About Waikiki Beach
First To Review: Stanivuk J.
May 8, 2009
If you go to Honolulu, then you have to go to the legendary beach that made it famous. However... unless you are staying at one of the many beaches that are located on Waikiki Beach, you may be disappointed. In Hawaii, there are no private beaches, so you can sunbathe and swim at any beach you encounter -- so no worries there... however, the novelty of staying at a hotel on the beach might make up for some of the less desirable aspects of Waikiki Beach.
Waikiki beach, itself, isn't the sort of beach you dream of in those long tropical daydreams. To begin with, the beach has been built on to the point of near extinction -- in some places the beach is literally only a few feet wide. The hotels in the vicinity seem to swallowing up the very beach that made them famous. (Try to look at some photos of Waikiki from the 1940's. The beach is huge!) The sand of Waikiki Beach is more like small gravel, unless you are staying at a hotel that ships in their own sand. (That sort of sand, along with all the development on the beach, is responsible for the suffocation and death of all of the coral in Waikiki Bay -- you will need to go elsewhere to enjoy snorkeling.)
Then there are the crowds! Everyone wants to see Waikiki Beach, and they are all there seeing it at exact moment that you decided to visit. Funny how that works. Large crowds also mean that the beach is very commercialized, with everything from chairs to sun shades to a bottle of water costing an exorbitant price. (If you are staying at one of the hotels on Waikiki Beach, you may not have to worry about the cost of a few of these things, depending on the hotel. When you book, ask if things like umbrellas and chairs are included in the price of your visit.)
And, of course, large crowds also bring the pickpockets and thieves that prey on tourist around the world. DO NOT leave anything of value on the beach, unattended. Always leave at least one member of your party on the beach or, if you are staying in one of those beachfront hotels, just leave your valuables in the safe in your room. However , this tip is not just of importance on Waikiki Beach. A widespread drug problem in paradise means many thefts at the local beaches.
As a local, (I lived in Hawaii for three years), you learn to take nothing of value with you to the beach. You also learn to leave your car empty of valuables, with the doors unlocked. (This tip will not apply if you are parking in a facility that provides secure parking. This tip only applies to beachfront parking.)The majority of beach thieves are looking for quick cash, so they will break your windows, or cut through your soft convertible top and grab whatever CD's, cash, or other small valuables (I Pods!) that they can find -- then leave in a hurry! We found it easier to leave the car unlocked. They aren't usually after your car radio... that takes too long to remove.
Waikiki Beach has beautiful vistas, if you don't mind all of the hotels. Unfortunately, that's one of the things you have to overlook on Oahu. In general, it's hard to find a bad view on Oahu, as long as you are prepared to have those views include the rampant development on the island. With nearly a million residents and hundreds of thousands of tourists at any given time, Oahu is crowded, though still beautiful. In fact, in my three years as a resident I would often find myself standing, and staring, at the beauty that was all around me.
The western-most hotel on Waikiki Beach is the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Here you can participate in one of the most unique tourist events on Waikiki Beach: an actual submarine ride. I cannot recommend it enough. I took everyone who ever came to visit me in Hawaii on this tour and it was, invariably, the highlight of their trip. You can find more info on the hotel's website.
So, in conclusion, would I recommend Waikiki Beach? Of course! You'll regret not going if you skip it. But be prepared to have the reality be a little different from your fantasy. Keep your valuables safe, bring plenty of sunscreen and pick up some of the inexpensive beach mats that you can buy anywhere. It's impossible to get sand out of a towel! If the kids are with you, bring some flotation devices to allow them to play on the waves. Lay back, enjoy the sun and the tropical breezes and think to your self "I am in paradise"... because you really are.
One last bit of advice -- and this is IMPORTANT: Plan your trip according to the lunar cycle! Box jellyfish visit the island according to a lunar cycle and, if you are unlucky enough to find yourself at Waikiki during their visit, you will be unable to enter the water. Fortunately, because the jellyfish are so predictable, you can easily avoid them by planning your trip accordingly. This is the website for information regarding the cycles of the box jellyfish, as recommended by the City of Honolulu: http://www.808jellyfish.com/ (808 is the phone area code in Hawaii and is often used as slang to reference Hawaii or the locals who live there.)
Oct 11, 2008
Alright, so if you want the year-round warm weather and laid-back attitude of a Hawaiian vacation but don't necessarily want to go back to the hotel at 8:30 every night, then Waikiki beach is the only location in the Hawaiian islands that will give you a fun night life after all day at the beach. Lahaina, Maui, is the second busiest hot-spot, but Ka'anapali might be best reserved for families and honeymooners. Trust me... I grew up in New England and I live in Maui now. Whenever I get the urge to party until dawn... Waikiki is my weekend getaway (since New York is an 18 hour travel day and $1200 away). If you're not a party-until-dawn-er, there's still tons of stuff to do. Lots of shopping, dining, beautiful beaches, surfing, snorkeling, parasail, boat rides, and if you rent a car, you can drive up to the north shore and watch the surfers and the wind-surfers fly above the surface of the horizon while you dine.
Have fun! It will be something you will remember forever ;-)
Dec 4, 2009
One of the most famous beaches in the world! I like going to Waikiki in the early morning before everyone gets there to greet the sunrise. it's very peaceful when your not surrounded by hundreds of tourist. But in all honesty i prefer other beaches which are less crowded, like Sandy beach or Makapu'u. When you visit the islands you come to experience the real Hawaii. Don't get pulled in by all the tourist traps,venture out and make your own adventure. remember to always be respectful to other cultures and there way of life. The thing i hate the most are those tourist make all other tourist look bad, you know the kind...the obnoxious, rude , loud moron who ruins it for all of us. One final thing...Take Pictures and leave only foot prints...Aloha
Mar 29, 2010
Hawaii, is lovely, period. Waikiki Beach is lovely (especially the sunset, but this is Hawaii, after all!), but too touristy and crowded for my tastes, but should you be on Oahu, you really should go visit to at least see what all the fuss is about. If you're looking for lots of action, you'll find it here. Certain parts of the beach are nicer than others, so be sure to ask those in the know (i.e. locals) which hotels on Waikiki have the best sections of the beach. Wear lost of sunscreen and, most importantly, have fun =)
Apr 10, 2009
Clearly, the most populous, and most popular beach in Hawai'i, Waikiki was once the essence of Hawai'i of yesteryear. Now, it's lined with high rise hotels and innundated with tourists who don't want to explore what a "true Hawaiian" vacation feels like. While you can have every wish catered too as you lay on the wonderful Hawaiian sand, to truly experience Hawaii, I suggest travelling elsewhere - be it another island, or at the very least, outside of Honolulu.