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On land, Waikiki offers a sea of hotels, restaurants, retailers and attractions. It’s fitting, then, that the waters bordering Waikiki promise an equally rich assortment of thrills from top to bottom.
Thanks to the destination’s diverse ocean-centric options, clients can find themselves above, on or below the surface with very little effort.
Outrigger CanoeingOutrigger canoeing has played a key role in island history and culture. For instance, up until the early 1800s, the sport was reserved for Hawaii’s royalty. Today, clients of all stripes can climb aboard one of these sleek vessels and feel noble as they glide along, paddle in hand.
Waikiki Beach Services brings the outrigger experience to Oahu visitors, who focus on teamwork as well as paddling techniques. Stroke by stroke, solo travelers, couples, families, friends and groups bond as the force of the waves propels them toward shore.
ParasailingClients savor aerial views during a high-flying Hawaiian Parasail ride above Waikiki’s waters. First, they’re fastened into a harness. Then, they’re winched off the stern of a moving motorboat so that they float up, up and away. For extra excitement, the captain can dip them in the surf and back up again.
Guests can parasail alone or share the fun with one or two other people, depending on weight restrictions. Not only do they enjoy the sights from aloft, but the panoramas of the Honolulu coastline and Diamond Head keep spirits soaring.
Reef Walking by NightWhen the sun goes down, the sea creatures come out to play in the shallow waters by Waikiki Aquarium. The attraction invites clients to witness the aquatic drama during Exploring the Reef at Night, held at low tide. Guests wade knee-deep and carry flashlights as staffers point out such lively critters as crabs, lobsters, eels and octopuses.
Scheduled for the late fall and winter months when conditions are optimal, the two-hour after-dark reef walks cater to those ages 6 and up with a sense of adventure. The next outing will take place in October.
Snorkel CruisingAngel fish, puffer fish, butterfly fish, turtles and humuhumunukunukuapuaa — the state fish — are a few of the friendly creatures that make their home in the waters off Waikiki, home to some superb dive sites. Clients can explore the stunning underwater world during a snorkel cruise, in which the captain knows just where to go for the best diving in the area.
Waikiki Beach Activities offers sailing excursions directly from the Hilton Hawaiian Village pier. Guests of its classy catamaran get expert instruction for snorkeling around the captivating coral reefs teeming with exotic marine life.
Surfing, Bodyboarding and SUPIf it’s time for a lesson in Hawaii’s most famous sport, it makes sense to head straight to a champion surfer and his staff. Hans Hedemann Surf School, run by a local boy turned professional wave master, helps clients learn how to stroke their way out to sea, read the curls and stay upright on the ride back to shore.
The company also teaches visitors how to bodyboard, a popular skill among islanders young and old. Additionally, the school offers classes in stand-up paddleboarding, a trending workout. Waikiki’s relatively calm conditions make it a perfect place to try all three challenges.
Swimming Pool by the SeaFor more laid-back visitors, Sheraton Waikiki’s Infinity Edge Pool requires no exertion while presenting unparalleled views of the mesmerizing ocean. Perched just a few feet above the sea, it was designed to create a mirage effect, so guests can’t tell where the pool stops and the briny blue begins.
Since the pool is treated by a salt chlorination system, its water feels soft and silky. Clients can keep cool while swimming lazy laps or relaxing on partially submerged lounge chairs, giving them front-row seats to watch folks attempt Waikiki’s more strenuous water activities.