Exploring Waikiki

July 10, 2010 by  
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Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
Image via Wikipedia

In the paradise island of Oahu lies the world renowned Waikiki Beach – a center of attraction for tourists coming from all corners of the globe.  Back in its early times, the beach served as a fancy beach estate for the wealthy people and royal families alike.  By the arrival of the 1900’s, the first batch of tourists started to flock the area, and there were hardly any hotels or guest houses at that time.  Among the first prominent figures to step foot on Waikiki Beach were authors Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.  The first hotel to be built on the area was The Moana Hotel, while The Royal Hawaiian Hotel made its debut in the year 1920 – a popular hotel among celebrities and socialites alike.  Before its popularity as a tourist attraction, Waikiki was initially just swampland and taro fields.  It was only when the Ala Wai Canal was built in 1921 that the island started to transform into the beauty that it is today.

Waikiki is now filled with a myriad of high class hotels, premiere restaurants, sizzling nightlife and fun shopping centers.

Located east of the Moana Surfrider Hotel at Kuhio Beach Park, the Waikiki Beach Center hosts its own surfing lessons on a regular basis.  Tourists can also inquire at the front desk of their respective hotels on how to arrange surfing lessons.  Located at the Sherton Waikiki and Outrigger Reef Hotel, the Hans Hedemann Surf School is also a great place to learn basic and advanced lessons in surfing.

There are also other fun water sports to be enjoyed in the beach such as outrigger canoes and catamaran rides.  The Port Hilton Dock at the Hilton Hawaiian Village serves as the departure area for exciting activities such as these.  For those inclined with body surfing and boogie boarding, you can check out The Wall at Kuhio Beach, located on Waikiki’s eastern end.

Shopping enthusiasts will definitely have the time of their lives at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, which is packed with a wide range of fancy boutiques and variety stores.  Should you get hungry, there are a lot of fast food restaurants there for you to choose from.  Located just across the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center is the International Market Place which also has lots of souvenir shops, as well as food stalls.  Local artists who create original designs also market their products in this area.  Don’t forget to do some bargaining for the best prices!

If shopping or surfing does not tickle your senses, then a walking tour on the Waikiki Historic Trail might just jumpstart your day!  You can make some inquiries with the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association about their free two-hour guided tours on Waikiki’s historic destinations.  These free tours are made on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, on which the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center serves as the starting point.

Waikiki will surely redefine your concept of having a good time!