Enjoy Waikiki on the Water
Waikiki is a city that’s defined by water. In fact, Waikiki translates to “spouting water,” a reference to the springs and streams that once flowed into the area. Waikiki’s waters were further popularized by Hawai’i icon, Duke Kahanamoku, who grew up surfing the waves of Waikiki and went on to become known globally as “the father of modern surfing.” Today, visitors pay homage to Duke’s legacy by exploring the fabled waters, above and below. From parasailing high above the ocean to taking a deep dive below the surface on a submarine, there are countless ways to enjoy Waikiki on the water. Here’s how.
Due to COVID-19, activities like swimming, surfing, paddling, diving, and fishing below the high-water mark are still permitted. All water activities mentioned may not be currently available. We recommend checking City and County of Honolulu or State of Hawai‘i mandates, facility websites for operating hours, updates, and social distancing measures before heading out on the water.
Surfing, Snorkeling, and Diving
Waikiki is famous for its pristine shoreline, so the beaches are an obvious place to start when it comes to enjoying the water. From Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, you can head straight to Kuhio Beach to rent a board for the day. Waikiki’s wave break makes it perfect for novice surfers. Grab a pair of goggles and explore below the surface at Waikiki’s snorkeling hotspot, Queens Beach. The area just in front of the beach is designated a Marine Life Conservation District and consists of a large, flat reef. Enter the water in front of Waikiki Aquarium’s sea wall where you’re likely to spot fish along the wall in the channel. Experienced swimmers can head out further to the outer reef edge, where the depth drops to 15-20 feet and the underwater topography gets far more interesting (Note: Never touch natural or artificial reefs or sea life! Corals are fragile animals and disturbing them in any way may damage or kill them). Descend even further on a ride with Atlantis Submarines. The recreational submarine plunges 100 feet underwater for an up close look at artificial reefs and the animals that dwell within.
Boating and Sailing
Waikiki is a world class destination for boaters of all breeds. The calm waters provide phenomenal conditions for an excursion along the coast. Opt for thrilling activities like parasailing high above the water with Diamond Head as your backdrop. Hawai‘i Water Sports offers parasailing and so much more, including bumper tube rides, jet skis, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and a banana boat ride for the entire family. Set sail on a high speed catamaran or glass bottom boat tour for a glimpse of live tropical reefs and shipwrecks. Various charters offer leisurely cruises around O‘ahu’s South Shore. Check out Hawai‘i Glass Bottom Boat to book a private tour for your group.
Paddleboarding and Kayaking
Discovering Waikiki’s shore by self-propelled watercraft is the perfect way to cruise peacefully at your own pace. There are ample ways to get offshore aboard a small watercraft. Single, double, and triple kayaks, aqua cycles, stepboards, and standup paddleboards are all available for rent along the shore. Modern standup paddleboarding began in Waikiki in the 1940s, so it’s only customary to surf the gentle waves while visiting.
The waters around Waikiki are home to an abundance of marine life like Blue Marlin, Mahi-mahi, Ono, Ahi, and Spearfish, just to name a few. If you want to try your hand at reeling in the local catch, there are plenty of expert deep-sea big game fishing guides to choose from to meet your needs. Head to the Kewalo Basin Harbor on Ala Moana Boulevard to book a sportfishing charter. A few to consider include Magic Sport Fishing, Island Charter Sport Fishing, and Pacific Sport Fishing.
Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel is located just steps away from Kuhio Beach in Waikiki. In addition to a host of amenities, we offer free use of a GoPro Camera to take on your water adventure, subject to availability. Read more about the amazing amenities at Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel and start booking your travel plans with us in Waikiki.
We continue to be inspired by how the community comes together to support one another during these times. In thanks, we would like to invite kama'aina, or Hawai‘i locals, to be our guest. Book our LOVE HAWAI‘I package to enjoy an exclusive offer of up to 20% off, plus complimentary valet parking, a waived Resort Fee, and so much more. Read more.