Carefree in Waikiki
on 8 Dec 2017
Holidays, happiness, hot shopping and hula. It’s got to be Hawaii, or more precisely Waikiki.
One of the most popular ports of call in the Hawaiian islands, fabulous Waikiki is draped across the south shore of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, stretching for some two miles towards famous Diamond Head. Lined with assorted fine hotels from the water’s edge back to Ala Wai Canal, this Pacific haven is dissected by the avenues Kalakaua and Kuhio where one will find everything from a pair of Louis Vuitton slides to a surfboard for the beach and plenty of eateries serving quality chow. At dawn, the quiet of Waikiki belong to joggers and walkers. By mid-morning, the body board, surfboard and catamaran brigade arrive and by afternoon, everyone’s enjoying sunshine and good times. One of the best places for a dip is Kahanamoku Beach, named for Duke Kahanamoku – godfather of surfing and Hawaiian legend. And when night falls, meander through the revitalised International Market Place (due to re-open on 25 August 2016) with its exceptional banyan tree. Blow a few dollars on trinkets for loved ones back home at this Hawaiian institution which sits on the grounds of the island’s first elected King Kamehameha IV.
Duke’s on the sand at Waikiki Beach. Linger over some pupus – perhaps the crab and macadamia nut wontons, then ease into the seven spice ahi, finished with Kimo’s hula pie.
It’s a tie for top spot. Fondly referred to as the ‘Pink Palace of the Pacific’ the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Beach is famed for its oceanfront Mai Thai Bar. Then there is the Moana Surfrider. Known as the ‘First Lady of Waikiki’ this de luxe property has welcomed guests since 1901. Imbibe and nibble on grilled pupus (appetisers) at the award-winning oceanfront Beach Bar.
Kalakaua Avenue is retail heaven. Lining the avenue like little bliss bombs, some of the planet’s most delicious retail havens will vie for your greenbacks. If that sounds a bit dangerous, head to the gargantuan Ala Moana Center – where you’ll find a stable of regular mall stalwarts.
Experience the thrill of a ride on an outrigger canoe. Once the preserve of Hawaiian royalty, the outrigger canoe is the only vessel that doesn’t require life jackets by the US Coast Guard, making it a perfect activity for anyone who loves the ocean. Paddle in hand, embark on a wide with a few or several fellow paddlers. It’s the best fun afloat, and something unique to Waikiki Beach.