Hawaii is a known honeymoon destination, but if you are more into traveling solo, it’s a great place to explore. Although I lived on Oahu nearly 20 years ago, I had been dying to go back ever since. A combination of time and (lack of) money made it seem impossible. This year I found a reasonably priced plane ticket and combining that with credit card points, I was able to get a roundtrip flight from Baltimore to Honolulu for about $300. There were some hiccups along the way, but I had an overall incredible experience traveling solo on Oahu. Here are some things to do free or cheap as a solo traveler!
1. Drive (and lounge) around the North Shore
I had forgotten just how beautiful the north shore was until this trip. There are tons of beautiful beaches and quaint shops all over the area. It’s also the surf mecca of the world, making it a great place to stop and watch the pros catching waves.
2. Walk the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail
The Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail is an easy paved trail with stunning views of Oahu’s coastline. While access to the lighthouse itself is off-limits, the views from the lookout are worth the trek.
3. Explore the Manoa Falls Trail
This is a 1.5 mile trail through the Manoa Valley trees. The cool thing about this trail is that it has scenery featured in Jurassic Park and the show Lost. Foot traffic can get heavy so be prepared to weave in and out of people along the way to the falls. After it rains, this trail can be extremely muddy and slick – so don’t wear good shoes! The waterfalls are off limits to visitors, but you’ll notice an unfortunate number of people breaking this rule.
4. Hike the Difficult Koko Head Crater Trail
Koko Head Crater trail is an intensely steep hike up Koko Head Crater, near Honolulu. Rather than your typical hike, Koko Head Crater trail consists of an abandoned series of railroad ties (over 1,000 steps) up the side of the crater. This trail is very popular with locals and tourists alike, and due to its unique nature, it can make the hike even more challenging. You will, however, get an incredible workout and you’ll be rewarded with incredible panoramic views! Tip: Wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water!
5. Nuuanu Pali Lookout
Nuuanu Pali lookout is a beautiful vista point off of Pali Highway. This is a scenic stop worth making for some gorgeous photos. Be advised that while entry is free, there is a meter for a parking fee of $3. It can also get very windy so dress accordingly!