Top ten reasons to visit and stay in Waikiki

On this weeks podcast, we offer our top ten reasons to visit and stay in Waikiki and explore what Oahu, the Gathering Place, has to offer.

Our hosts start off the podcast noting that the two main concerns they get from incoming visitors are that “Oahu is too crowded” and the cost to stay in Waikiki. Bruce and Lanai break down the prices of staying in Waikiki vs other parts of the island.

Bruce dispels the idea that Oahu and Waikiki get a “bad rap” because of the number of visitors and steeper pricing for accommodations, parking, dining, retail, and other vacation expenses. Bruce says that Oahu is actually the cheapest island to visit. Lanai notes that there is more competition among hotels and resorts in Waikiki because of the sheer volume of visitors, so pricing is designed to attract visitors.

Lanai notes that Neighbor Island visitors will most likely need to rent a vehicle, and Bruce offers that a Waikiki vacation doesn’t require a car. Waikiki’s location is noted as convenient, and that the prime location is only just over a mile along one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Our hosts note the vast spectrum of entertainment options in Waikiki, particularly Hawaii’s top artists at a variety of Waikiki venues.

Bruce makes an important point that there are many family-friendly options in Waikiki, which makes it an ideal option for large groups. Luaus and the Magic of Polynesia show are noted, as well as the Honolulu Zoo as being attractive for multi-generational family groups. Lanai points out that the calm waters of Waikiki are great for families, and not nearly as dangerous as North Shore waters during the winter season.

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The Blue Note concert venue and the famous “Legends” show featuring Elvis and other icons of Waikiki’s storied Hollywood connection is discussed. Bruce says that many visitors are interested in live sports action and that the University of Hawaii basketball and volleyball are hugely popular draws. Bruce and Lanai talk about the popularity of prep football in Hawaii.

The regular Friday night fireworks show in Waikiki is free, and Lanai notes that during convention season, there are often even more free fireworks displays in the heart of Waikiki. Waikiki is also home to lots of great nightlife options.

The conversation moves on to the appeal of the island of Oahu, and the fact that Oahu offers the best of the big city as well as country living and the raw, beautiful natural landscape of paradise. Bruce says Oahu offers everything you can find on the Neighbor Islands except an active volcano.

Aloha Bruce and Lanai say that Oahu should certainly be part of a Hawaii vacation. They muse over that staggering amount of different activities that Oahu has to offer, from scuba diving to zip-lining. Lanai talks about the Bishop Museum and offers insight into what makes its exhibitions so special.

Our hosts agree that they could actually do a Top 20 list of reasons to visit Oahu. The Gathering Place is full of cultural and recreational activity options, with Lanai mentioning the annual PowWow! art festival in Kakaako, which features amazing murals by artists from all over the world.