Waikiki is representative of a typical American coastal resort. With sky rise hotels backing on to stretches of golden beaches which are pounded by exceptional surf, there is something for everyone here. Located on the southern tip of the Hawaiian Island of Oahu, the town’s name is synonymous with surfing and evidence of this is found everywhere. Hawaiian life and culture is also strongly present, and is intermingled with the other American influences. The near constant temperatures, outstanding scenery and atmosphere of Waikiki all combine to make it the popular tourist destination that it is.


Although the stretch of sand which runs along the coast at Waikiki is referred to as Waikiki Beach, it is broken up into smaller sections along this. The waters all along here are reasonably calm and flags will mark out where you can swim and where surfers are allocated. Early in the morning the beach is relatively quiet, with only a few joggers and walkers using it, however as the day progresses hordes of bronzed sunbathers come to use its amenities.

Diamond Head was formed by volcanic activity long after most of the volcanoes in Hawaii had become dormant, and is one of the Pacific’s best-known landmarks. Visible from Waikiki Beach, this peak offers spectacular views of the coastline of Oahu and of Waikiki. The Hawaiians named the Head Le’ahi and built a temple on the summit that was used for human sacrifices. The hike to the crater rim is not too strenuous and is recommended to be attempted either early in the morning or later in the evening for cooler temperatures. The breaks at Waikiki offer opportunities for novices to try their hand at the ancient sport of the island, surfing. Touts roam the beaches looking for eager participants, alternatively most surf shops rent boards and offer lessons. Long boarding is also popular here, and you will often see mature Hawaiian surfers enjoying this more laid back style. In winter months Oahu’s North Shore is a must for keen surfers, when the waves attract visitors from all around the globe.

During the winter months Humpback Whales come to reside in the warm waters of Hawaii, and trips are available promising you a guaranteed sighting or your money back. Roundtrip transportation from Waikiki is included, as is food and drinks. The boat has an open sun deck area so you can catch some rays while on the lookout, and the captain has extensive knowledge of the whales for your information.

Waikiki’s aquarium is located next to a living reef on the shoreline, and has one of the largest and most spectacular collections of sharks in the world. Varying types of coral and Hawaiian fish are also on display, and the outdoor tank is the home of a pair of extremely rare Hawaiian monk seals.


You will never go hungry in Waikiki. Food styles from all around the world can be found in its vast selection of restaurants. Seafood dominates on all of these menus, and you can enjoy fantastic food overlooking the sea in which your dinner was caught. Sunsets over Waikiki beach also make an unrivalled accompaniment to your meal. The Chinese market has many different types of stalls selling takeaway food at a very reasonable price.

Bars line the beachfront of the majority of the hotels, many of which are filled by sunset watchers. Hawaiian and surf themed bars are a firm favourite in Waikiki, although there are some choicer ones which cater for the honeymooners.

Waikiki has its fair share of Polynesian shows with hula dancers and Hawaiian drummers. Many of these can be found in the hotels, or you can try the ones at the Waikiki Town Centre on Kuhio Avenue, or at the free hula show held every Saturday and Sunday at Kuhio Beach Park. The infamous Duke’s Canoe Club also hosts contemporary Hawaiian music most nights and on weekend afternoons.


Waikiki is filled with an abundance of shops selling Hawaiian style souvenirs, gifts and crafts. Hibiscus prints are found everywhere, and surf shops line the streets and shopping malls. Vendors set up stalls all along the street which flanks the beach, and sell anything from shell necklaces to street snacks. Designer retails stores are also readily available, and you will be able to find most popular American shops. The Ala Moana Shopping Centre is Hawaii’s world famous shopping mall, and has over 260 shops under one roof. There is amble parking in this open air centre, which is only thirty minutes drive from Waikiki.

Tourist Information

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention BureauRoyal Hawaiian Shopping Centre 2201 Kalakaua AvenueOahu Hawaii

Tel: 01 (808) 524-0722Fax: 1/808-521 1620Web: [http://www.visit-oahu.com www.visit-oahu.com]


The nearest airport to Waikiki is Honolulu Airport. This has internal charters to the majority of major cities in America, as well as a variety of international destinations. Buses are available to Waikiki from the airport, transfer time is around an hour even though the airport is only seven miles from Waikiki. Alternatively a much quicker, albeit more expensive, option is to rent a taxi which will take around twenty five minutes, and limousine taxis are a popular choice of transport for many tourists.

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