What makes Honolulu special to you?
You have the amazing amenities of an urban city yet you’re in the heart of a tropical Hawaiian paradise. The concentration of native and combined cultures on Oahu creates an island of diversity celebrated through art, food, music and dance. We live in a city that embraces all cultures and backgrounds. When you visit us, you become part of the beautiful mosaic known as Honolulu.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Honolulu?
One of my favorite activities is visiting the Waikiki Aquarium. I love the corals – you can stare at them forever. I’m from the Monterey Bay area originally, where we have The Monterey Bay Aquarium, and their corals don’t come close to the 100% live corals we have here. The tanks at the Waikiki Aquarium are all open air so the corals receive natural light, the way they would if they were just off the shores of Waikiki.
I also love visiting Waimea Valley on the North Shore of Oahu. You’re surrounded by the essence of Hawaii, both in nature and in culture. The flowers and trees shade what I think is the most beautiful walkway on Oahu.
Kahuku Farms on the North Shore of Oahu is also one of my favorite places. You can take tours of the farm, and stop at their café.
Which are your favorite local Honolulu restaurants?
The brunch at Koko Head Café is amazing. Chef Lee Anne Wong is a magician in the kitchen. A must try is her Kimchee, bacon and cheddar cheese scone. She also makes a Maker’s Mark milkshake that’s spectacular.
For the best ramen, I go to Lucky Belly in Chinatown. They offer duck spring rolls, oxtail dumplings and the pork belly bao is a dream.
Joy’s Special at House Without a Key is my favorite sandwich in the entire State of Hawaii.
What would be your perfect day in Honolulu?
I’d begin with brunch at Koko Head Café. It’s in downtown Honolulu. Then I’d drive to Kailua to visit my godson and we’d go to Lanikai Beach and share an acai bowl at Lanikai Juice.
After taking my godson home, I’d have a nap, go for a run around Diamond Head, meet up with friends at Manifest downtown then have dinner at Lucky Belly. I’d end the evening listening to jazz at The Dragon Upstairs, in Chinatown.