Cheap Fun Around Honolulu

Diamond Head

View from Diamond Head.

I was just reminiscing about our trip to Hawaii in January (except for the part in the emergency room) and it occurred to me that I had neglected to post my tips for cheap fun around Honolulu. So, here they are:

$5.50 – $6 Climb Diamond Head. Admission is $1 per person and you can take the bus for $2.25 each way or pay $5 to park a car. Then you have to climb rather a lot (though I’ve seen grandmothers do it, and small children in flip-flops) for a spectacular view of Honolulu.

$4 Go floating at Waikiki. Buy a $3 air mattress or inflatable tube from any ABC store (they’re everywhere) and the store will inflate it for you for less than $1. Then head over to Waikiki Beach and get your float on. (If you don’t require artificial flotation, this experience is free.)

$4 Chill beachside at the Hilton. Last I knew, the pineapple juice refills were free at the Hilton Hawaiian Village poolside bar, with a great view of the beach. Sometimes there’s live music, too. 

$12 – $25 Snorkel at Hanauma Bay. Entrance to the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, which offers excellent and gentle snorkeling suitable for beginners,  is $7.50 and the bus fare is $2.25 each way. Snorkel gear will cost you about another $12, if you rent it there. If you don’t want to take the public bus, Hanauma Bay Snorkel Adventure will pick you up at any Waikiki hotel and provide gear for $17, not including the $7.50 admission fee.

$0 Waikiki isn’t just about the beach. Head a few blocks back to the Ali Wai Canal, an excellent place for a stroll at dusk, when the kayaks and sculls are out on the water.


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