Follow us:

Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

December 9, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Warming up in Waikiki, a tropical wonderland

A warm-weather Santa on the beach in Waikiki. (Kristin Jackson / Seattle Times)

A warm-weather Santa on the beach in Waikiki. (Kristin Jackson / Seattle Times)

Goodbye cold Seattle, hello balmy Waikiki with a sun-bronzed Santa Claus, in red shorts and a Santa hat, strolling the Waikiki beach. And local ladies dancing the hula at a beachside park, wearing sparkling green leis and swaying as a band croons “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”

When fresh off the plane from deep-freeze Seattle, there’s something wonderfully incongruous about Christmas  festivities in a tropical haven like Hawaii. In Waikiki, the Honolulu visitor epicenter, the warm ocean waves lap the beach by the hula dancers. Santa stands under a swaying palm tree, by the light of a sparkling moon and flaming torches. Christmas decorations and lights shimmer in stores.

And  those stores … I haven’t stayed in Waikiki for many years and I was dazzled by the number of luxury stores that have sprouted here. Along Kalakaua Avenue’s Luxury Row, a stretch of uber-elegant boutiques, big-spending tourists (especially from China, Japan and Korea) splurge at Tiffany, Saint Laurent and Gucci.

While the stores, and Waikiki high-rises, have sprouted, Waikiki Beach has shrunk, suffering from  erosion like some other beaches in Hawaii. It’s still glorious, but definitely narrower than I remember it. More about that later.

0 Comments | Topics: beach, Waikiki

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►