8 Things You Should Know About the Best of Honolulu Festival presented by American Savings Bank

What to bring, when to arrive and what booth to visit first at our annual free event.
PhotoS: Tien Enga


It’s summer, which means mango and lychee and, for us, it is the season of the Best of HONOLULU. Our annual awards recognize the businesses our readers and editors pick as the top places to eat, shop, explore, learn and more. You can read our complete list in the July issue of HONOLULU Magazine. But to experience some of the best the city has to offer, mark the date for our third annual Best of Honolulu Festival presented by American Savings Bank.


This year, the festival will be Saturday, July 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the easily walkable grounds of Honolulu Hale. The entire HONOLULU and HONOLULU Family team will be there. But if that isn’t enough incentive (😉) to join us for the free family-, foodie- and fashionista-friendly event, here are eight other things you should know about this year’s event.


1. Parking is free but be aware of the crowds.

One reason we love the grounds at Honolulu Hale is the free underground, ie. shaded, parking. The busiest hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the lunch crowd rolls in.


2. Plan your route.

Looking for food? Head to the lawn near South King Street. Want to shop? Retail booths will be lined up along the path leading from the parking garage. Families can find fun on the lawn on the other side of the Mission Memorial Auditorium in front of Honolulu Hale, and the entertainment and HONOLULU’s information booth will be right outside the parking garage.

  Best of Honolulu Festival Map 2018


3. Pack a blanket.

There are no tables or chairs at this open-air festival. But trees will provide shady spots. We suggest securing a home base for your group in front of the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card and Mileage Plan stage so you’re set for the live entertainment.


4. Take your potential Cover Kids to the HONOLULU Family booth early.

The festival hosts the first HONOLULU Family Cover Kids event of the year. Local kids between the ages of 1 and 12 can take photos with our professional photographer for a chance to be featured on the cover of HONOLULU Family in 2019. Entry is free at our event—it will be $10 online—and children also get the advantage of being able to meet the HONOLULU Family team in person. Stopping here first ensures your child won’t be sweaty and antsy during the five-minute photoshoot. Do note, you will probably need to wait. The line often forms before the festival begins. Cover Kids also wraps up at 2 p.m., two hours before the festival.



5. Remember a recyclable tote, or four.

With more than 15 shopping vendors offering everything from locally made jewelry, tees and bags to keiki items, having something to tote it all in is a must. Kids might want to bring their own backpacks to carry their own water bottles and any freebies they are guaranteed to find at various booths.


6. Visit the Keiki Zone.

Kaiser Permanente is sponsoring the area which will include rides, for a fee, and free activities including balloon animals.


7. Bring cash.

Not all of our vendors will take credit cards. We are working on a more complete list of who accepts what and will have it on the website closer to July 14.


8. Need a haircut?  

Food and fun aren’t the only features of the festival. Mojo Barbershop will be offering quick cuts and European Wax Center will check out your brows.


Stay tuned for weekly updates with detailed roundups of dishes, shopping deals and activities vendors will be offering at our third annual event.


The Best of Honolulu Festival is Saturday, July 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Honolulu Hale. honolulumagazine.com/bestofhonolulu.