Waikiki, the center of Hawaiian tourism, is where it is packed with gigantic beach-front hotels and luxurious retail stores. All of which sparkle to the eyes of tourists who are in Hawaii to relax, refresh, and spoil themselves a little bit. This is where most of the tourists who come to the island of Oahu stay and base their adventure on exploring the island of Oahu.
Welcome to Waikiki!
Waikiki is a part of Honolulu, which is located east of Ala Moana and west of Diamond Head. Its area is only 9 square kilometers (3.5 miles), and it is most well known for its white sand beach, Waikiki Beach. The locals, who enjoy the beach culture reside there too, but it is really the center of Hawaiian tourism. The land is filled with hotels, from small to large, as well as numerous restaurants, retail stores, and anything related to Hawaiian tourism can be found here.
Find your activity at Waikiki Beach
When you talk about Waikiki, you have to start from the white sand beach, Waikiki Beach. However, I do not want to disappoint you, but unfortunately, the white sand found on Waikiki is brought from elsewhere in Hawaii, due to erosion. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful beach, very accessible to tourists who stay in Waikiki.
This is a great beach to do many different activities. Some places in Hawaii have waves that are too rough, or too high, for beginners. Though at Waikiki Beach, it is a great beach for beginners to learn how to surf, as well as for more experienced surfers to still be able to have fun. People in Hawaii are very active, so besides surfing, you will also see the locals, doing beach yoga, walking, running, and playing volleyball, all on the beach. You can participate in all that, or you can simply relax on the white sand to work on your tan. Since the beach is so close to the stores, if you get hungry or thirsty, you just need to cross a road to get whatever you are looking for.
Besides the gigantic hotels in Waikiki, you also see many different retail stores filling the streets. From luxurious brand stores, like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, to Vivien Westwood, to more affordable retail stores, like H&M and Lululemon, you can find anything and everything in Waikiki. Many of these stores have great show windows, showcasing their new and attractive items to catch whoever passes by the stores. Because Hawaii’s tax is much lower than elsewhere, almost everyone loosens up their wallets when they travel to Hawaii. I mean think about it. Hawaii is a paradise, and everyone you walk by is smiling with aloha spirit, so everyone gets excited to treat themselves with an item from a nice brand or two when they travel here. It is more so for international tourists who visit Waikiki. You keep running into international tourists with numerous bags in their arms walking on the streets of Waikiki.
Hotels at their best
Not all the hotels, but many hotels in Waikiki are so luxurious and gigantic in scale! Hotels like the Moana Surfrider and Outrigger have such class to their being and attract many tourists who want to have the best time in Hawaii. Walking by the Moana Surfrider, you keep running into happy brides and grooms (most of the time they are Japanese) being photographed in front of the hotel, attracting many tourists who walk by. Each hotel has its own character, and it seems many who keep returning to Hawaii have their own favorites. The hotels also dress up for certain occasions, so if you travel in December, which happens to be one of the most popular times of the year, you will see hotels decorated in Christmas colors.
Convenient stay, Waikiki style
If you have not traveled to Hawaii, you might be getting worried that it seems like Hawaii is expensive because of the luxurious hotels and brand name stores. Well, living in Hawaii is indeed expensive, and you find the highest quality of hotels and retail stores in Waikiki, but you also find something affordable in Waikiki as well. Such stores like ABC stores, and convenience stores like Lawson, will help you to have a pleasant stay in Waikiki. These places would be a good place to pick up a drink or a snack, and you might also find souvenirs for your friends and family. Especially ABC stores, they are so useful. I am not kidding, but in Waikiki, you find an ABC store on almost every block. They are everywhere, so you will have no problem getting hydrated under the Hawaiian heat.
What to do, where to begin in Waikiki?
Waikiki is a small area of Honolulu, of only 9 square kilometers (3.5 miles). If you are staying in Waikiki, you can walk anywhere from your hotel to the beach, the zoo, the park, and to many retail stores. It is on flat land, so you just need to put on your flip-flops, walk around, and not worry about putting a jacket or a coat on, even during winter. If you walk around, you will also find many free papers, so you might want to pick them up and see if you can find any good deals to dine and shop. You may also find good deals to do adventures, which take you out of Waikiki, which is also a lot of fun. The only thing you really need to worry about is not to spend too much money because everywhere you look around, you will see a lot of temptations!