Relaxed in Waikiki for three days after arriving in Hawaii. While it may not be a “quiet corner” of Hawaii, I enjoyed the beautiful stretch of beaches, watching the surfers, and visiting the upscale shops and restaurants.
A few tips:
- Hotels: Do you really need an on-the-beach oceanfront view? If you’re like us and you usually just use your hotel room to sleep, you’re better off booking a room a couple blocks off the beach. We stayed at Vive Hotel Waikiki on Kuhio Avenue. The hotel felt upscale, yet homey, and was just a short 5 minute walk to the beach.
- Restaurants: If you’re from the U.S., skip the chains. You can visit those on the mainland. Yes, the Cheesecake Factory here is the busiest in the U.S.–let all the foreign visitors go there. We had good meals at Duke’s Waikiki, Tiki’s Grill and Bar, Atlantis Seafood and Steak, and Barefoot Beach Cafe.
- Shopping: Walking through parts of Waikiki, you would think you were on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago or Beverly Hills. Lots of upscale shops from Gucci to Tiffany to Chanel. Of course if you just need sunscreen and souvenirs, just turnaround and you’ll find an ABC store, a Hawaiian institution.
- Beaches: Possibly the cheapest thing to do in Hawaii because they’re free! What’s great here is that you have variety: some of the beaches have seawalls if you’re looking for calm waters, while others are completely open to the ocean (and its waves!).
- Get out: do Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, downtown Honolulu, and other parts of Oahu.
For more pics, check out my Flickr album.