Just inland from Diamond Head, where in the late 1800s ostrich once roamed and carnation fields later dotted the hillsides, rests charming, eclectic Kaimuki. This effervescent neighborhood today retains old-time shops on and off central Wai'alae Avenue, while continually sprouting contemporary eateries helmed by talented island chefs-all beckoning many (hungry) returns.
Transport the kids to Art Explorium, a blank-canvas studio with a motley collection of art materials ready for imaginations of all ages. Structured workshops dates vary. 1142 Koko Head Avenue. 808-312-4316; artexplorium.org.
Sink into a reserved leather Barcalounger at the intimate, 19-seat Movie Museum to watch all manner of films on DVD-or rent one for home. 3566 Harding Avenue, Suite 144. 808-735-8771.
Near the bus stop, glass jars packed with dried fruit and curated salty-sweet delights line the tiny, decades-old Crack Seed Store, perfect for soothing seed cravings or merely indulging in a cold, house-blended li hing mui Icee. 1156 Koko Head Avenue. 808-737-1022.
The beachy, eco-friendly Sugarcane Shop is stocked with quaint jewelry, vintage housewares, plush throw pillows, and trendy clothes. 808-739-2263; fb.com/sugarcanehawaii.
One-time Top Chef contestant Lee Anne Wong helms all-day brunch at Koko Head Café, from daily dumplings to cornflake French toast à la mode. 1145-C 12th Avenue. 808-732-8920; kokoheadcafe.com.
Adorable hole-in-the-wall Sprout builds curry chicken and other fresh sandwiches on just-thick-enough ciabatta slices. 1154 Koko Head Avenue. mkt.com/sproutwich.
Ed Kenney's bright, casual Kaimuki Superette features farm-to-table quiche, sandwiches, and sides. 3458 Wai'alae Avenue. 808-734-7800; kaimukisuperette.com.
The former food-truck-turned-bustling-treat-shop Via Gelato has inventive scoops (think cotton candy or milk tea). 1142 12th Avenue. 808-732-2800; viagelatohawaii.com.