An elderly lady once came up to me in Waikiki and asked me if the mall was the only place to see a hula show. She was puzzled by the concerned look on my face that followed her inquisition. I was disturbed because this person traveled all the way to this big rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to be part of the Hawaiian Ohana that the world has come to idolize and what she found was a satellite of American commercialism located thousands of miles from anywhere. There is hope! Waikiki has many hidden gems and we are here to show you how find them.
This itinerary will show you how to experience Waikiki, from sunrise till sunset, through the eyes of a local. How to eat local, spend time with locally run businesses, and how to experience the un franchised Aloha that beautiful Waikiki has to offer.
Let’s begin the day!
Rise and Shine, you smell that..? That’s Surf Wax with a hint of freshly fried Spam. Hawaii consumes more Spam than any other state and starting the day with some Spam and Eggs is second nature to you if you grew up on the islands. The love affair with Spam began during WWII when soldiers needed a compact source of food that didn’t require refrigeration. A great place to find spam induced delicacies is tucked away a block from the beach next to a Surf Shop, a Hawaiian dinner called Shorefyre. Come here a couple of times while in Waikiki, because every time you do, your Mai Tai gets that much stronger!
After breakfast, visit Diamond Head before the afternoon sun hits the island. This iconic volcano serves as a strapping backdrop to the Waikiki strip and is a beautiful reminder that the visions of Hawaii should be your number one priority when coming here. Many people don’t have the time to hike all the way to the top or simply may not be capable. However for those who want to see the soul satisfying views from Diamond head and the surrounding area, Eke Keliinohomoku of Aloha Trikke Tour has the answer. Originally from the Big Island Eke moved to Waikiki and works everyday to show people with his electric Trikke tour spots of Waikiki that are free of Hiltons and Marriots. The Tour stops at remote beaches and lookouts where you see locals going out for their morning surf and whales breaching from Amelia Earhart lookout point.
It gets hot up on Diamond Head and nothing hits the spot after a Trikke adventure like a refreshing Acai Bowl. Hawaiian Crown Plantation on Kuhio ave has a legendary acai bowl that will fuel the body in ways that will make you think you just had a quadruple espresso. If Michi is working, you are in for a treat. She can carve up a pineapple and transform it into an acai bowl masterpiece, one worthy of being broadcast on every social media channel accessible to make your friend’s tastebuds envious of your future healthy treat endeavor. In my opinion what makes this spot so special is their macadamia nut and cocoa nip finish on top.
Now its time to get wet, the sun is high in the sky, bikinis and Mai-Tais are in abundance up and down Kalakaua ave and the water is calling. This is a good time to embrace a unique part of Hawaiian culture by surfing some of those infamous Waikiki waves. Now many may immediately think bikinis and surfboards, heck even put both together I don’t blame you..
I recommend trying to surf some waves with an Outrigger Canoe. A new way of riding waves to you, but not to Hawaiians. Canoe Riding has been a way to transport Tahitian people for ages and its no surprise that this method of transport became a good excuse for joyriding. So hit up Hawaiian Oceans Waikiki for a ride on a Hawaiian Rollercoaster.
You have had a pretty active day to this point and the food trucks located on BeachWalk have a variety of local foodie options for people looking to fuel the fire without having to spend an arm and a leg. I recommend grabbing a plate of Garlic Shrimp, rice and mac salad at Five Star Shrimp truck. Garlic is like salt to Hawaiians and mac salad is essential to any plate.
For dessert, head right next door to Henry’s Deli where he has homemade ice cream and sherbert for sale. Henry Takahashi doesn’t make it easy for you though. His variety of flavors will have you standing by the freezer door pondering over whether to go for lychee, avocado cream, or that mango goodness.
The sun is setting over the Pacific and you embraced Hawaiian culture via land and water. Now it is time to sit back and relax and no better way to do that than by being entranced by a sunset Hula show under the Banyan tree near the Duke Kahanamoku Statue. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights at 6:30, join locals and tourists from around the world for Waikiki Board Improvements Kuhio Beach Torch lighting and Hula show. The sunset, the music, the dancing and not having to pay $100 for a cookie cutter cater to the masses Luau makes for a great way to end the day on the beach in Waikiki.
You can follow this Waikiki itinerary or save yourself some trouble and book your Oahu full day tour today with Ohana Circle Island Tour. Call us now at 808-657-2178.