Day 1 – Waikiki

Day 1 – Waikiki

Go for a jog.

For those of you who like jogging and brought athletic shoes, jogging around Waikiki is a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery and get exercise at the same time. The Ala Wai Canal and Kapiolani Park are both great places and are located on the edges of Waikiki. The Ala Wai is 1.8 miles long. Don’t go jogging on the beach. It sounds fun, but it’s much too crowded to do that.

Photo by Daniel RamirezThe Ala Wai Canal is one of the best jogging paths in the city

Get surfing lessons

More Info

Pro Surf School Hawaii
• Waikiki Beach Marriot lobby
• 808-343-9667
• Book Online
• 2 hours for $89+

If you have a strong interest in learning how to surf and you are willing to schedule some of your vacation time for surf lessons, you should check out Pro Surf School. The founder is Kai Sallas, a professional long-boarder. Long boards are great to learn on because they can easily catch most waves with little effort. Like any skill, there is a learning curve, so you should prepare to commit several hours to this throughout your time here.

Enjoy the Friday fireworks

Every Friday at 7:45pm, the Hilton Hawaiian Village has a fireworks show. If your hotel has an ocean view, you should be able to see it easily. Otherwise, you can watch it from the beach or from the lawn at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. You can also ride a catamaran out to sea and watch it from there (read more about this further down).

The Hilton Hawaiian Village has a fireworks show every Friday at 7:45pm. Photo by Daniel Ramirez

Watch street performers.

At night, there will be several blocks of street performers along Kalakaua Avenue. Performers constantly change, but I usually see Mr. Basketball (he does tricks with basketballs), spray paint shows, a magic man, musicians, a kid acrobat, and Silver Men (people who paint themselves silver and stand still). Payment for performances is optional and the amount is up to you. Be sure not to confuse panhandlers for actual, working performers.

Embarrass yourself at Karaoke

More Info

GS Studios
• 320 Lewers Street
• 808-921-3576
• $10-$45/hr per room
• food/alcohol available

Although Karaoke is not as popular with Americans as it is with locals and Japanese tourists, you should consider stopping by GS Studios if you or your friends are musical people. They serve food, alcohol, and they also keep their song selection up-to-date. Unlike American karaoke, this Japanese-style karaoke joint is 100% private – only you friends in the room will hear your singing.

Local-style karaoke takes place in private rooms. Photo by Rhett Sutphin

As a general rule of thumb, pick songs that everyone knows and don’t pick songs out of your ability (either range or speed). Pop songs are usually great. Let me suggest some songs that usually get a lot of positive reactions:

  • “Summer Nights” (from Grease)
  • “A Whole New World” (from Aladdin)
  • “Love Shack” by The B52s
  • “As Long as You Love Me” by The Backstreet Boys
  • “Umbrella” by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z
  • “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

A Local's Advice

Don’t be shy. Most people who go to karaoke know they’re not great singers, but they still enjoy singing anyway. If you’re shy around the microphone, drink some “juice” to help you “get loose” or sing along with a friend.

Get drunk.

For those of you who enjoy alcohol, Waikiki has many places to drink. For those vacationing with family, restaurant bars like Duke’s Waikiki are recommended for their tame atmosphere and adequate space. For the couples out there, I would recommend a quiet place like Hau Tree Lanai, right next to the beach. For those of you in your 20s, there are endless amounts of pubs, semi-clubs, and dive bars for you to go to explore. My personal favorites are Yard House (tremendous beer selection and 1/2 yard glasses) and Genius Lounge (a small, trendy sake bar). Recently, I’ve started to like craft beers much  more, so Waikiki Brewing Company is a nice spot. As for dive bars, there are plenty around. Arnold’s Waikiki is a nice, chill spot for live music and cheap drinks. Playbar on Kuhio is a nice, dive-y hip-hop dance club. Just remember that dive bars have a lot of military patrons on the weekends and aren’t the prettiest places, even with the lights dimmed.

A Local's Advice

A lot of places take reservations. Avoid the lines on Fridays and Saturdays and call in ahead of time with a reservation. Just FYI, the famous Cheesecake Factory does not take reservations, thus the long lines.

Get drunk… on a catamaran

More Info

Maita’i Catamaran
• online reservations
• adults = $39, kids = $19
• daytime sailing also available
• Friday fireworks sailing available

Although catamarans have various trips throughout the day, the most popular trip is always the evening trip, which usually departs at 5pm and features alcoholic drinks. The trip can be relaxing if there are a lot families with you, but you may also have some rowdy young adults riding with you.

Here’s a tip: don’t wear anything nice. It’s common to get splashed by choppy waves and turbulence may cause you to spill your drink on yourself. And use the bathroom before you leave!

I recommend Maita’i Catamaran, which has a $39 sunset cruise. Also great is the Waikiki Rigger for $44. Please make reservations days in advance and be aware of weather, because it does rain occasionally in Hawaii.

The plan: bring a friend, sit down, and drink away! Photo by David Ashleydale

14 thoughts on “Day 1 – Waikiki

  1. I really appreciate your information about using airport shuttle services. My husband and I would like to save costs where we can, and that sounds really helpful. We will start looking into an airport shuttle service.

  2. Hey great tips on here. You’ve really helped with our upcoming holiday plans. Thanks!
    One more thing though. Can you recommend any particular Luau? My wife’s keen on the idea but from what i can gather, there’s a wide range of opinions on the various choices.

  3. Thanks for tips. Going to try them out in June. If you are ever in New Zealand, I will give you some tips.

  4. Thank you for a great post. Could anybody get that type of information in such a perfect approach of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m look for such information.

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