Fun Things To Do Around Waikiki Beach Oahu Hawaii
It was such an exciting memorable adventure, that I’m sure it was the reason for my been bitten by the “Travel Bug” ever since! 🙂
Welcome to the Island of Oahu in the U.S. State of Hawaii! Also commonly known as … “The Gathering Place.”
First, check out this very short but informative video, giving you a sneak peek at Hawaii’s third largest island. A brief video travel guide to Waikiki Beach Oahu Hawaii.
Travel Guide Oahu, Hawaii – YouTube Video
A Brief Look At Waikiki And The Island Of Oahu
The largest City of the islands is Honolulu and it located on the Island of Oahu. Over 75% of the islands inhabitants reside within the city limits. As well, one of the most visited and the most popular tourist destinations in the world is within the city limits.
This would be no other than … Waikiki Beach!
Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian island chain. It also has the greatest population of all the Hawaiian Islands with close to one million people.
Briefly, the island began to prosper in the 1920’s, with visitors arriving by cruise ship. This is when the beautiful and now historic Royal Hawaiian Hotel was built on Waikiki Beach. It is the central historical landmark on the beach and still a gorgeous luxury hotel.
The late 1800’s, the United States military established the now world renowned base of Pearl Harbor. With the U.S. military now established in Oahu, the tourism industry grew quickly. Waikiki Beach began to flourish and today is ranked as one of the most visited beaches in the world.
For more detailed information on the history of Waikiki and a whole lot more, I’ve added a very reputable travel website link below for you to check out called … Waikiki Welcome to Paradise.
Without a doubt because of its enormous popularity and worldwide exposure, most of us have heard of Waikiki. 🙂
Waikiki Beach Is The Main Hotel Zone For Tourists
Most visitors planning their holidays to this Hawaiian Island end up staying in Waikiki. The beach is beautiful and stretches for approximately 2 miles. It’s a picture perfect place to take that morning jog, walk, bike or go for that before breakfast swim.
I have always enjoyed getting up early in the morning before most others head to the beach, and taking a walk along the seaside and watching the sunrise. 🙂
There’s nothing better than rising early, enjoying the beautiful Hawaiian scenery, smelling tropical fragrances from the flowers and trees while going for a morning walk in the warm tropical air.
It’s one of my favorite things to do when vacationing in and staying at Waikiki. 🙂
There’s also a beautiful 500 acre public park called Kapiolani at the far end of Waikiki Beach as you head towards Diamond Head Crater. Just another added attraction to this area, making Waikiki a wonderful tropical holiday destination.
Why Travel To The Islands Of Hawaii & Waikiki?
Well, for starters …
Who could ask for anything better!
The climate, well it’s pretty much perfect all year round. Hawaii has some the most favorable weather you will come across in a tropical climate. There really are no extremes and it pretty much stays constant throughout the year.
Temperatures average at 75°F and 85°F with light winds. The ocean temperature is comfortable ranging from 76°F during the winter months to around 82°F in the summer. Just lovely!
A Look At Some Of The Best Things To Do In Waikiki Beach Oahu Hawaii
There’s no way I can mention everything there is to do while staying on the island, but I will give you a quick rundown on some of the major attractions that are definitely worth seeing while visiting Oahu.
Without a doubt, this is the most popular tourist attraction for water enthusiasts in Waikiki. Of course, other than just enjoying the beach, swimming and sun tanning of course. One simply cannot experience a true Hawaiian vacation with stepping onto a Surfboard and go surfing!
The surfing picture above is actually one of my old postcards that I have had for more than 40 years! 🙂
Waikiki beach is just perfect for the beginner surfer. It’s sandy bottom, shallow waters and gentle waves are ideal for beginners.
There are numerous booths and shops in and around the beach with qualified instructors just waiting to offer lessons and get you out on the water for the first time. These photos shown above and below are of our kids and their cousins doing just that.
They had a blast!
I have always loved the Islands of Hawaii. In fact, this was the first place my parents took us on vacation overseas from British Columbia, Canada.
I still have the old postcards I purchased in Hawaii when I was just a young boy. A few of them I have scanned and posted in this article. 🙂
Have Your Picture Taken With The Duke Kahanamoku Statue On Waikiki Beach
Surfer Legend Duke Kahanamoku Statue Waikiki Beach
Duke Kahanamoku is the most celebrated name in surfing. Born in 1890, Duke held Five Olympic Gold Medals for swimming, became a Hollywood actor and hero in his native land of Hawaii.
