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Traveling to Hawaii Too?

Updated on December 18, 2014

You Don't Have To Be An Expert Traveler To Have A Good Time And See Hawaii

Sometimes the pressure of seeing the right sights, getting the right deals, being in the right place, knowing the right local things to do can be overwhelming and cause a traveler to lose sleep and precious time trying to be an expert traveler. I believe anyone can have a good time anywhere especially if you drop the expectations of what your vacation is supposed to be like. Sometimes my best days are spent walking in no particular direction, through a neighborhood, into suburb, along a beach or through a mall in a city I don't know, equipped with my camera and a spirit of adventure.

That's what I did in Hawaii, Waikiki on my first day and had a great day. I look forward to more easy exploration and if you have suggestions about what to do in Waikiki, I hope you'll share them here. Forget secrets and special deals, just ordinary beauty, adventure and exploring is enough to fill up days of vacation here.

My recommendation, slow down, walk, look, resist the temptation to think you have "got to...." You don't. There is a so much to see on every street corner and in small quiet spots, as well as in loud, fun, crazy-busy spots.

View from Diamond Head
View from Diamond Head

Volcanic Adventure

Half Day Walk About

If you have a Saturday in Waikiki, and you like to walk, a lot, then here is something you can do for almost free. Head towards the volcano! Plan to walk entirely around it, clockwise. If you like, start at 5:30 am in the winter to catch spectacular sunrise scenes (park opens at 6 ish). But, then you'll miss the Farmer's Market on the way up at the Community College, and that's worth a stop any day of the week to see the gardens.

Take water. A lot.

Signs say to allow 2 hours to the top of Diamond Head and back. Hmm. I think if you take lots of breaks along the way. Brochures advise appropriate footgear, no brainer, but nevertheless it was gentle enough for people to do in flip-flops. I don't advise it, but it can be done.

On the way down, in stead of turning left and going back the way you came, head right and walk along Diamond Head to the ocean and pass the surfer beaches for an hour-long walk that will land you at the aquarium. And that is definitely worth a visit.

Entry to the Diamond Head park is $1. Walking around the volcano, priceless.

Hawaiian Music

Sunset In Waikiki - It costs nothing to sit and watch

I'm amazed by how many people simply ignore the splendid setting sun Maybe it's because they have become used to seeing such a dazzling display. I haven't got used to it ever, and it's the best, free, entertainment in Waikiki, the most honest and the most beautiful. I recommend getting away from the hotels where blaring music will distort the experience. Head closer to the aquarium and park yourself on the grass facing sunwards and don't move.

Walking Waikiki, Hawaii - Good shoes, Good Attitude, Good Experience

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On the way down from Diamond Head (see the article above) you will pass by the Lighthouse.  Although you can't go in, you can get pretty close and take beautiful pics.$9 entrance fee is worth it for a world of wonder inside and out.  Great staff, great displays, great hand held self guided, free tour.  Great jellies.  Great shop.  Good, good, good.Waikiki's giamormous indoor-outdoor Mall.  Well, what can I say?  If you've seen a mall, you've seen all malls.  It's great that it's there, but seriously?  Have you seen the sunset?The gardens of the Community College on the way to Diamond Head has a beautiful display of succulents, palms and cycads.   And, on Saturday, there is a fabulous Farmer's Market.A few hours at the Waikiki Aquarium is soothing, interesting, fascinating, and... COOL inside.The price of the entrance is worth it just to see the Jellies.  Watch the video below for a preview.
On the way down from Diamond Head (see the article above) you will pass by the Lighthouse.  Although you can't go in, you can get pretty close and take beautiful pics.
On the way down from Diamond Head (see the article above) you will pass by the Lighthouse. Although you can't go in, you can get pretty close and take beautiful pics.
$9 entrance fee is worth it for a world of wonder inside and out.  Great staff, great displays, great hand held self guided, free tour.  Great jellies.  Great shop.  Good, good, good.
$9 entrance fee is worth it for a world of wonder inside and out. Great staff, great displays, great hand held self guided, free tour. Great jellies. Great shop. Good, good, good.
Waikiki's giamormous indoor-outdoor Mall.  Well, what can I say?  If you've seen a mall, you've seen all malls.  It's great that it's there, but seriously?  Have you seen the sunset?
Waikiki's giamormous indoor-outdoor Mall. Well, what can I say? If you've seen a mall, you've seen all malls. It's great that it's there, but seriously? Have you seen the sunset?
The gardens of the Community College on the way to Diamond Head has a beautiful display of succulents, palms and cycads.   And, on Saturday, there is a fabulous Farmer's Market.
The gardens of the Community College on the way to Diamond Head has a beautiful display of succulents, palms and cycads. And, on Saturday, there is a fabulous Farmer's Market.
A few hours at the Waikiki Aquarium is soothing, interesting, fascinating, and... COOL inside.
A few hours at the Waikiki Aquarium is soothing, interesting, fascinating, and... COOL inside.
The price of the entrance is worth it just to see the Jellies.  Watch the video below for a preview.
The price of the entrance is worth it just to see the Jellies. Watch the video below for a preview.

