Guidebook for Honolulu

Jaz
Guidebook for Honolulu

Food Scene

This is a very small Indian restaurant that makes their food fresh on a daily basis - and you can taste the freshness! I don't like spicy food, so I'm happy they offer non-spicy food for my palate! Heads up, it gets very busy and the wait time can sometimes be up to an hour. I recommend getting there when they open. Their meal-for-two is budget friendly and you always have leftovers! BYOB and no corkage fee.
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Cafe Maharani
2509 South King Street
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This is a very small Indian restaurant that makes their food fresh on a daily basis - and you can taste the freshness! I don't like spicy food, so I'm happy they offer non-spicy food for my palate! Heads up, it gets very busy and the wait time can sometimes be up to an hour. I recommend getting there when they open. Their meal-for-two is budget friendly and you always have leftovers! BYOB and no corkage fee.
This small coffee shop has nothing fancy about it - but their coffee is great! They also have fresh and tasty scones & sandwiches. On weekends - you get waffles with fresh fruit! Combine that with how close it is to home (away from traffic) & it makes this one of my favorite places to go for coffee.
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Sure Shot Cafe
1249 Wilder Avenue
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This small coffee shop has nothing fancy about it - but their coffee is great! They also have fresh and tasty scones & sandwiches. On weekends - you get waffles with fresh fruit! Combine that with how close it is to home (away from traffic) & it makes this one of my favorite places to go for coffee.
This is our stop on the way home from North Shore. I always get their Chai Tea Latte - so yummy! I don't think their pastries are the best though. Greenworld can be a little touristy - it has some coffee bushes, cute items for sale, and clean restrooms.
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Green World Coffee Farm
71-101 Kamehameha Highway
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This is our stop on the way home from North Shore. I always get their Chai Tea Latte - so yummy! I don't think their pastries are the best though. Greenworld can be a little touristy - it has some coffee bushes, cute items for sale, and clean restrooms.
When my sister came to visit, we decided to do a french-toast challenge - because we love french toast that much! Koko Head Cafe is the winner - hands down. They have a crispy french toast that is fried in something crispy like cornflakes. It is topped with gelato and billionaire's bacon (which is bacon candied with 3 types of sugar & pepper). Okay, this is more of a dessert. The rest of the food is good too :-)
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Koko Head Cafe
1145 12th Avenue
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When my sister came to visit, we decided to do a french-toast challenge - because we love french toast that much! Koko Head Cafe is the winner - hands down. They have a crispy french toast that is fried in something crispy like cornflakes. It is topped with gelato and billionaire's bacon (which is bacon candied with 3 types of sugar & pepper). Okay, this is more of a dessert. The rest of the food is good too :-)
Diner open 24 hours. This is a local spot - so you won't find any tourists here. Liliha is known for their quality baked goods and most popular are their coco-puffs - which are pudding filled pastries. Clearly, I have a sweet tooth.
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Liliha Bakery
515 North Kuakini Street
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Diner open 24 hours. This is a local spot - so you won't find any tourists here. Liliha is known for their quality baked goods and most popular are their coco-puffs - which are pudding filled pastries. Clearly, I have a sweet tooth.
This is a local favorite with a Vietnamese-American menu like no other. It is one of the few places where you can make a reservation - and you will need it! If you can't make it to the restaurant, you can see them at the Blaisdell Farmer's Market on Wednesday's - but there will be a line there too!
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The Pig and The Lady
83 North King Street
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This is a local favorite with a Vietnamese-American menu like no other. It is one of the few places where you can make a reservation - and you will need it! If you can't make it to the restaurant, you can see them at the Blaisdell Farmer's Market on Wednesday's - but there will be a line there too!
Best place for fish tacos! Located in the food truck stop.
VJ's North Shore Dogs & Burgers
66-472 Kamehameha Highway
Best place for fish tacos! Located in the food truck stop.
Delicious local food! Reservation needed. Food is served family-style.
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Side Street Inn Kapahulu
614 Kapahulu Avenue
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Delicious local food! Reservation needed. Food is served family-style.
Right at the heart of Waikiki, this is the perfect place to stop for a delicious cup of coffee!
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Island Vintage Shave Ice
2301 Kalakaua Ave
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Right at the heart of Waikiki, this is the perfect place to stop for a delicious cup of coffee!
