Waikiki is one of the most popular places for tourists travelling to Hawaii, whether they’re visiting for the first time or it’s their favourite holiday destination. Although these days it has become a super popular holiday destination, thanks to very cheap flights from Australia, America and Asia, there’s still something you can’t help but just love about Waikiki.
If you’re heading to Hawaii for the first time, here’s everything you need to know about Waikiki, including where to eat, stay and shop during your visit.
Where to eat in Waikiki
Right on the sand of Waikiki beach, it would be difficult to find a restaurant with a better view. With a rich history and a barefoot bar, Duke’s is the perfect place to sip cocktails and pretend you’re a local. The above photo was taken from my table on the balcony, priceless.
Dukes Waikiki || Located in Outrigger Waikiki Beach || 2335 Kalakaua Avenue
Moana Terrace Bar& Grill
On the roof of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, Moana Terrace is a great place to soak up some sun and live entertainment poolside. Especially great for appetisers and cocktails, everything we ordered from Moana Terrace was amazing. Definitely try their fruit salad served in a pineapple bowl… Bliss!
Moana Terrace Bar & Grill || Located in Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa || 2552 Kalakaua Avenue
The Cheesecake Factory
There’s nothing more American than the Cheesecake Factory, and you can see why so many people loved it! If you’re planning the Cheesecake Factory for dinner, you want to try and be in before 6pm, after that wait time can exceed 1-2 hours! Meals are cheap, delicious and gigantic! Also, one of the only places we found a real salad.
The Cheesecake Factory || 2301 Kalakaua Avenue
Where to stay in Waikiki
Where to stay really depends on your budget. If you’re trying to stay as close as you can to the action, it’s a good idea to choose a hotel or hostel along Waikiki Beach or Kalakaua Avenue.
Kalakaua Ave is the main street in Waikiki, and includes cafes and restaurants, late night shopping and bars and clubs. Some popular choices include Hilton Hawaiian Village, Sheraton Waikiki and Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort if you’re looking to stay right on Waikiki Beach with AMAZING views.
We stayed at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. Only a 2 minute walk from the beach, right on Kalakaua Ave. While it didn’t have the infinity pools and endless views of the ocean like some of the others mentioned above, it was much more affordable, was in the perfect location and offered a great breakfast buffet every morning. Special bonus: The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani also included free international calls, taking all the hassle out of calling loved ones at home!
Where to shop in Waikiki
Ala Moana Shopping Centre
Our favourite shopping centre on Oahu. Ala Moana is a half indoors half outdoors shopping centre, that offers every shop you can think of. Including everything from souvenir shops to high end fashion, as well as a great selection of bars and restaurants, you could spend a whole day just at Ala Moana. Definitely worth a visit, especially to the big American department stores we don’t have at home – they often have heavily reduced designer items
Ala Moana Shopping Centre || 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard
There is nothing to fault Kalakaua Ave. With shops open until 11pm almost every night, it is the ultimate late night shopping destination.
Shops on Kalakaua are often a big bigger to those in Ala Moana, especially Forever 21 (it’s 4 stories!!) and Victoria’s Secret, offering more options and different items in store. We had many late night dinners with a whole bunch of shipping bags hidden under the table.
Honolulu Cookie Company
Just thought we would mention this one, as it is a great gift to take home! Honolulu Cookie Company makes the best cookies, in the shape of mini pineapples.
With heaps of different flavours to choose from, including White Chocolate Coconut, Pineapple Macadamia and Kona Coffee, there is something new and different for everyone. We picked up a few of their variety boxes (also shaped like pineapples) to take home for our families, and they were the perfect gift.
Honolulu Cookie Company || 255 Sand Island Access Road