The 12 Best Food Truck Cities in America

There is no denying it; we are living in a glorious age where food trucks have become the hottest places to grab some grub. Cities all over America are host to hundreds of food trucks that offer everything from the typical taco to over the top gourmet meals. What makes a city better than another in terms of food trucks? We looked at how many food trucks operate in the city, how diverse the selections are and how friendly the cities are to these trucks. Without further ado, these 12 cities are the ultimate food truck cities in the country:

12. Honolulu, HI

Lunch wagons have been part of the landscape in Hawaii for generations and used to serve the same thing, a couple scoops or rice, some macaroni salad and gravy based main. But things have come a long way in recent years and innovative trucks have popped up all over Honolulu and visitors should be sure to check at least a few of them out. Melt Honolulu became an instant hit when it hit the streets in this city serving up incredible grilled cheese sandwiches, including one called the “Melt of Shame”. Fresh wood fired pizzas can be found at the Inferno’s truck or if you are in the mood for shrimp and grits, head to Soul Patrol. Warm weather all year round, awesome new food trucks popping up all over the city and the ocean at your fingertips; sounds like a pretty amazing food truck city to us!

Theodore Trimmer / Shutterstock.com
Theodore Trimmer / Shutterstock.com

11. Seattle, WA

Seattle has always been overshadowed by Portland in terms of being a food truck city but as the years tick by they are holding their own and home to some of the best food trucks in America. For some down home New Orleans cooking make sure to check out Where Ya At, a food truck that continuously rates as one of the best in the country. It is here where you will find Creole soul food, hot beignets and fried-oyster po’boys. Marination is another truck in this city that has garnered press country wide for its Hawaiian-Korean cuisine and attitude towards delivering incredible flavors and a dose of “Aloha” to the city. Seattle’s Largest Independent Food and Craft Festival happens yearly in the summertime and if you have a chance to check it out, we highly recommend it. One of the best cities in America for food trucks, yet highly underrated.

Photo by: Urban Beer Hikes
Photo by: Urban Beer Hikes

10. San Francisco, CA

This city is teeming with food trucks, new ones popping up every day and no matter where you are headed you are sure to find one that absolutely blows your mind. Although this city wasn’t the birthplace of the food truck craze, they have upped their ante by offering food of new gastronomic levels. Fried oyster and bacon sandwiches, curry goat tacos and Vietnamese caramel ribs are just a slice of what you can find here. The SoMa Streat Food Park is a popular place to head, especially for visitors looking to get a variety of trucks. The lineup here changes daily and features a dozen or so trucks, entertainment and picnic tables to eat at. If you are looking for sustainable meat and veggies make sure to check out Go Streatery who is famous for serving up their famous handmade brisket sandwiched piled high and topped with an incredible savory jam.

Photo by: Carlos Muela
Photo by: Carlos Muela

9. Tampa, FL

This city is all about food trucks and getting them out on the road. They even are home to a Food Truck Rally, a company that specializes in promoting local cuisine and connecting the public with the food trucks, hosting seminars for potential food truck owners and staging events all over the city. Tampa Bay’s Florida State Fairgrounds also holds the World’s Largest Food Truck Rally on a yearly basis! Wicked Wiches is one of the most popular food trucks in the city, offering gourmet sandwiches including a fried chicken sandwich served on jalapeno waffles. If you are after vegetarian or vegan seek out the Taco Bus who are known for their awesome menu and the fact they only ever use fresh ingredients.  But if there is one thing to try in this city it is the famous Gorilla Balls from the Fire Monkey Food Truck. Gorilla Balls are balls of mushroom risotto stuffed with beef and blue cheese, then deep fried to crispy perfection.

Photo by: Bay News 9
Photo by: Bay News 9

8. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta is an up and coming city when it comes to food trucks and there is no better time to experience these awesome trucks than now. This city is where you will find down home southern comfort food mixed with Mexican and Asian influences. Head first to The Good Food Truck where “the Poodle” is served from a lipstick red carriage. The Poodle is actually a hot dog, sandwiched between a French toast bun and loaded with apple-maple slaw and spicy mustard. If you are more in the mood for something a little more Mexican, head to the Blaxican where you will find Buffalo chicken tacos and collard green quesadillas. New laws in Atlanta have made it easier for trucks to operate on public roads and expect to see even more as the years go on.

Photo by: The Good Food Truck
Photo by: The Good Food Truck

7. Miami, FL

South Florida loves their food trucks and you will find hundreds of trucks lining the streets, with offerings you won’t find anywhere else. The Latin Burger is one of the most popular trucks in this city, serving up something they call the Macho Burger, created out of a combination of chorizo, chuck and sirloin, topped with caramelized onions and Oaxaca cheese. If you are looking for Asian fare there is only one food truck to seek out that that is Dim Ssam a GoGo who serves up gourmet sandwiches with ingredients such as foie gras, kimchi and pork. But the real hit in this city is HipPops, a truck that offers handcrafted desserts. Hugely popular, this truck offers the chance for customers to create their own custom dessert. Choose from gelato, sorbet or frozen yogurt, and three kinds of premium Italian chocolate dips. Top your POP with finely crushed pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts or pecans. And ta da; an incredibly delicious creation.

Photo by: The Latin Burger
Photo by: The Latin Burger

6. Denver, CO

Denver boasts over 100 food trucks and there is seemingly no bad place to grab a bite to eat. Whether you are looking to grab a green-chili cheeseburger, pizza or barbecue; you can find it in this city. If you are looking to try some delicious made from scratch tacos or quesadillas make sure to search out the pink food truck named Comida, the best of its kind in town. If you want to get back to your childhood there is no better food truck to visit than HEY pb&j, a truck that puts an innovative spin on the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Combinations such as The King (peanut butter, applewood smoked bacon, sliced bananas, clover honey) and the Mother Clucker (mo’ pecan-peanut butter, fried chicken, homemade green tomato jam, goat cheese, spicy hot honey) are true favorites.

Photo by: Comida
Photo by: Comida

5. Minneapolis, MN

Residents of the Twin Cities can certainly get their fill of any type of cuisine they are looking for in this city with its multitude of food trucks. Dozens of choices are parked along meters, outside the breweries and setting up shop at the farmers markets. Fans of tater tots will want o head directly to the TOT BOSS food truck where you can find anything from tater tot nachos to tot and beer burritos. If it is something like a burger you are after make sure to head over to Butcher Salt, where small town restaurant meets sustainability meets four wheels. Here you will find grass-fed beef sliders, candied maple bacon and a whole lot other deliciousness. If you are looking for something more gourmet head to Get Sauced, where you will find locally sourced and organic foods, all transformed from scratch into gourmet dishes.

Photo by: TOT BOSS
Photo by: TOT BOSS

4. Washington, DC

This city boasts more than 150 food trucks, many of them roaming the streets, many of them with permanent spots and a whole lot of them turning out for festivals. Washington stands out due to the unique and creative foods these trucks are seen serving up. Food truck pioneers The Fojol Bros are well worth a visit with their colorful trucks and carnival like costumes, not to mention the delicious food they are serving up including butter chicken and beef berbere. On a cool Washington day make sure you head over to Red Hook Lobster Pound where you can get a steaming cup of authentic New England clam chowder or delicious lobster roll. With all these food trucks it seems hard to keep track of but luckily the Food Truck Fiesta app has you covered with its real time map that lists where the trucks are and whose serving up what.

Photo by: Mobile Cuisine
Photo by: Mobile Cuisine

3. Austin, TX

Austin is a city which has been supporting food trucks at a time when no other city was, and it’s no surprise they have maintained that level of support. Featuring over 250 food trucks, this city is the perfect place to take a culinary tour. Visitors will want to head to the East King Side truck, a vibrant and colorful display of artwork that happens to serve up an incredible serving of beet home fries. The most famous food truck in this city though is Hey! You Gonna Eat or What?, a truck that is known for its snarky chefs and large sandwiches. The Shiner Bock Monte Cristo is the sandwich to order here and is loaded with cheddar, provolone, mesquite-smoked turkey and pit-smoked ham. It is then fried in batter, topped with powder sugar and served with a side of cherry-fig jam. Anywhere you turn in this city there is surely going to be a food truck to suit your needs.

Photo by: Hey!. You Gonna Eat or What?
Photo by: Hey!. You Gonna Eat or What?

