Waikiki: Honolulu Neighborhoods
Waikiki is the area between the Ala Wai Canal and the Pacific Ocean. It is a world of itís own in Honolulu. Before the Ala Wai canal was dredged in the 20ís, Waikiki was mainly swampland and fishponds and a beach playground for Hawaiian royalty. Between 1920-1950 Waikiki was transformed to receive cruise ship visitors from the Mainland U.S. and abroad. When the airplane made itís way into the common manís lifestyle, Waikiki blew up with expansion. The 1960ís and 70ís were bustling with the construction of hotels and condominiums in Waikiki and it continued until land became scarce and the economy floundered in the early 90ís.
Today Waikiki boasts some of the best tourist infrastructure in the world. Most of the tourist activity is centered on the beach. People also live in Waikiki, but with only a few exceptions, a couple of blocks away from the beach. Condominiums are as plentiful as hotels in Waikiki. Approximately 25% of the residential units are owner occupied with the remainder being used as second homes or investments.
A resident of Waikiki has a tropical playground at their doorstep. The beaches are exquisite. White sand beaches with clean, warm water and gentle waves with Diamond Head in the background are why this is the most famous beach spot in the world. All of the beach land Hawaii is owned by the State and reserved for the use of residents and visitors. The hotels welcome residents to their spas and restaurants and shopping centers. Fort De Russy Park, Kapiolani Park and the Ala Wai golf course provide ample green space.
We have divided Waikiki into three areas East, Central and West because of the number of condominiums here. West Waikiki residents are the furthest removed from the tourists. This area has more owner occupants due to itís neighborhood feel and proximity to downtown. This area is especially popular with snowbirds and retirees. Central Waikiki is where you will find the most hotels and tourist activity. This area is particularly popular with investors seeking vacation rental income. Eastern Waikiki is a continuation of the central area, but it is quieter as you approach Kapiolani Park, a large peaceful beachfront park that extends to Diamond Head.