Waikiki has a long-standing reputation as one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. Part of the city of Honolulu, Waikiki has a huge surfing culture, great native cuisine and notoriously friendly locals. The three main streets in the area are Kalakaua Avenue, Kuhio Avenue, and Ala Wai Boulevard, each of them offering restaurants serving authentic Hawaiian cuisine and unique shops. If you're trying to navigate the area, you're more likely to hear "mauka" or "makai" than "north" or "south." Just remember, "mauka" means towards the mountains and "makai" means towards the water.
While you're in Waikiki, make time for some of these must-see attractions and destinations:
-Diamond Head Crater: This ancient volcanic crater towers over Waikiki and is one of the main landmarks of the island.
-Honolulu Zoo: This zoo houses many exotic creatures native only to Hawaii.
-Waikiki Aquarium: This aquarium is the third oldest in the U.S. and is home to hundreds of different types of species.
-Go Surfing: Just about every beach in the area has places to rent boards and take lessons with local surfing pros.
-Kapiolani Park: In addition to being the biggest park in Waikiki, Kapiolani Park is also home to the Waikiki Shell Amphitheater that holds concerts and performances throughout the year.
-Go to the Beach: Of course, no vacation in Waikiki would be complete without spending time sampling some of the beautiful beaches in the area like Waikiki Beach and Kahanamoku Beach.
It seems like not a day goes by without a major event or festival taking place in either Waikiki or Honolulu. Some of these main festivals include the Ala Wai Challenge in January, an all-day event that features traditional Hawaiian games including spear throwing and an outrigger canoe race; the King Kamehameha Hula Competition in June, arguably the biggest hula competition in the world; and the Honolulu Marathon in December, which typically draws more than 30,000 competitors from all over the world.
Luckily, no matter what time of year you decide to visit, you'll have no trouble finding a vacation rental in Waikiki. With homes ranging from luxury high-rise apartments with top-of-the-line amenities and views of the beach to spacious condos within walking distance of all the local dining and shopping options, there's a vacation rental that's right for you in Waikiki.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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