Explore Oahu

The 10 Beach Essentials You Need in Waikīkī

Get ready for the sun, sand and surf.

Waikīkī is famous for its white, sandy beaches and rolling surf. The home of modern-day surfing, it welcomes beachgoers from around the globe who frolic in the turquoise Pacific waters, dive into the welcoming tides and sunbathe under the warm sun. 

More than five miles of recreation, sightseeing and relaxing can be done along the shores of Waikīkī. Here is our roundup of the top essentials you need while exploring Oʻahu’s world-famous south shore. 

Smart Phone Protection
You’ll want to be sure to protect your smart phone from the elements. The tropical islands are prone to trade winds and island showers. Picking up a handy waterproof case will keep your phone protected and will serve as a great place to store your valuables (cash, credit cards, room key). Find your phone protection needs at Tricked Out Accessories at Royal Hawaiian Center.

Bathing Suit Cover-Up
When you’re headed to the beach, it’s great to have a stylish cover-up that’s easy to get in and out of. Don’t get bogged down with clothing items you don’t need, a simple dress or lightweight romper will do the trick. Wear your casual cover-up over your suit and you’re ready to go. Available at Lani Beach, and other shopping options, at Royal Hawaiian Center.

Beach-Worthy Tote Bag
With all the items you’ll need for your day in the sun, grab a large yet comfortable tote. Not only do reusable bags come in handy, but you can really express your sense of style—and support a local company or business—by purchasing an original handcrafted or locally inspired beach bag. Many boutiques and surf shops highlight fabulous totes that are designed by Hawaiʻi artists and painted by local crafters. Simply Wood Studios at Royal Hawaiian Center

Beach Blanket
Round-shaped towels and throws are all the rage right now. These uniquely designed and sturdy blankets, many in specialty prints and radical patterns, are perfect for your day of relaxing in the sun. They also dry quickly and can transition from the beach to the park and into your bag in seconds. Pink Sand, at Royal Hawaiian Center, carries several options.

Man with sunglasses
(©Rachel Olsson)

The best way to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays is to wear sunglasses; lucky for us there are some super trendy, spectacularly attractive sunglasses out there. Vitra Eyewear, at Royal Hawaiian Center, offers a unique collection of on-trend eyewear.

Close to the equator, the sun’s rays can be stronger than you’re accustomed to. Be sure to use plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin. Also consider the ocean and its marine life; you can find great coral-safe and eco-friendly sunscreens for beachgoers of any age. Visit Royal Hawaiian Center's ABC Store location for a selection of marine- and reef-friendly sunscreens.

Aloha Shirt
Hawaiʻi has more than its share of colorful emblems, but there are few that surpass the aloha shirt. It’s both regional and international, silent and expressive, historical and contemporary. And while shirts don’t usually speak, Hawai‘i’s version is a fierce vocal storyteller, a visual chronicle and peerless part of Hawai‘i’s cultural vocabulary. Royal Hawaiian Boutique carries a line of Tori Richard and Reyn Spooner shirts.

Woman on a beach with hat
(©Jens Kreuter/Unsplash)

Beach Hat
Another stylish yet essential accessory is a beach hat. Perfect to shade your face and also a great way to control your beach hair. The bigger the hat the better—all the more suited to serve as a prop for your social media posts. Visit Island Slipper, at Royal Hawaiian Center, for several stylish options.

Beach Snacks
Locally made snacks and bites are the best at the beach. Many of the sweet and savory treats come in handy when your stomach starts rumbling. Try locally roasted nuts, fresh island fruits or specially crafted tarts and baked goods made only in Hawaiʻi. The Royal Hawaiian Center's Dean & Deluca location offers delicious morsels.

(Courtesy Stussy)

Jacket or Hoodie

After some time in the water it can get a bit chilly on the sand. And when the sun goes down it’s great to have a handy hoodie to keep warm and cozy. Visit Stussy at Royal Hawaiian Center.