Alicia’s Market, about 25 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas, is considered the standard by which general stores are measured. First opened in 1949 as a small wooden hut, the menu has gradually grown over the years to include six meat bowls, seventeen poke bowls, combination meat and poke bowls, as well as their famous potato mac salad, and boiled peanuts.
Alicia’s Market used to be bigger, but suffered a fire back in 2018. Now they operate in a much smaller capacity. Limited parking is available in front of the store and lines aren’t too long, if you visit before or after the working lunch hour.
For more information about their business hours and to view their menu, visit https://aliciasmarket.com/.
Manoa Falls Trail, about 50 minutes from the Ko Olina Beach Villas, is a great walking trail that offers up gorgeous rainforest and Manoa Valley scenery along the way and culminates in a 100-foot high waterfall.
Manoa Falls Trail is a roundtrip distance of just 1.6 miles and has an uphill grade that isn’t too demanding. The trail is shaded by trees for most of the journey. Along the way, you’ll see and smell eucalyptus trees, banyan trees, tropical flowers, and eventually a bamboo grove. The entire way, you’ll take in breathtaking, panoramic views of the misty green valley below as you hike uphill.
Manoa Valley is considered a rainforest. So even if it’s dry and sunny just a few miles away, you can expect the trail to be drizzly or downright rainy. There’s a good chance you’ll spot at least one rainbow while you’re there. Midway up the trail, there’s a detour that takes you on a parallel path through a bamboo grove, and then it eventually rejoins the main trail. Because this detour tends to be less muddy and slippery, you may want to take it.
At the end of the trail, you are rewarded with a view of the 100-foot-high Manoa Falls, which flows straight down a large rock face. Depending on the amount of recent rainfall, the waterfall could be an impressive gush or a disappointing trickle.
The entire walk takes 1-2 hours roundtrip, depending on how muddy the trail is, how fit you are, and how long you linger at the waterfall. Once you get back to the trailhead, there are some hoses you can use to rinse the mud from your shoes and legs.
There is paid parking in the Paradise Park parking lot at the trailhead. Be sure to wear mosquito repellent, close-toed shoes, and clothes you don’t mind getting wet and muddy.
Remember to bring water to drink, a camera, a towel (you may be wet and muddy), and a change of shoes and clothes if you plan to go somewhere else afterward and want to be dry and clean. If you tend to be unsteady on your feet, you may want to bring a walking stick or find a branch that you can use when you get to the trail.
For more information, including directions and maps, visit https://hawaiitrails.hawaii.gov/trails/#/trail/manoa-falls-trail/225.
Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience has landed on Oahu and is only 40 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas. The exhibit runs from July 2 to August 15, 2021, at the Hawai’i Convention Center in Honolulu.
Tickets are sold online only, not at the door. Entry times are staggered in 15-minute increments from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with the exhibit closing one hour after the last entry time (it takes about an hour to experience it).
To see which dates are available and book your tickets, visit vangoghhonolulu.com.
Be sure to arrive on time or a few minutes early. If your slot is at 10 and you show up at 10:15, the 10:15 slot may be sold out. Due to capacity limits, the exhibit hall may not be able to accommodate you. If you need to reschedule, you must do so at least 24 hours in advance and pay an $8 rescheduling fee.
There are multiple health and safety guidelines in place, including staggered entry to ensure social distancing. Masks must be worn at all times. There’s no eating or drinking allowed in the exhibit, and no re-entry, either, so make sure you can get through an hour inside without any sort of break.
Parking is available at the Hawai‘i Convention Center and costs $12 (cash or credit).
Mahi ‘ai Table is a celebration of local food sourced from local farmers, about 15 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas. They feature the freshest, homegrown ingredients, mouth-watering dishes, and inventive cocktails while paying homage to the local heritage.
“Mahi ‘ai” means “farmer,” and they procure the highest quality ingredients from their friends at local farms like Mari’s Garden, Ho Farms, and MA‘O Organic Farms to create delicious food, grown-to-order.
Mahi ‘ai Table is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 am to 9 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 6 am to 9 pm, and their last seating is at 8 pm. Reservations are recommended and can be made through OpenTable or by calling (808) 670-2778. Take out and delivery are also available.
To view their menus, visit https://www.mahiaitable.com/.
Frolic’s 4th annual Poke Fest is happening at Ka Makana Ali‘i, about 15 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas, at a zero-contact drive-thru event.
