Located on the south shore of Honolulu, the world-famous neighborhood of Waikiki was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Known in Hawaiian as 'spouting waters,' Waikiki was introduced to the world when its first hotel, the Moana Surfrider, was built on its shores in 1901. Today, Waikiki is Oahu’s main hotel and resort area and a vibrant gathering place for visitors from around the world. Along the main strip of Kalakaua Avenue you'll find world-class shopping, dining, entertainment, activities and resorts.
Waikiki is most famous for its beaches and every room is just two or three blocks away from the sea. With Leahi (Diamond Head) as your backdrop, the calm waters of Waikiki are perfect for a surfing lesson. In fact, legendary Hawaiian waterman Duke Kahanamoku grew up surfing the waves of Waikiki. This Olympic gold medalist in swimming actually taught visitors how to surf at the turn of the century and was later known as “The father of modern surfing.” Today, the Waikiki Beach Boys perpetuate Duke’s legacy by teaching visitors how to surf and canoe and the Duke Kahanamoku Statue has become an iconic symbol of Waikiki.
But there’s more to Waikiki than just the beach. Attractions of Waikiki like the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium offer fun for the whole family. You can learn about the history of Waikiki by reading the surfboard markers along the Waikiki Historical Trail. Among the various things to do, fantastic shopping and dining can be found all along Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues and at gathering places like the Royal Hawaiian Center and the Waikiki Beach Walk. And the fun keeps going long after the Waikiki sunset with amazing nightlife and live music.
Best of all, Waikiki is within a half hour of a variety of Oahu attractions, including Pearl Harbor, Iolani Palace, the Nuuanu Pali Lookout and Hanauma Bay. Other notable points of interest nearby include Ala Moana Center, the local neighborhood of Kapahulu and the arts district of Chinatown.
From Hawaiian royalty to Hawaii Regional Cuisine, Waikiki continues to be an evolving expression of the ancient spirit of aloha. On these famous shores, the past and the future are uniting in fresh and surprising ways.
Honolulu is Hawaii's largest and most bustling city and is packed with sights, activities, tourist attractions and a fair amount of history. The beaches around Honolulu are exquisite and include the world famous Waikiki Beach.
There are also plenty of other tourist attractions to explore, such as historical Chinatown, with its numerous restaurants and medicine shops. Shopping is also a pastime in Honolulu and you are spoiled for choice with the likes of the Aloha Tower Marketplace complex and Ala Moana Shopping Center.
Address: 151 Kapahulu Avenue, Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii HI, USA
Tel: +1 808 971 7171
This excellent zoo houses an assortment of exotic animals and includes the expansive African Savanna that allows the animals to wander around at will in their perceived natural environment, the Kipuka Nene Sanctuary (Hawaii's state bird) and the petting zoo. Other attractions of special interest at Honolulu Zoo are the twilight tours, giving visitors a chance to view nocturnal animals when they area at their most active.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 16:30
KAHALOA AND ULUKOU BEACHES
Located in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Kahaloa and Ulukou beaches are the city's most visited after Waikiki Beach and offer superb swimming and plenty of activities for the whole family. Surfing is one of the most popular attractions here and outrigger canoes and catamarans are available for hire.
Address: King and Richard Streets, Honolulu, Hawaii HI, USA
Tel: +1 808 538 1471
This beautifully restored 19th-century palace, built by King Kalakaua, is located in downtown Honolulu and boasts a richly adorned interior filled with European furniture. Tours of the palace are popular and on Fridays you can see the Royal Hawaiian Band perform in the Kalakaua Cornonation Bandstand.
Open hours: Tuesday to Saturday - 08:30 to 14:00
Admission: adults charge, discounts for children, no entry for children under five years
ROYAL HAWAIIAN HOTEL
Address: 2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii HI, 96815-2578, USA
One of Waikiki Beach's most famous landmarks, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, or 'Pink Palace of the Pacific' as it is affectionately known, is Honolulu's original Hawaiian tourist boom hotel complete with turrets and vaulted archways. The ocean views from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel are quite outstanding.