Winter Wonderlands

by Sherri Eisenberg

Oahu, Hawaii

The trimmings: On Oahu, Santas wear bathing suits and floral shirts, and restaurants and shops are filled with the sound of Christmas carols performed on ukulele ("Christmas Luau," "Here Comes Santa in a Red Canoe," and "Mele Kalikimaka" are popular tunes). There are numerous parades throughout the island, and the capital city gets all dressed up, especially the historic Honolulu Hale. Constructed in 1928, the municipal building gets the full treatment with colored lights and decorations.

Check in: At the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, the highlight of the Christmas season is easily the arrival of Santa (in 2011 he appears on December 10 at 9 am). He travels not by reindeer-drawn sleigh in these parts, but by Hawaiian outrigger canoe. And it's not down the chimney he comes, but up the beach. Santa also dons a suit in a palaka print and sails in giving the shaka hand gesture, a traditional surfer greeting. His first order of business? Some hula dancing, of course.

Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach
2335 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii
Tel: 866 956 4262 (toll-free)
From $179 per night

Next: Caroling in the desert >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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