Where to Find the Most Aloha in Waikiki

April 30, 2024

One of the first things anyone learns about Hawaii is that Aloha is used for both hello and goodbye. Pretty soon after arriving they learn it also means love, affection, gratitude, kindness, compassion and even grief. Eventually they start to recognize the “the aloha spirit.” 
Yet, no matter how much you know it and even make it a way of life to live it, it remains difficult to adequately and fully describe.
An expert no less than Queen Liliuokalani, the last monarch of the Hawaiian kingdom, described it as “aloha is to learn what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable.”
Sounds rather challenging.
Not at Waikiki Beach Walk, where there is aloha at every turn. In fact, Waikiki Beach Walk may have the most Aloha Per Square Foot than anywhere in Waikiki.
So forget about describing it; at Waikiki Beach Walk you can wear it, gift it, live it, and even play it.


Display of colorful aloha shirts and accessories on shelves in a reyn spooner store with a sign stating "the world's most collected aloha shirts".
So how did Reyn Spooner become “The World’s Most Collected Aloha Shirt“?
It all started nearly 70 years ago when hotshot California resort wear king Reynolds "Reyn" McCullough fell in love with Hawaii and partnered up with Ruth Spooner, who was making and selling her high quality handmade surf trunks from a little grass shack on Waikiki Beach.
The new company immediately embarked on a journey of remarkable creativity, blazing new paths with exciting new designs that electrified the world of aloha wear. 
The pair were even instrumental in the creation of “Aloha Friday,” which allowed for and popularized the wearing of aloha shirts on Friday in the business world. You simply don’t get more aloha spirit than that.
And you can proudly express your own spirit of aloha with an beautiful, high quality and original design from Reyn Spooner, one of the most famous maker of aloha wear in the land of aloha. 


A smiling woman poses showcasing colorful beaded bracelets on both wrists, against a gray background, with "coco mango" text at the bottom
Like the Hawaiians themselves, the word “aloha” originated in Polynesia, where every island nation has their version of the word.
Since Coco Mango is a fusion between French fashion and the Polynesian island of Tahiti, it therefore unequivocally qualifies as a source of fabulously chic aloha wear and accessories.
Frankly, to dispute this would be quite un-aloha.
But what is definitely aloha is to gift someone one of Coco Mango’s unique and charming accessories, like gorgeous tropical charms from Matira .... exquisite jewelry made with love in Tahiti and designed for simplcity and elegance.
Named for the most famous beach in Bora Bora, Matira fashion jewelry draws inspiration from its shimmering colors and the elements surrounding it. Beautiful Tahitian cultured pearls are the main source of their designs, and are crafted harmoniously alongside natural stones, mother of pearl and coral.
The only thing brighter will be the face of the person that will light up when receiving one of these beautiful charms.


Girl wearing a hat holding a ukulele with text that reads "ukulele store"
Let’s put aside the definition of aloha for a moment and talk about the definition of “icon.” Websters says it is “something or someone that is a symbol of a particular thing.”
While there are many icons that are universally considered symbols of Hawaii, one of the most well known is the ukulele.
It was, after all, invented here, and the world was reminded of its significance to Hawaii when hearing the delicate beginning chords of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by beloved local singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (yet another icon of Hawaii).
Now, it would take many years to learn how to play like “Bruddah Iz,” (much less sing like him), but you can get a great start by buying a top-quality handcrafted ukulele (or a really good beginners model) and taking advantage of free ukulele lessons, all from The Ukulele Store.


a grass lawn in front of a building with people dancing hula on the lawn
Of course, if anything was more iconic to Hawaii than the ukulele, it would be hula. 
While it is an art form that is absolutely captivating to see, can you imagine what it would be like to be able to perform it? At Waikiki Beach Walk, you can, with Ka Lei Hula.
Ka Lei Hula means “the adorned dance” in Hawaiian, and every Sunday at 9 a.m., you have the opportunity to learn that enchanting adorned dance with a complimentary hula class on the Waikiki Beach Walk Plaza lawn.  

You will learn about oli (the Hawaiian chant of welcoming), along with five (count ‘em, 5!) basic hula steps -and their meaning- before you learn the choreography to a Hawaiian song taught by an esteemed hula instructor and accompanied with live music performed by an authentic kahu (which is an honored title in Hawaiian culture that is a combination of teacher, pastor, and all-around keeper of the flame of Hawaiian tradition).
Nothing but pure aloha at Waikiki Beach Walk.
Waikiki Beach Walk has complimentary valet parking from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a $10 purchase from any Waikiki Beach Walk merchant or restaurant! (Regular parking rates apply after 3 p.m.) Just make sure to present receipt to the valet!

a blue and white parking map with white and gray text
All photos courtesy of Waikiki Beach Walk.