Waikiki Walking Tour 1: Hawaiian Royalty
GPS Guided Walking TourTurn by turn directions & historical stories
About 3 Miles
Easy Redemption Process
Free & Fun Extras
Self Guided Waikiki Walking Tour on the Historic Trail
Explore one of the most famous vacation destinations in the world on this Waikiki walking tour. Learn about the royalty that used to live in the area, sample great food, shop until you drop, and maybe even take a surf lesson. Itʻs up to you. By the end of the tour, you will have a much greater understanding of the Waikiki Historic Trail and plenty of fun to go along with it.
- Waikiki Historic Trail: Visit stops 1-12 on the historic trail. We provide background information between each stop
- Shopping Options: International Market Place, Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Dukes Lane, and much more
- Food Options: Poke, Hawaiian Hot Dogs, Korean BBQ, Dukes Restaurant, Shrimp Trucks, Local Food, Mai Taiʻs, Dole Whip
- Historical Options: Prince Kuhio Statue, Duke Kahanamoku Statue, Moana Surf Rider, Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Don Ho, Princess Kaiulani Statue, Queen Liliuokalaniʻs land, Kapiolani Park
- Water Activities: Swimming, snorkeling, Surfing, canoe rides, catamaran sails
GPS Guided Virtual Audio Tour of the Waikiki Historic Trail
There is so much history in Waikiki! Kings, Queens, and commoners alike loved Waikiki. To help share their stories, we have incorporated the Waikiki Historic Trail for you to experience. We share stories in between and help you find the historical markers.
Waikiki is also full of great food and shopping options. You can explore however many of them you want and weʻll share some of our favorites. This tour has it all, walking along the beach, through the city, along the canal, and ends in Kapiolani Park.
This Waikiki walking tour is GPS guided and easy to follow. You can join from anywhere along the route, but we definitely recommend starting from the beginning. It is built on the worldwide VoiceMap travel app, which is free to download and easy to use.
Explore and learn about the Sands of Kakuhihewa
We incorporated the surfboard markers and stories from the Waikiki Historic Trail map into this walking tour. There are opportunities for history buffs to learn more along the route. Learn about local legends Duke Kahanamoku and Don Ho. Hear about the Hawaiian Royalty that used to live in the area and still owns much of the land today. All the while enjoying the modern amenities that this world-famous town has to offer.
We begin the tour at the first stop on the Waikiki Historic Trail. The surfboard marker is located near the surfer statue by Kapiolani Park.
We highly encourage guests to read the surfboard markers and follow along at waikikihistorictrail.org for extra information.
Stop at the Kapahulu Groin, more commonly referred to as ʻthe Wall.ʻ You will have a great view of Diamond Head and Waikiki from here.
Along the way, we will share stories and traditional names of the surf breaks in Waikiki. You will probably see some surfers and bodyboarders from the end of the pier.
Another surfboard marker from the Waikiki Historic Trail is located at the entrance to ʻThe Wallʻ on the Waikiki Side.
We highly recommend learning more about the English names of the surf breaks we just saw before resuming the tour.
The Catholic Church in Waikiki is full of its own history and just off the route. Weʻll share a few of its stories and provide an opportunity to pause and explore.
There is a museum for Sister Mary Ann Cope and Father Damien. They achieved Saint Hood through their work at the Leaper Colony on Molokai.
Although it is one of the most famous worldwide, Waikiki Beach is actually named Kuhio Beach. There is a surfboard marker and statue in honor of the Prince.
Weʻll share some stories to expand on the information featured there, but we highly recommend pausing and finding out more about this surfer, statesman, and scholar.
The Statue of Prince Jonah Kuhio has additional information located at its base. He also served as a Territorial Delegate to the United States Congress.
The Prince is a descendant of the last King of Kauai, Kaumualii. He was adopted by King Kalakaua and named a Royal Heir.
As we walk up Liliuokalani Avenue, you will learn more about the last Queen of Hawaii and her family. She had a home in the area along the beachside named Kealohilani.
She was named heir to the throne by her brother King Kalakaua. The tour is narrated by a descendent of one of the Queenʻs personal retainers.
Learn more about the head of the House of Kawananakoa. The Prince surfed, studied, and traveled with his brothers.
While they were in California, the trio fashioned their own boards and became the first people to surf outside of Hawaii.
We will share the story of a ship-wrecked sailor and his family. He married his interpreter, and they founded this Royal Grove Hotel.
Their son would later go on to found the Aston Hotel Chain. We see some of his original properties along the route.
This part of the tour offers mouth-watering food choices that arenʻt budget-busting prices. Sample poke, local style hotdogs, food trucks, and much more.
These are some of our favorite local food options in Waikiki. Easily pause the tour, stop for a bite, and resume when ready.
As you walk back to the beach and Duke Kahanamoku Statue, you will learn a little about Prince Edward. King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani also adopted him.
