I spent 5 relaxing days in Waikiki, Oahu at the end of a jam-packed trip to Los Angeles and New York City. It is now my third time to Waikiki, but I had to bring my friend there for her first time, and she loved it!
There’s something about Hawaii that creates the most calm and relaxing experience for holiday-goers. Maybe it’s the music, the people, the ocean. Even adrenaline-junkies on tour will feel rejuvenated by the end of their trip.
If I ever return to Hawaii, I will definitely experience another island and take in a less touristy experience than Waikiki.
However, for anyone looking for a short journey and a way to relax, you can’t go wrong with Waikiki. If my words aren’t convincing enough, just check out all of the photos!
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Where To Stay in Waikiki
Where you stay definitely contributes to how relaxing your trip will be. Although, in Waikiki you can’t go wrong!
We stayed at the newly renovated Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger. And I must say, we loved it! The hotel has, as the name suggests, a beach theme, with locally curated artwork as well as boho decor in all the hotel facilities and rooms.
It really helped curate a relaxing trip due to its peaceful interior, view of the ocean from our balcony, beautiful artwork, not to mention a restaurant, poolside cafe and bar, and morning poolside yoga.
You’ll find the price sits between the luxurious and the budget accomodation. So, for us it was the perfect little treat.
On a previous trip with my mum, we spent a little less at Ohana Waikiki East by Outrigger, which is slightly further from the beach (still very close, though!) but offered everything we needed.
Want to Relax? What to do in Waikiki
Again, after our full itineraries in LA and NYC, this leg of the trip was purely to relax and rejuvenate before heading home Down Under. I wanted to feed my mind, body and soul. Here are the best rejuvenating activities I did over 5 days.
Poolside Sunrise Yoga
As mentioned earlier, our hotel offered morning yoga by the pool. The cost was USD$10. I signed up and laid out on a mat ready for class.
The class is suitable for beginners (considering we’re tourists from all walks of life) and after multiple plane flights, it was just what I had been longing for! A gentle class filled with long stretches and a focus on opening up the chest. I truly felt an immediate improvement in my posture once it ended.
Art & Shopping
By all means, treat yourself to some new clothes or souviners in Waikiki. After all, it’s a holiday and if you’re having fun then it’s contributing to your wellness.
However, since most of my money was spent in LA and NYC, window shopping was the way to go! Exploring the different malls and going to an outlet centre will cover at least 2 days alone!
Exploring the different malls will still leave you feeling good viewing the different artworks and quirky sculptures.
The places we went to included:
- Kalakaua Avenue (main strip of shops in Waikiki)
- Royal Hawaiian Centre
- International Market Place
- Ala Moana Centre
- Waikelie Premium Outlets
Day at Waikiki Beach
Going to Waikiki (or anywhere in Hawaii) wouldn’t be complete without spending at least a few hours on one of the many beaches on offer. Of course, Waikiki Beach will be the quickest to access.
On land you’ll be part of the masses of tourists but what’s special is the calm ocean waves and clear blue water. You’ll want to just float in the water and let the waves gently rock you. At least, that’s what the ocean was like when I was there!
Otherwise, if you want to nourish your body with some exercise, then you could hire a paddle board, kayak, or even take a surfing lesson.
Personally, I relaxed in the ocean before coming ashore, reading my book and snacking on some fresh fruit.
The top of the Diamond Head trail walk overlooks the extinct volcanic crater. It is another landmark heavily populated by tourists, but again, that’s because it is in close proximity to Waikiki. The hike itself is also relatively easy, aside from a set of long steep stairs (in my opinion).
I felt the need to exercise and have some alone time on this trip, so I got up early one morning, took the free Outrigger shuttle (for guests of Outrigger hotels) up to the start of the hike. If you enter the park in a car, it’s a USD$5 admission fee. For walkers like myself, it is just a USD$1 fee.
I did the hike to push myself and not stop, especially up the steep stairs. I know a lot of people aren’t sure how much time they need to complete the hike. With families and photo ops, walking up could take an hour. For myself it took 20 minutes to the top. This was with no photos or breaks. The lookout at the top was well worth it!
I felt so rejuvenated after this walk that I ended up walking back all the way to my hotel in Waikiki.
The great thing about Waikiki Beach is that there’s so many activities available at your feet. Multiple boats are stationed in the shallow waters and for a low cost you can enjoy a boat ride out to sea and back.
We chose to go on a boat ride in time for sunset. And we were not disappointed. We even treated ourselves to a Mai Tai or two!
If you’re a lover of sunrises and sunsets, then this will leave you feeling fulfilled. And if you do it near the end of your trip, then it will let you reflect on your incredibly fun and revitalising stay in Waikiki.