Let’s face it, Hawaiian vacations are expensive. I’ve had lots of people come visit me over the years who want to do Hawaii on a budget. Luckily in Hawaii, all of the beaches are completely free.

But where do you go when you’re ready to venture out beyond the beach? I’ve made a list of my favorite things to do in Hawaii that cost less than $10:

  1. Visit Pearl Harbor

    No visit to Oahu is complete without a visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. It’s one of Oahu’s most popular attractions.

    You can purchase advance tickets to Pearl Harbor up to two months in advance by clicking here. If you want to reserve tickets, don’t wait. They sell out fast!

    Tickets are free, but you have to pay a service fee of $1.50 per ticket. The park also administers 1,300 free tickets each day on a first come, first served basis. It opens at 7:00 am, and it’s a good idea to get there right at 7:00 am if you want to get same-day tickets.

  2. Eat poke at Foodland

    Hawaii is home to some world-class chefs and high-end restaurants. But, if you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive, local lunch, head over to Foodland for a poke bowl. A Hawaiian favorite, poke is raw fish, cubed and served over rice with all kinds of different dressings, usually some kind of shoyu sauce. Foodland is where the locals go for poke, and you can get a bowl of poke served over rice for $7.99.

  3. Hike Diamond Head.

    Diamond Head is another Hawaii must-do that is also inexpensive. If you drive to Diamond Head, it will cost you $5 per car. Walk-ins cost $1 per person.

    If you decided to hike Diamond Head, be sure to check out my list of 7 things to know before hiking Diamond Head.

  4. Visit a botanical garden.

    Hawaii is home to all kinds of flowers and plants, many of which have important cultural significance. The different climates here allow for a variety of plants to grow.

    These 5 botanical gardens on Oahu are either free to get into or cost $5. Many also offer free self-tours as well as guided tours.

    The Koko Crater Botanical Garden, on the eastern, drier side of the island, specializes in endangered and rare plants that grow in drier climates. You will find African & Madagascan plants, a cactus and succulent garden, a Plumeria grove, and dryland palms.

    In Honolulu, theThe Honolulu Botanical Gardens is a welcome respite in a busy city. It features an outdoor butterfly garden and a palm garden.

    On Maui, admission to the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens is $5. Maui Nui Botanical Gardens focuses on native and Polynesian-introduced plants to preserve, educate, and understand Maui’s rich cultural heritage.

  5. Visit a coffee farm.

    Many local coffee companies offer free guided tours of their farms. While you’re there, pick up a bag of coffee to take home!

    A number of coffee growers are found on the Big Island. Hula Daddy Kona Coffee grows 100% Kona Coffee and offers free coffee tasting, tours of the orchard and tours of the roasting room.

    Visit the Kauai Coffee Company for free samples and a free walking tour on Kauai.

    And on Oahu, check out Waialua Estate Coffee and Chocolate, which also has a large gift shop selling local items.

  6. Visit the Byodo-In Temple.

    The Byodo-In Temple in Kaneohe, Oahu, is a replica of the Byodo-In Temple in Japan. It was dedicated in 1968 to commemorate the 100 anniversary of the first immigrants from Japan to Oahu. The Byodo-In Temple in Japan is a World Hertigate Site that is over 950 years old.

    The Byodo-In Temple is a tranquil, peaceful place to visit. For $3, the temple is open to all. A small gift shop sells a number of unique gifts.

  7. Try an açaí bowl.

    The açaí berry is the fruit of the açai palm trees, which are native to the rainforests of the Amazon. To make an açaí bowl, açaí berries are blended up into a smoothie-like consistency and topped with fruit, peanut butter, honey, granola, and more. The possibilities are endless, and they taste more like dessert than breakfast.

    Trust me, once you try one, you will be hooked!

  8. Hike Manoa Falls.

    If you love chasing waterfalls, you can’t miss Moana Falls. This muddy trail leads straight to a waterfall. You just have to pay for parking, which is $5.

  9. Eat lunch on a farm.

    At Kahuku Farms on the north shore, you can get a farm-to-table lunch for under $10. The Farm also sells smoothies, dessert, and gifts to take home.

  10. Get Malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery.

    Leonard’s Bakery is famous for its malasadas — Portuguese doughnuts without a hole. At $1.15 each, you can try all of their flavors and get a box to take back to your hotel. Malasadas for breakfast, anyone?

A trip to Hawaii is going to be expensive, but after years of living here, we’ve learned lots of insider ways to help you keep your budget in check. Contact one of our travel agents today and let us help you plan your dream vacation in the budget that works for you!


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