If you’re headed to the Hawaiian island of Oahu, there’s a good chance you’ll end up on the streets of Waikiki in one way or another. This is a tourist hot spot, and it’s also the area where there is a concentration of shopping and hotels on Oahu.
The Waikiki shoreline has a long stretch of beach that is often collectively referred to as Waikiki Beach.
It’s possible to take a walk from one end of Waikiki Beach to the other. On the downtown Honolulu side, you would start near the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Then you can walk all the way to the other end where the Waikiki marine life conservation district is located. Waikiki Beach stretches around 2 miles and you can make it a walk on the beach pretty much the entire way.
Covered here on this page…
Some places that may be of interest on Waikiki Beach that are free things to do in Waikiki:
- Beach in front of Hilton Hawaiian Village + Kahanamoku Beach
- Pier in front of Outrigger Reef Hotel for classic Diamond Head picture
- Sheraton Boardwalk
- Royal Hawaiian Hotel
- Ambassador of Aloha + Duke Kahanamoku Statue
- Free Waikiki hula show
- Kid-friendly semi-enclosed swimming area
- Seal and child statue + Waikiki Historic Trail
- Waikiki Wall pier for a closer Diamond Head picture
- One of the best spots for snorkeling in Waikiki
- Oceanfront biking in Waikiki
Map of Waikiki Beach
It’s an interactive map of Waikiki Beach so go ahead and click to explore! These types of maps are best explored from a computer. But if you’re coming from mobile Pinterest, first open this page up in your web browser, and then click the Waikiki Beach map!
- Best snorkeling spot in Waikiki
- Best hike near Waikiki
- Bike rental in Waikiki
- Free hula show in Waikiki
- Getting around by bus from Waikiki
- Best hotels in Waikiki
- Best unforgettable adventures on Oahu
- Hiking: What to wear hiking in hot weather/Hawaii + NOT
- Water sports: Best things to wear snorkeling + NOT
- Cruise: What NOT to bring on a cruise
Beach in front of Hilton Hawaiian Village + Kahanamoku Beach
On the far end of Waikiki Beach near downtown Honolulu is the popular Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. Do you watch Hawaii Five-0? You’ll often see scenes from right around this resort! It’s also one of the best family-friendly hotels in Waikiki.
The beach out in front of this resort is the Kahanamoku Beach. Around here is where you’ll find a wide stretch of sand between the water and oceanfront hotels and buildings. All beaches in Waikiki are public, so even if you’re not staying at one of the beachfront hotels, you can head to any of the beaches.
This is also the location of the Friday night fireworks in Waikiki, and you can find more information here about that.
Pier in front of Outrigger Reef Hotel for classic Diamond Head picture
The Diamond Head crater is probably one of the most iconic scenes you see as you’re researching your trip to Hawaii. So of course you need a picture of Diamond Head from afar! 😉
Because of the lighting of the sun, taking a visit to the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort in the morning will get you a more silhouette scene of Diamond Head you see here. Going in the afternoon will likely get you a more colorful shot.
If you’re in the area, this pier could be a good spot to test your luck to try to see turtles in Waikiki!
For a day away from Waikiki, the crater is also where you do the famous Diamond Head Hike to get the iconic scenes of Waikiki and Honolulu from above too.
- Diamond Head Hike
- Makapuu Lighthouse Trail
- Manoa Falls Trail
- Koko Head Hike
- Lanikai Pillbox Hike
- Puu Maelieli Trail
- North Shore Pillbox Hike
This is one of the few stretches in Waikiki that you can’t walk on the beach when you’re trying to get from one end of Waikiki Beach to another. Instead, you’ll be walking on the Sheraton Boardwalk, which is incidentally located right in front of the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel. 😉
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel
The Royal Hawaiian luxury hotel is a highly recognizable building when you’re far away. The bright pink makes it stand out and you’ll be able to point it out when you’re at a distance, like say when you’ve hiked to the summit of the Diamond Head Crater, or when you’re flying into Honolulu airport. You can get this shot of the Royal Hawaiian pictured above from the beach side of the hotel.
