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Best places to watch a perfect Waikiki sunset (fun, unusual and off the beaten path)

You’ve spent the entire day visiting Waikiki’s fun landmarks and attractions, now your ready to check out the best places to watch sunset in Waikiki. So, we have those spots ready for you to check out, you just need to prepare ahead and get there at the right time to savor this gorgeous moment and sunset in Waikiki that will leave you breathless.

Here's where to go in Waikiki for those gorgeous sunset views

Here’s where to go in Waikiki for those gorgeous sunset views

Magic Sands

Magic Sands

Located next to Ala Moana Beach, the end point at Magic Sands offers a complete vantage point of all of Waikiki down to Diamond head to enjoy and capture in photos and then you get an added sunset view that is amazing from this location. On the other side of Magic sands, you’ll be greeted with fantastic views of Honolulu area to the downtown district and beyond.

The man-made peninsula at Magic Sands was originally intended as a resort that didn’t happen and luckily the area was converted to a park for locals and visitors to enjoy the area and it is a popular spot to picnic, do water sports and enjoy the views of Waikiki area.

A family friendly beach area, Magic Sands is protected with barrio rocks and making the small lagoon areas safe for beach, snorkeling and water fun. This is truly a perfect spot for kids to enjoy the waters safely from the open waters of the Waikiki beach area.

The area around Magic Sands is part of the Ala Moana beach park which translates into Path to the sea and is a perfect spot to end your day here in Waikiki area.

Kuhio Beach

Kuhio Beach

A perfect spot to enjoy the sunset views and music and hula at the same time. Come early to experience the lighting of tiki torches and popular Hawaiian tunes and music being played and then hula performances done on key for a fantastic free performances. The Kuhio beach experience is a must here in Waikiki and free to boot, so come early to view the wonderful show and then a magic sunset.

Kuhio Beach hula performance

Since this is a popular event, come early to get a spot and know that there will be a lot of crowds attending the performances and sunset experience at the same time at Kuhio beach in Waikiki.

Typically lasting from November to January and starting around 6pm, listen to the conch shells sounding and Hawaiian music playing and head out towards that area filled with crowds and the music stirring up all those fantastic experiences with sunset as an added finale.

China Walls

China Walls

The gorgeous cliff areas in the eastern part of Honolulu are a short drive from Waikiki and worth the effort to catch one of the most natural experiences from this area. Composed of lava rock formations on the cliffs and little sand below, you’ll get a totally different experience compared to the sandy beaches of Waikiki but still quite spectacular with the views of sunset and coastline landscape you can see off to the distance from this vantage point.

China walls is popular with locals and thrill seekers looking to jump the cliffs into the local waters. But you don’t have to do that and just get here early to find a perfect spot for a magic moment to view sunsets here at China Walls area.

Tantalus Lookout at Pu’u Ualaka’a State Wayside

Tantalus Lookout at Pu’u Ualaka’a State Wayside

Seeing Waikiki from above and at a fantastic viewpoint at Tantalus lookout is another local crowd pleaser for sunset views.  Located less than a 15-minute drive from downtown Honolulu, Tantalus Lookout is the perfect spot for a panoramic view of Waikiki and Honolulu all the way down to the ocean.

Come early to find your perfect spot, set out a picnic and open some drinks and savor those gorgeous views of the city skyline and then a fantastic sunset experience over Waikiki area below.

There are picnic tables and restrooms on sight and the location has wheelchair access for visitors. Also, for adventure minded visitors, you can actually hike up here at the round top Forest Reserve trail ahead of time and then enjoy a gorgeous sunset view afterwards.

Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park

Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park

An almost hidden local spot in Waikiki, Kuilei Cliffs Beach Park is located at the base of Diamond Head, on Diamond Head Road. You can park off the streets and hike down to the bottom at this popular surfing beach and enjoy the sunset views and coastline with mostly locals in the area.

Catching surfers and wind surfers skirting the waves and ocean while the sun starts to set creates a unique perspective you can capture in your photo visit to this scenic area which is truly off the beaten and fun to do away from all the crowds at Waikiki beach and the tourist venues

Ala Moana Beach Park

Ala Moana Beach Park

Ask any local and they will tell you the best sunsets are at Ala Moana Beach Park and without all the tourist crowds visiting here at sunset. Located between Waikiki and Honolulu area, Ala Moana Beach Park is huge with over 100 acres of park and beach area to find a spot to claim for yourself. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of places to spread a blanket and soak in the coastline views and then a magic sunset over Waikiki area and Honolulu.

Ala Moana translating into “Path to the Sea” is entirely perfect in this interpretation and well loved by locals that can park here, do some outdoor activities and enjoy an easy sunset in the area with no hassle.

