Once a vast swampland, Waikiki is now a Mecca for Hawai'i travelers. World-class hotels, the Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, and the International Market Place have replaced the rivers and springs that used to encompass its 1.5 square miles and gave Waikiki its name, meaning "place of spouting water."
Today, locals and tourists alike are sure to find something to do while strolling down Waikiki Beach. Newcomers can learn how to surf, dance hula, or canoe paddle. After a full day of activities, you can choose to dine on anything from seafood at the Oceanarium Restaurant to a one-of-a-kind hot dog at Puka Dog. Puka means "hole" in Hawai'ian and a puka dog is a hot dog with a hole in the middle, meant for filling with various condiments. Recently made famous by the Travel Channel television show "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations," these Hawai'ian-style hot dogs are a Waikiki original.
If hot dogs with holes aren't really your forte, there are always the traditional must-sees in Waikiki, such as the Diamond Head State National Monument. And don't forget to visit the bronze statue of legendary surfer and Olympian Duke Kahanamoku; he stands with open arms welcoming all with aloha.