Where to Find the Best Views in Oʻahu
From cityscapes to natural features like cliffs and blowholes, just about every corner of Oʻahu offers exceptional vistas. Whether you want a panoramic view of the Honolulu skyline lit up at night or an awe-inspiring natural landscape just before sunrise, these standout spots across the island are sure to inspire wanderlust. Here’s where to find the best views in Oʻahu.
Due to COVID-19, trails and parks mentioned may be closed. We recommend checking City and County of Honolulu or State of Hawai‘i mandates and individual attractions for operating hours, updates, and social distancing measures before visiting. Please travel responsibly by treating Hawai‘i’s trails, creatures, sacred sites, and areas of ecological restoration with respect.
Tantalus Lookout via Round Top Drive
Round Top Drive’s canopy-covered path winds through the lush suburb of Manoa and overlooks downtown Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, Punchbowl Crater, and the entire Manoa Valley. There are several scenic lookout points along the 9-mile loop, but our favorite is the Tantalus Lookout at the top of Mount Tantalus in Puʻu Ualakaʻa State Park. Enjoy spectacular views of Diamond Head and the Waikiki skyline from the expansive green lawn (pictured above). This lookout is a favorite amongst visitors looking to watch the sunset and nighttime city lights.
Nuʻuanu Pali Lookout
This lookout is positioned high above the Windward Coast along the Pali Highway amid the mountain peaks of the Koʻolau Range. The stone terrace observation post is surrounded by verdant trees and dense forests and overlooks the towns of Kaneʻohe and Kailua. The Nu'uanu Pali Lookout is also known for its strong and howling trade winds that blow through the pass. Winds can be quite invigorating as you are perched over a thousand feet above the Oʻahu coastline! Note that parking costs $3.
The moderate, paved path to Makapuʻu Point gives way to jaw-dropping views of the Kaʻiwi shoreline, islands, red-roofed lighthouse, and migrating humpback whales during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. The hike to the lookout point gradually ascends 500 feet and is just under a mile, which makes it doable for most (including those who require a stroller or wheelchair). For more information and Makapuʻu Point hiking tips, visit our Blog.
Located in Koko Head District Park, the popular Lanai Lookout rests alongside Kalanianaʻole Highway. From the small parking lot carved into the sea cliff, you’ll see stunning lava formations and sweeping views of the ocean, cliffs, and neighboring islands along Oʻahu's southeast shore.
Halona Blowhole Lookout
Created thousands of years ago when molten lava tubes were formed from volcanic eruptions, the Halona Blowhole remains a must-see scenic stop along the southeast coast. Strong currents, high tides, ferocious winds, and big waves send waters rushing into the tubes below the lookout, creating a sea spray as high as 30 feet through the blowhole. Although an impressive spectacle, the surging waters near the blowhole are extremely dangerous. Visitors should always stick to the official viewing area, refrain from swimming, and heed warning signs.
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