Is your weekend calendar looking a little empty?

How does a quick aloha visit to the hot, Hawaiian capital of Honolulu sound? Or, perhaps you’d prefer a more reflective seaside experience in Newport, Rhode Island?

Both Honolulu and Newport are finalists in our inaugural CheapOair Owards’ Most Enjoyable City category—so to help you decide between a tropical long weekend and a colonial getaway, check out a few reasons why these two great cities are worth voting for!

Heading to Honolulu

MNStudio / Shutterstock

MNStudio / Shutterstock

Situated on the island of Oahu, the home of Pearl Harbor, Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and the Banzai Pipeline, you could say this is one lei’d back town.

Aptly titled the Crossroads of the Pacific, Honolulans (locals) simply call it Town, and presumably it was an early visitor from New York (the big apple) who coined its other moniker, the big pineapple? (It’ll never catch on.)

Downtown Honolulu has that big city feeling as befits the state capital and business hub of Hawaii, but with its tropical savanna climate, thoughts never stray far from the nearby awesome beaches and surf (dudes). So shake out your hula skirts and tune up your ukuleles! Here’s what’s happening— Hawaii style.

The 41st Annual Intertribal Powwow – October 3rd and 4th, 2015

Bill Perry / Shutterstock

Bill Perry / Shutterstock

Honoring Native American Indians, this annual Powwow educates and entertains through dance and music. Appealing to children and adults alike, the weekend is filled with arts, crafts, and authentic Native American cuisine.

With tribes represented by Sioux, Paiute, and Mohawk, amongst others, and with Native Alaskan crafts also proudly on display, this is a truly diverse and celebratory gathering that may just be more WOW than pow!

Events take place in Thomas Square Park downtown—just follow the sound of drumbeats!

Sunrise and Sunset

kochkinag58 / Shutterstock

kochkinag58 / Shutterstock

Don’t leave Hawaii without setting your watch for the sunrise and sunset. Make sure you have an unobstructed view before 6:23 AM HAST (Hawaii Aleutian Standard Time), and have your ocean view table reserved at Dukes, Waikiki, before 6:18 PM, to witness the sun’s slow descent into the Pacific behind your fresh pineapple Mojito cocktail. As the locals would say—“Nani kōkī” (supremely beautiful!)

Best Local Treat

schantalao / Shutterstock

schantalao / Shutterstock

It made Oprah’s “O” list and could now play a part in deciding our Owards list!  Oh my!

Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream and Desserts, located on University Avenue, Honolulu is a world famous purveyor of gourmet ice cream, desserts, and Mochi.

Originating in Japan, Mochi consists of soft sticky rice cake wrapped around a ball of ice cream with a dusting of delicious powder on top! Try saying Mochi without saying “mm”. Flavors range from Azuki Bean to Tiramisu with plenty of passion fruit, pistachio, chocolate, and mango filling up the menu. For the less adventurous, plump for a nice classic ball of gourmet ice cream or sorbet to round off your evening. Aloha.

Next Stop: Newport!

Allan Wood Photography / Shutterstock

Allan Wood Photography / Shutterstock

Newport, Rhode Island is where revolution, history, and old school opulence lurk around every picturesque corner! This is truly a great time of year to visit this scenic corner of New England.

The maritime city of Newport is a mere eleven square miles in size, three of which are water! Former home to several ex-presidents, (one even got married here) and some of the richest families in America, its coastlines are dotted with mansions, lighthouses, history, and a scenic cliff walk not to be forgotten. So hoist your sails and  batten down your hatches! Here’s what’s happening—New England style.

Busking at Bowen’s Wharf – NOW Through October 27th, 2015

Ramunas Bruzas / Shutterstock

Ramunas Bruzas / Shutterstock

Historic Bowens Wharf by Newport Harbor is where the past meets the present and is always the place to be!

Lose yourself as you browse the old cobbled streets and yards, where colonial buildings harken back to the area’s bustling seaport days. Jump forward in time to enjoy this popular spot for shopping, eating, and art, and then when adventure at sea beckons, clamber aboard any of the varied seagoing vessel tours for a spin around the harbor! But back on dry land, that’s not all Bowens Wharf has to offer!

Fall’s arrival brings back the ever popular annual Busking @ Bowens series, where acoustic musicians exchange chords, like traders of old, right in the midst of this bustling dock, and all solely for the listening pleasure of the day’s lucky passersby. Spend the day with the buskers, and then dine at night in any of the many fine establishments located right on the wharf. Don’t be surprised if seafood is on the menu!

Cliff Walk

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

Have you walked the walk? Well, a quarter of a million visitors per year have! We’re talking about Newport’s world famous Cliff Walk, of course! The walk features three and a half miles of varied terrain, with sheer drops, gorgeous architecture, wildlife, shoreline, and plenty of rocks for the amateur geologist. The walk is divided into five distinct sections, so decide if you’d rather take on just parts of it, or the whole route! Designated as New England’s first National Recreation Trail, this is a must do on any Newport stay.

Best Local Treat

Olga Lyubkina / Shutterstock

Olga Lyubkina / Shutterstock

Visiting New England and not sampling the clam chowder is like visiting a country and not leaving the airport. Not surprisingly for such a sea locked town, seafood is high on every restaurant’s menu and clam chowder is top of the list. Tastes differ of course, but you could do far worse than slurping down a hot bowl of New England clam chowder from nautically named restaurant The Black Pearl.

Don’t expect to meet Jack Sparrow down here on Bannisters Wharf however! This restaurant is not actually related to the movie. It was, in fact, named in honor of the vessel of the yachtsman who happened upon the place in the late sixties and subsequently refurbished it to its present glory (are you following all of this?). Often regarded as one of the top restaurants in New England, The Black Pearl is a firm favorite in Newport, and its clam chowder is a firm favorite amongst its visitors.

Whether you choose to sample the chowder in Newport, or the ice cream in Honolulu, you’re in for the #Bestweekendever in either of our award nominated cities!

Let us know your weekend highlight in the comments below and after your visit, make sure to vote for your favorite city in the Owards contest!

 

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About The Author

Brian Lees

Brian Lees is a Content Writer and Editor with 21 years of experience in the travel industry and a lifetime of personal traveling memories. Originally from Scotland, Brian is a big fan of soccer, family, friends, and food. He's now happily settled on South Shore Long Island with a wife, 2 kids, and a dog to keep him busy! Between trips to Jones Beach, he's happy to keep the CheapOair blog filled with travel insights for you all.