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Truly called the playground of the Pacific, Waikiki is the top visitor destination in Hawaii. Its pristine white sand beaches, upscale hotels, fine restaurants, great shopping, and top island entertainment attract over 60,000 visitors a day. Located 3.5 miles from Honolulu, Waikiki is bordered by the Pacific on the south, Diamond Head on the east, Ala Wai Canal on the north, and Ala Wai Yacht Harbor on the west.
All along its 2.5 mile shoreline is one of the world’s best known beaches of the world, the Waikiki Beach. Its fine white sand, gentle waves, and stunning sunsets make it a favorite destination for most of Hawaii’s visitors. The beach activities are endless - swimming, surfing, catamaran and outrigger canoe rides, diving, sailing, picnicking, snorkeling, pole fishing, and, of course, sunbathing. World class hotels line the length of the beach. Nearly 90% of all of the hotels on Oahu are located along this shore.
One of Hawaii’s most famous landmarks, the Diamond Head Crater, forms a perfect backdrop to Waikiki Beach. Located on the eastern end of the Beach, Diamond Head is 760-foot extinct volcanic peak. For those who can make it, there is a hiking trail up to the peak, where there is a lookout point. From here you can have some of the finest panoramic views of Oahu.
Kapiolani Park, located near Diamond Head, is a beautiful 500-acre verdant oasis which welcomes visitors to relax and enjoy. Residents and tourists come here for its shady picnic sites and open grassy areas for sporting events. It is also home to Waikiki Shell, a unique outdoor concert venue, which can seat up to 2400 people, and an additional 6000 can stand on its expansive lawns. The world renowned Honolulu Zoo is also located here in Kapiolani Park. This 43-acre Zoo includes a large variety of animals, including endangered African animals and an African savanna exhibit features a walk-through aviary. There’s also a children’s zoo. Kapiolani Park houses the Waikiki Aquarium, too. The Aquarium attracts over 350,000 visitors each year for its marine life exhibits. It is also a marine research and education center.
Along the north end of Waikiki runs the Ala Wai Canal, which was built in the 1920’s to drain the water from the swamps and rivers of the area. The walkway along the canal is perfect for jogging, strolling, and relaxing. Most afternoons, outrigger crews can be seen practicing along this beautiful waterway. The Hawaii Convention Center is located along the Ala Wai Canal. The Center features a 200,000 square-foot ground level exhibit hall, 800 parking stalls, a 2.5 acre rooftop garden, and 140,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space. The Canal empties into the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, which houses the Waikiki Yacht Club.
Waikiki is also home to some of Hawaii’s best shopping, finest restaurants and hottest nightspots. The International Market Place, which has become a Waikiki landmark, is located in the heart of Waikiki. This open air market features more than 140 shops, delicious dining and food kiosks. Strolling in this shopper’s bonanza gives a lovely tropical feel. For a grand shopping experience, there is DFS Galleria Waikiki. It is the only place in Hawaii where you can find the world’s leading brands all duty-free and tax-free. DFS Galleria features a wide assortment of world fashion and cosmetics, besides DFS-only items and Hawaiian souvenirs and gifts. The many restaurants of Waikiki offer an excellent choice of specialties from all over the world. Night life is full of action in Waikiki. You can choose between dancing at nightclubs, or a dinner show starring great Hawaiian legends. The choices are endless.
The best part of Waikiki is that everything is within walking distance.
To find a place to stay in Waikiki, please visit the Oahu.US Waikiki Hotel Page.