This little restaurant offers niche natural food items that may not be available everywhere. If you're in Waikiki and want to do a quick stop for food, I recommend their curry bowl.
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Ruffage Natural Foods
2443 Kuhio Avenue
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This little restaurant offers niche natural food items that may not be available everywhere. If you're in Waikiki and want to do a quick stop for food, I recommend their curry bowl.
This restaurant has fancy ramen dishes and a few other little delicacies. Check them out online for photos!
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Lucky Belly
50 North Hotel Street
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This restaurant has fancy ramen dishes and a few other little delicacies. Check them out online for photos!
The chef makes every single dish from scratch so be prepared for a long wait time after you've been seated (at least an hour). Reservations are only accepted via e-mail for parties of 4 or more, otherwise you have to be there by the time they open (5:30 PM) and hope to get a seat. The food comes out as it is prepared, and it is also BYOB. You'll need a lot of wine for the long wait time but the food is delicious. I recommend getting their gnocchi as an appetizer.
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La Cucina Ristorante Italiano
725 Kapiolani Boulevard
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The chef makes every single dish from scratch so be prepared for a long wait time after you've been seated (at least an hour). Reservations are only accepted via e-mail for parties of 4 or more, otherwise you have to be there by the time they open (5:30 PM) and hope to get a seat. The food comes out as it is prepared, and it is also BYOB. You'll need a lot of wine for the long wait time but the food is delicious. I recommend getting their gnocchi as an appetizer.
Local Hawaiian food.
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Helena's Hawaiian Food
1240 North School Street
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Local Hawaiian food.
A little on the pricier side, HiBlend offers a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads, smoothies, juices and more, that are made from organic fruits and veggies.
HiBlend Health Bar & Cafe
661 Keeaumoku St
A little on the pricier side, HiBlend offers a variety of sandwiches, wraps, salads, smoothies, juices and more, that are made from organic fruits and veggies.
Hiking Hawaii is located inside the Hilton Double-Tree hotel. They have gluten-free pizza, kombucha on tap, and other tasty treats. I particularly enjoy their Spanish panini, which has prosciutto, brie and guava jam. Valet parking is validated. When you go tell Crystal, the owner, we sent you!
Hiking Hawaii Cafe
1956 Ala Moana Boulevard
Hiking Hawaii is located inside the Hilton Double-Tree hotel. They have gluten-free pizza, kombucha on tap, and other tasty treats. I particularly enjoy their Spanish panini, which has prosciutto, brie and guava jam. Valet parking is validated. When you go tell Crystal, the owner, we sent you!
Home of the MAC Daddy pancake challenge (aired in Man vs. Food). The challenge is to finish a pile of three 14″ pancakes in ninety minutes or less to secure a spot on the “M.A.C. Daddy Wall of Fame.” Ask for Todd - he's our favorite waiter! Open 24 hours. Validated valet parking costs $3 if you eat at the restaurant.
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M.A.C. 24/7 Restaurant and Bar
2500 Kuhio Avenue
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Home of the MAC Daddy pancake challenge (aired in Man vs. Food). The challenge is to finish a pile of three 14″ pancakes in ninety minutes or less to secure a spot on the “M.A.C. Daddy Wall of Fame.” Ask for Todd - he's our favorite waiter! Open 24 hours. Validated valet parking costs $3 if you eat at the restaurant.
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Serg's Mexican Kitchen
41-865 Kalanianaole Highway
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Cash only - food is great. My favorite is their crab & avocado omelet (made with real crab!). I recommend going 1-2 hours before closing, as it won't be so busy. Check out their extensive menu online!
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Bogart's Café
3045 Monsarrat Ave
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Cash only - food is great. My favorite is their crab & avocado omelet (made with real crab!). I recommend going 1-2 hours before closing, as it won't be so busy. Check out their extensive menu online!
Happy hour: 2-6pm Monday-Friday & 10pm-close daily. Check Yelp for deals.
Flour & Barley - Brick Oven Pizza
2330 Kalakaua Ave
Happy hour: 2-6pm Monday-Friday & 10pm-close daily. Check Yelp for deals.
Local spot and absolute favorite for breakfast!
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Egghead Cafe
885 Queen St
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Local spot and absolute favorite for breakfast!
Great menu - go with friends and share pupus!
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Uncle Bo's Pupu Bar & Grill
559 Kapahulu Avenue
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Great menu - go with friends and share pupus!
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The nook neighborhood bistro
1035 University Avenue
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Arts & Culture

