Waikiki Beach Walk, Honolulu

Waikiki Beach Walk (Self Guided), Honolulu

Waikiki or Waikiki Beach is a beachfront area of Honolulu famed for its long rolling ocean break, ideal for boarding and surfing. Waikiki is also home to public places, such as Kapiolani Park, high-end resort hotels (Royal Hawaiian), and abundance of luxury brand stores concentrated on Kalakaua Avenue, the neighborhood's main thoroughfare. Once the playground of Hawaiian aristocracy, today Waikiki greets visitors from all walks of life. Take this self-guided walk and enjoy the delights of Waikiki Beach in a true Aloha spirit!
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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

Waikiki's main thoroughfare is Kalākaua Avenue, named after King Kalākaua, which houses most of the high-end hotels (Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton, Hyatt, Moana Surfrider Hotel), most of the luxury designer brand stores (Apple Store, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Dior, Tiffany & Co., Fendi, Cartier, Gucci, and Coach) and popular surf clothing brand stores (Quiksilver, Billabong, Volcom).

Along Kalakaua Avenue are four stones known as the Ancient Pohaku (Wizard Stones) which are believed to hold spiritual healing powers. There is also a statue of legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku located here, often adorned with leis and a popular photo spot.

Waikiki Shopping Plaza on Kalakaua Avenue includes five levels of small shops, including a food court on the lower level.

Eggs 'N Things is a very popular breakfast/brunch spot that attracts lines, so don't go if you're in a big rush. They make excellent omelettes and pancakes, and there are three syrups on the table; the coconut syrup is the best of the three. Portions are humongous, so go very hungry or order with restraint. Service is polite, and the vibe is convivial. Open daily 6:00 am to 2:00 pm 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
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 open daily from 9 AM through 11 PM. It 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 was one of the first hotels in Waikik when it was built in 1927. When steam travel to Hawaii became more effective, many of America's wealthiest families went to visit the island. Captain William Matson, of the Matson Navigation Company, realized that they needed a suitably luxurious place to stay. So, he decided to built a hotel in Honolulu to accommodate his wealthy passengers.

At first, he purchased the Moana mansion and converted it into a hotel. When it was successful, he went on to build the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The hotel was designed by architects Warren & Wetmore using a combination of Spanish and Moorish architecture. The facade was done in a pink stucco, which earned it the nickname, "The Pink Palace of the Pacific."

The hotel was wildly successful since its opening in 1927. Visitors included statesmen, movie stars, Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, and Olympic medalist Duke Kahanamoku.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Duke Kahanamoku Statue

4) Duke Kahanamoku Statue

Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku (August 24, 1890 – January 22, 1968) was a Native Hawaiian competition swimmer who popularized the ancient Hawaiian sport of surfing. He was born towards the end of the Kingdom of Hawaii, just before its overthrow, living into statehood as a United States citizen. He was a five-time Olympic medalist in swimming. Duke was also a Scottish Rite Freemason, a Shriner, a law enforcement officer, an actor, a beach volleyball player and a businessman.

Kahanamoku died of a heart attack on January 22, 1968, at the age of 77. For his burial at sea a long motorcade of mourners, accompanied by a 30-man police escort, moved across town to Waikiki Beach. Reverend Abraham Akaka, the pastor of Kawaiahao Church, performed the service, a group of beach boys sang Hawaiian songs, including "Aloha Oe", and his ashes were scattered into the ocean.

The City of Honolulu commemorated this Waikiki Beach burial site in 1990 with a 9-foot cast bronze statue of Kahanamoku by Jan Gordon Fisher that shows Kahanamoku with outstretched arms in front of his surfboard, flanked by honorary Hawaiian spears and surrounded by a dedication plaque and historic information marker. The statue's orientation that placed Kahanamoku's back to the sea was initially criticized as being contrary to Hawaiian custom. Nonetheless the statue is highly popular and its outstretched arms are continuously adorned with fresh flowers.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Waikiki Beach Pier

5) Waikiki Beach Pier

Waikiki Beach is a narrow stripe of sand that stretches from Hilton Hawaiian Village to Diamond Head. A few miles long, it is one of the best-known beaches in the entire world, due to its clear and safe water. It is visited by a large number of swimmers and surfers every year. This Pier represents a perfect place for looking out at the incredible blue Pacific, especially at sunset or sunrise. Watch out for rainbows, which are commonly seen in Hawaii.

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 is the third oldest public aquarium in all of the U.S. Built next to a living coral reef on the Waikiki shoreline, it is home to more than 3,500 organisms of 490 species of marine plants and animals. Each year, over 330,000 people visit, and over 30,000 schoolchildren participate in the Aquarium's education activities and programs.

Interestingly, the Aquarium was created in 1904 by the Honolulu Rapid Transit Authority. They hoped that having an aquarium at the end of the trolley line would help entice more people to ride it.

The Waikiki Aquarium was the first place in the world to maintain and captive-breed the chambered nautilus. It also developed living coral displays as early as the mid-1970s, which are notoriously difficult to maintain in captivity. Famous biologist, David Starr Jordan, claimed that the Waikiki Aquarium had the best collection of fishes in the world. There are vibrantly colored fish and corals here that are found nowhere else in the world, and the Waikiki Aquarium promises to be home to more variety than will be found in the waters off Waikiki.

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.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-4:30pm (facility closes at 5pm)
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Honolulu, Hawaii

Create Your Own Walk in Honolulu

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