Scenic Spots Oahu
Land of the most Instagrammable selfie, Oahu Hawaii has become a wanderlust filled destination. It’s hard to drive down the H1 without pulling off for remarkable Oahu scenic spots.
Oahu is famous for its stunning views of the blue Pacific Ocean, coral reefs, and lush and mountainous landscape. Many people hike up a thousand feet to find these views, but you can use this guide to cut down on time and exhaustion to find the best scenic spots in Oahu to stop.
Nu’uanu Pali Lookout
Leaving from Honolulu and heading across the eastern edge of the island on the Pali Highway or Route 61, you will come across the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout. Located between the two coasts, this lookout is high in the mountains and gives you a view of the Pali Notches, Kailua, Waimanalo, and the ocean below.
Since this spot is within the mountains, it is near many popular hiking trails like the Judd Trail and Maunawili Falls. This is a great spot to stop at on your way to Kaneohe Bay or Lanikai Beach.
Just around the bend towards the north is another popular scenic spot to stop at for a different angle of the view.
Tantalus Lookout – Puu Ualakaa State Park
The Tantalus Lookout in Pu’u ‘Ualaka’a State Park is a bit of a hidden gem but offers some of the most stunning aerial views of Honolulu. This Oahu scenic spot was one of our favorites of the trip. When we made it to the top, we walked the covered path out to the ledge.
There was no one out there with us (until a cyclist made the long journey up the mountain), so we got to enjoy uninterrupted panoramic views of the city below. From here you can see Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor and all of Southeast O’ahu.
This Hawaii state park is huge and great for amazing views and a relaxing day in nature.
Round Top Forest Reserve Viewpoint
On your way to the Tantalus Lookout you will see a few cars parked on the side of Round Top Drive. This is a great stop to get you excited for the higher view at Tantalus Lookout.
For a side of the road scenic spot, this spot ranks high. The lookout gives you real and stunning views of the city without making a detour, and perfect for a busy day.
Byodo-In Temple – Valley of the Temples Memorial Park
The Byodo-In Temple in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park is one of the most visited scenic spots in Oahu, Hawaii. It is hard to scroll through scenic Hawaii spots without seeing a picture of this Japanese temple.
The temple is an exact replica on a smaller scale of the Byodo-in Temple in Japan – a United Nations World Heritage Site.
This serene and calm spot is often full of tourists and visitors, but worth the visit. I would suggest going on a weekday to avoid mass crowds and in the morning before people start showing up.
While here you can ring the bon-sho and even make a prayer in the temple.
Laʻie Point State Wayside
Heading towards the North Shore, on the eastern point of Oahu is La’ie Point State Wayside. If you have ever seen that iconic Hawaii photo on a cliffs edge looking towards the vast ocean with a rock formation that has a hole in it off the coast, then you have seen this point.
A classic photo-op on the Hawaiian island, La’ie Point State Wayside is a popular scenic spot in Oahu – for visitors and locals.
Many locals like to visit the point and cliff jump into the Pacific Ocean while visitors come for the views on their way to the Polynesian Cultural Center.
The point is on the eastern most point of Oahu and gives panoramic views of the ocean. On clear days you can spot Moloka’i, Lanai, and even Maui in the distance. This whole area has scenic points and pull offs to take in the Hawaiian views and island life.
Close to Makapu’u Point is the Halona Blowhole. The blowhole is a small pull off on the Kalaniana’ole Highway. One of the most famous blowholes on Oahu, the Halona Blowhole is large and easy to spot from the parking lot, and blows often.
From the Halona Blowhole you can spot a small cove down below. This beach is a bit of a hidden gem and reserved for the extreme. The beach is closed to the public but still hosts masses of adventure seekers daily.
Blowholes are a must see for any Hawaiian visitor and the Halona Blowhole is perfect for a quick site and bucket list check off.
Any hikes on the lava rocks or near blowholes can be extremely dangerous, only go if you are prepared and skilled in these hikes.
More About Scenic Spots Oahu
There is a never ending list of road side spots, pull offs, and lookouts to explore on Oahu. The Hawaiian islands are full of unprecedented and unrivaled beauty. It is hard to drive more than five minutes without wanting to stop and take in the stunning views of the ocean and far off islands of the Pacific.
Let me know in the comments below some of your favorite scenic spots in Oahu.
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