As Obama pulled onto the street that his beach house is on, many people in the neighborhood sat in lawn chairs and many others waved little American flags. One family even had snacks set up on a table in their driveway, as if they had waited outside all day.
Obama tours are springing up to celebrate the hometown hero.
Tour guide Dennis Lynch of Discover Hawaii Tours said he has the best job in town.
"I can't explain the joy and satisfaction that we have from a local boy who will be the 44th president in a few weeks," Lynch said.
The tour takes visitors through the places Obama grew up, including a collection of middle class apartments throughout the city.
Stephanie Rivera was visiting from Georgia and said she was impressed at Obama's "humble" upbringing and moved by "how he could overcome obstacles and get where he is today."
One of the visitors' favorite stops is the ice cream shop where the president-elect first worked, and where tourists can now taste a new Obama-inspired flavor called Whirl of Change.
"Change tastes good," said Dustin Barnes, who was visiting from Philadelphia.
The tour is not just for tourists. Boh Clamadi, who lives in Honolulu, brought her two teenage daughters, hoping Obama's story would inspire them.
"It's really neat to see and connect the dots because we live here," Clamadi said.
The president-elect has no public events scheduled this week, but it will be certainly be a working vacation.
Aides say Obama will focus on transition issues and receive regular Intelligence briefings.
He is also expected to make a tribute to his grandmother, who raised him in Hawaii and died two days before he won the election.
But for the most part, Obama plans to relax with his family and focus on being a dad.
"They're going there with a bare-bones staff and the idea there really is for him to have as much vacation as possible for the last chance he'll have for at least the next four years," said ABC News' Rick Klein. "As soon as he gets back, he's going to be in the 100 [miles per hour] mode he's been going at probably for the whole presidency."
ABC News' Sunlen Miller contributed to this report.