11 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions & Things to Do in Waikiki

Waikiki Beach is the most famous beach in the world, owing to its South Sea magic and its location in Honolulu. It’s a small, flat area of Honolulu that’s where most visitors to Hawaii spend their holidays.

The beach is the central feature of Waikiki, the heart of Honolulu. The whole of Hawaii’s hotels can be found there, and they offer a range of services. Some are located on the beach, while others are in areas parallel to it, such as Kalakaua Avenue. This street is full of restaurants, shopping, and other entertainment.

Waikiki’s beach has long been a favorite place for Hawaiian bathing. The beach was once used to receive royal guests. There are many things to do in Waikiki, which is why it is so popular with tourists. Our list of the top attractions will help you decide what to see and do during your visit.

1. Waikiki Beaches

Waikiki’s main attraction is the two-mile beach along the oceanfront. The famous beaches of Waikiki are ideal for swimming, water sports, and surfing. Boogie-boarding, canoeing, snorkeling, and other water activities are also popular on Waikiki’s beaches.

The West is where the beaches begin. The first one is Duke Kahanamoku Beach, named after the famous Olympic swimmer, who was from Hawaii. The next beach is called Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach, and it sits in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village. As you move east, you’ll find Sans Souci Beach at Diamond Head. This beach overlaps the beach at Hilton Hawaiian Village because they’re so close together.

Just past Kahanamoku Beach is Fort DeRussy Beach Park, a nice spot for picnics and recreation. Several other beaches follow, including Gray’s Beach and Royal Hawaiian Beach, which is the most crowded beach on Waikiki.

What amenities does the area provide? This location is home to many amenities, including catamaran rentals, outrigger canoes, surfing lessons, and beach shacks.

The next beach is the Kuhio Beach Park, also known as Prince Kuhio Beach or “The Ponds.” This nickname was created by the cement wall enclosures, which have created calm swimming areas that are ideal for younger swimmers. Beyond this is Kapiolani Beach Park and Sans Souci Beach.

The beaches of Waikiki, while very popular, are not the only ones on the island. Other beaches include Diamond Head Beach Park, Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park, Kaalawai Beach, Kahala Beach, Wailupe Beach Park, and many others.

Also Read: 20 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Las Vegas, NV

2. Kapiolani Park and Queen Kapiolani Garden

This park, named for the wife of King Kalakaua, is one of the most beautiful areas in Waikiki. It was given to the city by King Kalakaua and divides the bustling tourist area from the residential neighborhood on the southwest side of Diamond Head.

Honolulu’s Kapiolani Park is a favorite for families and adults. It’s home to fun attractions, including Waikiki Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium. The main highlight for adults is the Queen Kapiolani Garden. The garden contains hundreds of beautiful flowering plants from Hawaii and around the world, including rare Hawaiian species.

The park is a great place to hang out and have fun. It’s got a bunch of tennis courts, picnic spots, and trails to take a jog on. At the end of the Honolulu Marathon, which is held every December, runners circle the park in a big loop around the bandstand.

3. Waikiki Aquarium

The Waikiki Aquarium is a must-see for anyone who wants to experience Hawaii’s marine life. It offers an immersive experience with its collection of coral reef ecosystems and rare species such as hawksbill turtles and the Hawaiian monk seal.

Kids will love this new exhibit. They can learn all about the fish and other sea life that live in a coral reef. You can see sharks, giant fish, and sea anemones up close. You can also visit a coral farm where they grow colorful coral to give to other aquariums.

Visitors also come to see the aquarium’s Northwestern Hawaiian Islands exhibit, home to rare marine species that can only be found among these uninhabited islands. The underwater habitat in a mangrove forest is particularly popular with visitors. They can also see giant clams, jellyfish, and an assortment of rare deep-sea fish and invertebrates.

4. Diamond Head Crater

The crater on the eastern end of Waikiki, known in Hawaiian as Le’ahi, is the extinct volcano that symbolizes the city. You can see it from the beach, but you should take a look at it from Diamond Head State Monument, where you can visit the crater itself!

A path leads up the eastern side of the crater to a tunnel cut into the rock. This path eventually turns into stairs and leads to a viewpoint overlooking Waikiki. A historic hiking trail leads up from the floor of the crater to the summit, following a rather steep path until it becomes stairs.

This island’s peak is known as Diamond Head. 19th-century sailors thought they found diamonds here, but they were actually crystals.

