Guide To Waikiki Oahu
For those coming to Hawaii longing for lonely shores with swaying palm trees, the gentle sounds of the Ukulele and the flair of a quaint beach community, you are in for a big surprise.
Although snubbed by many as the Mecca of luxury hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers, Waikiki's strong charm is still there. The district counts some 25,000 permanent residents, plus an average of 70,000 visitors daily, mainly package tourists and honeymooners coming from Asia, the mainland United States and Europe.
In Waikiki you will find all the hustle and bustle of a major tourist destination, but also a little more. While in many destination you are just somewhere, here you have that certain feeling of 'place' .The 2 miles of Waikiki offer something for everyone-and we mean everyone. Most tours and activities originate from Waikiki.
All the major hotel chains are present in Waikiki, from Hilton to the Sheraton, as well as a huge number of Outrigger Hotels, designed for all budgets. There are hundreds of condos, vacation rentals and self catering units. The most beautiful places to stay are by far the Royal Hawaiian and the Sheraton Moana Surfrider, both directly on Waikiki Beach.
If you are on a budget, stay a block off the beach, and the price will drop significantly. This is good, because you have more than one hundred restaurants where you can spend your money, plus bars and nightclubs, theme restaurants, tattoo parlors and countless activities.
Waikiki should be part of your itinerary. When the sun sets over Magic Island and the torches are lighted, and the first Hawaiian melodies are sung in the hotel gardens, you will know that this is what you were looking for - Waikiki...
If you want to go home with some serious tannage, these are good places to go to get it.
Oahu’s South Shore has definitely the calmest and clearest ocean waters, which makes the 2 miles of unbroken Waikiki beach a swimmers paradise. During the summer, though, the surf goes up and so life at Waikiki beach gets a little bit confusing, when skillful kamaaina (Hawaiian expression for local) surfers add to the already exciting crowd of swimmers, beginner surfers, canoes and sailing boats.
Waikiki is actually a string of beaches. The part in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village is called the Kahanamoku Beach and Lagoon, named after the famous surfer and Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku.
Fort De Russy Beach, the next few yards towards Diamond Head, is a military owned area, which explains why a shoreline park could survive without being destroyed with hotel construction. Fort De Russy beach park offers nice barbecue spots and some beach volleyball courts.
Further down you pass the Royal Hawaiian and the Sheraton Moana Beaches, which are located in front of those hotels. The Royal Hawaiian beach is artificially canted in order to catch the rays of the sun perfectly. That’s the place to hang out, if you are interested in seeing the most beautiful bodies, latest bikinis and newest trends in beach culture. Maybe you can even observe a photo shoot for a swimsuit calendar, who knows?
Waikiki Beach Center is the section of the beach along Kalakaua Avenue, opposite the Hyatt Regency and Hawaiian Regent Hotel. There you have the chance to rent a surfboard, or a bodyboard for $ 8 per hour.
Still walking towards Diamond Head, you will pass Kuhio Beach Park next, where Prince Kuhio Kalaniana’ole’s house once stood. At Kuhio Beach Park you also have the opportunity to play beach volleyball. Along Kapiolani Beach Park, you are able to find some less crowded spots and some Royal palm trees, which provide some shade. The small, lovely beach behind the Aquarium is Sans Souci beach, or Kaimana Beach, because of the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel.
Most beaches are guarded by lifeguards, and provide showers and restrooms for your convenience.