Restrictions still in place, visitors try to make the most of their Hawaii vacations

Tourists adjusting to Honolulu’s COVID rules

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With Honolulu still in Tier 2, with restrictions on everything from dine-in service to attractions to bars, visitors are trying to make the most of their vacation.

Several visitors say the biggest struggle is finding a place to eat.

“It’s been really challenging, everything closes at 8 or 9 or closed,” said Val Morar who is visiting from Portland, Oregon.

“And so you have to do a little investigation to find what restaurants are opened but we haven’t had any problem finding restaurants, (there) haven’t been any lines or any waits,” said Mike Palu who is visiting from San Francisco.

Hula Grill Waikiki just re-opened on Thursday.

With more visitors coming each day, General Manager of Hula Grill Waikiki, Drew Crocker said they opened their beach front dining area to help out their sister restaurant, Duke’s Waikiki.

“We watched the business at Duke’s build and eventually when that was strong enough, we were able to negotiate reopening Hula Grill,” said Crocker. “That way we could reduce the wait at Duke’s and provide guests with an experience up here on our ocean front dining as well.”

While many tourists attractions are waiting in the wings to see how fast tourism resumes, business is slowly picking up for Tradewind Charters.

“We’re getting a few calls daily and taking folks out daily, which is exciting,” said Ken Middleton, Owner of Tradewind Charters. “We’re getting back on the saddle and it seems like old times on a small scale.”

Looking beyond Kalakaua Avenue, some tourists are making the most of their trips by simply taking in Hawaii’s beauty.

“We’re mostly into hiking, going to the beach swimming so all of the places are open, so we really enjoy the island from a natural point of view,” said Morar.

“It’s actually really quiet, not as many tourists as I expected and it’s been very relaxing and very enjoyable,” said Palu.

The Chamber of Commerce says they are working on a plan to help other businesses like bars & tourist attractions operate under the city’s safety guidelines.

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