Waikiki parking is a bit of a challenge but can be done easily and somewhat economically if planned out correctly. While there is no free parking really there are affordable alternatives. You just need to decide whether convenience or cost is more important to you.
Almost all of the hotels in Waikiki offer parking which may either be in the form of valet or self park. Both include unlimited in and out during a 24 hour period but it comes at a cost.
At the time of this writing in late 2012 the average cost throughout Waikiki is $30 per day. Some hotels will add it on to your hotel room tab and others have you pay as you go.
The plus side is that you get to park where you are staying and don't have to walk to more economical parking especially at the wee hours of the morning or late at night when more bargains are to be had.
What a lot of people do who are renting a car just for the day is return it to the location before closing at the end of the day. None of the locations in Waikiki will allow for after hours drop off.
There are a few places throughout Waikiki that allow for you to pay for parking by hour. There is either a machine at the entrance of the lot or scattered throughout the parking area to pay. What you do is enter the amount of time that you would like, pay with either cash or a credit card, print out the ticket and place it on the dashboard of your vehicle. Don't forget to leave the ticket visible to the parking meter maids or you will be ticketed and perhaps even eventually towed. The following places offer this option:
Kapiolani Park (on the ocean side of the park)-adjacent to the Honolulu Zoo at 151 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu Zoo-151 Kapahulu Ave
Ala Wai Boat Harbor-1651 Ala Moana Boulevard is the start
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Some garages and parking areas offer parking deals for a limited time such as early bird parking or a flat rate for 10 hours. Early bird parking could mean in by 5 am and out by a certain time. The cost varies from $4-$6 on average. I know of the following options:
Ala Wai Boat Harbor (behind the Hilton Hawaiian Village, Ilikai Hotel & The Modern Hotel) 1651 Ala Moana Boulevard is the start
Red Lobster garage (across the street from The Modern Hotel)-1765 Ala Moana Boulevard. Enter on Hobron Lane.
Hale Koa parking garage-2 facilities: one is covered parking across from the Hale Koa hotel located at 2055 Kalia Road or the open lot across from the Army Museum down the road at 2131 Kalia Road.
Kapiolani Park (on Monserrat ave behind the zoo and the parking lot for the band shell; alos on the mountain side of the park)
Ala Wai Boat Harbor -1651 Ala Moana Boulevard is the start
Ala Moana Park (no parking between 10 pm & 4 am)
Ala Moana Shopping Center-technically you're supposed to be a shopper or diner here to park but lots of locals park here during the day while working or hanging out nearby. Just be sure not to be obvious that you're not a customer because they do have security who will tow you. Don't leave your car here overnight. This option is probably most feasible for those staying at the Ala Moana hotel next door.
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