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Where to Go for the Best Sunsets on Oahu

If you are headed to the island of Oahu, you’re in luck! This stunning Hawaiian island offers plenty of amaaazing spots to catch beautiful sunsets on Oahu.

Picture yourself standing on a white sand beach, the waves gently lapping at your feet. The sky overhead is colored with streaks of pink, orange, and purple as the sun slowly sinks below the horizon. Witnessing a breathtaking sunset is one of the best ways to wrap up a beautiful day in paradise – don’t you agree?

When planning out our Oahu itinerary, I always check when the sun will set and plan a few options where we will watch the sky each evening. From secluded lookout points to busy beaches, we’re excited to share our list to help you find the best places to watch the Oahu sunsets.

So grab your camera (and maybe a Mai Tai) and take note of these great spots!

Sunset over the beach on Oahu

Watching the sunset from one of Oahu’s beautiful beaches can only be beat by watching the sunset from the ocean! You can find a list of our favorite Oahu sunset cruises here.

Harbor in Honolulu | One of Oahu's best sunset spots!

Best Oahu Sunsets on the North Shore

Sunset Beach

Located on the North Shore of Oahu, Sunset Beach is known for….wait for it….its incredible waves and stunning sunsets. It’s a popular spot for surfers during the day, but as evening approaches, people start gathering along the shoreline to witness the changing sky.

When it comes to watching sunset from Sunset Beach, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, plan to arrive early! This is a popular spot and parking can be scarce if you don’t get there ahead of time. Once you’ve secured your parking spot, find yourself a comfortable spot along the beach and settle in.

As the sun sinks lower and lower towards the waterline, hues of orange and pink begin to fill up above. It’s truly breathtaking! We spent our 10th wedding anniversary watching the sunset here. I was too in the moment to capture a great photo, but it was such a beautiful evening!

Take some pictures or simply sit back and take it all in – either way, watching sunset from Sunset Beach is an experience that you’ll love!

Waimea Bay

Waimea Bay on Oahu is a truly magical place – from its crystal-clear waters to its towering cliffs, it’s easy to see why so many visitors flock here every year – including us! The beautiful expanse of sand, welcoming water (in the summer!), and proximity to the botanical garden across the street keep us returning over and over again.

Oahu sunset over Waimea Bay

One of the best times to visit Waimea Bay is at sunset. As the sun begins to dip below the horizon, the sky comes alive with brilliant hues of orange, pink and purple. We didn’t catch the variety of color on our last visit, but golden hour was still perfection. The water takes on a warm golden glow, creating a peaceful atmosphere that’s perfect for unwinding after a long day in the sun.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy at Waimea Bay. The famous rock jump is one such activity – locals have been jumping off this 30-foot cliff into the deep water below for generations. It’s not for the faint-hearted, and make sure you are very careful! We saw a terrible injury on our last visit.

Snorkeling is another popular activity in Waimea Bay – one that we can comfortable recommend! With its clear waters and abundance of marine life, you’ll want to bring your snorkel gear along too.

Sharks Cove

Sharks Cove is one of our favorite beaches on Oahu. It is small and charming, but filled to the brim with beauty and adventure. Known for its crystal clear waters and vibrant marine life, the cove provides the perfect backdrop for watching the sun dip below the horizon.

As you sit on the rocky shore and watch the colors of the sky change, keep your eyes peeled for some of Hawaii’s most fascinating creatures – turtles, colorful fish, and maybe even a reef shark or two.

If you’re feeling adventurous, grab a snorkel and explore the underwater world beneath you. Be sure that the water is flat and calm before swimming among the craggy rocks. Summer is the time for the perfect snorkeling experience, but we did once get lucky on a November visit too!

Beyond its natural beauty, Sharks Cove also offers plenty of amenities for visitors. There are restrooms available nearby as well as food trucks serving up local Hawaiian cuisine like poke bowls and shaved ice. On our last visit, we were treated to fresh Ahi tacos (off menu) that had just been caught – so yummy!

East Side Sunsets on Oahu

Lanikai Beach

Lanikai Beach is easily one of the most beautiful beaches on Oahu and hands-down our favorite spot for sunrise, but did you know that it’s also a top sunset location? That’s right! If you’re looking for the perfect spot to catch a stunning Hawaiian sunset, Lanikai Beach is where it’s at.

Located on the east side of Oahu, Lanikai Beach boasts crystal clear blue waters and soft white sand. You won’t see the sun actually dipping into the ocean here, but the sky often turns gorgeous shades of color making for a great sunset spot.

Sunset on Lanikai Beach, Oahu

As the day winds down and the sky begins to turn shades of pink and orange, Lanikai Beach transforms into a magical setting. The palm trees sway in the warm breeze while silhouettes of kayakers can be seen gliding along the horizon. It is complete paradise!

