If you and your family make it all the way out to Hawaii, it is probably going to be at least a little bit expensive (unless you have your own plane). Once you get to the island, immediately start making up for the cost of the trip by going to some of the obviously awesome Free things to do in Oahu. In addition to all of the free things that Oahu has to offer, Smart Destinations has partnered with other top travel companies to bring you exclusive Oahu Travel Deals. Learn about Oahu discount attraction passes and travel deals!
Punch In at the Punch Bowl
Dubbed the “Punchbowl” because of its unique location inside a (dormant) volcanic crater, the National Cemetery of the Pacific is definitely worthy of a visit. It might seem a little bit morbid to visit a cemetery when you are supposed to be having fun, but the Punchbowl’s one-of-a-kind setting and peaceful ambience will make have you feeling glad that you made the trip. The crater’s Hawaiian name, Puowaina, translates to “Hill of Sacrifice,” but that doesn’t keep anyone away. In fact, people will go to the Punchbowl just for the outstanding view of Honolulu that it offers. Located about a 15-minute drive from the Waikiki resorts, the Punchbowl is open from 8 am until 5:30 pm September 30 through March 1 and then from 8 am until 6:30 pm from March 2 through September 29.
See the Scenery
Oahu is full of sights, views and landscapes that look like they belong on the back of a postcard. Take in the island’s rocky coast line or scope out what some people consider to be the finest piece of oceanfront property in the world, Lanikai Beach. Of course you’ll have to make up your own mind about what to see, but attractions like Mokolii (Chinaman’s Hat), Laie Point, the Hawaiian temple at Puu O Mahuku, the town of Haleiwa, the Pali Lookout and Puu Ualakaa State Park all come highly recommended.
The best part about many of these places is that they are accessible on foot or via public transportation so you don’t need a rental car. For more information (including a map) check out this website. For more ideas about what to do, looking at an Oahu Attractions Pass is a great starting point.
Have a Hula
Head to the Kuhio Beach Hula Mound and take in a free hour-long performance with hula dances and Hawaiian performers. The show, which begins with a torch lighting and the blowing of the conch shell, is held every very Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday night, weather permitting. Although lawn seating is available, you might want to bring a towel or a beach mat. According to one Yelp reviewer, “We had a GREAT time here tonight! Got here an hour early by chance, and got to watch the sunset while securing our front-and-center seats… This was really wonderful and relatable and fun to watch – Highly recommended!” If you’re looking for more options, the Oahu Pass has got you covered.
You can save up to 55% on admission to all the top Oahu attractions and tours when you buy a Go Oahu Card by Smart Destinations. Save money and skip lines!