Ala Moana Center (an easy guide to shopping, eating, entertaining)
Retail Heaven: Discover the Ultimate Shopping Experience at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu

Ala Moana Center: An easy guide to shopping, eating, entertaining (Updated 2023)

One of the largest open air shopping centers in all of Hawaii, the Ala Moana Center is a favorite with locals and visitors to the island. With hundreds of restaurants, bars and boutique stores, the complex is large and overwhelming.

The layout to the entire complex and open-air spaces with beautiful gardens, ponds and walkways, make this one of the nicest and calming open air environments to explore and enjoy.

Weather and best time to visit Honolulu, Oahu

Honolulu, located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and numerous water activities. The best time to visit Waikiki depends on your preferences for weather, crowd levels, and activities. Here’s an overview of Waikiki’s weather and the ideal times to plan your trip:

Weather Overview:

  • Year-Round Tropical Climate: Waikiki enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. It has two main seasons: a dry season (summer) and a wetter season (winter). However, even during the wetter season, rainfall is typically brief and intermittent.
  • Summer (June to August): Waikiki’s summer months are warm and relatively dry, with temperatures ranging from 75°F to 88°F (24°C to 31°C). These months offer plenty of sunshine and are ideal for beach activities, water sports, and outdoor exploration. However, it’s also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices.
  • Fall (September to November): Fall is an excellent time to visit Waikiki. The weather remains warm, with temperatures between 73°F and 87°F (23°C to 31°C). Rainfall is minimal during this time, and you can enjoy the area with fewer crowds. It’s an excellent time for both outdoor activities and cultural events.
  • Winter (December to February): Waikiki’s winter is mild, with temperatures averaging between 68°F and 80°F (20°C to 27°C). This is the rainy season, especially on the windward (eastern) side of the island. While you might encounter some rain, it’s still possible to enjoy Waikiki’s attractions, and you’ll find fewer tourists during this time.
  • Spring (March to May): Spring is similar to fall, with pleasant temperatures ranging from 69°F to 82°F (21°C to 28°C). The island starts to dry out from the winter rains, and the landscape becomes lush and green. Spring is an excellent time to visit for both weather and smaller crowds.

Best Times to Visit Waikiki:

  • Late Spring (April to June): This period offers great weather with warm temperatures and minimal rainfall. It’s an excellent time to enjoy outdoor activities, relax on the beach, and explore the local culture without the peak summer crowds.
  • Fall (September to November): Fall is another fantastic time to visit Waikiki. The weather is still warm, and you can enjoy the area with fewer tourists, making it easier to find accommodations and enjoy popular attractions.


  • Peak Tourist Season: If you don’t mind larger crowds and higher prices, visiting during the summer (June to August) can still be enjoyable, especially if you plan well in advance.
  • Water Activities: Waikiki is a great place for water activities such as surfing, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Be sure to check ocean conditions and surf reports for safety.
  • Festivals and Events: Waikiki hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year, so check the event calendar to see if any align with your travel dates.

In conclusion, Waikiki’s tropical climate allows for year-round visits, but late spring and fall offer a good balance of pleasant weather and fewer crowds. However, any time of year can provide a memorable experience in this iconic Hawaiian destination.

A brief history to Ala Moana

A brief history to Ala Moana

Built in 1959, Ala Moana Center was once the largest open air shopping malls in the United States. Although it is not the largest mall today, it still occupies and impressive 2,400,000 square feet of retail space, making it into the top 10 of largest malls in the USA.

New levels have been added and expanded the wings or sides of the mall to add even more retail space and making this the largest mall in all of Hawaii.

Now the Mega Mall is made of four levels with premiere brands located on the 2nd and 3rd level with restaurants and bars on the fourth level. The bottom level has an expansive food court and parking lot area along with some small local shops, stands and cart vendors.