The ʻIolani Palace was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii beginning with Kamehameha III under the Kamehameha Dynasty and ending with Queen Liliʻuokalani under the Kalākaua Dynasty, founded by her brother, King David Kalākaua.
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Иолани
364 South King Street
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The ʻIolani Palace was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii beginning with Kamehameha III under the Kamehameha Dynasty and ending with Queen Liliʻuokalani under the Kalākaua Dynasty, founded by her brother, King David Kalākaua.
Walking distance from our home, it's perfect place to check out, especially on a rainy day. ARTafterDARK is the Museum's monthly party held on the last Friday of the month, January through October, from 6pm to 9pm. It is a very popular social event!
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Honolulu Museum of Art
900 South Beretania Street
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Walking distance from our home, it's perfect place to check out, especially on a rainy day. ARTafterDARK is the Museum's monthly party held on the last Friday of the month, January through October, from 6pm to 9pm. It is a very popular social event!

Essentials

Open 24 hours, it is a very nice grocery store with all your needs. There is a Starbucks & small area to get some hot foods to go, such as chicken tenders, salads & fresh made sandwiches. You can also get a fresh poke bowl with rice! If you don't feel like going to the store to shop, you can sign up to have your groceries delivered.
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Safeway
1234 South Beretania Street
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Open 24 hours, it is a very nice grocery store with all your needs. There is a Starbucks & small area to get some hot foods to go, such as chicken tenders, salads & fresh made sandwiches. You can also get a fresh poke bowl with rice! If you don't feel like going to the store to shop, you can sign up to have your groceries delivered.
This grocery store is where you get your poke bowls! Near Safeway but tends to have more affordable food options. They also have a cute little wine area.
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Foodland
1460 South Beretania Street
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This grocery store is where you get your poke bowls! Near Safeway but tends to have more affordable food options. They also have a cute little wine area.
This grocery store is right in between Safeway & Foodland - it's not as big as the other 2 grocery stores but it's also not as busy if you want to grab something quickly. Chances are, if it's sold out at Safeway or Foodland, Times has it.
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Times Supermarket - Beretania
1290 South Beretania Street
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This grocery store is right in between Safeway & Foodland - it's not as big as the other 2 grocery stores but it's also not as busy if you want to grab something quickly. Chances are, if it's sold out at Safeway or Foodland, Times has it.
Organic food offering vegan hot food options.
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Down To Earth Organic & Natural Honolulu
2525 South King Street
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Organic food offering vegan hot food options.
This is where you go for all your Latin food needs. It is small, like a "Colmadito" but has food items typically found in the Caribbean.
Mercado De La Raza
1315 S Beretania St
This is where you go for all your Latin food needs. It is small, like a "Colmadito" but has food items typically found in the Caribbean.
CrossFit808 is owned by Elyse Umeda-Korth & Rich Korth both CrossFit Games athletes. If you're a crossfitter - we recommend doing a drop-in here!
CrossFit 808
419 Waiakamilo Rd
CrossFit808 is owned by Elyse Umeda-Korth & Rich Korth both CrossFit Games athletes. If you're a crossfitter - we recommend doing a drop-in here!
This 24 Hour Fitness is in the business district (located one mile from our home).
24 Hour Fitness
1000 Bishop Street
This 24 Hour Fitness is in the business district (located one mile from our home).
If you're looking for MMA classes, yoga, bodybuilding - hit the UFC Gym located a few minutes from our home.
UFC GYM Honolulu
805 Pohukaina Street
If you're looking for MMA classes, yoga, bodybuilding - hit the UFC Gym located a few minutes from our home.
Old school gym - nothing fancy but has everything you need and is walking distance from our home.
Kakaako Fitness
815 Waimanu St
Old school gym - nothing fancy but has everything you need and is walking distance from our home.