2. Portland, OR

This city has been at the forefront of the food truck revolution and despite their reputation for being vegan hippies; you can find just about any food you want at one of their awesome trucks. With over 350 food trucks throughout the city, deciding which ones to visit will be your hardest choice. It is imperative that you head to the Grilled Cheese Grill where you can get your favorite childhood meal reinvented. The Cheesus is perhaps the most famous of dishes where a burger is served with grilled cheese sandwiches acting as the bun. Weenies from Another World is another truck you shouldn’t miss as this awesome looking vintage truck serves up homemade dogs, bread and incredible tater tots. If its southern food you are after head to Ms. Kate’s Southern Kitchen for homemade mac n’ cheese, pumpkin spiced waffles and buttery fluffy biscuits.

Photo by: Reddit
Photo by: Reddit

1. Orlando, FL

There are almost 200 food trucks in Orlando and counting, and this city wins in terms of having the most food trucks per capita in all of the United States. The good weather, the incredible creativity and the outpouring of support from citizens of this state all contribute to the number of them. One of the best food trucks to check out is Twisted Plates where you can get gourmet food without dolling out a ton of cash, or having to get dressed up. The menu here changes regularly depending what is in season. Dixieland Diner is where you will find Cajun and the best of southern food including shrimp and grits and jambalaya. The winning combination of southern hospitality and generous portions means this truck gets big lines, but it is well worth the wait. Natural juices, shaved ice, waffles and chicken, gelato, burgers and pizza are available state wide at a number of food trucks.

Photo by: Dixieland Diner
Photo by: Dixieland Diner

The 10 Best Chinatowns Across America

America is a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures. Most major American cities have neighborhoods settled by the people who crossed oceans and began an unpredictable journey to America to provide a better life for their children, escaping poverty and war in their homeland. Little Italy, Germantown and of course, Chinatown are all staples of America’s cities, their residents establishing their identities in America while holding onto their native cultures. Among the oldest of these miniature ethnic pockets are the Chinatowns that dot the U.S., from Seattle to Boston, San Francisco to New York City. Here are the 10 best you’ll find in America.

10. Washington D.C.

Though one of the smallest Chinatowns on this list, Washington D.C.’s Chinese neighborhood benefits from a great location-walking distance to many other landmarks and neighborhoods-and a more calm atmosphere than others. Only about a fifth of the neighborhood’s 3,000 residents are actually Chinese, as recent college grads have moved to the area in recent years, attracted to the affordable housing. This does not take away from the authentic Chinese atmosphere, however. Like many Chinatowns, there is a classically styled archway over H Street and 7th Street, just a few blocks down from the Verizon Center, where the hometown Wizards (NBA) and Capitals (NHL) compete. You’ll find a handful of shops selling pastries and little knickknacks, as well as some great restaurants, such as Tony Cheng’s Seafood and Pho DC -one of the best bowls of Pho in the D.C. area.

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

9. Houston

Not to be confused with the city’s “Old Chinatown” neighborhood, the current community of Chinese residents, shops and restaurants can be found in the southwestern part of town. Unlike most Chinatowns, which usually occupy a number of dense city blocks, the Houston Chinatown is a widely dispersed set of strip malls over 6 square miles. It’s probably the most automobile friendly Chinatown on this list, so if you’re a tourist without a rental car this one would be a tough draw. Chinese food is not the only kind you’ll find here. Filipinos, Indonesians, Japanese, Koreans and more have populated the area, and have brought the cuisine of their home countries with them. Some people are hesitant to even refer to this part of the city as Chinatown, since there are so many other Asian influences present.

Photo by: Capital Realty Group
Photo by: Capital Realty Group

8. Boston

Boston, a city more known for its Irish heritage as seen in films like Good Will Hunting and The Town, is also home to a stellar Chinatown, the only one in all of New England. 70% of the population is Chinese, though there is a strong Vietnamese influence as well, which can be felt in the number of Vietnamese restaurants and food stalls. Located near Boston’s theater district and Tufts Medical Center, Chinatown is a convenient place to stop for an authentic Chinese dinner before a night around town, but its also got enough to keep your attention for a full day. There are some great hot pot (a Chinese fondue of sorts) restaurants, as well as dim sum and some hole in the walls with cheaper options but still quality eats.

f11photo / Shutterstock.com
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

7. Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Chinatown traces its roots all the way back to the mid 19th century, when Cantonese immigrants opened restaurants and laundries in the city center. In the late 1990s, an influx of immigrants from other Asian countries including Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, began moving into Philly’s Chinatown. Like many other Chinatowns in America, there is a Friendship Gate (an archway) that’s built in the colorful style of the Ming and Qing dynasties, which acts as symbol of connection between Philadelphia and its sister city of Tianjin. It’s a beautiful landmark, and well worth a picture or two. Hong Kong style eateries can be found on 10th Street and Race Street, where restaurants serving other Asian fare-Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese-can also be enjoyed.

f11photo / Shutterstock.com
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

6. Los Angeles

Forever immortalized by the 1974 film Chinatown, and also featured in the buddy-cop classic Rush Hour, L.A.’s Chinatown is vast, full of things to see and do (and of course, eat). When the Central Pacific Railroad Co. began work on the country’s first transcontinental rail in the 1860s, they started to recruit laborers from China, who then moved here and settled in what is now known as Chinatown. Among the highlights: a statue of Bruce Lee and Sun Yat-sen (father of modern China); a beautiful Wishing Well, a dragon mural and a main plaza strung with red lanterns. There are restaurants with glass displays of roast duck and pigs, but some of the more popular eateries include an Italian place called Little Joe’s and a French deli called Philippe’s.

LA Chinatown

5. Honolulu

Hawaii might be well known for its East Asian influence already, particularly its Japanese roots, but did you know that Honolulu has one of the best Chinatowns in America? Chinese laborers from the area’s sugar plantations settled here in the 19th century, only to have the entire neighborhood burned down in the Great Honolulu Chinatown Fire of 1900. It has since been rebuilt, a bustling, open space full of fruit stands and restaurants. Given Hawaii’s tropical climate, the Honolulu Chinatown feels like a small city in the south of China. The famed Wo Fat restaurant, known as the namesake for a character in Hawaii Five-O-is now out of service, but its historic façade is still worth a visit.

Honolulu Chinatown

4. Seattle

America’s Pacific Coast has long been concentrated with immigrants from East Asia, and while officially named “Chinatown”, this Seattle neighborhood is more Little East Asia. The bulk of this Chinatown is on King Street, though just off the main thoroughfare is Japantown, which as you can imagine is modeled after a Japanese city. There is a vibrant and lively Chinese New Year celebration with lion dancers and fireworks, and the China Gate restaurant has a beautiful gate modeled after the walls of the ancient Chinese capital Peking (now Beijing). Hing Hay Park is an idyllic outdoor spot with a traditional Chinese Pagoda and chess tables. The Nippon Kan Theatre and the Wing Luke Asian Museum are also must see attractions.

f11photo / Shutterstock.com
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

3. Chicago

Located on the Red Line, Chicago’s Chinatown provides great views of the city skyline as well as a variety of restaurants and landmarks to check out on a fine summer day in Chicago. The Nine-Dragon Wall is a beautiful jade and yellow colored monument built in the style typical of imperial China. Chinatown Square, decorated with statues of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals, is full of shops; tea shops, traditional medicine shops and massage parlors that have the feel of the dense hutongs (alleyways) of Old Beijing. Lao Beijing and Lao Szechwan are local staples, serving traditional cuisine from those cities, and Hing Kee is a great noodle spot that makes their noodles by hand. Get a foot massage at one of the area’s massage parlors, and visit a Buddhist temple, which can be easy to miss among the abundance of grocery stores, restaurants and gift shops. Make sure to stop by the shop that specializes in swords! The Bruce Lee poster in the front display is hard to miss.

Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com
Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com

2. Manhattan

Manhattan’s Chinatown is huge, so huge that it can almost be considered its own mini-city, and it has the second largest population density of Chinese in the entire Western Hemisphere. There are 9 Chinatowns scattered across all of New York City, but Manhattan’s is the largest and the oldest, and it’s easy to forget that you’re still in America, not a metropolis of China. There are fish markets and fruit markets, theaters and museums. There’s a Little Hong Kong, a Little Fuzhou, a Little Guangdong. It’s almost like a Chinatown within a Chinatown within a Chinatown. Between 90,000 and 100,000 people live in Manhattan’s Chinatown, and its easy to get put off by the density and activity, but if you’d like to experience what life in a modern Chinese city is like, and are willing to have an open mind while doing so, then dive right in and take in all it has to offer.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

1. San Francisco

The oldest in the country, San Francisco’s Chinatown sees more tourists every year than the Golden Gate Bridge. Every September, the neighborhood hosts the Autumn Moon Festival, a Chinese tradition that celebrates the summer harvest, and it’s a must-attend event for those who’d like to experience a traditional Chinese holiday other than the New Year. Boasting two hospitals, a post office, schools, libraries, parks, restaurants and grocery stores, San Francisco’s Chinatown is essentially an autonomous enclave, and is also home to the highest Chinese population outside of Asia. For the most authentic taste of China outside of Asia, San Francisco’s Chinatown is the #1 place to visit.

EQRoy / Shutterstock.com
EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

The 15 Worst Airports For a Layover

While the increase of people flying means more flights, it also means more stops and connecting flights, which can be a good or bad thing depending where you stop. Having a layover is most people’s worst nightmare. There are often long lines to clear customs and security and scarce food choices along with overpriced Wi-Fi and uncomfortable seating. The following 15 airports are the absolute worst for layovers in the world. Next time you are booking a flight you may want to avoid flying through any of these airports even if it means spending a few extra dollars. Trust us, you’ve been warned.

15. Paris Beauvais-Tille International Airport, France

This airport is mainly used by budget airlines and is often found at the top of the list of airports to avoid at any cost. This is in due part to a number of different factors. To start with the airport is located a long and slow 88 km away from Paris, therefore count on not leaving during your layover. The airport looks more like a bus station rather than an airport and the building is run-down and dirty. It is often cramped and crowded with passengers who are unloading and trying to leave as quickly as possible. The airport also closes at night so you will want to avoid an overnight layover here, as you will be asked to leave. In saying all of this, the airports in Paris are not known for being first-class so if you are looking to save a few dollars, flying in here may be worth your while.

Paris airport

14. Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C

If you were expecting to enjoy your layover at the Dulles International Airport, think again. With one of the worst on time performances in the US, this airport often keeps passengers waiting far longer than necessary. If you think your layover was long already, expect to tack on even more time. What really irks passengers who are on a layover here is the lack of amenities and shops that can keep you entertained. If you were looking for options when it comes to dining, think again and realistically your best bet may be to slide up to the airport bar and have a beer. The good news is that the Dulles International Airport at least offers WiFi throughout the terminals; the only problem will be finding an available plug.

Steve Heap / Shutterstock.com
Steve Heap / Shutterstock.com

13. Miami Airport, Florida

The biggest thing about having a layover in Miami is making sure it isn’t a long one. The reason being is that this airport moves at a ridiculously slow pace and if you need to rush to make your connection, you aren’t going to make it. Expect security lines, baggage claim lines and a frustrating lack of amenities. Shops and restaurants are limited and highly overpriced and don’t let the “free WiFi” signs fool you, it isn’t actually free to browse the net. If you are planning on spending the night here, one will be hard pressed to find a floor that is carpeted, a place where the lights are dimmed and the announcements stop. Instead sleepers are privy to noisy cleaners, brightly lit areas and chairs that have armrests, thus ensuring you have to lie on the floor. The only saving grace this airport offers is that South Beach is just 15 minutes away, therefore if you can store your bags and leave the airport, we highly suggest hitting the beach.

Daniel Korzeniewski / Shutterstock.com
Daniel Korzeniewski / Shutterstock.com

12. Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France

It is one of the world’s busiest airports and although it is improving it is still one of the worst airports to have a layover in the world. If you want to use the internet while you are here, plan on paying big bucks to connect to WiFi. One can also plan on disorganization, chaos and rude staff who absolutely refuse to speak to you in English. You won’t find first class shopping, nice lounges or attractive dining options here either. Many complain about the size of the restrooms quoting they are ‘dirty and too small’ while others have frustrations in the all too often terminal corrections. Food here is also quite pricey and if you are planning on eating, we suggest bringing as many snacks with you as possible from outside the airport.

pio3 / Shutterstock.com
pio3 / Shutterstock.com

11. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi

It is not surprising that Africa has some of the worst airports in the world, due to the impoverishment of the country, the overwhelming heat and questionably effective security processes. Having a layover in any of these airports can often be long, tiring and downright boring. Passengers seem to expect more from this International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, but instead are faced with long lines that have been referred to as ‘cattle markets’, overcrowded lounges, dirty and run down restrooms, shabby stores and overpriced food. It is currently undergoing a multimillion dollar renovation which hopes to be open in 2017 and capable of handling 20 million passengers. For now though, when you have a layover here expect to pay loads for the WiFi, food and drinks. Expect the bare amenities and cross your fingers you are not there during a threat as that is when things really go downhill.

Photo by: Arthurbuliva via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by: Arthurbuliva via Wikimedia Commons

10. London Luton International Airport, England

You are most likely flying into this airport if you have booked on a budget airline but expect to spend even more money once you get here. If you stuck here on a layover everything will cost you more. If you want access to WiFi, expect to pay. If you need a plastic baggie to put your liquids in to go through security again, you will have to pay for one of those too. If you want to buy something to eat, expect to pay higher than normal airport prices. Because of the slew of budget travelers that are flying into here seating can be limited, as well as sleeping space. The carpet is hard and cold, the announcements boom day and night every 10 minutes and it’s freezing cold, all the time. Do we need to say anything more about the layover life here at Luton?

ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com
ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com

9. Chicago Midway Airport, Chicago, USA

If you get stuck on a layover here and it’s unexpected it is most likely due to weather. Both Chicago airports are notorious for cancelling and delaying flights because of weather and unlike O’Hare, the Midway Airport lacks in pretty much all amenities to keep you occupied while you wait. If you do have to have a layover here we suggest doing it overnight. In Concourse C this airport actually sets up cots, military style for a few hours, until 4am when they wake you up and tear down the cots as the airport is opening. It is actually your only option here as the concourses close from midnight until 4am. If you are stuck here during the day it is good to know that WiFi isn’t free, the food is bearable and you may have to fight someone for an electrical outlet.

Photo by: Chicago Midway International Airport
Photo by: Chicago Midway International Airport

8. Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii USA

A layover at this airport is almost always inevitable if you are visiting one of the Hawaiian Islands but it’s not exactly the greatest welcome to Hawaii. If you are planning to sleep there overnight it is important to note there is no real good sleeping area other than the floor. As well, many layover passengers complain about the constant Hawaiian music that plays on repeat all night loud, except for when one of the many announcements comes on. There are a few dining choices at the airport, but everything closes by 10 pm. A lot of boarding gates do not open until right before flight time which leaves many passengers roaming aimlessly around the halls as the seating is very limited. WiFi will cost you, plugs are a hot commodity and it can get quite hot in this open air airport.

cleanfotos / Shutterstock.com
cleanfotos / Shutterstock.com

7. Frankfurt Hahn International Airport, Frankfurt, Germany

First off let’s be clear in saying that this airport is not in Frankfurt, despite the official name. Don’t depend on leaving the airport and spending a few hours in the city during your layover because the city is actually located over 120 km’s away. The best way to describe this airport is downright depressing. The low ceilings, the plastic chairs, the lack of artwork or anything of color and the overall feel. The floors are dusty and dirty and if you plan on sleeping here we suggest laying some newspapers down on it. Nighttime layovers tend to be loud with lots of young people who are flying on budget airlines and if you can muster up a quiet space, the good news is security won’t bother you. Dining options are nil after about 10 pm and expect loud cleaners and announcements all night long.

Photo by: Tadekptaku via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by: Tadekptaku via Wikimedia Commons

6. Los Angeles International Airport, California, USA

It is safe to say that most people hate flying through this airport. It is a stark contrast to the many Asian airports it connects with and needs serious updating to compete with them. An overall lack of signage and unfriendly staff is what people complain about most. Being the fourth busiest airport in the world, this airport gets crowded quickly and not knowing where you are going becomes quite frustrating. An overall lack of cleanliness is also a major complaint and it is best to avoid staying here overnight. The food options are scarce and overpriced, the chairs are uncomfortable with armrests on all of them and the charging stations throughout are placed in areas where there are no seats. Combine all these things with the fact that some terminals close at midnight and the security lines are atrocious and you’ll understand why people hate this airport.

