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There’s More to See in Waikiki than the Tourist Traps


If you’ve been to Waikiki several times and have seen all the tourist traps many times over, you’re probably craving a totally different experience this time around. Why not go off the beaten path a bit and see what else is out there? There’s a whole side to Waikiki that’s just waiting to be discovered.

Waikiki is Honolulu’s crowning glory, well known as a surfing and beach destination not to be missed. In fact, Waikiki Beach is one of the most popular in the world. The surfing explosion of the 1950s propelled this area of Hawaii to fame, made even more popular by teen movies about the laid-back surfing life. Fast forward to today and Waikiki Beach is still a popular spot for surfing and beaching it, becoming one of the trendiest places to visit in all of Hawaii.

To get off the beaten path, though, try these suggestions:

Diamond Head State Monument

This crater of an extinct volcano is great for a climb. If you’re an avid hiker, don’t miss this 45-minute hike that takes you more than 760 feet to the summit. At the top, enjoy a panoramic view of Oahu. Don’t forget the camera, sunscreen and water bottle.

Saint Augustine Church

Created in 1854 by native Hawaiians, this impressive building makes a real impression as it stands tall among all the similar-looking skyscrapers that clutter the Waikiki skyline. From its stained glass windows to its tiered ceiling ornament, you will be in awe of this Catholic church that draws visitors of all faiths to marvel at its doors.

Waikiki Aquarium

You may not think to check out an aquarium on your stay in Hawaii of all places but this is actually the perfect place to witness all of Hawaii’s glorious aquatic life under one roof. Exhibits include Amazing Adaptations, South Pacific Marine Communities, Corals are Alive!, Green Sea Turtles, Hunters on the Reef, and Ocean Drifters. Located at 2777 Kalakaua Avenue in Honolulu, the facility is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. And with general admission at only $12, you can’t go wrong with the price which is much less than what you probably pay at home in the big cities. Check out more than 400 species of marine life, such as sharks, sea turtles, and colorful reef fish.

Kapiolani Park

At the east end of Waikiki is Kapiolani Park, often overlooked because it’s not a true attraction in the common sense of the word. As the oldest and largest public park in Hawaii, you can take your time strolling this vast expanse of land featuring picnic tables for eating lunch, tennis courts, soccer fields, 100-year old trees, grassy areas for running and playing, and a jogging trail. Anything from art shows to outdoor concerts take place here all year long, so you may get lucky and stumble onto a fun cultural event.

Once you’ve ventured the path less taken, extend your visit further into Oahu by visiting Pearl Harbor. Hoku Hawaii Tours can hook you up with the best package and tour for you.