This Beautiful Resort Town Is The Perfect Beach Destination To Add To Your Hawaii Bucket List

Hawaii is a popular bucket list addition for many travelers. But with over 100 beautiful beaches and seven inhabited islands, how does one know which Hawaiian town offers the perfect island retreat for their next vacation? While there really is no wrong choice, one dreamy location provides the perfect mix of Hawaiian history with modern amenities.

There are so many reasons to visit Hawaii, and Waikiki is one of them. This oceanfront resort town on the island of Oahu boomed after the first hotels were built in the early 1900s. Welcoming famous guests like Frank Sinatra, Jo DiMaggio, and Elvis Presley, Waikiki grew into one of the most famous beaches around the globe and now welcomes over four million excited visitors every year. Conveniently the most walkable city in Oahu, the town offers plenty of fun-in-the-sun beach activities and ample shopping, dining, entertainment, and accommodation options. In a nutshell, Waikiki is a pretty perfect vacation destination.

Things to do in Waikiki

Hawaii offers so many outdoor activities, and Oahu's iconic Waikiki Beach is the perfect place for strolling, swimming, and snorkeling. With postcard-worthy views of sunshine on the turquoise water with the famous Diamond Head standing proudly in the distance, the sandy shoreline is a stunning place to spend the day. One particularly popular activity in Waikiki is surfing. And those riding the Waikiki waves are in good company. The famous Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing, taught visitors to surf here as early as the beginning of the 20th century. Want to give it a go? Star Beachboys ($125 for a 75-minute private session) and Kahu Surf School ($110 for a 60-minute private lesson) are both excellent options.

Waikiki also has the added benefit of offering typical beach activities alongside world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment. Kalākaua Avenue is the main strip and a lot of fun to explore. Shoppers can expect everything from luxury stores, like Gucci and Chanel, to souvenir shops, like the ABC Store. Foodies will love the wide variety of delicious local dishes, like poke and spam musubi. And for those looking for a bit of entertainment, the options are endless. From the Aha Aina Royal Hawaiian Luau to sunset cruises and cultural classes (lei making, ukelele, hula, and weaving) at the Royal Hawaiian Center, visitors to Waikiki have many options for unique activities.

Where to stay in Waikiki

The best time of year to visit Waikiki is during shoulder season, from April to June, and September through the start of December. Wondering where to stay? Try The Royal Hawaiian Resort in Waikiki for a luxury visit in a historic hotel. The 1927 Pink Palace is an iconic oceanfront hotel with a private beach and two swimming pools. The smaller Malulani Pool is a quiet oasis, while the Helumoa Playground is larger, complete with a waterslide, and is shared with the neighboring Sheraton Waikiki. Guests can stay in the Historic Wing for a garden setting or the Mailani Tower for ocean views. While the resort has a few dining options, the Maitai Bar, open for lunch and dinner, is just steps away from Waikiki Beach and offers plenty of umbrella drinks.

More fantastic accommodation options include the historic Moana Surfrider, which was Waikiki's first hotel built in 1901, the Prince Waikiki, and the Halekulani Hotel. The Moana Surfrider sits on Waikiki Beach and has an oceanfront pool, an award-winning spa, and six eateries. Afternoon Tea at The Veranda is also a popular attraction for holidaymakers staying in the hotel. The urban atmosphere of the Prince Waikiki is sleek and modern and visitors will likely love the infinity pool and the Hinana Bar. The Halekulani Hotel boasts a beautiful beachfront and a stunning, quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki.