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Best of Waikiki

This all-American stretch of Hawaii has had its share of identity crises. But paradise is still paradise.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Multiple days

Overview :  This resort-filled Honolulu neighborhood—on a 2.5-mile-long beach—is the center of much of Oahu’s dining, shopping, and nightlife, as ... more »

Tips:  Waikiki has beautiful weather year-round, but fall and spring have the mildest temperatures.

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Points of Interest

Probably the best museum complex in the world for everything Polynesian (as well as Melanesian and Micronesian), the Bishop is Hawaii’s most famous museum—and worth the hassle of getting to its out-of-the-way location just off the H-1 interstate. The crown jewel of the complex, the Hawaiian Hall, is housed in a stunning 19th-century lava-rock... More

2. Bob’s Ukulele

Bob’s sells one product mainly, the evocative and characteristically Hawaiian four-string guitar. There are ukes of ribbon-grained koa that cost hundreds and soprano ukes of mahogany that go for $90 and touristy ones of laminated wood for 50 bucks.

Address:
2552 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Honolulu, Hawaii
United States
... More

Service rules at this recently renovated 5-acre Waikiki Beach beauty, which has existed for nearly a century. The Orchid Suite, the newest of the hotel’s premier rooms, made its debut in 2008. The fabled-hotel is a high-style base on Waikiki beach. Stay in one of two Vera Wang–designed suites—especially if you’re there to get married at sunset.... More

Make the trip to the zoo, pausing to inspect a massive immobile tortoise taking a dust bath, then gawping at the unlikely spectacle of an ambulating landmass, which turns out to be a black rhinoceros.

Address:
151 Kapahula Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii
United States

Phone:
(808) 971-7171

Grab a deceptive mai tai at this open-air beachfront bar and restaurant.

Address:
2199 Kalia Rd., Halekulani Hotel
Honolulu, Hawaii
United States

Phone:
(808) 923-2311

6. Kahala Hotel & Resort

Oahu classic—fresh from a major renovation—with thoughtful in-room details (Frette linens; chenille robes; oversize showerheads). This 1964 colossus benefits from having about it a whiff of archaism. It was here, at what was then a Hilton and known as the Kahollywood, that Richard Burton and Liz Taylor hid out from the paparazzi in a private... More

Meticulously restored 1901 Beaux-Arts property—the first hotel on Waikiki Beach—with an Old Hawaii vibe (afternoon tea is de rigueur), plus one of Waikiki’s only beachfront spas. Room to Book: Southern-facing rooms in the Tower wing with balconies overlooking Diamond Head.

Address:
2365 Kalakaua Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii
United States

Phone:
(808)... More

A $110 million overhaul will be completed in early 2009.

Address:
2169 Kalia Rd.
Honolulu, Hawaii
United States

Phone:
(800) 688-7444

Framed by Diamond Head, one of the world’s most climbed (extinct) volcanoes, and with nearly two miles of continuous white sand and palm trees, this iconic beach—over the past 80 years its image has even been printed on tens of thousands "aloha shirts"—is almost always full of tourists and surfers. It is deepest, about 100 feet, in front... More

10. Ted’s Bakery

What: This family-owned shop in Sunset Beach is splashed with a deep-sea graffiti mural that looks as if it could have been painted by the Little Mermaid on acid.

Who: The Nakamuras serve solid renditions of fish sandwiches and bento boxes of chicken katsu or teriyaki beef.

Don’t Miss: It’s the silky chocolate pudding–coconut cream pie that... More

In the 1990’s the project committed $585 million in public and private funds to transform eight acres of dive bars and budget hotels within an elbow of land framed by Lewers Street, Fort DeRussy Park, and Kalakaua Avenue.

Address:
227 Lewers St.
Honolulu, Hawaii
United States

Phone:
(808) 931-3591