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Top 12 Free Things to do on Oahu, Hawaii- Part 1 of 2

By Samantha Taki

My sister and brother-in-law were getting ready to head off to Oahu, Hawaii to celebrate their 25th anniversary, so I thought I would do some research and find a few free things for them to do.  Gene and I have been to Maui, but never been to Oahu.  I have to say I am very envious of her right now, however  I am waiting  with bated breath to hear what they liked the most on their trip.  lol. In the meantime, here are the first 6 of my top 12 free things I would like to see and do if we were heading to Oahu. (in no particular order).  Check below for a link to Part 2. 

1. Waikiki Beach

This famous streak of beach dotting the island’s southwest coastline of Hawaii is near many of the best hotels on Oahu. Did you know that the first hotel, the Moana Surfrider, was built on its shores in 1901? Today the beach hosts many events a year, including surf competitions, outdoor performances, hula dancing and outrigger canoe races. Along this stretch of white sand beach are some popular areas as Fort DeRussy Beach, Kuhio Beach, and San Souci Beach. These are all great for swimming, snorkeling, and learning to surf. This is also a great place to just relax and maybe gaze at majestic Diamond Head peak in the distance.

2. Nuuanu Pali

This section of the windward cliff (aka Pali) of the Koʻolau Mountain, located at the head of Nuʻuanu Valley, has a panoramic view of the windward (northeast) coast of Oahu. According to some articles I have read, people say that as you are driving up the Pali Highway through tall trees and dense forests to get to the lookout, you’ll see that the city disappears and the tranquil beauty of Hawaii’s natural landscape emerges. All I know is Nuuanu Pali looks and sounds amazing.

3. Hawaii State Capitol

As I have stated on several other posts, Gene and I are on a quest to hit all 50 state capitol buildings in the U.S. Thus, this is must see for us. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s free, lol. The architecture of the Hawaii State Capitollooks really cool. Apparently there is a rotunda area, which is open to the public, and allows a view into the Legislative chambers where you can see the tall, sloped walls. There is also a statue of Hawaii’s beloved Saint Damien who administered to the sick people of Kalaupapa on Molokai.

4. Take a Hike

The two that sound the most intriguing to me are the Ehukai Bunker Hike and Manoa Falls. 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. I love waterfalls and will have to remember this for a future trip to Oahu.

5. Hula and Torch Lighting Show

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights Kuhio Beach Park offers free hula performances as well as a torch lighting ceremony accompanied with authentic Hawaiian music. The show lasts about an hour. They suggest if you’re going, you may want to bring a towel or a beach mat as there is only lawn seating. Definitely something for the whole family to enjoy.

6. Ala Moana Center

After a day, or days, at the beach you may be ready for a break. If that’s the case, a lot of people head to the Ala Moana Center.  After all , you have to go shop for souvenirs, right? This open air oasis is the largest shopping mall in Hawaii and is consistently ranked among the top ten most successful malls in the United States. There are over 290 stores and over 80 dining options. One unique feature of the center is that they have a shopping trolley that provides convenient transportation between the Center and 10 locations in Waikiki every 10 minutes during Center hours.

Well, there are the first 6 of my top 12 free things I would like to do if we were heading to Oahu. Here is a link to my post Top 12 Free Thing to do on Oahu-Part-2.  Enjoy and Mahalo.


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