Thursday, July 21, 2011

Five Reasons to Visit Waikiki Beach in Oahu

There are still many reasons why you would want to visit Waikiki Beach, a â€œmini city within a city”. When I arrived in Oahu this week, I realized that I have not been back to Waikiki Beach for twenty years. Many things have changed but a great deal of the old charm is still there. Many people are drawn here to the excitement of Waikiki Beach  with its colorful clubs and  wonderful assortment of restaurants. Hawaii still calls…

An aerial  view of Waikiki Beach
Photo courtesy of
Perfect tropical setting: Waikiki Beach, which is part of the city of Honolulu, is located on the island of Oahu. It is lined with high rise buildings in a picture perfect seaside location with a nice long white sandy beach with water that is a beautiful turquoise blue color. Sitting on our lanai on the 17th floor of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa overlooking the ocean reminds me why tourists come to Hawaii.

I could look at this view every day!
Photo courtesy of Muriel MacRae
The weather is close to perfect with sunny blue skies and gentle breezes blowing to keep you cool. The view of the ocean with the white waves of the surf crashing on the sandy beach is absolutely spectacular. Early in the morning until dusk, the surfers and the boogie boarders are out searching for the perfect wave. It does rain but usually for a very short period of time making it a perfect place for the multitude of visitors seeking paradise.

Waikiki Beach
Photo courtesy of Muriel MacRae
Waikiki Beach is humming with activity: This is definitely not the island where you want to getaway from it all.  It's a shopper’s paradise with world class shopping in a wide variety of stores ranging from the higher end Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Coach and Ralph Lauren down to the Honolulu Cookie Company, the little ukulele stores, and the Hawaiian Quilting stores. There are higher end hotel chains and more exclusive shops in general. One thing that hasn’t changed in twenty years is that there is still an ABC Store on every block. It is still a diner’s delight. The number of restaurants and stores has increased and even on a Sunday evening, the streets are crowded with people. Many are waiting to get into some of the popular restaurants, some are returning from late night dining, other are drawn to the shopping as the stores are open until 11:00 pm, or people are just walking the streets enjoying the atmosphere and the beautiful evening.

Waikiki Beach waterfall located beside the street
Photo courtesy of
The streets are filled with buskers who play music, hold parrots, stand as statues dressed in grey with grey facial makeup, or simply play the drums on different sized containers. The evening weather is pleasant and a person can be very comfortable even without a jacket or a sweater most times of the year. Many of the restaurants have outdoor bars and restaurants where you can hear the uniquely Hawaiian sounds of a slack-key guitar.  I couldn’t help but notice that there are no mosquitoes like we have back home, and I haven’t been accosted by the time-share hustlers of the past this visit.

One of the beautiful sunsets on Waikiki Beach
Photo courtesy of
Plenty to do: There are plenty of activities to do when you’re not spending a lazy day at the beach. The first evening we arrived, there was a hula dancing show on the beach which attracted many tourists. For those vacationers interested in animals and sea life, the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium are a must. Sailing, catamaran tours, surfing, snorkelling, and scuba diving excursions are plentiful and sold by almost every hotel concierge. A visit to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is perfect for the snorkelers in your group.

Hanauma Bay
Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor
You might want to revisit history, take a day trip to Pearl Harbour to visit the USS Arizona Memorial. For the romantic at heart, take a sunset dinner cruise and enjoy a sumptuous dinner while you enjoy live entertainments and experience the views of Waikiki’s scenic coastline. A trip to the north part of the island to the Polynesian Culture Center will take you back in time as you immerse yourself in five island nations’ lifestyles with cultural demonstrations and hand-on activities. Don’t miss the IMAX theatre, Ali’I Lua”au and the evening show, “Ha: Breath of Life”.
Hawaiian dancers
Photo courtesy of Polynesian Cultural Center
Or enjoy a day of golfing or zip lining! One perfect way to take in the sights is to take a helicopter tour where you can appreciate the various locations on Oahu from a bird’s eye view. With so many activities to experience and places to discover, you will also want to take the time to relax and unwind under the soothing Hawaiian sun and cool, tropical breezes.

Easy to get around: Getting around in Waikiki Beach is really easy to do without having to rent a car. Since Waikiki Beach is located in an area which is roughly 1.5 miles long and a half a mile wide, most places are within walking distance.

Strolling streets of Waikiki Beach
Photo courtesy of
There are also numerous trolley tours and The Bus running every ten to twenty minutes during the day with very economical fares.  One can even go on a tour of the city on a Double Decker Bus! If you are planning on travelling to other parts of the island, then you may want to consider renting a car. There are also different companies which provide a shuttle to and from the airport to your Waikiki Hotel.

Popular Waikiki trolleys which  run every 10 minutes
Photo courtesy of

Island of romance: As you will find when visiting many of the Hawaiian Islands, Waikiki Beach is a place for romance. As soon as you step off the plane and feel the warm air hit you, you can smell the fragrances of the numerous Hawaiian flowers. With the lush tropical greenery, the lovely flowers, and the palm trees swaying in the breeze, and lovely weather all year round, you will feel that you have reached a tropical paradise. The pace is much slower allowing you to take time to reconnect with your loved one and just enjoy the experience of being on the island together. You can take a slow-paced evening walk along the busy sidewalks or stroll along the beach on the sand the full length of Waikiki, if you chose.

A romantic stroll along the beach
Photo courtesy of

Take time to stop and view an incredible picturesque sunset or have a romantic dinner in one of the two historic hotels located on the beach, the Royal Hawaiian, noted for its pink exterior, or the Westin Moana Surfrider, the First Lady of Waikiki. Let this tropical paradise take you to a place far away from the hectic rush of your life back home, and take the time to “smell the flowers” and enjoy Waikiki Beach with the one you love!

Royal Hawaiian  Hotel
Photo courtesy of Muriel MacRae

Muriel MacRae plans exciting getaways and customized vacations for honeymooners and families. As the owner of Del Sol Travel, she offers romantic vacations with personalized service and unique itineraries. Getting to know and understand her clients is critical in helping turn their ideas and vision into a unique and memorable masterpiece when creating their customized vacation. Located in Calgary, Alberta, she plans weddings, destination weddings, and honeymoons for couples in and around the Calgary and Banff area and throughout North America. For more information about planning your wedding, honeymoon, or romantic getaway, please contact her at or phone 403-477-0643.

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