We’ve covered a list of things to do on a rainy day with most of them surrounding Waikiki, here are things to do on a beautiful summers day, specifically, in Waikiki! This list will help you cover many local activities (and touristy things) within just Waikiki that you can spread over a week or complete in a single day, whatever the duration of your trip.
10 BEST THINGS TO DO IN WAIKIKI
1) SURF + CHECK OUT THE BEACHES
Throughout the shoreline of Waikiki, there are multiple locations to rent surfboards and stand-up surfboard (SUP’s). Few stations offer beach umbrellas for protection from the sun, beach chairs, and other beach necessities. Prices vary, and from experience, the rentals can cost as low as $20 a day to $30 for a few hours. Some stands also offer military or Kama’aina discount so be sure to ask for these! Here is a link to Waikiki Surfboard Rentals rates, just one of many rental services (we are not affiliated in any way).
Waikiki, in general, is populated with visitors and during peak surf conditions, the surf line-up can be packed with locals. However, you can’t surf at a spot without knowing where you are! How else would you be able to share that “I surfed at ____ beach in Waikiki” phrase?
List of beaches starting from the Hilton Hawaiian at the beginning of Waikiki heading south:
1) Kahanamoku Beach – family friendly, shallow, tame.
2) Grays Channel – across Fort Derussy park/museum and closest beach to the TRUMP hotel; also family friendly, shallow.
3) Canoes – Many catamarans/booze cruise boats take off from here and can become quite congested. Further break is a nice surf spot – just next to Duke’s.
4) Duke’s – Great place to rent surfboards. Both Canoes and Duke’s are right beside each other and are usually summed up as the ‘real’ Waikiki Beach.
5) Kuhio Beach – this spot is also very safe as it is in a man made lagoon that clears out via open passageways to the ocean in a filtration type design. Toward the pier, further down the beach, is a bodyboarding spot named “Walls.”
6) Queens Beach – another decent surf spot with occasionally reef heads peeking out of water during low tides. Less packed then than the other beaches.
Waikiki Beach is great all along the inner shores as it is a sand bottom and relatively safe from heavy shore break, unlike Sandy’s or Big Beach in Maui.
2) FREE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
Up and down the Waikiki Strip are live performers, hula lessons, hula shows, and even lei making all for free. Here’s a link to more events & specials located at the Waikiki Shopping Plaza. Not too far from downtown Waikiki is Ala Moana and the International Market Place which also provide show times and events.
There are more than enough stores for the experienced traveler to know where to buy things. I feel like specific store names do not need to be stated in this post. There are many varieties of merchandise, jewelry, clothing, and many more stores that anyone can want or need, from any income bracket, along the Waikiki Strip.
Best general good store all around Waikiki – You can’t NOT miss the great ABC store. If you forgot anything from home or need a quick drink, this convenience store provides customer service with such easy accessibility with over 30 locations in Waikiki alone. Think of it as a smaller version of Walmart.
4) ENJOY A BOOZE CRUISE
Enjoy the day on the high seas while drunk! Late Morning, Afternoon and Sunset (our favorite) cruises are offered. The Na Hoku II is our favorite boat we’ve been on and every time (over a dozen times) is a memorable one! Did I mention, $40-45 per person (depending on time of day) for all you can drink in 90 minutes! – Worth it. More info, HERE.
5) DIAMOND HEAD HIKE
If surfing isn’t enough for the thrill seeker, take a hot hike up Diamond Head – Oahu’s most famous Landmark. For more detailed information on how to get there and what to expect click HERE – our guide and review of the hike.
6) EAT AT THE RESTAURANTS
Of course, you’re bound to get hungry with all that beach going and money spending! High-end restaurants, food courts, and little side shops offer a wide arrange of delicacies from around the world with a little Hawaiian touch.
Two prominent spots we recommend are Eggs & Things (GREAT local food!) and The Top of Waikiki – a rotating restaurant overlooking Waikiki.
7) GO ON A GUIDED TOUR
Although many of these “explore Hawaii” stands are more for things outside of Waikiki, it is a convenient way to sign up hassle free. At just about every stop light/crosswalk there are booths with pamphlets offering price, activity, and location – specific details can be found at one by talking to a representative. However, we can’t recommend any tour without giving a shout out to Dan, head tour guide and founder of Circle Island in 24. If you’re curious as to what he can offer, here’s a sample of what we did: HERE.
8) EXPLORE WAIKIKI STRIP
If you find yourself at home or relaxing in the hotel, why not just explore the strip? It’s full of different characters you may meet, full of shops and restaurants.
If walking sounds boring, rent a bike! New to Waikiki, the Biki, is an excellent little addition to the city. Rent a bike for 30 minutes or couple of hours and ride around Waikiki. We believe prices begin with $2.50 for 30 minutes and increases in cost hourly. This is a nice service that should have been implemented a while ago, and we are glad to see its popularity growing. For information, click: HERE.
There are also Bike/Scooter/Moped/and Segway rentals throughout Waikiki.
9) SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH
Shave Ice is a MUST! Remember those ABC stores? Yep, some have a shave ice maker. Be sure to ask for it at the register – that’s usually where they are.
10) ENJOY THE SUNSET
Lastly, you need to take the time and enjoy a beautiful Waikiki Sunset. You don’t need to be on the Na Hoku II. The closest beach to you will do! Just a heads up, not all sunsets are this beautiful, even we were blown away by its colors but do understand, every sunset is is unique and beautiful in its own right.
For a general summary of what you can do in Waikiki, I think this covers it. If you have any recommendations on what you see, did, or prefer, let us know! We will look into and see if it belongs here but for now, we hope you enjoy your stay in Waikiki and explore all its sights and sounds!