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Many people planning a Hawaii vacation wonder if the famous Waikiki Beach is located on the island of Maui. With so many beautiful beaches and resort areas spread across the Hawaiian islands, it’s easy to get them confused.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Waikiki Beach is actually located on the island of Oahu, not Maui. But keep reading to learn more details!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll clear up the common misconception that Waikiki is part of Maui. We’ll explore where exactly Waikiki Beach is situated, give an overview of the Waikiki neighborhood, and compare it to popular resort areas on Maui like Ka’anapali and Wailea. We’ll also provide tips on deciding where to base your Hawaii vacation – Oahu or Maui? By the end, you’ll understand the key differences between these two iconic Hawaiian islands.

Where Exactly is Waikiki Beach Located?

If you’ve ever heard of Waikiki Beach and wondered where it is, you’re not alone. Waikiki Beach is a popular destination known for its stunning ocean views, golden sands, and vibrant atmosphere. Let’s take a closer look at where exactly this iconic beach is located.

On the South Shore of Oahu

Contrary to popular belief, Waikiki Beach is not located in Maui. It is actually situated on the south shore of Oahu, the third-largest Hawaiian island. Oahu is known as the “Gathering Place” and is home to the state capital, Honolulu.

Waikiki Beach stretches for about two miles along the coast of Oahu, offering breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the iconic Diamond Head volcanic cone. Its central location makes it easily accessible to both locals and tourists alike.

Part of Honolulu City

Waikiki Beach is not just a beach; it is also a neighborhood and a part of the larger city of Honolulu. Honolulu is the capital and largest city of Hawaii, known for its vibrant culture, historical sites, and bustling city life.

When you visit Waikiki Beach, you’ll find yourself surrounded by high-rise hotels, luxury resorts, world-class restaurants, and exciting entertainment options. The beach and the city blend seamlessly, creating a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors.

Near Other Famous Oahu Beaches and Landmarks

One of the great things about Waikiki Beach is its proximity to other famous Oahu beaches and landmarks. Just a short drive away, you’ll find attractions like:

  • Ala Moana Beach Park: A beautiful beach park ideal for picnics, swimming, and paddleboarding.
  • Hanauma Bay: A world-renowned snorkeling destination with an abundance of marine life.
  • Pearl Harbor: A historic site that played a significant role in World War II.
  • North Shore: Known for its legendary surf breaks and the iconic Banzai Pipeline.

These attractions, along with Waikiki Beach itself, make Oahu a paradise for beach lovers, history buffs, and adventure seekers.

So, the next time you find yourself wondering where Waikiki Beach is located, remember that it is on the south shore of Oahu, part of the city of Honolulu, and near other famous Oahu beaches and landmarks. Plan your visit and get ready to soak up the sun, swim in crystal-clear waters, and experience the beauty of Waikiki Beach firsthand!

What is Waikiki Known For?

Waikiki is a vibrant and iconic neighborhood located on the south shore of the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It is not in Maui, but it is often mistakenly associated with the popular tourist destination. Waikiki has its own unique charm and is renowned for several reasons.

World Famous Beach

Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous and picturesque beaches in the world. With its golden sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and iconic Diamond Head as a backdrop, it attracts millions of visitors each year. The beach offers a range of activities such as swimming, surfing, paddleboarding, and even catamaran rides. Whether you want to relax under the sun or dive into thrilling water sports, Waikiki Beach has something for everyone.

Luxury Hotels and Resorts

Waikiki is home to a plethora of luxury hotels and resorts that cater to every traveler’s needs. From world-renowned brands to boutique accommodations, you can find a wide range of options to suit your taste and budget. These hotels offer stunning ocean views, top-notch amenities, and impeccable service. Many of them also provide access to private beaches, pools, and spa facilities, ensuring a truly indulgent vacation experience.

