Waikiki Beach Property: The Vacation that Never Ends
Honolulu is most famous for the Waikiki beach. It’s one of the top tourist spot in Hawaii. About 4.4 million tourists visit the Waikiki beach each year, and spending about $12 billion. Tourism is the single largest revenue- and job-generating industry in the state of Hawaii.
All your brandname five-star hotels, luxury condo/condotels and shopping plazas filled with brand name stores dominate the Kalakaua Avenue, which is also where the world’s famous Waikiki Beach is located.
Kuhio Avenue is not as busy and glamorous as Kalakaua Avenue. It has smaller hotels, condotels, small local businesses and some nightclubs.
Ala Wai Boulevard is completely opposite of the busy Kalakaua. It’s mostly residential condo buildings. Ala Wai Boulevard runs the whole length of Waikiki from Kapahulu Avenue to Ala Moana Boulevard, along the scenic Ala Wai Canal with view of the Ala Wai country club, and the recently renovated Ala Wai District Park.
Living in Waikiki
Waikiki is really a nice and convenient place to live. You’re just a step to everything. There’re all kinds of shops, restaurants, and recreations. You can walk over to Kuhio, Kalakaua, or Kapahulu anytime for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Abundant of outdoor activities awaits you at the east end of Waikiki, where Kapiolani Park is. Beaches line the whole length of Waikiki, so there should be no complaint of lack of sun and sand.
One reason why Waikiki beach is surfer’s paradise is because the waves at Waikiki Beach are really easy to ride. It’s a really good place to learn surfing. You can catch a wave relatively easy, ride the long wave to the shore. And if you fall, don’t worry. The water at Waikiki Beach is really shallow even when you’re far out.
The only drawback of the Waikiki Beach is that it’s crowded with locals and tourists. But if you walk a bit further down toward Diamond Head, you’ll find a couple more secluded beaches just for soaking and swimming. One of it is Queen’s beach where some local swim races take place. In Hawaii, all beaches are considered public entities. So even if you have a beachfront property, don’t be surprise, waking up to people sunbathing outside your backyard.
At the east end of Waikiki, you’ll find the beautiful Kapiolani Park, which merges into Diamond Head area. The Kapiolani Park is where a lot of activities happen daily and frequently. Almost all road races ends at Kapiolani Park - marathons, triathlons, fun runs, etc. Kapiolani Park and the Diamond Head area is also the training ground for many athletic events. Marathon runners and triathletes are common sight at Kapiolani Park. Many of them starts at Kapiolani Park and go all the way to Hawaii Kai or sometimes up to Sandy Beach and return.
On any given day, you’ll see people playing soccer, volley ball, playing tennis, practicing yoga or taichi, some people just chill out or have family gatherings. Next to Kapiolani Park is the Waikiki Shell, where many music concerts take place.
Across From Kapiolani Park on one side is the Honolulu Zoo. On the other side next to the ocean is the Waikiki Aquarium.
There is also Waikiki Public Library on Kapahula. Ala Wai country club is just a hop over the Ala Wai Canal.
You’ll never get bored living in Waikiki. At night, you can step out onto Kuhio Avenus, where locals and tourist hang out at bars and clubs.
Waikiki does not have a movie theater anymore. But, there is Sunset on the Beach every Fridays and Saturdays evening. This is a free movie night on a giant screen on Queen’s Beach, right across from the Honolulu Zoo.
Living in Waikiki is like perpetual vacation in Hawaii. No wonder everyone wants a piece of Waikiki.
Waikiki School Information
Public schools in the Waikiki area are Thomas Jefferson Intermediate School, Waikiki Elementary, Ala Wai Elementary. Iolani School is the closes to Waikiki. Punahou School and Maryknoll is about 2 miles from Waikiki.
Waikiki is a very small area, but also the densest area on the island. There are only 3 main roads in Waikiki that are parallel to each other – Kalakaua Avenue, Kuhio Avenue and Ala Wai Boulevard – from Kapahulu Avenue to Ala Moana Boulevard. That’s pretty much the length of Waikiki.
The whole area of the Waikiki is basically filled with high rise buildings that are either hotels, condos or shopping or business centers. There are more than a hundred high rise buildings in this small area. You can find condo from couple square feet small to couple thousand square feet big, depending what you can afford. Median sales price in Waikiki is pretty low because some of these condos are leasehold units or very small studio units.
Waikiki is like the condo super stores. You can find all kinds of condos here. You can get anything from a 1-room studio with a view overlooking a parking lot for about $150,000, to a multi-million dollar penthouse with views of the ocean coast. Real estate this diverse may even be located in adjacent buildings.
Condos in Waikiki are hot commodity. Waikiki has one of the highest vacancy rates because many condos are bought as vacation homes or vacation rentals. Some investors rent out their units as vacation rentals through online rental websites, such as AirBnb.com.
Vacation rental generates a higher return of investment than residential rentals. Nevertheless, rents in Waikiki runs from about $1,000 for a small studio or 1-bedroom up to $3,000 for a 2 or more bedroom unit, depending on the size of the apartment, location, amenities and views.
You’ll find the nicer luxury condos at the beginning and end of Waikiki.
In the west end of Waikiki after the Ala Moana Boulevard, you’ll find The Windsor, Allure Waikiki, Waikiki Landmark, Chateau Waikiki, Eaton Square, the Watermark, Loft at Waikiki, 1717 Ala Wai, Trump Tower Waikiki, and Ritz-Carlton Residences (ready in 2017).
At the east end of Waikiki, there are the Diamond Head Vista, Waikiki Sunset, Waikiki Banyan, Leisure Heritage, Monte Vista, and Liliuokalani Gardens.