| United States|
3.4 sq mi
Waikiki ( Hawaiian: or ) is a beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of O?ahu, in Hawaii, United States. Waikiki is best known for Waikiki Beach, the white sand beach shoreline fronting the neighborhood.
Waikiki is home to public places including Kapi?olani Park, Fort de Russy Military Reservation, Kahanamoku Lagoon, Kuhio Beach Park, and Ala Wai Harbor.
The area was a retreat for Hawaiian royalty in the 1800s who enjoyed surfing there on early forms of longboards.
A few small hotels opened in the 1880s. In 1893, Greek-American George Lycurgus leased the guest house of Allen Herbert and renamed it the "Sans Souci" (French for "without worries") creating one of the first beach resorts. Later that year Robert Louis Stevenson stayed at the resort; subsequently it became a popular destination for tourists from the mainland. The area at coordinates 21°15?49?N 157°49?17?W is still called "Sans Souci Beach".
Today, the area is filled with large resort hotels, such as the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the Halekulani hotel, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki and Hyatt Place Waikiki, the Sheraton Waikiki, and historic hotels dating back to the early 20th century (such as the Moana Surfrider Hotel and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel). The beach hosts many events a year, including surf competitions, outdoor performances, hula dancing and outrigger canoe races.
The neighborhood extends from the Ala Wai Canal (a channel dug to drain former wetlands) on the west and north, to Diamond Head (Le?ahi) on the east. Waikiki Beach is noted for its views of the Diamond Head tuff cone, its usually warm and cloud-free climate and its surf break.
The Waikiki skyline is now dotted with an abundance of both high-rises and resort hotels. The beach is actually fairly short, with half of it marked off for surfers. For some distance into the ocean the water is quite shallow, although there are numerous rocks on the bottom. As with most ocean beaches the waves can have some force, particularly on windy days. The surf at Waikiki is known for its long rolling break, making it ideal for long boarding, tandem surfing and beginners.