I sailed into the sunset on this fabulous catamaran, and so should you! The 54-foot performance motor-sail catamaran is the perfect way to skim the waves at Waikiki while viewing and photographing its scenic shoreline as well as enjoying snacks and refreshments like the Catatonic cocktail. Departs Port Hilton pier four times a day for snorkeling, adventure sail, sunset cruise and fireworks dinner sail each Friday.
Splash onto an ocean playground that’s truly unique. The largest multi-hulled canoe is actually a 10,000 square-foot water activity platform that features Waikiki’s only ocean trampoline, three levels of diving platforms, a water slide, snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, parasailing and helmet dives. Operates 300 yards off Waikiki Beach and is reached by water shuttle.
You can’t say you’ve experienced Hawaii until you get into the water! One of the clever ways to do that is on an ocean submersible that explores our beautiful coral reefs. View the undersea environment in air-conditioned comfort while encountering green turtles, sharks, stingrays, yellow tangs, eels and many other species of underwater marine life. This is my kind of dive
Want to swim and snorkel in a nature preserve? Encounter colorful tropical fishes in a natural bay formed in a volcanic crater that has an amazing undersea landscape of living coral. Hanauma Bay has long been one of the island of Oahu’s jewels. Visitor center has an educational video to acclimate visitors to the safety aspects of the bay. Snorkeling equipment rental also available at the site.
There are beach service vendors all along Waikiki Beach and fronting most oceanfront hotels. Waikiki’s legendary beach boys take passengers on outrigger canoe rides, teach you to catch a wave on a surfboard and show you the art of standup paddling. They are masters of wind and sea conditions, the reefs and surf breaks, as well as the history of Waikiki and Hawaii. A few of them even play the ukulele and sing.
You can buy a T-shirt that says “I hiked Diamond Head.” But why not actually do it? Oahu’s iconic landmark is an extinct volcano crater that attracts hikers and sightseers who walk its moderately challenging 0.8 mile trail to stunning views at the top of Diamond Head. Five minute drive by car or bus from Waikiki.
Makapuu Point trail offers outstanding views of Oahu’s southeastern coastline, including Koko Head and Koko Crater. Also enjoy magnificent views of the windward coast and offshore islets, as well as historic red-roofed Makapuu Lighthouse built in 1909. On a clear day, you can see Molokai and Lanai. See migrating humpback whales in season (November - May).
Get off the beaten track to an extraordinary cultural site in Manoa Valley. Tour Kukaoo Heiau (Hawaiian temple), a native Hawaiian garden and historic home, Kualii. The region ranging from Manoa (valley) to Waikiki (sea) is an ahupuaa or land division by which ancient Hawaiians sectioned sustainable communities. Private tours by reservation only.
We have fascinating museums, where historic treasures are exhibited. Depending on your interests, you’ll want to include any or all of them on your Oahu odyssey. By proximity to Waikiki are: U.S. Army Museum (32 Kalia Rd, Fort DeRussy); Mission Houses Museum (553 S. King St., downtown Honolulu); Hawaii State Art Museum (250 S. Hotel St., downtown Honolulu); Queen Emma Summer Palace (29l3 Pali Hwy, Nuuanu); Bishop Museum (1525 Bernice St., Kalihi); Pearl Harbor/Battleship Missouri Memorial (1 Arizona Memorial Place/63 Cowpens St., Pearl City); Pacific Aviation Museum (319 Lexington Blvd, Ford Island).
Fresh locally-grown produce can’t be beat. In Waikiki, we have the only rooftop farmers’ market each Tuesday, 4 pm - 7:30 pm, at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. Meet 20 vendors with produce, freshly cut flowers, specialty food and gift items.
Honolulu’s premier farmers market is held each Saturday, 7:30 am -11 am, at the Kapiolani Community College-Diamond Head campus. The Saturday Farmers' Market is co-sponsored by the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation and the Culinary Institute of the Pacific. It’s a great chance to meet farmers and food producers of Hawaii's diverse agriculture. Select from a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Plus, amazing beef, aqua cultured seafood, baked goods, handmade pasta, local honey and more.
This is a gem on the Diamond Head end of Waikiki, across from Kapiolani Park. Founded in 1904, this marine aquarium is the third oldest public aquarium in the U.S. Since 1919, it has been an institution of the University of Hawaii. Built near a living coral reef, Waikiki Aquarium is home to many unique species, including hybrid marine fishes and rare coral. I also like the clever educational programs (like after-dark flashlight tours) and summer Ke Kani O Ke Kai island music concerts (June - August) held on the beautiful grounds.
Honolulu claims one of the nation’s finest bus systems. But then the island’s only 44 miles long and about 30 miles wide, so let’s not over-complicate mass transit. If you don’t like guided group tours and the expense of a rental car, take TheBus. A one-way fare of $2.50 (exact change, please) will take you around the island (with transfers at certain points). If you plan to use TheBus frequently, buy a 4-day bus pass ($25), available at ABC stores for unlimited rides and transfers.
Waikiki Trolley goes directly to most major attractions and major shopping malls on Oahu. The classic trolley cars are fun to ride. Seven and four-day passes allow unlimited boarding and re-boarding privileges. Three lines and 30 stops allow you to discover historic sites, beautiful scenery and world-class shops and restaurants. Hop on board and enjoy the ride!