With almost 300 stores and 70 restaurants Ala Moana shopping center is the largest outdoor mall in the world.
There is everything from top end designers such as Gucci and Prada to bargain places such as Old Navy. Set amidst a tropical setting with koi ponds and waterfalls shopping here is truly a treat.
UPDATE: Ala Moana is currently expanding and adding a third wing with an extra 650,000sf. It will be multi-leveled and include a Bloomingdales. The mall is still open and the expected completion date is late 2015.
Conveniently located at the gateway to Waikiki on the western edge it is a 15 minute walk from the Hilton Hawaiian Village or a 15 minute bus ride for those staying at the other end. It can also be easily accessed by trolley or bus.
If taking a trolley then take Pink Line. It costs $1 and runs every 15 minutes. Japanese tourists traveling on a package can take the Lea Lea or the Oli Oli.
For the bus: On Kuhio Ave, Saratoga Road or Kalia Road heading AWAY from Diamond Head board bus #8 Ala Moana Center, #19 Hickam-Airport, #20 Hickam-Airport, #23 Waikiki-Ala Moana, #24 Waikiki-Ala Moana, #42 Ewa Beach or the E-Country Express-Ewa Beach to get there. It costs $2.50. Generally every 5-15 minutes one of these buses should pass by.
The mall is BIG! Wear comfortable shoes because it is a lot of walking but it's pleasant. Just about every store that can be found on the mainland is here and there are international names & local boutiques too.
International travelers will find the prices to be much cheaper and competitive than what they can be acquired for back home. Complete Store List
Ala Moana has about 70 restaurants. The food court is huge and massive and is good for those traveling in a group who all desire something different and/or for those on a budget.
Along the outskirts of the mall on the lower level chain fast food restaurants such as McDonald's can be found.
On the 4th level, the Ho'Okipa Terrace are restaurants serviced by waiters. Major chains such as California Pizza Kitchen, Bubba Gumps and Ruby Tuesdays are here.
If interested in a fine dining experience I suggest Morton's Steakhouse or Assagio's for Italian. Longhi's has really nice views of the ocean and Ala Moana park in a nice setting with large, arched windows. Complete Restaurant List
There are a few entertainment options at Ala Moana. First is the center stage on the lower level where local entertainers or school performance groups will sing or dance.
Mai Tai is frequented by locals and tourists alike and the bar has an open setting in the middle of the surrounding restaurants. It's always packed and has a laid back vibe to it. It has partial ocean views too. The happy hour is especially popular.
If a nightclub environment is more of what you seek then Pearl would be the place to go. It has a youngish (25-35+), trendy, upscale lounge feel. Decent drinks and good food. Happy hour tends to be more popular. May or may not be crowded.
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