The City of Honolulu Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, www.honolulu.gov/moca, also maintains excellent calendar information for special events. Another helpful resource for tips and tools to explore Oahu’s cultural scene is the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau Web site, www.gohawaii.com/oahu. You can create your own calendar of events by using the planning tool, “Find Vacation Ideas.” The Web site of the Oahu Chapter of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, www.visit-oahu.com, is yet another place to find current information. Though the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau does cater, of course, to tourists, it’s a great place to start if you’re a new Honolulu resident. Close
Page Summary

Honolulu Culture

If you’re just moving to Honolulu, welcome! WE can guarantee there is a lot for you and your family to experience in your new city. As the state capital of Hawaii, Honolulu is a center of arts, culture, and history of the islands. Hawaii celebrates its Pan-Asian, Pan-Pacific heritage in a multitude of ways with numerous ethnic festivals.

With the abundance of concerts, events, lectures, and performances throughout Honolulu County, it’s hard to know where exactly to start. One place is Honolulu Magazine, www.honolulumagazine.com, which has a great events calendar on its Web site that includes a rundown of the month’s art exhibitions, concerts, festivals, and other cultural events.

The City of Honolulu Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, www.honolulu.gov/moca, also maintains excellent calendar information for special events. Another helpful resource for tips and tools to explore Oahu’s cultural scene is the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau Web site, www.gohawaii.com/oahu. You can create your own calendar of events by using the planning tool, “Find Vacation Ideas.” The Web site of the Oahu Chapter of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, www.visit-oahu.com, is yet another place to find current information. Though the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau does cater, of course, to tourists, it’s a great place to start if you’re a new Honolulu resident.

It should be noted that members of the military receive discounts at many cultural locations throughout Oahu, so if you are in the military—it is worth inquiring!

Tickets

Tickets for most major concerts, theatre productions, and other cultural events are available through the venues’ box offices. If you’re keen on avoiding service charges, purchasing tickets directly from the venue’s box office will be your best option.

Most event tickets are also available through Ticketmaster. You can purchase tickets through Ticketmaster over the phone by calling 866-448-7849 or 800-745-3000, or online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com. If you prefer to buy the tickets in person, visit www.ticketmaster.com to find the most convenient Honolulu retail location. One local ticket vendor is: www.honoluluboxoffice.com, 808-550-8457. There are others, some of which have significantly higher costs.

Concerts and performances can sell out quickly, and if you find yourself looking for tickets to a sold-out show, StubHub may be a good solution. Fans and concertgoers often use StubHub to sell their extra or unneeded tickets. To search for available tickets for events in Honolulu, visit www.stubhub.com, and enter “Honolulu” in the search box.

But buyers beware: tickets purchased through Ticketmaster and StubHub often come with significant service charges and processing fees. Ticketmaster’s fees can vary from state to state and event to event; make sure to check what (and how much) these fees will be to avoid unexpected costs. StubHub charges a service fee equal to 10 percent of the full ticket price in addition to a delivery fee.

 

Concert Halls, Stadiums, and Arenas

Honolulu has a number of performance venues, offering everything from rock concerts to Broadway shows to live operas. WE have listed some of the most prominent ones below. For the most up-to-date information about upcoming shows, available tickets, ticket prices, and seating, contact each venue or visit the venue’s Web site.

  • Aloha Stadium, alohastadium.hawaii.gov, a 50,000-seat facility, is Hawaii’s largest outdoor arena. It is home to sports events, concerts, and a popular swap meet. The stadium opened in 1975, and significant renovations completed in 2010.
  • Neal S. Blaisdell Center, 777 Ward Avenue, 808-527-5400, www.blaisdellcenter.com, includes the Arena, Concert Hall, and Exhibition Hall. The arena, which can hold almost 9,000 people, is Honolulu’s main venue for big-name acts.
  • Doris Duke Theatre, Kinau Street, between Ward Avenue and Victoria Street, 808-532-8700,www.honoluluacademy.org, is part of the Honolulu Academy of the Arts. Film Friday presents single screenings of international, independent, and classical films. The theatre also hosts concerts and lectures.
  • Paliku TheatreWindward Community College, 45-720 Kea’ahala Road, Kaneohe, 808-235-7310,www.wcc.hawaii.edu/paliku; Known as the “Jewel of the Windward Side,” the theatre provides an intimate venue for plays, concerts, dance, films, and lectures.
  • Royal Hawaiian Theatre, 2201 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, 808-926-4441, www.royalhawaiiancenter.com; a new 760-seat theatre that transforms into the LEVEL4 Nightclub and Ultra Lounge.
  • Waikiki Shell, Kapiolani Park, 2805 Monsarrat Avenue, Honolulu, 808-527-5400, www.blaisdellcenter.comis a popular outdoor performing venue for a variety of groups.