To fully experience Lanikai Beach at sunset, make sure you arrive early to find a legal parking spot in the neighborhood (there isn’t a designated parking lot). If it is a weekend, you’ll need to park in the Kailua Beach lot and walk down, so allow 10-15 extra minutes.

Consider hiking the Lanikai Pillbox hike to view the sunset from up above. I recommend packing a flashlight for the way down – it is short, but steep!

Another great way to enjoy Lanikai Beach at sunset is by taking part in one of Hawaii’s favorite pastimes: having a picnic! Pack yourself some local snacks and drinks and enjoy them while watching nature put on its show.

Waimanalo Beach

Welcome to Waimanalo Beach, a hidden gem on the east side of Oahu, known for its stunning sunsets and peaceful setting. If you’re looking for a peaceful spot to watch the sunset away from the crowds of Waikiki, then Waimanalo is great option to consider.

As you make your way down Kalanianaole Highway towards Waimanalo, you’ll know you are getting close by the breathtaking views of the Ko’olau Mountains and turquoise waters. The beach itself stretches over five miles so there is plenty of space to spread out.

What sets Waimanalo apart from other beaches on Oahu is its quiet atmosphere. You won’t find any high-rise hotels or bustling restaurants here. Instead, come here to surf, fish or simply enjoy some peace and quiet with friends and family.

Kualoa Regional Park

This hidden gem is situated on the east side of the island and offers stunning views of the ocean and nearby mountains. The views are unmatchable and this is one of our favorite spots on the island.

Unlike some of the more popular tourist spots, this park is relatively quiet and uncrowded. You can plan a sunset picnic on one of the many grassy areas or walk along coastline without feeling overwhelmed by crowds.

Note, that you will be right by Kualoa Ranch if you watch the sunset here. So if you plan to check out where they filmed Jurassic Park in Hawaii, consider touring the ranch and then winding up your day at sunset at Kualoa Regional Park. That is seriously one of my favorite days ever on the island!

Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

If you’re looking for a hike with stunning sunset views, the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail in Oahu, Hawaii should definitely be on your list! This 2-mile roundtrip hike offers panoramic ocean views and takes you to the top of a volcanic cone where you’ll find the iconic Makapu’u Lighthouse.

Makapu'u Light Trail is a great spot to watch the sunset on Oahu!
Sunset on the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail

This trail is fairly easy and one of our favorite hikes with kids on Oahu. Along the way, you’ll see beautiful coastal landscapes and may even spot some whales during whale watching season (December to May).

The trail gradually inclines as you continue up the paved path. It eventually becomes steeper and eventually turns into dirt and rock. But don’t worry – it’s still manageable for most hikers! The last stretch is a bit more challenging but well worth it once you reach the top.

At the summit, take in breathtaking views of Oahu’s east coast as far as Waimanalo Beach. And if you time it right, catch an unforgettable sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Pro tip: Remember to bring a flashlight or headlamp for safety heading back down after dark.

Amazing Oahu Sunsets on the West Side

Ko Olina Lagoons

Ko Olina Lagoons is a stunning series of four man-made lagoons on Oahu’s western shore. It is a great place to swim with children in the calm water and it is also the perfect place to watch the sun set while it paints the sky with shades of orange, pink, and purple.

The lagoons were created as part of a resort development, and they quickly became a popular beach spot to spend the day. On our last trip here, we had to pull our children away after several hours. There is so much to explore! The water is crystal-clear water and there is plenty of space to lounge on the sand or take a dip in the ocean.

But it’s really at sunset that these lagoons become pretty magical. As the sun gets lower in the sky, you’ll see locals and tourists gathering on blankets with coolers full of drinks and snacks and snapping gorgeous photos.

Ko' Olina Lagoon on Oahu

If you decide to head to Ko Olina for Oahu’s sunset, you have four lagoons to choose from stretching across 1.5 miles of shoreline. There is designated paid public parking along the lagoons, and you’ll find parking most easily at Lagoon 4 that is attached to a lot rather than a resort. Parking is not allowed in the shopping centers – they do tow!

Kaena Point

I have a hard time choosing the very best spot for watching the sunset on Oahu, but if forced to choose, Kaena Point might be it!

Located at the westernmost tip of Oahu, Kaena Point is a natural reserve that treats you to one of Hawaii’s most spectacular sunsets on the whole island! As you hike along its rugged coastline, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the colorful sky.

Kaena Point Sunset on Oahu

The trail to Kaena Point from the North Shore is 5.5 miles and takes at least two hours round trip. But it is flat and family-friendly. Just don’t forget a good light for hiking back to your car in the dark. If you depart from Waianae instead, be sure to park outside the gate so that you don’t get locked in!

