Exploring the Best Outdoor Activities in Waikiki, Hawaii

Waikiki, Hawaii is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush greenery, this iconic neighborhood on the island of Oahu offers a plethora of activities for visitors to enjoy. From water sports to hiking trails, there is something for everyone in Waikiki. As a local expert, I am excited to share with you some of the best outdoor activities to do in Waikiki, Hawaii.

Surfing at Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is known as the birthplace of modern surfing and is a must-visit spot for any water sports enthusiast.

The gentle waves and warm waters make it the perfect place for beginners to learn how to surf. There are several surf schools along the beach that offer lessons for all ages and skill levels. You can also rent a board and try your hand at catching some waves on your own. For experienced surfers, Waikiki Beach also offers some challenging breaks, especially during the winter months when the swells are bigger. The best time to surf at Waikiki Beach is early in the morning when the winds are calm and the crowds are smaller.

Kayaking in Kailua Bay

Kailua Bay, located on the eastern side of Oahu, is a popular spot for kayaking.

The calm waters and picturesque scenery make it an ideal place for a leisurely paddle. You can rent a kayak from one of the many rental shops in Kailua town and explore the bay on your own or join a guided tour. One of the highlights of kayaking in Kailua Bay is the chance to visit the Mokulua Islands, also known as the Mokes. These two small islands are a protected bird sanctuary and offer a secluded spot for snorkeling and picnicking.

Hiking Diamond Head Crater

Diamond Head Crater is an iconic landmark in Waikiki and offers some of the best views of the city. The hike to the top of the crater is a moderate 1.6-mile round trip with some steep sections and stairs.

The trail takes you through a series of tunnels and bunkers built during World War II, adding an interesting historical element to the hike. Once you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, and the surrounding coastline. The best time to hike Diamond Head Crater is early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the heat.

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

Hanauma Bay is a nature preserve and marine life conservation area located on the southeastern coast of Oahu. It is one of the best places in Waikiki for snorkeling, with its calm waters and diverse marine life. The bay is home to over 400 species of fish, making it a popular spot for snorkelers and scuba divers. To visit Hanauma Bay, you will need to pay an entrance fee and watch a short educational video about preserving the marine life in the bay.

You can bring your own snorkel gear or rent it on-site. The best time to snorkel at Hanauma Bay is early in the morning when the water is clear and calm.

Biking Along the North Shore

The North Shore of Oahu is famous for its big wave surfing, but it also offers some fantastic biking opportunities. The 22-mile bike path runs along the coastline, offering stunning views of the ocean and passing by some of the most famous surf breaks in the world. You can rent a bike in Waikiki and take a day trip to the North Shore, stopping at various beaches and food trucks along the way. The best time to bike along the North Shore is during the winter months when the waves are at their biggest, and you can catch some of the world's best surfers in action.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Ala Moana Beach Park

Ala Moana Beach Park is a popular spot for stand-up paddleboarding, also known as SUP.

The calm waters and beautiful views of Diamond Head make it an ideal place for beginners to try this fun water sport. You can rent a board from one of the rental shops near the beach and explore the calm waters of Ala Moana Bay. If you are feeling more adventurous, you can also try SUP yoga classes offered at Ala Moana Beach Park. These classes combine the peacefulness of yoga with the challenge of balancing on a paddleboard, making for a unique and memorable experience.

Sunset Catamaran Cruise

One of the best ways to experience Waikiki's beauty is by taking a sunset catamaran cruise. You can book a tour from Waikiki Beach and sail along the coast while enjoying stunning views of Diamond Head and the city skyline.

Some tours even offer a chance to go snorkeling or swimming with sea turtles. The sunset catamaran cruise is a perfect way to end a day full of outdoor activities in Waikiki. You can relax on the boat, sip on a tropical drink, and watch the sun dip below the horizon, painting the sky with vibrant colors.


Waikiki, Hawaii is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. From surfing to hiking, there is no shortage of activities to do in this beautiful neighborhood. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced adventurer, Waikiki has something for everyone.

So pack your sunscreen and get ready to explore the best of what Waikiki has to offer.