The most famous Hawaiian beach is Waikiki. Not only is it one of Hawaii‘s most picturesque, but it is centrally located at the city of Waikiki and has become the focal point for all Hawaiian. But how did it get this way? Well, Royal Hawaiian’s used this beach for rest and relaxation as we do today. In fact, surfing got its start right here as the locals used long boards to ride the waves which till today break perfectly out from the sandy coast here. Not only surfing, but Waikiki is historically known for outrigger canoeing, a sport the royals enjoyed as they took in the same burned out volcano we presently call Diamond Head.
The beach is short and narrow and a tan colored sand that is pretty much what you’ll find all throughout the islands. Half of the beach is designated for surfing, with shallow water and a beautiful rolling break making it ideal for new surfers and tandem surfing and outriggers. This is one of the lowest areas on Oahu.
Just beyond the beach, back behind the hotels and high rises that give Waikiki its trademark look, sits a canal called Ala Wai, built in 1928 for the purpose of draining surrounding rice paddies and swamp for present day Waikiki. The canal still stands and drains water from the lowlands.
But Waikiki Beach has been problematic for a long time in that the beach has eroded since the 1900′s. In fact, in the 1920′s and through the 1970′s, sand was imported by ship to this famous beach from Manhattan Beach, California!
Even today a beach restoration program is in place to preserve everything about this famous strip in Waikiki. Resort hotels are built right up to the beachline and what is left is the gentle waves that come in over the break and through the shallows to the beach. This lack of real wave action has a negative effect on the sand, instead taking it out and away from the shore instead of piling it up along the strip.
As the restoration project continues, local authorities will continue to look at ways to preserve what is here and keep the millions of tourists annually happy with the most majestic view on Oahu. And you must admit, it’s something worth engraving on your memory.
Hosting thousands of tourists each day, Waikiki has more than 30,000 hotel rooms and almost a thousand restaurants. The beach is generally well trodden, but still exciting and fun and if you don’t mind company, you’ll be able to take a beautiful surf and dramatic sunset.
If you’re into exploring and have climbed Diamond Head, that burned out volcano in the distance, then Waikiki can be walked to find some of the best eating and shopping in the islands.
International Market Place Waikiki
Maybe you’ve heard that the old International Market Place in Waikiki is going to be torn down. We have heard the same and even though projects of this size can take forever to come to fruition, a buyer called Taubman Centers from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan has signed an agreement with current owner Queen Emma Land Company to develop the site into a multi story mall. Yes, this area of downtown is in dire need of redevelopment. But again, as we said, this could be years in the making. For now, the Market Place is still there and the shops are still open.
Waikiki beach is just a few miles from Honolulu and Pearl Harbor. Make sure you get out to visit Pearl Harbor. This historic landmark is well worth the time to go see while in Hawaii.
Waikiki Beach, Oahu – Beach Index:
- Family oriented beach
- Full facilities along the strand
- Surfboard rentals – try it once!
- Three Best Beaches Recommended Beach!