While many Hawaii-based romantic comedies suggest the Islands are only for lovebirds, there’s nothing wrong with ditching the boys and hitting Waikiki with your favorite wahine (women). From luxurious spas to delectable brunch spots, your girl gang will have more than enough to do in Honolulu’s beachside hub. Check out our fun-filled guide below.
Brunch at M.A.C. 24/7
Looking for the perfect place to get brunch with the baes? M.A.C. 24/7, located in the Hilton Waikiki Beach, serves brekkie all day long. The menu offers a variety of classic dishes, from traditional Bennies to buttermilk pancakes. Or try something different: a lobster mac ’n’ cheese Benedict topped with a Sriracha hollandaise sauce ($19), wagyu beef loco moco with a mushroom and onion gravy, or mochi pancakes that are thick, chewy and gluten-free. The restaurant also serves lighter fare, including lox and bagels, acai bowls and fresh island fruit. And if coffee isn’t strong enough for you, M.A.C. has a nice selection of cocktails, including the Bacon Bloody with wasabi and jalapeño, and refreshing mimosas. 2400 Kuhio Ave., mac247waikiki.com
Shop It Like It’s Hot at International Market Place
Shopping is easy—maybe too easy—on the Waikiki strip, with high-end shops and cute boutiques neatly lined along Kalakaua Avenue. For a more curated spending experience, hit the International Market Place, which is anchored by Hawaii’s first Saks Fifth Avenue. The 345,000-square-foot open-air shopping center, which was fully renovated in 2016, boasts a mix of retailers and restaurants, about half of which are unique to the Islands. Here you can find beachy boutiques, such as Happy Wahine and Eden in Love, as well as galleries like Greenroom Hawaii. 2330 Kalakaua Ave., shopinternationalmarketplace.com.
Hike Your Heart Out with Hiking Hawaii Cafe
Hiking aficionados will find themselves right at home at the Hiking Hawaii Cafe on the grounds of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Alana-Waikiki Beach. Hiking Hawaii Cafe offers guided hiking adventures on popular Oahu trails, such as the Makapuu Lighthouse and Kuliouou Ridge trails, as well as delicious smoothies, acai bowls and avocado toast. 1956 Ala Moana Blvd, hikinghawaii808.com.
Take Your Throne in the Sand at Queen’s Beach
A stretch of sand so ideal that it can only be described as being fit for a queen, this section of Waikiki Beach, between the Kapahulu Groin and the Waikiki Aquarium, is the perfect place for you and your friends to lay your towels. Soak up the sun or jump in the ocean and snorkel around the reef, known for its dizzying array of colorful fish. 2685 Kalakaua Ave.
Go Surfing with Gone Surfing Hawaii
No doubt, learning how to surf can be a little scary. So get expert help from a professional surf instructor or Waikiki beach boy. If you’re looking for a private group lesson, hit the waves with Gone Surfing Hawaii, whose motto, “less work, more surf,” might become your motto, too. The two-hour semiprivate lessons—perfect for groups—cost $110 per person and come with a safety briefing, rash guard, surfboard rental and more than 90 minutes in the ocean with licensed instructors trained in first aid and CPR. gonesurfinghawaii.com.
Get Pampered at the Mandara Spa
If bigger is better, then Mandara Spa, the largest spa in Waikiki, located on the third and fourth floors of the Kalia Tower at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, must be the best. It’s not just the spa’s size that’s impressive. Mandara Spa also offers relaxing massages, rejuvenating facials, body scrubs, wraps and an innovative full-service salon. For a splurge, consider the Hawaii Awakening experience ($330), one of the spa’s signature treatments. The two-hour experience starts with a Balinese body polish and 50-minute Hawaiian lomilomi massage and ends with an innovative superfood facial that boosts stressed, dull skin. Add a classic spa manicure or pedicure for $65 more. 2005 Kalia Road, mandaraspa.com.
Spill the Tea—and Drink the Wine—at Bali Steak & Seafood
The stunning ocean view at Bali Steak & Seafood at the Hilton Hawaii Village Waikiki Beach Resort is a great place to end a long day of fun. Enjoy one of the restaurant’s specialty cocktails like the Bali Tai with Old Lahaina silver rum and local honey or the effervescent Ko Kaohi made with Ko Hana Hawaiian agricole rum topped with moscato d’asti and fresh lime juice. While the hotel’s signature restaurant is known for its grain-fed, pasture-raised USDA prime Allen Brothers steaks, Bali also serves a variety of fresh seafood and lighter fare, including a Kona lobster bisque with white truffle oil and an heirloom tomato salad with burrata and balsamic pearls. Save room for dessert—of course!—with options such as apple banana malasadas with a caramel-miso dipping sauce, Wailea chocolate mousse with shaved strawberries and lilikoi cheesecake with a side of pineapple-mint sorbet. 2005 Kalia Road, hiltonhawaiianvillage.com/dining/bali-steak-and-seafood.
Find some R&R at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk
Time to kick off those heels and unwind. Fortunately, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach Walk is located in the heart of Waikiki and is an ideal option for a large group that doesn’t mind splitting a suite and having the extra space. This all-suite property features a separate bedroom and living area in every suite. Find extra relaxation at the hotel’s Grand Lanai, which features free made-to-order breakfast and a nightly cocktail reception with free drinks and live music. To top it off, the Grand Lanai has a heated pool, jacuzzi and spacious sun deck with new, stylish cabanas and daybeds perfect for a #selfcare girl’s getaway! 201 Beachwalk St., embassysuiteswaikiki.com.