Ambassador of Aloha + Duke Kahanamoku Statue
This is another iconic scene from Waikiki. This statue honors Duke Kahanamoku as an international surfing icon and Ambassador of Aloha. He was an Olympic gold medalist as a swimmer too. This is located in a relatively central part of Waikiki along the beach near the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort.
more: duke kahanamoku statue
Free Waikiki hula show
You aren’t going to Hawaii just for the beaches, right? 😉 Of course you need to take in some Hawaiian culture that’s far different from any other culture found on the mainland United States. 😉 A few times a week you’ll have the chance to take in some Hawaiian entertainment with music and dance right on Waikiki Beach with a free hula show that begins with torch lighting and the blowing of a conch shell. While you’re waiting for the show to begin at Kuhio Beach, you can take in that ocean sunset in Waikiki!
Kid-friendly semi-enclosed swimming area
If you’re looking for a particularly kid-friendly section of Waikiki Beach, you may consider heading over to the area that is a bit more enclosed with a barrier that can break some of the waves. If you look at a map of Waikiki Beach and zoom in, you can also see this barrier marked around Kuhio Beach to know where to go.
Also have a look at some of these kid-friendly tours on Oahu.
Seal and child statue + Waikiki Historic Trail
If you spend any amount of time walking the streets of Waikiki, you will likely noticed a number of displays of public art in the way of statues, including the Duke Kahanamoku Statue. These are part of the Waikiki Historic Trail. Download the pdf and map here, and make a morning or afternoon of it trying to locate approximately 20 surfboard markers (informational signs) in Waikiki that indicate spots along the Waikiki Historic Trail! Warning: it’ll be a challenge! 😉
This statue above of a seal and kid on a surfboard can be found right near the Waikiki Wall. It’s said to represent Hawaiian values of respect for family and the ocean.
Even if you don’t embark on a mission to cover the entire heritage trail, consider stopping to read the sign if you do see one as you’re doing some shopping in Waikiki. It’s another chance to learn a little bit more about Hawaiian culture!
More piers for a closer Diamond Head picture
There are more piers further down on Waikiki Beach that can get you a different angle of Diamond Head. There’s the Waikiki Wall, and there’s also another pier by Queen’s Beach. They are both located pretty close to the Honolulu Zoo.
One of the best spots for snorkeling in Waikiki
And on the far end of Waikiki away from the Hilton Hawaiian Village is where one of the three Oahu marine life conservation districts is located. These types of districts mean that marine life here is more protected. This area of Waikiki around Queen’s Beach is also known as one of the best spots in Waikiki for snorkeling.
what to pack for snorkeling in hawaii >> what to pack for snorkeling
Oceanfront biking in Waikiki
With bike rental stations to be found all around Waikiki, you can go for a coastal bike ride along the ocean with a view of the Waikiki skyline! The rental stations make it easy and convenient to rent a bike in Waikiki, which makes it perfect to go for a short cruise along Waikiki Beach!
Things to maybe pack for your Waikiki Beach trip!
Now, here are some things you just may want to consider adding to your Hawaii packing list for the beach!
- This type of case so you can take pristine underwater pictures with your camera. (It’s cheap!)
- This type of pouch so you can take your valuables with you in the water!
- These types of UV protection shirts to wear so you don’t burn under the strong tropical sun rays when you’re in the water! If you’re on a computer, use the far left column to filter by women, men, girls, or boys! Look at these types of swim shorts too, for women and men!
- For more traditional beach wear, for women see these swimsuits and cover-ups, and for men see these swimsuits
- These types of beach shoes so you can protect your feet from sharp rocks hidden under the sand!
- A standard snorkel set like this one or a full face snorkeling mask like this one
HAPPY WAIKIKI BEACH PLANNING!
Best shoes for your active vacationHit search at the top for any of these items to get more variety on Amazon through these affiliate links!
- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary traction on the trails. Also see these travel sandals.
- Beach: These types of beach shoes. For beach walking, wading in the water, and rocky shorelines, they can prevent cuts from hidden rocks or when bumping into coral reef.
- What to wear hiking
- What to wear snorkeling
- What to wear on a cruise formal night
Best things to pack for active travel- First-time snorkelers love full-face snorkeling masks.
- These UV protection shirts are a hit so you don't have to keep re-applying sunscreen and don't have to worry as much about getting sunburn!
- These types of small backpacks are perfect for a day out so you can carry essentials... and snacks!
- And these popular packing cubes can be a life-saver when you're traveling!
Don't get your valuables stolen when you travel- On city excursions: This neck pouch that tons of people love. It makes it harder for money to be stolen, and RFID-blocking feature stops thieves from scanning your credit card info when they are close to you.
- At the beach: This type of pouch that you can easily take your wallet in the water with you, instead of leaving on the beach.