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

5. Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport, Italy

This airport although cheaper than the others that service Milan can be a big pain if you have a layover here. A lack of electrical outlets is a major source of irritation amongst tech savvy travelers, as well as a lack of seating. Due to the number of backpackers and other budget travelers who fly in here, there are many people trying to sleep and waste hours upon hours on layovers. It means there is not enough space for everyone. The security staff and cleaners can often be short tempered and if you were hoping for a restful sleep think again. Sleeping passengers are often woken up to move for cleaners and otherwise. The lack of WiFi is annoying and there is often loud, drunken travelers spending the night alongside with you.

Photo by: Luigi Chiesa via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by: Luigi Chiesa via Wikimedia Commons

4. LaGuardia International Airport, New York, USA

This worn out airport is at the top of the list for the worst airports in the US, layover or not, year after year. Even Vice-President Joe Biden compared LaGuardia to the likes of a ‘third world country’. So what makes this airport so awful for a layover? To start, the ridiculous long lines you have to wait in, to clear security, to recheck your bags, to even get a coffee. Speaking of coffee, the restaurant choices are mediocre and unfriendly at best. The décor doesn’t help out matters as it is downright depressing, as are the metal and plastic seats that don’t have any cushions. This airport isn’t overly clean either. The amount of delays this airport faces is almost embarrassing so one can expect a long layover here, even if it wasn’t scheduled to be. Spending hours in this airport is a total mind numbing experience that will have you avoiding it like the plague for the rest of your flying life.

Photo by: La Guardia Airport
Photo by: La Guardia Airport

3. Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Pakistan (ISB)

This airport has been referred to being more like a prison than an airport and having a layover here is definitely not recommended. If you do happen to be stuck here, it is recommended you don’t leave the airport as taxi drivers and touts like to loot the unknowing customers. This airport is often overcrowded and there is seemingly no crowd control throughout the entire place. Complaints range from corruption to aggressive security checks to an overall lack of cleanliness to non-existent technology. Officers will outright ask for bribes and this is generally just not the place to be stuck on any type of layover. Filthy, crowded, and hot are all words used to describe this awful airport. The good news, apparently they are building a new airport that will be finished in 2016, let’s hope it’s not as corrupt as this one.

Asianet-Pakistan / Shutterstock.com
Asianet-Pakistan / Shutterstock.com

2. Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, USA

Passengers can’t say enough bad things about the Newark airport. It is awful being stuck here on a layover, whether it was scheduled or a result of weather delays. The biggest complaints are about the unfriendly staff who work at this airport, from security that kicks you out of the terminal at ungodly hours to the service staff at the restaurants. Using the WiFi here will cost you, although it probably won’t work or be too slow for your liking. We also suggest bringing along a heavy sweater as even during the summer it seems this airport is freezing. Chairs with solid armrests force travelers to sleep on the floor and make sure you watch out for cockroaches as they constantly roam the terminals. And don’t even think about trying to make it into NYC to waste some time, it’s at least an hour and half by public transit, and that’s on a good day.

Tupungato / Shutterstock.com
Tupungato / Shutterstock.com

1. Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila

This is by far the worst airport in Asia and has been continuously at the top of that list for years. Luckily they are doing things to improve conditions but clearly not fast enough. First off passengers will want to fly into terminal three and only terminal three, but if you have the problem of being stuck in any other terminal on a layover than this is what you can expect. Dirty, filthy, cramped toilets that smells awful. This is one of the most widely-known complaints about this airport. Metal seats, spotty WiFi and a lack of dining and shops are some of what passengers can experience. Plan on waiting in lengthy lines and be sure to grab any seat available as they don’t come up often. Don’t plan on sleeping on this layover as the announcements every 10 to 15 minutes will keep going all night long, along with the three beeps before and after, just to make sure you are listening.

Photo by: Mithril Cloud via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by: Mithril Cloud via Wikimedia Commons

10 Things to See and Do in Honolulu

The capital city of Hawaii, Honolulu offers much to see and do. The dining, nightlife and shopping there are legendary not to mention the splendid crescent beach, palm trees and extravagant high-rise hotels. No matter what adventures you choose to partake in, the panoramic views will mesmerize you. The historic landmarks, monuments, arts and culture of Hawaii will be something you won’t soon forget. You can try some of the local cuisine to get the full Polynesian experience and visit some of the most alluring places in the state right in Honolulu.

10. Wet ‘n Wild Hawaii

Wet ‘n Wild Hawaii is a waterpark located in Kapolei, Oahu’s “Second City” and is one of the top 10 most visited family attractions on the island. It features more than 25 exciting and fun attractions on 29-acres of lush tropical landscaping and natural cliffs. Whether you are looking for a fun time with the entire family or are more of an adventurist, this is the place for you. You can make this a day stop (though you may regret that), or rent a cozy cabana and stay for a while to enjoy all the park has to offer. There are attractions suitable for all age groups from children to adults such as, Water World Kids Playground, Keiki Kove (spray world), Surf Sliders, Kapolei Kooler (river), Cutter’s Island and Island Adventure Golf (miniature golf course). Whether you go for a day or a week, the fun will never stop.

Photo by: Wet'n'Wild Hawaii
Photo by: Wet’n’Wild Hawaii

9. Shangri La

Located just outside of Honolulu, Shangri La is an Islamic-style mansion built in 1937. It was turned into a museum in 2002. The estate is fully furnished with the inclusion of art with built-in architectural elements taken from the traditions of Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Spain, Syria, Egypt and India. There is a Playhouse modeled after 17th century Chehel Sotoun in Isfahan, Iran. The landscape around Shangri La is pristine featuring an Indian Mughal garden, terraced water features, a private Hawaiian fishpond, tropical garden and breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean. The mansion’s gilt and painted Moroccan ceilings, ceramics from Iran, intimate Syrian interiors, Spanish and Indian pierced metalwork and vibrant textiles from are showcased beautifully. Tours originate at the Honolulu Museum of Art and take two to two and a half hours with Shangri La taking up most of the tour time. Tickets must be purchased in advance but you won’t be disappointed.

Shangri La

8. Foster Botanical Garden

Located in the heart of bustling downtown Honolulu, Foster Botanical Garden is a floral paradise offering a dramatic contrast to the city life all around it. It is the oldest botanical garden in Honolulu and houses an incredible variety of mature tropical plants. This 14-acre garden is home to impressive trees that were planted in the 1850s marking its heritage. While visiting, you can explore the Conservatory, Outdoor Butterfly Garden, Palm Garden, Prehistoric Glen Cycad Collection, Exceptional Trees and gift shop. You can take a guided tour or self guided tour with the assistance of a provided map to see many  features of the garden. It’s an island paradise within an island paradise that promises to stimulate and excite all your senses. Don’t forget your bug spray and camera.

Foster Botanical Gardens

7. Iolani Palace

A National Historic Landmark located in downtown Honolulu, Iolani Palace is a fully restored and lavish palace which served as home to the Hawaiian monarchy. You can lose yourself in the ostentatious surroundings of the palace and see how King Kalakaua, his sister and successor Queen Liliuokalani lived in their time. The palace offers guided tours, as well as an opportunity for a self-guided tour of the exhibits in the basement area. They also offer classes and Royal Hawaiian Band Concerts here, so you will want to check the schedule and plan ahead. The grounds around the palace are said to be sacred and are beautifully maintained featuring a coronation pavilion, barracks, and the Sacred Mound. Allow yourself at least of couple of hours for this visit, so you can truly absorb the opulence and grandeur of Hawaiian royalty.

Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock.com
Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock.com

6. Kualoa Ranch

If you have never visited a working cattle ranch and farm, then Kualoa Ranch is a must-visit destination on your next vacation. It offers so much, you may want to make it your entire vacation rather than just a stop-over. At the ranch you will have the opportunity to take a bus tour of the 4,000 acres of historical natural beauty or be adventurous and really experience the outdoors. There is a treetop canopy zip-line tour available for your enjoyment or perhaps you’d enjoy a horseback or ATV tour or venture through the movie sites on the ranch land. You may recognize areas of the ranch from movies such as: Jurassic Park, Windtalkers, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, Tears of the Sun and 50 First Dates. It is definitely an outdoor activity paradise to be enjoyed by all ages and only 22 miles from Honolulu.

