President and CEO
Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association
Aloha kakou, 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.
World-class accommodations can be found at hotels of all sizes and prices, timeshares and condominiums. Nightlife is flourishing and culinary options abound from Hawai’i Regional Cuisine to delicacies inspired by cultures from around the world.
The winter season is an especially great time to be in Waikiki because just about everywhere else is battening down for a long winter. Here in our endless summer, you’ll not only feel the warmth of our sun, but also the warmth of our hospitality.
Right after Thanksgiving, the holiday season gets into full swing! Waikiki is a shopper’s paradise any day of the year, but more so at Christmas, with bountiful gifts to be found in stores at a wide ranges of prices.
Even with blue sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s, Hawai’i loves Christmas and seasonal decorations abound and no more so than at the annual Honolulu City Lights celebration. Starting December 7, City Hall (Honolulu Hale) and the adjacent grounds are transformed into a spectacular Christmas display that features themed Christmas trees and wreaths, gingerbread houses and gigantic statues of Mr. and Mrs. Claus—Hawaiian style.
If you’re not running in it, you may want to watch the December 8 Honolulu Marathon as thousands of runners from all parts of the world head down Kalakaua Avenue in the early morning on the fifth and sixth mile of their 26.2-mile journey. The fast runners will be through shortly after the 5 a.m. start at Ala Moana Beach Park, but thousands more will be jogging through Waikiki, around Kapi’olani Beach Park and up Diamond Head Road until at least 6:30 a.m.
Only in Hawai’i—as a crowning touch to the Christmas festivities, kids of all ages will enjoy seeing Santa arrive by canoe in front of Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach on December 14. Coming all the way from the North Pole, the poor guy must be hot in his red suit under our tropical sun, but he’s got a big smile and a huge sack of presents.
My suggestion for a good time in Waikiki? Slow down. Soak up some sun, splash around in the surf. Take an adventure or two and shop and dine at your own speed. Meet local folks, feel our warmth and spread aloha.
Mele kalikimaka! (Merry Christmas)