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What Christmas in Hawaii is like...

Kaaawa, HI, United States
4 Kudos
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Being that I was born and raised in Hawaii, I only dream of a white Christmas, from the cartoons of the 90s to the stories of old Saint Nick in some picturesque small town with cottages snow capped and folks caroling. Yeah, I don't know if it's still like that in Minnesota or Norway that actually snow in the winter, but if so, well, Hawaii is still Hawaii, back then, whichever season. Some things are the same though. Most stores are closed. Tip: Waikiki never closes. Every retail store and most restaurants are open for Christmas day. Its like 75 degrees, clear skies, so might as well take a drive around the island. We started off in home base, Honolulu, then made our way east to Kaneohe to hop onto Kahekili Hwy, and travel through a bunch of historic towns like Hau'ula and Laie before arriving in Shrimp truck road in Kahuku (don't look that up - I made up "Shrimp truck road"). The famous Giovanni's shrimp was closed, so we made our way over to Romy's about 100 ft down, which was also closed. Fortunately, Fumi's a few steps past the two closed shrimp trucks was open! First time trying their iteration of the local favorite. Check out my pics of the winter North Shore swells. My goodness its beautiful, yet dangerous out there! Anyway, we ended this Christmas evening back in Waikiki, where we checked out a ramen shop in Yokocho, a new dining area below Waikiki Shopping Plaza.By the way, I love Christmas songs. 92.3 FM plays non-stop Christmas songs from Thanksgiving through Christmas day, with very little commercial breaks. None of those songs played make you think anything remotely close to Hawaii
Story Details

Transportation

Likelike Highway
After you get off the H-3, you'll be on likelike for a short moment before taking the right to Kahekili Highway
Interstate H-2
On the way back from Haleiwa, we took the H2, which is the connecting freeway from North Oahu back to H1
Kahekili Highway
This is a BEAUTIFUL stretch of road, also known as the scenic route to the North Shore
Interstate H-3
So past Red Hill and before the Stadium off-ramp, we merge into the H3 freeway, where we pass through the beautiful Windward area over-looking Kaneohe Marine Corp Base, and onto Likelike
Interstate H-1
First, we jumped onto the H1 from Honolulu and made our way west to jump to H3

Hotels

Ala Moana Hotel
Had to first pick up my father in law from the Ala Moana Hotel. Slept in, so almost missed our scheduled pick up!

Points of interest

Buho Cocina y Cantina
There were two people in handcuffs, looks like Asian tourists, one was saying he did kickboxing and wrestling in high school. Not a good way to spend Christmas day...
Kualoa Ranch & Zipline
Don't pay too much attention to Chinaman's hat, or else you'll miss the sacred Kualoa mountains, tomb of ancient Hawaiian Kings
Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii Mok
After the hirano tunnel on the H3, your view will open up to beautiful Kaneohe where the Marine Corp base is located
O‘ahu
There are lots to do on this island from big city to deep country
Dole Plantation
Dole Plantation, all things pineapple, was closed today. Its worth a visit when you're up here
Waikīkī
We spent quite a bit of time in Waikiki today. Because of everything being closed and all, there were a LOT of tourists funneled in here.
Laie
After Hau'ula is the historic Laie, an LDS town. When you see the strip mall on the left, take a right and keep going. There's a great surprise at the end of the road
Polynesian Cultural Center
Polynesian Cultural Center, owned by the Latter Day Saints here in Hawaii, was closed today, not because its Christmas... but because its Sunday. Well.. could be Christmas as well
Kahana Valley Road
Kahana Valley is a great camping area to take locals
Mokoli'i
Mokoli'i, or Chinaman's hat, as us locals call it, cannot be missed on Kahekili highway.
Haleiwa
Here was our original destination. Whenever someone takes a road trip out to the North Shore, chances are their destination is here.

Restaurants

Ted's Bakery
You'll pass by Ted's bakery on your way to Laie. They make pies - really delicious pies. Try the chocolate haupia - that's my fave!
Matsumoto Shave Ice
Up in Haleiwa, on a non-Christmas day, be sure to check out the famous Matsumoto Shave Ice
Fumi's Kahuku Shrimp
Munched some pretty good farm-raised prawns over at Fumi's, because the other places were closed
Starbucks
McDonalds and Starbucks, two of the most recognizable brands on the planet, open on Christmas day. Had me a veranda roast drip

Shopping

Laie Shopping Center
Laie shopping center is also closed. This is mormon country, so of course it would be closed, rightfully so!
Ala Moana Center
The famed Ala Moana Shopping center is also closed for Christmas
Royal Hawaiian Center
again, packed with lots of tourists. You can probably see from the pics
T Galleria By DFS, Hawaii
There were a lot of sales, and a lot of people at the Duty Free shops in Waikiki

On The Map

1 Comment

by skling425

01-06-2017

Absolutely loved the Christmas in Hawaii, especially surfer Santa