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7 Apr 2023
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Travel Tips

Best Free Activities For Your Hawaii Vacation

Visiting Hawai’i can be one of the most unforgettable and beautiful vacations in the world. If you don’t plan carefully, however, it can also cost more than anticipated. 

The good news is that some of the most fun activities in Hawai’i are free. Here are 6 of the many free activities and attractions you can enjoy on the islands.

Let’s dive in!

Enjoy a Beach Day

Hawai’i is world famous for having some of the most breathtaking beaches anywhere. Not only are the beaches incredible, but every beach is a little different from the last… and beautifully unique. What’s more, all beaches in Hawai’i are open to the public. With the exception of certain Federal Government areas, there are technically no private beaches in Hawai’i. Since there are so many options for your Hawai’i beach day, we narrowed it down to two of the beaches you shouldn’t miss:  

Kaanapali Beach on Maui isn’t just gorgeous, but also famous for cliff diving. While we don’t recommend trying it yourself, it’s worth visiting just to watch the experienced jumpers make their daily dive off 16-foot Puu Kekaa in tribute to the last independent king of Maui, King Kahekili. Kaanapali is also known for golf, snorkeling, and the better-than-average chance that you'll see breaching whales off the coastline during the cooler months. 

Waimea Bay on Oahu is one of those coastal spots that you should consider spending a whole day exploring. While its location on Oahu’s North Shore makes it one of the world’s top surfing destinations, its beach, and waves are just the tip of the wonders Waimea holds.

Snorkeling and diving are some of Waimea Bay’s key attractions during the warmer months. You can also head next door to Waimea Valley, which features one of Hawaii’s most iconic waterfalls, a botanical garden, and a cultural center where you can learn more about the islands and Hawaii’s native heritage. 

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Visit a Park

While there are plenty of parks to visit in Hawai’i, there’s one park you have to see if you’re visiting the Big Island. Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is home to Kilauea and Mauna Loa, two of the world’s most active volcanoes, as well as a plethora of unique geological features. 

As these two volcanoes are active shield volcanoes, it’s usually safe to view their lava flows and lakes during an eruption. Since visitor safety is always the park’s first priority, be sure to check for any park closures and instructions about where the designated eruption viewing areas are before you go.

Watch a Sunset

Some of the most colorful and beautiful sunsets on the planet can be witnessed on Hawaii’s beaches. On Maui, Black Rock is a top spot for sunset seekers. 

And the two-mile stretch of white sand at Kauai’s Hanalei Bay is another excellent spot to see the ocean, sky, and sand dyed in glorious scarlet, orange, yellow, and purple by the setting sun. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, plan to spend at least one golden hour at the beach watching the sun’s daily pageantry. 

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Take a Hike

Hiking is one of the most popular ways to immerse yourself in Hawaii’s natural beauty and every island has some outstanding hiking opportunities. There’s nothing quite as magical as hiking to a waterfall, which you can easily do here in Hawai’i. 

A hike on Oahu’s Manoa Falls Trail will lead you through an otherworldly landscape where lush plants and tropical trees are home to exotic birds. The destination of this easy hike is 150-foot-tall Manoa Falls, which is often wrapped in a rainbow.

Can’t get enough of chasing waterfalls and rainbows? On the Big Island of Hawai’i you’ll find another easy hike to the aptly named Rainbow Falls in the Wailuku River. Conveniently located in Hilo, the best chance to see the broad waterfall adorned in rainbows is in the early morning, so plan your hike accordingly. 

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Visit Waimea Canyon

One of the most incredible places to witness Hawaii’s flora and fauna is Waimea Canyon on Kauai. In fact, Waimea Canyon is so unique that it’s also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Nearly 14 miles long and a mile wide, Waimea Canyon offers multiple overlooks, hikes, and waterfalls, depending on whether you want a scenic drive along Waimea Canyon Road or you choose to hike. 

Adjacent to Waimea Canyon State Park you’ll find Kokeʻe State Park and its hiking trails and natural history museum. When you need a break from exploring, bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow. 

Go Birding

Hawaii’s birds represent some of the greatest variety of avian life, as well as bird evolution and adaptations in the world. In addition to many bird species that are only found in Hawai’i, the islands are home to African game birds, European songbirds, and North American Waterbirds that have traveled across the Pacific over the years. 

To find out why many regard Hawai’i as a birding paradise, spend some time on the Kipukapuaulu Trail (Bird Park) in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park or the Kula Forest Reserve on East Maui. Both parks are home to the native Hawaiian Honeycreeper, a brightly colored bird with the most enchanting canary-like song. 

Visit Hawai’i Yourself! 

If you prefer to minimize your spending and maximize the memory-making while on vacation, Hawai'i is the place for you. There’s so much more to do than we could cover in just one post, so feel free to get creative or discuss more options with the experts at Hawai’i Life

Whether you prefer scenic drives, endless beach days, or adventures off the beaten path, we can help you find a vacation property that is a short walk or drive to all the free activities and attractions on your Hawai’i itinerary. Our luxury vacation properties are the ideal way to enjoy a private vacation in Hawai’i. Contact us for more information about rental opportunities and let us help you start planning your perfect vacation!