Waikiki is always my first stop when I visit Hawaii on vacation. After living there for a short while and visiting more times than I can count on my fingers and toes, I've seen the area transform itself over the last 8 years. It's been good, and bad, and from my most recent visit I noticed a number of changes. Here's three that really stood out for me:
1. Many retail stores are exclusively for Japanese tourists - the number of nail supply/nail salons has hit an all time high. How many acrylic nails with glitter and sparkles does one need?
2. Eggs 'n' Things is taking over the island - just kidding, but they do have 2 restaurants now in Waikiki and one at Ala Moana Center, which are always full with a line out the door.
3. A lack of good places to get a decent cocktail - I'm shocked that places like the Hilton Hawaiian Village are still serving drinks like the Blue Hawaii and Piña Colada for $13 and getting away with it. How about some variety, using local spirits and fresh island produce?
What do you think about Waikiki 2013? Is it better or worse than years gone by?