Apart from the obvious (the beach and shopping), there are a lot of fun things to do in the Waikiki area. Some activities can be pretty pricey, like shooting guns, and others can even be cheap and educational, like the zoo. Here are my top things to do while in the Waikiki area.
I am an animal lover and I also love taking pictures of wildlife, so the Honolulu Zoo gives me a great opportunity to take shots of animals that I normally wouldn't see in nature. The zoo is located on the eastern side of the Waikiki area in the Queen Kapiʻolani Park.
The zoo is spread out in a 42 acre piece of land within the park and house over 1200 animals including elephants, tigers, crocodiles, exotic birds, giraffes, and many many more. Whenever I visit the zoo, I am in there for well over 2 hours since there is so much to see and do. There are scheduled talks that takes place throughout the day but I personally haven't gone to one of those so I don't really know what goes on in them. I like to explore the zoo on my own and take as many pictures as I can. My favourites are the tigers and elephants, oh my! (sorry I couldn't resist), and fennec foxes. I spend most of my time in those areas trying to get as many pictures of these magnificent animals. The zoo also has an eating area with a concession stand type stall, a number of vending machines for drinks that are spread out near the public washrooms, and a gift shop near the entrance.
One thing that I have noticed is if you wish to come to the zoo, try to do so in the morning or late afternoon. If you come during lunch hour, you may not see too many animals since a lot of them are sleeping or hiding in the shade since it can get quite hot out.
A free activity to do at night in the Waikiki area is to watch some native Hawaiian dance. The Kuhio Beach Hula Show is an outdoor show held on Tuesdays and Thursday, at around 6:30 pm (6:00 pm in November to January) weather permitting of course. The show is on the Kuhio Beach mound on Kalakaua Ave and Uluniu Avenue behind the huge banyan tree which is very hard to miss.
There are no seats around the stage and space is definitely limited. I got there late one night and I had to stand in the beach since all the spots around the stage was already taken by people who planned ahead! I was still able to get a pretty good view of the stage area and since people who were closer to the stage were sitting, it was pretty unobstructed. I was able to take a couple videos of individual dances and have uploaded them to my Youtube channel.
A not so cheap activity that is fun to do is to shoot guns in Waikiki. In the past, I visited the Royal Hawaiian Shooting club which was on the 4th or 5th floor of the Royal Hawaiian Mall. Last year, I noticed that the club's doors and windows were boarded up. I initially thought that was because of the extensive renovations they were doing to the mall. But doing a search today, it seems like the club has closed its doors permenantly. But not to worry, there is another gun club in the Waikiki area for your shooting needs, the Hawaii Gun Club. They have 2 locations, one on Royal Hawaiian Avenue (the Hawaii Gun Club) and the other on the western side of Kalakaua Avenue (the Waikiki Gun Club). I have only been to the Hawaii Gun Club location many years ago and I remember it being fairly tight in there. I also remember there being a pretty good selection of firearms to shoot but pricing can be pretty high.
These are just some of my top things to do in the Waikiki area that doesn't involve the beach or shopping and I know there are a lot of others as well. What are your favourite things to do? Let me know in the comments below. I'm always looking out for new adventures.
- Mahalo Nui Loa
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