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Waikiki Travel Guide

Waikiki at a glance

Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Waikiki Beach is the cornerstone of Hawaii's tourism industry and arguably the most famous beach in the world.

Photo of Waikiki Beach with Diamondhead
Photo © D'Arcy Norman

The word Waikiki, pronounced VIE-key-key in Hawaiian, means "spouting fresh water." Fresh water wetlands once separated Waikiki from Honolulu and the area is famous for being a private getaway for the Hawaiian royal family during the 1800's. The wetlands were drained when the Ala Wai Canal was built in the 1920's and sand shipped in from California was used to construct Waikiki Beach.

The area is now home to every kind accommodation imaginable, including some of Hawaii's finest resort hotels, Waikiki's cheapest budget hotels, and two of Honolulu's youth hostels. Waikiki has a lively dining, shopping, and entertainment scene, and the millions of tourists that flock here every year ensure that there is always something going on.


Waikiki lies on the south side of Honolulu on Oahu's southeastern coast. Bordered by Diamond Head on the east and the Ala Wai Canal on the north and west, Waikiki's four main streets are Kalakaua Avenue, Kuhio Avenue, Kapahulu Avenue, and Ala Wai Boulevard.

Kalakaua is a one-way street that begins northwest of Waikiki and travels southeast along the coast, eventually running parallel to Waikiki Beach.

Kuhio begins on Kalakaua just south of Ala Moana Boulevard. It runs parallel to Kalakaua opposite from the beach and eventually hits Kapahulu on the east.

Kapahulu runs south down the eastern (Diamond Head) side of Waikiki, just north of the Honolulu Zoo and Kapiolani Park.

Ala Wai Boulevard is a one-way street that runs along the south side of the Ala Wai Canal and parallel to Kuhio and Kalakaua.

How to get to Waikiki from Honolulu Airport

There are several ways to get to Waikiki from Honolulu Airport, including public bus, taxi, shuttle van, and rental car. For those looking for something a little more classy, stretch limousines are also available.

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Kauai Nature

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