Getting Around

This Biki station for bike rentals is right down the street from us and there are sooo many more! I swear if you played "Punch Bug" with Biki, you'd get hit every 7 seconds.
Thomas Square
925 South Beretania Street
This Biki station for bike rentals is right down the street from us and there are sooo many more! I swear if you played "Punch Bug" with Biki, you'd get hit every 7 seconds.
This is where most people unload and transfer buses.
Alapai Transit Center
This is where most people unload and transfer buses.

Entertainment & Activities

I live here and booked this tour so I could sit back, relax and play tourist when my family visited. We absolutely loved it! Our tour guide, Raul, was knowledgeable and witty. The North Shore tour is perfect! You get to see Pipeline where all the pro-surfers go for the big waves, jump off of the Waimea Bay rock, swim with the turtles in a safe and local beach (not overcrowded with tourists & Raul will get in the water with you!), have lunch at a nice farm (so tranquil). You'll be able to kayak or stand-up paddle board. We never felt rushed, I think the time at each location was perfect. Ask for Raul and have a great time!
Hawaii Turtle Tours
I live here and booked this tour so I could sit back, relax and play tourist when my family visited. We absolutely loved it! Our tour guide, Raul, was knowledgeable and witty. The North Shore tour is perfect! You get to see Pipeline where all the pro-surfers go for the big waves, jump off of the Waimea Bay rock, swim with the turtles in a safe and local beach (not overcrowded with tourists & Raul will get in the water with you!), have lunch at a nice farm (so tranquil). You'll be able to kayak or stand-up paddle board. We never felt rushed, I think the time at each location was perfect. Ask for Raul and have a great time!
Small, intimate, family-run luau. All luau's offer entertainment (dancing, jokes, and cultural education). This one offers free access to Waimea Falls through the beautiful botanical valley. I've been to them all, but this one is my favorite. It doesn't have that commercialized, Disney feel.
Toa Luau
59-864 Kamehameha Hwy
Small, intimate, family-run luau. All luau's offer entertainment (dancing, jokes, and cultural education). This one offers free access to Waimea Falls through the beautiful botanical valley. I've been to them all, but this one is my favorite. It doesn't have that commercialized, Disney feel.