Unique Hawaii only stores
ala moana stores

Unique Hawaii only stores

ABC shops has its premier store located here at Ala Moana and you’ll find some other specialty shops that focus on Hawaii inspired clothing, accessories and variety shops. This includes:

Hawaii Island creations – surf shop

Reyne Spooner – high end boutique clothing store

Flip Flop workshop – make your own specialty flip flops

Honolulu Cookie company – delicious cookie products from Oahu

Auana quilts – quilts, pillows and soft goods with Hawaii inspired prints

Other first floor businesses include a post office, large grocery store (Foodland), Longs Drugs

Unique Hawaii only stores at Ala Moana Shopping Center
Honolulu shopping malls

Ala Moana Food Venues
ala moana food court, Honolulu

Ala Moana Food Venues

There are so many amazing food choices here at Ala Moana with over 160 cafes and restaurants broken up into three food courts and one better dining restaurant area.

Makai Market Food Court

Makai Market Food Court

The food court on the main lower level is expansive and a draw for visitors wanting a variety of affordable eating options in this venue with large established food brands and many other local favorites to try and enjoy.

This is the original food court and has constantly being updated with many new places to eat and dine

Shirokiya Japan Walk

A Japanese inspired little village vibe with a variety of Japanese food from noodles, teppanyaki, Bento boxes to fine dining venues in this colorful village area.

** The walk is closed post covid due to the pandemic and businesses closing. Ala Moana will advise when or if this will open again in the future

The Lanai

The Lanai

Next to Macy’s 2nd floor with island inspired flavors and menus with island burgers, boba tea, local bakery with desserts and pastry and a tropical food / salad bar area

Fourth Level dining restaurants and Mai Tai bar area

Fourth Level dining restaurants and Mai Tai bar area

You’ll find popular restaurant chains like California Pizza Kitchen, Olive Garden, Gen Korean BBQ House and some other local favorite restaurants on the top level along with the ultra-luxury Vintage Cave restaurant.

Entertainment venues at Ala Moana

Center Stage – large open venue for events and performances that are free for the public to enjoy.

Lucky Strike – a local hang out spot with a sports bar and large screens, arcade area and even a bowling lane

Haus Supper Club

Mai Tai Bar

Vintage Cave Café – upscale supper club like venue

Events at Ala Moana Center

Events at Ala Moana Center

There are on going events that happen at the mall on Center Stage and the various club venues around the mall offering music and other performances. You can check out their main calendar here for upcoming shows and events around the shopping mall.

How to get to Ala Moana shopping Center

The Bus

Almost all of the Bus lines stop at Ala Moana Center with the main ones from Waikiki bus line 8 and 20

Taxi or Uber will take you directly to any location you want at the mall area

Hawaii Trolley has a stop at the Ala Moana mall and you can get a day trolley rate or longer trolley days

Biki Bikes

There are Biki rental bike areas at different parts of the mall the largest at Foodland. You can get a day 24-hour car or do multi-day passes with Biki

Some inside tips to visiting Ala Moana Shopping Center

Here are some tips to make your visit to Ala Moana Center in Honolulu more enjoyable:

Plan your visit: Ala Moana Center is vast, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Check the center’s website for a directory and map of the stores and decide which ones you want to visit. This will help you make the most of your time and navigate the center more efficiently.

Timing is everything: Consider visiting Ala Moana Center during weekdays or earlier in the day to avoid the crowds. It tends to get busier on weekends and during peak shopping seasons. Arriving early can also give you more parking options.

Wear comfortable shoes: With over 350 stores, Ala Moana Center requires some walking. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes to keep your feet happy while you explore the shops.

Take advantage of amenities: Ala Moana Center offers various amenities for visitors’ convenience. Take advantage of the complimentary stroller and wheelchair rentals, as well as the center’s package delivery service, which allows you to shop without carrying heavy bags.

Check for promotions and discounts: Before making your purchases, check if there are any special promotions, sales, or discounts available at the stores you plan to visit and shop for seasonal sales and offers.

