5 Days in Waikiki

Our family took a trip to Hawaii last June.  This is how we spent our days...

Day One - Waikiki Welcome

Saturday morning and a sunny Aloha welcome to Waikiki. We spent the morning along the beachfront, basking in the sun and enjoying all the activity on the beach and in the water. We checked in to the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, across the road from the Duke Kahanamoku statue on the busy stretch of beach.  The hotel offers spacious rooms in two tower buildings with either sea, mountain or city views.  The hotel pool is on the 3rd level, and overlooks the beachfront.
Duke Kahanamoku Statue

In the evening we had dinner at the Hula Grill Waikiki in the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel.  We sat in the bar area and had a choice of the bar menu (burgers, ribs, tacos) or the full menu (market fish).  Below the Hula is Duke's Waikiki Restaurant, a bustling beachfront bar and restaurant (booking recommended).

We took a leisurely walk back to the hotel, taking in the live music and street performers and the general hustle bustle of holidaymakers.

Day Two - Diamond's Head

An early start was needed to beat the heat and after a delicious pancake breakfast at M.A.C 24/7 we made our way along the beach towards Diamonds Head.  Tourist Fail #1 - do not attempt to walk to the volcano and then climb it!!!  Take a bus/taxi/Uber to the national park, and then climb!  We walked over 20kms today... and that doesn't include the taxi ride back to the hotel!!

The climb is just over a kilometre but some parts (especially the stairs) are steep.  Take a hat and lots of water to keep hydrated.  The views from the top are spectacular and well worth the climb.

In the evening we had a well deserved dinner at the Shorebird.  This wonderful restaurant is on the beach and has a sunset special where you can eat all you can from the salad buffet and grill your own steak.  The great meal was topped off by the staff singing Happy Birthday to dad along with a wonderful oversized chocolate brownie.  The Shorebird is definitely a must!

Day Three - Snorkel & Shop

Husband and I took a day trip to Hanauma Bay.  This beautiful stretch of beach lined with coral is a nature reserve where snorkelling is a must (although the beautiful fish can be spotted from the shore too).  We spent the morning admiring the pretty fish (alas no turtles today) and relaxed on the sand under the palm trees.

Hanauma Bay
The girls spent the afternoon at the Ala Moana Centre - a large shopping outlet between Waikiki and Honolulu.  There is a wide choice of stores including Macy's and Bloomingdales and a large food court boasting a variety of eats from around the world.  There is also a Walmart close to the centre.

In the evening, husband and I picked up a coffee from Honolulu Coffee and watched the world go by from the rocking chairs just outside the glorious Moana Surfrider hotel.  The hotel courtyard boasts a beautiful Banyan tree, and the open seating area welcomes everyone to sample the great live music with the sound of the waves in the background.

Day Four - Surf & Hula

What would Waikiki be without surfing?  We enthusiastically hired boards from the Star Beach Boys stand and paddled right in.  Alas, Tourist Fail #2 - 90 minutes later we still hadn't caught a single wave and not for lack of trying!  We dismally called it quits and crawled ashore while 10 year olds glided in past us on their boards!

At sunset, we gathered on Kuhio beach to watch the free hula show and soak up some Hawaiian culture.  After the show, we took a taxi to the highly recommended (by two taxi drivers) Rainbow Drive Inn.  The food was great and the relaxing atmosphere among the locals a welcomed change from the touristy beachfront.

Waikiki sunset

Day Five - A Sad Goodbye

Today was dad's actual birthday so we returned to M.A.C 24/7 for breakfast before taking a walk to the Surfjack hotel to browse Olive and Oliver, an authentic Hawaiian boutique and coffee bar.  My first emotion when I saw the Surfjack was envy - this place exuded cool!  If I ever return to Waikiki I would love to stay here (hopefully I'll pass the coolometer!). Olive and Oliver coffee is sold in cute cups and the boutique is worth a visit.

Waikiki was a wonderful place with just the right mix of tourist fads and relaxation.  It isn't for everyone, those who prefer peace and quiet would probably prefer the other islands, and for a family it is a little on the pricy side.  However it is definitely worth a visit, and we were sad to leave.

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