Waikiki Historic Trail
Princess Lili'uokalani enjoyed spending time with Robert Louis Stevenson on Waikiki in "earnest conversation", Feb 3, 1889
This section of Waikikik Beach contains four distinct areas: Outrigger Canoe Club, San Souci, Kapi'olani Park and Queen's Surf. The Outrigger Canoe Club Beach fronts the Club, which was founded in 1908 to revive surfing and canoe paddling, and to promote other sports and activities. Sans Souci (from the French "without care") takes its name from a small hotel that once stood on the grounds now occupied by the Kaimana Beach Hotel. In 1893 the famed Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson spent five weeks convalescing at Sans Souci. He praised the hotel for its "lovely scenery, quiet, pure air, clear sea water, good food, and heavenly sunset?." Next to San Souci is the War Memorial Natatorium, a monument to the 179 island men who lots their lives in World War I. This unique athletice facility, with its 100 meter salt-water pool (still the largest in the U.S.), opened in 1927. The Natatorium arch has been restored, although the pool is no longer used.
Kapi'olani Park Beach is part of the 100 acre Kapi'olani Regional Park which was dedicated in 1877 by King Kalakaua in honor of his Queen Kapi'olani. The park's main feature was a horse track in early years. The U.S. Army used the open ground there as an encampment after the annexation of Hawaii in 1898. The Queen's Surf was one of the most popular restaurant-nightclubs in Honolulu during the 1950s and 1960s for both visitors and residents. It was named for the famous surf break of shore. The structure was demolished in 1971 to make room for park improvements.
In ancient times, there were at least two temples or heiau located near the shoreline in this area. Once was Kupalaha, at Queen's Surf Beach. It may have functioned in connection with the famed Pap'ena'ena heiau where it is believed the last human sacrifice was made by Kamehameha I in Waikiki. The other was Makahuna near the foot of Diamond Head, which was dedicated to Kanaloa, the god of the Seas, and was attended to by fisherman and seaman.