There’s nothing like spending a day out on the beach with family and friends and the city of Hawaii in America is no different. With the warm tropical sun caressing white sandy beaches that give way to crystal clear waters, Hawaii has always been a hot spot for tourists and locals alike who scrounge the beaches of the island the year around.
There are quite a number of good beaches in Hawaii but if you are looking for the best, then you need to head out to the Waikiki Beach where you will be confronted with two miles of the most beautiful coastline you can ever set your eyes on.
Location: The beach is located on the Southern Shore of the island of O’ahu in the Honolulu County. Conveniently located close to the Kapiolani Park, Waikiki Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium, the beach is lined with buildings, hotel chains and trendy restaurants.
Though a bit crowded in the high season, the two mile stretch of sandy shoreline ensures plenty of space for visitors. The beach also reaches the Diamond Head areas which are the more upbeat parts of the region and house several boutique hotels and restaurants.
Things to do at the beach: The beach offers a number of enjoyable activities in addition to just splashing around in the water or lazing out on the beach. Outrigger canoes rides are almost a tradition in Hawaii and visitors can find plenty of canoe rentals along the beach to choose from.
Surfing is quite popular and the waters are just perfect for all kinds of surfers from the novice to the expert. Even kids can get into the fun with special surfing lessons conducted for kids in the shallow regions of the beach. In addition to this, families can let their kids splash around in the sheltered potion of the beach in the Kuhio Beach area without the fear of strong currents or sea animals like urchins or jellyfishes.
The sandy beach allows for kids to build huge sand castles and regular competitions attract sculptures from around the world. In addition to a rich history, the beach has several standard hotels and apartments that are quite affordable. The restaurants in the area also cater to local and international guests alike and offer signature menus.
On the beach, guests can also have a sharp lookout for the legendary Wizard Stones which are supposed to posses mystical powers and are located next to the Waikiki Police Station on the Diamond Head side of the beach. Offerings are usually placed near the stones by locals in the belief that the stones will bless them with a healthy and long life in return.
The Kalakaua Ave is a promenade that runs throughout the stretch of the beach and is lined with ice cream shops, pools, statues, artificial fountains, snippets and surfing signboards. The promenade leads to the Honolulu Zoo and the Kapiolani Park too. There are several picnic tables for guests to relax at in the park.
The Moanan Surfrider is a trendy hotel that houses an outdoor verandah with splendid views of the sea. Completing its age old look with an old banyan tree, the hotel has a small ground for kids to play in while adults enjoy the signature tea served in traditional British Colonial style.
As the sun sets, the Kapahulu Pier of the beach is transformed into a large outdoor theater that comes complete with food booths and other entertainment options, to screen famous movies and shows. The best part of all this is that the movies are free to watch. Not the food though!
The Kalakoa Avenue in the otherwise silent portion of the Kuhio Beach turns into a busy open air café once a month with famous chefs from the island and the surrounding regions offering their best meals to bystanders at remarkable bargain prices.
Safety on the beach: Though the Waikiki Beach is quite sheltered, accidents do tend to happen. There are signposts and boards all over the beach that point out the necessary safety precautions visitors need to follow while on the beach.
Swimming is restricted to lifeguard protected areas and people are always forewarned to swim in groups and in low surf areas. Stay away from deep holes, sea walls and areas where the current seems to be strong. If you see a sign posted on a particular potion of the beach asking you to stay away from the water, heed the warning. Thinking of wetting your feet for a few seconds while no one is watching you may turn out to be quite dangerous during high swells.
Using inflatable mattresses and artificial swim boards would require special care and while you are in the water, watch out for surfboards that tend to turn up without the rider. In case you get caught in a water hole or strong current, signal for help instead of trying to get out on your own.
Most important of all, read the safety precautions and symbols on the beach to get a better understanding of what you can and cannot do.