f you’re planning a trip to Oahu and looking for the best sunset spots, then you’re in luck. I’ve got you covered. The island boasts an endless supply of breathtaking locations to watch the sun slowly sink below the horizon. From secluded beaches to scenic overlooks, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some of the most popular spots include Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and the North Shore. Each of these locations offers a unique experience and stunning views that will leave you in awe. However, I’ll also share some lesser-known locations and hikes with you that I personally think are great locations for sunsets on Oahu.
BEST SUNSET SPOTS ON OAHU
In this guide, I’ll share all of my favorite sunset spots on Oahu. I’ll also share some tips about which side of the island and which hikes make for great sunset spots on Oahu. Not all of the photos I share will be specifically from sunset, but I have curated this list based on having experienced a sunset from each of these spots.
TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY ON OAHU
Tantalus is one of the best spots for sunsets on Oahu if you want to get away from the beach. A 30-minute drive from Waikiki will wind you up into the mountains where you can enjoy an incredible viewpoint over Waikiki, Honolulu, and Diamond Head. There’s a huge patch of grass here for onlookers to gather but be warned, it is a popular sunset spot on Oahu so it can get busy. It’s best to pack a picnic and some drinks as well as a picnic rug and watch as the light fades over the city. Do note, they close the gates shortly after sunset so don’t expect to hang out here all night.
Read the full blog post: Tantalus Viewpoint
WAIKIKI SUNSET COCKTAIL CRUISE
Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Catamaran Cruise: Dying to take your loved one on a romantic cruise whilst in Oahu? Or do you just want to experience a fun and relaxing evening with absolutely no itinerary? Onboard a sailing Catamaran drinking tropical Hawaiian cocktails and relaxing while enjoying the legendary sunset and the magnificent Hawaiian coast.
This is perfect for travelers who just want to chill with sunsets and cocktails!
Book your tour: Waikiki Sunset Cocktail Catamaran Cruise
DIAMOND HEAD VIEWPOINT
The Diamond Head Crater Hike is one of the most popular walking trails on the island and although it is paved the whole way it is still a steep challenge and a hike with amazing views of Waikiki and the southern coastline of Oahu, Hawaii. This 3km out-and-back trail is one of the most ‘must-do’ activities for visitors staying in Waikiki!
It’s important to note that you need to be down by 6 pm so you can only catch the sunset at the top during the winter or as you are hiking down. But you can get the pre-glow over Waikiki. Diamond Head is open from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm and the last entry is at 4:00 pm. Gates Close at 6:00 pm but if you are walking down without a car, you can kind of push that limits a bit to stay up there for great sunsets on Oahu.
Read the full blog post: Diamond Head Crater Hike
The Pali Nuuanu Lookout is one of the best and easiest lookouts to get to. Just off the Pali Highway, it’s about a 25-minute drive from Waikiki. From the lookout, you have an incredible view over the eastern side of the island all the way out to Kualoa and the Kaneohe Sandbar. If you are feeling adventurous, hike up to the Pali Notches or the Pali Puka hiking viewpoints for an even better vantage point. Because of the angle, this spot works for both sunrise and is also one of the best sunset spots on Oahu.
Read the full blog post: Pali Notches Hike
Makua Beach is one of the most spectacular beaches on Oahu with amazing snorkeling, turtles, dolphins, and often big waves! It’s one of the best sunset beaches on the island and one of the most relaxing spots to get away from civilization.
On the far west side of Oahu, Makua Beach lies at the foot of majestic mountains, hiding behind a wall of trees. Crystal clear waters wash upon a long stretch of beach with a backdrop of Makua Valley and cliffs that seem to encapsulate the secluded beach. Because of its position on the far west of the island, this is one of my favorite places to catch one of the best sunsets on Oahu.
Read the full blog post: Makua Beach
BEST RENTAL CAR COMPANY IN HAWAII
SUNSET DINNER CRUISE WITH LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
Sunset Dinner Cruise with Live Hawaiian Entertainment: If world-class entertainment and food weren’t enough on the beautiful beaches of Oahu, then why not take to the waters with the Oahu Sunset Dinner Cruise? This cruise will let you see the beauty of the colorful sunset in Oahu with a view of the island at night as the artificial lights glow and cover the place.
While onboard, you will enjoy the delicious buffet and some chitchats with other passengers. What the passengers will love is the round trip transportation they arrange for each and every one.
