Hang Ten in Hawaii (Oahu) for $10 or Less
Photo by: Salty Glass Co.
As those who live here know, there is a price for paradise. And while you’ll definitely want to splurge on a few activities – like a luau or learning to long board – there are a few ways you can get the most out of your Hawaii vacation without breaking the bank.
Whether it’s getting lost in the world’s largest maze or making new fish friends, unique and affordable activities are available to visitors of all ages — you just have to know where to look! Here are some of our favorite activities to do on Oahu that will cost you less than a Hamilton:
– Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay State Park: While almost all beaches in Hawaii are free and open to the public, not all have the vibrant marine life found at Hanauma Bay. Since it was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967, Hanauma Bay has welcomed an estimated one million visitors per year – finned company not included.
If you’re looking to see a different side of Honolulu, snap on a snorkel and splash on over. Admission at Hanauma Bay State Park is $7.50 and parking is $1. If you don’t have your own, snorkel gear is available to rent for $20. The bay is closed to the public every Tuesday to allow the fish a free day to feed. Check out our Hanauma Bay Tour that includes transportation too.
– Picnic at Moanalua Gardens: Branch out from your traditional Hawaii activities with a visit to Moanalua Gardens — a 24-acre privately owned public park in Honolulu. Home to the Kamehameha V Cottage, the annual Prince Lot Hula Festival, and the world-famous Hitachi tree and Bodhi tree, it is the perfect place to picnic, feed the ducks, or enjoy a leisurely stroll.
Grow your love for the outdoors without breaking the bank. Admission is just $3 for out-of-state adults, and free for children age 12 and under. Don’t forget to bring a camera to snap a photo beneath the garden’s Hitachi tree — a large monkeypod with a distinctive umbrella canopy. The tree is registered as an exceptional tree with the City & County of Honolulu and is a registered corporate symbol for Japanese electronics manufacturer, Hitachi, Ltd.
– Tour the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii: March back in time with a visit to the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii. Based on the grounds of Fort DeRussy, the museum features exhibits from early Hawaiian warfare through post-annexation history all the way through World War II, the Vietnam and Korean War.
The U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii does not charge admission, but donations are accepted. You can spend your free time checking out the Gallery of Heroes, which recognizes Hawaii soldiers like General Eric K. Shinseki.
– Visit the Byodo-In Temple: Located at the foot of the Koolau Mountains in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, this non-denominational shrine is a smaller-scale replica of the over 950-year-old Byodo-In Temple in Japan.
Dedicated in 1968, today the temple welcomes people of all faiths to worship, meditate or simply soak in its beauty. The temple is well known for its three-ton brass peace bell, serene koi ponds, and lush Japanese gardens sweeping over more than two acres. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for senior citizens, and $1 for children.
– Shop the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet: Uncover unique treasures at Hawaii’s largest open-air flea market. Located just 20 minutes outside of Waikiki, the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet is open every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., and features more than 400 local merchants offering a selection of handmade items, eclectic art pieces, popular local snacks, and other unique made-in-Hawaii products. Admission is $1 per shopper. Children under age 12 are free.
– Get Lost at the Dole Plantation Maze: In 2008, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Dole Plantation’s giant Pineapple Garden Maze the worlds largest. It stretches over three acres and includes nearly two and a half miles of paths carefully constructed from more than 14,000 colorful Hawaiian plants.
And the best part — it doesn’t cost a lot to get lost. Admission is just $6 for adults and $4 for children. Looking to participate in this truly a-maze-ing experience? The Dole Plantation is just one of the stops on the Roberts Hawaii Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour too.