Looking for the best place to watch the sunset on Oahu? I’m sharing 5 amazing places to watch the sunset on Oahu – and which is my favorite of all!
When people come to visit us in Hawaii, the first thing they usually ask on one of their first nights is – where should we go to watch the best sunset on Oahu? The truth is – every single night on this island is an opportunity to see Mother Nature paint the skies of Oahu pretty pastel colors. Every sunset is a beautiful sunset in Hawaii! That said, there are a few better-than-most spots to watch the sunset here.
What time does the sun set in Hawaii?
But first – let’s talk about what time the sun sets in Hawaii. We don’t participate in daylight savings time in the islands, so luckily for anyone who visits the sun is always shining for about the same amount of time each day. It was a nice change of pace when we moved here, because more sunlight = happier Kait. Kind of nice, right? During the winter months (December to February), the sun tends to set between 5:45 PM and 6:30 PM Hawaii Standard Time (HST). During the summer months (June to August), the sun sets between 7:00 PM and 7:30 PM HST due to longer daylight hours.
Now, let’s get down to business…the best places to see beautiful sunsets in Hawaii!
5 Amazing Places To Watch The Sunset On Oahu
1. Ko Olina: Ko Olina is a resort area on the west side of Oahu that houses the Four Seasons (formerly JW Marriott), Aulani Disney Resort and the Marriott time shares. It’s also where we lived when we first moved here! There are four lagoons that all offer amazing views of the sunset, but I highly recommend grabbing a table at Longboard’s (a bar on the third lagoon) and getting comfortable. It’s, by far, my favorite way to watch the sun go down! Plus, there is usually live music that is really good and if you’ve never had Kalua pork nachos, get some of those too 🙂
Oahu Hawaii Sunset
2. Makaha Beach: Up the leeward coast past Ko Olina sits Makaha Beach in Waianae. People have different opinions about the levels of safety here, especially after dark, but just be aware of your surroundings and you should be okay! We like it, because it doesn’t attract the crowds of Ko Olina and is a really fantastic place to view almost the entire coastline. The sun sets on the west side of the island, so don’t worry about missing the green flash 😉
3. Wai’olu Lounge: This little-known spot is tucked inside the Trump Hotel on the Waikiki Strip. Regardless of how you feel about the recent election, this spot is great for two reasons: 1. hardly anyone comes here and the cocktails are AMAZING! and 2. It’s a great place in Waikiki without all the hustle and bustle of tourists. Even if you are a tourist, it’s sometimes nice to “get away” from all that. We like it for the happy hour specials from 3:00-6:00PM, which sets you up perfectly for a 6:3ish sunset and if it’s a Friday…fireworks! Everyone runs for Sky Bar or Top of Waikiki – this is the same view with about 1/8 the crowd.
Oahu Hawaii Sunset
4. Top of Koko Head Crater. If you’re not afraid of a little after-dark hiking, getting to the top of Koko Head Crater and watching the sunset is phenomenal! For what it’s worth, I feel the same way about this hike and watching the sunrise. It’s so beautiful, usually not too crowded and offers spectacular panoramic views of the island. Get there a little beforehand so you can enjoy the views, then pop open the champagne you put in your backpack and cheers to another beautiful day in Hawaii Nei. Word of caution: It gets dark relatively quickly here on Oahu, so be prepared to hike down (depending on how quickly you go) with limited visibility. Pack a head lamp or flashlight (DO NOT DEPEND ON A CELL PHONE) and plenty of water – it will still be hot!
5. Kaena Point. The westernmost tip of the island of Oahu, Kaena Point can be accessed from both the north and west sides of the island. It’s considered a trail, though it’s flat so it’s great for running (YES PLEASE!) out there, enjoying the beautiful sunset and then strolling back. From the Waialua (north) side, you can park (just make sure you lock your car) and walk along the beach or the muddy flat path for about 2.5 miles. From the Waianae (west) side, you’ll park your car at the end of the paved road and hike for about 2.5 miles. We’ve done both and I enjoy the north shore access point more – but it’s totally up to you 🙂
Oahu Hawaii Sunset
Have you been to Oahu? Where was your favorite place to watch the sunset after a fun filled day of exploring beautiful Hawaii?