Explore Oahu

Top Oahu Destinations With a View

Traveling to a tropical destination such as Oahu means you can expect beautiful views nearly every corner of the island, from sunrise from a mountain lookout to sunset from the beach to dinner with an oceanside backdrop.

Waikiki’s coastline offers beautiful sites, including free, Friday night fireworks near Hilton Hawaiian Village. Take the rental car on a trip around the island for a scenic drive through Mount Tantalus to Puu Ulakaa State Park and take in breezy, panoramic views from Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor.

Or, travel through the Windward side and hike up to the Lanikai pillboxes and view the Mokulua Islands as the sun rises over the islands. With so much to see on the island, always be sure to charge up your camera or cellphone before heading outdoors. 

Diamond Head State Monument

One of the most visited destinations on Oahu, offering a two-hour, 1.6 mile hike from the inside of the crater to the summit. At the summit, hikers are awarded with the most breathtaking views daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is limited parking during peak periods. To avoid crowds, opt to arrive between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail

Allow at least two hours to complete the hike. Wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water, the trail is exposed to the sun and heat. Located on Kalanianaole Hwy. (Hwy. 72), just past Sandy Beach. Parking area is adjacent to the highway.

Top of Waikiki

Hawaii’s only revolving restaurant serves innovative Pacific fusion cuisine, emphasizing fresh local ingredients from its perch above Waikiki. Double happy hours go from 5-7 and 9-11 nightly except holidays.

Michel's at the Colony Surf Hotel

This is one of Hawaii’s longest-standing and finest restaurants, with a view that beats most. Classical French cuisine is served by tuxedo-clad wait staff. This is one of the most romantic restaurants on the island, with an ocean view from every table.

Nuuanu Pali State Wayside

Perched nearly 1,000 feet high in the Koolau Mountain Range, this lookout from the pali (cliffs) offers astonishing views of the valleys, coastline and blue waters of Oahu’s windward side. A haunting twist frames this popular attraction: a gruesome battle that determined the fate of the Hawaiian Islands.

Manoa Falls

This well-maintained rainforest trail passes through a brook, a grove of Eucalyptus trees and a bamboo forest before reaching a 100-foot cascading waterfall. A novice hike, the path is 1.6 miles roundtrip, with a gradual slope.

Sunset Beach

With a long stretch of white sand running two miles long and about 200-feet wide, this beach is great for lounging, snorkeling or watching big wave surfers tackle some of the island's best waves, depending on the time of year. With its crystal-clear waters, this North Shore beach is great for swimming and snorkeling during ca

Lanikai Beach

Lanikai’s turquoise waters, powdered-sugar sands and swaying palms rank this Windward beach among some of the best in the world.  Sheltered by a wide, protective offshore reef, this half-mile strand of beach provides ideal swimming conditions, as well as kayaking, outrigger canoeing, sailing, surfing and windsurfing.

Kaena Point

Located at the westernmost tip of the island, Ka‘ena Point is a relatively remote wild coastline that boasts a large sandy beach at Keawa‘ula Bay. Stroll along the 2.7-mile (one way) volcanic coast and discover tide pools, small natural stone arches and picturesque views of the Makua coastline.

Koko Crater

Approaching Hawaii Kai from Waikiki, you will see pyramid-like Koko Head. This volcanic tuff cone has a demanding hiking path straight up the flank, consisting of over 1,000 railroad ties. If you’re in good shape, give it a go—the views from the top are spectacular.