Waikiki is a vibrant gathering place for visitors from around the world. Along the main strip of Kalakaua Avenue you'll find world-class shopping, dining, entertainment, and hospitality.

At legendary Waikiki Beach, a statue of Hawaiian hero Duke Kahanamoku welcomes you with open arms. Regarded as the "Father of modern surfing," Duke grew up and surfed in Waikiki during the turn of the century. Discovered as a swimming sensation, the prodigious Duke won Olympic gold medals in the 100 meter freestyle in 1912 and 1920. The amiable Duke later went on to act in Hollywood and used his fame to spread the popularity of surfing and the spirit of aloha around the world.

From Hawaiian royalty to Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, Waikiki continues to be an evolving expression of the ancient spirit of aloha. On these famous shores, the past and the future are uniting in fresh and surprising ways.

Today, Waikiki is in full bloom. There are world-class hotels with familiar names like Hilton, Sheraton and Hyatt, and there are smaller operations that still provide plenty of aloha. Waikiki also boasts Waikiki Beach and the iconic slopes of Diamond Head Crater. There’s 500-acre Kapiolani Park, the Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu Zoo and the International Marketplace (a shopper’s bonanza located in the heart of Waikiki). Waikiki is also home to some of Hawaii’s finest restaurants and hottest nightspots.

Best of all, everything is within walking distance. Waikiki is yours to discover, block by block, beach by beach. Welcome to the playground.

There's more to see and do in Honolulu than laze on Waikiki beach (although there's nothing wrong with that!).
If you plan to go sightseeing in Honolulu, these are the top sights to tour.

1. USS Missouri, Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor

The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in 1941 sunk the USS Arizona and brought the United States into World War II. Highlight of this historic sightseeing tour are stops at the Arizona Memorial, the battleship USS Missouri, and the Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific. You also will see Iolani Palace, Kawaiahao Church, the King Kamehameha statue, the Mission Houses Museum, and the magnificent banyan trees of downtown Honolulu.

2. Polynesian Cultural Center

Yes, it's corny and yes, you're bound to encounter lots of kids at this Honolulu attraction. But if you're only planning to pass through Honolulu once, you may kick yourself if you don't visit the Polynesian Cultural Center. The 42-acre site contains 7 island "villages" that showcase the indigenous cultures of Polynesian Hawaii, Samoa, the Marquesas, Fiji, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Tonga.

3. Parasailing on Maunalua Bay

Soar through the air, over the sapphire waters of Waikiki, an open parachute on your back. Preliminary to going up, you can board a parasail boat operated by an experienced crew licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard. The float in the sky up to 300 feet, taking in views of Honolulu, Diamond Head, and Waikiki surfers -- if you keep your eyes open.

4. Honolulu to Maui One-Day Tour

Whether your schedule or your budget keeps you from combining a stay on Maui with your visit to Honolulu, you can still experience the beauty and wonder of this island. Honolulu to Maui tours lead you to the famed 10,023-foot summit of Haleakala volcano, Iao Valley State Park, and into Lahaina, the capital of Maui.

5. Honolulu to Kauai One-Day Tour

If your schedule or budget keeps you from combining a stay on Kauai, the Garden Isle, with your visit to Honolulu, you can still experience this verdant island. Honolulu to Kauai one-day tours cover the romantic Fern Grotto, the breathtakingly beautiful Waimea Canyon, popular Poipu, and more.

6. Honolulu to the Big Island One-Day Tour

Want to see a volcano, up close? Even if plans keep you from combining a stay on the Big Island with your visit to Honolulu, you can still experience Hawaii. Honolulu to the Big Island tours generally cover Volcanos National Park, the town of Hilo, Rainbow Falls, and more.

7. Diamond Head Crater Sunrise Adventure

You can see the majestic 760 foot Diamond Head from just about anywhere in Waikiki, but there's nothing like seeing it up close. At the summit, 360-degree views -- and one of the world's most romantic spots to kiss -- await.