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Friday, April 4, 2008

Waikiki Beach - Hawaii

Waikiki seen from the top of Diamond Head (Lēʻahi). Green area below is the lawn at Kapiʻolani Park.

Waikiki seen from the top of Diamond HeadLēʻahi). Green area below is the lawn at Kapiʻolani Park.

Waikiki (Hawaiian Waikīkī pronounced [ʋaikiːkiː]) is a neighborhood of Honolulu, in the City & County of Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Waikiki Beach is the shoreline fronting Waikiki and one of the best known beaches in the world.

Waikiki beach at night

Waikiki beach at night

The neighborhood extends from the Ala Wai Canal (a channel dug to drain former wetlands) on the west and north, to Diamond Head (Lēʻahi) on the east. The name means spouting water in Hawaiian for springs and streams that fed wetlands that once separated Waikiki from the interior. Waikiki has long been a place of relaxation. In particular, the area was a retreat for Hawaiian royalty in the 1800s.

Waikiki beach looking towards Diamond Head

Waikiki beach looking towards Diamond Head

Today the neighborhood and beach are considered the center of the tourist industry in Hawaii, with an abundance of both high-rise resort hotels (including the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the Halekulani hotel, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, and the Sheraton Waikiki) and historic hotels dating back to the early 20th century (such as the Moana Surfrider Hotel and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel).

Waikiki beach at sunset
Waikiki beach at sunset

As seen in the picture, Waikiki Beach is noted for its magnificent view of Diamond Head. The frequently visited tourist beach, easily accessible by an alley next to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, 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, so waders should watch where they put their feet. As with most ocean beaches the waves can have some force, particularly on windy days.

The beach has had its problems with erosion, leading to the construction of groins and beach replenishment projects. For example, in the 1920s and 1930s sand was obtained from Manhattan Beach, California, and transported via ship and barges to Waikiki.[1]

Since 2001, there have been free movies on the beach. Many tourists from around the world can view a movie on an outdoor 30 foot screen. This particular free movie event in Waikiki is called "Sunset on the Beach".

  • Swim in Lifeguarded Areas
  • Never Swim Alone
  • Don't Dive Into Unknown Water or Into Shallow Breaking Waves
  • Ask a Lifeguard About Beach and Surf Conditions Before Swimming
  • If You Are Unable to Swim Out of a Strong Current, Signal for Help
  • Rely on Your Swimming Ability Rather Than a Flotation Device
  • Look For, Read and Obey All Beach Safety Signs and Symbols
  • If In Doubt, Just Stay Out!

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