The best views in Waikiki can be found for FREE!
👆 One of the free things to do in Waikiki for amazing views is to walk the Sheraton Boardwalk for views of the Diamond Head crater!
👆 One of the free things to do in Waikiki for amazing views is to walk the Fort DeRussy Boardwalk from the Hilton Hawaiian Village to the Outrigger Reef for views of the Diamond Head crater as you walk out onto the walkway that goes into the ocean!
👆 One of the free things to do in Waikiki at night is to walk Waikiki Beach!
Free things to do in Waikiki
One of the famous icons of Waikiki is the Duke Kahanamoku Statue.
This is the famous surfer statue of Waikiki!
You can go surfer statue hopping in Waikiki! (map)
You know, like beach hopping… except instead of going from beach to beach, you’re going from surfer statue to surfer statue. 😜
There are a few surfer statues in Waikiki:
- Duke Kahanamoku Statue
- Makua and Kila (Kuhio Beach near Waikiki Wall)
- Surfer on a Wave (Queens Beach near Waikiki Wall)
👆 You can go see a surfer statue for free in Waikiki at Kuhio Beach and the Waikiki Wall.
👆 You can go see a surfer statue for free in Waikiki at Queens Beach and the Waikiki Wall.
2. Fort DeRussy Beach Park
There is a “boardwalk” (sidewalk) that goes along the Fort DeRussy Beach, so you can make it a morning walk/run or a sunset walk/run on the Fort DeRussy Boardwalk! (Or any time of day!)
It might take you around 8 minutes to walk the entire Fort DeRussy Boardwalk one way, which would make it around 16 minutes round trip.
You can further extend your walk by a couple of minutes on the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon Boardwalk that takes you past the public Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. (map)
Or, you can also use the Fort DeRussy Beach Park as a spot to take it easy, whether that’s swimming at the beach, sitting on the grass, or sitting at the tables!
On the Outrigger Reef side of the Fort DeRussy Beach, you will find the popular Waikiki Beach foot spot of Steak Shack, along with more Waikiki Beach food spots of Banan and Tropical Tribe.
See more about Waikiki Beach food near Fort DeRussy Beach:
And finally, maybe the most exciting part of Fort DeRussy Beach Park?!
You might get to see turtles in Waikiki!
Emphasis on CHANCE! Turtles are wild and do what they want so there’s never any guarantee to see them!
That said… turtles are known to frequent this area of Fort DeRussy Beach!
There is a pier that juts out in front of the Outrigger Reef and Steak Shack.
Walk out onto the pier to see if there are turtles swimming around!
Waikiki photo tip: Instead of point your camera down to take a picture of the turtle, squat down to get more level with the water so you can get a picture of the turtle popping its head up with the iconic Diamond Head in the background! And since the turtle may just pop its head up for a quick moment, you might also try taking a video of the turtle to be able to capture the snapshot of it instead!
👆 Turtle in Waikiki!
👆 Turtle in Waikiki with the iconic Diamond Head crater in the background!
I have seen turtles on the Diamond Head side of the pier, and I have also see a turtle swimming off to the Hilton Hawaiian Village side of the pier.
So if you’re looking for a Waikiki Beach snorkeling spot, you might want to try Fort DeRussy Beach by the rocks too! (In general, if you’re looking for little fishies, it can be good to try the rocky areas!)
3. Kuhio Beach Park
Kuhio Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Waikiki.
It is best known for acting as an outdoor pool because of the sea wall barrier that can keep out some of the rougher waves.
Kuhio Beach is not known for snorkeling, but if you want to try to look for little fishies, then go swimming along the rocky areas!
Otherwise, if you want to stay out of the water, then there are a bunch of benches along Kuhio Beach that can be perfect for a rest to take in the views!
There are also some Waikiki Beach food spots along Kuhio Beach so you can have some food while you take in the views!
Waikiki Beach food spots near Kuhio Beach:
4. Waikiki Wall
The Waikiki Wall is a walkway that juts out into the ocean.
There is Kuhio Beach on one side of the Waikiki Wall.
And Queens Beach is on the other side.
This is a spot you can go for a casual walk for more ocean views!
The Waikiki Wall can also make for a good sunset spot. (Really basically all of Waikiki Beach can make for a good sunset spot!)
5. Queens Walkway
The Queens Walkway is another walkway that juts out into the ocean, which makes it another spot you can go to for a casual walk with ocean views!
There’s a coastal path to get to this walkway, which is on the quieter side of Waikiki.