Kualoa Ranch

5. Honolulu Zoo

The Honolulu Zoo is a 42 acre zoo housing more than 900 animals from the tropics. Open everyday except for Christmas Day, it is located between the Diamond Head slopes and Waikiki at the corner of Kapahulu Avenue and Kalakaua Avenue. There is a nominal fee for admission to the zoo, but it is easy to spend an entire day there visiting the exhibits or walking through their gardens, which rival many botanical gardens you may have visited elsewhere. You can see such animals as Komodo Dragons, elephants, orangutans, primates and a selection of African animals. In the gardens, you will see rare and beautiful indigenous and endemic plants while learning about their importance to Polynesian life. They also offer educational camps for children of various ages which allows them to have fun and learn about different species, their preservation and natural habitats.

cleanfotos / Shutterstock.com
cleanfotos / Shutterstock.com

4. Hanauma Bay

Formed in a volcanic crater, Hanauma Bay is an amazing natural circular pool demonstrating evidence of volcanic activity on the seafloor. Its name is derived from two Hawaiian words – “hana” meaning bay and “uma” meaning curved. It is both a Natural Preserve and Marine Life Conservation District. Therefore visitor numbers are limited, as well as access, so if you want to make this a destination on your vacation, you will want to plan carefully. The beach will most likely be crowded in the mornings, but if you would like a more secluded visit, mid-afternoon offers a quieter venue. While there, you can take a tram ride to the rim of the crater for an incredible view of the entire bay, then go snorkeling or take a hike on one of the many trails along the ridge and coastline. It’s an incredible piece of paradise well worth the extra effort.

Hanauma Bay

3. Bishop Museum

Founded in 1889, the Bishop Museum is a history and science museum located in Honolulu and is a great source of arts and culture. It is the largest museum in Hawaii, home to the world’s largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts and natural history specimens. The museum is open to the public year-round with the exception of Tuesdays and Christmas Day.  Though there are many exhibits to view, there are also many other activities and workshops happening at the museum during different times, so before venturing there you might want to check out what is currently going on to avoid missing out on something everyone can enjoy. You might like some traditional Hawaiian lauhala bracelet weaving, an evening planetarium show, a movie on the lawn in the evening or a museum dinner. The possibilities are endless.

cleanfotos / Shutterstock.com
cleanfotos / Shutterstock.com

2. Manoa Falls

Located in Manoa on the island of O’ahu, Manoa Falls is a waterfall featuring a 150 feet (46m) vertical drop. You can access the falls by hiking 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the nearest road. The hike to reach the falls takes approximately two hours but offers many breathtaking photo opportunities along the way. You will pass through several ecosystems which feel like an arboretum. Because it is a natural setting, the path is often muddy and slippery and flash flooding can unexpectedly occur. Before starting down the trail, you will want to ensure you have plenty of bug spray, a walking stick, good hiking boots and water. The trail can be challenging since most of it is uphill and can be muddy as the path sometimes gets quite narrow. However, the scenery and the ultimate destination make for an incredible adventure.

Manoa Falls

1. Diamond Head

Resembling the shape of a tuna’s dorsal fin, Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian Island of O’ahu. It was named by British sailors in the 19th century who mistakenly thought the calcite crystals found on the adjacent beach were diamonds. Though part of the area is closed to the public, the proximity of the crater to Honolulu’s resort hotels and beaches makes the rest of the area a popular tourist destination. You can reach the crater’s rim by taking a beautiful 3/4 mile (1.1 km) hike up a trail with the trip taking about one and a half to two hours return. Though the hike is not a difficult one, it involves some hiking on a mostly unpaved trail, passing through tunnels and climbing stairs to the summit. But the climb is most definitely worth the incredible view.

Diamond Head

The 10 Most Visited Cities in the US by Foreign Travelers

The United States of America is considered the most powerful nation in the world and a place so many people dream of visiting, at least once during their lifetime. The country is visited by millions of people from all over the world annually, but only a handful of cities stand out among the rest. It’s in honor of those ranked as a cut above that we present to you the Top 10 Most Visited Cities in the United States by Foreign Travelers. What you’ll notice is that the majority of the top 5 cities boast the added advantage of offering warm weather. Climate is definitely a big key in determining the desired destinations for most travelers. That said, there are also a handful of cities that offer so much character, history and scenery, they’re popular regardless of climate. No matter what floats your boat, there’s something for everyone.

10. Boston

Even outside of the famous Cheers restaurant and the Red Sox’ Fenway Park, Boston has its share of rich history and culture to share with the world. Boston Logan international airport is the best way to access the city from other parts of the world. Within the city, you can take a taxi almost anywhere, but a walk around the city on a sunny afternoon will really open your eyes to Boston’s beauty. One of the many things that the city can boast about is the presence of a large number of exotic restaurants serving international cuisine. If you love eating quality and well-prepared food, you will find Boston a very interesting place.

Boston also offers its share of activities and events; Patriot’s Day and of course the Boston Marathon are two of the marquee events considered to be synonymous with the city. Other festivals include the independent day of Boston and the feast of St. Anthony. Baseball, basketball and football are the most popular sports in the city and the fans are of the die-hard variety, so if you want to see passion, see the Red Sox, Patriots or Bruins play live.

Boston Washington Statue

9. Chicago

Chicago is the largest city in the state of Illinois, and happens to be one of the most popular and beautiful cities in the country. It boasts a number of top art galleries, hotels, architecture and restaurants. Chi-town offers its share of garden and park areas… not something one would expect to find an abundance of in a major city. Shopping in Chicago is a shopaholic’s dream and fashion designers are in abundance, which means there’s no shortage of availability when it comes to beautiful designer threads. If you want to find the more affordable styles, you can always check out a major outlet that still allows you to go high fashion at lower prices.

Chicago is renowned worldwide for housing over forty different museums. A few of the museums include the Modern Art Museum and The Art Institute of Chicago. The latter, stands out as one of the leading museums in the world today with over 300,000 works exhibited within its confines. Hotels in this city are unbeatable with state of the art architecture and best of the best hotel services. No less than 5 of the top hotels in the city have even made it on the list of the top 500 hotels in the world by a handful of major travel publications. If you want to have a great view of Lake Michigan, doing so from the top of the W Hotel Lakeshore and the Trump International Hotel is an amazing experience.

photo.ua / Shutterstock.com
photo.ua / Shutterstock.com

8. Washington

The capital of the United States and of course the home of the White House comes in as the 8th most visited city on the list. With restaurants sprouting up everywhere, it is becoming one of the top places in the country to enjoy a delicious meal. Washington is popularly known as more of a political city but of course, there is more to the city than just that. It is also a place to know more about the history of America through the numerous monuments scattered all over the city.

Washington is among the most frequently visited city by tourists and business travelers in the US. Things to look out for if you find yourself in Washington D.C. include; the Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Memorial, 17 incredible Smithsonian museums and of course the White House. The spring season still remains the best time to visit as it’s prime-time to see the famous cherry blossoms in bloom while Washington’s colors truly shine through in all of their natural glory.

Washington DC Cherry Blossoms

7. Honolulu

Honolulu is the capital and largest city of Hawaii, located on a large bay on the island of Oahu. A host of cultural and historic sites are found just nearby, including both the USS Arizona Memorial and Ornate Lolani Palace. It goes without saying that resort hotels and beautiful beaches serve as perfect relaxation spots in Honolulu. The beaches are truly a sight to behold and the city has no shortage of crystal clear blue waters. Other activities to enjoy include a slew of fine dining establishments, vibrant cultural events, and wild nightlife. There is no doubt Honolulu is a top location for a vacation alone or with your family. The Annual Ukulele Festival is a major attraction in this city and many other expressions of Polynesian and indigenous Hawaiian culture can also be found here.

If you want to learn more on the history of the island, checkout the Polynesian Cultural Center located at the north shore of the island. You’ll find out Hawaiians don’t see themselves as just Native Islanders but also as citizens of the United States…they are very mindful of American heritage even though the city feels like it’s a world away from America’s other metropolitan areas. That’s why you can try a wide variety of food in the city, from your traditional American hamburger to Hawaiian specials like shaved ice with red bean paste or Filipino pork adobo. Renowned chefs such as Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi are products of this island. Their unique styles helped make Hawaiian cuisine a very popular all across America.

Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock.com
Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock.com

6. Las Vegas

A city famous for neon lights, casinos and gambling, Las Vegas is an experience like no other and one of the top places to visit in America. It happens to be the largest city in the state and is the “Entertainment Capital of the World”. It’s a city built in the southern Nevada desert, established just over a hundred years ago. The presence of hotels, casinos and other recreational centers makes Sin City a popular place for tourists. The climate conditions are akin to what you’d expect to find in any desert city, hot and dry…and when we say hot, we mean hot, particularly in the summer of course. But believe it or not, the low humidity in Las Vegas actually helps to make the temperature feel not as hot as you might find in other major cities.

Las Vegas is home to 17 of the top 20 biggest hotels in the United States. It has witnessed a constant and unbelievable expansion over the years and you will be dazzled at the wide variety of things to do and lovely places to visit while in the city. But while the city is famous for bright lights and gambling, you should know that the majority of the money that comes into the city is thanks to the marquee shows and booming electronic dance music movement that host parties like no other.

Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com
Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock.com

5. San Francisco

With a population just below 1 million, San Francisco is the second most densely populated city and one of the most visited cities in the U.S. You’ve probably seen loads of movies and pictures featuring this beautiful city, but regardless of what you’ve seen before, there’s still much more that San Francisco has to offer. The majority of the tourist attractions in San Francisco are located in close proximity to each other, making them easily accessible. Considered the most beautiful city in the country by many, San Francisco is renowned for its vibrant art scene, exquisite restaurants and incredible outdoor recreation.

If you are a lover of amazing art work, great food, shopping and stunning surroundings, then the best place for you is San Francisco. Thousands of tourists and business people alike visit just to enjoy spectacular scenery and experience fun filled moments. For a more relaxed time, you can take a trip to the pristine white sand beaches near the city, where you can swim, sunbathe and engage in other water sport activities. Overall, San Francisco is an amazing place for any traveler.

Pius Lee / Shutterstock.com
Pius Lee / Shutterstock.com

4. Orlando

Orlando comes in at the number 4 spot on this list. This central Florida city has everything to offer tourists who are looking to experience the most remarkable moments of their lives including great shopping malls, amazing rides at Disneyland, great food and white-knuckle skydiving encounters -Orlando is definitely a favorite travel destination among tourists from all over the world. The city boasts over 5,000 restaurants from fine dining experiences to family-friendly favorites, about 170 spectacular golf courses where both novice and expert golfers can take on a wide range of challenging courses, and great shopping centers where you can buy an array of top quality items including jewelry, bags, clothes and much more. The city also plays home to incredible resort style spas where guests are treated to heavenly relaxation.

Orlando bills itself as the only place in the country where you can experience unforgettable outdoor activities such as boating, swimming, fishing and trails for walking and biking. Orlando is also considered a haven for honeymooners. With over 95 tourist attractions, Orlando is most definitely among the world’s premier destinations with an array of fun and exciting things to do that keeps most visitors coming back to experience more fun. A combination of its various world-class attractions including world famous Disney parks with pleasant, warm weather makes Orlando one of the top places to visit in the United States. In order to fully explore the city, you’ll need to spend a couple of days here yourself…and you won’t be sorry you did.

Kamira / Shutterstock.com
Kamira / Shutterstock.com

3. Los Angeles

Los Angeles should be at the top of the list when it comes to the most scenic, vibrant and lovely cities in the world. It’s the world’s third largest economic center after Tokyo and New York and is the third most visited city in the U.S. The city is home to over 140 ethnic groups speaking 86 different languages and offering a unique mix of culture. Los Angeles is filled with protected and unspoiled natural land. It’s also home to some of the greatest tourist attractions you can find in the world including the Hollywood Hills, Griffith Park, Walt Disney Music Hall, San Gabriel and the Santa Monica mountains.

Like it’s Florida counterpart, Disneyland is of course a world-renowned attraction. It was built way back in 1955. It gives visitors the opportunity to meet different characters from the popular Disney movies, enjoy amusement rides and take in some of the world’s best musical entertainment. Fascinating museums with great art exhibitions, exotic restaurants that offer memorable mealtime experiences, legendary theme parks, comfortable and classy hotel accommodations ranging from cheap to luxury, and scenic drives all make Los Angeles stand out as one of the best cities in the country for tourists.

Filipe Frazao / Shutterstock.com
Filipe Frazao / Shutterstock.com

2. Miami

Are you planning on visiting the United States, yet indecisive of the place to experience fun at its best? Miami is the perfect place for you. Its close proximity to the Caribbean makes Miami an ideal destination for beach goers. An array of palm trees, beautiful beaches and clear blue waters make it a getaway haven for international visitors looking to cross the ocean and experience a different culture. Part of what makes Miami so captivating and enticing are the many free and fun things to do, especially at the white sand beaches. The beaches are great for swimming and usually filled with people, especially on weekends.

Take a stroll along the streets of Miami and catch amazing views of various Art Deco architecture styles and their unique shapes. Miami is also a great place for car enthusiasts, especially in the summer time as luxury and classic cars can be seen driving the main strips. Miami is also one of the cheapest cities to visit by air in the country, allowing savings for tourists and travelers. The pleasant weather, sand, sun, and free entertainment make Miami second on this list of the most visited destinations in the country.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

1. New York

New York City is the most populated city in North America and has also been featured in more movies and TV shows than any other city in the United States. It’s no surprise that the Big Apple is the #1 most visited city in the U.S. by foreign travelers. Offering the best of the best fine dining, world-class accommodations, spectacular designs, rich history and unique culture, NYC is one of the true great melting pots in the world. Home to over 8 million people, New York tops many list of the most amazing travel destinations in the United States. It attracts millions of tourists annually and offers visitors a wide variety of lovely things to do.

Some of those things to do include touring famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and Metropolitan Museum of Arts. There’s so much you can do in New York, it’s almost impossible to see everything you want in just one visit. The best part is, virtually all of it is a subway or yellow cab away. All of these elements mix and mingle to creating a destination known worldwide as ‘THE’ city to visit in the United States.

New York City Central Park

13 Things to See and Do in Oahu

Oahu often gets a bad reputation as being the Island with the most hustle and bustle, the most traffic and for being the most commercialized. Although Honolulu is often busy and boasts world-class shopping, restaurants and entertainment; there’s more to the island of Oahu than just this well-known town. From hidden waterfalls deep in the jungle to zip-lining through mountains and valleys; Oahu is full of surprises. Home to the National Historic Landmark of Pearl Harbor, the famous Waikiki Beach and volcanic craters; this island can be anything you want it to be. From education to relaxation; we invite you to enjoy these 13 things you must see and do while visiting Oahu.

1. Kaena Point

A rugged coastline with crashing waves, blue skies, and an abundance of wildlife awaits you on the hike to Kaena Point. Located on the western tip of Oahu, this dramatic lava shoreline is said to be the place where souls of ancient Hawaiians would jump into the spirit world to meet the souls of their ancestors. The only way to get to Kaena Point is to hike and while it is a long hike (apx 5 miles return); if you pack plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen, the hike is well worth it. Keep your eyes peeled for the endangered monk seals, humpback whales (in the winter), dolphins and the large sea cave; Kaneana, where legend has it the shark man Nanue resided. At low tide head down to the small tide pools and discover the shells and tiny tropical marine life within.  With a cool breeze, the brilliant sun shining and spectacular views; there’s nowhere else you will want to be.

Kaena Point

2. Attend a Luau

You can’t visit Oahu without attending a luau…it’s just that simple. Our first recommendation is to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). From spear throwing to canoe racing to learning how to cook the Samoan way; this center is packed full of activities and entertainment. Voted one of the best tourist attractions on the Island; the PCC also offers a traditional luau experience with Hawaiian food and entertainment. Make sure you stay and enjoy the evening fire show which is a favorite to all visitors. Another option for a luau is Paradise Cove Luau which offers up much of the same activities and demonstrations. With real Hawaiian food and entertainment you will not be disappointed. Both options offer a real taste of authentic Hawaii and will delight kids and adults of all ages. Be sure to book ahead and come hungry!

