Welcome to Ali'i Beach Rentals' Blog

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Visit Waikiki's number one beach as listed in "Top 10 Beaches 2014"

We are thrilled to announce that this year one of Waikiki's beach areas claimed the top spot on the list of "Top 10 Beaches 2014" by Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. Dr. Beach.   He is known as a director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University in Miami.

It's the beach right next to our Waikiki Vacation Rentals at the Ilikai Hotel, the Ilikai Marina, and across the street from our units at the Waikiki Marina and just a short walk from our other units in the area.

courtesy of Hawaii Visitors Bureau

This area just east of the boat marina is called Duke Kahanamoku Beach, named for the Olympic Gold medal swimmer and "father of modern surfing".   This is a popular spot to watch the Friday night fireworks and also for many sporting event competitions.  It's a very family friendly beach due to the coral reef the surrounds the area making the waves smaller and perfect for kids and for sports like stand up paddle surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, and just floating on an air mattress getting a tan.



Last year this beach claimed the number 2 spot and this year the reason it reached number one could be due to the law passed in January making all Oahu beaches non-smoking.    Being smoke free is a factor in deciding top beaches, along with beach width at low tide, sand softness and color, pests and wildlife, available amenities and public safety.  So, go check it out and brag to your friends that you were at the Top Beach in the USA!  Aloha!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Go Kart racing track and more near Waikiki

If you've read our blog, you know there is a really fun electric Kart race track called Podium Raceway in Kapolei, on the west side of Oahu.  Now, there is a new Go Kart track on the south side of the island, in Honolulu, near our Oahu vacation rentals just on the edge of Waikiki.  It's called the Groove and it's located at 805 Ala Moana Boulevard, just past Ward Avenue and Ala Moana Beach Park.   It's open from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and they offer pick up service in Waikiki or it's a short ride on the #19 or # 20 city bus!
courtesy of Groove Hawaii

If you are staying at our Ala Moana Hotel Vacation Rentals or our other units at the Ilikai Hotel, Ilikai Marina, or the Waikiki Marina, then you are about 5 minutes away from the fun!  It's a great family friendly activity to enjoy while staying at any of our Waikiki Vacation Rentals since they offer shuttle service and it's fun rain or shine, after a day at the beach!  It's also great for family gatherings and groups, or celebrating a special occasion.

courtesy of Groove Hawaii
They also have a party bike, a Segway performance course, arcade games, billiards, darts, air hockey, an outdoor climbing wall, children's rides, party rooms, bouncers for little kids, day care services, and a full-service restaurant including a brick pizza oven. 

courtesy of Groove Hawaii
They also have a lunch special that includes lunch and a lap around the track for those short on time but in the mood for some mid-day excitement and great food, too.
courtesy of Groove Hawaii
There is a special happening on Wednesdays called Date Night which is $74.95 for a family of 4 or $49.95 for just a couple.  It includes dinner and racing, with day care and kids snacks for those with children.  What a great way to celebrate the middle of the week with your loved ones!



Monday, May 5, 2014

Food tours near Waikiki

I think one of the best experiences of being on vacation is trying new foods at local restaurants.  It's one of the things that's most remembered and it makes you feel like you really are part of a place, to eat vegetables grown locally and prepared by people who have a love of sharing their special cuisine with visitors from all over the world.  If you think like I do, here are some tours that can take you to sample some of the best food that the island has to offer!  They are family friendly and a great Oahu activity when you need an afternoon off from the beach or if it's raining (which doesn't happen often, luckily)!

courtesy of Hawaiifoodtours.com

The first company is Hawaii Food Tours.  They have 2 different food tours.  First, the Hole in the Wall Tour which runs daily from 9am-2pm for $99 including transportation and food.  It's run by a former celebrity chef, food writer and restaurant reviewer.  There will be a 2 hour walking and tasting tour of our Chinatown area near downtown Honolulu.   The 2nd tour is of the North Shore on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am-5pm for $139.  You will get to try garlic shrimp, genuine Hawaiian food, decadent pastries, and it visits a coffee and cocoa plantation.

