12 Landmarks in Waikiki, Hawaii, to See

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Stunning view of a beautiful sandy beach with a skyline and volcano under a blue sky
Waikiki is famous for its stunning beaches and is visited by millions of tourists

Waikiki is a renowned district in Honolulu, found on the Hawaiian island of Oahu in the United States. This area of Honolulu draws millions of tourists annually due to its impressive beaches and world-class hotels, shops, and restaurants.

As such a popular destination, there are various incredible landmarks in Waikiki, Hawaii, to explore. Things to do include visiting beautiful beaches and parks, learning about Hawaii’s military history, and exploring the second oldest aquarium in the US.

To learn more about all the amazing things to do in this area of Honolulu, read on for 12 landmarks in Waikiki, Hawaii, to see.

  • 12 landmarks

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Waikiki Landmarks Map

Using the map of Honolulu, you can explore all the landmarks.

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The wavy Waikiki Beach is one of the famous landmarks in Waikiki, Hawaii
Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous landmarks in Waikiki, Hawaii

Waikiki Beach

There are many beaches in Hawaii, but Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous. This stunning tropical beach stretches for 2-miles and features sandy shores and crystal blue waters. There are numerous beaches along Waikiki Beach, but whichever you choose, you're sure to be impressed!

Waikiki Beach is also a world-class surfing spot. Surf instructors can be found all along the beach, making it easy for everyone to learn how to surf and perfect their skills. Snorkeling and boogie boarding are other fun activities to partake in here.

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View of a bright pink building with a bright blue ocean in the background
The historic Royal Hawaiian Resort is a world-class hotel in Waikiki Beach

Royal Hawaiian Beach and Resort

The section of beach found in front of the Royal Hawaiian Resort is known as the Royal Hawaiian Beach. It’s one of the most popular areas on Waikiki Beach. This part of the beach offers incredible views of Diamond Head and the Honolulu shoreline.

If you stay at the luxury resort, you will benefit from a guaranteed spot on the golden sand. Guests can also reserve cabanas and umbrellas and order food and drinks from the Mai Tai Bar to enjoy on the beach.

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Aerial view of a majestic crater surrounded by a white sandy beach and blue ocean
Diamond Crater Head offers a stunning view of Waikiki Beach and greater Honolulu

Diamond Head State Monument

Diamond Head State Monument (or Diamond Head Crater) is found on the east end of Waikiki. It’s one of the many stunning natural landmarks in Waikiki, Hawaii.

The crater formed on an extinct volcano and can be viewed from the Diamond Head Lookout or the Kahala Lookout. You can also hike to the crater summit. At the top, you can enjoy breathtaking views of Waikiki and greater Honolulu.

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Buildings at the end of a pathway along the coastline with green grass and palm trees
A coastal pathway in Kapiolani Park

Kapiolani Park

Kapiolani Park is a historic park in Waikiki. The park was donated to the public in 1877 by King David Kalakaua, who named it after his wife Queen Kapiolani.

The park boasts grassy areas and palm trees, plus tennis courts, a jogging track, soccer fields, and more. There are sometimes also outside shows and live music events here. It’s a great place to relax with friends or family!

You can additionally visit the beautiful Queen Kapiolani Hibiscus and Rose Garden while in the park.

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Brown lion sitting amongst tall grass and in front of tree stumps
The Honolulu Zoo is a must-see attraction for animal lovers of all ages

Honolulu Zoo

Honolulu Zoo is found in Kapiolani Park and is a must-visit for animal lovers of all ages. This Waikiki landmark houses 1,230 creatures, from mammals to birds and amphibians.

Animals to see include Komodo dragons, cheetahs, giraffes, and Sumatran tigers. There are also beautiful gardens with a range of plants and flowers, many of which originate from Hawaii.

Being a conservation zoo, a large percentage of the entry fee goes to continued animal protection and conservation efforts.

