During a recent trip to Maui, we hopped on a plane to Oahu. How do you go to Hawaii and not visit Pearl Harbor? After our visit to Pearl Harbor we made time to enjoy a day on the famous Waikiki Beach with the majestic view of Diamondhead. Although we didn’t have time to fit in the hiking trail on Diamondhead we did enjoy a peaceful day at the beach.
Waikiki Beach is well-known for its history and neighborhood. Today, the beach is lined with beautiful hotels and consist of a long narrow beach. The first hotel built on the beach was the Moana Surfrider, built in 1901. I enjoyed strolling through the Royal Hawaiian that opened in 1927. If you don’t have a room on the beach, you probably have one within a block or two.
Canoeing, surfing, snorkeling and paddle boarding are extremely popular on this portion of the Pacific. I discovered a sea turtle swimming along side of me as I enjoyed the 70 degree water temperatures on an 80 degree day in December. It doesn’t get much better than this!
The International Market Place located on Kalakaua Avenue used to be a flea market setting years ago that consisted of cultural items. Today, it is quite glamourous and filled with high end retailers. The indoor/outdoor shopping was built around a century old banyan tree.
This area of Waikiki is the most well-known and most populated at all times of the day. At sunset, you will find everyone standing with cameras in hand while pointing to the west. Be aware as you walk the beach and be prepared to duck under someone’s camera lens as they are focused on the quick moving, amazingly vibrant sunset.
Considering how busy Waikiki is, I was slightly surprised how clean and pleasant the experience is. Shopping at Waikiki is open until midnight and the beach is open until 2 am . We walked into the evening and spent time on the pier and totally enjoyed the evening.