Waikiki is one of Hawaii’s top vacation destinations, and it has a lot to offer! From shopping, to laying on the beach, to luau’s, to tours outside of Waikiki, there is something there that anyone can enjoy. Here is a list of things you can do in and near Waikiki:
Go to Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach is more hyped up I think than it really should be, because if you plan on just going here to relax on the beach, you’d be wise to think again since the sand portion of the beach is actually pretty small. But it has amazing views, and you can watch the surfers out in the ocean from the shore which makes up for the lake of being able to lay down and enjoy the beach. If you walk a little further down from Waikiki Beach the sand portion opens up a lot more and it is much less crowded.
Go hiking at Diamond Head State Park
The views from Diamond Head are absolutely beautiful. And you can go into one of the old bunkers located on the top of Diamond Head, just beware that this hike can get really hot!
Go snorkeling at Hanuama Bay
Basically everything in Hawaii is beautiful, so I might as well stop saying each spot is amazing and pretty, but you should definitely take a trip to Hanuama Bay from Waikiki. There are lots of different tour groups that provide transportation to and from Hanuama Bay and give you snorkel gear as well. When Jenni and I went, we didn’t even have to go far into the water before we could see a bunch of fish swimming past us!
The downtown area of Waikiki has amazing shopping. There is a couple mile stretch of just any store you can basically think of, and many of them had more than one store. Like I’m pretty sure there were at least 3 different Coach stores all within a mile and a half of each other. The Downtown area is basically just a huge outdoor shopping mall that goes for 1-2 miles – it’s insane!
Go to a Luau
Jenni and I decided to do a Luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center – which is voted as Oahu’s top attraction Luau, dinner, tours, and show. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted better meat in my entire life than at this Luau. If you get a package going from Waikiki, you get bus transportation to and from the Polynesian Culture Center, and tickets to be able to walk around the Culture Center, which hosts information on 6 Polynesian islands. They do show’s during dinner, as well as a show right after dinner. If you are into cultural and historical stuff, I would highly suggest doing a Luau at the Polynesian Culture Center, but if you would rather just experience a dinner there are lots of of Luau’s in the Waikiki area to choose from.
Go to Pearl Harbor
You can’t go to Oahu and not take a trip to Pearl Harbor. There are several monuments you can see at Pearl Harbor, as long as it is weather permitting. On the day I went to Pearl Harbor, it was apparently too windy out so they weren’t doing their boat trips out to see the USS Arizona – which was the main thing Jenni and I wanted to see. If you plan to go to Pearl Harbor, definitely call ahead to make sure they have everything open before you go.
Catch the sunrise at the entrance to Diamond Head
The sunrise here is seriously gorgeous – you wont regret getting up early just to go and see it!
Catch the sunset at Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach has an amazing view of the sunset, if you’re out grabbing dinner and the sun is starting to go down, definitely stop to watch it set!
Take a trip up to Kailua/Lanikai
The beaches around Kailua/Lanikai are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. They are also much less touristy than hanging out at Waikiki beach. Pack up your beach stuff and just spend the day on Oahu’s East Coast and you will not regret it.
Take a hike at the Maunawili Falls Trail
On your day trip to Kailua/Lanikia, make sure to go hiking at Maunawili Falls. This moderate hike leads you to a small pool with a waterfall that is absolutely gorgeous. The hike can be kind of difficult due to mud, but it is so worth it!