1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

101 Free Things to Do on Oahu - Page 3

Nature and Adventure


  • Enjoy one of the many great hikes on Oahu including these three favorite hikes of our Honolulu Guide, Tara Zirker.

  • Tour the Waikiki Aquarium and discover the marine life of the Hawaiian waters and the South Pacific.*

  • Snorkel among the bright colored reef fish of Hanauma Bay and look for Hawaii's state fish, humuhumunukunukuapuaa.*

  • Meet the komoda dragon and other inhabitants of the Honolulu Zoo.*

  • Race through the "World's Largest Maze" at Dole Plantation on the way to the North Shore and afterward enjoy their signature Dole Whip.*

  • Keep your eyes open for humpback whales off Makapu'u on Oahu's South Shore or Kaena Point on the northwest side of the island from November through April.

  • Boogie board at the local favorite spot in Waikiki called "The Wall" or at Waimanalo Beach on the Windward side of the island.

  • Hike to Manoa Falls beneath the canopy of the tropical rainforest.

  • Count the waterfalls along Highway 3 after a beautiful refreshing rain.

  • Take a driving tour of Oahu's Leeward Coast, the undiscovered (by most tourists) coast of Oahu.

  • Hike to the top of Diamond Head, Hawaii's most famous landmark.*

  • Sit under a tree at Kakaako Waterfront Park and watch the ships and surfers go by or roll down the hill with childlike abandon.

  • Nap under towering trees at Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu.*

  • Hike up to the Makapuu lighthouse passing Madame Pele's chair and following the dramatic cliff-lined coast.

  • Drive to the Windward side of the island to the charming towns of Kailua and Lanikai to discover why soft white sand of these beaches makes them two of the world's best beaches over and over again according to Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach.

  • Visit the Oceanarium Restaurant at Pacific Beach Hotel, where an incredible three-story, 280,000-gallon saltwater fish tank holds hundreds of Hawaii's tropical fish.

  • Swim alongside Hawaiian green sea turtles (honu) in front of the Sheraton Waikiki, at Turtle Bay Resort or at many of Oahu's 139 beaches.

  • Wear reef shoes and in low tide walk to Goat Island to explore the tide pools teeming with life.

  • Hike the Maunawili Trail on the Pali trail.

  • Pick wild ginger, hibiscus and plumeria along the side of the road and wear them in your hair.

  • Watch the Friday night sail boat races from Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park.

  • Feel the awesome power of Waimea Bay in the winter months as you watch the magnificent winter waves, and in the summer as you swim in the calm turquoise waters.

  • Explore the knee-deep tide pools and the wonders of the snorkeling of Shark's Cove, named for its shape not its inhabitants.

  • Build sand castles for fun family competition or watch as the University of Manoa's School of Architecture hold their sand castle building contest in February.

  • View world-class surfing competitions at Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach or Waimea Bay on the North Shore.

  • Watch the sunset from high atop Tantalus as Honolulu city lights begin to twinkle in the dusk.

  • Watch the windsurfers at Kailua Beach or Diamond Head look out.

  • Enjoy views from Magic Island of boats and outrigger canoes with Diamond Head and Waikiki as the backdrop.

  • Feel the sea spray from the blast of the Halona Blow Hole, just around the bend from Sandy Beach.

  • Watch the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa wildlife specialists feed the animals, including the hotel's very own penguins and flamingos.

  • Take a walk along the beach at sunrise and see the ocean come to life with early morning surfers and swimmers.

  • Hike or picnic at St. Louis Heights (Waahila State) Park.

  • See the daredevil hang gliders make their way off Makapu'u Point.

  • Hike along the many trails through the bright green scalloped cliffs of the Pali.

  • Trek up to the summit of Koko Head at sunset for sweeping views of the South Shore.

  • Keep your eyes and ears out for Hawaii's colorful birds in Kapiolani Park, Moanalua Gardens and other parks throughout the island of Oahu.

  • Drive into the heart of Manoa Valley and hike along the trails of the Lyon Arboretum.

  • Catch a ride on an outrigger canoe with the Waikiki beach boys.*

  • See Oahu from the ocean aboard a catamaran sunset cruise off the beach of Waikiki.*

  • Hike above the leeward side along the Aiea Heights Loop Trail overlooking Pearl Harbor.

  • Learn about the different varieties of pineapple at the Dole Varietal Garden located outside of Wahiawa.

  • Find the four Wizard Stones on Waikiki Beach and learn about the legend behind them.

  • Pick plumeria or gardenia flowers for your hair off the side of the road.

*under $10 per person

    Please note that while we try to keep this list updated, items included in this list, first published in 2003, may have changed or closed entirely.

    Things on Oahu are constantly changing which is why the island is a wonderful place for repeat visitors. If you notice something that no longer exists or no longer takes place, please drop me an email at gohawaii@aboutguide.com.

    ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.