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5 Things to Do in Waikiki for a Perfect Island Getaway

Oahu is the most-visited Hawaiian island and Waikiki is the ultimate beach bum destination. Whether you’re looking to catch some waves or simply bask in the sun, the fun starts and ends at the beach. What else should you consider during your island getaway? Based on my own experiences during a recent visit, I’m thrilled to share a few of my top recommendations for what to see, do, and eat in Waikiki.

Looking for a fabulous spot to enjoy the sun and surf while dining? Head to the patio at Tiki’s Grill & Bar and sip a Kona Big Wave while nibbling coconut shrimp. For brunch, indulge at the buffet at Duke’s Waikiki where you can peruse photographs and memorabilia of hero and icon Duke Kahanamoku. For quick bites, sample local favorites at Pauhana Market Waikiki—a food truck extravaganza with mouthwatering shrimp plate lunches at Five Star Shrimp and authentic loco moco at Loco Moco Ohana. Then, treat yourself to refreshing flavors at Lappert’s Ice Cream and be sure to grab a cup of their Thunder Chicken coffee.

If you’re looking to buy your own snacks, enjoy the fresh produce of Waikiki Beach Walk’s Market on the Plaza. For beach clothes and souvenirs, try International Market Place. You’ll find regional and national favorites at The Waikiki Shopping Plaza and Ala Moana Center. For everything under the sun, stroll along Kalakaua Avenue and enjoy beach sights and sounds while you peruse local establishments. And for everything from quick snacks to affordable souvenirs, my favorite shop is ABC Stores.

Waikiki Beach is the place to see and be seen! You’ll find plenty of sunshine and surf to keep you sun-kissed and carefree. Add in a stroll around Chinatown’s urban art scene or visit the Waikiki Aquarium for a fresh spin on local fun. Book your tee time at Hawaii Prince Golf Club, designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, for a one-of-a kind golfing experience along the waterfront. Or book your stay to coincide with the Honolulu Festival, held annually in March, to take in history, culture, and a grand parade. 

Rent a car and take a cruise along an oceanfront drive. Explore the Dole Plantation and indulge in Dole Whip. Take a tour of Waialua Estate and sample fresh Hawaiian-grown coffee. Watch surfing competitions on the North Shore, or catch a wave yourself on these legendary waves. No car? No problem. Sign up for surfing lessons with TY Gurney Surf School on Waikiki Beach.

Enjoy newly renovated boutique accommodations at Prince Waikiki, where you’ll find a grand pool and access to a world-class golf course. There are no mandatory resort charges, but you’ll love the free WiFi and free daily self-parking. Plus, the location is unbeatable. During my stay, I enjoyed being able to walk to the water easily, and a stroll to Waikiki Beach was scenic. On site, there are wonderful dining options, too, where you’ll find delightful island cuisine at 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar. If you’re a coffee lover like me, you’ll also appreciate the lounge location of Honolulu Coffee.

For more information on visiting Oahu, visit

Photos © CT Shier and Prince Waikiki.

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