Performing Arts

Music – Symphonic, Choral, Opera, Chamber

Honolulu brings together the best in both professional and community music. From symphony orchestras to choral performances to native Hawaiian music, the organizations listed below provide extensive programs through which musicians and vocal performers share their talents with the people of Honolulu:

  • Chamber Music Hawaiiwww.chambermusichawaii.com, was formed in 1982 and consists of three ensembles: the Spring Wind Quintet, Honolulu Brass Quintet, and the Galliard String Quartet. All members of CMH are also full-time members of the Honolulu Symphony. CMH performs several concert series in different venues.
  • Hawaii Opera Theatre, 987 Waimanu St., Honolulu, 800-836-7372, www.hawaiiopera.org, known as “HOT,” is one of the largest and most vibrant performing arts groups in Hawaii. Founded in 1960 as a non-profit, HOT extends its performances and educational outreach programs throughout the islands. HOT performs at the Blaisdell Center Concert Hall. As an added attraction, performances of the New York Metropolitan Opera are shown via live satellite feed at the Dole Cannery (650 Iwilei Road Honolulu).
  • The Royal Hawaiian Band, 808-922-5331, www.honolulu.gov/rhb, is the only musical group in the United States with royal antecedents. Founded by King Kamehameha III in 1836, it was once known as “the King’s Band” and accompanied him on his royal visits throughout the realm. Today, the Royal Hawaiian Band is an agency of the City and County of Honolulu. A wind ensemble, it is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the Hawaiian musical heritage in addition to playing contemporary music. The ensemble plays over 300 concerts annually in a variety of venues, but can be heard in weekly public performances on Fridays at `Iolani Palace and Sundays at the Kapi`olani Park Bandstand.
  • The Aloha Chapter Spebsqsa, P.O. Box 1723 Aiea, HI 96701, 808-523-9756, is a men’s barbershop group performing traditional barbershop music in addition to Broadway standards and hapa haole Hawaiian music.
  • Hawaii Vocal Arts Ensemble, www.hawaiivocalarts.org, is the chorus-in-residence at Chaminade University of Honolulu and also the resident chorus for the Hawai’i Vocal Masterworks Festival. Their candlelight Christmas concerts are a high note of the performance year.
  • The Honolulu Symphonywww.honolulusymphony.com, which normally performs in the Blaisdell Center Concert Hall, filed for bankruptcy protection at the end of 2009 and cancelled the rest of its performance season. Some of its performances are being rescheduled, but the future of the 109-year-old symphony is in doubt.

Dance

The Mayor’s Office of Culture and the Arts, www.honolulu.gov/
moca/artsdirectory.htm
, maintains a more complete listing of dance programs and schools, including ethnic dance, modern dance, and schools for the teaching of Hula.

  • Ballet Hawaii, Dole Cannery, 650 Iwilei Rd., Box 221, Honolulu, 808-521-8600, http://ballethawaii.org, is a non-profit organization originally founded as a support group for the Honolulu City Ballet, and now its successor. Its mission is to teach, promote, and perform. A highlight of the year is its production of the Nutcracker at Blaisdell Concert Hall with accompaniment by the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and renowned guest artists. Classes are offered at Honolulu, Wahiawa, and Kapolei locations.
  • Chinese Lion Dance Association, 717 North Kuakini St., Honolulu, 808-531-2287,www.chineseliondanceassociation.com; As a Gung fu martial arts academy, the school also teaches and performs the Chinese Lion Dance.
  • Halla Huhm Korean Dance Studio,1502-B S. King St., Honolulu, 808-949-2888,www.hawaii.edu/korea/halla_huhm/Studio, has promoted Korean dance and culture for more than fifty years.
  • Monkey Waterfall Dance Companymonkeywaterfall.org, explores the intersection of theatre and dance, utilizing Asian and Western techniques of dance, storytelling, puppetry, and masks.