With lots of benches, picnic tables and open area, you can easily find a spot for yourself and if your lucky view the most impressive 6,000 floating lanterns released out to the Pacific Ocean on Memorial Day to celebrate Veterans and families of loved ones at sunset and into the evening hours.

Cocktails and sunset views at Waikiki

Cocktails and sunset views at Waikiki

It’s totally that tourist vibe experience to enjoy Sunset with a Mai Tais or tropical drink in Waikiki. There are several bars, restaurants and popular venues to enjoy sunset with a delicious and refreshing drink on hand.  With so many venues to choose from, here are our favorite spots to enjoy those magic moments in Waikiki with a sunset view and delicious drink to enjoy.

Mai Tai bar at the Royal Hawaiian – pink umbrellas and signature drinks on Waikiki doesn’t get any better

Sky Waikiki – A view from above and get a reserved table for some fab views

Beach Bar at Moana Surfrider – a classic hotel with beach front access and fun beach bar with that huge banyan tree

Koa Oasis – low key and friendly service fronting the Fort DeRussy area on the beach with great sunset view

Rum Fire – a perfect spot on the beach fronting the pool and beach area with signature drinks and great food

Weather and best time to visit Waikiki, Oahu

Waikiki, located on the island of Oahu, is one of Hawaii’s most famous and popular tourist destinations. Known for its beautiful beaches, stunning views, and vibrant culture, Waikiki is a year-round destination. The best time to visit Waikiki depends on your preferences for weather, crowd levels, and activities. Here’s an overview of Waikiki’s weather and the ideal times to plan your trip:

Weather Overview:

  • Tropical Climate: Waikiki enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures and pleasant conditions year-round. There are two main seasons: a dry season (summer) and a wetter season (winter). Even during the wetter season, rainfall tends to be sporadic and brief.
  • Summer (June to August): Waikiki’s summer months are warm and relatively dry, with temperatures typically ranging from 75°F to 88°F (24°C to 31°C). These months offer plenty of sunshine and are ideal for beach activities, water sports, and outdoor exploration. However, it’s also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices.
  • Fall (September to November): Fall is an excellent time to visit Waikiki. The weather remains warm, with temperatures between 73°F and 87°F (23°C to 31°C). Rainfall is minimal during this time, and you can enjoy Waikiki with fewer crowds. It’s a great time for outdoor activities and cultural events.
  • Winter (December to February): Waikiki’s winter is mild, with temperatures averaging between 68°F and 80°F (20°C to 27°C). This is the rainy season, especially on the windward (eastern) side of the island. While you might encounter some rain, it’s still possible to enjoy Waikiki’s attractions, and you’ll find fewer tourists during this time.
  • Spring (March to May): Spring is similar to fall, with pleasant temperatures ranging from 69°F to 82°F (21°C to 28°C). The island starts to dry out from the winter rains, and the landscape becomes lush and green. Spring is an excellent time to visit for both weather and smaller crowds.

Best Times to Visit Waikiki:

  • Late Spring (April to June): This period offers great weather with warm temperatures and minimal rainfall. It’s an excellent time to enjoy outdoor activities and explore Waikiki without the peak summer crowds.
  • Fall (September to November): Fall is another fantastic time to visit Waikiki. The weather is still warm, and you can enjoy the area with fewer tourists, making it easier to find accommodations and enjoy popular attractions.


  • Peak Tourist Season: If you don’t mind larger crowds and higher prices, visiting during the summer (June to August) can still be enjoyable, especially if you plan well in advance.
  • Water Activities: Waikiki is a great place for water activities, including surfing, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Be sure to check the ocean conditions and surf reports for safety.
  • Festivals and Events: Waikiki hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year, so check the event calendar to see if any align with your travel dates.

In conclusion, Waikiki’s tropical climate makes it a year-round destination, but late spring and fall offer a good balance of pleasant weather and fewer crowds. However, any time of year can be a great time to explore this iconic Hawaiian destination and soak up the beauty of Oahu’s beaches and culture.

Final thoughts to finding those amazing sunset views

Final thoughts to finding those amazing sunset views

We think these are the best of popular and some more local spots to enjoy a gorgeous sunset on the beach. Hopefully this has been great and if we missed anything, please do share that sunset spot in the comments below.

Check out these other places to visit in Honolulu

Explore historic downtown Honolulu

Best Luau in Oahu

Visit to Iolani Palace

Ala Moana Shopping Center

Honolulu Airport in Oahu

Best restaurants in Honolulu to eat now

Best places to eat in Waikiki

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Conclusion to Best places to watch sunset in Waikiki

Thanks for visiting and checking out the best places to watch sunset in Waikiki, now go out there and enjoy it!

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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.