There’s no doubt about it: Oahu activities provide endless ways to play from sun-up to sun-down. Some things to do can be pricey, while others are budget-friendly (read: awesome). To discover my picks for Oahu activities that will let you keep your budget intact, read on.
Diamond Head State Monument
Visitors will want to explore the Diamond Head State Monument. This area encompasses 475 acres and is highlighted by a massive long-dormant crater. The trail to the summit of the Diamond Head State Monument is known as Summit Trail and although the trail is less than a mile, it is a steep and strenuous climb. However, it also worth the effort as the reward at the top is a breathtaking view of Waikiki Beach and the Pacific Ocean. There is a $5 entrance fee per car or $1 per person for pedestrians.
The Bishop Museum is a historic attraction paying homage to the ancient Hawaiians and the lives of the Hawaiian nobility. Exhibits featured emphasize cultures across Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia, as well as Hawaiian art, sport figures, prehistoric times and Hawaii’s natural environment. A planetarium show and lava-melting demonstration are also available. General admission is $19.95.
The Honolulu Zoo is another budget-friendly attraction with an admission fee of $14. Visitors will get an up-close look at exotic animals, including komodo dragons, orangutans, elephants, primates, several African species and many others.
The great Iolani Palace, located in Honolulu, is the only royal palace on U.S. soil. Tours of the living quarters are available, as are special exhibits dedicated to the photos, artifacts and memorabilia pertaining to Hawaiian royalty. General admission is $21.75 for a guided tour, $14.75 for an audio tour and $7 to view the galleries only.
Pearl Harbor provides several authentic and interesting tours for visitors who are looking for an in-depth look at WWII. You can visit the Arizona Memorial, a national monument that marks the final resting place of almost 1,200 crewmen of the USS Arizona battleship which sank after being attacked by Japanese forces for free. An audio tour for $7.50. The Battleship Missouri Memorial, the site of Japan’s unconditional surrender to Allied Forces in 1945, offers guided and self-guided tours. General admission is $25. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, located in an authentic WWII sub, features several special exhibits, including one dedicated to WWII servicemen lost during the war. General admission is $15. Aeronautic enthusiasts will want to check out the Pacific Aviation Museum, where guests can explore what life was like during the Pearl Harbor attach and try their hand at “piloting” six aircraft simulators. General admission is $25 and the Aviator’s Tour is $35.
For an up close look at marine life, a stop at the Waikiki Aquarium is in order.Located on the shoreline of Waikiki Beach, next to a living reef and across from Kapiolani Park, the aquarium has more than 500 exhibits. Families will have fun exploring this attraction for only $12/adults and $5/children.
For fresh-from-the-ground pineapple, visit the Dole Plantation. The frequent tourist stop is free to visit, but for a full tour there is a small $5 fee for adults and $4.25 for children. To access the world’s largest maze, which perfectly has a pineapple at its center, the cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children. There is also a Pineapple Express train, costing $8 for adults and $6 for children, that choo-choos along for a 20-minute ride. A delicious, world-famous DoleWhip (a frozen pineapple treat) can also be purchased for only $4.25.
With so many budget-friendly Oahu activities, planning affordable Hawaii vacations is easier than ever.
Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Oahu to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.