There are a few good lookouts on Oahu but my favorite spot for sunset is the Tantalus Lookout. There is a huge lawn you can roll a picnic rug out on and watch as the sun goes down over Diamond Head Crater and the entire Waikiki region. It’s a lookout high above Honololu in the hills above the city and the best part is you can drive all the way to the lookout with no hiking.
TANTALUS LOOKOUT ON OAHU
Tantalus Lookout is by far the best spot to watch the sunset if you want to enjoy a view of the entire city. Unfortunately, the Diamond Head Hike is closed before sunset otherwise it would easily be the number one pick. Tantalus Lookout is on top a 1048ft hill and allows you to see inside Diamond Head Crater, the entirety of Waikiki and to the horizon line on the ocean.
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!
HOW TO GET TO THE TANTALUS LOOKOUT
The road leading up to the Tantalus Lookout summit on Oahu is a beautiful drive winding through the lush suburb of Manoa. There are many hairpins turns and if you keep your eyes open you will take in great views of Waikiki before you even reach the top.
Tantalus Lookout is only 15 minutes from Waikiki, which will cost about 15 dollars with an Uber and maybe a little more with a cab. If you are riding a moped like us, you can definitely make it all the way up to Tantalus Lookout, just be prepared to struggle up some of the steep roads of Manoa!
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OPENING HOURS OF THE TANTALUS LOOKOUT
The park gates for the Tantalus Lookout are open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:45 p.m. in the summer and until 6:45 p.m. in winter months. The security often let the crowds filter out after sunset so it isn’t super strict but those are the official timings.
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WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE TANTALUS LOOKOUT
Tantalus Lookout on Oahu is a prime location to spot a rainbow. I have been lucky enough to see one on every visit to Tantalus, just another reason why it is the best Oahu lookout. The weather up here changes in an instance and I can suggest bringing a jacket even if it is warm and calm down in Waikiki. It is always windy up at Tantalus Lookout.
From the parking a lot, a paved walkway leads you down to a grassy slope, which feels like a natural amphitheater. It’s a great spot to bring a rug or a towel to lay on but definitely bring some warm clothes as it gets really windy and can be chilly once the sun has started to set.
I recommend heading up to the lookout on your first or second night if you are on vacation. It’s fun to spot out your hotel, Diamond Head Crater, and other landmarks you may have noticed while down at sea-level. It also helps to give you an understanding of the area you are staying in, which will definitely help you with directions for the rest of your stay.
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
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