Where are the Best Places to Watch the Sunset on Oahu?


8 min read
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Silhouette of a tree with a sunset painting the sky blue and orange
Oahu is home to several great spots offering magnificent views of sunsets

Oahu is known as "the gathering place," and it's hard not to see why. Popular with tourists and locals, Oahu is an island with thick, plush jungles, big-wave surfing, gorgeous beaches, and plenty of places to relax.

Surfing, swimming, snorkeling, and hiking are just some of the things you can do on the beautiful island of Oahu. You can also find more extreme adventures if you want to explore more of Oahu.

One of the most popular and free things to do here is to watch the sunset on Oahu. The sunsets are magical, and it brings everyone together to end the day.

If you are unsure where the best sunsets in Oahu, Hawaii, are, you'll have to continue reading to find out!

  • 15 sunset locations

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15 Best Places for Oahu Sunsets

Oahu Sunset Locations Map

Using the map of Oahu sunset locations, you can explore all the sunset locations.

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The Tantalus Lookout is one of the best places to watch the sunset on Oahu
You can take a short hike in Puu Ualakaa State Park to get to the Tantalus Lookout

Tantalus Lookout

Most people flock to the beach to watch one of Oahu's famous sunsets. Tarantulas Lookout is a beach that offers an unobstructed view of not only the sunset but you can also see into the Diamond Head Crater and the entire city of Waikiki.

You can take a short hike to the lookout; however, it can be slippery and sometimes overgrown. Once at the top, there is a huge grassy area where you can sit with chairs and/or a blanket and watch the show.

Tantalus Lookout can be found in the Puu Ualakaa State Park, and there is also a small winding road that leads up to the parking lot.

This is one of the best Oahu sunset spots and shouldn't be missed.

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Water lapping a shoreline with a view of a sunset and volcano in the background
You can also see Diamond Head from the China Walls

China Walls

China Walls is one of the best sunset spots on Oahu, Hawaii. Popular amongst locals and tourists alike, China Walls can be found in the Koko Kai Mini Beach Park and is formed by layers of volcanic rock.

The layers have been formed from different lava flows, and they make perfect viewing locations. From these layers, you can enjoy a perfect Oahu sunset. The Pacific Ocean laps at the rocks below you, and while locals have been known to swim here, the current and waves can be strong.

If you're going to swim here, just be extra careful and only swim if you are a strong, experienced swimmer. Otherwise, enjoy the sunset from the rocks.

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Palm tree silhouette in the foreground of the ocean during sunset
The beautiful Sunset Beach Park offers an incredible sunset on Oahu experience

Sunset Beach Park

Sunset Beach Park has the best sunset in Oahu; it says so right in the name. Sunset Beach is famous for many reasons, and sunsets are just one of them.

Sunset Beach is world-famous for surfing. The waves can get over 30 feet here, and some of the most well-known surfers can be seen paddling out.

Swimming and snorkeling are fun here when the waves are small, but the current is always something to be aware of.

After spending a day on this beautiful beach, the best way to end the day is to watch the sunset. This is the best place to see the sunset in Oahu.

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Lighthouse glowing atop a cliff by the shore with a blue and pink sky
Diamond Head Beach is a semi-private beach, and thus less crowded

Diamond Head Beach Park

Diamond Head Beach is a terrific spot to go watch the sunset. Located near Honolulu, Diamond Head is a popular spot with both tourists and locals.

Diamond Head Beach is typically less busy than some of the other beaches even though it's one of the most beautiful spots. The beach is semi-private and also has some of the most gorgeous homes and a lighthouse along the beachfront.

Surfing, windsurfing, swimming, and hiking are all popular activities in and around Diamond Head Beach.

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Palm trees, buildings, and a sunset reflected in a lagoon
Ala Moana Beach Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, like hiking and surfing

Ala Moana Beach Park

Ala Moana Beach is one of the best sunset spots in Oahu. You can spend the full day in the park exploring and doing all kinds of outdoor activities.

There are lifeguards at the beach, tennis courts, public bathrooms, calm waters for swimming, and surf spots. There are also walking and hiking paths.

This is another one of the best Oahu sunset spots, especially after spending the day at the park.

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The sky in hues of yellow, purple, and pink reflected over tide pools
Ka'ena Point State Park is a remote part of Oahu you can reach by hiking

Ka'ena Point State Park

Ka'ena Point State Park offers another one of the best sunsets on Oahu, Hawaii. The hike out to the point is about 2.5 miles, and depending on your timing, you can watch the sun setting the whole way.

The point is the westernmost spot on the island and is ideal for catching the sunset. After watching the sunset, keep in mind that you will be walking back in the dark, so you'll want to bring a flashlight and maybe a light jacket or hoodie.

The sunset at the point is typically quieter than other spots as it requires a hike to and from. Just remember to carry out what you take in.

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Kaka'ako Waterfront Park

The Kaka'ako Waterfront offers several ways to view the sunset. Not far from the waterfront, you can find fine dining and restaurants, cafes, and bars. If you are looking for somewhere to enjoy the sunset while enjoying dinner or drinks, then look no further than this park.

You can enjoy the sunset from the Kaka'ako Waterfront Beach Park too, also known as Point Panic Park. While there is no beach at this spot, there are soft grassy hills, perfect for watching the sunset.

