The Best Place to See the Sunset in Oahu: Top 15
Oahu is well-known for its stunning sunsets, and there’s no better place to watch the day turn to night than on one of the island’s many beautiful beaches.
While Waikiki Beach is undoubtedly a popular spot for watching the sunset, there are plenty of other options if you want something different.
For instance, Lanikai Beach is an excellent choice to escape the crowds. This secluded spot is on the windward side of Oahu and offers sweeping views of the ocean and nearby islands.
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of some dolphins or turtles, head to Makapuu Beach Park, where you can also enjoy panoramic views of the shoreline.
Other best spots for sunset times include Ala Moana Beach Park, Haleiwa Beach Park, and Sunset Beach.
Here’s a closer look at 15 of the best places to see the sunset in Oahu.
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1) Waikiki Beach
As the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean, Waikiki Beach comes alive with the sound of waves crashing against the shore.
The air is filled with the smell of salt water and suntan lotion, and the warm breeze blowing through the palm trees provides a perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of Hawaii.
As you stroll along the beach, surfers ride the waves, couples walk hand in hand, and families play in the sand.
There’s nothing quite like watching the spectacular sunset over the ocean from the beach. And Waikiki Beach in Hawaii is one of the best places in the world to enjoy this natural spectacle.
Situated on the southeastern shore of Oahu, Waikiki offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and its dramatic sunsets. What’s more, you can enjoy these views from the comfort of your hotel room.
Many of the hotels in Waikiki are directly on the beach, so all you have to do is walk outside and enjoy the show. So if you’re looking for a place to watch an unforgettable sunset, Waikiki Beach is worth visiting.
2) Ala Moana beach park
Ala Moana Beach Park is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. The park is on the water and offers stunning sunset views every night.
The white sand and clear water make it one of the most popular beaches on Oahu. It is especially popular with local families because it is generally less crowded than Waikiki Beach and has calm waters, making swimming safer.
Ala Moana has a nature preserve with walking trails, benches to sit and relax, and a children’s play area. The park also has two large fields, perfect for flying kites or playing Frisbee.
Every Saturday night, there is a free hula show put on by Haliewaiola, which tells the story of Hawaii through music and dance. The show starts at sunset and lasts about an hour. If you are looking for a place to watch the sunset or relax in Honolulu, Ala Moana Beach Park is the perfect spot. (My favorite spot).
3) Makapu’u Beach Park
Makapu’u Beach Park is one of the best sunset spots on Oahu. The park is home to a lighthouse hike with incredible views of the island’s rocky coastline.
On a clear day, you can even see Molokai and Lanai. The best time to go is early in the morning before the crowds start to arrive. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a whale or two!
The best way to experience the sunrise at Makapu’u is to hike the Lighthouse Trail. The trail begins at the end of the Kaiwi parking lot and winds its way up to the Makapu’u Lighthouse.
Along the way, hikers are treated to stunning ocean and coastline views. The trail is steep in places, but it is well worth the effort. At the top of the path, hikers can enjoy an unforgettable view of the sun rising over the horizon.
The Makapu’u Lighthouse is also a popular spot for whale watching.
From December to April, humpback whales can be seen breaching and spouting offshore. So whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a chance to see some wildlife with a beautiful sunset, Makapu’u Beach Park is worth visiting.
4) China Walls
If you’re looking for a truly breathtaking sunset experience on Oahu, look no further than China Walls. This hidden gem offers panoramic views of the ocean, making it the perfect spot to watch the sun dip below the horizon.
And because it’s located just off the beaten path, you’ll likely have the place to yourself, making it all the more special.
Just be cautious while exploring, as the lava-rock ledges can be slippery, and the waves below can be powerful. But with some care, you can enjoy an unforgettable sunset at China Walls.
5) Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach is a world-famous beach on Oahu’s North Shore. The beach got its name from the beautiful sunsets seen from the shore. Sunset Beach is also a great place to watch the waves.
The surf at Sunset Beach is the biggest in the world during the winter, attracting surfers from across the globe. If you’re not a surfer, don’t worry, you can still enjoy the waves from the shore.
The best time to visit Sunset Beach is during the summer when the waves are smaller and perfect for swimming. However, even during the winter, Sunset Beach is still one of the most popular beaches on Oahu.
6) Kualoa Beach Park
Kualoa Beach Park is one of the most beautiful places on the island of Oahu. The park is on the windward coast, so it gets many trade winds blowing in from the ocean.
These Winds create an extraordinary atmosphere at Kualoa Beach Park, making it one of the best places to watch the sunset.
The park also has several other great features, including a playground for children, picnic tables, and a pavilion. Several hiking trails wind through the park, perfect for those exploring the area’s natural beauty.
One of the things I love to do at Kualoa Beach Park is going kayaking. There’s an excellent rent-a-kayak place right on the beach, so it’s easy to get out on the water.
Once you’re out in the bay, you can paddle over to Mokoli’i Island, also known as Chinaman’s Hat. This tiny island is a great place to relax and watch the sunset. The views from Chinaman’s Hat are incredible!
7) Lanikai Beach (My Favorite Place)
Lanikai Beach is the place to be if you’re looking for an incredible sunrise spot on Oahu. This world-famous sandy beach is known for its breathtaking beauty, so it’s worth getting there early to avoid crowds.
The name Lanikai means “heavenly sea,” and that’s what you’ll find here.
The calm, azure waters, and soft white sand make it a popular spot for swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. But what makes Lanikai Beach unique is its incredible sunrises.