Book your tour: Sunset Dinner Cruise with Live Hawaiian Entertainment
- Sunset Dinner Cruise
- Colorful sunset
- Artificial lights glow
TURTLE BAY RESORT
Turtle Bay Resort: Turtle Bay Resort is known to be the best luxury hotel on the North Shore. This resort is only 15 minutes from Banzai Pipeline Beach where you can see the epic seasonal surfing competition. Turtle Bay offers a lot on the property including horseback riding, surfing lessons, scuba diving, and snorkeling with turtles plus its laid-back and relaxed vibe will make you want to extend your stay. It’s the perfect sunset spot on Oahu with its western-facing position on the North Shore of Oahu.
The sheltered and safe swimming areas are great for kids and relaxing without big waves and currents to worry about. Activities run from the hotel include helicopter tours, snorkeling in the private lagoon, hot tub, horseback riding, and hiking, and the resort even has its own surf school.
- Biggest and Best Resort on Oahu
- Incredible Pools and Facilities
- Great for families
KOKO HEAD STAIRWAY
The Koko Head Hike railway stairs are a grueling test of will and lead you to the Koko Head Crater summit, which is a view worth the grind! The total distance of the Koko Head Hike is just .7 miles to the top. That is just a mere total of 1.4 miles for the round-trip. You might be thinking it sounds like one of the easiest hikes you’ve ever heard of but it is incredibly steep with 300 meters of elevation in just over half a mile as you walk up the 1,048 stairs to the summit.
It’s a great spot for sunrise with views to the east. However, it is an after-work special as a great sunset spot on Oahu with beautiful views over Hawaii Kai, Hanauma Bay, and all the way back toward town. For a bigger challenge, try the Koko Crater Rim Trail, which leads you all around the entire crater.
Read the full blog post: Koko Head Hike
Waimea Bay Beach has amazing snorkeling, rock jumping, underwater tunnels, sea turtles, rock climbing, and prime sunsets. It’s one of my favorite beaches on Oahu in both the summer and winter. Waimea Bay is up on the North Shore of Oahu. It takes about one hour on the highway from Waikiki to reach Waimea Bay Beach.
In the summer it’s great for swimming, cliff-jumping, and snorkeling in calm conditions. However, in the winter it has a fierce swell and is not safe for swimmers. The waves are so big in the winter, that Waimea Bay attracts the world’s best big wave surfers for the event called ‘The Eddie’. This beach is a great place to catch one of the best sunsets on Oahu with chill vibes!
Read the full blog post: Waimea Beach
China Walls on Oahu, Hawaii is one of the best sunset spots on Oahu and a great hangout for during the day. It has two sides to it. On calm days, you can chill here, jump in for a swim, and tan on the rocks. On days with big swells, the waves crash into the rocks, and the swell can flood the entire area making it very dangerous. However, China Walls is also one of the most epic and dangerous surf spots in Hawaii as surfers glide past huge rock walls during each ride.
The Ehukai Pillbox Hike is one of the best short trails for a sunset view of the beaches on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. The four-kilometer round-trip makes for an easy ascent to reach the pillbox for sunset, where you can watch sets of waves forming before barreling at Pipeline Beach, Sunset Beach, and Keiki’s.
Read the full blog post: Ehukai Pillbox
Pipeline Beach, located on the North Shore of Oahu, is a popular spot for surfers and beachgoers alike. However, it’s also an excellent spot to catch one of the best sunsets on Oahu. With its long stretch of sand, stunning turquoise waters, and rugged coastline, Pipeline Beach provides a dramatic backdrop for the setting sun.
As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky fills with an array of colors, casting a warm glow over the beach and creating a serene and tranquil atmosphere. Whether you’re looking to relax after a long day of surfing or just want to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets on the island, Pipeline Beach is the perfect spot to do it.
Read the full blog post: PIPELINE BEACH PHOTOGRAPHY SPOT
PINK PILLBOX HIKE
The Pink Pillbox hike on Oahu (also known as the Maili Pillbox or the Pu’u O Hulu Trail ), is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and overlooks the crashing cerulean waves along the Waianae coast on the West Side of Oahu. Most of the well-known hikes on Oahu are in the east or central zones of the island so it is great to get out west and see some different landscapes. Because of its position on the west coast of the island, this is one of the best sunset spots on Oahu.
Read the full blog post: PINK PILLBOX HIKE
ROYAL HAWAIIAN BEACH
The Royal Hawaiian Beach is quite a famous strip of Waikiki. You might also know it as ‘Waikiki Beach Center’. It sits right in front of the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel, which is bright pink! This section of beach is just as beautiful as all of the other beaches of Waikiki but it’s action-packed.
Surf rentals are the hot item here as it’s a great spot to launch off to go out and surf some intermediate and beginner-sized waves on Waikiki Beach. It’s a great area to hang out, swim, surf, and chill out under the palms. I really like this spot for one of the best sunsets on Oahu as it looks down towards Diamond Head Crater.
