What beautiful coastline was once a place where Hawaiian royalty enjoyed an early form of surfing, and now hosts several surf competitions each year, as well as hula dancing and racing of outrigger canoes? The answer, of course, is Waikiki, a beach neighborhood located in the city of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Many Americans first became aware of Waikiki when the beach resort was popularized in the Beach Boys song, "Surfin' U.S.A., but now the area is a major destination resort filled with Waikiki holiday rentals available all year long.
One of Hawaii's many attractions, of course, is its warm tropical climate. In the winter months, islands such as Oahu serve as a magnet, drawing visitors from colder climes across the United States. Waikiki has more to offer than warmth, though. The skies here are usually free of clouds and the oceanic habitat features a natural surf break that causes the large waves for which the beach is famous.
Besides the beach, other attractions include Diamond Head Crater, an ancient volcano that dominates the landscape of Oahu. The popular hike to the summit of the crater is not difficult, though tourists are advised to carry water. Both the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium are located here so that visitors can get a close-up look at native animal species. The aquarium is the third oldest in the nation and features an impressive display of sharks, jellyfish, and reef fish, as well as an outdoor habitat displaying Hawaiian monk seals.