The Not-for-Tourists Guide to Honolulu, Hawaii

Present-day Honolulu could be 1975 Honolulu: Aesthetically, the city is an impressive holdout of mod condominium buildings, long-beamed bungalows, and a nostalgic flair that is somehow both odd and alluring. It has the traditional Punahou prep school (Barack Obama is an alum), which looks like the Deerfield of the Pacific. It has The Royal Hawaiian—the oldest hotel on Oahu—and its undulating tower fitted with concrete cutouts painted guava pink (people refer to it as the Pink Palace). And it has the Hawaii Theatre, marquee banded in full retro-neon glory. At one point, a friend leaned in and whispered, “This is a tropical time warp.”

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