There are many ways to get around on the beautiful island of Oahu, but the Waikiki Trolley is without a doubt the most scenic. The Waikiki Trolley operates several different lines, each one taking you to a different, must-see part of the island known as the Gathering Place.
These scenic rides will get you to where you need to go and provide you with stunning, unforgettable views on the way there. As you’re planning your jaunts around Oahu, keep the Waikiki Trolley in mind, especially if you’re hoping to glimpse a bit of history or go for a festive ride through a sparkling wonderland of lights.
Waikiki Trolley Purple Line: A Trolley to History
Pearl Harbor, site of the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack that drew the United States into World War II, is a popular destination on Oahu and is one of many historic sites on Oahu. For those who don’t want to book a guided tour that includes Pearl Harbor transportation, getting there often means renting a car, paying a lot of money for a taxi, or catching public transportation, but the Waikiki Trolley’s Purple Line offers a scenic—and much more fun—alternative.
The Purple Line is a history buff’s dream, stopping at several locations that are important to local—and American—history. The line starts in Waikiki at T Galleria Hawaii, where all five Waikiki Trolley lines intersect. The next stop is at the Duke Kahanamoku Statue, the first of several historic locations.
The seventh stop of the route, after the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, Aqua Palms Waikiki, Ala Moana Center, and Aloha Stadium (Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday only), the Waikiki Trolley’s Purple Line arrives at Pearl Harbor.
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is your first destination at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. This is where you get tickets for the timed USS Arizona Memorial program as well as for other sites at Pearl Harbor including the Battleship Missouri, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. After your time exploring Pearl Harbor, hop back on the Trolley, where the next stop offers a glimpse of more local history at the Bishop Museum, where exhibits and galleries explore Hawaiian history dating back to the earliest inhabitants.
The Purple Line continues on to Pier 38 Fishing Village and Ward Center before coming back into Waikiki by way of the Ala Moana Center, Ilikai Hotel, and finally the T Galleria Hawaii.
Holiday Lights Tour: Waikiki Trolley Gets Festive
When the holiday season rolls around, the historic Downtown Honolulu turns into a veritable winter wonderland. The islands may be without snow, but they’re not lacking in holiday spirit, and the Waikiki Trolley Holiday Lights Tour is sure to leave you feeling festive.
Aboard the open-air Waikiki Trolley, riders enjoy a seasonal tour of Downtown Honolulu, which is decorated to welcome canoe-riding Santa of the Islands. An array of colorful displays decorate storefronts, sidewalks, and much more with this once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience.
Avoid the parking hassles to see Honolulu’s holiday exhibits and light displays when you hop on board the Waikiki Trolley’s Holiday Lights Tour. The tour takes guests from T Galleria Hawaii to Downtown Honolulu. Drive by extravagant displays before hopping off at Honolulu Hale, the epicenter of the Holiday Lights. Take your time marveling at the incredible displays, and be sure to take lots of photos!
When you’ve seen it all, just hop back on the Trolley and head back to Waikiki while enjoying even more shimmering Christmas lights.
Waikiki Trolley’s Other Notable Stops
Between the Green, Red, Pink, and Blue lines, the Waikiki Trolley makes stops at plenty of notable Oahu locations. The Green Line, for instance, takes riders east to Diamond Head Crater and the Honolulu Zoo, while the the new Dining Express makes stops at several local eateries including the famous Rainbow Drive-In and Leonard’s Bakery. For a scenic tour of the island’s southeast coastline, the Blue Line provides expansive, panoramic views.