In beautiful, but notoriously expensive, Hawaii, we find free things even cuter.
As the old saying goes, the best things in life are free. In beautiful, secluded, and notoriously expensive Hawaii, we find free things even cuter.
So we asked our 170,000 reader HAWAII Magazine Facebook ohana: What’s your favorite Hawaiian free activity? We received hundreds of suggestions, including those that were meditative and peaceful – enjoying time with family and friends, preparing fresh plumeria lei in a public beach park, and listening to the rhythmic sound of crashing waves and swaying palm trees – and active – at dawn on the body of the Waikiki -Beach strolling surfing and swimming under waterfalls.
Here are some free activities you might want to try.
# 5: scan the ocean for whales, dolphins, and turtles
A pod of spinner dolphins in front of the lanai.
Photo: Steve Jurvetson
Hawaii is dwarfed by the surrounding Pacific. The warm coastal waters are a welcome relief for migrating humpback whales (Nov-May), three species of dolphins and several species of sea turtles, including the honu (green sea turtle). It doesn’t cost anything to look out to sea and spot them (and in some cases swim near them). Some beaches are popular hangouts and you’re almost guaranteed to have a sighting – ask for a beach near you. Looking for jumping whales? Before you head out, check out this list of our readers’ favorite Hawaiian spots for whale watching.
# 4: snorkeling
If you’ve already invested in a snorkel, this free activity takes you away from the shoreline sun protection clouds and provides a window into the reign of the fins. Hawaii’s many offshore snorkeling spots are coral jungles full of fish – and thanks to the islands’ unique perch in the middle of an ocean, many of the species you spot are only found here. Wondering where to find the most spectacular underwater landscapes? Check out our readers’ favorite snorkeling spots from across the state.
# 3: Just be
Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Max Wanger.
Who says you have to walk around to do all the things and see all the sights in order to have a good time in Hawaii? Sometimes it’s best to just stay still and watch. People watch, smell the tropical flowers, throw their feet in a hammock and let the tropical trade winds rock them.
# 2: Watch a sunset or sunrise
A sunset over Honolulu Harbor.
There are people who would say Hawaii has the most spectacular sunsets in the world. Don’t let a coral and gold sky go by without taking it in and making your friends jealous with a photo tagged #nofilter. The views are especially beautiful from one of our readers’ five favorite places in Hawaii to watch a sunset.
# 1: beach
Waikiki is a popular beach for swimming and stretching on the sand.
Hawaii has an Open Beach Policy that requires developers and county governments to provide free public access to sandy beaches across the state. Thanks to this, the possibilities for lounge spots by the sea are seemingly endless. Feel the sand between your toes, hear the waves, and dive in when the moment moves you from what you consider your own. Here are our readers’ latest favorite beaches for swimming, lounging, and surfing.