President and CEO
Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association
Aloha Kakou, It’s always wonderful to see Waikiki full of visitors full of smiles from all over the world. For more than a century, travelers have been enthralled by our native Hawaiian culture and hospitality, basked in Waikiki’s crystal blue waters and walked barefoot in the sand while palm trees swayed gently in the trade winds. This is the essence of Waikiki and has become a timeless part of the experience.
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.
Famous Kalakaua Avenue, with its multitude of designer stores, is mentioned in the same breath as Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue. Culinary enthusiasts are also enjoying the fruits of Hawai‘i’s evolving culinary scene, thanks to adventurous restaurateurs and chefs in pursuit of offering the most delicious guest experience.
There are thrilling jet ski, parasailing and submarine explorations, as well as snorkeling, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, outrigger canoeing and romantic sunset cruises to be enjoyed. Not to mention, the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium are perfect for family outings.
Speaking of the Honolulu Zoo, after a recent visit myself, it still remains one of O‘ahu’s gems and the fourth most-visited attraction in Hawai‘i welcoming more than 670,000 visitors annually.
Set on 42.5 acres off the east side of Kalakaua Avenue near Kapi‘olani Park, the zoo offers a wonderful escape for guests of all ages wanting to learn more about our animal kingdom. With exciting exhibits housing more than 215 different species, the Honolulu Zoo is regularly expanding and improving its guest experience and recently welcomed Kona nightingale donkeys and beautiful bongo antelopes to its ‘ohana (family).
And while you are there, don’t forget to say aloha to Hawai‘i’s state bird, the nene goose. You will find 12 of them happily strolling the grounds thanks to the zoo’s conservation efforts to keep this endemic and endangered species alive.
It’s always a great time to be in Waikiki, and the fall is no exception. Enjoy your time in paradise and remember, don’t forget the sunscreen.