Oahu is often referred to as the “Heart of Hawaii” as it is the home to the capital city of Honolulu and includes legendary surf towns such as Haleiwa, great food, buzzing nightlife, and of course, epic Hawaiian sunsets!
There’s nothing quite like watching the sun dip below the horizon, especially when you’re on vacation. Oahu is home to some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world, and there are plenty of great spots to watch them.
Taking time out to watch the sunset from the South, North, and Western side of Oahu is an experience that will change your holiday, from just being a short time away to one in which amazing memories are ingrained into your brain.
For the photographer or the couple that wants that quintessential romantic stroll on the beach, there is no better place to see sunsets than Oahu!
Oahu offers incredible spots to watch a sunset as it slowly drops over the Pacific Ocean, and some of the best spots are:
- Sunset Beach Park
- Waikiki Beach
- Lanikai Beach / Lanikai Pillbox
- Tantalus Lookout
- Ala Moana Beach Park
- China Walls
- Haleiwa Beach Park
- Pearl Harbor
These spots offer unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean framed by majestic palm trees silhouetted by the setting sun. Let’s dive into each of them a bit more below!
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8 Best Places To See The Sunset In Oahu
1. Sunset Beach Park
Situated on the North Shore approximately thirty-seven miles from Honolulu, Sunset Beach Park is an hour’s drive away from one of the most epic sunset spots in all of Oahu.
The beach is called “sunset beach” for a reason! You’re guaranteed an amazing time here, from the sun setting in the ocean to the relaxed atmosphere all around.
From Honolulu, travel North on the Kamehameha Highway, and just before you reach Haleiwa’s cluster of beach shops and restaurants, you’ll see the shoreline’s waters.
You will drive for an additional seven miles and reach Sunset Beach Park.
Being on the shore with no obstructions means you can see the magnificent sunsets across the horizon. This is one of the best sunset spots on the entire island!
Are you visiting in the wintertime? At this beach near the Banzai Pipeline, you can see one of the triple crowns of surfing contests alongside beautiful sunsets. During the winter months, swells can be up to 30 feet!
Read More: What To Pack For A Week In Hawaii: 60 Essential Things To Bring
2. Waikiki Beach
If you’re staying within the Honolulu area, the renowned Waikiki Beach is a much closer option to view sunsets.
Waikiki Beach is the perfect location to watch the most magnific scent sunsets. When you have taken your fill of photographs, head back to Kalakaua Avenue, the bustling main street in Honolulu.
Stretching from Ala Moana down to Kapiʻolani Regional Park, you can walk along the street and explore the gift shops, hotels, restaurants, and glitzy malls.
Throughout the year, there are ongoing entertainment and activities, including music festivals, painting exhibitions, cultural activities, and many other types of live performances.
Finish off the expedition with a meal at one of the many restaurants along the walk.
3. Lanikai Beach
Lanikai Beach is a pristine beach (by far my favorite beach in all of Oahu) located on the windward side of Oahu. Not only are the waters calm and warm here, but the beach also offers stunning views of the Mokulua Islands.
It’s a popular spot for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, but it’s also a great place to just relax and watch the sunset.
If you’re looking to get a more panoramic view of the East Shore, the Lanikai Pill Boxes Hike offers stunning views of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. From this vantage point, you’ll be able to see the sun sink behind the horizon, painting the sky in a spectrum of oranges, pinks and purples.
If you’re looking for a truly magical sunset experience, hike up to the Lanikai Pill Boxes at dusk and prepare to be mesmerized by nature’s light show!
Read More: 116 Bucket List Things To Do In Oahu, Hawaii
4. Tantalus Lookout
When it comes to the best sunset spots in Oahu, there’s one that always tops the list: Tantalus Lookout. This popular spot is known for its sweeping views of the city and Diamond Head, making it the perfect place to watch the sun dip below the horizon.
Mount Tantalus, located four miles north of Waikiki, offers some of the greatest panoramic views from its lookout point way above ground level.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic spot to share a sunset with your significant other or a place to snap some breathtaking photos, Tantalus Lookout is worth a visit. Just be sure to get there early to snag a good spot!
Although, there are many points along Mount Tantalus Lookout Valley in Oahu you could stop at, don’t miss Tantalus Lookout. Take a drive along Tantalus Drive until you get to Tantalus Lookout in the Pu’u Ualakaa State Park.
The lookout is on a hilltop overlooking Honolulu and the Diamond Head Crater.
While you can drive to the lookout spot, if you get there early enough, you can take a walk along some of the family-friendly trails near the lookout.
At the end of your walk, stop and take a little time soaking in the incredible sunset views as the sun descends into the ocean over the horizon. Spots along the rail are prime real estate so come early and get a good spot!
5. Ala Moana Beach Park
During the daytime at Ala Moana Beach Park, you can enjoy walks around the lagoons and enjoy a leisurely time at the beach.
The beach is made of pristine white sand, and you can enjoy the beautiful blue waves.
