The Island of Oahu is one of the first things to come to mind when thinking about spending vacation in Hawaii. After all, it is home to Hawaii’s state capital and its most populous city- Honolulu.
One of the main attractions and tourist must-visit spots in the whole of the island is Waikiki, the city’s most iconic neighborhood, and of course, the world renowned Waikiki Beach. Annually, over 4 million tourists go to this Oahu gem.
If it is your first time travelling to the world class beach, building your itinerary may be overwhelming. But, you can start by doing these top 5 things you should do when at the Waikiki Beach:
For the laid-back tourists:
If you want to just relax and have some down time away from all the stress of work or school, spending the perfect afternoon at the beach is perfect for you. While it may be a bit crowded, setting up your own space by the shore, watching other people playing in the water, some surfing, some swimming, could be the best thing to do.
Imagine yourself under a shade, with a glass of mocktail on your hand, the warm breeze flowing through your hair—that is what a typical afternoon looks like in Waikiki Beach. Finding your own spot along the 2-mile long coastline is not impossible, no matter how crowded it may get during the peak season.
For the thrill-seekers:
Being one of the most famous beaches in the world, many water activities and sports are offered in Waikiki Beach. From Surfing lessons, snorkeling rentals, boat and yacht tours—name it, there will be some business offering for a ride or two.
If you like watersports you will be able to rent all kinds of equipment on the beach, such as bodyboards, surfboards and snorkeling gear. Some of the most popular things to do at Waikiki Beach are swimming, surfing, bodyboarding, snorkeling and kayaking.
For the culture-enthusiasts:
Some hotels and resorts host luaus– a Hawaiian party or feast, especially one accompanied by entertainment. In these types of events, tourists can learn more about the culture and history of Hawaii, and experience it first hand—especially dancing the Hula. Some even offer free hula shows by the beach.
For the foodies:
Hawaii is kind of the melting pot of American and east Asian culture (especially Japanese) when it comes to food. Many tourists enjoy trying out different dishes that marry the contrasting flavors of the Americas and East Asian cuisine. There are a lot of restaurants, cafes, and hole in the wall type of places scattered along the Waikiki Beach which tourists can easily explore without having to stray away too far from the beach.
For the shopaholics:
Many shops and retail stores are also common in Waikiki Beach. In fact, many tourists actually spend and dedicate part of their stay in the island to do some shopping—whether its for souvenirs or for clothes, bags, shoes, or sports wear.
Some malls are also located in the area, which makes shopping easier—not only for the tourists but for the locals as well.
Waikiki Beach is very much commercialized, which benefits the growing number of tourists the most. Because everything you can ever need is just a few steps away from the shore, it is very ideal to visit any time of the year.
Waikiki Beach is located less than 4 miles southeast of the city center and is accessible via multiple bus lines and the Waikiki Trolley. Parking is limited in the area, but free spots are generally available on Monsarrat Avenue by Kapiolani Regional Park and the Honolulu Zoo. The beach is open 24 hours a day.