Looking for a relaxing Waikiki activity? Located on the east end of Waikiki, Kapiolani Regional Park is the largest and oldest park in Hawaii. The 300-acre park is named after Queen Kapiolani, the queen consort of King David Kalakaua. The park is home to the Waikiki Shell and the famous Honolulu Zoo.
In the wet winter of 1876, horseracing enthusiasts from Honolulu asked King David to find a dry course for their popular races. King Kalakaua chose an unoccupied dry plain at the foot of Diamond Head. On June 11, 1877, the park was dedicated as the first Hawaiian public space. Landscaping was planned that included the majestic ironwood trees. Over the years, cricket became a popular sport at the park, baseball replaced horse racing, lily ponds and bridges replaced the racetrack.
Besides the popular Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Shell as a live music venue, the park includes tennis and basketball courts, soccer, baseball, lacrosse and rugby fields, an archery range, picnic areas, a bandstand, and wide-open spaces for kite flying and Frisbee throwing to encompass a variety of activities in Waikiki. The park serves as the starting and finish lines for many road races in Honolulu, including the annual Honolulu Marathon. The park’s two-mile circumference has become a well-used course for both walkers and joggers. Kapiolani Park is currently home to the Honolulu Cricket Club, the only cricket club in the Hawaiian Islands. Founded in 1893, it is the oldest sporting club in the Pacific according to Guinness World Records. On Sundays in the summer, the Royal Hawaiian Band plays in the bandstand, just like they did in King Kalakaua’s reign. The Waikiki Shell is host to a variety of musical events, from old Hawaiian songs to rock and roll performances.
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