One of Hawaii’s most popular beach settlements features bright white sand, beachfront hotels and O’ahu’s landmark volcanic crater.
World-famous for its long beach and waterfront hotels, Waikiki is where many visitors to Honolulu choose to stay. While the beach is nearly always crowded, family activities, surf classes and fun nightlife give plenty of reasons to spend your time here.
Spend a day enjoying the beach’s many watersports. Hire equipment for snorkelling or scuba diving and explore the coral reefs spread out further off the shore. Go parasailing, Jet Skiing or windsurfing across the small waves in summer. If you’re a novice surfer, book some lessons with a surfing class and then paddle out to join the experts on the break. In the winter, notice the professional surfers riding the heavy swells over the reef.
Kuhio Beach lies to the south of Waikiki Beach behind a coastal wall. In the evening, take a walk along Kapahulu Pier just off Kuhio. The beautiful sunset over Waikiki is best viewed from here.
Head to the southeast end of Waikiki for the family-friendly Queens Surf Beach, which is less crowded. Picnic here in peace and gaze along the wide, curving stretch of scenic Waikiki Beach.
The Diamond Head State Monument, a landmark crater popular for its walking trails and views over glittering Waikiki, stands nearby. Hike along the trail up into the crater to see a lighthouse and a 69-metre (225-foot) tunnel leading to a former military bunker.
Luxury shops and hotels line Honolulu’s Kalakaua Avenue, which stretches behind the beach. Order a fruity cocktail at the fancy Royal Hawaiian or the Moana Surfrider hotel. Enjoy the music and antics of street performers along the Kalakaua strip. If you want to go dancing, the bars are open until early in the morning.
Take the kids to the Waikiki Aquarium, home to more than 500 marine species, and the Honolulu Zoo. See Waikiki’s wildlife in its natural habitat on a submarine tour. Old shipwrecks and colourful sea animals await at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.