Sure, its paradise but even Hawai‘i experiences a rainy day (or two). And while nothing beats surfing or sunbathing, tucking into hot and hearty meals and learning about Hawai‘i's history is nothing to sneeze at. Because no matter the weather, there are O‘ahu activities abound that will having you splashing out and exploring the very best the island has to offer.
Steamed buns from (1) Char Hung Sut make for a delicious meal on the run. Escape the rain inside this little hole-in-the-wall and you'll find dozens of darling old ladies churning out perfectly wrapped dumplings and boxing buns faster than you can say "one dozen manapua to go." Grab a manapua and a few half moons to munch in the car as you roll on over to your next rainy day romp.
A dive into Hawai‘i's history is the perfect diversion on a damp day. Pay a visit to the (2) Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, the state's largest history and science museum, which is home to collection upon collection of Hawaiian artifacts and documents. Here, you'll want to carve out some time to visit the newly renovated Hawaiian Hall, a perfect place for keiki (children) and families to you learn all about old Hawai‘i with exhibits and collections on Native Hawaiian history and culture. The best part? Waikiki Parc guests can simply flash their Parc key card for complimentary access to the museum, open from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. except on Tuesdays, when the museum is closed.
Anytime the temperature in Hawai‘i dips, our craving for ramen steams up. And (3) Kiwami's new location on Ke‘eaumoku (pronounced kay-ay-ah-moh-koo) Boulevard is the perfect place to dry out over a lunch of tsukemen ramen. Pronounced tsooh-keh-men, this ramen is known as their "dipping ramen" where the noodles and concentrated dipping sauce are served separately. At just under $10 for a bowl of noodles and a complimentary bowl of char siu and rice, a meal here will warm your belly and keep your wallet full.
Before heading back into Waikiki for an afternoon siesta (because a rainy day is a great way to rest up for the next day of fun in the sun) head over to the (4) U.S. Army Museum of Hawai‘i. Housed on the grounds of Fort DeRussy, the museum allows visitors to experience everything from early Hawaiian warfare through the Vietnam War. Work off lunch checking out the museum's exhibits including the Gallery of Heroes -- which honors local soldiers who have been recognized with the nation's most prestigious military awards - or the popular General Eric K. Shinseki exhibit which features information on General Shinseki's bright military career.
Nothing warms you up on a cold day, better than a hot meal. And putting a sizzling twist on Japanese hot pot, (5) Ichiriki is well-known across O‘ahu for its selection of shabu shabu, sukiyaki and most famously for its nabe. Since a little retail therapy is great fix to lift your rainy day spirits you might consider checking out Ichiriki's Ala Moana location. Here we go pupule (poo-poo-leh or crazy) for their pirikira nabe (with tiny slices of chili it adds just the right amount of heat), which provides the perfect base for the bounty of goodies you'll get to toss in. Just be sure to save room at the end for the noodles - your choice of ramen or udon - to complete the meal.
Before heading back to your room for the night, take in some Hawaiian entertainment at (6) House Without a Key. The popular Halekulani restaurant has the perfect beach-chic ambiance to drink in tropical libations and live Hawaiian song and dance - which moves indoors in wet weather. It's just the right note to end your day on.