Waikiki Hotel Overlooking Beach and City Skyline
Travel + Leisure magazine named Honolulu's 2-mile-long Waikiki Beach one of the best city beaches in the world, citing the warm, calm water and palm-studded shoreline as highlights. From the centrally located Ala Moana Hotel, you're only about a mile away from the beach as well as the hiking trail that climbs up to sweeping views atop Diamond Head, the extinct volcano that serves as Waikiki's dramatic backdrop. With its prime location and height of 36 floors, the hotel serves up impressive vistas of its own. The balconies of upper-level tower rooms look out on both the ocean and the Honolulu skyline.
Closer to the ground, you'll find the hotel's Plantation Café, which hosts a daily breakfast buffet. Other onsite dining options draw on Hawaii's Asian influences. You can sample Chinese cuisine at Royal Garden or healthy Japanese fare at YuZu. At Rumours, the hotel's dance club, live bands cover '60s, '70s, and '80s hits during Big Chill Fridays held every week. The club's dance floor stays open all night long on the weekends.
For some of Honolulu's best shopping, head next door to the Ala Moana Center, which connects to the hotel via a pedestrian ramp. It's Oahu's largest mall, housing nearly 400 shops, including large department stores such as Macy's.
Honolulu's Waikiki: White-Sand Beaches and Luxury Entertainment on the Pacific Ocean
Once a private playground for Hawaii’s ruling class, the neighborhood of Waikiki now welcomes visitors from all over the world to its white-sand shore on the southern edge of Honolulu. Though many come for the warm waters and ideal surfing conditions, there are a number of land-based attractions as well. Along the main strip of Kalakaua Avenue you'll find world-class dining, nightlife, and shopping, including the strip nicknamed "Luxury Row" for its collection of upscale boutiques.
Traveling southbound on Kalakaua Avenue leads you to the expansive Honolulu Zoo, a habitat for exotic and endangered species. Sumatran tigers make their home in a private cat lairl; pot-bellied pigs galumph in the children’s zoo; and white-handed gibbons practice trust falls on a ropes course.
Head a little farther south for outdoor music at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center and the Waikiki Shell. Throughout the year, no matter the season, the shell-shaped amphitheater sends ripples of music across nearly 2,000 stadium chairs and another 6,000 lawn seats.
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