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.
The view from the top of this 720-foot-high (220-meter-high) dormant volcano is well worth the effort it takes to hike to it. You’ll get a panorama of Waikiki spread out below and all the way to Barbers Point and the Waianae mountains.
Nuuanu Pali Lookout
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.
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.
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.
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.