Things to do in Waikiki

Duke Kahanamoku Statue at Waikiki Beach

Waikiki is one of the world’s most traveled and sought out vacation destination in the world.  With close to 5 million visitors per year, this city has become a Honolulu attraction itself!  Whether you’re here to sink your toes somewhere on the 2 mile stretch of this Oahu beach, explore some of the surrounding Honolulu attractions, discover the best shopping areas, or get ready for the best island nightlife, we’ll lead you to better main attractions, and point out the best things this incredible city has to offer!

Beaches & Water Activities

Where better to go for great beach action and lots of water activites!  Waikiki Beach just about offers it all, whether you simple want to lay out in the sun, or do a little snorkeling around the shallow reefs.

Waikiki Beach

The number one reason visitors come to Hawaii is to spend time on our tropical beaches.  This Hawaii Beach gets more than its share of beach goers with beautiful aqua blue waters, and easy access from just about any hotels in the area.

Kuhio Beach Waikiki

There are actually 8 sections to
Waikiki Beach
, covering the neary 2-mile stretch of coastline!  From Duke Kahanamoku Beach being the largest section, to a small hidden section that sits in front of the Outrigger Canoe Club, near Diamond Head.

Learn more about these Oahu Beaches, and see which section you would like to visit.

Surfing Waikiki

There is nothing more exciting to paddle your arms into a wave, feeling the motion with increasing speed as the wave builds, popping up in a single motion, and riding waves back to shore…and just like that you’re surfing!

Waikiki Surf Boards

Whether you are and expert surfer or surfing for the first time, the magic feeling of surfing waves never ends!  There are some great surf schools to be found, with Waikiki Beachboy instructors located in front of the Royal Hawaiian, Prince Kuhio Beach, and Queen Kapiolani Beach.  Sign up and reserve your surf lesson now…

If boogie boarding is more your speed, then head down to a fun local surfing spot, located at the end of Kuhio Beach, called Waikiki Walls (which is a solid pier with waves breaking on both sides).  Sometimes there is a beach vendor who rents boogie boards next to the sea wall.

Honolulu Attractions

From simple treasures such as viewing the Duke Kahanamoku Statue to the War Memorial Natatorium, there are some great Honolulu attractions mostly on the outskirts of Waikiki.

Waikiki Aquarium;

Kapiolani Park that is located just before Diamond Head, is home to the 42 acre Honolulu Zoo, and the century old Waikiki Aquarium.  Kapiolani Park is grand in size, and always has something going on, especially on the weekends, including free concerts and festivals.

On Sundays, make sure to check out "Art on the Fence" that's located on the backside of the zoo.

Also check out the Hawaii Arm Museum located on the north end in Fort DeRussy Park.  Look at exhibits and learn some history how the US military played a role in Hawaii over the years.  Admission is free but donations are welcome.

Best Hotels in Oahu

There are close to 70 hotels in the 3 ½ square mile radius of Waikiki.  You can’t go too wrong choosing a place to stay, as most have easy access to great shops, restaurants, and beach access.  

Hotels in Oahu

But it’s worth checking out some of the classics like the Moana Surfrider, and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.  There’s also some amazing boutique hotels in Oahu such as the Halekulani and the Modern Honolulu.  Finally there are the cheap hotels in Oahu.  Find yours and more hotels in Oahu…

Best Shopping, Restaurants and Nightlife

Surrounding Shopping

You won’t have to walk far outside your hotel to find hundreds of nearby shops!  Real estate is very competitive in this Hawaii bound oasis, so only the best and most desirable shops survive -even the famous International Marketplace is no longer around.

Waikiki Shopping

From popular designer shops to boutique kiosk stands, there is something for everyone!  The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center is an attraction itself, with 110 shops spread out in a 4 tiered open air mall!

The Waikiki Beach Walk is another great shopping area worth visiting, with over 50 unique shops and restaurants.

Waikiki Restaurants

With hundreds of restaurants occupying this busy little city, it won’t be a matter of finding a place to eat.  The real question is where are the best Waikiki restaurants to be found?

Waikiki Restaurant

From breakfast spots to discovering islands treats such as Hula Dog and a Hawaiian plate lunch, to your 4-Star restaurants, we will highlight some of the best places that desire recognition for their good eats!  Here are the best Waikiki Restaurants…

Oahu Nightlife

This Honolulu city can sometimes feel just as lively at night as it is during the day!  Just walking around the streets is quite entertaining in itself!  

Buho Cocina y Cantina

In a vibrant tourist driven city, you find lots of bars, nightclubs, live music, comedians, street performers, and maybe even a nearby luau taking place.  Visit the larger hotels, which usually have nightly entertainment.  Also check out ongoing Oahu events during your visit, and take a look at the best Oahu bars and nightclubs in and outside Waikiki.

Annual Events


One thing Hawaii is a big fan of is SPAM, and the Waikiki Spam Jam Festival is by far the one of the largest festivals that takes place in Waikiki and around Hawaii for that matter.   This year it will take place on April 29th.

You will find SPAM represented in so many different ways, from food vendors making special dishes with it, to merchants selling just about everything with the SPAM logo on it.  It will be entertaining to say the least!  Along with all the SPAM you can handle, there will be great live entertainment and some performances taking place on 2 different stages. This is a special festival not to be missed!

The SPAM Jam also benifits the Hawaii Food Bank...

  • Location - Kalakaua Ave in Waikiki between Lewers and Kaiulani Ave
  • Time - 4 PM to 10 PM
  • Cost - FREE
  • Learn more -

In the Area

While there is more than enough activity to keep you busy, you also don’t have to wander far outside the city limits to find more great Oahu finds, including other beautiful Oahu beaches, great restaurants, incredible shopping, and iconic landmarks such as Diamond Head.

Ala Moana Mall 

Ala Moana Mall

Not just another shopping center, but a Honolulu Attraction in and of itself.  The Ala Moana Mall, that's located just minutes away,  has close to 400 shops and restaurants - from Louis Vuitton and Fendi to the Flip Flop shops. 

The open-air 4-level structure hosts a slew of shops that are unique to Hawaii, including a restaurant row and signature Mai Tai Bar at the top of the 3rd level.

Ala Moana Beach Park

ala moana beach park


Neighboring just to the north, across from the Ala Moana Center, is a beautiful local beach with twice the amount of sand!

Ala Moana Beach is part of a 100 acre park that has many features to it, including a couple concession stands, tennis courts, and a cool separate crescent moon beach at the end of walking peninsula.

This Oahu beach is one of the best spots to come watch a sunset and the skyline view of Diamond Head and all the hotels.

Diamond Hiking Trail

Diamond Head Hike


Climbing Diamond Head is the most popular and exciting Oahu Hiking Trails!  Take the 760 foot hiking challenge and climb to the top of the summit of Diamond Head.  Make it up the 99 steps after the switch back trails and you'll be treated to some stunning views of Waikiki and beyond!

You could begin the hike up Diamond Head straight from Kapiolani Park, which will add only a few miles each way to your treck, but most take a short drive around the other side of the mountain, and start their journy from inside the crater.

Diamond Head Beach Park

Diamond Head Beach

Explore a beautiful quiet Oahu Beach located just around the corner from Diamond HeadDiamond Head Beach is home to some of the wealthest beach home owners on the island, surfers & windsurfers, and locals looking for some weekend fun!

Give yourself some time stroll Diamond Head Beach, take in the scenery, and explore exposed tide pools.

Aloha & Enjoy!!

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