Take a break from shopping and indulge in a delicious meal or grab a quick snack. From casual eateries to upscale restaurants, there’s something to suit every palate.Stay hydrated: Shopping can be tiring, so remember to stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you or take advantage of the drinking fountains available throughout the center.

Keep track of your parking spot: Ala Moana Center has multiple parking areas, so it’s easy to forget where you parked your car. Take note of your parking level or take a picture to help you find your way back.

By following these tips, you can have a more organized and enjoyable shopping experience at Ala Moana Center.

Places to explore close to Ala Moana Center
HIstoric downtown Honolulu in Oahu, attractions, monuments and historic buildings

Places to explore close to Ala Moana Center

Ala Moana Beach Park

A short walk across the main road gets you directly at Ala Moana Beach Park and you can take the waterfront trail that takes you through all the scenic spots around the beach area all the way to Magic Island with panoramic views of the Waikiki skyline in the background.

Kaka’ako district

A short bus or Uber ride gets you to the trendy and fun Kaka’ako district filled with vibrant and colorful street art, a visit to Salt and galleries and brew pubs and restaurants that support all the coolness factor in this fun district to explore on foot. Or you can also rent a biki bike and peddle to all the fun street art scenes you’ll find all around the area

Iolani Palace

Located downtown, Iolani palace is the only royal palace in the USA and represents the monarchy of Hawaii towards the end of Hawaiian rule. The palace is gorgeous to visit and represented the latest innovation of its time with plumbing, telephones and electricity even before the white house. You’ll learn so much to the history, royalty and Hawaiian culture to visiting this historic site downtown.

Magic Island

Towards the tip of the Ala Moana Beach park is Magic Island – a wonderful family friendly lagoon area that is protected with a large rock barrier that makes the area around the lagoon more calm. This is a perfect kid friendly swimming and snorkeling area to enjoy.

Historic downtown Honolulu

The historic downtown district of Honolulu has a variety of historic sites that are easy to explore on foot to see all the main cultural sites and monuments downtown.


Chinatown is colorful and fun and most of the shopping venues and arcades are scrubbed, clean and easy to explore the many streets and marketplaces and foodie venues to explore in the district.

You’ll find some cool places to shop, eat and get those great deals and souvenirs in Chinatown.

Conclusion on Ala Moana Center
ala moana center photos

Final thoughts to visiting Ala Moana Center

Ala Moana is not just a huge shopping complex, it is the outdoor venue that combines dining, entertainment and shopping that is a fun activity that can keep you busy. You’ll love seeing all the local style shops along with international brands that offer their products and other services around the center.

Once you are done visiting, Ala Moana is a main hub for transportation to other places around the Honolulu area to explore.

More Oahu and Honolulu fun

Find the best sunsets in Waikiki

Top things to do in Waikiki

Best things to do in Honolulu

Best places to eat in Honolulu

Visit to Iolani Palace

Honolulu Airport in Oahu

Conclusion on Ala Moana Center

Ala Moana Center in Honolulu is a shopper’s paradise. It offers a wide range of stores, dining options, and entertainment. With its central location, attentive staff, and excellent amenities, it provides an unforgettable shopping experience for both locals and tourists.

If you enjoyed the post and found it helpful, please do share it with any of the social media buttons at the bottom of the post, thank you.

Disclosure – some of the links above are to affiliate sites that are either reviews or recommendations if you book helps to keep our site running. We appreciate your supporting our website meanwhile

We love shares - Mahalo!


  1. Laura Side Street

    Wow this mall might not be the biggest anymore but it’s still pretty huge, we don’t have such big ones in the UK!! Also so many food options – that’s amazing and of course retail therapy too

    Laura x

    • emorata

      Yes it is nice outdoor shopping, eating and entertainment venues offered at Ala Moana Center

  2. Bhusha

    Ala Moana Centre definitely gives the much needed dose of vacay Shopping, even if it is just window shopping too, hahaha. Open-air spaces with beautiful gardens, ponds? That sounds so serene… I might get a surf board at Hawaii Island creations surf shop. Magic Island nearby sounds perfect to spend time with my little gal.