The clouds often enhance the beautiful colors of the sky at sunrise over the sea. Finding Lanikai Beach may be rugged, but it is a hidden pearl worth the time and effort to discover.
8) Koko Head
If you’re looking for a real challenge, hiking the Koko Head trail is a must-do. The nearly 2-mile route on the rim of a crater consists of over 1,000 steps, making it a strenuous hike.
The views from the top are incredible, and people come from all over the island to watch the sunrise. And if you time it right, you can watch the light from the summit.
If you’re planning on hiking Koko Head, you should know a few things. First, you’ll need a small backpack filled with a flashlight, water, and a snack.
It can be pretty chilly at the top, even in the middle of summer, so be sure to bring a sweater or light jacket. And finally, be prepared to face a crowd. Even though it’s a bit of a challenge to get to the top, it’s worth it for the experience of a lifetime.
9) Olomana Trail
The trailhead is located in Kailua, and the trail itself is nestled between the mountains and the sea. Olomana Trail is about 1.5 miles long and leads to the first three peaks. The three peaks rise 1,000 feet above the surrounding landscape and offer stunning views of Kailua and the surrounding area.
The trail can be slippery and treacherous in places with several steep sections.
There are three peaks that you can hike to, but the first peak is the only one that requires rope climbing. The reward for making it to the top of the first peak is a gorgeous view of the Windward Coast. For most people, the thrill of reaching the first peak is enough, and they turn back at this point.
10) Diamond Head Summit Trail
The Diamond Head Summit Trail is a great way to exercise and take in some stunning views. The trailhead is located in the middle of the Diamond Head crater.
From there, the trail winds up to the rim 560 feet above. The total distance of the path is 1.6 miles, and along the way, you’ll find some steep stairs and a tunnel that leads to the top.
The trail offers stunning views of the southeastern shoreline of the island, from Koko Head to Wai’anae. On a clear day, you can even see the neighboring islands of Maui and Molokai.
The trail is also a great place to see wildlife, including several species of native birds and, during winter, migrating humpback whales. The summit of the track features bunkers on the crater rim and a navigational lighthouse.
11) Shark’s Cove
When it comes to sunsets, there’s nowhere quite like shark’s cove on the North Shore of Oahu. Sitting just west of Turtle Bay, Shark’s Cove offers stunning views of the reefs and sea life that make this part of Hawaii unique.
But it’s also the perfect place to watch the sun dip below the horizon. As the sun sets over Ka’ena Point, the sky explodes in a rainbow of colors, from deep blue to rich green and purple.
And as waves crash against the point, the sound fills the air, creating a truly magical experience. Whether a first-time visitor or a long-time local, watching the sunset at Shark’s Cove is an absolute must.
12) Waimea Bay
Waimea Bay is one of the most popular beaches on the island of Oahu. The bay is famous for its 30-foot waves in the winter, which attract some of the world’s best surfers. During the summer, the water calms considerably and is an excellent destination for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
The bay is also home to marine life, including turtles, dolphins, and whales. Watch the sunset from the beach, and you’ll be treated to a truly spectacular show.
As the sun sets over the horizon, the sky turns a deep red, orange, and yellow, creating a beautiful backdrop for the waves crashing against the shore.
13) Downtown Honolulu
Downtown Honolulu is the commercial and historic center of Oahu and home to some of the island’s most iconic landmarks.
The Iolani Palace, built-in 1882 for the Hawaiian monarchy, is a shining example of 19th-century architecture, while the Aloha Tower, completed in 1926, was once the tallest structure in Hawaii.
Today, downtown Honolulu is a bustling mix of old and new, where high-rise office buildings stand side-by-side with historic landmarks. Visitors can explore the area on foot or by riding on the historic Honolulu trolley.
Looking for a unique and romantic way to spend an evening in Honolulu? Then look no further than the Honolulu Sunset Cruise!
Departing from Aloha Tower, you’ll board the world-famous Star of Honolulu for an unforgettable evening of cruising, dining, and entertainment.
Sit back and relax as you take in the best views of Honolulu’s sunset while enjoying live music and a delicious meal. Whether you’re looking for a romantic date night or a fun night out with friends, the Honolulu Sunset Dinner Cruise is sure to please.
14) Kaena Point State Park
Kaena Point State Park is the perfect spot if you’re looking for amazing views and the best sunsets in a place a little more off the beaten path.
Located on the western tip of Oahu, the park offers stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding cliffs. A great hiking trail also leads to the point, making it the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the water.
Just be aware that the conditions at the park can be dangerous, so it’s essential to take safety precautions. The trail to the south side end of the road past Yokohama Beach. Once you reach Kaena Point, you’ll be rewarded with great ocean views and nearby islands.
The cliffs at Kaena Point are unstable and can collapse, so staying on the trails and away from the edges is essential. If you take care and use common sense, you’ll have a safe and enjoyable visit to Kaena Point State Park.
15) Ko Olina lagoons
If you’re looking for a beautiful, natural beach to relax on while in Hawaii, look no further than the Ko Olina lagoons.
These secluded lagoons are located on the west side of Oahu, so you’ll be treated to some amazing sunsets if you’re there in the evening.
- The beaches are perfect for nature lovers who want to relax and enjoy the views.
- There are shaded areas with benches for those who wish to enjoy the incredible view.
- Take a picnic lunch and sun worship on the sand on these uncrowded beaches.
- There are also public restrooms, showers, and water fountains along the walkway.
So whether you’re looking for a place to relax and watch the sunset or take a swim in crystal-clear waters, the Ko Olina lagoons beach is the perfect spot for you.