With a name as exotic as its location, Waikiki is the beating heart of Hawaii's beautiful Oahu island. Perched picturesquely on the south shore and ringed by volcanic craters, it's a cosmopolitan mix of glitzy hi-rises, quirky neighbourhoods, great shopping, plus fantastic restaurants and night-life. Oh, and did we mention the beach? The local stretch of sand is Waikiki - one of the most famous beaches in the world.
You really do get the best of both worlds on holidays to Waikiki - all the buzz of the city, and the soft sand of Waikiki Beach just a couple of miles along the shore. It's the perfect place to while away the day, whether you're into sun bathing and people watching, or something more energetic. Slip into the warm turquoise waters for a surf lesson, or try your hand at the Hawaiian sport of canoe paddling (think Hawaii Five-0). Then relax with a Mai Tai at a beachfront bar as the sun goes down.
There's plenty more to Waikiki than beach culture though. Culture of a different kind comes in the shape of the Bishop Museum, set up in 1889 by a royal princess, and today offering a fascinating interactive exploration of Hawaiian history and culture. Plus there's the Pearl Harbour memorial to discover, while the only royal palace in the USA is also worth a visit. Ornate colonnaded Iolani Palace was home to Hawaii's last two rulers.
Shopping is always a winner here, if you can tear yourself away from everything else; so whether you're sourcing Hawaii exclusives like Tori Richard and HIC Surf, browsing the international brands and department stores of the malls, or buying a fresh flower lei in Chinatown, you're bound to come up trumps.
Plus there's the rest of the island to explore, too. Waikiki is just the start.....