A vacation to Hawaii doesn’t have to break the bank. Besides hitting the beaches and hiking trails, you can find many things do for free on Oahu. Here are our favorite sights to see and places to visit.
1. Find tranquility at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden. A 30-minute drive northeast from Waikiki will take you to the peaceful beauty of this 400-acre park. Located on the lush Windward Coast, the botanical garden is a perfect place to escape from the bustling city. Explore hundreds of plant species, walking trails leading to a 32-acre lake, picnic areas and botanical library.
2. Visit a unique piece of WWII history at Pearl Harbor. This National Historic Landmark is located in Central Oahu, about 30 minutes from Waikiki, and offers narrated tours, gallery exhibits and knowledgeable volunteers who are eager to share stories.
3. See the vibrant murals in Honolulu’s trendy neighborhood. Artists from around the world hit the streets of Kakaako for the annual Pow Wow Hawaii, leaving every corner of this up-and-coming area bursting with unique and colorful murals. Take a stroll through the neighborhood to admire the art, then stop by a local coffee shop or get a taste of Honolulu’s breweries.
4. Catch a performance at Ala Moana Center. The world’s largest open-air shopping center puts on a variety of fashion, music, cultural and community events. From Hawaiian music and keiki (children) hula to fashion shows and live bands, you can enjoy Hawaii’s local talents in between shopping.
5. Watch the fireworks in Waikiki. Every Friday night, the Hilton Hawaiian Village, hosts a spectacular fireworks show. The show starts at 7:45pm, so come early and grab a seat on the beach fronting the hotel. During the summer (June-August), the show begins at 8:00pm.