A few weeks ago, Dane and I decided to do something totally different and do a self-guided walking tour of Waikiki. I shared our adventure on Instagram and — people kept raving about it! I decided to catalog our spontaneous adventure here, so if anyone else was interested in exploring Waikiki Beach and Honolulu on foot, you could follow our path! A walking tour felt a little bit special to us, because it allowed us to pop in and out of places we might otherwise drive right by since parking in Honolulu can be a bit of a nightmare. Without further ado, let’s get walking…!
Walking Tour Of Waikiki
We started out by parking our car at Ala Moana Center and grabbing a quick coffee to go. From there, we crossed the street to Ala Moana Beach Park so we could walk alongside the water.
We walked over the bridge and turned right into where the boat harbor was so we could see some of the boats in the Ala Wai Harbor up close. It was kind of neat to see them and we spotted the above street art, which I loved! From the harbor, we followed the water around and made it to Hilton Hawaiian Village’s beach path.
You can follow this beach path (great for those wearing sneakers and not wanting to get too sandy) all the way down past the Hale Koa, before you’ll need to cut back onto the main street.
Once you get back on the main street, follow the road toward the Royal Hawaiian Center and be sure to enjoy all that the Pink Palace of the Pacific has to offer, including an adorable gift shop and all-pink-everything decor.
Leaving The Royal Hawaiian, get back on the main road (Kalakaua Ave), unless you prefer to walk in the actual sand. We had sneakers on, so we chose the road. On Kalakaua, you’ll be able to see the famed Moana Surfrider Hotel, which has a beautiful Banyan tree in the back. Keep walking down Kalakaua and you will run into the famed Duke Paoa Kahanamoku Statue. Definitely stop to take a photo!
If you keep walking along this beach path, you will run into an adorable fruit juice stand, so if you’re thirsty or need a little refreshment, pop in! It’s one of the last stops for a little while, before you loop back into the city. You can’t miss it – it’s the only tiki bar on the ocean side of the sidewalk.
Continuing down Kalakaua, you’ll hit Kapiolani Park, which is a great space to sit down, use a public restroom or just enjoy the views of the water. Across from Kapiolani Park is Queen’s Beach, which is beautiful.
Further down Kalakaua sits what appears to be a closed off area where The War Memorial sits. Unfortunately, you can’t go inside anymore (I hope the state fixes this one day), but you can snap a few photos from the outside and read the plaques affixed to the gates.
On the other side of The War Memorial sits Kaimana Beach, which is pretty popular and wonderful spot for grabbing sun! If you want to spend your afternoon here, I would highly recommend it, but for those looking to continue their walking tour, stop for a few photos and continue on.
Walk toward the white fountain (it’s the Louise Dillingham Memorial Fountain) in the center of a roundabout adjacent to the Honolulu Elks Lodge — it’s time to turn around! You’ve got two choices, continue to walk alongside the water (what we chose) or to walk through Kapiolani Park.
You will walk back up Kalakaua in the same direction you came, but this time, when you get to Royal Hawaiian Center, make a pit stop! The shave ice from Island Vintage Coffee inside Royal Hawaiian Center is what sweaty walking tour dreams are made of — trust me. Order the Heavenly Lilikoi (pictured below)!
Before leaving Royal Hawaiian Center, don’t miss Surfboard Alley, which has another yummy spot (Banan) within it! Banan has vegan ice cream, which is another great cool-down if shave ice isn’t your thing.
From there, stop at as many shops and hotels as you wish. We tried to stop in stores that we normally don’t get to, simply because we are in the car and cannot find parking. Walking through Royal Hawaiian Center, International Marketplace and all the unique boutiques that line Kalakaua is highly recommended! Just remember — whatever you buy, you have to carry 😉 If you’ve never been in one, ABC Stores are pretty much a Hawaii staple.
When you make it to The Modern Honolulu, walk in! It’s a swanky hotel that sits right on the edge of Waikiki, but once you walk inside, it’s like an oasis.
They have a great restaurant in their “The Grove” pool area, so if you’re hungry, make a pit stop for lunch!
You’re SO close to getting back in your car, but don’t finish up your walking tour without popping through Prince Waikiki, which overlooks the Ala Wai Boat Harbor. It has the CUTEST little coffee shop and gift shop. A little more caffeine for that last push is worth it 😉
Leaving Prince Waikiki, enjoy one last stroll through Ala Moana Beach Park before arriving back to your car at Ala Moana Center! If you pack your own water and don’t stop for snacks or shopping, this walking tour of Waikiki is completely free, which is honestly my favorite price. Walking is a great way to explore Honolulu and I cannot really explain how much fun we had doing this spontaneous activity.