Theatre – Professional and Community

Honolulu has a number of well-established professional and community theatre groups. A thorough listing is available athttp://emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu/orgtheatre:

  • Army Community Theatre (ART) is housed at the Richardson Theatre, Fort Shafter, Honolulu,http://armytheatre.com/
    links.html,
     808-438-4480. The “Sundays @ 2 Matinee Readers Theatre” series is open and free to the public.
  • Diamond Head Theatre, 520 Makapuu Avenue, Honolulu, 808-733-0274, www.diamondheadtheatre.com, is the third-oldest continuously running community theatre in the United States. The group was founded in 1915 as “The Footlights,” and then later known as the “Honolulu Community Theatre.” Education is an important part of its mission, with classes in acting, singing, and dance, an extensive summer youth program, and a youth troupe known as, “The Diamond Head Shooting Stars.”
  • Hawaii Repertory Theatre, a professional regional theatre, is a relative newcomer to the local theatre scene. Incorporated in only 2005, it performs at the Kawananakoa Backstage Theatre, 49 Funchal St. in the Nuuanu-Punchbowl area, 808-545-7170, www.hawaiireptheatre.org.
  • The Hawaii Theatre, 1130 Bethel Street, Honolulu, 808-528-0506, www.hawaiitheatre.com, opened its doors in 1922 as a vaudeville house. It was completely refurbished and reopened in 1996 as a 1,400 seat, state-of-the-art, multi-purpose venue to benefit the people of Hawaii. It is a lynchpin in the redevelopment of downtown Honolulu. The beautiful building is architecturally significant and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Kennedy Theatre at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1770 East-West Road, Honolulu, 808-956-7655,www.hawaii.edu/
    theatre
    , presents productions of the University’s Department of Theatre and Dance and special traveling performances. Designed by renowned architect I.M Pei, the theatre accommodates both Asian and Western staging techniques.
  • Kumu Kahua Theatre, 46 Merchant St., Honolulu, kumukahua.org, 808-536-4441, presents plays by Hawaiian playwrights about life in Hawaii.
  • The Hawaii Shakespeare Festival, 808-256-6657, www.hawaiishakes.org, is offering all its performances for the 2013 season at The ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nu`uanu Ave, Honolulu, but check for the latest information because they were previously housed at the Kennedy Theatre’s Earle Ernst Lab Theatre at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. They are a small, volunteer group that has achieved the patronage of Dame Judi Dench.

Film

Honolulu is home to theaters and local film festivals that can win over even the most discerning cinephile. Below are some great theatres and local film festivals for catching some of the latest “indy” and foreign films.

If you’re in the mood for a Hollywood blockbuster, there are a number of national theatre chains in Honolulu, including Regal Entertainment Group, whose 18-Plex in the historic Dole Cannery is one of the more interesting places to see a movie. For theatre location and ticket information, visit the movie-ticket Website Fandango at www.fandango.com.

  • Kahala 8 Theatre, Kahala Mall Shopping Center, Honolulu, 808-733-6235, kahala@readingrdi.com, offers mainstream movies in addition to foreign, independent, and art films, in cooperation with the Agelika Film Center.
  • Doris Duke Theatre, Kinau Street, between Ward Avenue and Victoria Street, 808-532-8700,www.honoluluacademy.org, is part of the Honolulu Academy of the Arts. For film screenings, the theatre has a hearing assistance system for the hearing impaired, receivers for which can be picked up at the ticket counter. Film Friday presents single screenings of international, independent, and classic films.
  • The Movie Museum, 3566 Harding Avenue Suite 4, Honolulu (Kaimuki) 808-735-8771, offers contemporary, international, art, and classic films at discount rates.
  • Bollywood Film Festival and the Filipino Film Festival are among the ethnic film festivals sponsored by the Honolulu Academy of Arts. They are held annually at the Doris Duke Theatre. The theatre Web site is the best place to keep apprised of these offerings.
  • Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), http://hiff.org, is the largest “East–West” film festival in the United States . The festival is dedicated to enhancing intercultural understanding among the peoples of Asia, the Pacific, and North America. On average 150 movies, documentaries, and shorts are selected for presentation. Films are shown in a number of different venues, including outdoors on the beach!
  • Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival, sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Cultural Foundation,www.hglcf.org/filmfestival.html, is held annually at the Doris Duke Theatre.
  • Kirk Cashmere Jewish Film Festival, presented by The Honolulu Academy of Arts and Temple Emanu-El. Held at the Doris Duke Theatre, the information is found on the theatre’s Web site.