Keep your eyes peeled because you might also see playful dolphins or whales breaching in the distance. Take some time to explore its rocky terrain and discover hidden tide pools filled with colorful marine life. As dusk approaches, find a cozy spot to sit and watch as the sky transform with color over the beautiful, peaceful Yokohama Bay.

Yokohama Bay

For a more secluded sunset spot in Oahu, check out Yokohama Bay. Located on the West side of the island, this hidden gem brings along some incredible views.

The pristine white sand and towering cliffs are the perfect complement to the gorgeous Oahu sunset in Yokohama Bay.

Golden Hour just before sunset on Oahu

The bay is also known for its calm waters and gentle waves which make it a great location for an evening swim or just lounging on the beach. If you’re lucky enough to be there during winter months, keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales breaching offshore.

Yokohama Bay is away from the busy tourist attractions or overcrowded hotspots. So if you are looking for a quite beach to watch the sunset, you’ll love this option.

South Shore Sunsets in Oahu

Ala Moana Beach Park

This popular 100-acre park is located just minutes from Waikiki and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. The park is easily accessible by car or public transportation, and there’s plenty of parking available if you choose to drive. Plus, it’s open until 10pm, so you can stay late and soak up every last minute of daylight.

Ala Moana Park is one of Oahu's best spots to watch the sunset!

The views at Ala Moana are truly spectacular. From the sandy shoreline, you can watch as the sun dips below the horizon and paints the sky with color. I am especially a sucker for the palm tree silhouettes that appear during sunset. As night falls, twinkling lights from boats and buildings add an extra touch of magic too!

Before the sun sets, you can take a stroll along one of several walking paths or pick up a game on the volleyball courts, tennis courts, or visit the skatepark.

Ala Moana Beach Park also has plenty of picnic areas where you can enjoy dinner while watching the sun go down. And when it comes time for dessert (because let’s be real – who doesn’t love dessert?), there are several food trucks serving up everything from shave ice to poke bowls.

Magic Island

Magic Island is one of those places that truly lives up to its name. Located on the southern coast of Oahu, this small man-made peninsula is a favorite Oahu sunset spot.

Magic Island is home to some of the most stunning sunsets you’ll ever see. As the sun descends behind the Waikiki skyline, the sky’s colors blend together into one great sunset show. It’s no wonder that so many people flock here at dusk to take in the breathtaking views!

Magic Island, Oahu sunset

Beyond sunsets, this little oasis offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like jogging, cycling, or simply strolling along its picturesque walking paths. The calm waters surrounding the island are perfect for swimming or paddle boarding too – just be sure to keep an eye out for sea turtles and colorful tropical fish!

If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, pack a picnic lunch and spread out on one of Magic Island’s grassy lawns. You can enjoy your meal while taking in panoramic views of Diamond Head and Honolulu Harbor – two iconic landmarks that are easily visible from this vantage point.

And if you happen to visit Magic Island during one of Hawaii’s many festive occasions (like Independence Day or New Year’s Eve) or on a Friday night, you’re sure to witness an unforgettable fireworks show as well!

Waikiki Beach

If you’re looking for the perfect spot to catch a stunning sunset on Oahu, look no further than Waikiki Beach. With its picturesque views, laid-back vibe and plenty of dinner spots, Waikiki is the ideal place to watch the sun dip below the horizon.

Sunset on Waikiki Beach
Sunset on Waikiki Beach

One of the best things about catching a sunset at Waikiki Beach is that there are so many different ways to do it. You can simply stroll down the beach and find a spot in the sand to sit and watch as the sky turns from blue to orange and pink.

Or, if you want an even more spectacular view, consider taking a sunset sail off the coast of Waikiki. From there, you’ll be able to see not only the sun setting over Diamond Head but also enjoy panoramic views of Honolulu’s skyline.

If you want a playful sunset experience like my children pictured above, hop in the waves in your clothes and splash around as the sun goes down – even if mom didn’t pack any towels (oops)!

If it is a Friday, please, please stick around for Aloha Friday nights! You’ll be treated to beautiful fireworks once it is dark and it is magical!

How to Watch the Perfect Sunset on Oahu

  • Bring snacks, drinks, and a picnic blanket so that you are comfortable enough to stay awhile
  • Arrive early to find a good spot and avoid crowds
  • Plan to stay awhile after sunset to watch the changing sky
  • Bring a camera to capture the moment – or don’t and just soak it up!

Where do you plan to watch sunsets on Oahu?

Oahu offers some of the most perfect and beautiful sunsets in the world. Whether you’re on the North Shore, Waikiki Beach or anywhere else on the island, you’ll love the stunning show of colors and light as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Choose a new beach each night of your vacation to visit – I dare you! Try not to miss one sunset on Oahu while you are in paradise!

Thank you for sharing!

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