A Travel Guide to America’s Top Beach Destination

Located on the south shore of Honolulu, Waikiki is the region’s most famous stretch of sand and an iconic Hawaiian tourist destination. The name ‘Waikiki’ brings up thoughts of beautiful sandy beaches, waves, surfers, and incredible culture demonstrated in various activities and dances. Its magnificent turquoise water is smooth for beginner surfers at any time of the year. The place was once a playground for royalty in the 19th century. Now America’s premier beach destination is packed with luxurious resorts, high-rise hotels, beautiful boutiques and gorgeous gardens. Are you planning a trip to Waikiki? Here’s a guide to exploring this Honolulu gem.


Related: Jumeirah Beach Residence: Visit Dubai’s Number One Beach Destination

Waikiki Beach Highlights

With numerous lodging options ranging from world-class resorts to budget hotels, Waikiki is without a doubt the best place to stay when visiting Honolulu.

Retail options are endless, and travelers will be spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping. From chic boutiques to designer stores, this place is a premier shopping destination. There are more than 150 stores at the Royal Hawaiian Center. If that doesn’t work, head to the Waikiki Beach Walk and explore the amazing outdoor arcades.

Travelers will see various restaurants, cafes and bars along the shores. While the best deals aren’t guaranteed at Waikiki Beach, vacationers can get lost in the stunning views they’ll get from beachfront dining. The sunsets are spectacular and would make one dine at one of the beachfront restaurants over and over again. Hula Grill Waikiki is one of the best food restaurants to visit. Looking for a good cocktail? Head to the Beach Bar and choose from the varieties available.

What you need to know before going to Waikiki

Public transport and renting a car are the best ways to get around

While this location is highly walkable, travelers will need to use public transportation or rent a car to reach attractions located a bit further down the stretch. The problem with public transportation is that you won’t be able to stop and explore an attraction along the way. With a rental car, vacationers get a lot of freedom to stop off whenever they want and experience the best Waikiki has to offer. Taxis are expensive unless one goes to a nearby hotel, beach, or restaurant.

Make a proper budget for activities

It is important to know that activities, such as parasailing and snorkeling excursions, are not that cheap. Therefore, travelers should be prepared and know the fees before visiting an attraction. You can always check attraction websites for admission fees, available discounts, activities, and best deals. Take advantage of free cultural shows held at different hotels and shopping malls for an affordable taste of local culture.

See also  Things to do in Singapore for free

The best time to visit

While Honolulu enjoys warm temperatures year-round, mid-April-June and September-November are the best times to explore the city. Travelers will not only enjoy glorious weather, but it’s a mid-season so crowds are less. It is also the best time to get the best deals on airfare and accommodation.

The eight sections that make up Waikiki Beach

This spectacular stretch of sand should be called Waikiki Beaches because of the different sections that make it so amazing. Together, the eight sections of beach are what people call Waikiki Beach. With more than four million visitors a year, Waikiki is one of America’s busiest beach destinations, and a plethora of fantastic activities awaits vacationers.

Whether it’s paddle boarding, surfing, canoeing, snorkeling, boogie boarding, swimming or sand, this cosmopolitan spot guarantees a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Duke Kahanamoku Beach

Located near the Ala Wai Channel and Harbor, Duke Kahanamoku Beach is Waikiki’s first section of beach and is the widest. Named after Duke Kahanamoku, an incredible native swimmer who was behind popularizing water sports around the world, the section features a public lagoon, offering a safe place to swim for the whole family.

Related: There’s a lot to do in Vero Beach and here’s a guide to try it out

Fort DeRussy Beach Park

At one time, this was a fantastic military base. Fort DeRussy Beach Park is one of the less crowded and has a lot in store for vacationers. There is a green space to the rear of this section that is used as a grassy park and is a great picnic spot for families. Covering 71 acres, this is the largest beach in Waikiki and has several opportunities for water sports, including numerous rental options, surfboard racks, and beach volleyball nets.

gray’s beach

Gray’s Beach may be one of the oldest sections of Waikiki and got its name from the Gray’s-by-the-Sea Lodge that once stood there. Although the sandy portion of the beach is somewhat eroded, it is still an incredibly quiet and calm place to enjoy surfing, swimming, paddle boarding, and watching other people on the beach.

Waikiki Beach Center

Waikiki Beach Center is also known as Royal Moana Beach and is a perfect destination for adventure seekers. Travelers will experience various excursions from this spectacular section.

Principe Kuhio Beach

Home to the statue of Duke Kahanamoku, one of the most photographed spots in the city, Prince Kuhio, while busy, is the perfect spot for a swim. Its closed bathing area creates an incredible pool with a sandy bottom.

See also  Here are five businesses opening in Springfield in 2023

Kapiolani Park Beach

Located next to the Honolulu Zoo, Kapiolani Beach is known for hosting filming for the popular ‘Sunset on the Beach’ movie series. This is the quietest section of Waikiki Beach and receives the fewest tourists. It is easily accessible and is a perfect place for paddle surfing, even for children. Kapiolani Park Beach is ideal for relaxing and enjoying the mesmerizing views of Waikiki Beach.

Kaimana Beach Park

Also known as San Souci Beach, it is located right next to the Waikiki Aquarium and the New Otani Kaimana hotel. This section is less crowded, a bit smaller, but offers a relaxing experience on its sandy beaches. At the back of the beach, visitors will find a lawn filled with palm trees, where they can have a picnic or just lay down while enjoying the relaxing atmosphere.

Canoe club beach with outriggers

Outrigger Canoe Club Beach is the latest section of Waikiki and is renowned for being a very private beach spot. The Diamond Head Hotel parking lot is the gateway to the beach. Travelers can also access the beach from the east side of San Souci Beach. This is an excellent place to experience Hawaiian sunsets.

Exploring Hawaiian History and Culture in Waikiki

Waikiki is a popular tourist destination for history buffs and lovers of culture and the arts. This area is one of the most culturally diverse places in Hawaii and in the entire United States, and exploring some of its great museums will help travelers connect with some of the influences and learn the story of how they came to be. Some of the museums to visit include the Bishop Museum, the Hawaii State Museum of Art, and the US Army Museum of Hawaii.

Luau, a traditional social gathering with lots of feasting, music, and dancing, is an event no one wants to miss. It is one of the most popular shows and gives travelers the opportunity to experience cultural performances, have a welcome drink and enjoy a buffet dinner. Surfing has been a culture in Waikiki since the 18th century. For modern surf culture, travelers can visit the statue of Duke Kahanamoku, standing majestically on Kuhio Beach. Here, visitors will connect with how Duke popularized ancient water sports.

Waikiki is not only the most famous beach in Hawaii, it’s also the most filmed. While some of its beach sections can be crowded, America’s premier beach destination is well worth a visit.

Leave a Comment