Explore America's Campgrounds
Waikiki never sleeps. This is Honolulu’s party district, filled with trendy pubs, even trendier restaurants and a bevy of tourists to take it all in. You might prefer to go beyond these obvious experiences in Waikiki. Perhaps a stroll on Waikiki Beach followed by a romantic picnic while waiting for sunset is more to your liking. Or look for a bit of wining and dining, Hawaiian party style. If you're an active visitor, and particularly inquisitive, seek out new and unusual ways to explore this bit of Honolulu real estate after dark.
Sunset Segway Tour to Diamond Head
Take a pogo stick, attach handlebars, two over-sized wheels, a standing platform and an electric motor, and you have a Segway. Based near Kapiolani Park in Waikiki, Segway of Hawaii offers a year-round Sunset to Diamond Head tour. After instruction on how to “drive” this Space Age device, the tour runs through Kapiolani Park and along Diamond Head Road to Diamond Head Lighthouse for your oceanfront view of the sunset. Afterwards it’s a two-wheeled ride back through Kapiolani Park with the lights of Waikiki showing the way.
Honolulu Zoo at Night
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Honolulu Zoo on a Twilight Tour, offered on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s a chance to see some nocturnal creatures that climb into bed when the sun comes up. Or choose to spend the night with the Snooze in the Zoo program. It’s a camp-out on zoo grounds, complete with s’mores and serenades from the more vocal members of the zoo's residents. The program is available on Saturday nights during the summer, usually twice a month. Stargazing at the Zoo is held on Friday nights during the summer. The two-hour program includes a planetarium show and a chance to look through telescopes, both provided by the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy. If you happen to be in Waikiki on Halloween, take part in Boo in the Zoo. This annual evening event includes costume and pumpkin carving contests, entertainment, food, drinks, and light-up toys. Take a mini-tour of the zoo and see what the animals think of all the commotion.
Rockin’ Hawaiian Rainbow Revue
Every Friday night, the Hilton Hawaiian Village puts on its Rockin’ Hawaiian Rainbow Revue complete with torch-lighting ceremony, Hawaiian music, songs, and of course hula girls and guys. The setting is the Super Pool in the main courtyard. Your ticket will get you a pool-side seat, and your choice of alcoholic or virgin Mai Tai punch. The fireworks display in the skies above Waikiki makes an impressive finale. If you’d rather have a private picnic on the beach, you can still hear the music if you’re close enough. As far as the fireworks, park yourself almost anywhere along Waikiki Beach and enjoy the show.
Luaus in Waikiki
It’s possible to enjoy an authentic luau without leaving Waikiki. At the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, the Aha’aina Royal Luau is a more high-end event. Set on the lawn fronting Waikiki Beach, this Monday night luau offers table service, an open bar and Hawaiian entertainment. The set menu is a mix of Western, Pacific Rim and local foods. The Hilton Hawaiian Village hosts its Waikiki Starlight Luau from Sunday through Thursday. Service is buffet style and two drinks, alcoholic or virgin, are included. Island entertainment is on the menu, but only after the group hula lesson for the guests. The Sheraton Princess Kaiulani hosts its Creation - A Polynesian Journey dinner show on Tuesday night and then from Thursday through Sunday nights. More dinner theater than traditional luau, this is an indoor performance on a lavish stage combining live action with audio-visual clips. Dinner and cocktail show packages are offered. All three venues are within walking distance of most hotels in Waikiki, making it easy to walk off some of that yummy food.
Monica Wachman is a former editor and writer for FishersTravelSOS, EasyRez.com and Bonsai Ireland. She has an AA degree in travel from Career Com Technical and is an avid RV buff and gardener. In 2014, she published "Mouschie and the Big White Box" about an RV trip across North America.