Luau Fire dance

3. Drive to the North Shore

No trip to Oahu is complete without a drive to the North Shore. This legendary surf Mecca attracts world class surfers in the winter when perfect waves crash ashore; while the summer brings rolling gentle waves perfect for beginners. But perfect waves aren’t all the North Shore offers. Soft white sand, giant sea turtles and warm waters draw visitors to check out at least one beach. What the North Shore is famous for though is their shrimp trucks. Kahuku was home to Giovanni’s; the first permanent shrimp truck in 1995. Since than many others have joined in and there is no shortage of options when it comes to a big plate of sautéed garlic and butter shrimp. We recommend tasting them all! If snorkeling what you’re after in the North Shore, head to Shark Cove where the rocky bottom has created a haven for colorful coral and marine life.

north shore oahu

4. Visit Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941 the world changed forever for The United States as they were thrust into WWII in response to an attack on Pearl Harbor. This National Historic Landmark is comprised of five historic sites; and we suggest visiting as many as you can. Start at the visitor’s center where a film about the attack will educate you and view the plaques that honor the fallen. It’s a short ferry ride out to the USS Arizona Memorial; a floating memorial built over the hull of the sunken USS Arizona. We suggest booking this ahead of time as it is first-come first-serve and fills up early. Take the rest of your time to explore Battleship Missouri Memorial, Submarine Museum, Pacific Aviation Museum and the USS Oklahoma Memorial. The content is rich in history and a must do for anyone interested in learning more about Pearl Harbor and pay tribute to the brave citizens who lost their lives.

Pearl Harbor memorial

5. Tour Kualoa Ranch

If you’ve ever wanted to step foot on the location of where Jurassic Park, Lost or Godzilla were all filmed; Kualoa Ranch should be your first stop. This 4,000-acre working cattle ranch is spread over rainforests, valleys, white sand beaches and cliff faces. Kualoa ranch offers many types of tours and experiences whether you are looking to tour the movie sets or escape into the legends of the land. From horseback riding to ATV touring, this ranch caters to all. Explore the secluded secret beach and try your hand at paddle boarding or kayaking or journey across an ancient Hawaiian fishpond and tropical garden. Find out how Kualoa Ranch is doing their part to preserve the Hawaiian landscape and natural beauty by visiting and have a once in a lifetime experience.

Kualoa Ranch

6.  Hike the Puu Mai

This next experience on our list of things to do on Oahu is not for the faint of heart, or for the one who wears sandals to hike. The Puu Mai is a trail leading up the Koko Crater that is comprised of 1048 steps/railroad ties. Often known as the Koko Crater Trail; this grueling hike will lead you up to one of the best views you can ask for. And by best view we mean an incredible panoramic view of the ocean, Hanuama Bay, cliffs and mountains. There is a short bridge like section that some people find scary but don’t turn around, just keep right of the bridge to find an alternate path. This trail is filled with a mix of athletic enthusiasts, locals, and visitors who want to challenge themselves. Whoever you are; when you are standing on the top looking out; every step will have been worth it.

Koko Crater Trail

7. Learn to Surf at Waikiki Beach

One name you will learn very quickly around Waikiki Beach is Duke Kahanamoku; legendary Hawaiian waterman who is known as the father of modern surfing. A statue of Duke stands in the heart of Waikiki Beach and “The Beach Boys” of Waikiki follow his methods as they teach visitors to surf. Dozens of surf schools line the beaches of Waikiki and offer private or group lessons. The gentle rolling waves with little undertow makes this spot one of the best for beginners to try their hand at surfing. When you’re all surfed out; hit up the restaurants, world-class shopping and entertainment that line Kalakaua Avenue.  For the non-surfers who are looking for a relaxing beach day with calm swimming conditions and white sand; Waikiki Beach is the perfect resting place. Rent a chair, lay down a towel, hop onto a surfboard or peruse the shops; there is something for everyone at Waikiki Beach.

Waikiki Beach

8. Zip Line at Climb Works-Keana Farms

If you are going to go zip lining there is no better place than Hawaii and Climb Works at Keana Farms is the perfect place to challenge yourself. They are rated as one of the best things to do while visiting Oahu and with the incredible views, excellent staff and the overall experience unlike anywhere else; we highly suggest making this a priority. Starting high in the mountains you will traverse across seven dual zip lines, suspended bridges and boardwalks. What makes this three-hour tour unique is the opportunity to learn about the Hawaiian culture and the working of the produce farm you are flying over. The staff members are incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging with a great sense of humour and passion for what they do. Take in breathtaking views, hop aboard an ATV to the top of a mountain and indulge in exhilarating rides; trust us you won’t want to leave.

Photo by: Climb Works
Photo by: Climb Works

9. Snorkel at Hanauma Bay

Known as the best snorkeling spot on the Island due to high concentrations of fish, calm shallow water and white sand, Hanauma Bay is a must visit. This nature preserve limits the visitors to 3,000 people a day and upon arrival visitors are asked to watch a short video that encourages you to treat Hanauma Bay as a living museum. Wade into the shallow sandy water with ease and find coral formations almost immediately. A short swim out over the coral will lead you into the clear water with plenty of caves and crevices to explore. Fish will surround you from any direction and plan on seeing numerous varieties of fish such as parrot, butterfly, yellow tangs, trumpet and often a sea turtle or two are known to make themselves present.  There are picnic areas surrounding the bay and a concession to buy food or drinks. Take plenty of sunscreen, snorkeling gear and a picnic and spend the day at a breathtaking natural paradise.

Hanauma Bay

10. Visit the Halona Blowhole

The Halona Blowhole is somewhat of a hidden gem on the island of Oahu. The blowhole was formed by molten lava tubes from volcanic eruptions and can send the water up to thirty feet into the air.  Depending on what the weather is like when you visit depends on what type of experience you will have at the blowhole. Visit during the winter months and this is a prime spot to see humpback whales playing in the sea. If the wind is strong and the tide is high prepare yourself for a spectacle of nature as the waves push through the hole and shoot into the air. This is the best opportunity to get amazing photos. If the water is calm head down the rocky path from the blowhole and stumble onto a small secluded beach often known as Halona Cove for excellent swimming waters.

Halona Blowhole

11. Hike to Hidden Waterfalls

Hawaii is often associated with rainforests, mountains and most of all spectacular waterfalls and Oahu does not disappoint in this department, but this island makes you work to find them. Hidden deep into the jungle, these waterfalls require a hike but are so picturesque we assure you it’s worth it. Manoa Falls is one of Oahu’s tallest waterfalls and the hike is moderately easy taking only about an hour. Manoa is the wettest place on Oahu with more rainfall than any other place; making this waterfall spectacular. The hike to Maunawili Falls takes an hour or two and can often be muddy. But the reward is a towering 25ft waterfall with a pool underneath. The cool water is safe to swim in and most people jump off the falls into the pool for a once in a lifetime experience. Other waterfalls to check out include Laie Falls, Li’keke Falls and Lulumahu Falls.

Manoa Falls

12. Visit the Valley of the Temples

The Valley of the Temples is nestled deep in a lush valley along the Koolau Range on the Windward Coast of Oahu. The resting place of thousands, this hilly landscape is littered with tropical flowers to remember loved ones. The focal point of the Valley of the Temples is the Byodo-In Temple; a replica of a Japanese Buddhist Temple. Following tradition visitors are asked to remove their footwear when they enter in front of the large Buddha statue and all faiths are welcome inside. The spectacular grounds include ponds and tropical gardens with brilliant colored flora and fauna. Black swans, peacocks and enormous koi fish are all part of the landscape. Take a couple hours to enjoy the serenity of the temple and the valley and make sure to bring your camera.

betto rodrigues / Shutterstock.com
betto rodrigues / Shutterstock.com

13. Swim at the Ko Olina Lagoons

If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki Beach we suggest heading over to Ko Olina Lagoons. Comprised of four man-made lagoons, these calm waters and white sand beaches beckon to many visitors and locals. Carefully placed rocks keep the waves from getting rough and allow for lots of marine life to enter into the lagoons. A great place to snorkel, float on the water or lay on the beach; these lagoons often get very busy on the weekends. With a sidewalk running along the length of the lagoons and a secret underwater tunnel connecting lagoon one and two; your hardest decision will be deciding where to start your day. Sea turtles and the monk seal are often spotted in the lagoons as an added bonus. Park for free, stay all day and enjoy the quieter waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Ko Olina Lagoons

The Best Cities to Visit in the United States

The Unites States has much to see from beautiful coastlines to majestic mountain ranges. From east to west, north and south, below are ten of the best cities to visit in the U.S.