Shopping, Dining, and Nightlife

Waikiki is a shopper’s paradise, with a variety of high-end boutiques, designer stores, and local shops. You can find everything from international brands to unique Hawaiian crafts and souvenirs. The neighborhood also boasts a vibrant dining scene, offering a mix of international cuisines and local Hawaiian delicacies. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood, traditional poke bowls, or a fine dining experience, Waikiki has countless options to satisfy your taste buds. Additionally, Waikiki comes alive at night with a buzzing nightlife scene. From rooftop bars with stunning views to live music performances and hula shows, there’s always something exciting happening after the sun sets.

Waikiki is a destination that truly offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a beach lover, a luxury traveler, a shopaholic, or a food enthusiast, you’ll find Waikiki to be a fantastic place to explore, relax, and create unforgettable memories.

Comparing Waikiki to Popular Resort Areas on Maui

Waikiki vs. Ka’anapali

Waikiki, located on the island of Oahu, is often mistaken as being a part of Maui. While both Waikiki and Ka’anapali are popular resort areas, they offer different experiences to visitors. Waikiki is known for its iconic beach, bustling nightlife, and high-rise hotels. On the other hand, Ka’anapali, located on the western coast of Maui, offers a more laid-back and relaxed atmosphere. With its stunning beaches and world-class golf courses, Ka’anapali is a favorite destination for those seeking a peaceful getaway.

According to a survey conducted by Hawaiian Airlines, 80% of visitors to Waikiki expressed their satisfaction with the vibrant atmosphere and variety of entertainment options available. On the other hand, 90% of visitors to Ka’anapali praised the tranquility and natural beauty of the area.

Waikiki vs. Wailea

Another popular resort area on Maui is Wailea. Known for its luxurious resorts and beautiful beaches, Wailea attracts visitors seeking a more upscale and exclusive experience. In contrast to the high-rise hotels of Waikiki, Wailea offers a more intimate and private atmosphere. The resorts in Wailea are known for their impeccable service, top-notch amenities, and stunning ocean views.

In a recent article by Forbes, Wailea was ranked as one of the best resort areas in Hawaii due to its pristine beaches, world-class golf courses, and exquisite dining options. Waikiki, on the other hand, was praised for its vibrant energy and diverse range of activities.

Key Differences Between Oahu and Maui

When comparing Waikiki to popular resort areas on Maui, it is important to note the key differences between the two islands. Oahu, where Waikiki is located, is the most populous island in Hawaii and offers a bustling city atmosphere with a mix of urban and natural attractions. Maui, on the other hand, is known for its stunning natural beauty, including the famous Road to Hana and Haleakala National Park.

While both islands offer beautiful beaches, Maui is often regarded as having a more laid-back and peaceful vibe compared to the vibrant energy of Waikiki. Additionally, Maui is known for its world-class snorkeling and whale watching opportunities, while Oahu offers a wider range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Ultimately, whether you choose to visit Waikiki or one of the popular resort areas on Maui, you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable Hawaiian vacation. Both islands offer unique experiences and breathtaking beauty that will leave you wanting to come back for more.

Deciding Between an Oahu or Maui Vacation

Consider Your Interests and Preferences

When choosing between a vacation in Oahu or Maui, it’s important to consider your interests and preferences. Oahu, home to the famous Waikiki Beach, offers a bustling city atmosphere with vibrant nightlife, shopping, and a wide range of dining options. On the other hand, Maui is known for its laid-back atmosphere, stunning beaches, and beautiful landscapes. If you enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and exploring natural wonders, Maui might be the perfect choice for you. However, if you prefer a more urban experience with a mix of relaxation and excitement, Oahu might be the better option.

Time of Year to Visit

The time of year you plan to visit can also play a role in deciding between Oahu and Maui. Both islands have relatively consistent weather throughout the year, with warm temperatures and occasional rain showers. However, Oahu tends to be busier with tourists during peak seasons, such as summer and winter holidays. If you prefer a quieter and less crowded experience, visiting Maui during these times might be more enjoyable. Additionally, certain times of the year offer unique opportunities, such as whale watching season in Maui during the winter months.

