Why You Should Stay at Waikīkī Beach When You Visit Oahu, Hawaii

I’ve been lucky to have lived in several beautiful places. Oahu is one of them. During my college days, I spent a year in Oahu. Those days were salad days, long on time and short on money, and to this day, one of the best times in my memory. Days often ended with at bus ride to Waikīkī for a swim at Queen’s Beach at the always welcoming Kapiolani Park, a scooter ride through Chinatown to fetch asian veggies, or to Kahala Mall to escape the heat with a matinee movie, and weekends piling into a friend of a friend’s big old American car to head to the Kam Drive-In in Aiea for the outdoor drive-in movies, or long late nights playing poker for small change and intelligent conversation in quiet Manoa Valley.

Oahu and Waikīkī are places that I love, and visit often. 

Getting Started

Dynamic and lively Waikīkī  is a blend of vast tourists, modern resorts, ohana family beach parks, luxury shopping, nightlife, and great dining options. Waikīkī extends from the Ala Wai Canal (a channel dug to drain original wetlands) on the west and north, to Diamond Head (Lēʻahi) on the east. Waikīkī Beach is framed by Diamond Head and the blue pacific.


4349 km


6 hr 10 min


1 m 3 ft


Room rates up

Early April, May, September, and early October are great time to visit Oahu, taking into consideration weather, high/expensive seasons (Winter/Christmas), and visitor number to Oahu. 
If you’re looking to escape the snow at home in the winter months, from mid-November through March, Waikīkī high-temperature averages somewhere around 80°F (26°C). In the summer months, Waikīkī high typically average somewhere in the mid- to upper- 80s F (30-32°C).

It’s all walkable, you don’t need a car. Take advantage of the beach, parks, and local transportation, and just relax. After a few days of salt water, sun, local food, and aloha, you’ll appreciate the charm of Waikīkī.

What to see and do in Waikīkī

There are numerous packages for excursions from Waikīkī, but I think there are many memorable and enchanting things you can do for free.

Hike up to Diamond Head (Lē‘ahi) for spectacular view. The trail to the summit of Lē‘ahi was built in 1908 as part of O‘ahu’s coastal defense system. The 0.8 mile hike from trailhead to the summit is steep and strenuous, gaining 560 feet as it ascends from the crater floor. The postcard view of the shoreline from Koko Head to Wai‘anae is stunning, and during winter, may include passing humpback whales. Diamond Head State Monument park information.

Have a Beach Day at Kapi‘olani Park. King David Kalākaua dedicated this park in 1877. This 200 acre park has not changed much in over 144 years. People still leisurely appreciate and enjoy this park that sits on prime land in Waikīkī, where it continues to be one of our city’s most popular parks. The history of Kapiʻolani Regional Park.

Waikīkī sunset and a local beer or cocktail. Waikīkī is renown for its glorious sunsets where the sun sets into the pacific. There is great pleasure at the golden hour in Waikīkī; enjoying some local craft beers (Maui Brewing or Kona Brewing) from your hotel lanai, or a cold draft or cocktail from the deck (Tiki Bar & Grill) with a pu pu platter, or enjoying an exceptional classic mai tai and live Hawaiian music on the seawall at House Without A Key at the Halekulani Hotel.

Art Galleries and Culture

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.

Gustave Flaubert

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