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Title: Waikiki  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Honolulu, Oahu, Honolulu Tudor–French Norman Cottages, Jack Law, List of beaches in Hawaii
Collection: Neighborhoods in Honolulu, Hawaii, Waikiki
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Neighborhood of Honolulu
Country United States
State Hawaii
County Honolulu County
City Honolulu
 • Total 3.4 sq mi (9 km2)
ZIP Code 96815
Area code(s) 808

Waikīkī (; Hawaiian: or ) is a beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of Oʻahu, in Hawaii, United States. Waikiki is best known for Waikīkī Beach, the white sand beach shoreline fronting the neighborhood.

Waikīkī is home to public places including Kapiʻolani Park, Fort de Russy Military Reservation, Kahanamoku Lagoon, Kūhiō Beach Park, and Ala Wai Harbor.


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
  • Geography 3
    • Main thoroughfares 3.1
  • Beach erosion 4
  • Economy 5
  • Government and infrastructure 6
  • Education 7
  • Twin/sister cities 8
  • Gallery 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


The name Waikīkī means spouting fresh water in the Hawaiian language, for springs and streams that fed wetlands that once separated Waikīkī from the interior.[1]


The area was a retreat for Hawaiian royalty in the 1800s who enjoyed surfing there on early forms of longboards.[2]

A few small hotels opened in the 1880s. In 1893, Greek-American Robert Louis Stevenson stayed at the resort; subsequently it became a popular destination for tourists from the mainland.[3] The area at coordinates is still called "Sans Souci Beach".[4]

Today, the area is filled with large resort hotels, such as the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the Halekulani hotel, the Hyatt Regency Waikīkī and Hyatt Place Waikiki, the Sheraton Waikīkī, and historic hotels dating back to the early 20th century (such as the Moana Surfrider Hotel and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel). The beach hosts many events a year, including surf competitions, outdoor performances, hula dancing and outrigger canoe races.


Waikīkī beach looking towards Diamond Head
Waikīkī beach as seen from Diamond Head

The neighborhood extends from the Ala Wai Canal (a channel dug to drain former wetlands) on the west and north, to Diamond Head (ʻahi) on the east. Waikīkī Beach is noted for its views of the Diamond Head tuff cone, its usually warm and cloud-free climate and its surf break.[5][6][7]

The Waikīkī skyline is now dotted with an abundance of both high-rises and resort hotels. The beach is actually fairly short, with half of it marked off for surfers. For some distance into the ocean the water is quite shallow, although there are numerous rocks on the bottom. As with most ocean beaches the waves can have some force, particularly on windy days. The surf at Waikīkī is known for its long rolling break, making it ideal for long boarding, tandem surfing and beginners.

Main thoroughfares

Waikīkī's main thoroughfare is Kalakaua Avenue, named after King Kalakaua, which houses most of the high-end hotels (Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton, Hyatt, Moana Surfrider Hotel), most of the luxury designer brand stores (Apple Store, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Dior, Tiffany & Co., Fendi, Cartier, Gucci & Coach) and popular surf clothing brand stores (Quiksilver, Billabong, Volcom). Waikīkī's other main thoroughfare, Kuhio Avenue, named after Prince Kuhio, is better known for its restaurants, cafes and grocers, along with its clubs, nightlife and prostitution.[8][9]

Beach erosion

Waikiki Beach erosion in 2011
The restored Beach in June 2012

Over time, Waikīkī beach has had problems with erosion, leading to the construction of groynes and beach replenishment projects. For example, in the 1920s and 1930s sand was imported from Long Beach, California, via ship and barge to Waikīkī.[10] Importing stopped in the 1970s. Officials are looking for ways to sustain the existing sand by eliminating loss due to tide flow.[11] Subject to permits, a partial restoration was completed in the spring of 2012. The proposed project imported sand from nearby shoals and widened the 1,700-foot (520 m) long beach by about 37 feet (11 m) between the Royal Hawaiian Hotel concrete groin and the Kūhiō Beach crib wall. The project restored the beach to its 1985 shoreline.[12]


China Airlines operates its Honolulu Branch Office in Waikīkī.[13] NTT DoCoMo also has limited operations here for the convenience of Japanese tourists. Hawaiian Airlines is based in Honolulu.[14]

Government and infrastructure

The Honolulu Police Department operates the Waikīkī Substation.[15]

The United States Postal Service operates the Waikīkī Post Office at 330 Saratoga Road.[16]


Hawaii Department of Education operates public schools. Thomas Jefferson Elementary School is located in Waikīkī proper, while Waikīkī Elementary School is located nearby, at the makai (southern) edge of the Kapahulu neighborhood.[17]

The Hawaii State Public Library System operates the Waikīkī Public Library at 400 Kapahulu Avenue.[18]

Twin/sister cities

Freshwater, New South Wales, Australia

Bixby, Oklahoma, United States


See also


  1. ^ Lloyd J. Soehren (2010). "waikiki"lookup of . in Hawaiian Place Names. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library. Retrieved December 13, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Longboards used by royalty". Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  3. ^ Helen G. Chapin (1981). "The Queen's "Greek Artillery Fire": Greek Royalists in the Hawaiian Revolution and Counterrevolution". Hawaiian Journal of History 15. 
  4. ^ "Sans Souci Beach Park". Government, Official Web Site for The City and County of Honolulu. Honolulu, HI, USA:  
  5. ^ "Waikiki Historic Trail - Map". Hawaii Tourism Authority. Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  6. ^ Young, Peter T (May 11, 2012). "Ho‘okuleana: Waikīkī – Before the Ala Wai". Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ Ejiri, Masakazu (1996). "1: Introduction". The Development of Waikiki, 1900–1949: The Formative Period of an American Resort Paradise (Thesis). Honolulu:  
  8. ^ "City to beautify Kuhio Avenue". The Honolulu Advertiser. 2004-01-26. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  9. ^ "Prostitution shifts from Waikiki". The Honolulu Advertiser. 2003-08-31. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  10. ^ Bonnie Beckerson (2001). "City of Manhattan Beach History". Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  11. ^ "Where's Waikiki's sand?".  
  12. ^ "Beach to be rebuilt with recovered sand - Hawaii News". 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  13. ^ "Branch Offices North America." China Airlines. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
  14. ^ "[1]
  15. ^ "Contacting HPD." Honolulu Police Department. Retrieved on May 19, 2010.
  16. ^ "Post Office Location - WAIKIKI." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.
  17. ^ "School Information." Waikiki Elementary School. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.
  18. ^ "Waikiki Public Library". Hawaii State Public Library System. Retrieved on May 22, 2009.

External links

  • Waikiki links at DMOZ
  • Waikiki Duke Statue Webcam

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