Hawaii on a Budget: 10 Things to Do for Under $10

Hawaii on a Budget
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Hawaii on a Budget: 10 Things to Do for Under $10

Let’s face it: Hawaiian vacations are expensive. I’ve had many people 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. Read on and get ready to enjoy a fun vacation that won’t leave you with any financial regrets!

Our Top 10 Attractions if You’re Visiting Hawaii on a Budget

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 tickets to see the USS Arizona Memorial up to eight weeks in advance by visiting their online ticketing site here. If you want to reserve tickets, don’t wait. They sell out fast!
Tickets to the memorial are free, but you have to pay a service fee of $1 per ticket. 

If you don’t get a ticket to the USS Arizona Memorial, you can still visit the Visitors Center and museum without reservations or paying admission. Other attractions at Pearl Harbor, like the Aviation Museum and Battleship Missouri Memorial, require a separate entrance fee. 

Try a Spam Musubi
: Lunch in Hawai on a Budget

Hawaii is home to some world-class chefs and high-end restaurants. But, if you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive snack, pick up a Spam Musubi from a local 7-Eleven. These hand-held snacks are great if you just need a light lunch after a big breakfast, or if you’re packing a to-go picnic.

Plus, they cost less than three bucks each.

Hike Diamond Head

Diamond Head is another must-do if you’re seeing Hawaii on a Budget. Be sure to make your reservation in advance – entry fees are $5 per person, plus parking costs $10 per car. This is a great hike to do near Waikiki, and you’re rewarded with great views of the Pacific Ocean. I always love hitting the beach and getting a refreshing shave ice after I hike Diamond Head.

Visit a Botanical Garden

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden
Hoʻomaluhia 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 five 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, Foster Botanical Garden 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 $10. Maui Nui Botanical Gardens focuses on native and Polynesian-introduced plants to preserve, educate, and understand Maui’s rich cultural heritage.

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!

Visit Green World Coffee on Oahu for a free farm tour, complete with complimentary samples (of coffee, tea, and chocolate!).

On Kauai, visit the Kauai Coffee Company for free samples and a free walking tour of their farm. 

You can see Hawaii Island (the Big Island) on a budget by touring its coffee farms. Mountain Thunder Coffee and Greenwell Farms offer complimentary tours and samples.

Visit the Byodo-In Temple

Byodo-in Temple: Hawaii on a budget

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.

This beautiful Oahu temple is a tranquil, peaceful place to visit. For $5, the temple is open to all. A small gift shop sells a number of unique gifts.

Try an Açaí Bowl

We love seeing Hawaii on a budget, but we really love eating through Hawaii on a budget! You may have had an acai bowl before, but they taste extra delicious in Hawaii, where many shops use local fruits and honey to create amazing delights. 

The açaí berry is the fruit of the açai palm trees, which are native to the rainforests of the Amazon. 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!

Hike Manoa Falls

If you love chasing waterfalls, you can’t miss Moana Falls. This muddy trail leads straight to a waterfall. It’s a relatively easy hike that’s close to Waikiki, so we recommend it for a lot of Oahu vacations. You just have to pay for parking, which is $5. 

Visit a Rainforest Zoo

The Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens is one of my favorite “hidden gems” on Hawaii Island (“The Big Island”), and it’s totally free to visit! You can see tigers, sloths, spider monkeys, toucans, and other great animals. The zoo also serves as an impressive botanical garden that you’ll love spending time in. 

Pana’ewa Zoo is near Hilo, near other free attractions like Rainbow Falls and Liliuokalani Gardens. 

Get Malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery: Breakfast in Hawaii on a Budget

Leonard’s Bakery is famous for its malasadas — Portuguese doughnuts without a hole. At $1.85 each, you can try all of their flavors and get a box to take back to your hotel. Malasadas for breakfast, anyone?

Hawaii on a Budget: Worth the Planning

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 Hawaii travel agents today to begin planning your dream Hawaii vacation on a budget that works for you!