Film Festivals

Music (Contemporary) and Night Life

When some people think of “cultural life,” they associate the phrase with Broadway theatre or symphony orchestras. Yet for many, live contemporary music is just as much a part of their cultural life as art museums or literature. Below is a list of clubs and bars that offer nightly or weekly live music.

Alternative, Rock and Hip Hop

  • Anna Banana’s, 2440 S Beretania St., Honolulu, 808-946-5190; hip hop on Wednesdays.
  • King’s Pub, 444 Niu St., Honolulu, 808-949-1606
  • Banyan Court, 2365 Kalakaua Ave, Sheraton Moana Surfrider, Honolulu, 808-921-4600
  • The Royal Grove at Royal Hawaiian Center, 2201 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, for authentic music and dance, nightly except Sundays.
  • Jazz Mind’s Art and Cafe, 1661 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu, 808-945-0800, http://honolulujazzclub.com
  • The Veranda, 5000 Kahala Ave., Kahala Hotel & Resort, Honolulu, 808-739-8888
  • Kelley O’Neil’s, 311 Lewers St, Honolulu, 808-926-1777
  • Pearl Ultralounge, Ho’okipa Terrace, 3rd Level Ala Moana Center, 808-944-8000. http://www.pearlhawaii.com/

Hawaiian

Jazz

Irish

Nightclubs

www.pipelinecafehawaii.com, Swank, luxury lounge with live acts, dancing and gourmet food.

  • Paparazzi, Ward Centre, 1200 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, 808-596-8850
  • LEVEL4 Nightclub & Ultra Lounge, Royal Hawaiian Center, 2201 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, 808-926-4441
    • Tropics Cafe, 1020 Auahi Street, Honolulu, 808-591-8009
    • The Contemporary Museum, 2411 Makiki Heights Drive, Honolulu, 808-526-1322 ext. 30, www.tcmhi.org, is the only museum in the state devoted exclusively to contemporary art. The main site is located amidst terraced gardens on scenic Makiki Heights. A satellite gallery at First Hawaiian Center in downtown Honolulu offers rotating exhibits of Hawaiian artists.
    • Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (Shangri La), 4055 Papu Circle, Honolulu, 808-734-1941,www.shangrilahawaii.org, was heiress Doris Duke’s Hawaiian estate and houses her significant collection of Islamic art. A virtual tour is available on the Web site.
    • Hawaiian Academy of Art, 900 South Beretania, Honolulu, 808-532-8700, is a museum of international artwork containing over 35,000 holdings. It is particularly known for its Asian, Hawaiian, and Oceanic collections.
    • Hawaii State Art Museum, No. 1 Capitol District Building, 250 S. Hotel St., 2nd Floor, Honolulu, 808-586-0900, www.state.hi.us/sfca; all the artwork has been collected in the last 35 years, and the museum itself only opened its doors in 2002. Admission is free.
    • The ARTS at the Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave, Honolulu, 808-521-2903, www.artsatmarks.com;working to revive downtown Honolulu as a cultural arts center, Marks presents about 12 visual arts exhibits and 30 performances each year.
    • East-West Center Gallery, 1601 East-West Road at the corner of Dole Street, Honolulu, 808-944-7584, located on the campus of the University of Hawaii, it offers five exhibits annually on traditional and contemporary art of the Pacific.
    • The University of Hawaii Art Gallery, located on the campus at Manoa, 808-956-6888. The gallery has an international reputation and has published a number of important volumes.

