5 Must-Do Free Experiences On Your Vacation in Oahu

5 Must-Do Free Experiences On Your Vacation in Oahu

With hotel fares going up in Waikiki, people are little hesitant to travel to Hawaii. However, not expensive requires a lot of money to enjoy what Hawaii has to offer. For those people who have tight budget on their vacation to Oahu, here are 5 must-do free experiences when you travel to the island of Oahu. Yes, indeed, there are some free activities that will brow your mind!

Chase the sunrise at Magic Island

Diamond Head Sunrise
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 米田賢一 used under CC BY 3.0

There are two types of people when they are on vacation. One type of people enjoy sleeping in when they are on vacation and the other type of people like to get up early before the sun rises to get an early start of a day. If you are one of those people who want to enjoy your vacation to the maximum from the sunrise to the sunset, you should chase the sunrise at Magic Island. Of course, there are plenty of other places great for catching the sunrise, but this location is perfect for seeing the sunrise coming up from just the corner of symbolic landscape of Oahu, Diamond Head. Magic Island is a tip of Ala Moana Beach Park so if you like to do morning exercise, you can run, walk, swim, or even get on a surf board there and witness this breathtaking sunrise off of Diamond Head.

Friday fireworks in Waikiki

Waikiki Fireworks
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Scott Cameron used under CC BY 3.0

People in Hawaii love fireworks. For New Year to July 4th celebrations, you see many beautiful fireworks light up the sky and the ocean of Honolulu. However, you do not need to wait till New Year or July 4th, but every Friday at 7:45pm, there are fireworks from Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach. It is just for few minutes, but if you are in Waikiki or Ala Moana area, you will be able to see beautiful showcase of fireworks every Friday. If you have a good view of the ocean from the hotel room, you can view the fireworks from your hotel room, but if it is not the case, it is a good idea to get a spot on Waikiki Beach, Magic Island, Ala Moana Beach Park where you can see spectacular view of fireworks on any Friday evenings.

Witness the world best surfers at Bonsai Pipeline

Escaping the jaws of a Banzai Pipeline wave
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Fosterand sons used under CC BY-SA 4.0

During winter where huge winter smell brings gigantic waves to North Shore Oahu, there are many surf competitions take place at Bonsai Pipeline, famous North Shore beach. Many top world surfing super stars all gather at this beach and catch gigantic waves, which are both thrilling and entertaining. You do not need to be a surfer to enjoy this ultimate entertainment of nature and people. Once you see the waves, you know the surfers are doing incredible things exhibiting their supreme athleticism. Surprisingly, these surf competitions are open to public and free. You can simply spend all day watching incredibly talented surfers catching rather intimidating enormous waves after waves. These competitions are held accordingly to the weather so check the weather report, find out wave conditions before heading to the event.

Hike around the island of Oahu

Lanikai Pillbox Hike
Source: Photo by Flickr user Deb Nystrom used under CC BY 2.0

In 2015, I spend a total of three and half months in Hawaii and one of the things which became a new passion was hiking trails around Oahu. Except for Diamond Head, it is all free to hike around Oahu so depending on your physical health and hiking level, you can pick up your sneakers, put your sunscreen on, and bring a water bottle and head out to Hawaii’s wildness. Such hiking trails are free and perfect for beginners with great views: the Pillbox hike in Kailua, Kuli’Ou’Ou Ridge Trail, Kokohead, and Makapu’u. (Even Diamond Head only costs 1 USD for walk-in and 5 USD for dive-in).

There are many hiking trails all around the island so before you head out, make sure to read about each hiking trail so that you know the level and the duration of the hiking trail you are going. There are many great hiking trails for beginners, but some are for experienced hikers so you need to know which trail fits your expectations. Many of the hiking trails do not have a restroom nor did any stores for drinks so you want to come prepare. Some local hikers may hike in flip flops, but you want to wear comfortable sneakers to venture into the wildness.

Enjoy the crystal-clear water

A Fine Day at Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, HI
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user incidencematrix used under CC BY 2.0

Of course, when you are in Hawaii, even you are not big in swimming or surfing, everyone has to have at least a day of beach time. Just relaxing on the beach is free and going underwater in crystal-clear water around the island is free too! You can go to Waikiki Beach if you are staying in Waikiki because it is so convenient, but if you want little quieter beach time, you just need to travel little away from Waikiki and you will find beautiful ocean all to yourself. In such beautiful Hawaii nature, all you need is yourself. Of course, by spending little bit on getting rental surf board and kayak is great too, but you do not need to spend anything to still enjoy what Hawaii has to offer.

Smart way to maximize your vacation in Hawaii

Traveling and staying in Hawaii can be expensive. However, knowing few activities, places, and events that are free would be helpful to maximize your vacation in Hawaii. Not everything has to cost you a lot of money to enjoy what Hawaii has to offer. It could be right around the corner from where you are staying or you may need to venture out in the wild, but there are plenty of great free activities that you can do to enjoy your time in Hawaii.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Sayaha Aida has been traveling internationally since the early age of 15. She has lived internationally in Japan, England, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the United States (Miami and San Francisco)...Read more

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