Things to do in Honolulu

Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Oahu

What could be more inspiring than watching the sunset in Oahu? Here’s where to go for a perfect view of the Hawaii Oahu sunset.

Watching the sun go down in Oahu can be truly inspiring, as the ocean setting and rugged landscape make for some fabulous scenes.

Since this event only occurs once a day, it’s important to ensure you’re in the perfect place to witness the show. Look at our list of top Oahu sunset spots to find your ideal viewing location along with some of the best things to do in Honolulu.


Honolulu has so many things to do that we wouldn’t be surprised if you missed the sunset completely. However, it would be a shame to skip out on the amazing views from these prime sunset locations.

1. Ala Moana Beach Park

Voted one of the best city parks in the country by USA TODAY readers, Ala Moana Regional Park is undeniably stunning. It was created in the 1930s and used as a military staging area during World War II.

Over time, the park has undergone multiple improvements. Today, it’s visited by more than four million people every year, many of them dropping by at dusk to watch the sunset over the ocean.

This park is more than 119 ac. and has 40 designated picnic sites. Pack sandwiches, snacks, sunscreen, and enjoy an alfresco meal with a gorgeous ocean view. With exercise equipment, bowling lawns, a softball field, showers, and restrooms, Ala Moana Regional Park has everything you need for a fun day out with friends.

Be sure to head to the lagoons when evening arrives to snag the perfect spot for sunset views.

Photographer: Garett Mizunaka

2. Kaka’ako Waterfront Park

While you can spot spectacular sunsets at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, plenty of other sights may attract your gaze. Surfers dot the ocean, and joggers and cyclists breeze by on paths. You might even stumble upon a wedding shoot, as it’s a popular destination for couples seeking stunning snaps of their big day.

The park has restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and plenty of space. Be sure to bring a jacket, as the strong sea breeze can start to feel chilly at sundown.

3. The Diamond Head Lookout

The Diamond Head Lookout is a favorite spot for locals who want to watch the sunset away from crowded beaches. You can drive up and park in the small lot or walk 1.4 mi. from Kaimana Beach. Once you’ve arrived, relax and watch the sun decorate the sky in pastels as it goes down over Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park.

While you're here, watch for the marker commemorating Amelia Earhart’s solo flight from Hawaii to California in 1935.

4. Waikiki

Nothing beats the sunsets in the Waikiki neighborhood. Located on the south shore of Honolulu, this area is famous for its beautiful beaches. During the day, locals and tourists flock to the sandy shores to soak up some sun. People gather with their loved ones as dusk falls to watch the sun go down in this idyllic setting.

Come in the afternoon and make a day of it. While waiting for sundown, you can stop by the Honolulu Zoo or Waikiki Aquarium. These animal-packed attractions are fun for the whole family. They offer an opportunity to learn about the creatures that call Hawaii home.

5. Tantalus Drive

Tantalus Drive winds steeply up the Tantalus volcanic cinder cone to a height of 1,800 ft. above sea level. From the top, the views of the sunset are incredible. At Tantalus Lookout, there’s a grassy area where you can roll out a picnic rug and enjoy a peaceful time watching the sun go down, alone or with someone special.

The lookout point is accessible from the road, so you don't have to hike to reach a scenic spot.

Northern Oahu

The fantastic sunsets in northern Oahu are something to write home about. These are a few of our favorite places to watch the sun go down.

6. Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach's name says it all. We come here to watch the gorgeous sunsets and the talented surfers who dot the ocean. Our performers know the thrill of heights, so we love to see these thrill-seekers practicing their sport. The beach hosts the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing competition in November and December.

You’ll find everything needed for pleasant sunset-watching experiences, including restrooms and ample parking here. Don't forget your camera—the shots taken here will look like they belong on a postcard.

Photographer: Jess Loiterton

7. Shark’s Cove

Shark’s Cove is famous for being one of the world’s best shore-diving spots. It’s a picturesque rocky bay with all kinds of marine life. Look out for crabs, mussels, and other aquatic creatures clinging to the rocks while fish swim in shimmering schools farther out.

During the day, the small parking lot at Shark’s Cove can get overwhelmed with divers. As evening comes, spots are likely to open up. There’s no sand to stretch out on here, but you should be able to find a comfortable rock to perch on as you watch the sun sink below the horizon.

8. Waimea Bay

In winter, Waimea Bay is a surfer’s paradise. These athletes put on impressive performances that remind us of our jaw-dropping shows. In summer, it's the perfect place for Instagram-worthy sunset photos. Bring snacks and drinks, and sit at one of the picnic tables as you wait for the sun to disappear.

9. Pipeline Beach

Pipeline Beach, also known as the Banzai Pipeline, is a sprawling stretch of golden sand. The beach is packed during annual surfing contests, such as the Billabong Pro Pipeline. However, outside the main surf season, it can be a peaceful sunset spot. It has restrooms, showers, parking, and picnic tables.

