On this page you’ll find lots of budget-friendly things to do in Oahu. With the exception of a couple of the activities, the vast majority of things to do listed on this page are free.
That’s because almost all of Oahu’s hikes and beaches are FREE!
This list focuses on outdoor travel and culture travel. So if you’re an outdoor enthusiast with an interest in learning about Hawaiian culture, there’s a good chance you’ll find things on this list that you’ll want to do!
Of course, this is not an extensive list in any way! But with so many things to do in Oahu, it can give you a starting point in your research. Use it as a guide for planning the best Hawaii vacation ever!
OAHU MAP INDEX
The Oahu map below is an index of planning tips you can find on this website.
You’ll find the following categories on the map:
It’s an interactive map of Oahu. So click on an icon to find out what’s there, and you’ll also find a link to take you to more planning details! Give it a try!
If you’re on mobile, be sure to explore it from a desktop or laptop too! If you’re coming to this page from Pinterest, it doesn’t work well in the Pinterest app, so be sure to open it up in your web browser or Google Maps app.
If you prefer a list index instead of a map index, see this list for Oahu.
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cruise outfits: formal night | what NOT to pack for a cruise | what to wear in hawaii
what to wear running | what to wear hiking | what to wear snorkeling
EXPLORE OAHU BY REGION
- East Oahu
- North Shore
- Central Oahu
Tips for hiking in Hawaii
Read this before heading out for any hiking trails in Oahu!
Hawaii State Parks
See the official Hawaii State Parks website for more ideas on where to go hiking in Oahu and also for picnic sites. This is a list of state parks and state historic sites.
Hawaii Trail and Access System
If you’re an experienced hiker looking for longer trails, have a look here for more trails with a map and list maintained by the State of Hawaii’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
Nearby: Waikiki snorkeling
Nearby: Hanauma Bay
Nearby: Byodo-In Temple
Nearby: Koko Head Hike
Nearby: Duke Kahanamoku Statue
HAWAIIAN CULTURE IN OAHU
Polynesian Cultural Center, North Shore
Waikiki Hula Show, Waikiki
Keaiwa Heiau, Central Oahu
Puu O Mahuka Heiau, North Shore
Duke Kahanamoku Statue, Waikiki
Kauhale Ancient Living Site, North Shore
Kukaniloko Birthstones, Central Oahu
Byodo-In Temple, East Oahu
A heiau is an ancient Hawaiian temple
Nearby: Dole Plantation
Nearby: Puu Maelieli Trail
GETTING AROUND OAHU
HAWAII PACKING LIST
Hawaii Packing List: What to pack for Hawaii
Not your ordinary packing list!
HAPPY OAHU VACATION PLANNING!
What is GOA? Goa is a beach state in India, much like Hawaii is to the United States. And just as Hawaii is seen as a vacation destination, Goa is a popular vacation destination too! There is talk between the Hawaii state government and the Goa state government to become sister states. This means that the two states will work together to promote common goals for purposes of economic and cultural exchanges. You can read more about these efforts from Hawaii’s U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard’s office HERE and HERE. You can read more about what it means to be sister states HERE. ALOHA!
More things to maybe pack for active travel!- This popular water bottle that'll keep your drinks cold, and it'll keep you hydrated and SAFE!
- OR (since that's heavy and $$$) this travel-friendly water bottle that you can fold up in your bag when it's in transit
- One of these types of chargers so you don't have to worry about your phone dying in the airport or out on the hiking trails
- These types of small backpacks so you can have plenty of snacks with you for energy!
- And these popular packing cubes can help you quickly find everything that you packed away in your suitcase luggage set! ;)
Your footwear is important too!- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary support and traction on the trails.
- Beach: These types of beach shoes. For beach walking and wading in the water, they can prevent cuts from hidden rocks under the sand or when bumping into coral reef.
see more: what to wear hiking - what to wear snorkeling
And for your beach outfits... and more!
- clothes with UV sun protection
- summer dress
- swimwear, swimsuits + cover-ups --