The Prince was brothers with Kuhio and Kawananakoa. Unfortunately, his health was never as strong as theirs. He was able to join them in their studies in California.
While it is no longer there, we will point out the site of the former Kings Village. It was the location of King Kalakauaʻs Waikiki residence.
Even though the building is gone, you can also read more about it at station 7 on waikikihistorictrail.org if you want to learn more.
Visit the world-famous Duke Kahanamoku Statue. He was an Olympic medalist, Sheriff, Actor, and considered the Father of Modern Surfing.
Stop and read the plaque as well as the information for stop 5 on waikikihistorictrail.org for extra stories about the Duke.
Known as the Wizard Stones, this stop is located next to the Duke Kahanamoku Statue, Waikiki Police Station, and right off the beach.
We will provide some background and places to find more information about them, but we highly recommend stopping to read the plaques and marker 6 from waikikihistorictrail.org.
The famous Banyan Tree is located near the beach bar at the Moana Surfrider. The hotel opened its doors in 1901 and is known as the First Lady of Waikiki.
Stop 10 at the Courtyard has plaques about the tree and a historical museum upstairs. Not to mention, the Beach Barʻs famous Mai Taiʻs.
Visit the famous surfboard alley in Waikiki on the way to a great view of Diamond Head from the beach. Donʻt worry. You donʻt have to get on the sand if you donʻt want.
Located nearby stop 11 on waikikihistorictrail.org, so we recommend pulling that up while you are here. Itʻs also a great spot to cool off and take a dip during the tour.
Visit the Pink Palace, also known as the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, and its courtyard in Helumoa. This is also an excellent spot for a Mai Tai with an ocean view.
There is a plaque for the historic bell tower and even more information at stop 12 on waikikihistorictrail.org for history buffs.
There is a statue of Bernice Pauahi Bishop in Helumoa and the Royal Hawaiian Center. She was the Granddaughter of Kamehameha.
We will share stories about her, and there is also a cultural center found in the courtyard we highly recommend visiting if they are open.
Local legend Don Ho used to perform at several clubs in Waikiki and Honolulu. Weʻll share some stories about him as we walk through his old stomping grounds.
When you get to the International Marketplace, you will also see a statue of Don Ho and a plaque with more information about the singer.
The walk through the International Market Place is packed with history. You will see the historic banyan tree and several historical plaques.
There is more info about King Lunalilo, and the area at stop 9 on waikikihistorictrail.org. Not to the mention shopping, food, and restrooms.
Learn about Kamehameha the Fourth, his son Prince Albert, and his wife, Queen Emma. The Royal family had a lasting legacy in the Hawaiian Islands.
The statues are located in the middle of the International Marketplace in Waikiki. There is also a hula mound in the courtyard where you may see a show.
Visit the Princess Kaiulani Statue in the heart of Waikiki. For more information, there is also a surfboard marker here from the Waikiki Historic Trail.
The princess had a home here, and you will learn more about her life. This is the last stop in town before we walk along the canal and the park.
Walking along the Ala Wai canal, you will have beautiful views of the Koolau Mountain Range. Weʻll share stories, place names, and weather information.
You will also learn about the Ala Wai Golf Course, and weʻll share some info about those behind the Waikiki Historic Trail.
Our final stop for the day at the Waikiki Historic Trail will be at the site of Queen Liliuokalaniʻs garden home. There is a surfboard marker for you to stop and read.
If you are cutting the tour into sections, this is an easy place to pause and resume the tour another day. We continue exploring the historic trail in Part 2: Military History in Waikiki.
To close the tour we take a peaceful, easy walk in the shade through Kapiolani Park. You may even see the giraffes and zebras of the Honolulu Zoo as we walk.
Then you will hear stories of the Royal Hawaiian Band and Waikiki Shell as we walk towards the Queen Kapiolani Statue finale.
More Self-Guided Excursions for this Waikiki Tour
This self-guided Waikiki Walking Tour takes you on the Diamond Head side of the Historic Trail. We highly recommend adding Part 2 and exploring the entire town. There is so much to explore in the area and so many stories to tell. Make sure to take a look at these similar GPS-led excursions by Audio Tour Hawaii.
In addition, when you purchase any combo tour where more than one device is recommended, we will provide a discount code for any additional purchases. Of course any local, military and group discounts apply to combination tours as well as individual routes.
Suggested Routing and Itinerary
The GPS Guided Waikiki Walking Tour by Audio Tour Hawaii is about 3 miles long and takes approximately an hour and a half for the full route.
- This tour includes the royal history of Waikiki. It is a “behind the scenes” walk through one of the most famous vacation destinations in the world.
- History buffs will love the free extras and can follow along at waikikihistorictrail.org
- There are options to save time or break the tour up into sections.
Not Just for Visitors
New to the Community? Represent a school group or local organization? Even tour companies looking for a way to save money on employee training will love the AT.Hi experience. We offer Kamaaina Pricing and free, fun retention quizzes for all our tours. Why should visitors get to have all the fun?