Things to do and see in Waikiki
Hawaii, not surprisingly, is home to some of the world's most beautiful scenes, with no shortage of picture-perfect settings. The waves crash diligently, in varying shades of teal as birds soar through the ever-sunlit sky. It is a haven for flourishing nature on both the land and in the sea, and with such a rich history on top of it all, Hawaii is overflowing with sights to take in and learn about.
Waikiki, specifically, is not only filled with vacation rentals and shopping, rather it is made up of an incredible list of things to do and see. Through the pockets of nature to the seemingly endless miles of the cityscape, Waikiki is a great foundation for your Hawaii experience. Even after you've made your way to all of the major tourist spots, you will find that there is an even deeper Hawaiian history available, to learn about and more fully understand.
At the tip of urban Honolulu, where the skyscrapers become most dense and Ala Moana meets Waikiki, there is a cluster of sights to see. Of course, you will find the world's largest open-air shopping center, Ala Moana Center, but this is not the only noteworthy location. Just a few blocks from One Ala Moana and Ala Moana vacation rentals, you can find Hawaii Convention Center, home to many conferences, sporting events, and even a few television cameos. Or, for a skyline view of Waikiki, you can take a short 10-minute walk to Ala Moana Beachpark and Magic Island. (You can even take an in-depth tour of this area with Lea Lea Trolleys.)
Closer into Waikiki, the largest small-boat harbor in Hawaii, Ala Wai Harbor, hosts one of the most popular local Waikiki surf spots at its far edge. It is not hard to spend an entire evening here, as the sun sets behind the rocky sea wall and the surfers catch their final waves for the day. You can even catch fireworks every Friday night at neighboring Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. And in the heat of the daytime, cool trade winds can be enjoyed in the shade of Fort Derussy's palm trees, just steps away from Waikiki Shore vacation rental.
Moving down the shore, where the things to do and see in Waikiki close in on each other, you'll find the historic Moana Surfrider (the first-ever hotel built in Waikiki) and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, sometimes known as "the Pink Palace of the Pacific". Both of these hotels are known for their iconic history and have hosted countless prominent figures throughout the years. Additionally, these hotels line the most populous stretch of Waikiki beach, where daily surf lessons are standard, as well as sunset catamaran cruises each evening.
In between these iconic hotels and the historic Waikiki Banyan trees (another sight worth visiting) is a statue of beloved Hawaiian hero Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, a man of countless accolades and profound impact on Hawaiian culture. This statue is only a small tribute to a man of deep importance to Hawaii, which deserves a deep dive of research to more adequately understand.
Rounding out Waikiki on its east end, near Cresent Park and Waikiki Sunset vacation rentals, are the Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, and the Waikiki Pier. With a view of Waikiki's bay and skyline, the Waikiki Pier at Queen's beach is a prime location to watch body-boarders throughout the day and sunset in the evening. (At this beach, you can even find Hawaii's values of love and respect displayed in the Makua and Kila statue)
Kapiolani Park is the farthest-most reaching part of Waikiki, bordering the beautiful residential areas of Diamond Head and Kahala. It is home to an abundance of Banyan Trees, the Waikiki Shell where both local and international shows can be appreciated, and of course, is the neighbor to Diamond Head volcanic crater. For an aerial view of Waikiki, you can even hike Diamond Head, yet another activity on Waikiki's endless list of things to do.
There are far more things to do in Waikiki, which can, of course, be explored with a nice walk through main streets Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenue, and Ala Wai Boulevard. However, this is not the only option. Honolulu is home to several trolley tours, namely Lea Lea Trolley Tour, which can be boarded near your vacation rental to show you the greater Honolulu area. The Lea Lea Trolley is not the only tour company available, however, it is one of the best.
It is easy to see that Waikiki is full of things to do, see, appreciate and learn about. And Honolulu and Oahu at large, are no different. The challenge of your Hawaii experience is certainly not one of finding things to do to fill your time, as much as it is seeing just how many things you can squeeze into your schedule.