Reggae

Art Museums

Art Galleries

Historical Sites and Cultural Museums

The island of Oahu is rich with historical architecture and cultural institutions. These are detailed more completely on the Web site of the Hawaii Museums Association, www.hawaiimuseums.org. Here is a sampling:

  • The Aliiolani Hale, 417 South King St., Honolulu, 808-539-4999, www.jhchawaii.net; initially housing the government offices of the Kingdom of Hawaii, today it is the home of the Hawaii State Supreme Court, the Hawaii State Judiciary Administrative Offices, the Judiciary History Center, and Hawaii’s largest law library. The Judiciary History Center includes exhibits on the transition of law from Hawaiian to western, a restored 1913 courtroom, and life under martial law in Hawaii following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
  • Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, 808-847-3511, www.bishopmuseum.org, is the State Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the largest museum in Hawaii. It contains an extensive collection of Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts and floral and faunal specimens. Part of the museum’s primary mission is to serve the interests of native Hawaiians. The Mamiya Science Adventure Center is the only science center in the United States devoted exclusively to the science of its home region. It includes a three-story volcano. The Bishop Museum also offers an educational “Furlough Fridays” option for students K-6.
  • Maritime Museum, Pier 7, Honolulu Harbor, Honolulu, 808-523-6151, www.bishopmuseum.org; A partner institution to the Bishop Museum, the Maritime Museum features a rare collection of maritime artifacts, including the only surviving four-masted, full-rigged ship in the world. Museum exhibits span Hawaii’s maritime history, from its discovery by Polynesians to the contact with Western culture and the effects of whaling.
  • U.S.S. Arizona Memorial Museum, 1 Arizona Memorial Place, Honolulu, 808-422-2771 office, 808-422-0561 information, www.nps.gov/usar; A visit includes a brief documentary and a shuttle boat ride to the memorial, where the remains of many of the crew who lost their lives lie. Exhibits include Japanese preparations for the attack and wartime Hawaii.
  • Honolulu Police Department Law Enforcement Museum, 801 South Beretania St., Honolulu, 808-529-3351.

Festivals

Oahu has many wonderful festivals throughout the year, including a Greek Festival and Scots Festival. For a more complete list, do an “events search” at www.gohawaii.com, but here are some of the more notable ones:

  • Aloha Festivals, 808 391-8714, www.alohafestivals.com; Celebrated since 1946, it is the largest and oldest Hawaiian cultural festival and is celebrated annually in a number of venues throughout the Honolulu area.
  • Honolulu Festival, 808-926-2424, www.honolulufestival.com; The theme is harmony between the peoples of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. Held annually in March, this three-day festival is held in locations throughout Honolulu and all events are free. The dance and art of Asian and Pacific countries is featured, and a parade in Waikiki is the culmination of the celebration.
  • Honolulu Family Festival at Magic Island, annual dates vary, 808-924-1907, www.HonoluluFamilyFestival.com; entrance is free, scrip for food and rides is available for purchase; live entertainment featuring local artists, rides, games, food, and fun. Proceeds go towards refurbishing Ala Moana Park.
  • Lei Day Celebrationwww.honolulupartks.com; Held at Kapiolani Park Bandstand annually on May 1, this celebration features a performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band, investiture of a Lei Queen and Court, crafts displays, Hawaiian cultural exhibits, and displays of lei and lei-making.
  • Pan-Pacific Festival, 808-926-8177, www.pan-pacific-festival.com, began largely as a Japanese cultural festival but broadened its mission to include the diversity of Hawaiian and Pacific cultures and the benefit of sharing cultures to create a more understanding global community.

Culture for Kids

The days when your children say, “I’m bored!” are now a thing of the past – at least for the time being. Honolulu has a broad range of attractions and programs specifically designed with kids in mind. Below are some of the top picks for indoor and outdoor kid fun, learning, and entertainment.

Most of the museums and many of the area’s annual festivals and events offer children’s programs and/or family friendly activities. For more information, check venue or event Web site.

