Waikiki, a district of Honolulu, is located on the south side of the Oahu, Hawaii. Its one and a half square miles stretches from Ala Wai Canal to Diamond Head. Surrounded by strikingly beautiful water, Waikiki is one of Hawaii's most popular beaches, receiving millions of visitors each year. During the 1800s, Waikiki became a wealthy area that served as the vacation spot for Hawaii's royalty. In the early 1900s, the building of the Ala Wai Canal drained much of the area to allow hotel construction for visitors from around the world. Today, the royal legacy has been passed on through the luscious splendors that all vacationers utilize. As a world renowned beach resort, Waikiki offers a plenty of vacation rentals such as houses, condos, apartments, villas, cabins and cottages. Most of this vacation properties have luxurious amenities, so lodging there is a real pleasure. Due to the fact that Waikiki is one of the most renowned beach resort of Oahu and Hawaii, finding accommodations in the peak season is really hard, so renting in time a vacation property which fits your needs is advisable.
Waikiki is a special destination because it has two different personalities: vibrant and down-to-earth. As a tropical paradise, it serves as a comfort zone for those who turn to nature for relaxation. The term "waikiki" means spouting water in Hawaiian, suggesting relaxation to its very core. There are many features that make Waikiki a place to be. Diamond Head crater is a must for anyone who is willing to hike a little. Diamond Head is a 'tuff cone', which is a hill of compressed ashes that formed approximately 500,000 years ago. While it is about a .7 mile hike, it is worth it to see one of the most miraculous panoramic views in Hawaii. Encompassing Diamond Head and other points of interest is the historic Kapiolani Park. This 500-acre park created in 1870 is a great place to relax, play a sport or have a picnic under 100 year old trees. If you go on a Sunday, you'll most likely hear the free concerts of The Royal Hawaiian Band. For lovers of the ocean's deep, visit the Waikiki Aquarium, one of the oldest aquariums in the US. Home to over 2,500 animals and 420 different species, it serves as a learning tool for researchers, as well as anyone interested in their offered educational programs. For something a little different, the Coconut Grove of the Helumoa Heiau is a must. This grove has preserved several of the original 100,000 coconut trees. For another glimpse into Oahu's past, check out the Ancient Pohaku, also known as the wizard stones. These four stones were placed by priests in 400 A.D. to be used for teaching healing arts, and today they represent the island's spiritual history. Many festivals and events celebrate the island's culture and history. There's not a better way to learn about the Island's culture, language, arts and customs than through Hawaii's pride - the hula. Don't miss the World Invitational Hula Festival that takes place every November. Another great festival is the Okinawan Festival in August that educates people about the Okinawan culture through colorful parades, lively performances and deliciously exotic food. Throughout August and September on various Hawaiian Islands is an Aloha Festival; on Oahu - there is a street festival that has eight stages of the island's best performers. Opening the festival is a floral parade with thousands of Oahu's most beautiful flowers. If you are unable to make one of the many festivals that take place, there is always shopping to comfort you - and plenty of it. If you're looking for big names like Chanel and Gucci, head to Kalakaua Ave, one of the main avenues. If local designers and creators are more your thing, go to the King's Village. Or if you like the feel of open-air markets, check out the International Marketplace which houses over 130 carts and stalls of local craftspeople. The shopping of Waikiki offers both worldly glitz and local treats. After making decisions of what to buy, it comes time to make the difficult decision of where to eat. Waikiki, Oahu, is one of the best places to taste Hawaii's famous Pacific Rim cuisine. Many of these restaurants are either on the beach or viewing it - there couldn't be anything more picturesque. And what is a trip to Hawaii without going to a luau? The Royal Hawaiian Luau at the Sheraton has an elegant luau with delectable local cuisines and traditional Hawaiian music. If you're looking for a fun night out, be sure to go to the Waikiki Shell, an outdoor theater that either has the Kodak Hula show or other performances. The famous Hawaiian performer, Don Ho, is still the king of entertainment, often at the Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel. For a fun dinner, be mystified at the Magic of Polynesia dinner show performed by the famous illusionist John Hirokawa. Waikiki Beach is the most famous between Hawaii's beaches and is the center of action. Sunbathe, play volleyball, surfing, outrigger canoeing are only a few of the activities that take place. Every year this beach is the home to Duke's OceanFest - named after the world famous surfer Duke Kahanamoku. It's a celebration of ocean sports, like surfing, swimming, paddling and volleyball. It isn't just fun and games. There's mean competition. All proceeds go toward college scholarships. You could take a break from the beach by hitting up the links - Oahu has the most golf courses of all Hawaii. You might even be able to see a PGA Tour. Waikiki has achieved a balance between its native culture and outside influences, allowing it to remain the unique place that it is. There is a need to experience life at all hours of the day and night. One can surf, lay on the beach, or shop all day, then hit the many bars and clubs to taste the nightlife. With the choices of water sports, golf, tennis, shows, museums and parks, Waikiki serves as a family's paradise as well, as there are enough activities to suit almost all personalities. Lodging and accommodations are great everywhere on the beaches of Hawaii, but Waikiki is a special place. Vacation rentals like homes, condos, apartments, villas, cottages and cabins suit all personalities who want to experience the most of Waikiki, Hawaii.