Oahu is a beautiful Hawaiian island that offers some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world. Whether you are looking for a romantic evening with your significant other, or just want to take in the views and marvel at nature’s beauty, Oahu has plenty of amazing sunset spots for everyone.
From stunning beaches to majestic mountains, here’s where to find 10 of the best sunsets on Oahu.
First, one thing to note if you are going to chase sunsets on Oahu you will need a car. Unless you are planning to just stick around Waikiki or Ko’olina the best Oahu sunset spots will need to be accessed by renting a car.
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Where to View the Best Sunsets on Oahu
Before we get to the Best Oahu sunset list let’s talk about some general rules of thumb to help make sure that you’re in the best spot to be able to catch the most epic Hawaiian sunset when you visit.
Remember that the sun always sets in the West, even in Hawaii. 🙂 The best views when the sun goes down will be from those spots that have an unobstructed view of the horizon in that direction.
Also, going back to grade school we learned that the sun does not always set in the exact same spot in the West. There is some variation throughout the year. For an up-to-date precise status on where the sun will set during your trip check Suncalc.org.
What Time Does the Sun Set in Hawaii
Sunsets on Oahu range from 7:17 pm during the summer months and 5:48 pm during the winter months. Hawaii does not follow daylight savings time so expect longer days in the summer and shorter days in the winter.
Since the times will vary make sure to do a quick google search to find out what time the sun will set on that specific day. Also in Hawaii the colors get more brilliant after the sun sets so be sure to stick around a little while longer!
Now that we got the basics out of the way, let’s look at some of the best spots to watch a sunset on Oahu.
10 Best Places to Watch the Sunset on Oahu
1. Sunset Beach
As the name suggests, Sunset Beach is our top pick for the best sunsets on Oahu. Located on the North Shore Sunset is known for big waves meaning it’s not the best beach to bring the kids for a swim.
However, with its long stretch of sandy beach, you can find a spot to relax on the sand and watch as the sun slowly sets into the ocean. Sunset Beach is an ideal spot to watch the surfers and take in one of Oahu’s most spectacular sunsets.
2. Waimea Bay
Coming in at number two is Waimea Bay. Located on the North Shore of Oahu, Waimea is a great choice to spend the late afternoon and stay to watch the sun go down.
You’ll have an amazing view of the beautiful deep blue bay, jump rock, and lush green mountains in the distance which makes for a stunning backdrop when watching the sun dip below the horizon.
3. Keawaula Beach
Keawaula is positioned on the most western part of the island making for an unobstructed view of the sunset. Since it’s the last sandy beach on the northwest side before the road ends and turns into Kaena Point Keawaula is rarely ever crowded.
It is a bit of a drive from most of the popular destinations on the island. For example, if you’re coming from Waikiki you can plan on about an hour’s drive and about 1.5 hours from the North Shore. However, the remoteness and orientation make this a great spot for sunset seekers looking to escape the tourist crowds.
4. Waikiki Beach
There is a reason why Waikiki is featured on a large percentage of postcards from Hawaii. It offers some of the best scenery on Oahu. During the day you can find people surfing, splashing in the water, and playing beach volleyball, but at night it’s a great spot to catch a stunning sunset.
A favorite spot among tourists, locals, and photographers alike this iconic coastline has unique spots for everyone to enjoy the views of a Hawaiian sunset.
5. Ka’ena Point
With access only available by foot or an approved off-road vehicle, Ka’ena Point is a great way to end your day with some time spent at the edge of Oahu. Technically, it’s not a beach but it has been known as an unofficial park and a popular spot to watch the sunset.
Located on the northwestern part of the island, this spot offers unobstructed views of the sun setting into the deep blue ocean. It also offers incredible views along its hiking trails and has been known to be a great spot for whale watching during certain times of the year.
6. Tantalus Lookout
If you’re looking for a spot that offers an expansive view of the island and a great vantage point to catch the sunset, Tantalus Lookout is your place.
