Exploring Honolulu’s Central Waikīkī Beach Area

by May 7, 2020

Where do you want to go?

Let’s go check out what’s going on down the shore.

Waikīkī tl;dr

  • Famous Area Made Up of 8 Beaches
  • Plenty of Shopping, Eating, and Drinking in the Neighborhood
  • People Really Love Showcasing Their Costumes Here During Halloween

Destinations around the world all share similar attractions that enchant, both visitors and residents alike, to their locale. Singapore has shopping mecca Orchard Road, San Francisco has it’s own cosmopolitan Union Square area, Tokyo has energetic Shinjuku, and Honolulu has BEAUTIFUL Waikīkī.

While some locations may have historical significance, others having some form of retail commerce importance, and sometimes they will have both. Waikiki is that place where Hawaiian Royalty used to spend their time, and today the area is where a lot of purchase therapy can be had, restaurants are found, and drinks can be poured.

Waikiki Diamond Head 795X500 (19) Oahu

Our First Hawaii Visit Together

After landing, Nadia and I went to our hotel in Honolulu, at one end of Waikiki Beach. By the time we’re settled, most of the day is gone and we’re tired from all the traveling but are hungry but don’t want to go drive around.

So what do we do?

We go down the street to see what’s good to eat…

Did I mention that it was October when we were there? Because, low and behold, it was Halloween and not knowing what to expect, we just went around looking for food with a cat mask, just in case. But instead we found so much more than dinner.

First we walked down the beach just to get the last bit of sunset on the water. Having mistimed how quickly it set, I eventually led Nadia back to the main road from the beach in search of food. As we got further away from the ocean, the sounds of waves and water were quickly replaced by sounds of people and celebration. 

I didn’t know why there would be so much commotion till we got to Kalakaua Ave. There were crowds of people in costume. We were both shocked and overwhelmed in our hungry state by the spectacle. Not knowing what to do other than to don our simple cat masks and continue our search for food. 

During Halloween, just off Waikiki Beach on Kalakaua Ave, 1000’s of people can be found wearing costumes celebrating the now global nighttime holiday.

Long story short, after fighting our way through crowds of costumed revelers, we eventually found our way to an udon shop to eat, Marukame Udon. It was a fun night that has a special place in my memory. I just wish I remembered where I stored those cat masks.

Every day after a day trip to different parts of the island, we would find ourselves back on the strip or the beach simply enjoying our time and being thankful for the hospitality that was afforded us. 

What is It

Waikiki is where the division between waves and the concrete strip blurs into the what is collectively known as Waikīkī Beach. This landmark beach tourist attraction area has been bringing people to the Island since the time of when Hawaiian sovereignty first surfed, and where people still surf today.

Other than surfing, anothing big draw are all the hotels there for all the beach goers. And those beach goers need to eat, drink and shop too! What I’m trying to say is that everything you’d expect to find at a world famous beach is present and accounted for:

  • Malls and high end fashion
  • Restaurants, eateries, and street food
  • Dessert shops and bars
  • Hotels, motels and condos
  • Main avenues, promenades and side streets
  • Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Statue for bring surfing to the WORLD
  • And More!

With that being said, the entire shore consists of a lot beaches (depending on how you define the start and end Waikiki there’s either 8 or 9 beaches) end to end making up what is collectively known as Waikiki. They also have more than simply beaches in the area that brings to local culture to the fore:

  • Honolulu Zoo
  • Waikiki Aquarium
  • Beach Walk
  • And Public Arts

Waikiki Oahu (4)

What to Do There

What can’t you do there? In Waikiki you can do all kinds of things. You can go to the shore to:

  • Surf
  • Canoe
  • Snorkel
  • Swim
  • Parasail
  • Sun Tan
  • People watch
  • Enjoy the weather and view

Waikiki Oahu (3)

And there’s things to do on land:

  • Eating all kinds of things
  • Drinking all manner of fermented and unfermented libations
  • Shopping for anything you may need at the beach
  • Walking to and from all around to see everything

The neighborhood is filled with plenty of things to do under the sun, in and out of the water.

Where is It

Waikīkī is about an 18 minute drive southeast of Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Honolulu’s south shore. So after you land on the island, you’re really not that far from your hotel in Honolulu (you’re more than likely staying in Honolulu somewhere if it’s your first time).

Yeah, it’s a little touristy, but if you go with an open mind, you too can find the area as charming as we did. With Waikiki as our home base during our stay has helped forever cement Oahu as a special place in our hearts, memories and tummies. We’ll be back one day!

If you’re in the area, you should go check it out too!

You're going to eat, you might as well eat something tasty.
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