You know how you come to the beach sometimes and have no certain plan? Chances are you can one day come to Oahu, Waikiki Beach, and not have all itinerary planned to the T. This might be the best thing to happen to you while Honolulu, because you know, there is so much to do there that you will not have enough time to see it all and experience it all. But before you try to cover this big area, look around the Waikiki Beach, because it's a little mecca of activities and you might just fit a few things a day while there.
Many of Oahu's best beahes, entertainment, shopping, dining, outdoor adventures, and things to do are actually in the world famous Waikiki Beach. Trust us - you won't spend your time properly if you won't try at least one of these:
Waikiki is one of the best shopping destinations in Hawaii, so stores are everywhere, from Prada to local souvenir boutiques and everything in between.
The main malls are Ala Moana Center, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki Beach Walk, and Hilton Hawaiian Village Shops. Choose local whenever you can because you will support Hawaiian economy and get authentic stuff that is not available anywhere else. Show your AAA to get a shopping passport full of discounts. For more shopping tips visit 20off.com
This is number two activity in Waikiki Beach and is definitely worth a bit of exercising. The entire round trip is only 1.6 miles long, but you will experience unforgettable views from above the crater and will see Waikiki and the entire island from a whole different angle. The trail is not long, but quite steep, so choose early morning or late afternoon to avoid the biggest crowds.
It costs $1 per person if walking and $5 per car, but parking is hard to find, so consider walking. The bus will drop you off right by the park and ride sharing services will do the same, so it's very convenient.
The beach is the top activity in Waikiki Beach, which is made of a few small beaches and is just calling your name. The best way to see it is by walking with your toes in the water. If you will add a sunrise or a sunset to that walk, your best vacation pictures will be made right there. After long beach walks you can eat full dinner guiltless, so there goes another vacation goal.
Countless hotels along the beach offer pools and bars for your enjoyment, but keep in mind that some only allow people who stay there.
Expect to see many tourists while on this beach or any other beach on Oahu Island. If you like some privacy and peace, go in the morning or for an evening stroll.
Hanauma Bay is right outside Waikiki Beach and we can see why it's such a prime destination for tourists. Amateur snorkelers and families with young kids can snorkel to their heart's content in shallow clear waters here all day. You can bring your own gear or reserve a snorkeling tour, which provides all the gear needed.
Be ready to pay for park and parking separately.
This park is beautiful, free, offers picnic tables, and is full of activities, sporting events, and concerts. In addition to that you should definitely visit the Queen Kapiolani Botanical Garden, which is right by the park and offers spectacular plants and more picture opportunities.
Right within the Kapiolani Park you will find Honolulu Zoo with its 42 acres of animals and experiences the entire family is bound to love. Hundreds of animal species thrive there and offer one of the kind hands-on experience that will be hard to forget.
If you don't snorkel or missed some fish when you did, you can definitely catch up here. The program in the aquarium is very educational, so you will learn a lot about the conservation efforts in the Pacific. Expect to see corals, seals, other marine life, and thousands of colorful fish. Check Groupon for discount admission to the aquarium.
You can't say you were in Hawaii if you haven't seen a luau. These traditional theatrical shows include music, dance, Polynesian culture and history, fire, food, and so much more. Luaus are very popular, so book the in advance. Some of the best ones are these:
Sunsets in Hawaii are some of the best in the world and you should take in at least one from the water. Sun, water, mountains, sky, palm trees, and delicious food make one killer combination. Many cruises offer fancy dinner, open bar, glass bottom boats, and other entertainment.
If you are up for that, make sure a few waves won't make you seasick – we've seen quite a few green-faced people on those cruises.
Please please avoid the cheesecake factories and benihanas while anywhere in Hawaii, but especially Waikiki Beach. There are so many local joints offering food that you won't find anywhere else in the world, so enjoy it as much as you can and get out of your comfort zone as often as you can!
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