Located in the center of Oahu, just minutes away from downtown Honolulu this mountain lookout offers sweeping views of both mountain and ocean. Bring your camera along and snap some great shots of the sun setting behind Diamond Head.
7. Koko Crater
On Oahu, the higher the better when searching for the best view of the sunset. Koko Crater is a great spot to watch the sun dip below the horizon with its stunning views of Hawaii Kai and Hanauma Bay in the distance.
This summit stands at 1,208 feet above sea level, making it one of Oahu’s highest points; plus, the trail provides a great workout with its 1.8 mile climb up the side of the crater. With no trees to obstruct the views, there’s no shortage of beautiful sunsets here!
8. Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail
Breaking the rules here since Makapu’u is located on the eastern shore of Oahu but looking back west from the top is truly magical. The Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail is about a mile long and provides incredible views of the Koolau Mountain Range and its famous blowhole.
As you make your way up, be sure to stay awhile once you reach the top to watch one of Oahu’s most stunning sunsets. Imagine watching the orange, pink, and purple hues of the sky reflected off the deep blue water. This is a great place to catch the sun setting over Oahu!
9. China Walls
This cliffside spot is known for its stunning views and unique geography. Located around the corner from Makapu’u Beach, this is another great spot to catch an Oahu sunset.
The view of the coastline is incredible with picturesque waves rolling in over the rock formations. The sunsets here are truly a sight to behold and the views are enhanced even further when the tide is low. If you’re looking to catch a sunset in Oahu, then this spot should definitely be on your list!
10. Ko’olina Lagoons
Ko’olina Lagoons is a great spot for those looking to witness a beautiful Hawaiian sunset. This manmade lagoon features four amazing lagoons, each with its own unique beauty.
The sunsets here are quite picturesque and it’s the perfect spot to relax after spending the day at nearby attractions like Ko Olina Golf Club and Wet n’ Wild Hawaii. Plus, the perfect sunset is enhanced further with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean in the background.
Best Sunsets on Oahu FAQ
Which side of Oahu is best for sunset?
The western side of Oahu is generally the best place to watch the sunset. With stunning ocean views and unobstructed horizons, many of these spots offer breathtaking sunsets with vivid colors and an unforgettable atmosphere.
What should I wear for watching a sunset in Oahu?
Light, comfortable clothing is recommended for sunset watching. It’s also important to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat if necessary as the sun can be quite strong just prior to its setting. Additionally, depending on where you’re going, sturdy shoes may be needed for walking up trails.
What time of year does Oahu have the best sunsets?
Oahu’s sunsets are at their best during the summer months when days are longer and there is more of an opportunity for vibrant colors in the sky. However, you can experience beautiful sunsets throughout the year on Oahu.
Where is the most sun on Oahu?
The Leeward Coast of Oahu generally experiences the most sunshine throughout the year. This area is also home to some of Oahu’s best beaches, so it’s a great spot for soaking up the sun and watching beautiful sunsets as well.
What beach on Oahu has the sunset?
Many of Oahu’s beaches are great spots to watch the sunset over the horizon. Some popular spots include Sunset, Waimea, Waikiki Beach, and Ko Olina Lagoons. Be sure to check out these beaches for stunning views of Oahu’s sunsets!
What time is golden hour in Oahu?
Golden hour in Oahu takes place the last hour before sunset when the sun is low and there is a soft golden light that casts over the scenery. This is the perfect time to catch some beautiful photos of Oahu’s stunning sunsets!
Best Sunsets on Oahu: In a Nutshell
Oahu has some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world and there are plenty of spots to catch one. From Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail to China Walls, Ko Olina Lagoons, and Waikiki Beach – you can find amazing views no matter which side of Oahu you’re on. Be sure to dress comfortably for your sunset-watching experience, bring sunscreen if necessary, and arrive early enough to take advantage of golden hour! Whether it’s a solo outing or an evening with friends or family – these stunning sunsets will be something that you’ll never forget.