Parks & Nature

This is the perfect place to set-up a hammock, read a book, have a BBQ, relax and enjoy the outside. Sunsets are absolutely stunning here. On Sundays, you'll see a large group of people practicing acro-yoga, slack-line, and hula hooping! This is open to the public and a perfect place to stop by if you are interested in trying some of these activities.
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Kapiʻolani Regional Park
3840 Paki Avenue
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This is the perfect place to set-up a hammock, read a book, have a BBQ, relax and enjoy the outside. Sunsets are absolutely stunning here. On Sundays, you'll see a large group of people practicing acro-yoga, slack-line, and hula hooping! This is open to the public and a perfect place to stop by if you are interested in trying some of these activities.
This hike is perfect for watching the sunrise. It's pretty steep in the beginning but a fairly easy hike. You'll have to find parking in the neighborhood and you must get there early. A security guard will kindly remind you that you are accessing a private road and to please be mindful of noise.
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Пилбокс Хайк
265 Kaelepulu Drive
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This hike is perfect for watching the sunrise. It's pretty steep in the beginning but a fairly easy hike. You'll have to find parking in the neighborhood and you must get there early. A security guard will kindly remind you that you are accessing a private road and to please be mindful of noise.
This beach park offers a grassy and shaded area with well-maintained playgrounds. The beach is right there and you can enjoy a nice BBQ.
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Fort DeRussy Beach Park
2055 Kalia Road
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This beach park offers a grassy and shaded area with well-maintained playgrounds. The beach is right there and you can enjoy a nice BBQ.
This "hike" offers a nice one mile stroll through lush botanical gardens, that lead up to the Waimea Falls. If you want to avoid the walk but still see the falls, transportation is offered to and and from the falls ($6 one way, $10 round trip). There is an entry fee - $12 for military & students. There are also lifeguards and life-jackets available. This is probably one of the safest hikes and easiest access to a waterfall. Bug spray needed! Closes at 5:30 PM.
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Waimea Falls
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This "hike" offers a nice one mile stroll through lush botanical gardens, that lead up to the Waimea Falls. If you want to avoid the walk but still see the falls, transportation is offered to and and from the falls ($6 one way, $10 round trip). There is an entry fee - $12 for military & students. There are also lifeguards and life-jackets available. This is probably one of the safest hikes and easiest access to a waterfall. Bug spray needed! Closes at 5:30 PM.
CAREFUL - this beach offers big waves in the winter time. The best time to visit is in the summer (April to September). With that being said, there is a big rock you can jump off of. The highest point to jump off of is called "Towers" and is around 35-40 feet. Most points of jumping are anywhere from 20 to 30 feet high and the water is usually 10 feet deep, more or less. Easy to hit bottom. Clean bathrooms but parking is difficult.
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Уэймея Бэй Бич
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CAREFUL - this beach offers big waves in the winter time. The best time to visit is in the summer (April to September). With that being said, there is a big rock you can jump off of. The highest point to jump off of is called "Towers" and is around 35-40 feet. Most points of jumping are anywhere from 20 to 30 feet high and the water is usually 10 feet deep, more or less. Easy to hit bottom. Clean bathrooms but parking is difficult.
This is one of the best places to go snorkeling! So many fish and you have lifeguards! The best time to be there is 6 AM on the dot - that's because it's free entry, you skip the lines, and get front-row parking. The sand hasn't been kicked up by tourists yet, so you get to see the fish clearly. It gets pretty hot so if you are there early, you will be cooler. Closed on Tuesdays.
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Бухта Ханаума
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This is one of the best places to go snorkeling! So many fish and you have lifeguards! The best time to be there is 6 AM on the dot - that's because it's free entry, you skip the lines, and get front-row parking. The sand hasn't been kicked up by tourists yet, so you get to see the fish clearly. It gets pretty hot so if you are there early, you will be cooler. Closed on Tuesdays.
Clothing optional, local beach.
Polo Beach
68-434 Farrington Hwy
Clothing optional, local beach.

Drinks & Nightlife

This is an "upscale" nightclub in the heart of Waikiki. There is a dress code and the only chance of getting a seat is through bottle service. The dance floor is usually full but you are only allowed in that area if you are actually dancing. Security guards everywhere. I'm not that much of a fan but if it's your thing, go for it!
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SKY Waikiki
2270 Kalakaua Ave
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This is an "upscale" nightclub in the heart of Waikiki. There is a dress code and the only chance of getting a seat is through bottle service. The dance floor is usually full but you are only allowed in that area if you are actually dancing. Security guards everywhere. I'm not that much of a fan but if it's your thing, go for it!
This gay night club is soooooo much fun! They have drag queens, great music and everyone dances! Perfect for a girl's night or being in a club where it doesn't matter how you dress or what you look like - it's full of good vibes! Also, conveniently located downtown - which is only a mile away :-)
The Tiki at Scarlet
1146 Fort Street Mall
This gay night club is soooooo much fun! They have drag queens, great music and everyone dances! Perfect for a girl's night or being in a club where it doesn't matter how you dress or what you look like - it's full of good vibes! Also, conveniently located downtown - which is only a mile away :-)
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Bevy
675 Auahi Street
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