The park has free parking, bathrooms, running and hiking paths, as well as two famous surf spots.

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Silhouette of a few sailboats on the ocean with the sun setting in the background
You can watch the sunset from the beach or on a sunset cruise at Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach

Many people consider Waikiki Beach, a famous landmark in Honolulu, the best place for the sunset in Oahu, and it's hard not to see why.

Waikiki Beach is a great place to watch the sunset as it has several options. You can watch from the beach or you can book a sunset cruise.

It is also another great place to go if you are a couple visiting Oahu and you're looking for dinner options that include breathtaking sunset views. There are fine dining options, bars, and restaurants.

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Sunlight reflected in the sand of a shore with large rocks
Makua Beach is a secluded beach famous for big wave surfing

Makua Beach

Makua Beach is one of the more secluded beaches in Oahu, so if you're looking for a less crowded spot to watch the sunset, this could be your spot.

Makua Beach is mostly known for big wave surfing, so swimming can be a bit dangerous if you're not paying attention to the current.

This beach is also part of Ka'ena Point State Park. There is a hike to Ka'ena Point from here.

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Gray clouds and a setting sun above waves crashing against a rocky shore
Ko Olina Lagoons are great spots for snorkeling, swimming, and watching sunsets

Ko Olina Lagoons

One of the secret best sunset spots in Oahu, Hawaii is the Ko Olina Lagoons. Ko Olina Lagoons are actually a mix of human-made and natural lagoons.

Located on the Marriott Ko Olina beachfront property, the lagoons can still be accessed even if you are not a guest of the Mariott.

The beaches and lagoons provide perfect swimming and snorkeling areas and are the ideal location for sunsets.

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View of a hat-shaped island against a cloudless sky from a beach under trees
Mokoli’i literally means "little lizard" in Hawaiian

Mokoli’i Island

Lovingly nicknamed "Chinaman's Hat, this island actually means "little lizard" in Hawaiian. At one point, this island used to be connected to Oahu; however, now you can only get to it by boat or kayak.

Technically, you can walk to it at low tide, but the sharp lava rocks make it dangerous, and you have to be careful about getting stuck by high tide and being unable to walk back.

Once on Mokoli'i, there is a trail that takes you around the island. While the hike is short, it is pretty rocky. Keep in mind you have to boat back in the dark, depending on your timing. Not many people set out to Mokili'i for sunset, so you are likely to see very few other people there.

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Kualoa Regional Park

Kualoa Beach Park is a great place to spend a beach day and stay to watch the sunset.

Swimming, kayaking, and fishing are also popular here, and it's where you can access Mokoli'i Island. There are BBQ facilities, public bathrooms, and lifeguards are usually on duty as well.

Catching the sunset here is one of the best ways to end the day. It offers beautiful views that are unforgettable.

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Water flowing into a lava tube by the shore during sunset
Shark's Cove on Oahu's North Shore is also a well-known snorkeling spot

Shark's Cove

Shark's Cove is a less touristy spot to go and watch the sunset. Located on the North Shore, the Cove is popular during the day with snorkelers when the waves are calm and with surfers when the waves are bigger.

The beach is made from old lava flow and water, and fish and other interesting sea creatures get trapped in the pools. When the waves are enormous, you can catch the surfers having the time of their lives.

While spending the day here might be most people's main attraction, the sunsets here are a real treat. Shark's Cove is located close to Turtle Bay, and you'll be able to see Ka'ena Point in the distance.

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Sunset over a beach with ocean water crashing into huge rocks
Picturesque sunset over Waimea Bay Beach

Waimea Bay Beach

Waimea Bay is famous for its big wave surfers, jumping rocks, and sunsets.

This beautiful sandy beach sees visitors year-round. From surfers chasing the big eaves all through winter to families seeking the calmer waters in the summer, Waimea Bay is simply perfect.

This is another beach where you can spend the whole day and stay to watch the sunset while mingling with locals and tourists.

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Clouds in a purple, blue, and pink sky over the ocean with a tree on the right
The remote Kawela Bay Beach is one of the most protected beaches in Oahu

Kawela Bay Beach Park

One of the more secluded beaches in Oahu, Kawela Bay Beach is the perfect spot to catch a quiet sunset.

Not far from Turtle Bay Resort is a quiet stretch of sandy beach called Kawela Bay Beach. It is also one of the most protected beaches, making for calm waters a majority of the time.

Often times this beach is totally empty for sunset.

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In Summary

Oahu is one of the most popular destinations when visiting Hawaii, and there are plenty of reasons why. You can learn to surf, go hiking or fishing, visit volcanoes, scuba dive, snorkel, and swim.

After a full day of exploring Oahu, catching a sunset is the best way to end the day. Locals and visitors all love to take the time to find a special spot to watch the grand finale of the sun setting over Oahu.

Whether you want to watch the sunset from the beach or the top of a hill, there are plenty of places to see the sunset in Oahu. Anywhere on the west coast of the island will give you a wonderful show, but this list will help you pinpoint the best spot and vibe for you.

This article was edited by Loredana Elena.

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Written by Amanda Strube

Amanda_Strube WRITER I grew up in a beach town in New Jersey. I started traveling up and down the east coast of the US for surf trips and then moved to Nicaragua and then New Zealand. Im currently back home, planning some new adventures.