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!
- Hiking: Best things to wear hiking + NOT
- Water sports: Best things to wear snorkeling + NOT
- Cruise: Best outfits for cruise formal night
- Travel misery: How to prevent seasickness
- Local travel: Best way to travel local (and save money!)
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.
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!
Best shoes for your active vacationHit search at the top for any of these items to get more variety on Amazon through these affiliate links!
- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary traction on the trails. Also see these travel sandals.
- Beach: These types of beach shoes. For beach walking, wading in the water, and rocky shorelines, they can prevent cuts from hidden rocks or when bumping into coral reef.
see more: what to wear hiking - what to wear snorkeling - what to wear on a cruise formal night
Best things to pack for active travel- First-time snorkelers love full-face snorkeling masks.
- These UV protection shirts are a hit so you don't have to keep re-applying sunscreen and don't have to worry as much about getting sunburn!
- These types of small backpacks are perfect for a day out so you can carry essentials... and snacks!
- And these popular packing cubes can be a life-saver when you're traveling!
Don't get your valuables stolen when you travel- On city excursions: This neck pouch that tons of people love. It makes it harder for money to be stolen, and RFID-blocking feature stops thieves from scanning your credit card info when they are close to you.
- At the beach: This type of pouch that you can easily take your wallet in the water with you, instead of leaving on the beach.