Duke loved surfing and was responsible for its popularity growth in the early 1920’s. He is fondly remembered for his humor, sportsmanship and amazing swimming ability. He died in 1977 at 68 years of age.
His statue has become a landmark fronting Waikiki beach.
Visit The International Market Place In Waikiki
International Market Place Old Postcard 1970’s
Above is a scanned photo of a postcard I purchased when I first visited Waikiki as a boy. It’s the way the Market Place looked in the 1970’s.
Centered right in the heart of Waikiki, the International Market Place is an island tradition shopping market in Waikiki for over 50 years now . I remember even from my first visit, it was one of our favorite places to go to in the evening after we had dinner.
With all the colored lights, the beautiful Banyan Trees, shopping and souvenir vendors inside, it was truly a unique Hawaiian experience.
When I was in my senior year of high school, my close friend and I traveled to Waikiki on Spring Break, where I had a professional artist do a beautiful portrait painting of myself, which I still have framed and hanging on a wall today about 44 years later! 🙂
The new “International Market Place” opened on August 25, 2016. It now features approximately 75 retailers and Hawaii’s first Saks Fifth Avenue. The Grand Lāna‘i at International Market Place offers outdoor seating at seven signature restaurants.
It is now the largest concentration of dining options in Waikiki.
“The history and culture of Waikīkī are woven throughout the architecture of International Market Place with its flowing water features, lush landscaping and iconic banyan tree that is more than a century old.”
Diamond Head State Monument
Certainly one of the most famous landmarks on Oahu and just minutes from Waikiki Beach is Diamond Head. A once active volcano, this now inactive volcanic crater offers a beautiful and scenic backdrop to the area.
Gorgeous View from the Top of Diamond Head Crater
As well, you can hike up to to a lookout point at the peak and an old WWII gun tower in the park. The summit is 760 feet up and not a difficult hike for most. Once you reach the top, the view is do die for!
Definitely worth a visit to this site, even if you don’t feel like hiking to the viewpoint. In fact, Diamond Head is one of the most photographed and painted landmarks on all of Oahu.
Atlantis Submarine Adventure In Waikiki
One thing we really enjoyed a few years back with our kids, was the real submarine tour just off Waikiki Beach. This is an opportunity like no other, to ride in a real submarine!
It’s a great tour the entire family will enjoy for this once in a lifetime experience.
Check out my post for a look at our wonderful experience a few years back. Along with photos, I’ve added a short fun video I put together of our submarine ride. 🙂
Pearl Harbor And The USS Arizona Memorial
Besides all the fun things to see and do around the Waikiki area, one cannot visit Oahu without venturing to other parts of the island. Visiting and taking the Pearl Harbor Tour onto the USS Arizona Memorial is definitely worth your time.
It is a major attraction, with a number of tours and activities to see and do.
Below, I have listed the official website link to Pearl Harbor Tours. Here you access all the wonderful tours offered, as well as online ticket purchases. I highly recommend you buy advance tickets to these tours, as they can get incredibly busy.
USS Missouri Memorial At Pearl Harbor
Viewing this historic battleship at Pearl Harbor is a must, especially for history buffs. It was on this ship, that the signing to end the war in the Pacific was done on September 02, 1945.
This was one of the highlights of my last visit to Oahu, and at the time, there were a few tour guides on board that actually served on the Missouri. The ship has been beautiful restored as a museum and definitely is worth visiting.
Be sure to check out my full review and photos on my visit to this beautiful battleship.
Head To Lighthouse Park For Whale Watching
This is another great site and very close to Waikiki on the other side of Diamond Head crater. A spectacular scenic viewpoint and the best place to view the Humpback Whales when they’re in Hawaii.
These beautiful massive whales visit Hawaiian waters each year from November to May. The peak of the season runs from January to March.
Enjoy a stroll around the grounds of the lighthouse while at the same time soaking in the amazing coastal scenery in all directions. A great way to spend an afternoon on Oahu.
As mentioned above depending on the time of year, the perfect location for spotting migrating whales in the sea as well.
So if you’re traveling to Hawaii during these periods, head on our to Lighthouse Park. We got a city transit bus right from Waikiki Beach, taking us directly to the Park.
A wonderful outing and easy to get to is the Lighthouse Park. Enjoy a stroll around the grounds of the lighthouse while at the same time soaking in the amazing coastal scenery in all directions. This location is the perfect location for spotting migrating whales in the sea as well!