And you can also have a rest at the beach side of Kapiolani Park which you will also see on your way to the walkway.
The grassy area of Kapiolani Park makes for a good spot to do yoga, stretch, or just rest under the trees that provide shade!
Once you walk out onto the Queens Walkway, this spot also gives you a good view of the Waikiki skyline.
And if you go out far enough, you can even get a view of Diamond Head!
And, if you look down, there’s a good chance you’ll see some crabs crawling around!
And then, if you look closely, you also might see some little fishies swimming around!
This area is actually the Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District… next!
6. Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District (Queens Beach)
If you are looking for the best snorkeling in Waikiki, the Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District is it!
There’s a good chance you’ll see a bunch of little fishies if you go snorkeling from Queens Beach.
For easy landmarks, you can look lifeguard station F which is where you will find the Queens Walkway.
If you go swimming along the Queens Walkway, there’s a good chance you will see fish.
And then from there, you can go swimming around, looking for rocky areas that fish might be feeding on, or little holes that fish might be swimming in and out of.
Another landmark can be lifeguard station E if you prefer a sandy area to set up your beach camp. And then from there, you can go swimming towards the walkway, looking for fish along the way!
There is a free hula show in Waikiki at night, and it’s the Kuhio Beach hula show!
It’s an outdoor hula show that starts around sunset right near Waikiki Beach, and you’ll get a bit of Hawaiian culture and entertainment in the form of dancing and music.
It starts off with a traditional blowing of the conch.
Then begins the live Hawaiian music and dancing!
You can catch the sunset before the hula show starts, and you can see the sky changing colors if you look back at the ocean throughout the show too!
8. International Market Place banyan tree
The International Market Place is a big shopping mall in Waikiki with tons of stores and restaurants.
But for a great free thing to do in Waikiki, there is a big banyan tree at the International Market Place!
It is not big enough to be the largest banyan tree in Hawaii, but it is still pretty impressive!
If you were to first walk past it, you probably wouldn’t realize that it is actually all connected together!
So, go and have a walk around the International Market Place banyan tree on the first floor, then take the escalator to go to the upper level so you can see the massive nature of this Waikiki banyan tree from above!
There are many places you can enter, but if seeing the banyan tree is your goal, the best entrance is at Kalakaua Avenue. For google maps, you can look for the Don Ho Statue.
This entrance is across the street from the Waikiki Surfboard Alley.
Walk around the International Market Place banyan tree before you take a walk down Waikiki Surfboard Alley! (map)
You can go banyan tree hopping in Waikiki!
You know, like beach hopping… except instead of going from beach to beach, you’re going from banyan tree to banyan tree. 😜
There are many free spots that you can see banyan trees in Waikiki:
- International Market Place
- Moana Surfrider beach bar (also walk Waikiki Beach at night to see the Moana Surfrider banyan tree lit up!)
- Kuhio Beach
- Queens Beach
- Honolulu Zoo (the banyan trees are outside the zoo, so no zoo entry fee required to see the banyan trees)
So you can even make it your goal to see different banyan trees in Waikiki, and this will naturally also take you to see different parts of Waikiki!
One of the best things to do in Waikiki at night is to watch the Waikiki fireworks!
This happens once a week, so if you are on Oahu for more than a week, then you can (almost!) definitely see the fireworks! (Almost, because… weather!)
There are different spots that you can watch the fireworks from depending on if you want to be closer to the fireworks, or you don’t mind watching from a bit further away.
Waikiki Beach does curve a bit, and there are tall buildings along the beach, so there are some spots that you won’t be able to see the fireworks as well.
If you want to be right where the fireworks take off, you want to be near the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Getting a bit further away, but still close, one perfect spot to see the Waikiki fireworks is from Fort DeRussy Beach in front of the Outrigger Reef hotel and Steak Shack!
And then further away, another spot that you might think is perfect to see the fireworks is from near the Barefoot Beach Cafe and Queens Beach.
See more about this free Waikiki activity: Where to watch the Friday night fireworks in Waikiki
10. Waikiki Beach sunset!
Sunsets in Waikiki are FREE!
And those are some free things to do in Waikiki!
More for your trip to Waikiki:
- Diamond Head hike for more of the best views of Waikiki!
- Things to do in Waikiki at night
- Free things to do on Oahu
👆 More low-key Waikiki activities: Things to do in Waikiki at night
HAPPY DOING FREE THINGS IN WAIKIKI!