Located on the south shore of Honolulu, the world famous neighbourhood was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. Today, Waikiki is Oahu’s main hotel and resort area and a vibrant gathering place for the 4 million visitors it entertains every year.
With stunning views of Diamond Head in the background, Waikiki is one of the best places in Hawaii to learn to surf or paddle a canoe, thanks to its small but long-lasting wave break. This stunning beach resort is made up a of number of world-famous beaches including Fort DeRussy Beach to the west, Waikiki Beach fronting the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Westin Moana Surfrider, Kuhio Beach along Kalakaua Avenue and Queen Surf Beach home to quieter stretches on the Diamond Head side of Waikiki.
Waikiki restaurants feature everything from savoury Pacific Rim fare to your favorite national restaurants. For those who want to indulge in some fine dining, get a taste of Hawaii Regional Cuisine at restaurants like Roy’s Waikiki. This culinary movement combines fresh, local ingredients with the cooking techniques and flavours of the world. Or if you want to eat like a local, take a short drive to the outskirts of Waikiki in the neighborhood of Kapahulu.
You'll discover live music at hotels and resorts throughout Waikiki. Club and bar venues like The Yard House in the Waikiki Beach Walk and RumFire in the Sheraton Waikiki are popular spots for locals and visitors alike. With so many bars, restaurants and venues to choose from in Waikiki, it’s best to check with your concierge or with local weekly guides to see what's happening during your stay.
NORTH SHORE (WAIMEA BAY)
Waimea Bay was an influential surf spot during the dawn of big wave surfing in the 1950’s when adventurous surfers began to challenge the powerful winter waves of Waimea and Makaha Beach. Stretching for more than 11 kilometres, the North Shore beaches host the world’s premier surfing competitions during the peak, winter months. From May to September, the waves subside, creating a more tranquil atmosphere for surfing, swimming and sunbathing.
Why not pick up a car and on your way from Waikiki to the North Shore take advantage of some of the attractions like Dole Plantation with its famous Guinness Book of World Records worthy shrub maze and Hawaii Plantation Village to learn about Oahu’s plantation past. Continue through the central valley of Oahu to Haleiwa, a good first stop along the North Shore. This charming laid-back surf town, approximately 1 hour drive from Waikiki, is filled with local style and country ambiance as well as cool surf shops, boutiques, understated restaurants and quaint art galleries. Rich with island history, Haleiwa is now the social and artistic hub of the North Shore. Other experiences here include Waimea Valley and Waimea Falls, Haleiwa and Polynesian Cultural Centre, Hawaii's favorite visitor attraction offering 7 Pacific Island villages and exhibits on 16 hectares.
SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP
Fantastic shopping can be found all around Oahu and Waikiki, but here are some of our suggestions. Ala Moana Center - One of America’s largest outdoor malls, much like an open-air Westfield Shopping Centre. It's easy to get there, just jump on the Waikiki Trolley, only 10 minutes from the heart of Waikiki.
DFS Galleria and the Royal Hawaiian Center - Offer a variety of items you can only find in Hawaii, from ukulele and Hawaiian arts and crafts to designer fashion and high-end jewellery. Waikiki Beach Walk - Browse shops like Mana Hawaii and Aloha Army for even more unique gifts. Kalakaua & Kuhio Avenues - Explore a multitude of shops and boutiques as you treasure hunt for the perfect memento to remember your trip.
Waikele Premium Outlets - For a great day-trip away from the beach, take the Waikele Center & Premium Outlets Shopping Tour. About 45 minutes from Waikiki, the Waikele Premium Outlets is the only outlet shopping on Oahu. A day tour to the outlests is highly recommend for serious bargain hunters as they do have a luggage store if you need to buy a new suitcase to bring home your extra bounty!