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Waikiki Beach: The Ultimate Girls Trip Guide

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The Ultimate Girls Trip Guide to Waikiki

Prepare a Budget

 Planning a trip to an expensive destination such as Hawaii; is doable on a budget. There is so much to see and do, start saving well in advance. Waikiki Beach is a hot tourist destination and can be very expensive if you don't plan your budget.

Airfare and hotel will take up about 3/4 of your funds. I try to reserve a hotel that includes breakfast. Eating two meals a day instead of 3, will leave more for tours etc.

If you are planning to shop a lot or buy souvenirs you will need to add $800-1000 to your trip budget. This the amount I budget for spending money. I always have enough to shop and pay for tourist activities.

Airfare will cost between $400-800 from a west coast destination. Aug- Nov and Jan-Mar are considered non peak times to travel. Try to schedule your trip during these months to score the best deals on fares.

Skyscanner, Google Flights, Travel Pirates and Cheaptickets are where I find the best travel deals.  Fly out on Tues or Wednesday and also purchase on these days to net the best savings.

Where to Stay

 The Aqua Oasis  is a lovely boutique hotel on Lewers Street. We've stayed 3 times and LOVED our stay every time. These accommodations offer classy comfort and an open air lobby.  The hotel is conveniently located to enjoy the best of Waikiki.

The Aqua Oasis is located in the center of Waikiki's stylish shopping district and is only two blocks from the beach. Spacious rooms and suites offer sweeping views of Honolulu and a private deck.

Relax and enjoy your breakfast outdoors with the gentle Hawaiian breeze and birds chirping overhead.  Breakfast is included in the room price and offers more than a typical continental breakfast.

Where to Eat & Drink

The options for dining in Waikiki Beach are endless. Your favorite ethnic dish, coffee concoctions and shave ice delights are on every corner.  All the food chains of America you are used to are also available.

Island Vintage Company

If you've ever wanted to drink coffee in a tree house setting, this shop is for you. Island Vintage Coffee is my favorite coffee shop in Hawaii. It's a short walk from the Aqua Oasis hotel. I bought my coffee here every morning. It was delightful to sit out on the patio high above the strip surrounded by palm trees.


What eat at Mickey D's in Hawaii ?!? YES, my favorite breakfast was at McD's. The menu was so different than the restaurants on the mainland.  Portuguese sausage with rice and scrambled eggs was the best!


The best part about eating at Dukes is the killer  view and fancy cocktails. I really enjoyed the food too, but the drinks were the best.  Dukes is very popular with locals and tourists both. Be sure to make a reservation, or you won't get in.  

While eating here you can enjoy contemporary Hawaiian music played on the ukulele. The menu offers an assortment of fresh fish, salads, sandwiches and even a breakfast buffet.  The atmosphere offers a fabulous beach vibe. 

Shave Ice Stands

Nothing tastes as fabulous as a Hawaiian shave ice.  Several stands are located along the Waikiki Strip. If your favorite flavor isn't offered, I'd be surprised.  My favorite is pina colada mixed with blue raspberry.

Oahu, Hawaii, Waikiki, Travel, Travel Blogger

Where to Swim

The first time I swam on a Hawaiian beach was at Queen's Surf on the far east side of the strip. That proved to be a big mistake. The water was full of big rocks on the bottom, definitely not feet friendly.

The best place to swim is the middle of the Waikiki Strip. The trail located along side of Cheesecake Factory is where to access this beach. This area is called Royal Hawaiian beach, located near the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Where to Shop


The side streets are full of small boutiques and souvenir shops.  I loved shopping on Lewers street, near our hotel. My favorite boutique was Pineapple County a located on Lewers.  The styles are very unique and chic. I purchased 3 dresses which were perfect for day and night outings.

Ala Moana Center

The Ala Moana center is beautiful and offers the best in shopping on Oahu.  The huge mall is located just one mile from Waikiki Beach.  It's a beautiful open air shopping area.  Many of your favorite fashion brand chains are housed here along with luxury retailers.

 Ala Moana is the largest open air center in the world and the 9th largest mall in the United States. The buses run regularly and are easy to access.  I don't recommend walking as the sun gets very hot beating down on your head!

Waikiki Strip

All the major retailers you know and love from home are located on the Waikiki strip. The shopping on this palm tree lined street will keep you entertained for days. I always plan to spend 2 days shopping on the strip.  

International Market Place Mall

I'm sad to say they got rid of the original International Market Place, a small open air market.  I remember purchasing gifts and food here made by the locals. Now it has turned into another mall of concrete.  There is still a farmer's market on the property.  If you want to support the locals while shopping this would be a great place to start.

Where to Explore

Diamond Head

Diamond Head will be part of your view almost anywhere you roam on Waikiki Beach. Hiking it though is the ultimate experience.  Hiking Diamond Head will be the highlight of your girls trip to Waikiki Beach. Be prepared to be in total awe; the views from up top are so breathtaking. 

Waikiki Beach Travel, Waikiki Girls Trip, Hawaii Travel

A hike up this majestic mountain is not an easy climb but so worth it. The views from the top are unbelievable. The stunning imagery is forever etched in my memory.  Be sure to lather up with sunscreen as the sun is so very intense on the way up.

