Oahu: Free & Cheap

Visiting the island of Oahu can be a fun experience filled with tours, ticket prices, and big adventures. However, if you know where to look, there are plenty of activities that don’t require admission fees or hefty out-of-pocket expenses.

From exploring the beaches to hiking dormant volcanoes, Oahu offers unforgettable memories without emptying your wallet.

Here are some of my favorite locations in Oahu that are free or cheap!

Map Your Travels

OAHU: FREE & CHEAP

  • Find it: Haleiwa, HI 96712
  • Cost: Free
  • Website
  • Restrooms and Showers available
  • Parking is available on the street and in the small parking lot

Rocky coastal area & tidal pools teeming with small fish for snorkeling, plus showers & restrooms.

Tip: Bring your own snorkeling gear as there are no places to rent equipment

  • Find it: 7604 Koko Head Park Rd #7602, Honolulu, HI 96825
  • Difficulty Level: Advanced
  • Cost: Free
  • No restrooms available on site

A steep hike up an abandoned railroad track on Koko Crater, with dramatic ocean & city views.

Tip: Take plenty of water as this is an intense hike

  • Find it: Makapuʻu Point Lighthouse Trail, Waimanalo, HI 96795
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate, steep paved trail to the top of the overlook
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

Natural hiking area with paved trail & overlook, ocean views, lighthouse & whale-watching potential.

  • Find it: 41-43 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, Waimanalo, HI 96795
  • Cost: Free
  • Military ID Holders can access an additional private beach area
  • Website

A lush, oceanfront park with tree-shaded campsites, beach access & mountain views.

  • Find it: Pali Highway between Honolulu and Kailua
  • Cost: Parking – $7.00 per car (Military ID for discount parking)
  • Website

Nuʻuanu Pali is a section of the windward cliff of the Koʻolau mountain located at the head of Nuʻuanu Valley on the island of Oʻahu. It has a panoramic view of the windward coast of Oʻahu.

  • Find it: 64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy. Wahiawa, Hawaii 96786
  • Cost: Visiting the shop and basic pineapple garden is FREE; Tickets are required for tours.
  • Dole Soft Serve Ice Cream: approx. $8.00 per cone

DOLE Plantation country store offers a wide variety of Dole Plantation gifts, local favorites, foods and refreshments including the world-famous Dole Soft Serve!

  • Find it: Waikiki Beach
  • Cost: Free

Walk out on the pier and look for sea turtles. You can even snorkel or swim with the sea turtles

  • Find it: Kapahulu, Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Cost: Reservations Required; Current price $5.00 per person + parking fee
  • Website

An extinct volcano with a rugged trail leading to panoramic views.

  • Find it: 2131 Kalia Rd., Waikīkī HI 96815
  • Cost: Free
  • Website
  • Find it: 1 Arizona Memorial Place, Honolulu, HI 96818
  • Cost: Free to visit but requires a $1.00 service charge to reserve tickets on Recreation.gov.

Visitors are encouraged to create and log in to their accounts before tickets are released since tickets are limited and may be reserved in their entirety in several minutes. Same-day, free tickets are no longer available at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. 

  • Find it: 526 Kawailoa Rd, Kailua, HI 96734
  • Website

Clear water, fine sand & accessible facilities make this a popular spot for aquatic activities.

  • Find it: 8483 HI-72, Honolulu, HI 96825
  • Website
  • Cost: Free
  • Find it: 49-479 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

Tiny island across from Kualoa Regional Park noted for its hat-like, conical outline.

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