courtesy of Alohafoodtours.com
The next company is called Aloha Food Tours.  They have an Ala Moana Area Local Eats tour that runs Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from 1:30pm-4pm for $79.99 and meets near Ala Moana Shopping Center and our Waikiki Vacation Rentals at the Ala Moana Hotel, the Ilikai Hotel, the Ilikai Marina, and the Waikiki Marina.  Their Chinatown tour is on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:30am-1pm for $99, including a 1.5 walking tour.  Meeting place is in Chinatown.
courtesy of FlavorofHawaii.com

The 3rd company is called Flavor of Hawaii.  They have a Kailua Food tour from 10am-1pm for $59.99 with a meeting spot in Kailua, or a Waikiki tour from 2:30pm-6pm for $79.99 with a meeting spot on Kuhio Avenue.  That's on the same street as our Royal Kuhio, Bamboo Waikiki, Waikiki Park Heights, and Marine Surf vacation rental units so you don't have to go far to take part in the fun!

courtesy of Foodtoursofhawaii.com

The 4th company is called Food tours of Hawaii and they meet at Aloha Tower for a walking tour of Chinatown daily at 10am, 10:30am, or 11am for 3 hours and costs $59.00. 

With all these options, there's something for everyone!  So check it out and Bon Apetite!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Hawaii Book and Music Festival near Waikiki

Today and tomorrow make sure you don't miss the annual Hawaii Book and Music Festival.  It runs both Saturday and Sunday, May 3rd and 4th, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Civic grounds by Honolulu Hale on King Street between Punchbowl Street and Alapai Street.  That's just a few minutes by car, bus, or taxi from our Waikiki Vacation Rentals at the Ala Moana Hotel, the Ilikai Hotel, the Ilikai Marina, and many others.
courtesy of hawaiibookandmusicfestival.com
There will be stages with live entertainment featuring Hawaii's favorite musicians like Jeff Peterson who is my personal favorite guitarist and was featured in the movie the Descendants.  He'll be playing on the Main Stage on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. so make sure you check out his music and buy a few CD's!
Anytime of day, you can grab one of the many seats under the shade of the trees and relax to the soothing sounds of local music and performances.

There is a Book Swap where you might find new (unwrapped) books and also lots of free books.   You and also purchase new books under different publishing houses' tents and you can get them signed at certain times.  Many of the best local book publishers are represented here, selling local books at discounted prices.  There are pavilions full of informative talk, where you can hear about an author's methods and interests and maybe even chat with them for a few minutes.

photo courtesy of Yelp.com
It's also a family friendly event with plenty to keep kids amused as well.  You will find bouncy houses, rides and slides at $1-2 each plus a kid's stage where kids can sing-along and interact,  plus a tent dedicated to arts and crafts. Plus great children's book authors and books available as well as story time. 

All this plus food!  From crepes and plate lunches to Greek food and tofu dishes.  Gordon Biersch is by far the most varied and well priced option. You can eat a corn dog for $2, pepperoni pizza for $3 and a kalua pork sandwich for $5. There are also the famous garlic fries available for under $5 as well.
And if you ever get too hot, you can always duck into the Mission Hall Auditorium where it's nice and air-conditioned, and where they hold some of the bigger author talks and events.

So check it out and "Eat Local", "Shop Local," and "Read Local" too!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Spam Jam this weekend in Waikiki

Many places in the world have a signature food festival. You may have heard about tomatoes, ribs, onions or pumpkins, but you may have never seen anything like this, a Spam® festival!

courtesy of Spamjamhawaii.com
Celebrate your love for SPAM with fellow SPAM lovers at the Waikiki Spam Jam Street Festival happening on May 3rd from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.! The festival will feature food from Hawaii's top restaurants with free live entertainment on two stages and craft booths full of Spam themed souvenirs for purchase including t-shirts, shorts, sport balls, and slippers.
It's a  family friendly event so come on down!  It will happen on Kalakaua Avenue between Lewers Street and Kaiulani Avenue.  Kalakaua Avenue is closed to car traffic for the event so keep that in mind if you will be arriving or leaving that day.  Traffic could be heavier than normal on the side streets due to the closure so allow extra time to get to your destination during those hours.   But, during the event our Waikiki Vacation Rentals at the Marine Surf, the Royal Kuhio, the Waikiki Park Heights and the Pacific Monarch are all about a 5 minute walk to the festival so there will be no need for a car.  Our other units are all just a few more minutes away by bus or taxi.

courtesy of Yelp.com
 This festival has been rated as one of the top annual food festivals in Hawaii.  Local residents and visitors alike have made this an annual tradition. Last year, an estimated 25,000 people attended the event.  Bring cash to make buying food and souvenirs quicker and easier.  Last year I ate a barbeque spam sandwich with coleslaw and spam lettuce wraps.  Both were absolutely delicious!


