If you’re planning a holiday to Hawaii, make sure Waikiki is included in your itinerary. Don’t spend a vacation in Hawaii without going to Waikiki. A fair warning though: As with many destinations in Hawaii, choosing which of Waikiki’s attractions to see is not an easy task. A single trip is not enough to experience what Waikiki has to offer. Here are some of the visitor attractions you don’t want to miss.
Waikiki Beach is world-renowned for its breathtaking views of the Diamond Head volcano, the surfbreak, and the usually cloud-free and warm climate. The surf is known for its long rolling break, an ideal condition for beginner surfing, long boarding, and tandem surfing. Waikiki Beach holds many events every year, such as outdoor performances, surf competitions, outrigger canoe races, and hula dancing.
Diamond Head Crater
To learn something about Oahu’s geography and geology, take a hike to the top of the 760-foot Diamond Head. The extinct volcano is a famous landmark in Hawaii, so famous that it is used as a navigational tool in the islands along with Mauka, Makai, and Ewa. The hike is relatively easy-going, perfect for the family.
Diamond Head Lighthouse
The Diamond Head Lighthouse is located on Diamond Head Road, on the lower slopes of the crater. A classic whitewashed landmark, it is one of the most popular lighthouses in the world. It is the final marker for the west coast’s most prestigious and oldest race, the Transpacific Yacht Race.
Treat your children by visiting the Honolulu Zoo, which is found on the west side of Kapi’olani Park. It is the biggest zoo in Hawaii (42 acres) and is home to almost a thousand different tropical animals such as orangutans, Komodo Dragons, elephants, reptiles, amphibians, and many more. Highlights include the "Tropical Rainforest," the "Islands of the Pacific", and the "African Savanna" exhibits. It is open everyday except Christmas Day.
From Honolulu Zoo, you can walk to Waikiki Aquarium. It holds the distinction as the third oldest public aquarium in the country (it was built in 1904). Here, you can see more than 2,500 organisms, representing over 420 species of aquatic plants and animals. Their interactive and family-friendly exhibits and programs focus on Hawaii’s aquatic life.
If you’re in Waikiki, don’t ever miss Hawaii’s one and only real submarine tour. If you’re afraid of swimming, you can still dive safely into the habitat of many exotic sea creatures – inside a submarine. You’ll see sunken shipwrecks and aircraft as well as the Atlantis, an impressive reef form.