ALOHA Collection's Guide to Waikiki
O'ahu is our second home, and no trip to the island would be complete without a few days spent hanging out in the heart of the South Shore. If O'ahu is "The Gathering Place," then Waikiki is where everyone comes to gather, literally. It's an exciting, buzzing, international epicenter of old meets new and few beaches in the world can rival its iconic views, warm turquoise waters, and south swells. Whether you're posting up for a day or staying for a week, here is our ALOHA-approved travel guide to hanging out in Waikiki!
The Laylow Hotel
2299 Kūhiō Ave
A wall lined with vintage hula girl figurines greets guests at check-in at this modern-chic boutique hotel. We love their deck for nightly entertainment and sunset sips around the fire pit. Hideout Coffee, located downstairs, serves Stumptown Coffee and some of the best sticky buns we've ever had.
2490 Kalakaua Ave
This "Aloha-Chic" hotel has a beautiful, soaring lobby, gorgeous rooms with the most DIVINE beds, and a three-story "oceanarium" filled with over 500 native fish and coral. They also have a yoga studio and offer free sunset yoga classes to guests of the hotel. The rooftop pool deck is epic--a saltwater infinity pool looks over Waikiki and transforms into a tropical oasis at night with firepits and musical entertainment.
The Moana Surfrider
2365 Kalakaua Ave
Located oceanfront in the heart of Waikiki, the Moana Surfrider is a throwback to another era--enjoy the blue water and Diamond Head views from your oceanfront balcony. A must-stay at least once to experience a dose of old Hawai‘i.
Ono Seafood for Poke Bowls:
747 Kapahulu Ave
Believe the hype. They serve up the BEST poke in town, and probably on the island.
2310 Kuhio Ave
There will be a line, but it's totally worth the wait. All noodles are made from scratch and imported from Japan.
933 Kapahulu Ave
Leonard's is a right of passage for anyone visiting Waikiki. The piping hot Malasadas, fresh out of the fryer throughout the day, can't stop, won't stop.
Morimoto Asia Waikiki (Located in the Alohilani Resort)
2490 Kalakaua Avenue
Asian fusion amazingness from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.
Get the Saki sampler and Ishiyaki Buri Bop, prepared tableside.
Herringbone Waikiki (Located in the International Marketplace)
2330 Kalakaua Ave
Tropical Mimosas + Mochi pancakes with house-made lilikoi butter make this one of our fave places for weekend brunch.
2335 Kalakaua Ave
Duke's is an ALOHA Collection tradition. On any given day, you can find us posted up at Pau Hana time, Mai Tai firmly in-hand, enjoying views of Waikiki Beach at sunset.
Mahina and Sun's at the SurfJack Hotel
412 Lewers St
Grab a drink and linger around the infamous "Wish You Were Here" pool.
The Hideout at the Laylow
2299 Kūhiō Ave
Mid-century meets paradise at the Laylow Hotel. Try the Laylow "Hawaiian Style" Mai Tai--a classic with a twist of lilikoi juice.
RumFire at the Royal Hawaiian
2259 Kalakaua Ave
Gorgeous views of Diamond Head at sunset. Try the Guava Lemonade and the Lilikoi Cosmo!
The Myna Bird Tiki Bar
330 Kalakaua Ave
"This is what paradise tastes like," according to The Myna Bird, a kitschy tiki bar located inside Michael Mina's The Street, at the International Market Place. We couldn't agree more--the drinks are tropicalia on-point, served in ceramic Tikis and coconuts.
SEE + DO
Strap on your Mini Hip Pack and head out to Manoa Falls for a leisure hike to the falls. Roundtrip, it should take about 1-2 hours, depending on how muddy the trail is and how much time you spend at the waterfall.
Hike Diamond Head
A relatively easy 45-minute hike to the 760-foot summit reveals panoramic views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean.
Rent a Biki Bike
Cruise around Waikiki by Biki bike! It's a great way to see the town and waaaaaaay more fun than sitting in traffic or looking for a parking spot!
Duke Kahanamoku Statue
Duke Kahanamoku was one of the world's greatest watermen. He introduced surfing to the world and was also a two-time Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer. Visit his statue, located on Kuhio Beach, and give thanks to "Father of Modern Surfing."
Take a stroll down Kalakaua Ave., aka Luxury Row, for a taste of the good life. You'll find Harry Winston, Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton peppered in with surf shops and beachy boutiques.
Diamond Head Beach House
3128 B Monsarrat Avenue
Diamond Head Beach House sells everything you need for the perfect beach vacation. Shop Las Bayadas beach blankets, Coola SPF, ALOHA Collection SPLASH PROOF pouches, and swimwear from brands like Mikoh and Acacia.
Travel Tip: You can Biki bike here!
San Lorenzo Bikinis (Located inside the Moana Surfrider)
2365 Kalakaua Avenue
We're huge fans of San Lorenzo suits! They're flattering, well-made, feel like butter, and stay on during a surf sesh.
Sand People has a massive selection of Hawaiian-made jewelry. We love the bangles from Misha Hawaii, gold sea urchin rings from Keani Jewelry, and Sunrise Shell necklaces from Rise Hawaii.
Olive + Oliver (Located inside the Surfjack)
Part surf boutique, part coffee shop. They make one dang fine cuppa and have a super curated selection of women's clothing and swimwear, graphic tees, and accessories.
Rent a board at Moku Surf Shop, then paddle out at one of the many breaks that make up Waikiki Beach
Queens is a super fun peak and has the crowds to prove it. The local longboarders here have a pretty tight grip on the spot, so it can be challenging to get a good right. Patience and the right attitude go a long way at this spot.
Canoes + Pops
Beginners will want to paddle out at Canoes or Pops. Canoes is a fun wave for longboarding. It does get crowded, but if the swell is overhead, you can have a great time out there on any board. Watch out for the swimmers, outrigger canoes, Catamarans, and other beginners learning to surf.
Pops is also a great wave for longboarding or riding a fish. It breaks pretty far out so enjoy the long paddle and be on the lookout for sea turtles--you'll score a killer view of Diamond Head as you catch long, rolling waves. Pops can get mushy but can still be fun on any board if when the swell is kicking.
Threes is the next spot down from Pops and is a really good right hander. It is a bit more bowly than pops and can get amazingly good when the swell is solid overhead to double overhead. The surfers here are less territorial than their Kaiser Bowls neighbors. This spot only breaks on bigger days, and although it does get crowded, you can still find yourself getting plenty of good set waves and no worries here-- the crowd is pretty mellow.
There is no denying that Waikiki is the ultimate destination spot. That’s why we love it here! From exploring fun places to stay, to finding the perfect waves to ride, Waikiki is one of our favorite locations to stay a while. We hope you enjoy it too!