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Close up shot of a monk seal resting its head on a rock while in water
The Waikiki Aquarium is the second oldest aquarium in the United States

Waikiki Aquarium

The Waikiki Aquarium is another of the landmarks in Hawaii found in Kapiolani Park. What’s notable about the aquarium is that it is over 100 years old, having been founded in 1904. It’s also the second oldest aquarium in the United States after the New York Aquarium.

The aquarium is home to a vast array of aquatic creatures. These include parrotfish, angelfish, sea turtles, and native Hawaiian monk seals. Being so close to the Honolulu Zoo, combining a trip to both of these Oahu landmarks will make for a fun wildlife-themed day out in Waikiki!

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Sunset over a busy boulevard with big buildings and palm trees along a sandy beach
Kalakaua Avenue is a shopping paradise selling macadamia nuts and Kona coffee

Kalakaua Avenue

Kalakaua Avenue is a well-known street running through Waikiki that gets its name from King David Kalakaua. Kalakaua Ave is filled with chain and designer shops, restaurants, and high-end hotels like Royal Hawaiian and Moana Surfrider.

You can also find shops selling Hawaiian goods like macadamia nuts and Kona coffee. If you visit Waikiki, you’re bound to spend some time on this popular street!

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Tall palm trees lining a green lawn with buildings behind under a clear blue sky
Fort Derussy Beach Park is a lovely spot to unwind and have a picnic

Fort Derussy Beach Park

If you’re looking for a tranquil place to relax that isn’t a beach, then head to Fort Derussy Beach Park. This grassy, palm tree-lined area is right next to Fort Derussy Beach.

The park conveniently has grills and tables, making it the perfect place to hang out and enjoy a picnic or barbecue. There are also pickleball, racquetball, and volleyball courts if you want to partake in some sporting activities.

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US Army Museum of Hawaii

This landmark near Waikiki is housed in Battery Randolph at the Fort DeRussy Military Reservation near Fort DeRussy Beach Park. What's great is that admission is free to all, but you can donate if you’d like.

Exhibits include those on US and Hawaiian military history. You'll find a range of Pearl Harbor exhibits, plus those covering the Vietnam War, the history of Battery Randolph, and more.

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Palm trees silhouette against people surfing in a turquoise sea
Visit Kuhio Beach to enjoy authentic Hawaiian hula shows and music

Kuhio Beach Hula Shows

Kuhio Beach Hula Shows are a landmark event in Waikiki. The free shows are held on Kuhio Beach Hula Mound and include some of Hawaii’s best hula dancers.

Every show opens with the traditional lighting of a torch and the blowing of a conch shell. You’ll then get to enjoy an hour of amazing hula dancing. Hula is an iconic Hawaiian custom, so be sure to catch at least one show while visiting Waikiki!

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Buildings and trees along a canal reflected on water on a sunny day
The Ala Wai Canal is a human-made canal constructed in 1928

Ala Wai Canal

The Ala Wai Canal is an artificial waterway that runs down the Waikiki district boundary. The canal was originally developed in 1928 to drain rice paddies and swamps.

Today, residents and visitors enjoy walking its banks and relaxing in the nearby Ala Wai Community Park. While some locals canoe on the lake, the water is quite toxic, so avoid swimming or interacting with the canal’s water.

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International Market Place

Found on Kalakaua Avenue, the International Market Place is a high-end open-air mall featuring designer brands and chain stores. Places to shop consist of Saks Fifth Avenue, Balenciaga, and Christian Louboutin.

If you get hungry, the International Market Place is home to Waikiki’s most extensive collection of restaurants. These dining options include eateries run by award-winning chefs. The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center on Kalakaua Avenue is another popular destination if you want to keep shopping!

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In Conclusion

When in Hawaii, visiting Honolulu, and especially Waikiki, is an absolute must! To help make your trip as memorable as possible, be sure to check out as many of the above 12 landmarks in Honolulu, Hawaii as you can. Even if you can only make it to a few, you're guaranteed to be impressed!

This article was edited by Loredana Elena.

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!

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