Waik?k? (; Hawaiian: [v?j'ti:'ti:, w?j'ti:'ti:]) (also known as Waikiki Beach) is a beachfront neighborhood of Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of O?ahu, in Hawaii, United States. Waikiki is most famous for Waik?k? Beach, but it is just one of six beaches in the district, the others being Queen's Beach, Kuhio Beach, Gray's Beach, Fort DeRussy Beach and Kahanamoku Beach.
Waik?k? is home to public places including Kapi?olani Park, Fort DeRussy, Kahanamoku Lagoon, K?hi? Beach Park, and Ala Wai Harbor.
The name Waik?k? means spouting fresh water in the Hawaiian language, for springs and streams that fed wetlands that once separated Waik?k? from the interior.
The area was a retreat for Hawaiian royalty in the 1800s who enjoyed surfing there on early forms of longboards.
A few small hotels opened in the 1880s. In 1893, Greek-American George Lycurgus leased the guest house of Allen Herbert and renamed it the "Sans Souci" (French for "without worries") creating one of the first beach resorts. Later that year Robert Louis Stevenson stayed at the resort; subsequently it became a popular destination for tourists from the mainland. The area at coordinates 21°15?49?N 157°49?17?W / 21.26361°N 157.82139°W is still called "Sans Souci Beach".
Today, the area is filled with large resort hotels, such as the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Halekulani, the Hyatt Regency Waik?k?, Marriott Waikiki, Sheraton Waik?k?, and historic hotels dating back to the early 20th century (such as the Moana Surfrider Hotel and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel). The beach hosts many events a year, including surf competitions, outdoor performances, hula dancing and outrigger canoe races.
Waik?k? beach as seen from Diamond Head
The neighborhood extends from the Ala Wai Canal (a channel dug to drain former wetlands) on the west and north, to Diamond Head (L??ahi) on the east. Waik?k? Beach is noted for its views of the Diamond Head tuff cone, its usually warm and cloud-free climate and its surf break.
The Waik?k? skyline is now dotted with an abundance of both high-rises and resort hotels. The beach is actually fairly short, with half of it marked off for surfers. For some distance into the ocean the water is quite shallow, although there are numerous rocks on the bottom. As with most ocean beaches the waves can have some force, particularly on windy days. The surf at Waik?k? is known for its long rolling break, making it ideal for long boarding, tandem surfing and beginners.
Waik?k?'s main thoroughfare is Kalakaua Avenue, named after King Kalakaua, which houses most of the high-end hotels (Royal Hawaiian, Sheraton, Hyatt, Moana Surfrider Hotel), most of the luxury designer brand stores (Apple Store, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Dior, Tiffany & Co., Fendi, Cartier, Gucci, and Coach) and popular surf clothing brand stores (Quiksilver, Billabong, Volcom). Waik?k?'s other main thoroughfare, Kuhio Avenue, named after Prince Kuhio, is better known for its restaurants, cafes and grocers, along with its clubs, nightlife and prostitution.
Waik?k? Beach erosion in 2011
The restored Beach in June 2012
Over time, Waik?k? beach has had problems with erosion, leading to the construction of groynes and beach replenishment projects. For example, in the 1920s and 1930s sand was imported from Manhattan Beach, California, via ship and barge to Waik?k?. Importing stopped in the 1970s. Officials are looking for ways to sustain the existing sand by eliminating loss due to tidal flow. Subject to permits, a partial restoration was completed in the spring of 2012. The proposed project imported sand from nearby shoals and widened the 1,700-foot (520 m) long beach by about 37 feet (11 m) between the Royal Hawaiian Hotel concrete groyne and the K?hi? Beach crib wall. The project restored the beach to its 1985 shoreline.
Waikiki Beach has had contamination problems with sewage spills.
China Airlines operates its Honolulu Branch Office in Waik?k?.NTT DoCoMo also has limited operations here for the convenience of Japanese tourists. Hawaiian Airlines is based in Honolulu.
Government and infrastructure
District 6 of the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) encompasses Waikiki. The Waik?k? HPD Substation is located at 2425 Kalakaua Avenue next to Kuhio Beach Park.
The United States Postal Service operates the Waik?k? Post Office at 330 Saratoga Road.
Hawaii Department of Education operates public schools. Thomas Jefferson Elementary School is located in Waik?k? proper, while Waik?k? Elementary School is located nearby, at the makai (southern) edge of the Kapahulu neighborhood.
The Hawaii State Public Library System operates the Waik?k? Public Library at 400 Kapahulu Avenue.
Twin towns - sister cities
Waikiki is twinned with:
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- ^ "Waikiki Public Library". Hawaii State Public Library System. May 22, 2009. Archived from the original on November 30, 2009. Retrieved 2016.
Coordinates: 21°16?31?N 157°49?52?W / 21.2752°N 157.8312°W