10 Best Things to See and Do on Oahu, Free of Charge

There couldn't be a better place for finding free things to see and do than in Hawaii, and Oahu sure does deliver. One of the great things about traveling to Oahu is that once there, visitors can spend the majority of there time doing things for free, that is if they like the outdoors. Because it shouldn't come as a surprise that the best things in life are free, and outside. Hiking, beaches, snorkeling and surf viewing are some of the best things to do and they're all free.

Beaches may be the biggest lure to Oahu and it has an abundance of amazing ones. Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore and nearby Waimea Bay are two of the best beaches on the island. They both offer fine white sand, beautiful sunsets, and in the winter, front row seats to some of the world's best surf.

Also on the North Shore is a fun hike that climbs quite steep and then traces the inland cliff east, ending at a WWI bunker ideal for sitting an taking in the panoramic view. The Ehukai Bunker Hike is about 1.5 miles round trip and small children can do it too. A much easier hike is Manoa Falls. This is more of a walk through the forest, ending at the falls.

Snorkeling Hanauma Bay will be by far the best snorkeling experience on the island. Since the reef is a marine preserve, no fishing is permitted and the underwater life is thriving with colorful tropical fish.

Ka'ena Point
Photo courtesy of Andy Jou


Ka'ena Point is a great place for a quick day trip. Although it's on the westernmost tip of Oahu, it's something that fits in with a visit to the North Shore. Day trippers can reach the point by foot from Mokuleia on the east side of the...  Read More

Nuuanu Pali
Photo courtesy of ChanStudio/iStock


At a lofty point in the Koolau Range (the mountains that divide windward Oahu from the rest of the island) on the east side, is a lookout that offers outstanding views of the eastern landscape. Legend has it that, in 1795, King Kamehameha I and...  Read More



What could be more exciting than swimming with sharks? Still thinking of an answer? There's probably not anything better. With North Shore Shark Adventures, the original Oahu shark tour company, you have a choice of two tours beginning at 7 a.m....  Read More



Commemorating one of Waikiki's most famous native sons, this bronze statue provides the four-time Olympic athlete an eternal presence on his beloved beach. A champion swimmer, Duke also helped spread the popularity of surfing in America and was...  Read More

Ehukai Bunker Hike
Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt


Located on the North Shore across from famous Pipeline, the Ehukai Bunker Hike is a beautiful jungle experience with a great reward of a gorgeous view at the end. The Ehukai Bunker Hike is a hidden treasure located right across from the...  Read More



Set on Oahu's windward coast, this gorgeous beach offers incredible waters and the picturesque presence of two small, offshore islands. About a mile long, the beach varies in width, although its entire stretch provides soft sands and beautiful...  Read More

Manoa Falls
Photo courtesy of aoltravel


A beautiful hike leads to gorgeous Manoa Valls in the lush Manoa Valley. The trail is about three quarters of a mile near a rocky stream and comes to an end at the falls. The falls are calming and intriguing, but it's advised to not swim in the...  Read More



Deceptively beautiful, this scenic cove – home to some of the planet's most unforgiving surf – can mean death to naive swimmers. That is, in winter, anyway, when the waves churn up and some of surfing's best talents take to the sea to prove...  Read More

Snorkel Hanauma Bay
Photo courtesy of amazing tourism


Created from a collapsed volcano crater, this bay is protected and calm, ideal for snorkeling, as you'll see from the crowds around you. The snorkeling is truly amazing, since the preserve protects the wildlife and creates a favorite place for...  Read More



This North Shore beach is a favorite with folks who follow the surfing circuit and also for those who simply like to laze about in the sand and surf. During the summer, its two miles of white-sand shores are relatively safe, and you'll find...  Read More


Meet Jade Eckardt

Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jade has traveled the world and doesn't intend to stop, yet the Hawaiian Islands are still her favorite place. She spent seven years living on Oahu and...  More About Jade