If you didn’t pick up a rental car at the airport and find you would like to make use of a vehicle during your stay, there are national big-brand companies in Waikiki as well as several smaller independent firms that rent vehicles including sedans, four-wheel drives, SUVs, and convertibles. Thrifty (2002 Kalakaua Ave., 808/971-2660, 7am-8pm daily) and Dollar (2002 Kalakaua Ave., 808/952-4264, 7am-8pm daily) share a lot at the west end of Waikiki. Among the independent companies are VIP (Very Inexpensive Prices) Car Rentals (234 Beach Walk, 808/922-4605, 7am-5pm daily) and Paradise Rent-A-Car (1837 Ala Moana Blvd., 808/946-7777; 151 Uluniu Ave., 808/926-7777; 8am-5pm daily).

The most distinctive cars in Waikiki are the sports cars and luxury imports available from Hawaii Luxury Car Rentals (2025 Kalakaua Ave., 808/222-2277, 8am-5pm daily). This company has a fleet of American and European classic cars, like the Viper, Corvette, Porsche, Cadillac Escalade, H2 Hummer, BMW, and the only Prowler for rent in Hawaii, all at the Aloha Gas Station. Rates start at $250 per day for the Prowler. They offer multiple day discounts and welcome customers 21 and over.

If a rental car isn’t in your budget, or you don’t need continuous access to a vehicle, there are several other modes of transportation useful for getting around Waikiki. Buses are affordable and mostly convenient, taxis are definitely convenient and limos, their more luxurious counterpart, are a fun splurge. You’ll also find a selection of motorcycles and mopeds available, which are handy like a rental car, easier to find parking for, and generally less expensive.

Bus

Many popular island destinations and attractions are reachable via the Honolulu public bus system, called TheBus, either directly from Waikiki or from the Ala Moana Shopping Center bus depot after a short ride from Waikiki. Routes 19 and 20 will get travelers to the airport in Honolulu; Diamond Head can be reached via buses running on Routes 22, 23, and 24.

TheBus in Waikiki is an easy way to get around.

Riding the bus from the airport to your hotel? Your bags have to be able to fit under the seat or on your lap without protruding into the aisle. Photo © Simon Clancy, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Taxi and Limousine

There are several taxicab companies that service Waikiki. Star Discount Taxi Service (808/942-7827) offers a $30-or-less flat rate to or from the Honolulu International Airport from any Waikiki hotel and has discount flat-rate fares for a variety of O‘ahu destinations; TheCAB (808/422-2222) operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; Honolulu Taxi Service (808/699-9999) has door-to-door service; and for Honolulu Taxi Cab (808/741-7545), call one hour ahead for best service.

Limos are a great way to get around in style and are popular for wedding parties and transfer to and from the airport. Duke’s Limousine (808/738-1878) has a fleet of limos with varying carrying capacity and rates starting at $60 per hour with a two-hour minimum. Platinum Limousine Hawaii (808/739-0007) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and with award-winning service and high-end, showy luxurious vehicles, they’ve built quite a star-studded clientele. Rates start at $85 per hour for the eight-passenger Lincoln Towncar limo with a two-hour minimum, or a three-hour minimum on Sunday.

Motorcycle and Moped

Even though there is no helmet law in Hawaii, motorcycle and moped riders should always wear one.For rentals, try Big Kahuna Motorcycle Tours and Rentals (407 Seaside Ave., 808/924-2736 or 888/451-5544, 8am-5pm daily), where rentals run $50-180 for four hours, with full-day and weekly rentals available. Cruzin Hawaii (1980 Kalakaua Ave., 808/945-9595 or 877/945-9595, 8am-6pm daily) rents Harley-Davidsons at its shop near the Ambassador Hotel, $79-99 for three hours, $99-149 all day, with 24-hour, three-day, and weekly rates available. Paradise Rent-A-Car (1837 Ala Moana Blvd., 808/946-7777; 151 Uluniu Ave., 808/926-7777; 8am-5pm daily) also rents Harleys. And Chase Hawaii Rentals (355 Royal Hawaiian Ave., 808/942-4273; 138 Uluniu Ave., 808/348-6070; 8am-6pm daily) has over 30 models of Harley-Davidsons for rent, as well as sport bikes and cruisers.

Mopeds and motor scooters are common across the island and a great way to get around, but accident statistics prove they are quite dangerous. Even though there is no helmet law in Hawaii, motorcycle and moped riders should always wear one. Big Kahuna Motorcycle Tours and Rentals (407 Seaside Ave., 808/924-2736 or 888/451-5544, 8am-5pm daily) rents mopeds starting at $25 for four hours and larger scooters starting at $65 for four hours, with full-day and weekly rentals available. Chase Hawaii Rentals (355 Royal Hawaiian Ave., 808/942-4273; 138 Uluniu Ave., 808/348-6070; 8am-6pm daily) rents Vespas starting at $79 for 10 hours and $99 for 24 hours. Paradise Cruisers (2413 Kuhio Ave., 808/926-2847, 8am-8pm daily) rents mopeds and scoot cars, and you can also find mopeds and scooters at Adventure on 2 Wheels (1946 Ala Moana Ave., 808/944-3131, 8am-4pm daily; 2552 Lemon Rd., 808/921-8111, 8am-5pm daily).


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.