Museums

  • Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center, 111 Ohe St., Honolulu, 808-524-5437, www.discoverycenterhawaii.org, is an interactive learning center. Exhibits include: Tot Spot, Fantastic You, Your Town, Hawaiian Rainbows, and Your Rainbow World.
  • Hawaii Nature Centerwww.hawaiinaturecenter.org, is dedicated to teaching Hawaii’s children about the unique environment in which they live. There are several locations on Oahu. Most programs are arranged through schools; however, there is some community availability. Call for specific information, 808-955-0100 ext 23.
  • Waikiki Aquarium, 2777 Kalškaua Avenue, Honolulu808-923-9741, was founded in 1904, making it one of the oldest public aquariums in the country. Its exhibits focus on marine life in Hawaii and the Pacific. Unlike most aquariums, this one is located next to a living coral reef. It has been designated a “Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center.”
  • Castle Performing Arts Center (CPAC) is housed in the Ronald E. Bright Theatre, 45-386 Kaneohe Bay Drive, Kaneohe, www.k12.hi.us/~cpac, 808-233-5626; It has been designated a public school learning center by the Hawaii Department of Education and serves grades 5-12. CPAC is known for its plays, musical theatre, and dance programs. Day classes in acting, theatre crafts, and dance are available only to Castle High School students. Afterschool programs are open to public school students in grades nine through twelve. The Bright Theatre is a state facility run by the Dept. of Education and is available for use by other groups based on availability.
  • Honolulu Theatre for Youth (HTY), 808-839-9885, www.htyweb.org, is a professional non-profit theater company producing plays for young people. It was founded in 1955. Most Oahu school shows and all public ones are held in the Tenney Theatre on the grounds of the Cathedral Church of St. Andrew. The company also tours throughout the state. Each year they present over 300 school shows and 80 public shows targeted to different age groups. Over one third of the plays presented are new commissions. Military families receive discounts for public shows, with one child free per paying adult.
  • ‘Ohi‘a Productions, Inc., 2051 Young St., #125, Honolulu, 808-943-0456, http://ohia.org, was founded in 1995 to provide theatre for children and families. Its educational mission is focused on cultural and environmental awareness. It stages original productions geared to the audiences of Hawaii. They do not have a home theatre, so check their Web site for details of current shows.

Arts and Theatre

Outdoor

Oahu boasts numerous sites appropriate for hiking excursions. Information about suitable locations can be found at:www.hawaiiweb.com/html/hiking/botanical_garden_trails.html

  • Honolulu Zoo, 151 Kapahulu Ave., Honolulu, 808-971-7174 office, 808-971-7171 information,www.honoluluzoo.org; Along with the regular animal exhibits and children’s zoo, there are special family programs, including Dinner Safaris, Stargazing at the Zoo, Twilight Tours, Snooze in the Zoo, and Breakfast with a Keeper.
  • Foster Botanical Garden, 180 North Vineyard Blvd., Honolulu, 808-522-7066 information, 808-522-7060 office, is one of five gardens in the Honolulu Botanical Gardens system and the only garden that does not have free admission. Located in downtown Honolulu, the 14-acre preserve is the oldest of the gardens and contains a number of rare and endangered tropical plants.
  • Lili’uokalani Botanical Garden, North Kuakini St., 808-522-7060, was bequeathed to the City of Honolulu by its owner, Queen Lili’uokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii. The 7½ acre park features native Hawaiian plants.
  • Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, 7455 Kalaniana’ole Highway, Southeast O’ahu, 808-396-4229, about 10 miles from Waikiki, is Oahu’s most popular snorkeling site. The protected bay makes it a good location for beginners. Formed from a collapsed volcanic crater, it boasts diverse marine life and a large coral reef. Masks and snorkels can be rented on-site. There is also an Education Center with information and exhibits. Open daily except Tuesdays; the parking lot fills early. There is an admission fee.

Literary Life

Bookstores

Honolulu has quite a lot to offer when it comes to satisfying your inner bookworm. From the familiar national book retailers to independent booksellers to the not-so-familiar (and often eccentric) used bookstores, the wide array of booksellers in Honolulu is sure to offer something for everyone’s literary tastes. In addition to the expected retail chains, like Borders and Barnes and Noble, are some local spots of interest.