Read the full blog post: WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
It’s hard to make this list without an honorable mention of the aptly named, Sunset Beach. It’s a great spot for sunset but despite its name, nowhere near my favorite spot for one of the best sunsets on Oahu. The main attraction at this beach is the ‘bent palm tree’ that is a top photo spot on Oahu. It can get quite busy here at sunset and can be tough to find a park. I think the name draws a lot of people here for sunset when they are up on the North Shore but there is no difference at Sunset Beach compared to Ehukai, Makaha, Waimea, or most of the other beaches on the North Shore.
KAENA POINT STATE PARK
Kaena Point is a scenic destination located on the westernmost tip of the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It is situated at the end of Farrington Highway, past the town of Waianae. To reach the point, visitors must hike along a rugged trail that runs through the Kaena Point State Park. The hike is approximately 3.5 miles long and takes about 2 hours to complete the round trip. Along the way, hikers will be treated to stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, rocky cliffs, and a variety of native plant and animal species. The trail can be challenging in some areas, so it is recommended to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water. Once at the point, visitors can relax and soak in the beauty of the surroundings while watching the sunset.
Shark’s Cove, located on the North Shore of Oahu, is a great spot that’s perfect for catching one of the top sunsets on Oahu. This natural cove boasts crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and an abundance of marine life. As the sun sets behind the rocky outcroppings that surround the cove, the sky fills with beautiful colors, casting a warm glow over the ocean. The food trucks are right behind the cove as well for a post-sunset dinner making this one of my favorite spots to end the day.
Watching the sunset at Ko’olina Lagoons on Oahu is a truly spectacular experience. Located on the west coast of the island, Ko’olina Lagoons offers a peaceful and serene setting to enjoy the sunset. The lagoons are part of the resort but open for visitors to enjoy. The lagoons have calm, clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling with kids.
As the sun begins to set, the sky transforms into a stunning canvas of colors that reflect on the still waters of the lagoon, creating a truly mesmerizing view. Overall, finishing the day at Ko’olina Lagoons is a magical experience and is one of the best places to watch the sunset on Oahu.
ALA MOANA BEACH PARK
This beach park is slightly out of Waikiki but only just. At the very western end of Waikiki there is a boat harbor and on the other side of that harbor is a beach called Ala Moana. It’s where lots of the locals hang out but you’ll find tons of tourists sunbathing also. It’s very chill and has a breakwater giving it nice calm water for kids. It’s one of the easiest spots nearby Waikiki to walk down to for a beautiful sunset on Oahu.
Read the full blog post: Best Waikiki Beaches
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the best sunset spots on Oahu. Let me know in the comments if you think I should add any other locations to the list.
WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
- Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort (Overall Favorite): In the heart of Waikiki, this high-end resort is right on the beach with a private lagoon.
- Sheraton Waikiki (Luxury): A luxury resort with the most amazing infinity pool on the island, which overlooks the beach.
- Ewa Hotel Waikiki: (Value): Ewa Hotel is just one block back from the beach and is just over $150 USD.
- Waikiki Beachside Hostel (Budget Choice): A budget alternative, which is still in an amazing location.
- Disney Aulani Resort (Family Choice): This is a resort your kids will never forget. It honestly feels like you are living in a theme park.
MORE OAHU BLOG POSTS
I lived on Oahu for two years and loved adventuring from the beaches to the mountains to the waterfalls! These are my most popular blog post and guides from the beautiful island of Oahu to help you plan your trip!
- What to pack for Hawaii: THE HAWAII PACKING LIST: WHAT TO PACK
- A helpful guide to choosing accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
- Most epic hike on Oahu: THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN OAHU, HAWAII
- The best Waterfalls: AMAZING WATERFALLS ON OAHU, HAWAII
- Ultimate Cliff Jumping Guide: 11 BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS ON OAHU
- Guide to Swimming with Sea Turtles: WHERE TO SEE TURTLES ON OAHU
- The best Waterfall Hikes: TOP WATERFALL HIKES ON OAHU
- Best Tours: 20 BEST TOURS ON OAHU
- The Ultimate Guide to Oahu: 80 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON OAHU
THE FOUR MOST POPULAR OAHU TOURS
- Doors-Off Oahu Helicopter Flight Tour: My number one recommendation is to do a heli-flight (doors off) and be blown away when you see Oahu from the air.
- North Shore Shark Cage Tour: The biggest adrenaline rush you can have in Hawaii is beneath the surface with sharks!
- Eco-Friendly Dolphin and Snorkel Tour: One of the best experiences I had on Oahu was swimming with the beautiful spinner dolphins on this exact tour.
- Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran: The number 1 MOST POPULAR snorkel tour on Oahu. GUARANTEED Turtles!