Everything in Waikiki revolves around the ocean since it is the center of life there. How could it possibly be otherwise? To begin, it encompasses thirty percent of the earth’s landmass and oceans. Although the Pacific Ocean has an area of 64 million square miles, it is not an exaggeration to say that this well-loved neighborhood in Honolulu has the most endearing aspect of the entire ocean.
The most memorable experiences that can be had in Waikiki are those that pay tribute to the breathtaking scenery that surrounds the neighborhood. The spectacular neighborhood of Waikiki is a living history museum that also features a lively food scene, exhilarating nightlife, and some genuinely fine hotels.
The Best Places to Visit in Honolulu and Waikiki
The most picturesque neighborhood in all of Honolulu is unquestionably Waikiki. Waikiki should be the first spot you go to visit in Oahu, or Hawaii in general, if you are looking for a high-end beach atmosphere as well as a hub of energy and action.
Make the most of your time in Waikiki by using this handy guide to the best sights and activities the neighborhood has to offer.
1. Moana Hotel, a Historic Landmark
Moana Surfrider, now a Westin resort, was originally established in 1901 as the Moana Hotel and holds the distinction of being Waikiki’s first hotel. The building, which is included on the National Register of Historic Places, showcases architectural styles from Europe, including Art Deco and Bauhaus.
There is no need to reserve a room in order to see the world-famous architecture because free guided tours are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays, and the tour guide is an integral part of the experience.
2. Lessons on Surfing in Waikiki
If you go to Waikiki Beach and look for the famous statue of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, you’ll discover a wide variety of activity kiosks and surf instructors who are happy to show you the best waves in the area.
Waikiki Beach is considered the birthplace of modern surfing, owing to Duke Kahanamoku, who was not only a surfer but also an instructor, an Olympian, and a local legend.
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Because of this, learning to surf at Waikiki Beach is an activity that just about anybody should try at least once. In addition to that, the protected bay waters here are perfect for beginners, so don’t be afraid to hang ten!
3. Beach at Kahanamoku, Hawaii
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort can be found directly across the street from Kahanamoku Beach, which makes it the westernmost beach in Waikiki. This secluded stretch of beach is ideal for day trips and picnics with the kids and family.
If you want to get some paddleboarding practice in before you head out on the open water, the saltwater lagoon is a good place to go because it is peaceful and calm. You can also come here to enjoy celebrations with fireworks that take place along the shore.
4. The Army Museum of Fort DeRussy
This museum on the waterfront is dedicated to documenting Hawaii’s rich military heritage. The event is free to attend, however, any donations are gratefully accepted.
The exhibits cover a wide range of time periods, from ancient to present, and provide an in-depth look at the personnel, technology, and societal factors that went into protecting Hawaii.
You won’t find the crowded tourist queues here, but you will find plenty of interesting details to accompany a trip to Pearl Harbor. Make it a goal to talk to at least one veteran who is willing to share their experiences.
5. The Palace of Iolani
Iolani Palace is the only royal palace that can be found in the United States of America. King Kalakaua constructed it in 1882, serving as the Kamehameha Dynasty’s administrative center.
There is no other location in the United States of America where tourists can so personally follow in the footsteps of royalty. There are options for self-guided tours, but a guided tour of the palace and residency is strongly advised so that you may get the insider information that the local guides know.
6. Coffee from the Island Vintage
Island Vintage Coffee is a Hawaiian coffee roaster that is not pretentious but still exquisite. They have seven outlets spread out around the island of Oahu.
When in the area, it is an absolute requirement that you try some of the locally grown Hawaiian coffee, and Island Vintage Coffee sells beverages made entirely of Kona coffee.
7. The Honolulu Zoo
The Honolulu Zoo is home to a variety of mammalian, reptile, and amphibian species, in addition to a number of endemic Hawaiian animals, such as pueo (Hawaiian short-eared owls). The beach resorts of Waikiki are easily accessible on foot from the zoo.
In addition to the animals, the zoo also provides educational programming that is participatory. It is a plus to explore the rest of Kapiolani Park because it offers magnificent views of Diamondhead and has free concerts every Sunday afternoon presented by the Royal Hawaiian Band.
8. Tiki’s Grill and Bar
This rooftop patio is a popular gathering place because it features local live music and dance, dishes prepared by chefs who have won awards, and happy hour deals.
At Tiki’s Grill & Bar, you’ll find an incredible sense of ohana, which translates to family, along with wide ocean views that are ideal for sunset cocktails.
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Try the large Mai Tai, which is served with the house specialty passion fruit foam made with Licor 43. Your beverage will go great with the guava-glazed baby back ribs, the volcano wings, and the kalua pig quesadillas.
9. The ABC Shops
You may get all of your favorite drinks and snacks without paying a big markup here, in addition to regional delicacies and apparel. Since 1949, they have been a part of the state of Hawaii.
The ABC Stores business is so deserving of a mention that it deserves to be mentioned here, even if it is not every day that you find a corner store on a must-visit list. Are you looking for inexpensive mementos that cannot be obtained anywhere else?
There are some on ABC. Do you have a need for Hawaiian chocolates, macadamia nuts, or coffee from the islands? This is the place to come for anything and everything Hawaiian, plus they have excellent rates and helpful employees.
10. The Crater of Diamond Head
Although Waikiki is located adjacent to some of the best hiking in Oahu, the trail that ascends Diamond Head Crater is often considered to be the most famous hiking trail in the Waikiki area.
Diamond Head Crater, sometimes referred to as Le’ahi in Hawaiian, is a dormant volcano that is located to the east of Waikiki. It is considered to be one of the most iconic emblems of both Oahu and Honolulu.
The huge parcel of land is utterly stunning to take in. In the 19th century, when sailors first discovered the area, they mistook the crystals that they found here for diamonds, giving the headland its current name. However, the name continued to be used for them anyway.
Waikiki is likely one of the most well-known beach resort areas on the whole wide planet. The sun-drenched, beachy stretch of Honolulu that looks out over the South Sea is the place in Hawaii that attracts the most tourists.
Waikiki is the true heart of Honolulu and Hawaii in general. It is located in close proximity to both downtown Honolulu and the Diamond Head Crater.
Of all of the Hawaiian islands, Waikiki contains the most hotels per square foot of any other area. Either on the beach or along Kalakaua Avenue, which is Waikiki’s primary thoroughfare, you’ll discover them. The side streets that branch off of Kalakaua Avenue are filled to the gills with places to eat, shop, be entertained, and participate in other activities.