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Where to Find the Best Views on Oahu

Soak up the scenery on Oahu, Hawaii's most populous island.

Where to Find the Best Views on Oahu
Hi, I'm Karen!

Karen is a Scottish freelance travel and culture writer based in the US. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, National Geographic, BBC, and Condé Nast Traveler.

Oahu is stunning from any angle, but there are some spots on the island that offer particularly fantastic views. Whether you’re a keen photographer searching for the perfect shot or simply want to see Oahu at its most picturesque, here's where to find the best views of the island. 

Diamond Head

One of Oahu's best overlooks.

The view from the top of this 720-foot-high (220-meter-high) dormant volcano is well worth the effort it takes to hike up there. Not only will you get a panorama of Waikiki spread out below, you'll be able to see all the way to Barbers Point and the Waianae mountains.

View from the top of Diamond Head Crater.
Enjoy the views from atop the Diamond Head crater on Oahu.Foto: Elyse Butler / Viator

Nuuanu Pali Lookout

Admire beyond the coastline.

Perched more than 1,000 feet (305 meters) above Oahu, the Nuuanu Pali Lookout offers sweeping views of the sheer Koolau cliffs, lush Windward Coast, and the tiny island of Mokolii, locally known as “Chinaman’s Hat.” Circle Island tours typically stop here.

Helicopter rides

For bird's-eye views.

Soaring over Oahu in a helicopter gives you the chance to see the island from a different perspective. You’ll fly over jagged mountains, teeming waterfalls, and lush valleys, and some companies offer you the choice of a door-on or door-off experience.

A helicopter prepares to take off in Oahu.
There are few better ways of getting great Oahu views than from a helicopter.Foto: Mike Kane / Viator

Sightseeing cruises

Admire Oahu from the water.

After you've seen Oahu from above, hit the water to get yet another perspective. Cruising options include riding a catamaran out to snorkeling sites, taking in the sunset on a dinner cruise, and watching Waikiki’s Friday night fireworks from the water.

Makapuu Lookout

Panoramic views from a popular lookout.

Known for its views of Rabbit Island, Makapuu Lighthouse, and Waimanalo Beach, Makapuu Lookout is also one of the island’s best spots for whale watching from December to April. 

Get the best Oahu views

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