Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Free stuff to do in Hawaii
(and nearly free stuff)

I'm a grad student on a budget, so I'm always on the lookout for things that are free or cheap, which is sadly rare in Hawaii.

This is going to be an ongoing list, but for now, I'll start with a few.

On Oahu:
  1. The hike to the top of Diamond Head (parking costs about $5, but you can walk in for free).
  2. Pearl Harbor's USS Arizona Memorial (though the nearby submarine USS Bowfin and the USS Missouri cost money).
  3. Hanauma Bay, go snorkeling with an amazing array of tropical fish and the occasional sea turtle (entrance is $5 but free if you're kama'aina [local resident], and the snorkeling equipment can be rented for $5 or so if you don't have our own).
  4. The self-guided Oahu tour of Lost (well, I guess this will cost for gas).
  5. Whale watching (during the winter months) from the paved trail to the lighthouse near Makapuu, the easternmost point of Oahu (from which you can see Molokai and even Maui, and supposedly the Big Island).
  6. Any state beach, as well as Waikiki.
  7. Watching tourists along Kalakaua Avenue (both the shopping district and the part that runs along the beach).
  8. The nightly fireworks display from Waikiki (and the off-shore spectacular every New Year's Eve).
  9. The Halloween Parade in Waikiki, Honolulu's answer to Mardi Gras (wild costumes that are inappropriate for children). 
On Kauai:
  1. Kauai Coffee Company (free samples and a free tour). I was expecting a bit of a pricey tourist trap — cough! Dole Pineapple Plantation on Oahu cough! cough! — but this was the real deal and all free.
  2. Waimea Canyon.
  3. Sprouting Horn blowhole.
  4. Wailua Falls, the double waterfall shown in the opening of Fantasy Island.
  5. Any state beach.
  6. The hike along the Na Pali coast, starting at Haena Beach Park and going west. 
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1 comment:

  1. Good to see you finally got over to Kauai. The Kauai Coffee Company is a good place to visit for those who like coffee. The snorkeling is great to over at Haena Beach where the Kalalau Trail starts.

    I would also recommend visiting Koke'e State Park as another free thing to do. The views of the Na Pali Coast are awesome and the hiking along the cliffs and into the Alakai Swamp are great. Just hiking in general on the island is free and some of the best in Hawaii. Taking in views of the Kilauea Lighthouse are also free though if you want to walk up to the lighthouse itself there is a fee. Also the swinging bridge in Hanapepe is free to visit as well as Art Night in the village every Friday night is well worth checking out as well.

    I hope you enjoyed your trip.

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