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 as we begin 2014. 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.
Worldclass 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.
Kalakaua Avenue with its multitude of designer stores is mentioned in the same breath as Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue. The Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium are perfect for family outings. And there are exciting Jet Ski, parasailing and submarine explorations, as well as whale watching and romantic sunset cruises to be enjoyed.
Take advantage of it all while you are here, because best of all, Waikiki offers options to suit every pocket book.
This season is an especially great time to be in Waikiki because just about everywhere else is still entrenched in winter weather. Here in our endless summer, you’ll not only feel the warmth of our sun, but also the warmth of our hospitality. And there’s always something going on.
If you are in Waikiki January 18-19, you should plan to visit the Pacific Island Arts Festival at nearby Kapi’olani Park next to Diamond Head. The festival features almost 100 Hawai’i artists and artisans with products including jewelry, clothing, stained glass, ceramics, quilts, bags, wood products, soaps and candles.
The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated at the annual MLK parade and rally January 20. The parade begins at Magic Island and traverses through Waikiki to end at Kapi’olani Park where there will be food, community booths and plenty of good fellowship.
If you love football, you’ll want to attend NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium January 26. The week is also celebrated with several events around O’ahu, including the Pro Bowl block party in Waikiki.
My suggestion for a good time in Waikiki? Slow down. Soak up some sun, splash around in the surf. Take an adventure or two. Enjoy the culture and shop and dine at your own speed. Meet local folks, feel our warmth and spread aloha.