Independent and Used Booksellers

  • Native Books/Na Mea Hawaii has two locations: in the Ward Warehouse,1050 Ala Moana Blvd., and Hilton Hawaiian Village, Hilton Hawaiian Village, 2005 Kalia Rd. Honolulu. The name says it all.
  • Bookends, 600 Kailua Rd., #126, Honolulu, 808-261-1996, an independent bookstore with an even mix of new and used.
  • Covenant Books and Coffee, 1142 12th Ave., Honolulu, 808-732-4600, a Christian book shop serving up light meals with books.
  • Friends of Kailua Library Book Store, 239 Kuulei, Kailua, 808-266-9911, used books helping to keep the library afloat amid budget cuts.
  • Gecko Books, 1151 12th Ave., Honolulu, 808-732-1292, used science-fiction.
  • Jelly’s Honolulu, 420 Coral St., 808-587-7001, used books and music.
  • Rainbow Books, 1010 University Ave. Honolulu, 808-955-7994, used books and music.

Libraries

There are twenty-four branches on Oahu of the Hawaii State Public Library system, including the Hawaii State Library at 478 South King Street in Honolulu. The online listing of locations, www.librarieshawaii.org/locations, is the simplest way to check for the branch nearest to you. Library cardholders are welcome to use computers and to check out books and materials from any of the library branches.

Each library hosts a variety of literary events, children’s story times, and family-friendly activities. For more information on events, contact each branch directly or visit the Hawaii State Public Library System Web site atwww.librarieshawaii.org/programs.

Honolulu’s colleges and universities also offer additional resources, including extensive collections of academic texts and journals. While college and university libraries are generally open to the public, their hours and services for non-students and non-faculty patrons may vary. Check directly with each library for more details on services available to the public.

Historical and Research Libraries

  • Robert Allerton Art Research Library, 900 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, 808-532-8754,www.honoluluacademy.org, is part of the Honolulu Academy of Art and houses Hawaii’s largest collection of art research materials, including over 45,000 books, periodicals, and auction catalogues, a database of Japanese ukiyo-e prints, and more than 2,000 digitized images of prints in the Academy’s collection, including works donated by author James A. Michener. There is no museum admission charge for visiting the library.
  • Hawaiian Historical Society, 560 Kawaiaha‘o Street, Honolulu, 808-537-6271, www.hawaiianhistory.org;principally a research facility, it houses over 15,000 volumes of documents on Hawaii and the Pacific. The Society also publishes books, The Hawaiian Journal of History, the newsletter Na Mea Kahiko, a Guide to the Library Collections, and a Catalog of Publications.
  • Hawaii State Archives, Iolani Palace Grounds, Honolulu, 808-586-0329, houses the government archives from 1790 to the present, including private royal papers.
  • Hawaii Medical Library, Queens Medical Center, 1221 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, 808-547-4300, www.hml.org, is a reference library chiefly for the staff, residents, and patients of Queens Medical Center, but is also open to the general public, although some services are restricted.

Lectures

Colleges, universities, museums, and public libraries routinely sponsor and organize regular lecture series. A few interesting sources for lecture series are:

  • Chaminade University, 3140 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, 808-735-4711, www.chaminade.edu, is an independent Catholic university. “News and Publications” information about public events can be found under the “About Us” menu.
  • The East-West Center,
1601 East West Rd.,
Honolulu, www.eastwestcenter.org, founded in 1960, is adjacent to the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa by the United States Congress. Its purpose is to further cooperation and understanding between the peoples of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific.
  • Harold L. Lyon Arboretum, University of Hawaii-Manoa, 3860 Manoa Rd., Honolulu, 808-988-0456, provides ongoing classes and lectures in horticulture, plant conservation, crafts, and other subjects.
  • Hawaii Pacific University, 808-544-0200www.hpu.eduhas two main campuses: 1164 Bishop St.,
Honolulu; and in Windward, 45-045 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe. It is an independent, non-sectarian, liberal arts university. “News and Events” at the bottom of their main Web page will link you to current happenings.
  • Royal Hawaiian Centerwww.royalhawaiiancenter.com, offers classes and demonstrations in the arts of Hawaiian culture.
  • The University of Hawaii System has a number of campuses on Oahu, all of which are good sources for special performances, events, lectures, and continuing education classes. The main Web site (www.hawaii.edu) contains links to all the campuses in addition to a link for news about “Arts & Community.” The Oahu campuses are: The University of Hawaii at Manoa, The University of Hawaii — West Oahu, Honolulu Community College, Kapi’olani Community College, Leeward Community College, Windward Community College. Each of these should be checked individually for cultural opportunities.