Waikiki Beach Walk, Honolulu

Waikiki Beach Walk (Self Guided), Honolulu

Once the playground of Hawaiian aristocracy stretching along the southern coast of the island of Oahu, Waikiki, or Waikiki Beach, today greets visitors from all walks of life and corners of the globe. This iconic beachfront area of Honolulu, famed for its long rolling ocean break ideal for boarding and surfing, is also home to public places, high-end resort hotels, and an abundance of luxury brand stores.

Kalakaua Avenue, the neighborhood's main street running parallel to the beach, is the heart of Waikiki's entertainment and shopping scene. Lined with upscale boutiques, restaurants, and lively street performers, this bustling thoroughfare is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll and some retail therapy.

Duke's Marketplace, a popular shopping center along the Avenue, named after the legendary Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku, offers a wide range of souvenirs and Hawaiian goods.

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, often referred to as the "Pink Palace of the Pacific," is an iconic landmark on Waikiki Beach. This luxurious beachfront resort has been hosting celebrities and dignitaries since 1927 and is a must-visit for its history, architecture, and dining experiences.

Speaking of Duke Kahanamoku, his bronze statue stands proudly on the beachfront, commemorating the man who popularized the sport of surfing and introduced it to the world. It's a popular spot for photos and a tribute to Hawaii's rich surfing heritage.

Waikiki Beach Pier is a hub for water activities, from stand-up paddleboarding to catamaran sailing. The crystal-clear waters and gentle waves make it an ideal spot for water sports and relaxation.

For those interested in marine life, the Waikiki Aquarium is a fascinating attraction nearby. It features a diverse collection of Pacific marine species and offers educational programs for visitors of all ages.

To truly experience the magic of Waikiki Beach and enjoy its delights in a true Aloha spirit, we invite you on this self-guided walk. So, pack your bags, soak up the sun, and create unforgettable memories at this enchanting Hawaiian paradise!
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Waikiki Beach Walk Map

Guide Name: Waikiki Beach Walk
Guide Location: USA » Honolulu (See other walking tours in Honolulu)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Author: helenp
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Kalakaua Avenue
  • Duke's Marketplace
  • Royal Hawaiian Hotel
  • Duke Kahanamoku Statue
  • Waikiki Beach Pier
  • Waikiki Aquarium
Kalakaua Avenue

1) Kalakaua Avenue

Kalākaua Avenue, the main street in Waikiki, is named after King Kalākaua. It's where you'll find most of the upscale hotels like the Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton, Hyatt, and Moana Surfrider Hotel. You'll also discover a cluster of luxury designer brand stores, including the likes of Apple Store, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Dior, Tiffany & Company, Fendi, Cartier, Gucci, and Coach. Additionally, there are stores that sell popular surf clothing brands such as Quiksilver, Billabong, and Volcom.

As you stroll along Kalākaua Avenue, you'll come across four ancient stones known as the Ancient Pohaku or Wizard Stones, believed to possess spiritual healing powers. There's also a statue of the legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku, often adorned with leis, making it a popular spot for photos. If you're into shopping, the Waikiki Shopping Plaza on Kalākaua Avenue has five levels of small shops, including a food court on the lower level.

For a satisfying breakfast or brunch, Eggs 'N Things is a popular spot, although be prepared for lines, so it's not ideal if you're in a hurry. They serve delicious omelettes and pancakes, and you'll find three syrups on the table, with the coconut syrup being a standout. Portions are generous, so arrive hungry or exercise some portion control. The service is courteous, and the atmosphere is lively and friendly.
Duke's Marketplace

2) Duke's Marketplace

Duke's Marketplace is located in the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu. The open-air market is the place to shop for souvenirs from a trip to the island. Wares include hand-crafted candles, jewelry, beach towels and clothing. Visitors may be able to find a ukulele or a kitschy bobblehead.

The street market can be a bit difficult to find for those who don't know where to look. It is neatly tucked into an alley called Duke's Lane, which connects Kalakaua and Kuhlo Avenues.

It is important to not get Duke's Market confused with Duke's Lane Market & Eatery. While this is also a fun place to shop and dine, it is not the outdoor market that evokes a feeling of old Waikiki.

The marketplace is an excellent place to stop for those who need break from spending a day on the beach or for anyone who wants to get away from the chain and department store offerings that now populate Waikiki.
Royal Hawaiian Hotel

3) Royal Hawaiian Hotel

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, established in 1927, holds a significant place in Waikiki's history as one of its earliest hotels. During the era when steam travel to Hawaii became more convenient, many affluent American families sought the island as a destination. Captain William Matson, from the Matson Navigation Company, recognized the need for a high-end accommodation option for these well-to-do travelers. As a solution, he decided to construct a hotel in Honolulu.

Initially, Matson acquired the Moana mansion and converted it into a hotel, which proved to be a successful venture. Buoyed by this success, he proceeded to create the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The architectural design of the hotel was crafted by Warren & Wetmore and blended elements of Spanish and Moorish styles. Its distinctive pink stucco facade led to its affectionate nickname, "The Pink Palace of the Pacific."

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel quickly became a sought-after destination since its inception in 1927. Its guest list boasted notable figures, including statesmen, Hollywood celebrities, Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, and Olympic medalist Duke Kahanamoku.
Duke Kahanamoku Statue

4) Duke Kahanamoku Statue

Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku (August 24, 1890 – January 22, 1968) was a Native Hawaiian athlete known for his contributions to the sports of swimming and surfing. He was born at the end of the Kingdom of Hawaii, witnessing its overthrow, and lived through Hawaii becoming a U.S. state. Kahanamoku achieved significant success in swimming, winning five Olympic medals. In addition to his athletic pursuits, he had a diverse range of interests and roles, including being a member of the Scottish Rite Freemasonry, a Shriner, a law enforcement officer, an actor, a beach volleyball player, and a businessman.

