Waikīkī Beach is one of the world's most famous beaches. With its white sand, rolling waves, and access to the hotels, boutiques, and restaurants that make up Honolulu's most popular vacation destination neighborhood, this beach has a lot going for it. Waikīkī (meaning "sprouting water" in Hawaiian) was originally a retreat for Hawaiian royalty and was known for its surfing shore break. A few small hotels and beach resorts were opened in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which sparked the area's popularity among tourists from the mainland.
Today there are many beach resorts and hotels, but the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel, or Pink Palace of the Pacific, was one of the first hotels that was established in the area. The beach is nourished and restored with white sand to combat the ongoing erosion, and a paved boardwalk extends along most sections of its coastline.
Whether you are looking for surfing, paddling, swimming, or tanning, Waikīkī Beach offers a spectacular setting for just about any ocean activity. Rent a board or sign up for surf lessons on a fairly consistent beginner swell and a fantastic view of the Honolulu skyline. The bustling tourism ensures that no matter what time of day or night, something interesting is always happening in Waikīkī, from live music or shows to fireworks shot off every Friday night from the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort. With a western-facing view of the Pacific Ocean, Waikīkī Beach also offers stunning sunset views over the water, bathing nearby Diamond Head and the skyscrapers in golden light.
Although the the adjacent neighborhood is busy, you may be able to find street or garage parking with close access to Kapiolani Park, the Honolulu Zoo, Waikīkī Aquarium, and the Royal Hawaiian Center shopping mall. Traffic in Waikīkī can be slow during rush hours and on holidays, and many of the streets are one way, adding to the difficulty in navigating with a car. Consider taking public transportation or walking if you are staying close by, and explore all that Waikīkī has to offer. With over 1,000 restaurants, shops, and close to 200 hotels, you can easily see why Waikīkī Beach has become one of the most popular beaches in Hawai'i.