Hawaii May 02, 2016
11 Fascinating Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Waikiki
The Hawaiian Islands are home to one of the world’s most famous beach destinations: Waikiki. Located within Honolulu city limits and bound by Ala Wai Canal to the north and west, Kapahulu Avenue to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the south, Waikiki is the most popular destination in Hawaii for beach-bumming, shopping, dining, entertainment and activities, and is packed with luxury resorts and hotels.
1. The world famous Waikiki Beach draws millions of tourism to its white sands and turquoise waters each year, accounting for approximately 42 percent of the state’s tourist industry revenue, roughly $2 billion annually.
2. In the 19th century, Waikiki was considered a playground for Hawaiian royalty. During this time, Waikiki was a wetland area fed by streams from the valleys above Honolulu.
3. In 1920, the Hawaiian government decided to pave the way for future development, building what would become the Ala Wai Canal, which would drain the wetlands.
4. Waikiki Beach may be incredibly famous, but it is actually a series of five beaches. From Ewa to Diamond Head, these beaches include Duke Kahanamoku, Fort DeRussy, Gray’s, Waikiki and Kuhio.
5. Waikiki is translated to “spouting waters” in Hawaiian.
6. The famous destination was first introduced to the world in 1901 when the Moana Surfrider was built on its shores. It is often referred to as “The First Lady of Waikiki.”
7. Waikiki Beach is partially engineered, and has been filled with imported sand for decades – and it is unfortunately in danger of being lost entirely. The beach has faced erosion problems since the late-1800s, when hotels and homes were built too close to the natural shoreline.
8. Waikiki attracts 72,000 visitors on any given day, accounting for nearly half of all tourists across the state of Hawaii.
9. The Waikiki Aquarium is home to a working marine biology laboratory that is partnered with universities across the world.
10. Waikiki has two sister cities: Freshwater in New South Wales, Australia and Bixby, Oklahoma.
11. Waikiki is the birthplace of modern surfing: the father of modern surfing, Duke Kahanamoku grew up in Waikiki, where the Royal Hawaiian Hotel stands today.
Do you know any interesting facts about Hawaii’s most famous destination?