Waikiki Beach and Moana Surfrider at Daybreak

I’m not a morning person but I enjoy pretending to be one when I get to Hawaii because it always takes me a few days to switch to Island time. On my first few mornings in Waikiki I usually try to surf before the crowds show up, read a book in a lounge chair with an ultra primo position on the beach, or just walk around with my camera.

On this particular day I woke up at 5am while the rest of my family slept in so I decided to walk around and take some photos.

Surfboards at Dawn at Waikiki

Early morning at Waikiki is an interesting time. As I walked out of the Moana Surfrider towards the beach the hotel staff was already busy getting the restaurant, pool, and beach area ready for the day. Walking along the beach I saw a few other early risers jogging down the beach as well as a couple who looked to have spent the night on the beach under the stars.

Lone Surfer at Daybreak at Waikiki

As I made my way towards Diamond Head I came across a handful of surfers hitting the water. At 5:30 am I assumed that these were locals trying to catch a few waves before going to work.

Moana Surfrider Entrance

Once the sun came up I headed back to the hotel to see if my family was awake yet. Opened in 1901, the historic Moana Surfrider [moana-surfrider.com] is one of the most photographed hotels in Waikiki. As the entrance is pretty small it is usually crowded with people.

Rocking Chairs at Moana Surfrider

Early morning is a great time to take some shots before all the people show up to clutter up the pictures. I’d bet it’s nearly impossible to get a shot of these rocking chairs all empty at any other time of day!

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15 thoughts on “Waikiki Beach and Moana Surfrider at Daybreak

  1. We always make an afternoon coffee visit to the Honolulu Coffee Company just to watch those rockers rock! You are right, they are never empty and they always are rocking. It’s also fun to watch the many, many brides who are coming and going from that front porch. Brought back some great memories!

  2. Holy smokes. Would you look at that hotel entrance! You are making me want to head that way on our next trip. Those first few mornings in Hawaii are my favorite as well. You get to see the beach come alive as locals grab a few waves then head off to work and families start to unload and dive in. Plus you get the best light!

  3. I’m inspired to follow your example and get up early the next time a time change works in my favor. I’m sure that getting shots of the hotel without lots of people in them is a rare experience.

  4. Never mind the empty rocking chairs…that may be the first time I’ve ever seen the pull-thru at the front of the hotel not jammed with cars. The Surfrider is one of the most beautiful hotels with the absolute worst parking layout in the history of hotels. You’ve got a couple of priceless photos there.

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