Feeling The Sands of Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA


One of the Main Destinations in Honolulu is the world famous Waikiki Beach. It’s the main beach area for hotels in the Waikiki part of the city. It’s especially more prevalent since some hotels do not offer hotel pools in Waikiki, making the beach all that much more of a draw for visitors. As a famous beach known around the world, would it live up to the hype?

This post is one chapter on our trip to Honolulu & Maui, Hawaii, United States of America. This trip was redeemed through Alaska Mileage Plan and Fairmont President’s Club. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity: Feeling the Sands of Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, United States of America

During our stay at the Moana Surfrider by Westin in lovely Honolulu, Hawaii, we spent a day and a half on the famous Waikiki Beach. It’s a place that had eluded me over the travel years as I had associated it with the location where all my rich kid friends (and I wasn’t – sadly) would go when I was in secondary school growing up.

The Waikiki Beach in Honolulu was initially a retreat for Hawaiian Royalty in the 1800’s and eventually found its way through historic and concrete tower hotels. While it had sort of an odd urban charm to it, I ended up enjoying it’s somewhat funky vibe of young and hip travellers mixed with older travelers.

Immediately Outside the Moana Surfrider:

The beach area in front of the Moana Surfrider is where the beach almost starts as it heads eastward down to the direction of Diamond Head. There is a large Banyan Tree on the Moana Surfrider property which provides an interesting feature for the hotel, as well as some greenery on the beach side. There isn’t much beach front that is actually owned by the hotel here, as space is at a premium.

Beach Front Looking in towards the Moana Surfrider Towers
The Banyan Tree at The Moana Surfrider
The Beach Out Front at the Moana Surfrider

Getting back to the beach itself, this famous beach was a cross between the atmosphere of the Las Vegas Strip, a senior citizens home, and the Griswold Family from the National Lampoon Vacations movies. It was every thing to everybody and was terrific to people watch the world walk by.

Walking Down Waikiki Beach:

Waikiki Beach goes on an on in a thin and tiny strip of sand that runs down towards Diamond Head mountain from the hotel. It got pretty full on our visit, but there was always room to find a little patch of space.

Sunset Catamarans
January in Hawaii
Sunny Spaces
Looking Westward Down the Beach toward the Sheraton Waikiki

The beach led down to the east towards Diamond Head mountain. It’s an iconic feature of the island of Oahu. Now that I know what to look for, it’s in more Facebook posts of my friends that many other Hawaiian Island Features.

People Watching as Beach Goers Cross the Paths
The Crowds of Waikiki Beach in the Shadow of the Moana Surfrider
Crowded Spaces on Waikiki Beach
Walking on Waikiki Beach
Hanging Out on Waikiki Beach
Views: Overlooking Diamond Head
Sunny Spaces
Surfboarding Visitors

There were small jelly fish scares with signs that were posted on the beach. I didn’t see any and was in the water on several occasions. This beach warrants bringing water shoes / sandals as there were rough stones or left over foundations from the dismantled Moana pier.

Jelly Fish Warning Signs

Eating Locally:

We kept it simple for dinners in Waikiki. We headed down to Duke’s (two buildings down) for dinner on both our nights there. I’d heard good things about Duke’s and it was reasonably priced for such high rent real estate. The Duke’s outdoor lanai is actually the hotel sunning area in the day time and it’s cleared at night time for tables. We were able to get seated within 30 minutes (I believe its a no reservation policy) on arriving after 7:30 PM.

Duke’s Patio Area: A Tanning Zone by Daytime

My Thoughts on the Waikiki Beach Experience:

I was happy to have seen and experienced the famous Waikiki Beach. It was a little like some of those tourist traps where there was a souvenir store on every corner. It’s probably not my first choice for an aspirational beach holiday, but at the same time, it was one of the most entertaining people watching places I’d been in a while. It was also a place I could bring my mom and my family to and where everyone would have been satisfied. Despite the commercialness of the whole Waikiki Beach zone, MrsWT73 can’t wait to return.

If you’ve traveled to Hawaii, what did you think of the famous Waikiki Beach?

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