World's largest outdoor shopping center and Hawaii's biggest and best shopping mall.
Ala Moana Center is the world's largest outdoor shopping center and it's located in Honolulu on the island of O'ahu in Hawaii. They boast around 300 stores with around 70 dining options. It's truly a one stop shop for pretty much any type of shopping you want to do.
Getting here is very easy and if you're in Waikiki (see Waikiki Guide) you can take a bus here, drive here, or hop on the free trolley to get here. If you don't mind walking, you can even walk here from Waikiki. It's also literally just across the street from Ala Moana Beach & State Recreation Area and Magic Island (Aina Moana) so you can walk to/from those places as well.
Sure, it's a mall and like any mall it will have tons of filler. You know, all of those chain stores that any mall has (I'm looking your way Sunglass Hut). But there are plenty of hidden shopping gems that are unique to this shopping center.
I'm not a big fan of mall food courts but Ala Moana has a pretty insane food court with tons of options and many that aren't the usual fast food you'll find everywhere else. In fact, one of my favorite Mexican style fast food places is here which is Senior Pepe's and The Fat Greek makes a really good gyro as well. There are also several sit down dining options to choose from.
This monster of a mall has four floors and it's all open to the outdoors even though you're sort of enclosed within the mall itself. So this is by far the best mall I've ever been to but at the end of the day it's still a mall and filled with mall related annoyances. For example, people. I'm kidding, but this place can get pretty packed at times even though it's so large it never feels too bad.
It does have "booth" vendors in the walkways / hallways and many of them are beyond annoying as they try to give you perfume samples, convince you to check out their wares, and so on. The big tactic they use is to compliment you or ask where you are from. For them, it's all about getting you to pause for 5 seconds and then they'll pounce on you.
I'm sure they are decent people at the end of the day and I understand that they need a job like anyone else but tricking people this way makes them bottom feeders and your best bet is to just ignore them and keep on walking. Seriously, ignore them like they don't exist! Don't respond, don't reply, just keep walking.
I see too many tourists getting sucked into their traps time and time again because tourists don't want to be rude (and these sales people know that). I truly wish Ala Moana Center would ban this practice which would really class this place up a lot. In fact, allowing this practice means this mall simply cannot get a perfect 5 star rating from me.
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