5. Surfing on Waikiki Beach

Duke Kahanamoku, the most famous surfer in Hawaii, made Waikiki Beach his home. It’s a great place to learn to surf. The protected bay makes it good for all levels of experience. Duke used to say, “If you can walk, you can surf!” And while Duke is no longer with us, his legacy lives on in Waikiki and at all the beaches around the world.

Want to surf? Fortunately, there are many options for you. If you’re new to surfing, surfing lessons on Waikiki Beach are a great place to start. Professional instruction will help you get the basic skills and learn the sport from the beginning. If you already know how to surf, professional instructors can help you improve and perfect your surfing skills.

6. Honolulu Zoo

The Honolulu Zoo is a 42-acre zoo that exhibits hundreds of animals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The grounds include a huge variety of native Hawaiian plants, creating a botanical garden setting. The zoo is a favorite family destination and a popular school field trip destination.

In Hawaii, you will find a variety of unique animals. The most famous of these is the Nene, a bird that is native to the Hawaiian islands. Additionally, you will find various different species of tigers, elephants, monkeys, and Komodo dragons living in the Hawaiian wild. These animals are beloved by tourists.

The Honolulu Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the country. The zoo has three exhibits: African Savannah, tropical rainforests, and island ecosystems. There is also a children’s zoo and playground. People come to see rare animals like elephants, giraffes, tigers, and exotic birds.

7. Kalakaua Avenue

The main street of Waikiki is named after King Kalakaua, who ruled Hawaii from 1874 to 1891. This road runs one mile from Beretania Street to the end of Kapiolani Park and is considered the heart of Waikiki. Along this avenue, you will find countless hotels, restaurants, and shops.

As the liveliest street in Waikiki, Kalakaua Avenue is constantly changing. There are many popular shopping centers nearby, such as the Waikiki Shopping Center, which is located at the corner of Seaside Avenue. The International Market Place is between Seaside Street and Kanekapolei Street, and the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center stretches from Lewers Street to Seaside Avenue.

While walking around Waikiki beach, you’ll find a lot of shops.

8. Atlantis Submarines

Atlantis Submarines, which offers the opportunity to stay dry while exploring beneath the ocean’s surface, is a floating museum that gives you a chance to see the wonders of the undersea world. Passengers in Atlantis submarines can see many different fish and sea creatures, as well as man-made objects such as ships and buoys.

The Great Barrier Reef is a large coral reef located along the coast of Queensland, Australia. The reef was formed over millions of years by millions of corals. It is protected by many sunken ships and planes that serve as a safe place for fish and coral.

These underwater submarines can be a good option for those who aren’t interested in scuba diving but would still like to experience the wonders of the underwater world. If you’re lucky, you might even see a whale as it passes by your private submarine.

9. International Market Place

The International Market Place is a collection of shops under huge banyan trees in Waikiki. These trees are strung with twinkly lights at night, making the shops look like they are enclosed by an ethereal forest. Famous names like Saks Fifth Avenue, Burberry, and Swarovski, as well as local products like Kona Coffee, can be found here.

This lovely outdoor mall is landscaped with tropical plants accented by water features. It’s a great place to relax and people-watch.

You can get any type of food you want, from sushi to burgers. You have a huge selection of both quick and full-service restaurants to choose from. They serve ethnic food, too.

The International Market Place is your one-stop shop for international shopping in Waikiki. It hosts a variety of events, including food festivals, concerts, lei-making classes, and more. As you stroll around this charming marketplace, you can try exotic foods that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

10. Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center

The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center is located in central Waikiki. It has all kinds of stores, from international chains to local names. The center is located on the south (seaward) side of Kalakaua Avenue and boasts clothing stores, boutiques, souvenir shops, jewelers, and restaurants.

To make the most of your stay, don’t just lounge around in your room. The Royal Hawaiian Center also offers free activities that will keep you busy for days. You can learn to hula, play the ukulele, and even weave lauhala baskets and leis.

You can also see hula shows, which feature traditional dancers in full costumes. The dancers tell you about the history and significance of hula in Hawaiian culture. There are also live shows at night and frequent musical events featuring both traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music.

11. US Army Museum of Hawaii

In this small military museum, you can see weapons from the 18th century to the Second World War and the Vietnam War. You can also see American soldiers’ uniforms from the last 200 years, as well as enemy uniforms. The most interesting exhibits are old Hawaiian weapons studded with sharks’ teeth.

The museum has an incredible collection that is housed in a historic building. The permanent collection includes these incredible war clubs, which were used by Hawaiian tribes centuries ago. The building was originally built to defend Honolulu and Pearl Harbor.

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