Waikiki has come a long way since the days of a crooning Don Ho and Duke Kahanamoku, but many of the standout experiences have remained the same, such as getting a mai tai at the Pink Palace aka the Royal Hawaiian, listening to slack key guitar enhanced by the legendary view of Diamond Head from the Halekulani, and, for generations of locals (including Don and Duke), buying cheap souvenirs at the Waikiki International Market Place. After a multimillion-dollar renovation, however, you’ll need to update your expectations and bring the Black card. Besides the 160-year-old banyan tree that still stands, everything else has changed. The rows of sparkling tchotchkes have been replaced with Teslas and the state’s first Saks Fifth Avenue, along with 90-plus retailers and 10 world-class restaurants and, in a nod to Mr. Ho, a nightly “O Na Lani Sunset Stories” show. shopinternationalmarketplace.com
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition with the headline: “Market Place Makeover”.
Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.