    • emorata

      sounds like you would love visiting Ala Moana Center even just to window shop

  3. Jackie

    You had me at “make your own flip flops”! That sounds really fun, and just one of so many great shopping experiences! The Mai Tai bar sounds pretty cool, too. And, all within beautiful open air spaces, gardens, ponds, and walkways? That’s my kinda mall! Will definitely need to check the Ala Moana Shopping Center out when I visit.

    • emorata

      I think the Ala Moana Center has so many fun and cool places to experience and enjoy a relaxing shopping and eating experience in Honolulu

  4. Subhashish Roy

    Ala Moana center sounds so exciting. And Hawaii has been one of our dream destinations for a while. With such great foodie options it would certainly be difficult what to leave out. What would draw me to Kaka’ako district nearby would be to observe street art which is always fascinating. Magic island again is where we would love to head to.

    • emorata

      Ala Moana is very central to all these other attractions and a great place to relax, eat and shop

  5. Linda (LD Holland)

    If we need to do shopping when we get to Hawaii, I will certainly keep the Ala Moana Center in mind. With so many stores, I am sure we would find everything we needed. And I do love the great variety we find in the U.S. over Canada. I would certainly need to visit one or more of those food stores after shopping for hours. Some good spots for our Waikiki visit.

    • emorata

      The Ala Moana Center is great for shopping but more so for the amazing dining venues, free entertainment, bars and everything you’ll find under one roof, even a huge fancy grocery store.

      • Ossama Alnuwaiser

        It is a big mall indeed with so many verity of food and entertainment. It could take days to discover this mall, but you made it easier. The biggest mall I have been to was Dubai Mall. If anything you are looking for, you will find it there. It kinda remind me of this one.

        • emorata

          The Ala Moana Center is huge but easy to manuever if you know what you are looking for but can also be daunting if you just love to shop.

  6. Lisa

    Ala Moana Center really has everything you could want. An open air mall sounds so fun, and I like the Hawaiian shops here. I would really buy a quilt here and take home to Italy.

    • emorata

      Ala Moana Center appeals to all age groups and fussy visitors along with a variety of really delicious places to eat in Honolulu

  7. Pilar

    How useful to know about Ala Moana center. It is always cool to stop by to refresh in one of these places when visiting tropical places. I would to combine a refreshing stop here with visiting Kaka’ako district, as I love street art. Magic island looks also like a good combination to just observe a bit of underwater life under its calm waters.

    • emorata

      Ala Moana Center is centrally located so it definitely is in a good spot to relax, eat and be entertained



  1. Magic Island - This Hawaii Life - […] out our post here on visiting Ala Moana Shopping Center for more information and images to visiting this […]
  2. Visit Kakaako - This Hawaii Life - […] Ala Moana Shopping Center […]
  3. Best restaurants in Waikiki - This Hawaii Life - […] Ala Moana Shopping Center […]
  4. Top things to do in Honolulu - This Hawaii Life - […] out our post on visit Ala Moana Shopping Center here for more images and […]
  5. Free or cheap things to do in Oahu - This Hawaii Life - […] the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. You can take the bus from Waikiki and various locations to the Ala…
  6. Top things to do in Waikiki now - This Hawaii Life - […] The Ala Moana Center is is the largest open-air shopping mall in the Pacific islands. Filled with high end…
  7. Ala Moana Beach Park – Oahu Travel Now - […] out our post to visiting the Ala Moana Center here for more images and […]
  8. Visit Iolani Palace - This Hawaii Life - […] Ala Moana Shopping Center […]
  9. Best luau in Oahu - This Hawaii Life - […] Ala Moana Shopping Center […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.