In Hawaii, Waikiki means “the gathering place”. Today, people from all over the world gather in Waikiki to enjoy the shopping on Kalakaua Avenue, the fun waves at Waikiki Beach, and the luxury resorts that line the shore. Waikiki is also the start and finish of one of the biggest running races in the world, the Honolulu Marathon. If you are traveling to Waikiki, be sure to bring your running shoes to explore some of the top Waikiki running routes.

The Best Running Routes in Waikiki

Waikiki is nearly completely surrounded by water, thanks to the Ala Wai canal. This makes Waikiki the perfect place for running loops. With the resorts all within this small area, the starting point can really be anywhere along the route provided below.

Waikiki Running Loop (4.8 miles)

The Klubb: Waikiki Running Loop (4.8 miles)

Best Out-and-Back Run in Waikiki

For a shorter out-and-back run, start at the Duke Statue and head towards For Derussy Beach Park. This route takes you along the beach and around the pond at the Hilton. The best part of this loop is that you can check out the surf at Kaiser’s.

Kaiser's Surf Check Loop (~3 miles)
Kaiser’s Surf Check Loop (~3 miles)

Best Waikiki Running Route

The best local Waikiki running route is around Kapi’olani park. An almost perfect 1.75mile loop, you will find locals walking and running around Kapi’olani park at all hours of the day. There is a paved path and a dirt interior path that offers a much softer surface.

The Best Waikiki Running Loop – Kapi’olani Park (~1.78 miles)

Running Routes near Waikiki

Magic Island

At the end of the south peninsula of Ala Moana Regional Park, the park boarders the entrance to the Ala Wai Canal. It is a popular spot for locals to celebrate birthday parties, the grassy area is also a hub for runners and outdoor enthusiasts to meet at.

magic island running routes
Magic Island (~0.75miles)

The perimeter around Magic Island is almost exactly 0.75 miles, making it easy to calculate your distance based on laps. The stretch of sand at Magic Island Lagoon is a great place to add difficulty to your training by running the sand. If you’re looking for easy parking and great views, running Magic Island is a must do.

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Running at Ala Moana Regional Park

The Ala Moana Regional Park offers a perfect two-mile loop when you start at the end of the Magic Island parking lot. A popular route to run near Waikiki for Kaka’ako residents, the Ala Moana Regional Park has a paved path around the perimeter.

ala moana beach park running routes
Ala Moana Regional Park (2.0 miles)

Want to switch up your workout? Try the Hawaii Life Guard qualification training workout:

  1. Start at one end of the sand at Ala Moana Park and run to the other end at a medium intensity.
  2. Get in the lagoon water and swim back the same distance, finishing on the sand where you started.

NOTE: Always swim with a buddy.

Running Around Diamond Head

Running around Diamond Head is the most iconic run on Oahu. Part of the loop around Diamond Head is even a section in the Honolulu Marathon. Shown below is the shortest way to run around Diamond Head. There are many ways to make this loop longer. A popular one is to add a lap around Kapi’olani Regional Park at the end, bringing the total length to around five miles.

diamond head running route
Diamond Head Loop (3.94 miles)

Running Store Waikiki

The best running store in Waikiki is The Running Room which is located on Kapahulu Ave. Inside you will find a wide selection of running appeal, running shoes, running socks, energy bars, squeezes, and injury prevention products. The staff at Running Room is the best running store on Oahu and the takes their time to make sure you are setup with the right products for your running style. Some of the running shoe brands that The Running Room stocks are;

  • Brooks
  • New Balance
  • Hoka
  • Saucony
  • Asics
  • On Running
  • Mizuno
The Running Room Honolulu
Running Room Waikiki – Best Running Store Waikiki, Hawaii

Oahu Perimeter Route

The Oahu perimeter route is roughly 140 miles. If you are looking to run the perimeter of Oahu you should expect to run about 20 to 30 miles a day. Below are the six best areas to stay when you run around the Island of Oahu.

Oahu Perimeter Route
Perimeter Route around Oahu, Hawaii
  1. Waikiki: This is the best start and finish because it is close to the airport and has dozens of hotels and restaurants. Book a higher end hotel here for the beginning and end of the run. Treat yourself to the Moana Surfrider Hotel which is located by the Duke Statue on famous Kalakaua Ave – the street that you will start and finish on.
  2. Kailua: Roughly 27 miles from Waikiki, Kailua has boutique accommodations, grocery stores, and healthy restaurants. It makes a great second stop to refuel and get charged up for the next stage.
  3. Kahuku Point: Located at the very northern tip of Oahu, the Turtle Bay Resort is a welcome oasis after your 32+ mile run from Kailua. A luxury resort, this is the spot to take an extra day and recharge with a massage and spa day.
  4. Haleiwa: Only 15 miles from Turtle Bay, this is the shortest stretch of the Oahu perimeter run. Embrace recovery when you get in early from Turtle bay and enjoy a big dinner at one of the great local restaurants.
  5. Ko’olina: Over 35+ miles away from Haleiwa, this is one of the longer stretches. Transitioning to dirt road when you past Mokuleia and round Ka’Ena Point, continue down through Mākaha don’t forget to stop and grab a sweet treat from one of the bakeries to fuel you up for the last stretch to Ko’olina. Aulani Resort is worth the money and conveniently located on the route.
  6. Aiea: An agonizing straight shot from Ko’olina down Farrington Highway, you end up on the west side of Pearl Harbor. While there aren’t many options, we recommend booking a reservation at the Harbor Shores Hotel. The hotel that is right off Kamehameha Highway.

Recharged from your evening in Aiea, continue on Kamehameha Highway on your way to Waikiki. Connect to Ala Moana Blvd to finish on Kalakaua Ave at the Moana Surfrider Hotel. Enjoy a well deserved Mai Tai under the banyan tree at the Moana Surfrider between plunges in the cool Waikiki ocean water.

Not sure where to start when training for the Oahu Perimeter Route? Join the 2023km in 2023 Strava Group to help you train.

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