The area around Waikiki’s famous two mile-long white sand crescent beach is a mecca for tourists. Waikiki means “spouting waters” and is located on Oahu, the third largest of the Hawaiian islands. Oahu means “gathering place” and many tourists gather here to enjoy the sand, shopping, and attractions of this incredible paradise.
We stayed at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, in a room on the 27th floor with an incredible view. After taking in the newly-rebuilt 17 acre Pearl Harbor visitor center, hiking at Diamond Head, and snorkeling at Hanuma Bay, we were ready to go to Kailua Beach, which was voted the number one beach in the USA.
Our friend Will took us on several outings that we called, “if you lived here.” A dinner of fish tacos and teriyaki chicken at the Diamond Head Grill and Market was superb. I laughed to see an ABC store on almost every corner – it reminded me of seeing 711s on nearly every street in Taiwan.
We found an easy breakfast at Wolfgang Puck Express with sunrise sandwiches. HiSteak’s steak and eggs got us ready for a day out and about. Once Will took us to Whole Foods on Kilauea Avenue for lunch; we ate outside on a bench. In a mall, Will showed us the new restaurants GRYLT which boasted great fresh grilled foods. The prices were cheap and the fare was tasty.
I enjoyed Historic Hawaii, especially seeing the statue of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku (190-1968), a descendant of Hawaiian royalty and the “Father of International Surfing.” He was also known as Hawai’i’s Ambasador of Aloha. (2410 Kalakaua Ave., North of Uluniu Ave. along Kuhio beach at Waikiki. The statue is lit at night.)
On another occasion we took in the International Marketplace, made famous by Elvis’s Blue Hawaii. The Marketplace on Kalakaua was featured in the movie, Blue Hawaii. You can wander the street and see it today–it looks just like it did when Elvis strolled by in Blue Hawaii, a 1961 musical which was the first of three movies Elvis filmed in Hawaii.
Waikiki’s main street has every fancy shop that you would find on LA’s Rodeo Drive or at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Luxury row at 2100 Kalakaua Avenue and find your favorite upscale shopping including: Tiffany & Co., Coach, Gucci, Yves saint Laurent, Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Tod’s and Hugo Boss, just steps from Waikiki’s best beaches.
I know some people love to shop and you can find all the best stores in town. We would rather hike or see cultural sites; Hawaii really does have something for everyone! Don’t miss out on Sunday nights at Duke’s on the beach with Henry Kapono, a musician who has been sharing innovative Hawaiian rock since the 1970’s.
Whatever activity you choose, you will enjoy the Aloha spirit of Hawaii! Mahalo!
About the author: Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Ed. is an accomplished travel agent, blogger, speaker, science teacher and member of the Traveler’s Century Club, a unique travel club limited to travelers who have visited one hundred or more countries. More from Lisa at WeSaidGoTravel.