Lei-covered statue of Duke Kahanamoku in Waikiki.

Hawaiian History: The Story of the Waikiki Beachboys

f there’s something about Waikiki that sets it apart from other tropical sea destinations, it’s the Waikiki beachboys. Hailing back a century, the Waikiki beachboy culture has evolved with the changing face of tourism in Hawaii, but the gentlemen in the red shorts still practice the same core values of sharing the sports of surfing, outrigger canoe riding, and aloha with visitors.

Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach.

Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Waikiki

As a prime vacation destination, Waikiki has a plethora of luxury hotels and resorts to choose from. You’ll find some hotels cater best to families and large groups, others to the business traveler, and still more to those seeking a truly luxurious, full-service stay. Read on for the highlights of each.

A woman on a balcony overlooking iconic Waikiki beach.

Your Best Day in Waikiki

There’s so much to do in Waikiki, from all the usual outdoor activities to shopping, dining, or simply relaxing on the beach. Of all the activities on offer, some tap into the history and character of Waikiki, which have evolved to make Waikiki the iconic and unique place that it is today.

Famous Waikiki beach with Diamond Head in the distance.

Discover Waikiki

Waikiki is a complete destination, a beachside hamlet with all the amenities of city life within its mesmerizing embrace: shopping, dining, nightlife, health, fitness, spas, and, of course, ocean sports and activities.

Outdoor seating at the Mai Tai Bar on Waikiki Beach.

The Best of Waikiki Nightlife

Waikiki nightlife is wonderfully varied—you’ll find bars and clubs, fine dining and live music, ultra-casual hangouts and high-class venues, so no matter your mood, there’s always somewhere to go. Many of these locations are popular with visitors and locals alike.

Traditional dishes can be found at Odoriko. Photo © David Recordon, licensed Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike.

Waikiki’s Asian Restaurants

Waikiki’s Asian restaurants feature a variety of Japanese, Chinese, and Thai cuisines for a range of budgets and dining styles from casual to elegant. You’ll also find a nice selection of truly traditional dishes.

Luxury brand storefronts on Kalakaua avenue in Waikiki.

Shopping in Waikiki

As a major beachfront neighborhood, shopping in Waikiki runs the gamut from high-end luxury items and galleries featuring local artists to aloha gear and quaint souvenir shops. These are the best locations to scratch your shopping itch, and even if you’ve got a budget to stick to, most are still well-worth a leisurely browse for fun.

View of the ocean stretching to the horizon as seen from Diamond Head summit on Oahu.

Hiking, Biking and Bird-Watching in Waikiki

If you know where to go, biking around Waikiki can be a great alternative to searching out parking. There’s also one truly excellent bird-watching spot, and you won’t need a pair of hiking boots during your stay even if you do plan on trekking the two trails on offer.