10. ʻEhukai Pillbox Trail

The Ehukai Pillbox Trail is a steep but rewarding 2.3-mi. trail near Haleiwa. It's also one of our favorite Oahu hikes. The trail can get muddy, so wearing good hiking shoes is best. You'll find rope handrails on the slippery sections to help you keep your footing.

You can expect gorgeous views of the sunset from the high points, including the pillbox bunkers. Not only that, but you'll also find plenty of wildflowers and wildlife here. Many bird species call the Pūpūkea Paumalū Forest home.

This is a lovely walk at the end of a hot day, as the lush forest provides excellent shade. Bring a flashlight in case you linger too long over the sunset views and start to lose the last bit of daylight on the way down.

Eastern Oahu

Combine sunset spotting with ticking off some of Hawaii's famous landmarks in these eastern Oahu locations.

11. Kualoa Beach Park

Golden sands await you at Kualoa Beach Park. As you look along the curving shoreline, you’ll see mountains rising majestically into the sky. Ahead, the Pacific stretches to the horizon, adorned with the occasional ship and some small islands.

This idyllic setting has been featured in many movies and TV shows, including Jurassic Park and Lost. Its facilities include restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and a BBQ site.

12. Lanikai Beach

Lanikai translates to “heavenly ocean,” which is a pretty apt description of this beautiful beach. This sunset-spotter’s paradise is tucked away in a residential neighborhood. To find the path leading to the beach, look for the Lanikai Monument.

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at Lanikai Beach before sunrise. Finding a parking spot in this quiet neighborhood can be challenging, and you risk getting a ticket if you park illegally. However, once you make it onto the golden sands, all your worries will melt away.

Photographer: Genevieve Perron-Migneron

13. Makapu’u Beach Park

The towering sea cliffs at Makapu’u Beach Park provide a dramatic setting for a glorious Hawaiian sunset. Stay on the beach, or take the Makapu’u Trail to the top of the cliffs. If you visit between December and May, you might even be lucky enough to see whale fins breaking the surface.

14. Nu’uanu Pali Lookout

The Nu’uanu Pali Lookout, more than 1,000 ft. above sea level, offers incredible views of the Ko’olau cliffs and the Windward Coast. It's also an excellent place to spot landmarks, such as the University of Hawaii’s marine biology research center, the Kāneʻohe Marine Corps Base, and the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden.

There’s a $7 fee for cars to access the lookout, but the views make this a small price to pay. The lookout point is famous for strong winds, so bring a jacket. Enjoy the breeze on your face as you watch the sun go down at the end of another perfect day in Oahu.

Western Oahu

Get away from the crowds and enjoy your private sunset party in these special spots.

15. Mākua Beach

If you’re looking for a secluded spot to watch the sunset with someone special, Mākua Beach could be your ideal romantic hideaway. No tour buses visit here, and few people make the winding coastal drive. You won't find any buildings beyond Mākaha, and the road narrows to a basic track.

If you want to get as far away from people as possible, you can hike even further to the island’s northwestern tip, Ka’ena Point. Of course, no people means no facilities or lifeguards. Take care if you plan to go for a swim and bring your provisions.

16. Royal Hawaiian Beach

The Royal Hawaiian Resort has several private beachfront cabanas on Waikiki Beach. From here, you can watch the sunset in comfort and style. If you book a guest room with an ocean view, you can also gaze out the large windows as sunset colors fill the sky.

This is one of Hawaii’s oldest and most respected resorts. It offers unparalleled luxury to people seeking an exclusive island experience.

Source: The Royal Hawaiian Resort

Southern Oahu

The dramatic landscape of southern Oahu makes it a perfect location for watching the sun go down over the horizon.

17. China Walls

The China Walls are a stretch of lava-rock ledges on the cliffs near the Koko Kai Beach Mini Park.

From the China Walls, you can enjoy a great view of the ocean. In winter, wrap up warm and keep your eyes peeled for the sight of humpback whales on their annual migration. But at any time of year, you can expect beautiful sunset views.

18. Koko Head

The Koko Head Lookout is at the top of the Koko Head Crater, part of Hawaii’s volcanic landscape. Inside the crater is the beautiful Koko Crater Botanical Garden, but up on the rim, the main attractions are the incredible views of Hanauma Bay, Moloka’i, and the eastern shoreline of Honolulu.

The hike up to the lookout point is steep and somewhat challenging, even though it’s less than two mi long. A recent restoration ensured the trail is in great condition, with ropes and steps to make it easier to manage. Give yourself time to reach the top slowly before the sun sets.

Photographer: Josh Smith

Sunset Serenades: Closing Moments in Oahu's Majestic Landscapes

We love dramatic performances, and there is no doubt that the sun puts one on every night in Oahu. Sunsets can stir your soul, just like our shows in Honolulu. Both feature vivid colors and a reminder of the majesty of nature.

You can also expect music, choreography, acrobatics, and a solid narrative to take you on an emotional journey at our shows. Book your tickets now to enjoy an incredible performance you'll be talking about long after the sun goes down.

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