Honolulu, HI

The Lure of Waikiki

Stuart Gustafson

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(image from Sung Shin on unsplash.com)

Waikiki is one of the fascinating spots and a must-visit place situated near the City of Honolulu in Hawaii. It’s located on the south seashore of Honolulu. Thus Exploring Waikiki shall give you a great experience.

Waikiki is famed for the Waikiki beach, which is entirely man-made and is one of the six beaches in that area. Waikiki earned its place as a dream destination by attracting great masses from around the globe in search of a tropical island adventure. They can enjoy this kind of adventure without leaving the comforts of a modern lifestyle. The word Waikiki means spouting fresh water. In the eighteenth century, Waikiki was a place of recreation for the Hawaii Royalty where they used to surf longboards (surfboards). During that era, a limited number of minor hotels were providing accommodation but later in 1893 a Greek-American, George Lycurgus, rented a house and named it as "Sans Souci" which then turned to the first beach resort on the shore of Waikiki. The following year Robert Louis Stevenson, one of the greatest Scottish novelists, stayed at that resort which helped it get more attention from tourists.

The hotels, resorts and homes in Waikiki are built very close to the shores. Waikiki came to become further well-known when Moana Surfrider Hotel was built in 1901. Today, Waikiki's 40 per cent of revenue comes from hotels and resorts. Most visitors and tourists enjoy and spend their holidays and weekends in Waikiki. World's luxurious and top-rated hotels and resorts are found in Waikiki such as The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach hotel and the Trump International Hotel.

Waikiki beach is famous for bathing, surfing, beach breaks and other outdoor games. The quiet waters of Waikiki are perfect for surfing. On of the world's greatest surfer and the gold medalist Duke Kahanamoku (known as the father of modern surfing) was from Waikiki. On Kuhio Beach Park a statue of Duke is erected to credit him for making surfing a modern popular sport. The statue is also among the most visited and photographed landmarks in Waikiki. Duke Kahanamoku with the help of his companion beach boys started to teach the visitors about how to surf on the waves of the oceans.

Another most famous thing about Waikiki is the Kapiolani Park and Queen Kapiolani Garden, the beautiful and oldest public parks which King Kalakaua donated to the city which was then later named after his wife. This park is a place of attraction for families and tourists. It also includes the Waikiki Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium. The park also contains a famous garden known as Queen Kapiolani Garden, where several different flowers are kept from Waikiki and from other parts of the world.

Kalakaua Avenue, named after King David Kalakaua, is the heart of Waikiki and is stretched from Beretania Street to the corner of Kapiolani Park. This street is full of shopping malls, restaurants and hotels. There is no worry for the visitors to be bored in the sparkling street of Waikiki. Besides the Waikiki beach, there is situated the Waikiki Shopping Center, at the corner of the Seaside Avenue. Several shopping centres are available in the hotels and resorts of Waikiki.

There are also the Atlantis Submarines made for visitors who are fascinated about exploring the marine world, provide tourists with the opportunity to make their wish come true. While sitting in the passenger submarine and exploring beneath the surface of the sea, the instructor provides the visitors interesting details about the aquatic creatures. Beside submarines, there are ships and planes which are sunk purposely in the sea for creating barriers to protect the fish to regrow and reproduce after they are disturbed by both weather and humans. These submarines are a good option for the families and for those who afraid of scuba diving but still really wants to explore the marine world.

US Army Museum of Hawaii is located at Fort De-Russy Military Reservation and is housed inside the Battery Randolph. The battery was converted into a museum in 1976. Among the exhibits in the small museum are weapons of the army which were kept from the time of Hawaiin wars to the time of the World War II and the Vietnam War. American soldiers' uniforms from the last 200 years are on display in the museum. In addition to that, the enemy’s uniforms are also kept there. Another interesting thing in the exhibits of the museum are the old historic Hawaiin weapons which are studded with shark teeth. These weapons were used by the locals in the Hawaiin wars which were fought among the tribes.

The culture of Waikiki is an ancient blend of ethnic influences and unique tradition which makes Waikiki so special. Waikiki's culture is influenced from language and religion to fashion and cuisine. Some of the facts are as follow:

One of the most widely known customs of Waikiki culture is presenting a Lie flower as a gift of welcome and it is a symbol or gesture of a special occasion. Giving flower Lie to someone is an offer of friendship and it should be detached in private.

When it comes to dancing, the Waikiki cultural dance is unique and is called Hula. It features colourful costumes, grass skirts and graceful hand moments. Originally Hula was considered as only-male dance but later and even now it is performed as an expression of happiness and fun by both men and women. The earliest form of Hula also known as Hula Kahiko is followed by percussion and storytelling. Hula Kahiko is featured in ceremonials or for religious matters.

Waikiki's music is an important part of their culture and has evolved from primal drumbeats to a chorus of chanting voices. This music includes a collection of traditional and popular styles extending from folk music to modern rock and hip hop.

Waikiki people are superstitious in their religious beliefs and their culture is based on legends. They believe in gods and goddesses like Maui (a demi-god who pulled up the island from the sea bed), Pele (a wicked and deceptive volcano goddess) and her sister Poliahu (a snow god). Superstitions regarding rain and rainbow are considered a blessing from gods and goddesses. While wearing a Lie flower during pregnancy is a sign of bad luck that is widely spread in their culture.

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Articles on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday about travel, relevant local/regional items, some finance. Always with a slant to ask you to think.

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