Kahanamoku passed away from a heart attack on January 22, 1968, at the age of 77. His burial at sea was a significant event, with a lengthy motorcade of mourners and a 30-man police escort traveling to Waikiki Beach for the ceremony. Reverend Abraham Akaka, the pastor of Kawaiahao Church, conducted the service, and a group of beach boys sang Hawaiian songs, including "Aloha Oe," while his ashes were scattered into the ocean.

In 1990, the City of Honolulu honored Kahanamoku's memory by erecting a 9-foot bronze statue at the Waikiki Beach burial site. The statue, created by Jan Gordon Fisher, depicts Kahanamoku with outstretched arms, standing in front of his surfboard. It is surrounded by honorary Hawaiian spears and features a dedication plaque and an information marker. Initially, there was some criticism of the statue's orientation, with Kahanamoku's back to the sea, as it was seen as contrary to Hawaiian custom. However, the statue has become highly popular and is regularly adorned with fresh flowers.
Waikiki Beach Pier

5) Waikiki Beach Pier

Waikiki Beach, situated in Honolulu, stands as a prominent feature along one of the world's most renowned and celebrated shorelines. It stretches from the Hilton Hawaiian Village to the majestic Diamond Head, offering a slender strip of sand that is famous for its beauty and charm. This beach, spanning a few miles, has garnered its reputation as a top-tier destination, thanks to its clear and safe waters, making it a favored spot for swimmers and surfers from all corners of the globe.

The pier at Waikiki Beach is a particularly captivating location. It provides a unique vantage point from which to admire the breathtaking views of the vast blue Pacific Ocean. Visitors frequently gather here during the magical moments of sunrise and sunset, during which the sky transforms into a mesmerizing array of colors, and the ocean mirrors this remarkable spectacle. The pier offers an ideal setting for quiet contemplation, romantic walks, or simply savoring the serene beauty of nature.

One of the distinctive attractions of Hawaii, especially in this region, is the frequent appearance of rainbows. These natural wonders add an element of enchantment to an already stunning landscape, creating picture-perfect moments. These rainbows, with their vibrant colors spanning the Hawaiian sky, are not only a magnificent sight but also symbolize the rich and diverse culture of the islands.

If you're looking for a less crowded beach to have more room for yourself, this is where you'll find it.
Waikiki Aquarium

6) Waikiki Aquarium

The Waikiki Aquarium holds the distinction of being the third oldest public aquarium in the United States. Situated along the Waikiki shoreline, adjacent to a thriving coral reef, it houses a diverse array of marine life comprising over 3,500 organisms spanning 490 different species of marine plants and animals. Each year, the facility attracts more than 330,000 visitors, and it also plays host to educational activities and programs that engage over 30,000 schoolchildren.

Interestingly, the inception of the Aquarium traces back to 1904 when it was established by the Honolulu Rapid Transit Authority. Their motive was to encourage more people to use the trolley system by locating the aquarium at the end of the trolley line.

The Waikiki Aquarium holds the distinction of being the world's first facility to successfully maintain and breed the chambered nautilus. Additionally, it pioneered the creation of living coral displays as far back as the mid-1970s, a feat known for its challenges in captivity. Eminent biologist David Starr Jordan once acclaimed the Waikiki Aquarium for possessing the finest collection of fishes globally. Notably, this aquarium showcases vibrantly colored fish and corals that exist nowhere else on Earth, promising a greater diversity of marine life than the waters off the coast of Waikiki itself.

Why You Should Visit:
While it may be smaller than other aquariums, the layout is nice, there's plenty to see, and the staff is very helpful and nice.
Recommended as a nice simple thing to do; a comfortable, relaxed stroll. You can see everything within an hour.
AC on the inside; hands-on experience on the outside, plus viewing of seals and some places to picnic.

If you are a student, bring your student ID for a discount.

Walking Tours in Honolulu, Hawaii

Create Your Own Walk in Honolulu

Create Your Own Walk in Honolulu

Creating your own self-guided walk in Honolulu is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Honolulu Downtown Walking Tour

Honolulu Downtown Walking Tour

Honolulu is the largest city in Hawaii and the state's capital. Visitors flock here to enjoy the pristine beaches, beautiful scenery and unique culture. There is much to see and do in Honolulu.

The first residents of Honolulu were probably settled during the 11th century. These Polynesian migrants are thought to have come from Tahiti. King Kamehameha I conquered Oahu and claimed the area...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Diamond Head Volcano Tour

Diamond Head Volcano Tour

Diamond Head Volcano, an iconic natural landmark, is perhaps one of the best-known attractions on the island of Oahu. While not a traditional volcano in the sense of actively erupting, Diamond Head is a dormant volcanic crater that offers a glimpse into the geological history of the Hawaiian Islands.

The volcano's rugged cone is seen from almost every part of the island. However, at its...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Pearl Harbor Walking Tour

Pearl Harbor Walking Tour

Pearl Harbor, a US deep-water naval base in Honolulu, made history in 1941 when it came under attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service prompting the United States to enter World War II. Since 1964, Pearl Harbor has been a National Historic Landmark, featuring a number of military objects and installations-turned-monuments.

The Pearl Harbor National Memorial is at the heart of this...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Hawaiian Products To Bring Home from Honolulu

16 Hawaiian Products To Bring Home from Honolulu

Pineapples, surfing, flower garlands and colorful shirts are the most distinct things coming to mind in association with Hawaii. Still, when it's time to go leisurely-pleasurely in the remotest part of the United States, it is good to know what is there exactly worth picking up in Honolulu, as...