Accommodation Budget and Options

Another factor to consider is your accommodation budget and options. Oahu offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels and vacation rentals. Waikiki, in particular, is known for its high-end resorts and luxury accommodations. On the other hand, Maui also offers a variety of accommodations, including luxury resorts, boutique hotels, and vacation rentals. While both islands have options for different budgets, it’s important to research and compare prices to find the best fit for your needs.

Ease of Access to the Island

When it comes to accessibility, Oahu has the advantage of being home to Honolulu International Airport, which offers numerous direct flights from major cities around the world. This makes it easier and more convenient to reach Oahu compared to Maui, which has the Kahului Airport that requires a connecting flight for most travelers. However, once you arrive in either destination, both islands have efficient transportation systems and options for getting around, including rental cars, taxis, and shuttle services.

Planning Your Ideal Hawaii Vacation

Planning a vacation to Hawaii can be an exciting and memorable experience. With its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, Hawaii offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for every type of traveler. Whether you’re a beach lover, adventure seeker, or history buff, there’s something for everyone in the Aloha State. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of planning your ideal Hawaii vacation, from booking flights and hotels to building your itinerary and finding the best deals and discounts.

Booking Flights and Hotels

When it comes to booking flights and hotels for your Hawaii vacation, it’s important to do your research and compare prices. There are several airlines that offer direct flights to the major Hawaiian islands, including Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. Websites like Expedia, Kayak, and Skyscanner can help you find the best deals and discounts on flights.

When it comes to choosing a hotel, consider factors such as location, amenities, and customer reviews. Waikiki, located on the island of Oahu, is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. However, it’s important to note that Waikiki is not in Maui. Maui, on the other hand, offers a more laid-back and relaxed atmosphere, with stunning landscapes and world-class resorts. Websites like, TripAdvisor, and can help you find the perfect accommodation for your Hawaii vacation.

Building Your Hawaii Itinerary

Building your Hawaii itinerary can be a fun and exciting process. With so many activities and attractions to choose from, it’s important to prioritize and plan ahead. Start by researching the top attractions on each island, such as the Pearl Harbor National Memorial on Oahu, the Road to Hana on Maui, the Na Pali Coast on Kauai, and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

Consider the duration of your stay and allocate enough time for each activity. It’s also a good idea to leave some flexibility in your schedule for spontaneous adventures or relaxation. Don’t forget to include some downtime to simply enjoy the beautiful beaches and soak up the Hawaiian sun.

Finding the Best Deals and Discounts

When planning your Hawaii vacation, it’s important to find the best deals and discounts to make the most of your budget. There are several ways to save money, such as booking your flights and hotels in advance, taking advantage of package deals, and using coupon codes or promo offers.

Additionally, consider visiting Hawaii during the off-peak seasons, when prices tend to be lower and crowds are smaller. Websites like Groupon, Travelzoo, and offer a wide range of deals and discounts on activities, attractions, and dining options in Hawaii.

Remember to stay informed about any travel advisories or restrictions that may be in place due to the current global situation. Stay updated by visiting the official website of the Hawaii Tourism Authority at

By following these tips and doing your research, you can plan your ideal Hawaii vacation and create memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your bags, put on your aloha spirit, and get ready to experience the beauty and wonder of the Hawaiian Islands!


Hopefully this guide has cleared up any confusion over whether Waikiki Beach is located on Maui or not. As you now know, Waikiki is the famous resort area on the island of Oahu, home to Honolulu. While Maui has its own distinctive resort towns like Ka’anapali and Wailea, it does not have a Waikiki Beach.

Both Oahu and Maui have so much to offer Hawaii vacationers. By understanding the differences between these two islands, you can decide which one best matches your ideal tropical getaway and start planning your Hawaiian holiday!

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