Visiting Waikiki: Lovers Paradise of Water, Ocean and Beach

June 3, 2010 by  
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Eastern end of Waikiki beach, Kapiolani Park.
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Anyone who loves being around water or in the water cannot visit Hawaii without stopping by Waikiki, Oahu. You will be adorned with the traditional floral wreath called a lei when you first arrive. What are some of the things you can do in Waikiki that make is so special? There are endless water activities for you to experience during your visit to this water lover’s paradise. You can hang out on the beach, surf or go snorkeling and see the great aquamarine life that inhabits the ocean. Here are some recommendations of things you can do when you visit this amazing place.

How about visiting Waikiki beach? Each year multitudes of tourists scramble to spend time on Waikiki beach. This world famous beach is known for its breathtaking ocean view and crystal white sand. The warm weather and tropical climate have contributed to this beach being a year round hot spot. Waikiki Beach also has an outdoor movie series and a “Brunch on the Beach,” feast that’s held every summer.

How about surfing? Waikiki is considered by many to be the original birthplace of present day surfing. Duke Kahanamoku was a native of Waikiki that brought surfing back into the forefront of popular culture. He turned Surfing which was an ancient tradition into a worldwide sport. His influence earned him the nickname of “The Duke” which stayed with him for the rest of his surfing career. He is also idolized by many surfing enthusiasts and a statue was erected in Waikiki to honor his legacy. In fact, Waikiki is now recognized as the global headquarters for surfing professionals. Several global surfing competitions are hosted in Waikiki as a result of this honor.

What about spending time at the world famous Aquarium? You will have a chance to visit a true landmark when you stop by the world renowned Waikiki aquarium. This is one of the first aquariums to ever be established in United States history. Famous Author, Jules Verne’s book, 20,000 Leagues Under the sea is said to have originated during his visit to this aquarium.

What about visiting Diamond Head Volcano or Kapiolani Park? This tall volcano is truly an amazing sight to see. It towers over all the other monuments and provides a stunning view of the Waikiki’s natural beauty. You can also spend time walking natural trails and observing gorgeous green trees at Kapiolani Park which encompasses parts of the volcano.

There are many vacation rentals in this area including Waikiki banyan vacation rentals on Kuhio. Another consideration is to buy one of many waikiki condos for sale to use for your vacation when you come to Hawaii.

Are there any other activities you can enjoy in Waikiki? There are several restaurants, resorts and shopping malls located in Waikiki. You can choose from a variety of traditional Hawaiian cuisines in addition to tasting other foods from around the globe. You can also walk along the shores or sandy beach and eat like a king at one of the traditional pig roasts. You can also travel along Kaluana Avenue to see the Wizard Stones that are thought to be inhabited by four Tahitian Priests. During the summer you can see daily hula shows at Kuhio Beach Hula Mound. There are so many other shows and activities you can enjoy and most of these activities are within walking distance.

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Running for Fun

August 21, 2009 by  
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Runners participating in the 2004 US Marine Co...
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The world famous Honolulu Marathon is the sixth largest of its kind and takes place every year in December.  Winding its way through Honolulu, and past many Oahu condos for sale in eastern Oahu, the course is not only a highly-competitive race but also a scenic view through the sunny part of Oahu.  The course starts near Ala Moana Beach Park and winds through downtown Honolulu before looping through Waikiki, around Diamond Head, and out towards Hawaii Kai on the H1 freeway.  Once in Hawaii Kai, the course takes a U-turn to return to Waikiki at the storied Kapiolani Park finish line.  A number of different tents await finishers at the park, offering massages, food, and entertainment to congratulate those who make it through the course.  The relative difficulty of the course precludes participants from setting record times relative to other marathons worldwide.

Since the race began in 1973, the marathon has steadily grown to become one of the premier races in the world.  In 2008, over 24,000 people participated in the contest. Unique to the Honolulu Marathon is the high number of international contestants that travel to Hawaii for the sole purpose of participating.  Japan, where there are very few marathons, is the largest country represented and in 2008 accounted for almost 62% of the field.  Due to large corporate sponsorship, the winner of the contest is awarded a large sum of money.

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After 45 Years of Business the Ilikai Hotel in Waikiki Closes

July 22, 2009 by  
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After 45 Years of Business the Ilikai Hotel in Waikiki Closes

The 30-story hotel opened in 1964 and claimed that it was Oahu’s first luxury high-rise hotel with sweeping views of the Honolulu skyline and beautiful Waikiki beaches. The Y-shaped hotel gained its fame in the late 60’s when the popular cop show “Hawaii Five-O” filmed there for an opening sequence. Unfortunately, the Ilikai Hotel was forced to close its doors just after midnight on Thursday, July 9, ousting guests from the hotel after employes were given only 24 hours notice to empty out the hotel. Due to increasing operating losses, the hotel was closed by its new owner, iStar Financial Inc., which obtained the hotel for $51 million after the hotel was foreclosed in May. It is still uncertain what the company plans to do with the hotel now the it is closed.

Unfortunately, the Ilikai Hotel isn’t the only hotel that has suffered financially. Due to the current economic recession and rising fuel prices, Hawaii tourism has suffered greatly, with hotel occupancy rates declining rapidly. However, this gives many hotels reason to offer many great discount rates and vacation packages in order to help attract tourists back to Hawaii. With many recent renovations and developments in Waikiki, tourists will still be able to find paradise but with discounted rates.