Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu has much to offer the 17 million visitors it receives each year. From dawn until long after dusk, this stunning stretch of crystal blue water and white sand beach is a playground for young and old alike. And the good news is that some of the best things to do on the beach at Waikiki are free!
1~ Movies on the Beach
Every Saturday and Sunday evening at dusk is Sunset on the Beach Movie Night located on Queen’s Beach at the intersection of Kalakaua and Kapahulu Avenues, near Kapi'olani Park. Bring a picnic, towel and beach chair and enjoy a movie, family style, with the sound of gentle surf in the background. Come early for a good spot in the sand and you might catch local musicians performing before the movie.
2 ~ Hula on the Beach
Grab a spot on the lawn and experience the true essence of Hawaiian culture with a hula show at Kuhio Beach Hula Mound, near Duke Kahanamoku statue, beachside at Uluniu & Kalakaua Avenue. Each one hour performance features a different local hula school (or halau) of all ages demonstrating traditional dance accompanied by live music. This event always draws a crowd so arrive early for the best seating. Shows begin around sunset on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
3 ~ Art at the Zoo Fence
A truly unique art event located across the street from Ka’piolani Park where each weekend hundreds of original paintings, prints, and photos are on display at the Waikiki zoo fence. Only a two-block walk from Waikiki Beach, stroll under a canopy of majestic park trees and meet dozens of artists sharing their work in relaxed island fashion.
4 ~ Polynesian Experience
The Royal Hawaiian Center in the heart of Waikiki hosts a number of free activities to enhance your Hawaiian vacation each evening beginning at 6 p.m. Each night, Monday through Saturday, features a torch lighting ceremony, live entertainment, and a Polynesian cultural show.
5 ~ Ukulele and crafting lessons
Take home new skills with free classes in flower lei-making, ukulele lessons and kapa cloth-making. Explore Hawaiian culture and build family vacation memories to last a life time. Classes are held nearly every day at the Royal Hawaiian Center.
6 ~ People-watching at Duke’s
Possibly the best location for good ‘ol fashioned people-watching is Duke’s, a restaurant nestled at surf’s edge on the upper end of Waikiki Beach and a short stroll from the famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Named after Duke Kahanamoku, the world famous master surfer, it was Jimmy Buffet who penned the song “Duke’s on Sunday” to capture the essence of an afternoon spent with friends at this famous eatery. Take in the view of Waikiki as it curves toward Diamond Head and, after a spectacular sunset, stay for a lively night scene featuring local musicians and, of course, the age old art of ‘fly-on-the-wall’.
Waikiki Beach was once the playground for Hawaiian royalty and is rich with history. There’s no shortage of beautiful scenery and activity in this pulsing beachside city which guarantees you’ll have no problem finding free things to do during your visit to Waikiki.
Do you know about a “best” free activity in Waikiki?