Discover a different side of Honolulu


Honolulu, image by Thinkstock/iStock

Honolulu is one of Hawaii’s most vibrant cities, with this glittering mass of skyscrapers lining the glorious Oahu shore close to one of the island’s most famous beaches - Waikiki.

A visit to Honolulu doesn’t just have to be about hitting the beach though, as one publication has highlighted an interesting art project that’s aiming to bring a bit of colour to one of the city’s most industrial districts.


In an article for Associated Press, Marco Garcia revealed that Kaka’ako - Honolulu’s warehouse district - is now home to a selection of vibrant street murals, and that this artwork is becoming an attraction in its own right.

Local artist Jasper Wong started a project in 2011 to make this otherwise rundown district of the city a little more appealing to the eye.

His group POW!WOW! has brought in artists from all over the world, as well as engaging with creatives in Honolulu, to produce some stunning works of art in some of the most unlikely places.

Huge paintings of a surfing skeleton, dancing bananas, coi carp, Bob Marley and even Hawaiian royalty are among the images to grace the walls, while abstract designs and incredibly lifelike portraits have also been created on these industrial blank canvases, breathing new life into a rundown district. 

These paintings are replaced every year (in February) by Wong’s collective, so there’s always something fresh to discover. In fact, more than 100 artists descend on the city during Valentine’s week every year to refresh the murals and bring something new to the district.

While some of the murals are just there for fun, others have serious political messages and going for a wander around Kaka’ako will give you an insight into a different side of Hawaiian culture. 

If you do spend a few hours wandering around here, you’ll also find a selection of quirky restaurants, cafes and bars where you can grab some refreshments after going on this unusual tour of local artworks.

Discover Honolulu through our USA multi centre section.

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