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Information About Hawaii
Members Can Bask on World's Most Storied Beach
Psychiatric News
Volume 46 Number 4 page 8-8

The curve of Waikiki beach, the shimmering waters of the Pacific, and the iconic Diamond Head crater to the south—€”it is a picture that is as recognizable as the skyline of New York.

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Waikiki Beach 

Credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson

Waikiki may be the most well-known beach in the world. Meaning literally "spouting waters" in the Hawaiian language, Waikiki was born 150,000 years ago when the Diamond Head crater erupted spewing molten lava and coral.

Water from the Ko'olau Mountains made Waikiki a lush wetland first cultivated by Polynesians between A.D. 800 and A.D. 1200. For hundreds of years, it would be a playground of Hawaiian royalty.

It was in the late 1800s that Waikiki became an attraction for wealthy vacationing Westerners, and in 1901 its first historic architectural treasure—€”the Moana Hotel—€”was built. According to the Web site of the Hawaii Convention Center, "The hotel features a spectacular 300-foot pier and elegant rooftop restaurant which becomes an internationally renowned watering hole for wealthy travelers who can afford to travel to Waikiki. Fully restored, the Moana remains a Waikiki showpiece."

A crucial turning point for Waikiki came in the 1920s when the wetlands—€”which had been the defining feature of the area for centuries—€”were declared a health hazard and drained by the construction of the Ala Wai Canal. The land was then reclaimed, subdivided into 5,000 square-foot lots, and sold off.

And so the transformation of Waikiki began in earnest, and tourism started to escalate. In 1927, the glamorous Royal Hawaiian Hotel was built next to the Moana Hotel to form two pillars of luxury in the world's most exotic tropical location.

Today, Waikiki is Oahu's main hotel and resort area, and along the main strip of Kalakaua Avenue, visitors will find world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Waikiki is best known for its beach and surfing, and most hotel rooms in the area are at most two or three blocks from the sea. The Waikiki Beach Boys keep alive a tradition by teaching visitors how to surf and canoe, and the Duke Kahanamoku statue—€”honoring Olympic swimming medalist Duke Kahanamoku, who made surfing popular in the early 1900s—€”has become an iconic symbol of Waikiki.

Shopping centers like the DFS Galleria and the Royal Hawaiian Center sell traditional Hawaiian gifts—€”ukuleles and Hawaiian arts and crafts—€”as well as designer fashion and high-end jewelry. Browse shops like Mana Hawaii and Aloha Army in the Waikiki Beach Walk for even more unique gifts.

There is no shortage of places to eat. Here is a list of restaurants that will be close to most places at which APA members are staying:

Bali by the Sea

2005 Kalia Road

Hilton Hawaiian Village

(808) 941-2254

Duke's Canoe Club

2335 Kalakaua Avenue

(808) 922-2268

Hau Tree Lanai

2863 Kalakaua Avenue

New Otani Hotel

(808) 921-7006

Kobe Japanese Steak House

1841 Ala Moana Boulevard

(808) 941-4444

Michel's at the Colony Surf

2895 Kalakaua Avenue

(808) 923-6552

Nick's Fishmarket

2070 Kalakaua Avenue

Gateway Hotel

(808) 955-6333

Roy's—€“Honolulu (Hawaii Kai)

6600 Kalanianaole Highway

(808) 396-7697

Sansei Seafood and Sushi Bar

2552 Kalakaua Avenue

Waikiki Beach Marriott

(808) 931-6286

Shore Bird Beach Broiler

2169 Kalia Road

Outrigger Reef Hotel

(808) 922-2887

Tiki's Grill and Bar

2570 Kalakaua Avenue

(808) 923-8454

Waikiki is within a half hour of a variety of Oahu attractions, including Pearl Harbor, Iolani Palace, the Nuuanu Pali Lookout, and Hanauma Bay. Other notable points of interest nearby include Ala Moana Center, the local neighborhood of Kapahulu, and the arts district of Chinatown.

More information about attractions in Waikiki is posted at <http://waikiki.com/>.8_1.inline-graphic-1.gif

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Waikiki Beach 

Credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson

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