Modern Waikiki – Beaches and Historic Sites

Waikiki has something for pretty much everyone with so many restaurants as well as dance clubs, shopping opportunities, parks, and also fast food.

Gazing over the world famous resort area of Waikiki from my luxurious Oahu Hotel, I am amazed by the tropical beauty of the beaches and also the excitement of modern Waikiki.

Waikiki is lined with beautiful white sandy beaches and the water is usually very calm water, yet there are also great surfing areas for beginners as well as those who are more experienced.

The sandy beach area fronting Waikiki is known as Waikiki Beach. Along this area are many individual beaches including Kahanamoku Beach which is named after the famous Hawaiian waterman Duke Kahamamoku who was an Olympic champion swimmer.

Offshore surfing areas include Kaisers, Canoes, Rock Piles, Castles, and Queen’s. The Moana Hotel (1901) and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (1927) also still stand along this historic waterfront area.

Kahanamoku Beach and Lagoon is located in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel at the western end of Waikiki. Kahanamoku Beach includes a pier and breakwater, with coral running between the two, and this serves as as a break to provide a safe swimming area.

Bordering Fort DeRussy Beach is a green grassy area as well as picnic tables and shady trees. The Fort DeRussy Military Reservation serves as a recreational area for United States military personnel and their families.

Fort DeRussy Beach was named in 1908 after Brigadier General Rene E. DeRussy. He served with distinction in the Corps of Engineers in the American-British War of 1812.

Just east of the Halekulani Hotel is Gray’s Beach. A boardinghouse called Gray’s-by-the-Sea once stood in front of this beach, and it was run by Mrs. LaVancha Gray.

Royal Moana Beach, also called Central Waikiki Beach is in front of the Royal Hawaiian, Royal Moana, and Outrigger Waikiki hotels. This sandy beach area includes a beach activity center that offers surfing and canoe rides. Offshore from this beach are the famous surfing spots known as Queens and Canoes.

Near the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Hotel is the Waikiki Beach Center where you can get food and canoe rentals. This is also a favorite place where locals like to gather.

Kuhio Beach Park is named after Prince Kuhio who once had a home here. The Kapahulu Groin at the east end of the park is a storm drain that extends out into the water and serves as a favorite body boarding spot for local kids.

A grassy area and coconut trees along Kapiolani Beach Park provide a nice place to relax. Nearby is the expansive Kapiolani Park, and also the War Memorial Natatorium, which is a tide-fed, saltwater pool in memory of those who died in World War I. The Natatorium was built in 1927 and includes a 20-foot high Memorial Archway. Champion swimmers such as Duke Kahanamoku and Johnny Weissmuller used the War Memorial Natatorium pool for training.

Wow! Waikiki is an amazing place, and has been much more than I ever expected when I first arranged my Oahu Vacation Package. As I head back up to my Oahu Hotel I am going to take it all in from the lanai of my room and begin to plan where I will go tomorrow. One thing is for sure, it is going to be another exciting day!