If you want to make a trip to Oahu a little more affordable then you’re in luck. Spread throughout the island are wonderful activities and attractions that are perfect for anyone traveling on a budget. From hanging loose at a world-famous beach to hiking scenic trails and admiring superb art collections, check out our recommendations for 10 free things to do on Oahu.
- As well as being a shopping center, the Royal Hawaiian Center offers free cultural classes and entertainment at The Royal Grove stage.
- Activities range from weekly hula and ukulele lessons to lei-making classes and pu’uhonua concerts.
- Just a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
- Chilling out on one of Hawaii’s most iconic beaches and revered surf spots should be at the top of your list.
- Whether playing in the waves, watching the sunset, or snapping a photo next to the Duke Kahanamoku statue, there’s always something fun to do.
- The beach is on the doorstep of the hotel.
- The history and culture of Waikiki come to life on a 2-mile walk between Kapiolani Park Beach and Kalakaua Park.
- En route, 21 surfboard markers commemorate notable people, places, and events associated with the district.
- The first marker is less than a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
- Learn about the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack at the wrecked ship USS Arizona, Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, museums, and exhibition galleries.
- Located a 30-minute drive from the hotel; free onsite parking is also available.
- Note: Fees are applicable for associated sites like the Battleship Missouri Memorial and Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.
- A treasure trove of contemporary Hawaiian art awaits inside the historic No. 1 Capitol District Building in downtown Honolulu.
- The permanent exhibition showcases works by over 100 artists, such as Ben Norris and Bumpei Akaji, which help to understand the people and customs of the islands.
- A 15-minute drive or 30-minute bus ride from the hotel.
6. Visit Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden
- Wander amid 400 acres of lush tropical vegetation set around an artificial lake and in the shadow of the Koolau Mountain Range.
- It’s a serene spot for everything from photo sessions and camping to fishing and birdwatching.
- Located a 35-minute drive from the hotel; free onsite parking is available.
- One of many free hiking trails on Oahu, this tranquil route affords incredible views of Kailua Bay and the Koolau Mountains.
- Easy to combine with a morning or afternoon at nearby Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach.
- Located in Kailua, about a 45-minute drive from the hotel.
8. Observe Turtles at Laniakea Beach
- This beach on the North Shore is the best place on the island to watch green sea turtles basking in the sunshine on pristine sands.
- Arrive from 11 am to 1 pm for the best chance of seeing the turtles.
- Located on Oahu’s North Shore, about an hour’s drive from the hotel.
9. Go Snorkeling at Shark’s Cove
- Shark’s Cove has some of the island’s clearest waters and rocky tidal pools teeming with tropical aquatic creatures.
- Fish can be seen with the naked eye, but it’s worth renting snorkeling gear for up-close interaction.
- Located in Pupukea, on the North Shore, just over an hour’s drive from the hotel.
- Few waves are more iconic and lauded by surfers around the world than the perfect barrels of Banzai Pipeline, at Ehukai Beach Park.
- Come in winter to see pros competing at the Triple Crown of Surfing and Billabong Pipeline Masters competitions.
- On the North Shore, approximately an hour’s drive from the hotel.
It’s not necessary to spend a fortune to enjoy Oahu’s enticing blend of Hawaiian culture, art, food, and natural wonders. And when you stay at the Waikiki Resort Hotel, much of this and more will be a stone’s throw away.