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While Hawaii is always fun, it’s not always inexpensive. However, there are lots of free things to do throughout Oahu if you know where to look. From beautiful beaches to spectacular hikes, we can help you make the most of your trip… and your dollar.
Here are a few of our favorite things to do that won’t break your budget:
Pearl Harbor National Memorial
North of downtown Honolulu, the Pearl Harbor National Memorial is an unforgettable piece of history. It’s home to the USS Arizona Memorial and it’s free for 1,300 guests everyday. The USS Arizona Memorial gives away 1,300 free tickets on a first come, first served basis. You should plan on arriving as soon as the park opens at 7 AM for the best chance of getting one. It’s a long wait, but well worth it.
Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific
The National Cemetery is a solemn experience and has been opened to the public since July 19, 1949. Burial at the cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces who meet the minimum active duty service requirements. The cemetery stretches across much of Punchbowl Crater and contains several memorial tributes.
Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail
Some Oahu hiking trails cost money for entry or parking, but the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail is totally free. At 2 miles, the trail is short but perfect for spotting whales or bird watching. Since it’s free, parking can be tricky though. [A rideshare service like holoholo is a good way to avoid this]. Also, the trail has no shade, water fountains, or bathrooms… so come prepared!
When it was built in 1926, the Aloha Tower was the tallest building in Honolulu, but it remains an iconic tourist attraction. The tower is still a welcoming beacon to tourists with a four-sided clock tower inscribed with “Aloha.” Today the Aloha Tower Marketplace is a mixed-use space and part of Hawaii Pacific University. The top-floor observation deck offers incredible 360-degree views of Honolulu.
Hawaii State Art Museum
The Hawaii State Art Museum is free to all and a great place to wander around. The museum blends traditional and contemporary art from Hawaii’s multicultural communities, which is really the best way to represent Hawaii. Traditionally, the Hawaii State Art Museum has free events open to the public, but has been closed recently due to COVID-19 restrictions.
While these spots may be free, getting to them is not. Reserving an Oahu tour is a great way to combine several locations for a reasonable price. You can also use a local rideshare service like holoholo to explore the city at a bargain.