24 Hours in Waikiki

Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you wanted to escape to the islands after work? We have! At first the idea sounded crazy, but after narrowing down the things we wanted to do, we created an itinerary that highlighted the relaxation, beauty and culture of Hawaii’s capital city. Here are the top 5 things you should experience with just a short time in Waikiki.


Touching down at around 10 AM on Saturday we went straight to the resort. Resort hotels are a wonderful way to get the most out of a quick weekend in paradise. Most large properties have easy beach access, multiple dining options, and entertainment. Although it may not always be the most authentic experience, resorts can offer you everything in one place, saving you time on a short trip.

Head To the Beach

After an early check into our room, we proceeded to the beach for a Mai Tai & some Vitamin Sea. Ideally, we would have a whole week soaking up the Hawaiian sun, but the afternoon was well worth the flight. Be sure to pack sunscreen as the tropical sun is stronger than you might think.


Enjoy a Luau 

After a full afternoon in the sun, we got ready for our evening at Paradise Cove. Paradise Cove is one of the top-rated luaus on Oahu. They offer dinner packages which include transportation to and from their private beach. This short chartered drive is a perfect way to view the greenery of the island. Upon arrival at Paradise Cove, guests are greeted with a tropical drink.  This island hospitality immersed us in the experience and helped us to forget how short our trip really was. Before the luau begins, guests can choose from a pupu platter of activities such lei making, net fishing or canoeing in the lagoon. After some free time, the evening officially begins with a “shower of flowers”. The rest you will need to see (and taste) for yourself!

After a long night of music, dancing and liquid aloha, we were ready to board the bus back to our hotel.

Take a Hike

The next morning we woke up early to conquer Diamond Head. The state monument opens at 6 AM and is a 1.6-mile round trip trek. Taken at a leisurely pace the hike is not too strenuous and provides breathtaking views of Honolulu. Beware, the slopes are steep, but the summit can be reached in less than an hour even if you stop to take in the landscape.

Enjoy a Loco Moco

After working up an appetite we made our way to Rainbow Drive-In for some local fare. Hawaiian plate lunches date back to the 1880s. They were created as a cheap way to fill up with food and have been a cultural staple ever since. Due to the islands multicultural history you will see food influenced by Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and Portuguese cuisine. The Loco Moco is an island favorite which is comprised of hamburger patties topped with brown gravy and a fried egg. Don’t leave Hawaii without trying one!

Walk Along Kalakaua Ave.

We finished our trip with a walk back to the resort via Kalakaua Ave. This famous street is home to high-end retailers, unique architecture and bay views.

Named after the last King of the Kingdom of Hawaii, the area was used as a place of respite during WWII. Naturally, this street is the perfect place to take in the rich history of the island. The stroll will also take you past the photo-worthy Duke Kahanamoku statue and happy surfers enjoying the sun.

When it was time to head to the airport, we had seen some of the most wonderful highlights of Waikiki. There is much more to do in Honolulu, and even more to explore the entire state of Hawaii, but even with just 24 hours, you can set your watch to island time!





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