Waikiki is not only the Capital of Hawai’i, the birthplace of modern surfing and the home of Hawai’i’s bustling tourism industry but it is also a man made beach that has been in development since the 1800’s!
Waikiki which translates to “spouting waters” in Hawaiian, once served as a retreat for Hawaiian kings and queens. During this time, Waikiki was a wetland area fed by streams from the valleys above Honolulu. But since that time Waikiki has grown into the center of Hawai’i’s tourism industry alongside other notable accolades like being the birthplace of modern surfing.
Post WW2 and alongside the onset of Hawai’i’s booming tourism industry (Waikiki attracts 72,000 visitors on any given day, accounting for nearly half of all tourists across the state of Hawai’i.), Waikiki beach restoration efforts have been at the center of life in Hawai’i’s capital. Waikiki beach itself is actually a man-made beach with sand being imported to it from as far off as Southern California by boat and barge. (Just under a decade ago a huge multi-million dollar replenishing project took place to repair and restore 1,730 feet of shoreline in Waikiki.)
Largely as a result of shoreline development, eight distinct Waikiki beaches exist today. They are Ft. DeRussy, Duke Kahanamoku, Halekulani, Royal Hawaiian, Kuhio, Kapiolani, Queens and Kaimana.
With Waikiki, its hotels and the surrounding beaches accounting for almost half of the state’s visitor spending, restoring and preserving these amazing, important, and historical beaches remains a top priority.