Experience a Luau

A Hawaiian Luau is the best way to experience the Polynesian culture.  Luaus offer a diverse festivities and feature rich Hawaiian history combined with superb entertainment.  My only regret is I did not attend a Luau on former trips to Oahu.

Including a Luau in your girls trip to Waikiki Beach will be a highlight of your trip. We made lei wristbands, did some basket weaving and indulged in the delicious spread of Hawaiian food.  The show put on by the dancers was amazing. Be careful about sitting near the front, they may grab you up front to dance!

Duke Kahanamoku Statue 

On Kuhio Beach on the Waikiki Strip you will find the statue of Duke. His iconic statue welcomes you to the beach with outstretched hands.  Duke Kahanamoku is a Hawaiian hero and one of the world's greatest watermen. He was a master of surfing, swimming and outrigger canoe paddling.

Don't miss these spots that are located outside of Waikiki Beach 

Hanauma Bay State Park, Pearl Harbor, Aloha Stadium Flea Market and Dole Pineapple Plantation .  Also a visit to the North Shore is a must, you will love it!  The best way to see some of these iconic stops, a Circle Island Tour is a no hassle way to do just that!

Travel, Oahu, Hawaii, Waikiki, Travelblogger, hawaii Photography

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Hello beauties, I'm Valerie! I reside near Seattle WA, and am a proud Canadian from Vancouver B.C. On this site are guides for travel in the U.S., Canada and Europe. I hope to inspire Women 40+ live their best life: by seeking adventure in the city, at a beach or at a mountain escape. Subscribe for destination tips and style guides for the trip.


  1. Oh how I'm ready to go back to Hawaii! Thank you for sharing your pictures... Oahu is one of my favorite places!

    1. Thank you Ashleigh, I wish I could go every 3 is my #1 fav, and SFO is up there close!

  2. This takes me back there! Hawaii is the best, and you really brought it to life! I need a tropical vacation....

  3. I have never been to Hawaii... this looks like it was an amazing trip! The pictures are beautiful.

    1. Thanks need to go! Although you pretty much have Hawaii in your backyard there in Florida...I've never been there, want to go to the Keys Bad!

  4. I'm missing Hawaii and specifically Waikiki Beach! Your beautiful photos bring back so many memories for me of this tropical paradise. It's been about six years since I was last there. It's time for me to return for another great vacation. Thank you for sharing your family's photo scrapbook of your fabulous trip! :-)

    1. I hope you can go again soon! I went this past June and had not been back in 6 years either. I am hoping to change that and go every year, thanks for visiting!

  5. Hawaii....where I left my heart 10 years ago. My first time to ever surf and snorkel. I love Hawaii and and I am so glad you had a good time! I recently went to Tulum, Mexico...and I think I left my heart there too lol. I'll be posting a recap of it on my blog soon!!! glad to have found you.

    P.s. Google Tulum, Mexico!!!


    1. Thank you Chiara! I have never surfed there, I need to learn next time I go! I have been to Puerto Vallarta, but have never heard of Tulum, I will check it out.! Thanks for the visit!

  6. What a gorgeous place to visit, especially when winter starts dragging on and on.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I despise winter..I need to move..ha ha!

  7. I love visiting Hawaii - thank you for sharing. There is nothing like a little sun and beach to cure the winter blues.

    1. Hi Cecelia, yes I need a beach like winter! Thanks for visiting!

  8. I was born in Honolulu. Oahu is definitely my favorite place on earth! Gorgeous anytime of the year! :)

    1. Wow Joscely, lucky you!! I would love to live there for about 4 months a year! Thank your for commenting!

  9. I went to Oahu for the first time last April and absolutely loved the island! Definitely agree, it's perfect as a winter getaway for nice tropical temperatures when it's so cold back home - I'm based in the Pacific Northwest too, haha.

    1. Hey there neighbor!! Thanks for stopping by, didn't you just love it??! I am ready to go now!! Are you in the Seattle area?

  10. Oahu is so perfect! I will have to try that coffee shop next time:)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Terumi, it is indeed! I hope you get to go soon!

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  13. I only spent one night in Hawaii on a layover from Australia. I would love to go back, especially with girl friends. The beaches are stunning and I bet we would have so much fun!

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      I am dying to get back there , I hope you can go soon!


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  16. I made some assumptions before our last trip to Hawaii that I wouldn't like Waikiki, but the cocktails changed my mind! :)

  17. Great guide, the beach looks lovely!

  18. Great post! I am visiting Waikiki Beach in April and I am really excited to visit Dukes & go to a luau! Thanks for all these awesome recommendations! :)

  19. As if Hawaii wasn't already're now saying the best place to swim is next to Cheesecake Factory? Sign me up! :)

  20. I loved my trip to Hawaii. I went with my boyfriend but I would totally go back here for a girls trip. Waikiki was so much fun. Climbing Diamond Head was one of my highlights for sure

  21. I'm going on my first trip to Hawaii next month with my friend and I'm going to be staying near Waikiki Beach. This is such a perfect guide! :)

  22. Beautiful guide. Beautiful beach and plenty of things to do.

  23. Wow that's an awesome guide.looks like so much fun.I want to go for a girl's fun trip too

  24. I love Hawaii so much and this post made me want to take a girls trip there soon!!

  25. This looks so fun! I am dying to go to Hawaii.


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