The four-hour bash will feature eight amazing poke shops around O‘ahu in one place on Saturday, May 29. That means ‘onolicious new creations from Tamashiro Market in Kalihi to Kaka‘ako’s Redfish Poke, Alicia’s Market in Iwilei to Kahiau Poke in Chinatown.
To ensure a zero-contact setting this is an online pre-order event. Visit https://shop.honolulumagazine.com/collections/frolics-poke-fest-presented-by-fresh-island-fish to place an order.
- Order and pay online, choosing between a small box with 3.5 ounces of poke from each of four poke shops (14 ounces total) or the large option with poke from all eight shops (28 ounces).
- Choose any add-on desserts.
- Choose a pickup time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- On Poke Fest day, May 29, head to the drive-thru at Ka Makana Ali‘i in Kapolei and get your poke loaded into your trunk or back seat.
Warning: Poke boxes sold out weeks in advance last year, so be sure to order early.
Aloha Home Market, about 40 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas, is the island’s leading pop-up market featuring unique local treasures. The market showcases Hawaii’s finest furniture makers, artisans, jewelry makers, clothing designers, food vendors, and more. Patrons come from all over Oahu to enjoy an afternoon of extraordinary shopping, live entertainment from local up-and-coming musical artists, freshly-prepared Hawaiian food, kids activities, and more!
Aloha Home Market supports small, local businesses in a warm and friendly environment. Come and enjoy a fun, festive, and family (& pet)-friendly gathering place that brings the Oahu community together.
Aloha Home Market delivers spring gifts, homegrown artisans, cool things for your house, and treats for your closet, kids, and pet in the open-air yet covered pop-up market. The market is open once a month from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 340 Uluniu St. in Kailua. For upcoming market dates and more information, visit https://www.alohahomemarket.com/.
Mad Bene (“bene” means “good” in Italian) opened to rave reviews in November 2019 in Kapolei Commons, about 10 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas.
They specialize in house-made pasta and pizzas with a distinct east-coast American Italian twist that’s hard to find on Oahu. Even the mozzarella is made fresh. Their menu goes beyond pasta and pizza with diverse offerings of appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, and daily specials. It’s one of those rare menus where you want to try everything.
Don’t forget to leave room for dessert. Their uniquely hand-crafted sorbets, gelatos, or tiramisu should not be missed.
For more information about their business hours and to view their menus, visit https://www.madbene.com/.
One of Hawaii’s signature dishes is poke. Tanioka’s Seafood and Catering, about 20 minutes from Ko Olina Beach Villas, is considered the best on the island. Specializing in fresh, locally-sourced ahi and aku, they are also known for their extensive pu pu platters. Tanioka’s fuses contemporary local flavors with the nostalgic dishes of Hawaii’s plantation era. Signature items include their famous limu poke, crisp and juicy fried chicken, Grandma Tanioka’s ahi patties, Grandma Sakuma’s maki sushi, Aunty Betty’s inari sushi, fresh sashimi, traditional Hawaiian dishes, and the best tasting spicy ahi and spam musubi in Hawaii!
They’re only open until 3:00 PM, so get there early. There may be a line (out the door sometimes), but Tanioka’s is known for their friendly and very efficient service.
For more information, visit http://taniokas.com/index.html.
Monkeypod Kitchen serves up one of the island’s top-rated comfort foods and is a 10-minute walk from Ko Olina Beach Villas. This unique chowder features locally-sourced ingredients with a Thai curry twist and can be found under the appetizer menu.
The soup highlights fresh Hawaiian foods, such as Maui sweet corn, coconut milk, kale, tomato, and lemongrass. The addition of Yukon gold potato and celery make this deceptively simple dish pack a complex combination of flavors. Subtle, yet hearty, it soothes the taste buds and the soul.
For more information, visit https://www.monkeypodkitchen.com/dine_ko_olina.
The Ko Olina Marina Activity Center is a 15-minute walk from Ko Olina Beach Villas and offers a multitude of ocean and island adventures. Guests can choose from various types of cruises, such as whale watching (seasonal), snorkeling with Hawaiian spinning dolphins and sea turtles, or a romantic sunset cruise. Each expedition is a truly breathtaking experience.
Some may prefer the intimacy of a private charter, including deep sea fishing. Both Ko Olina Ocean Adventures and Ocean Joy Cruises Hawaii are home ported at the Marina and feature all sorts of memorable cruises.
Visitors can also schedule island adventures from hiking, horseback riding, Pearl Harbor, North Shore, surfing lessons, and much more.
For more information, visit http://www.koolinamarina.com/activities/.