During the Spam® Jam Street Festival, booths are set up by volunteers to help collect donations of Spam for the Hawaii Food Bank.  They would love for all attendees to bring down a can of Spam® to donate.
 Hawaii has long been a fan of Spam and more Spam® is consumed per person in Hawaii than in any other state in the U.S.  Yum!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

87th Annual Lei Day celebration in Waikiki this Thursday, May 1st

This Thursday is May 1st which is Lei Day in Hawaii.  That means lots of free Oahu activities in Waikiki that are family friendly and something special to do to create memories of your trip here to the islands.
The closest place to stay in to enjoy the festivities is at our Waikiki Vacation rentals such as the Cabana at Waikiki, the Royal Moana, the Waikiki Banyan, the Waikiki Sunset, Foster Tower, and the Seashore.
The festivities start at 9:00 a.m. at the Kapiolani Bandstand in Kapiolani Park, just past the Honolulu Zoo.

You will hear live entertainment by the Royal Hawaiian Band, the only municipal band in the United States as well as Hawaii's own Melveen Leed.  At 10:00 a.m. there will be a hula show followed by the crowning of the 2014 Lei Queen and court at 12:30 p.m.  The Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association will also play music from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.   There will be a lei contest exhibit from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. as well as a village of Hawaiian artisans showcasing their works with demonstrations throughout the day. 

For children, there will be an area called Tutu's Hale (Grandmother's house) to hear stories, play Hawaiian games, learn songs, hula, and lei making as well as how to weave lauhala.
There will also be food vendors with delicious treats to enjoy!
courtesy of Yelp.com

Plus, there will be a concert on the beach at Kaiulani Avenue and Kalakaua from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. celebrating the history and tradition of Lei Day in Hawaii.  All in all, it will be an exciting day. Aloha!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Honolulu 5k run today near Waikiki

For a great event to support that is family friendly and supports local charities, check out the Honolulu 5k run near Waikiki.  The 5K route will give the runners an opportunity to run though the Downtown Honolulu business district with its historic landmarks.

The race date has been set for Sunday, April 27, 2014 with events starting at 6:30 am  There will be a 5K race and a 1 Mile Keiki Fun Run/Walk.  All participants will receive a Honolulu 5K finisher’s medal.

courtesy of honolulu5k.org

The start line is just a short distance from our Waikiki Vacation Rentals and is closest to our Ala Moana Hotel vacation rentals.  The next closest of our units are the Waikiki Marina, the Ilikai Marina and the Ilikai Hotel, all of which are on Ala Moana Boulevard and just a few miles from the start line.

Start
Start time for the 5K race is at 6:30 am and the 1 Mile Keiki run/walk will start at approximately 6:45 am, as soon as the start line is cleared of the 5K participants.
Start Line for the 5K  will be located on S. Beretania St. right in front of our State Capitol building and the 1Mile fun run/walk starts on S. King St. at the Alapai St. intersection.
Finish
The finish line for both the 5K and 1 Mile Keiki run/walk will be located on S. King St. in front of the municipal building.
Post Race
Post race refreshments will be located inside the civic center grounds.
courtesy of Honolulu5k.org
It's a great free Oahu Activity to enjoy as a spectator and feel a part of a great cause!  Also, if you participate you won't feel guilty eating at all the great Oahu Restaurants.  If you are not participating and just supporting the cause, then you will want to check out all the historic buildings in the Downtown Honolulu area, including Iolani Palace, the Mission Houses Museums, and the Kamehameha statue. These are just a few great activities in that area to explore after the race.  Aloha!