Waikiki, the best area to stay in Honolulu
The area of Waikiki is world famous and achieved legendary status many years ago, which has been a particular favourite playground of Hawaiian royalty and that is literally enough to suggest why this place is the best place to stay in the city. The neighbourhood has city buses running through it, which connect up to all parts of the city and there are shuttle buses from the airport to Waikiki and vice versa, every half hour. There is a constant police presence in the area and for that reason, make it one of the safest places in Honolulu and in fact the only things to worry is the heat and the ocean as there can be powerful rips and currents as well as some of the biggest waves on earth.
As soon as you get to the district, the first thing that is in your mind is to get to the waterfront right away as this iconic view is one in million and is probably one of the most beautiful sights in the world. Once at the seafront, you are greeted with a series of glorious white sandy beaches, the stunning bay and its crystal clear waters and the icing on the cake being Diamond Head Crater, which is one of the most popular and scenic landmarks in Hawaii.
This ancient volcanic crater dominates the landscape and daunts over the city, which can be easily climbed by flights of stairs and at the top is an observation deck, where you will find some of the most breath taking views that will stay with you indefinitely. The 1 and a half miles of beautiful sandy beaches that lay beneath you are some of the most famous in the world with Waikiki Beach being the most crowded on the beach as well as in the sea as it generally has bigger surf.
There is also Kuhio Beach, excellent for families and beginner surfers, Fort De Russy Beach, great for snorkelling with superb reef to explore and Duke Kahanamoku Beach, which is named after the famous big wave surfer. The majority of the beaches have surf equipment to hire as well as offering surf lessons and there is also stand-up paddle boarding, jet skiing, scuba diving, windsurfing and various other things that you can try your skills at.
Other things to see include Kapiolani Park, which is a huge public park where you can relax and take in the magnificent views as well as play various recreational sports like tennis, bowls, football and golf.
The park is also home to Honolulu Zoo, which contains all the major exotic animals like lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes, elephants, rhinos and many others with various feeding and live performance and informative shows. Just opposite the park is the aquarium and this has an impressive display of marine life species from the waters that surround Hawaii and gives the chance for the public to get up and close to sharks, jellyfish, octopuses coral and rays along with other types. Other attractions include watching movies on the beach that are played on a decent-sized outdoor screen by the zoo and close by there are submarine trips which set off and take you up the coast, whilst examining shipwrecks, coral reefs and wonderful marine life. There are also sailing trips, which give you a great perspective of the city and the sunset tour is an extremely popular one and should be booked some time in advance.
One of the brilliant factors about Waikiki is that everything can be done by foot and the same goes for shopping with the best being the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Centre, DFS Galleria and Waikiki Shopping Plaza, which consist of food courts, hundreds of shops that sell about anything you could think of, cinemas, art galleries, arcades and much more.
The closer you are to the waterfront the better in terms of restaurants, pubs, clubs and hotels, though do be prepared to pay more due to the stunning setting. There are cuisines from all over the world offering their traditional foods like Chinese, American, European, seafood, Korean, Thai and many others. Most bars are full of energy with live music, gay friendly bars and clubs, sport type pubs and huge dance floors. The hotels are in abundance in this area with the most expensive, yet most luxurious found along the beachfront with cheaper alternatives found a few streets back.