10. New York City

The Big Apple is a must-see for anyone. From Times Square and Rockefeller center to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Broadway, the city that never sleeps has attractions and excitement 24-7.

Hotels prices range from just over $100 for a two-star hotel to over $200 for a four to five-star hotel in or near Times Square.

CristinaMuraca / Shutterstock.com
CristinaMuraca / Shutterstock.com

9. Orlando, Florida

Home of the Magic Kingdom, Orlando Florida is a great vacation spot. Visit SeaWorld or Universal Studios or one of the many Disney theme parks. Sunny Orlando has lots of fun and exciting adventures for the whole family!

Hotels prices range from under $100 for two and three-star hotel to close to $300 plus for a five-star hotel such as the Ritz Carlton, Orlando.

Orlando Florida

8. Las Vegas, Nevada

Whether you’re a high-stakes gambler, or just looking to take in a show, Las Vegas is a fabulous city with great food, high-end shopping and endless fun and excitement! Visit the MGM Grand to gamble, do some shopping at Caesars Palace Forum Shops, or take in some Cirque de Soleil. Kids love the rides at Circus Circus, or the roller Coaster at New York New York.

Hotels prices range from under $100 for up to a five-star hotel on the strip. Many casinos offer inexpensive rooms and meals to attract players to their casinos.

Las Vegas Nevada

7. Los Angeles, California

Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Bowl and the Walk-of-Fame are just a few of the attractions of California’s most famous city. Take a walk along Venice Beach, have a drink at the Beverly Hills Hotel or stroll the shopping on Rodeo Drive. Want to see where your favorite celebrities live? There are plenty of bus tours to show you who lives underneath the Hollywood sign!

Hotels prices range from under $100 for a two-star hotel to over $200 for a five-star hotel such as The London West Hollywood.

Los Angeles

6. New Orleans, Louisianna

From Bourbon Street to a Mississippi River Cruise, New Orleans has much excitement and fun even after Mardi Gras. Enjoy the Creole cuisine, the Po’ boys and the mint julips. Golf or shop by day and enjoy some jazz by night in the French Quarter. New Orleans has night life and festivals all year long!

Hotels prices range from under $100 for a two-star hotel to over $200 for a five-star hotel such as the Ritz Carlton, New Orleans.

New Orleans Louisiana

5. Denver, Colorado

Even if you don’t ski, Denver has lots to do all year long, from the Botanic Gardens and the Denver Zoo to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Coors Brewery Tour. Visit the U.S. Mint or the Buffalo Bill Museum. Of course, there are always fun snow activities, such as snowmobiling, tubing and ice-skating!

Hotels prices range from under $100 for a two-star hotel to over $300 for a five-star hotel such as the Four Seasons, Denver.

Denver Colorado

4. Anchorage, Alaska

There’s fun for the whole family in beautiful, Anchorage! Visit the country’s largest indoor waterpark, H2Oasis, dig for dinosaur bones at the Alaska Museum of Natural History or visit with a bear at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. Scenic day drives, walking tours, fairs and festivals are all fun, outdoor activities to investigate during your visit to Anchorage.

Many hotels and bed and breakfasts can be found for just around $100 per night.

Anchorage Alaska

3. Honolulu, Hawaii

With its white sand beaches, surfing and gorgeous skies, there is much to do in beautiful Honolulu. Take in the sights at the Manoa Falls or hike Diamond Head by day and see the Legends in Concert Waikiki by night. For history/military buffs, visit the Pearl Harbor National Monument or the USS Missouri Memorial. Relax at night with some sunset yoga before attending a luau.

Hotels prices range from under $100 for a two-star hotel to at or around $300 for a five-star hotel such as the Royal Hawaiian, Waikiki.

Honolulu Hawaii

2. San Antonio, Texas

From the beautiful Riverwalk to the Alamo, San Antonio is a mecca of history and nightlife. There’s fun for the whole family, too, with the San Antonio Zoo, Six Flags San Antonio and SeaWorld San Antonio.

Hotels prices range from under $100 for a two-star hotel to just under $200 for a five-star hotel such as the JW Marriott, San Antonio.

San Antonio Tx

1. Hershey, Pennsylvania

Hershey Pennsylvania, with famous Hershey Park and Chocolate World, is fun for the whole family and chocolate lovers alike! Hershey, PA also boasts Hershey Gardens, the Antique Auto Museum as well as some beautiful golf courses.

Hotels prices range from under $50 for a two-star hotel to over $100 for a three to four-star hotel.

Hershey Pennsylvania
Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock.com

10 Most Amazing Shopping Malls in the World

The average mall may simply be a place to do some shopping, grab a snack and catch a movie, but the malls on this list are anything but average. Each one offers a spectacular selection of shopping, entertainment and dining options. Containing indoor theme parks, zoos, science centers, ski trails, skating rinks, wave pools and more, these truly are the most amazing malls in the world.

1. West Edmonton Mall

This amazing mall has 800 stores, a variety of restaurants and food stands, themed areas, a haunted house, a 3-D fun house, the world’s largest indoor triple-loop roller coaster, an amusement park, a miniature golf course, the largest indoor water park in the world, night clubs, an indoor lake containing live sea lions, a petting zoo, a shooting range, a full-size replica of the Santa Maria, a hotel, cinemas, radio stations and more.

West Edmonton Mall

2. The Mall of America

This Minnesota shopping destination has 4.2 million square feet of retail space and contains more than 400 stores, a theme park, a wedding chapel, a comedy club, a cinema, an aquarium, a miniature golf course, a wedding chapel and flight simulators. It gets more visitors per year than any other mall in the world.

Mall of America
Tianxi Wang / Shutterstock.com

3. The Dubai Mall

This giant mall is currently the biggest mall in the world containing 1,200 retail stores and over a hundred restaurants in addition to a large selection of entertainment options. Some notable attractions include an indoor theme park, a children’s entertainment center, a large movie theater and the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre.

The Dubai Mall
Sanchai Kumar / Shutterstock.com

4. SM Mall of Asia

Located in the Philippines, this mall has 4.2 million square feet of space. It has a great selection of stores and restaurants and a dizzying array of entertainment options. Some popular attractions include a multi-story IMAX screen, a skating rink and the Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center.

SM Mall of Asia
saiko3p / Shutterstock.com

5. The Mall of the Emirates

This Dubai attraction is an entertainment destination as well as a shopping center. With 6.5 million square feet of total space and 2.4 million square feet of retail space, it contains more than 450 stores, an indoor ski park, rides, games, a cinema, a large community theater, an art gallery and more.

The Mall of the Emirates
Sanchai Kumar / Shutterstock.com

6. The Galleria

One of Houston’s biggest tourist attractions, this shopping center attracts over 24 million visitors per year. In addition to a mix of upscale and moderately priced retail stores, the mall contains several restaurants, two large hotels, an indoor ice rink and a jogging track.

The Galleria
Pavel L Photo and Video / Shutterstock.com

7. Wafi Mall

Designed to look like an Egyptian pyramid, this Dubai mall has hieroglyphic-covered columns, a pyramid and a large statue of Ramses in its lavish courtyard. The mall contains several themed areas, a variety of retail shops, restaurants, a theme park, a luxury hotel, a petting zoo and other entertainment options.

Wafi Mall

8. Siam Paragon

Containing an opera hall, a movie theater, a luxury hotel, a bowling alley, an art gallery and the Siam Ocean World Aquarium in addition to a wide array of restaurants and stores, this Bangkok mall is one of the largest in Asia. Since its opening in 2005, the Siam Paragon has become a popular destination for tourists from around the world.

Siam Paragon
1000 Words / Shutterstock.com

9. The Ala Moana Shopping Center

This Honolulu landmark is the world’s largest open-air shopping mall. It has over 290 retail outlets and boasts one of the world’s largest food courts. It is also an entertainment destination since it contains one of the most popular public amphitheaters in Hawaii.

Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

10. Istanbul Cevahir

This large Istanbul mall boasts a huge glass roof and one of the largest clocks in the world. In addition to a variety of retail stores and restaurants, it has 12 cinemas, a roller coaster and other entertainment options to please guests who want a break from shopping and eating.

Istanbul Cevahir
1000 Words / Shutterstock.com