The advantage of catching a sunset at Ala Moana Beach Park is that it is less popular than Waikiki Beach up the road, so the beach is less crowded and slightly more private.
At sunset, you can sit back and enjoy watching the sun diminish in intensity as it casts its long rays across the sea’s surface.
Read More: 6 Best Resorts In Oahu For Honeymooners And Couples
6. China Walls
China Walls is a cliffside area on the south shore of Oahu. It’s a popular spot for cliff jumping, but even if you’re not into that, it’s still a great place to watch the sunset. The views are absolutely stunning, and you can even see Diamond Head in the distance.
It provides a clear view across the ocean to the south and west. Public access to the seafront is between two properties. Look for marker 119A.
If you are looking for a little bit of excitement, head to the rocky cliff outcropping a few hours ahead of time to get some cliff-jumping in before sunset!
China Walls is arguably one of the best sunset spots in Oahu.
7. Haleiwa Beach Park
This North Shore spot is famous for its big waves and surfer culture, but it’s also a great place to watch the sunset.
Case in point? Haleiwa Beach Park. The park is located on the North Shore of the island and offers stunning views of the sun setting over the ocean. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities at the park, including swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and fishing.
Haleiwa Beach Park is one of the most popular sunset spots on Oahu due to its beautiful location and wide range of activities. Whether you want to relax on the beach or take part in some water sports, this park is sure to keep you busy for hours outdoors.
So pack yourself a picnic dinner and head to Haleiwa Beach Park for an unforgettable sunset experience.
Read More: 9 Best Snorkeling Spots In Oahu, Hawaii
8. Pearl Harbor
A visit to Hawaii is not complete until you have visited Pearl Harbor. As the sun sets over Pearl Harbor, it’s hard not to be awestruck by the natural beauty of Hawaii. Oahu is home to some of the best sunset spots in the world, and Pearl Harbor is definitely one of them.
Whether you’re watching the sunset from the deck of a ship or from shore, the experience is sure to be breathtaking. And if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the green flash, it’ll be even more special.
Get there sometime before sunset and take in the legendary memorials dedicated to the civilians and military personnel killed on 7th December 1941, when Japan carried out its unprovoked attack on the Island.
What Can You See At Pearl Harbor National Memorial?
Stand on the Northern side of Pearl Harbor and try to envision what it was like to see the swarm of Japanese attacking aircraft, with roaring engines appearing, as if from nowhere, from behind the Ko’olau range.
Three memorials are of great interest.
- Take a trip on a Navy boat out to the sunken remains of the USS Arizona.
- Visit the USS Battleship Missouri.
- Board and tour the USS Bowfin submarine.
The museum closes around 5:00 pm, but the monument side of the harbor is close to Neil Blaisdell Park, which is a great place to watch the sunset to the West.
The view is magnificent and watching the incredible sunset from this historical spot is worthwhile, especially if you enjoy history.
Interested in seeing one of Oahu’s sunsets by boat? There are so many highly-rated tour companies that host nightly sunset cruises across the island. Fancy a dinner with cocktail drinks? How about dancing aboard a party boat? Choose the one that fits your style and make some lasting memories!
Map Of The Best Places To See Sunset In Oahu
TOP FOUR POPULAR TOURS IN OAHU
- Ultimate Circle Island Adventure with Waimea Waterfall: full-day tour featuring a ton of Hawaii’s landmarks, then lunch at the famous Fumi’s Shrimp Stand on the North Shore!
- Paradise Cove Luau: by far one of the most famous luaus on the island! Experience a traditional luau, complete with a lei greeting! You can partake in a few activities before eating, followed by a Polynesian show.
- Turtle Canyons Snorkel Excursion from Waikiki: snorkel with green sea turtles, tropical fish, and more!
- Polynesian Cultural Center: The Polynesian Cultural Center is Hawaii’s #1 paid attraction. PCC is a cultural park that brings to life the spirit of Polynesia through its six Polynesian villages. After enjoying the interactive shows, activities, and demonstrations in the villages, have dinner at the luau, followed by the Ha: Breath Of Life show!
Where is the best place to watch the sunset in Waikiki?
The most convenient beaches to catch a sunset in Waikiki are Waikiki Beach or Ala Moana Beach Park. For fewer crowds, we’d recommend Ala Moana Beach Park.
Where is the best place to watch the sunset on the North Shore?
Sunsets on the North Shore are so easy to come by. You can head to any of the following beaches and be able to catch a pretty epic sunset on any given day:
– Sunset Beach Park
– Haleiwa Beach Park
– Shark’s Cove
– Waimea Bay
Looking for more Oahu travel tips? You may also like:
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6 Best Resorts In Oahu For Honeymooners And Couples
116 Bucket List Things To Do In Oahu, Hawaii
The Ultimate Oahu 4-Day Itinerary For Budget Friendly Travelers
Essential Oahu Tips For First Timers: Things You Need To Know