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The Best Things To Do In Waikiki

Are you ready for this complete guide on the best things to do in Waikiki? An awesome destination that was worthy of my 2 week Hawaii itinerary.

For starters, let me say that saving up for a holiday in Waikiki is the way to go if you want to have the time of your life. It is simply overwhelming for one since there are so many activities to do. There are also many places to go, that is if you do some basic research. Whether touring Waikiki as a group, a couple, or individually, Waikiki just seems to have what you need and the experience you’re looking for.

While enjoying the reputation of being the world’s most famous beach resort, tourists get amazed due to its amazing pristine beaches surrounded by its magical sea. Waikiki, the heart of Honolulu, boasts of a myriad of hotels along the beaches or the Kalakalua vicinity that runs parallel to the beach. We delve into the deep to bring you the top lists of attractions and what to do once you land your foot in this magical paradise.

est Things To Do In Waikiki infographic

1. Visit Waikiki Beach

Make no mistake about it – Waikiki beach comes across as the most attractive tourist attraction site with its white sandy beaches. Tourists’ favorite pastime activities involve soaking up in the sun along the sandy white beaches as others enjoy the various water sporting events. The beach has other series of beach fronts that come across as ideal for swimming and water sport activities. Such beaches include; Kahanamoku beach from the west and San Souci beach on Diamond Head in the east. There is also Gray’s beach and Royal Hawaiian beach, which is, by far, the most crowded beach.

running along waikiki beach resorts

2. Hiking Diamond Head

Diamond Head refers to the dormant volcano that’s hard to go unnoticed. It’s a defining feature in Waikiki and Hawaii as a whole. It’s a monument that tourists love to trek. Though it’s a steep trek to the top, gaining an elevation of around 560 feet in the shortest amount of time, tourists usually find out that the trek was worth it. Hitting the summit, you’ll experience the breathtaking and panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and Waikiki as a whole.

Check out this awesome guide on doing the famous Koko head hike in Hawaii.

If you like the thought of this hike you need to check out the stairway to heaven Oahu guide. You can see more awesome things like this one my Hawaii itinerary for 2 weeks!

Doing one of the best things to do in Waikiki - koko head

3. Everyone loves Surfing

Waikiki is known as the surfing Mecca thanks to Duke Kahanamoku, an acclaimed surfer, trainer and an Olympic swimmer. It is an ideal area for surfing, particularly for beginners due to its protected bay. Surfing is a must don for visitors, and there are plenty of shops renting out surfboards. It’s as easy as hopping and riding a wave. One can also rent boats and jet skis too. Professional surfing instructors are always present at the beach to help out the newbie’s and also aid seasoned surfers to hone their talent. Either seasoned or new, one is bound to have a great time.

Surfing in Waikiki is one of the best things to do in Hawaii

4. USS Arizona Memorial

Tourists pay their respects to the fallen soldiers during the Pearl Harbor attack in this 184-foot structure. The structure, built-in 1964, has a marble wall with all the names of the 1,177 fallen soldiers, sailors, and marines engraved on it. It’s worth noting that before the boat ride to the memorial park, tourists go through the documentary about the Pearl Harbor attack. Further to this, every US president visits the memorial to pay their respects since Franklin Roosevelt. Japanese emperors Hirohito and Akihito have also paid their respect.

best hings to do in Waikiki on a budget

5. Enjoy the Wild Side

For the ardent animal lovers, this is the place to be. Immerse yourself in this forty-two acres of pristine land between Diamond Head and Waikiki beach. Honolulu zoo is home to over 905 animals from the tropics. Animals ranging from the Komodo dragon to turtles and tortoises are present, attracted by the lush green arrays of different plant species indigenous to the area.

Enjoying this post on the best things to do in Waikiki? Check out the best things to do in Oahu post!

6. The US Army Museum of Hawaii

This museum came about as a way to protect the island from hostile forces. A short walk from the beach lands you to the home, adorning military artifacts and traces the military history of the area ranging from its ancient times up to the Vietnam War era. History fanatics and those interested in military history are sure to have a fun time here. It also holds old military hardware such as tanks and helicopters, among other equipment.

7. Kalakaua Avenue

Bustling with life and vibrancy, this is the heart of Waikiki, named after King David Kalakaua. Its hotels and restaurants provide people with the opportunity to enjoy the local cuisines and delicacy of the Hawaiian people. Kona coffee, fruit preserves, and macadamia nuts are just a preserve. Also, a trip to the historic hotels such as the Bright Pink Royal Hawaiian and the Moana Surfrider is worth your time. With all the bustling activities, you’ll be in on all the action while at Kalakaua Avenue. If you’re looking for a change from the beach, this street will sure be the alternative you are seeking.

Kalakaua Avenue is one of the things to do in Waikiki on a budget

8. Atlantis Submarines

Tourists can explore the breathtaking scenery of the underworld sea by not getting wet through a ride in their Atlantis submarines. One can learn about numerous plants and sea life through guides who accompany tourists on such excursions. It’s important to note that on such underwater tours, airplanes and ships get sunk intentionally to create barriers for the proliferation of reefs and fish after destruction by human activities and weather elements.

 things to do in waikiki with kids

9. Kapiolani Park and Queen Kapiolani Garden

The park bore King Kalakaua’s Wife’s name, and he gifted it to the city. It serves as a barrier between Waikiki and the southwest residential area of Diamond Head. Being Honolulu’s oldest park, it is the most loved and contains family attractions such as the Waikiki aquarium and zoo. Furthermore, it provides an excellent recreational area that encompasses tennis courts, jogging paths, and picnic spots. For the adults, the main highlight is the Kapiolani garden, which is home to an assortment of various species of plants and flowers native to Hawaii and other parts of the world.

Where to stay in Waikiki?

There’s plenty of great hotels in Waikiki. Let’s look at some of the best places to stay;

  • Waikiki Central – Ideally set in the Waikiki district of Honolulu, Waikiki Central Hotel is situated 200 yards from Waikiki Beach, 200 yards from Kuhio Beach and 650 yards from Queen’s Surf Beach.  You can check out the rooms here.
  • Aqua Oasis – Lush! A spacious balcony, 42-inch flat-screen TV, an electronics charging station and urban loft-style décor are included in each air-conditioned guest room. An en suite bathroom with an oversized deep soaking tub, hand-held shower head and hairdryer is also provided. Perfect for any trip to Waikiki! You can check out the rooms here.
  • Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel – The Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel is steps from Waikiki Beach and adjacent to the Honolulu Zoo – making it one of the best places to stay in Waikiki. It features an on-site restaurant, poolside bar, and spacious guest rooms with a private balcony. You can check out the rooms here.


There we have it – the best things to do in Waikiki on your travels.

Waikiki has carved a niche for itself as a preferred tourist destination. The activities listed above are just some of the few things that one can experience. However, there are diverse activities that one can engage in, and there’s only one way to find out.

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