- Type: Beaches, Recreation, Swimming/Pools
- Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
|About these ratings|
Nineteenth-century Hawaiian royalty used to come to the Honolulu neighborhood of Waikiki to relax and surf, just as scores of tourists do today. That's because this area's famous beach (which is really a string of several beaches dotting the island's southwest coastline) is the go-to spot for its soft, honey-colored sand and the high surfing waves that lap the shores during the winter months. But you don't have to be a surfer to appreciate Waikiki Beach; just lie back on a beach towel, relax, and gaze up at the majestic Diamond Head peak in the distance.
Some of the best Oahu hotels are located along Waikiki Beach, but the beach is free for everyone to roam. Popular areas along this stretch of sand include Fort DeRussy Beach (a popular snorkeling spot in coral-protected water), Kuhio Beach (come here if you're just learning to surf; the waves are more forgiving), and San Souci Beach (a quieter section of Waikiki that's great for swimming and snorkeling). Cafés and shops also line the water's edge.
When you need a break from the beach itself, there are scores of shops and restaurants lining Kalakaua Avenue, which runs alongside Waikiki from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel to Diamond Head. The street is home to some of the world's most exclusive (read: expensive) designer boutiques, including Prada, Chanel, Tiffany & Co., and Louis Vuitton. You might want to change out of your bathing suit before your shopping spree.