You can easily get around the area on the city transit buses as we always do. Tourist day passes can be purchased from most convenience stores in Waikiki.
Hanauma Bay Marine Park For Snorkeling
Besides that of Waikiki Beach, this marine sanctuary is the second most visited beach among tourists to the island. This is a marine life nature preserve offering some excellent snorkeling for visitors of all swimming abilities.
It’s a calm bay and a beautiful beach to spend the day.
Because this is a protected area, visitors must watch a short educational video on preservation of this sanctuary. It is busy always, but we did manage to find a quiet spot on the beach to enjoy the afternoon swimming and snorkeling.
Again, we easily took a transit bus directly to the entrance from Waikiki. You can check out the State Parks website below for more information for planning your visit.
Real Shark Cage Viewing Experience
Looking for another unique and exciting unforgettable experience in the water?
Then you better book a Shark Cage Viewing Experience. Our daughter and I did this one morning and it was incredible!
Your tour boat leaves from the marina and takes you out a short ways to a platform out on the water. Once there, you put on a mask and snorkel and down into the cage you go to watch these beautiful sharks swarm around you!
The water surrounding the cage is a beautiful deep blue color, making the gray color of the sharks around you stand out more.
No and thank goodness, they’re not great whites that are going to smash into the cage that’s protecting you! 🙂
Although they look mean and serious, they’re quite friendly just circling all around you and the cage.
Another amazing adventure out on the water when looking for exciting things to do while visiting Waikiki!
As you can see by the looks on our faces, it really was a very fun and memorable experience for the two of us. If you want to get up close and personal with some sharks, this is your chance while in Hawaii! 🙂
Enjoy A Jet Ski Ride
Going for a Jet Ski ride was part of an adventure package we had purchased while in Waikiki. It included parasailing, a jet ski ride and the shark viewing adventure.
Great fun for the entire family!
Go Paddle Boarding On Waikiki Beach
Rent a paddle board for an hour, a few hours or for the day at shops located just in off the beach.
Just another great way to spend some time in the water while at the beach. Get some exercise in and learn something new at the same time!
Head To The North Shore Of Oahu
Depending on the time of year you plan to visit Oahu, visiting the north shore is must!
Either for swimming at some of the north shore’s beautiful coastal beaches, or watching professional surfers battling the massive waves that occur during the winter months.
We’ve had the opportunity to experience both on our visits over the years!
Watching the professional surfing competitions at Sunset Beach was incredible!
As well, during the summer Waimea Bay is a beautiful beach to swim and spend some time at. There’s a very popular large rock formation at the shoreline that’s great to climb and jump off.
You can see it in the photo above with people standing on top!
Heading to the north shore for the day is something everyone should do. Rental cars are available at most of the major hotels in Waikiki, making it easy to get around for the days adventure.
The Polynesian Cultural Center
One other very popular attraction on the Island of Oahu for many years now, is the Polynesian Cultural Center. Around since the 1960’s, it is a Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum. Situated on 42 acres, it’s a theme park filled with numerous cultural activities, entertainment and so much more.
Here you can enjoy an authentic Hawaiian Luau Dinner, spectacular evening live show and more! Voted as the Number 1 attraction in Oahu, the family is sure to enjoy a day and evening here!
I’ve listed their official website link below where you access much more detailed information, online booking and more. Advance reservations are highly recommended, especially during the winter peak season and holidays.
I could go on and on about the many wonderful things there are to see and do in Waikiki and the Island of Oahu. I’ve only touched the surface of what we’ve enjoyed and I’m sure you will too!
I never get tired of the traveling to the Hawaiian Islands. There’s a special appeal about Hawaii that’s like no other in the world. We are very fortunate to be living on the west coast of Canada. It’s about a 5 ½ hour non stop flight from Vancouver, with numerous flights very affordable flights year round.
If you haven’t visited yet, then I definitely recommend Waikiki Beach or any of the other beautiful Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii should definitely be a destination in the United States to consider in your travel holiday plans.
You may also want to check out the online version of Hawaii Magazine. I’ve listed their below for you. This is a long running Free Hawaii Visitors Guide, now with an online version.
Hawaii still remains one of the top travel destinations in the world, with over 23,000 people flocking to the islands daily. Many are repeat visitors, like ourselves, returning year after year to the tropical paradise in the Pacific!