From Kamehameha the Great to Elvis Presley, discover
the rich history of Waikiki from swampy farmlands to royal playground and how it became one of the most famous destinations in the world.
In early Hawaii, Waikiki was a much larger area than the 1.5 square miles it encompasses today. Old Waikiki, much of it swampland, included the
neighboring valleys of Manoa and Palolo. Translated, Waikiki means "spouting water," a reference to the rivers and springs that richly flowed into the area.
In the mid to late 1800s, Waikiki served as a vacation retreat for the kingdom’s royalty. Kamehameha IV, Kamehameha V, Lunalilo, Kalakaua,
Liliuokalani and Princess Kaiulani were among the dignitaries who maintained residences in the area, enjoying moonlight horseback rides,
thrilling canoe races and carefree romps in the ocean.
On March 11, 1901 Waikiki began a climb to global recognition as a tourist destination with the building of its first historic architectural
treasure - The Moana Hotel.
Today, Waikiki is in full bloom. There are world-class hotels with familiar names like Hilton, Sheraton and Hyatt, and there are smaller
operations that still provide plenty of aloha. Waikiki also boasts Waikiki Beach and the iconic slopes of Diamond Head Crater. There’s
500-acre Kapiolani Park, the Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu Zoo and the International Marketplace (a shopper’s bonanza located in the heart
of Waikiki). Waikiki is also home to some of Hawaii’s finest restaurants and hottest nightspots.
Best of all, everything is within walking distance. Waikiki is yours to discover, block by block, beach by beach. Welcome to the
Top Tours & Activities to visit in Waikiki
Waikiki's newest attraction! Moored off the coast of Waikiki. Swim, snorkel, jet ski, banana boat, parasailing. Fun for the whole family! > Learn more about