Named a great place for a first date by Honolulu Weekly, The Contemporary Museum provides lover-candidates with plenty of conversational topics as they wander an assortment of accessible, provocative art. Education programs and exhibitions, such as the Contemporary Museum Biennial of Hawaii Artists exhibition, give freshly hatched masterpieces a chance to rub frames with the permanent collection of classics by Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and more. The museum's emphasis on works created in Hawaii also makes it easy to meet the archipelago’s homegrown talent, who are often on-hand to answer puzzled stares and challenge you to aesthetically pleasing arm-wrestles.
Nestled in the luscious garden oasis of a historic missionary house, Mission Houses Museum Café and Tea Parlor immerses guests with bountiful varieties of tea, sandwiches, petite pleasure cakes, and exotic, leafy cups of mirth. The Lucia Holman's Tea package inaugurates balmy afternoons with assorted tea sandwiches served on an elegant platter ($39.90 for two). A medley of merry dessert pastries saunter across the table, stringing along drooling tongues and lazy suitors as freshly baked scones dance alongside homemade lemon curd and devonshire cream. Loose-leaf teas pour from a charitable spout caressing shallow cups with a warm splash of worldly beverages. Tea service is only valid on Fridays and Saturdays, and you must call ahead with an alphorn to make a reservation.
Somehow, every scuba-diving trip is distinct, even visits to well-traveled locations. Pearl Harbor Divers' team, for example, had visited the wreck of the USS Scrimmage, a World War II minesweeper, many times before. But one evening, while slipping through the water above the site, the crew heard a puff of air burst from the ocean, drowning out the motor. A humpback whale then crested just 15 feet from the boat. When the captain cut the engines, the crew realized they were surrounded by whales, which continued to break through the surface and catch breaths tinged with ocean spray in the moonlight.
In the shop, which is certified by the National Association of Underwater Instructors, guides work toward such unique experiences on scuba diving and snorkeling trips. They lead clients—including handicapped divers—to sunken ships, airplanes, lava caverns, and coral reefs throughout the Hawaiian Islands. On these dives, groups encounter common creatures such as sea turtles and native fish, as well as rare marine animals such as shy Pacific bottlenose dolphins, manta rays, and endangered Hawaiian monk seals. The instructors pride themselves on their ability to teach and engage by imparting the facts and historical significance of wrecks. They can also name and discuss each species that divers spot, at least the ones documented by science. On the nighttime Dive the Abyss adventure, divers are tethered within 40 feet of the boat and watch bioluminescent creatures, many of which are still not cataloged by zoologists, arise from depths of up to 2,000 feet.
In addition to dives, instructors conduct courses that work towards open-water or instructor certification. Chatter about past adventures drifts from a full-service pro shop, where technicians sell, service, and repair equipment from brands such as Atomic, Aeris, Oceanic, Mares and Zeagle.
With a stay at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort in Waikiki Beach (Waikiki), you'll be convenient to Fort DeRussy and University of Hawaii at Manoa. This 4-star resort is within close proximity of International Market Place and Magic Island. n Rooms
Make yourself at home in one of the 2860 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators. Rooms have private balconies. Cable programming and video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment, with wired and wireless Internet access available for a surcharge. Bathrooms have makeup/shaving mirrors and designer toiletries. n Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy body treatments and facials. You can take advantage of recreational amenities such as a health club, an outdoor pool, and a spa tub. This resort also features supervised childcare/activities, gift shops/newsstands, and a hair salon. n Dining
Enjoy a bite to eat at a coffee shop/café, or stay in and take advantage of the resort's room service (during limited hours). Relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge or a poolside bar. n Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge), a business center, and limo/town car service. Event facilities at this resort consist of a ballroom, banquet facilities, and exhibit space. Parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.
The 800 teddy bears at Teddy Bear World Hawaii might appear to be alive, but they're actually animatronic. The museum packs its 20,000 square feet with colorful scenes of the bears reenacting famous scenes from history, such as the first space shuttle launch, the construction of Mount Rushmore, and the day stuffed animals gained the right to vote. Complementing the historical exhibits are famous works of art reinterpreted to include bears, a dinosaur-themed exhibit, and the Save The Planet section that details how global warming may affect the planet's future. The building also houses a fully animated Elvis show, where a teddy bear version of the king performs a song-and-dance routine rivaled only by Elvis's short stint as a basketball mascot.