President and CEO
Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association
It’s wonderful to see Waikiki full of happy visitors from all corners of the globe. For more than a century, travelers have been enthralled by our native Hawaiian culture and hospitality, basked in Waikiki’s sapphire waters, and walked barefoot in the sand while trade winds stir the coconut fronds. This is the essence of Waikiki, and it hasn’t changed over time.
Today, on these beloved shores, the past and future are uniting in fresh and surprising ways as Waikiki has blossomed into a vibrant and cosmopolitan 21st century playground.
It’s a particularly good time to visit Honolulu Zoo, just a short walk down Kalakaua Avenue on the way toward Diamond Head. The Zoo has recently taken in three new lion clubs to add to its more than 900 animals housed in natural habitats on its 42 acres.
If you are in Waikiki July 13, check out the Korean Festival held at nearby Kapi‘olani Park. This annual cultural festival celebrates Hawai‘i’s Korean community with everything from kim chee to Korean fan and drum dances. For more information, visit www.koreanfestivalhi.com.
The following week, July 21, also at the nearby Kapi‘olani Park Bandstand, is the annual ‘Ukulele Festival, by far the largest of its kind in the world. The free two-hour concert showcases the finest ‘ukulele players, along with national celebrities, Hawai‘i’s top entertainers, and an ‘ukulele orchestra of more than 800 students mostly comprised of children. For more information, visit www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org.
My suggestion for a good time in Waikiki? Slow down. Soak up some sun, splash around in the surf. Take an adventure or two, or shop and dine at your own speed. Meet local folks, enjoy our festivals. Feel our warmth and spread aloha.
Have a great stay!