Five places to seek shelter when it's raining in Honolulu

It happens. You go to Hawaii planning to soak up as much beach time as you can in the glorious sun. But then the unthinkable — it's raining! And not just the little sprinkles that happen every day in the islands; it's a serious downpour. So much for improving your tan. But fear not. There are still Hawaii-themed activities you can indulge in indoors — if you know where to look.

Track down that Aloha Shirt you never knew you needed

Bailey's Antiques and Aloha Shirts
517 Kapahula Ave., Honolulu, HI, 96815. (808) 734-7628.

Located just outside Waikiki, you could spend hours perusing the vintage fare on offer at Bailey's. There are literally thousands of aloha shirts for sale, with prices ranging from a few bucks to a few thousand. You'll also find vintage items of Hawaiiana (couldn't your dining table use a pair of Tiki salt and pepper shakers?) and collectibles like scripts from the original Hawaii 5-O TV series.

Play the ukulele on royal land

Royal Hawaiian Center
2201 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815. (808) 922-2299.

The Royal Hawaiian Center is on the very land where Hawaiian royalty once lived. Which makes it an especially appropriate setting to soak up Hawaiian culture. Want to learn how to make a lei? Give a traditional Hawaiian lomilomi massage? Play "Aloha Oe" on the ukulele? Check out one of the free Cultural Programming classes the Center offers Monday through Saturday. The classes are popular, so check in early at Guest Services.

When it's time for lunch, get your Tiki on

La Mariana Sailing Club
50 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu, 96819. (808) 848-2800.

Hidden away on a side street near Ke'ehi Boat Harbor, this restaurant isn't easy to find, as despite the address it isn't actually on Sand Island Access Road (tip: take the first right after the first light on Sand Island Road). But it's well worth seeking out. La Mariana opened its doors in 1957, and it's now the last old-school Tiki bar and restaurant in Honolulu. And there's more than just its own history with the walls; the kitschy décor comes from other, similarly-themed but now closed establishments (Don the Beachcomber's, Trader Vic's, the Sheraton's Kon Tiki Room). The drinks menu includes Mai Tais, "Daddy's Rum Punch," and "La Mariana Tea," the restaurant's potent version of a Long Island Ice Tea. There's live entertainment each night as well.

Discover hidden treasures in the middle of Waikiki

Lucoral Museum
2414 Kuhio Ave., Honolulu, HI, 98615. (808) 922-1999.

The Lucoral Museum is one of Waikiki's most unusual attractions, truly a "hidden gem." Behind its unprepossessing exterior on a busy section of Kuhio Ave., you'll find a museum with displays of colorful gemstones and pearls, sculptures of jade and rose quartz, beautiful coral trees, a "lava bomb" (cooled lava rock) and a real dinosaur egg fossil. The museum is the adjunct business of Lucoral Hawaii Jewelry and Flora Lu Designs, with the gift shop well worth exploring in its own right, with its large selection of imaginative jewelry creations.

Spend a night with Elvis — or the Beatles!

Royal Hawaiian Center
2201 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815. (808) 629-SHOW (7469) or Toll Free 1-855-805-SHOW (7469).
Fourever Fab Perform the Best of the Beatles
Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
120 Kaiulani Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815. (808) 277-8443,

The King of Rock 'n' Roll has a lot of ties with Hawaii; he made three films in the islands, starred in a worldwide broadcast concert in 1973, and spent the last vacation of his life on Oahu in 1977. Rock-a-Hula celebrates all that history; the other tribute artists in the show rotate, but there's always an Elvis in the cast. Expect songs highlighting Elvis' Hawaiian movies, like "Blue Hawaii" and "Drums of the Islands," along with plenty of aloha spirit. The Fab Four never played in Hawaii (though John Lennon and George Harrison passed through on their way to Tahiti), but Fourever Fab certainly sound like they're right at home when they take the stage. From "I Want to Hold Your Hand" to "Hey Jude," you'll hear at least one of your favorite Beatles classics. You can pose with the stars after the show as well, for a ready made souvenir.

Gillian G. Gaar is a Seattle freelancer who covers music, entertainment, and travel. Hawaii is one of her most favorite travel destinations.