location on Monsarrat Avenue, next to Cafe Morey’s. We can vouch for The Gobbler (turkey) and CC’s Delight (shrimp) varieties. A great place to refuel after hiking Diamond Head.
TOURS & ACTIVITIES
- On 28 May 2022, Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaii introduced a new play area called Lil’ Kahuna Beach! It’s over 8,000 sq ft of children’s slides, splash pads, tipping buckets, surfboards, and spray features displacing thousands of gallons of water within a minute.
- Waikiki Yoga on the 2nd Floor of Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort has doubled the number of classes on offer. Attend one in studio, beachside or in the water on a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard). All ages welcome and no experience necessary.
- For do-it-yourself GPS Audio Tours, download the Shaka Guide Oahu app. You can plug your earphones into your cellphone and take yourself on the Heart of Waikiki Walking Tour. If you’re hiring a car on Oahu, check out the self-drive itineraries including the East Oahu Shoreline Drive and Grand Circle Island Tour.
- Resort Pass enables you to book a day pool passes, spa experiences and/or hire cabanas at Waikiki’s most luxe resorts (no need to pay the big bucks to stay there!). Holiday Inn Express Waikiki is new to the site and offers hotel room day passes, too.
- Manoa Love Design has opened at the International Market Place (1st Floor, Mauka Court). They handcraft each piece of jewelry to deliver a one-of-a-kind work of art.
- Shop Keiko has opened at South Shore Market in Ward Village, featuring minimalist, handcrafted jewelry, clothing, and accessories for everyday wear.
- Sugar Sugar Hawaii has opened its third store on the island in Kahala Mall. It sells a wide selection of jewelry from local and international artists.
- Original Grail is a new sneaker, apparel and accessories consignment store at Royal Hawaiian Center carrying brands like Nike, Adidas, Supreme, Bape and Off-White.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
- Hawaii’s beloved 50th State Fair is back at Aloha Stadium! Remaining dates are 1-4 Jul 2022. It’s a fun-filled outing for all ages with fairground rides, a petting zoo, circus and more.
- After a two-year hiatus, Ala Moana Center resumed centerstage performances. Regular shows include a weekly Keiki Hula Show (Sun, 1pm), and performances by the Royal Hawaiian Band (Wed, 11am), among others. Check the events schedule.
- Oahu North Shore July 4th Festival And Fireworks Show is scheduled to take place at Haleiwa Beach Park from 10am-8:30pm on 4 Jul 2022. It will feature a vintage car show, food vendors, bounce houses, live entertainment and fireworks. For a full list visit 4th of July Events on Oahu.
- Kapolei Commons Farmers and Pop-Up Market will be starting June 5 and will take place every Sunday from 9am-1pm. This will take place near the new Crumbl Cookie location, so you can check them out while browsing the different booths.
- There is still time to catch the beautiful sunflower fields at Waimanalo Country Farm on the east side of Oahu, running until 17 July 2022. Reservations recommended.
- Beyond Monet, an immersive digital experience of over 400 Claude Monet artworks, is on at Hawaii Convention Center until 31 Jul 2022. Purchase tickets online.
- Oahu’s Bishop Museum has a new exhibition, “The Healer Stones of Kapaemahu” until 15 Oct 2022. This exhibit explores the history and contemporary meanings of four large pohaku (stones) on Waikiki Beach.
- The Magical Mystery Show! begun on 22 June 2022 with 5pm and 7:30pm showings at the Hilton Waikiki Beach hotel. Ticket prices from US$139 Adults and US$39 Kids.
- Jack Johnson’s Meet the Moonlight Tour will take place at the Waikiki Shell on 29 & 30 Jul 2022, with artists Paula Fuga and Tavana. All proceeds will go toward Kokua Hawaii Foundation, which supports environmental education in Hawaii.
- New Kids On The Block and TLC to perform in Hawaii at the Neal S Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu on 5, 6 & 7 Aug 2022.
- Jim Jefferies, a well-known Australian comedian, is bringing The Moist Tour to Hawaii Theatre Center on 6 Aug 2022.
- Broadway in Hawaii is bringing Broadway to Honolulu this upcoming 2022-2023 season. Book tickets to see Jersey Boys (13-25 Sep 2022), Hamilton (7 Dec-29 Jan 2023) and CATS Let The Memory Live Again (13-18 Jun 2023).
- Waikiki Block Festivals are parties on Kalakaua Ave with food vendors, live music and entertainment, 2022 dates are Endless Summer Festival (16 Jul), Ohana Festival (13 Aug), Aloha Festival (10 Sep), Waikiki Fall Festival (8 Oct) and Kalakaua Festival (12 Nov).
- The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is set to return for its 12th year, running from 20 Oct through 6 Nov 2022, with events taking place on Maui, Hawaii Island and Oahu over three weekends. Sign up to their newsletter for updates on ticket sales.
- Box jellyfish (stinging invertebrates) tend to appear in Oahu’s ocean 8 to 10 days after the full moon. According to the Waikiki Aquarium Box Jellyfish Calendar, 21-23 Jul and 19-21 Aug 2022 have a high probability of a box jellyfish arrival event.
- Book Resort Pass Waikiki pool, cabana, spa and amenity passes!
- Waikiki Friday Fireworks Cruise from US$71.20 per person (save US$17.80)
- North Shore Circle Island Adventure from US$101.88 per person (save US$43.67)
- Ghosts of Old Honolulu Walking Tour from US$28 per person (save US$12)
- 3 Hour Private Boat Tour in Waikiki from US$520 per group up to 6 people (save US$130)
- Group Surf Lesson at Waikiki Beach from US$100 per person up to 4 people (save US$25)
- Book More Oahu Tours
*Subject to change/terms and conditions apply – please refer to Viator for full details.
SHOP HAWAII STYLE
- Helpful Hawaii Travel Items
- Lonely Planet Honolulu Waikiki & Oahu (Travel Guide)
- Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond 2018 Edition
- Oahu Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Honolulu, Waikiki & Beyond 2022 Pre-Order
- Hawaii Coffee Company
- Hawaiian Sun Guava Jam
- Leahlani Skincare
- Catherine Weitzman Jewelry
Image Credit: Hawaiian Style Rentals