Waikiki Aquarium - $9 for hours of enjoyment - so worth it!

Sunrise Over Waikiki - It Cost A Thing to Enjoy Nature

Using my iPhone 5 and the app iTimelapse, I woke up early and set the phone to capture an image every 15 seconds. Here are the most interest bits of the sunrise.

Black and White Waikiki - Looking for the out of the ordinary

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On main streets in busy areas, interesting spots lurk, waiting to be photographedRight in the middle of the modern city in the hustling tourist sites sits a serene seating area, quiet and unassumingClean and simple, polite and quiet.  In the middle of Waikiki.Locked away, so many barriers.Wooden stairs go where?
On main streets in busy areas, interesting spots lurk, waiting to be photographed
On main streets in busy areas, interesting spots lurk, waiting to be photographed
Right in the middle of the modern city in the hustling tourist sites sits a serene seating area, quiet and unassuming
Right in the middle of the modern city in the hustling tourist sites sits a serene seating area, quiet and unassuming
Clean and simple, polite and quiet.  In the middle of Waikiki.
Clean and simple, polite and quiet. In the middle of Waikiki.
Locked away, so many barriers.
Locked away, so many barriers.
Wooden stairs go where?
Wooden stairs go where?

Buildings Buildings Buildings - Don't miss the architecture, so easy to miss it.....

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here is an assignment: get your smart phone or camera and head out, look "up", notice the different styles of buildings.  It's amazing what's packed into this tiny space called Waikiki, and so awesome.With the blue sky and palms framing every photo, you shouldn't have a difficult time snapping some beautiful photos that are a departure from the regular fare.What?  Isn't anyone going to stop and stare at this beautiful pink building?  Like it's not there, the people walk past this fantastic display of yumminess.Teal balconies, sigh!Moody skies make everything lovely.  Don't worry, it wont last long, sun is on its way.Ta dah!  Is being shouted everywhere...Is this Thailand?  Noooo, it's Waikiki....The sun is coming back, I'll have to quit looking at interesting buildings and go back to staring at waves...
Here is an assignment: get your smart phone or camera and head out, look "up", notice the different styles of buildings.  It's amazing what's packed into this tiny space called Waikiki, and so awesome.
Here is an assignment: get your smart phone or camera and head out, look "up", notice the different styles of buildings. It's amazing what's packed into this tiny space called Waikiki, and so awesome.
With the blue sky and palms framing every photo, you shouldn't have a difficult time snapping some beautiful photos that are a departure from the regular fare.
With the blue sky and palms framing every photo, you shouldn't have a difficult time snapping some beautiful photos that are a departure from the regular fare.
What?  Isn't anyone going to stop and stare at this beautiful pink building?  Like it's not there, the people walk past this fantastic display of yumminess.
What? Isn't anyone going to stop and stare at this beautiful pink building? Like it's not there, the people walk past this fantastic display of yumminess.
Teal balconies, sigh!
Teal balconies, sigh!
Moody skies make everything lovely.  Don't worry, it wont last long, sun is on its way.
Moody skies make everything lovely. Don't worry, it wont last long, sun is on its way.
Ta dah!  Is being shouted everywhere...
Ta dah! Is being shouted everywhere...
Is this Thailand?  Noooo, it's Waikiki....
Is this Thailand? Noooo, it's Waikiki....
The sun is coming back, I'll have to quit looking at interesting buildings and go back to staring at waves...
The sun is coming back, I'll have to quit looking at interesting buildings and go back to staring at waves...

Do you have suggestions for visiting Waikiki?

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