magic island ala moana

Unwind on “Magic Island,” at the sprawling Ala Moana Beach. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tips + Trends

Dream of Living in Hawaii? Discover Honolulu’s Ala Moana Neighborhood

Nestled in the heart of the urban Honolulu cityscape sits a stylish hub. Adjacent to Waikiki and dotted with sleek luxury high-rises, the Ala Moana community is a bustling seaside neighborhood that inspires the active island lifestyle of its local residents and sits within walking distance of elite shopping, dining and surfing options.

Take a peek into the urban highlights that make Ala Moana one of Oahu’s must-see neighborhoods.

As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.

For Beachgoers

Beginning at the human-made, half-crescent beach known to locals as “Magic Island,” the sprawling Ala Moana Beach is a favorite Honolulu locale for afternoon picnics, sunset barbecues and celebrating special occasions with family and friends.

Amenities like public picnic sites, bathroom facilities, Hawaiian barbecue stands and shady monkeypod trees help make the beach an ideal place to gather for celebrations and weekend relaxation.

For the Seasoned Surfer

surfer in oahu
Catch waves at the beach. (Photo: Getty Images)

Drawing constant crowds of onlookers to the shoreline, the far end of Ala Moana Beach Park includes some of the most famous breaks on Oahu’s South Shore, namely Ala Moana Bowls and “Kewalos” (i.e., Kewalo Basin), which are coveted by locals and seasoned surfers for their high-performance waves.

While neighboring Waikiki is a popular spot for beginner surfers enjoying lessons at many of the celebrated surf schools in the area, Ala Moana’s more complex breaks are recommended for more experienced surfers.

For Outdoor Wellness Buffs

rainbow over ala moana
The great outdoors seems even greater in the Ala Moana neighborhood. (Photo: Getty Images)

Extending beyond the sandy stretch of iconic Waikiki beaches lies Ala Moana Regional Park. The sprawling park anchors the neighborhood as a gathering place for local families, who can often be found swimming along the expansive golden sands, walking the shoreline and playing tennis on nearby courts.

Visitors will find a mix of everything here, from wellness classes like yoga and tai chi to drum circles and impromptu jam sessions known as kanikapila on the lawn. Down the length of the park, the beachside pathway fills with joggers, bikers and leisurely walkers.

For Savvy Shoppers

One of the area’s most notable neighbors is the unparalleled Ala Moana Center. The world’s largest open-air shopping center, it features more than 350 stores and 160-plus dining options for every occasion and need.

Its diverse collection of shops offers everything from luxury brands like Chanel and Dior and department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom to local favorites like Tori Richard, Big Island Candies and Hawaiian Island Creations (HIC) Surf.

Designed for community gathering, the expansive mall also features Mai Tai’s for food and live music, as well as modish Lucky Strike bowling alley and lounge.

For Island Food Lovers

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Take a bite out of Ala Moana’s excellent dining options. (Photo: Getty Images)

Known for fostering diverse cuisines, Honolulu has become one of the nation’s growing hot spots for unique dining experiences and exceptional food finds.

A centralized scene for adventurous foodies, the Ala Moana neighborhood offers everything from exceptional Japanese izakaya at spots like Ichiriki and Akasaka to fine dining options like MW Restaurant, as well as late-night Korean barbecue at Sura Hawaii and Sorabol.

For Hikers

Although Ala Moana boasts a unique blend of beachfront urban living, hikers can venture mauka (inland) to experience a variety of nearby scenic hikes.

moana valley view honolulu
Head to Manoa Valley for exquisite views. (Photo: Getty Images)

A quick 15-minute drive into neighboring Manoa Valley offers hiking trails like Makiki Valley and Puʻu Ohiʻa near the Tantalus Summit with breathtaking panoramic coastal views, while trails like Manoa Falls and Aihualama go further into the rainforest, leading hikers to majestic island waterfalls.

Experience life at the epicenter of Hawaii at the Renaissance Residences Honolulu, the first of its kind in the world. 112 exclusive condominium residences are offered atop the Renaissance Honolulu Hotel & Spa, a Marriott brand, located in the East Tower of Sky Ala Moana, a dynamic new mixed-use community.

These bold and stylish residences offer convenient access to Kapiolani Corridor, connecting you to world-famous shopping and dining at Ala Moana Center and beautiful beaches such as Ala Moana Beach and Waikiki Beach. Spectacular views paired with top-of-the-line amenities offer limitless luxury in a sanctuary in the sky. For inquiries: or call 808-517-4373.