Your Best Day in Waikiki

A woman on a balcony overlooking iconic Waikiki beach.
As afternoon rolls around, freshen up back at your hotel. Photo © maridav/123rf.

There is so much to do in Waikiki, from outdoor activities like surfing, stand-up paddling, snorkeling, and hiking, to shopping, dining, or simply relaxing on the beach under an umbrella. Of all the activities on offer, some tap into the history and character of Waikiki, which have evolved to make Waikiki the iconic and unique place that it is today.

  • Wake up early and walk, run, bike, taxi, or bus to the Diamond Head State Monument. Hike through the extinct Diamond Head crater to the summit and take in the entire south shore from your morning perch.
  • On your way back to Waikiki proper, stop at Diamond Head Cove Health Bar for a delicious acai bowl. If you’d rather have eggs or a bagel, try Bogart’s next door.
  • After refueling, you’ll want to head back to the beach and partake in Waikiki’s ample ocean activities. If you snorkel, post up at Queen’s Surf Beach and check out the fish and reef in the marine protected area. If you surf or stand-up paddle, head straight to Kuhio Beach Park or Waikiki Beach, where you can rent a board and paddle out into the legendary Waikiki surf at Canoes or Queen’s.
  • As afternoon rolls around, freshen up back at the hotel and head back outside and cruise the shops on Kalakaua Avenue while being entertained by the street performers. Pick up Hawaiiana goodies for your friends and loved ones back home.
  • Is it five yet? Happy hour, better known as pau hana in the islands, beckons you into one of Waikiki’s many dining establishments. Your best bet is to choose one with an ocean view—think oceanfront hotel. If you’d rather be on the water for sunset, hop on one of the catamaran cruises along the beach for a 1.5-hour sail.
  • For dinner, immerse yourself in the beach culture of Waikiki and head to Duke’s Waikiki for an amazing beachfront steak and seafood meal with the best sunset views. Make sure to order a Hula Pie after dinner. If sushi is your game, try Doraku in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.
Map of Waikiki (Northwest) Hawaii
Waikiki (Northwest)
Map of Waikiki (Southeast)
Waikiki (Southeast)

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