Enjoying Waikiki as a Local
It’s summer in Waikiki, and everything has changed. Gone are the droves of pedestrians, traffic, and the annual Pan Pacific Festival. By driving away the nearly 30,000 tourists the state gets on average each day, the coronavirus pandemic lifted the veil on Waikiki for locals. Natives are now reclaiming their neighborhood with help from Hawaii’s mandatory travel quarantine. Summer isn’t cancelled for locals - in fact, there’s still plenty of fun to be had. Enjoy the best of Oahu with these things to do in Waikiki right now for locals.
Go to the beach
Waikiki’s surf is some of the calmest in all of Oahu. The long, rolling waves make the shore ideal for activities like swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. The 2-mile stretch of white sand is divided into eight sections. Among our favorite places to get in the water are Duke Kahanamoku Beach’s man-made swimming lagoon, Fort DeRussy Beach’s oceanfront park with its grassy areas, palms, and picnic tables, and Kuhio Beach’s back-to-back concrete walls that stretch nearly 40 yards into the ocean. The enclosure creates undisturbed waters for children or those seeking a calming float in the salt water. Check out some of our favorite water sports in the area.
Order takeout from a favorite restaurant
It’s the summer of the picnic. Construct a shorefront spread by ordering takeout from your favorite Waikiki restaurant and enjoying your glorious meal al fresco. Visit our blog for food inspiration, from popular breakfast spots to the best places to get authentic Pacific Rim cuisine. Eat well by bringing your culinary finds to the beach.
Go for a hike
Opt for a mood-boosting saunter in Waikiki’s fresh air and sunshine. Now that the local trails are less traveled, a hike is the perfect way to slow down, gain clarity, and see Waikiki from a different perspective. Visit our Outdoor Activities page for guides to individual hiking trails as well as where to find more sublime hikes in the area.
Less foot traffic on the street makes it possible for locals to navigate luxury shopping destinations with ease. Join other masked hometown shoppers as Waikiki businesses reopen their doors with social distancing practices in place. The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Waikiki Beach Walk, and International Marketplace are all open. For uniquely Hawaiian apparel, check out our shop local guide to Waikiki.
Taste your way through Hawaii’s beer scene
Local craft beer culture has a storied history on the island, dating back to the mid-19th century. Despite the pandemic, brewers are still crafting their libations throughout Honolulu. Celebrate the flavors of Hawaii and stop in for pau hana time (Hawaiian for “happy hour”) at Kona Brewing Company, Waikiki Brewing Company, and Maui Brewing Company. Check their individual websites for a listing of open locations, hours, and social distancing measures. If beer isn’t your thing, try to find the best cup of Kona coffee in the neighborhood with our recommendations instead.
Plan a stay-cation in Waikiki
Interested in the food, culture, and sites of Waikiki? There’s only one way to experience it, and that’s in person. Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel is your best pick in Waikiki. It’s located right across the street from the beach and is central to everything in the neighborhood.
We continue to be inspired by how the community comes together to support one another. So, in thanks, we would like to invite kama'aina, or Hawaii locals, to be our guest. Book our LOVE HAWAII 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.