Have you ever felt a sense of overwhelming joy upon seeing a spectacular view of nature? Appreciating the beauty of the environment from lush greenery to awe-inspiring vistas has the power to uplift our emotions and even reduce stress. Spending time outdoors makes us feel closer to nature. This sense of connectedness can boost our happy hormones, which help improve our overall health and well-being. These are some of the reasons why many people love going to mountain ranges and nature parks. 

When it comes to breathtaking views, what better place to visit than Hawaii? Here are the best lookouts that will make your journey around the island worthwhile. Many lookouts have interesting historical backgrounds, while others are linked to famous legends. Make sure you bring your camera to capture keepsake moments of these panoramic vistas. Join our Private Oahu sightseeing tour and we’ll take you to these Hawaiian gems. 

Mount Tantalus

Originally named Puʻuohiʻa, Mount Tantalus, is a must-see spot for travelers from different parts of the globe. Some locals fondly refer to this lookout as the “Hill of the Rolling Sweet Potato” after the legend about sweet potato gardens grown on the top of the mountain.


If you want to escape the bustling city in favor of a more relaxed and peaceful environment, this well-loved island retreat is a perfect choice. This lookout is known for its stunning sunsets that will remind you of just how beautiful life is. Mount Tantalus is also considered a botanical paradise and a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Bird-watchers love going here for a chance to spot the endemic Oahu Amakihi (a Hawaiian honeycreeper), the brightly colored ʻakepa, and more. This South Shore site gives you a panoramic view of Punchbowl Crater, Diamond Head, and Honolulu.

Makapu’u Lookout

The mere mention of Makapu’u Point Lookout evokes imagery of amazing sceneries and a stunning lighthouse. This Hawaiian gem is nestled on Oahu’s southeastern tip. There’s a paved walkway that takes you to a nice area where you can appreciate the beautiful sea cliffs, Makapu’u Beach Park, Rabbit Island, and Kaohikaipu Island. When the timing is right, you might even spot some whales.

Makapu’u Lookout - Best Lookouts in Hawaii

From the summit, you can also have a good view of the iconic lighthouse constructed in 1909. It was built to guide the steamer Manchuria during the predawn hours on the reefs off Waimanalo. In 1974, the lighthouse was automated, but a clockwork mechanism enabled it to send light beams out to the sea. Unfortunately, the lens was damaged in a firing. A century has passed, but the Makapu’u Lighthouse still stands as a beacon at the top of the dark rocky cliffs. Folks who are up for a hike can go back and forth to this fascinating lighthouse in less than two miles. 

Nuuanu Pali Lookout

The Nuuanu Pali Lookout is regarded as a historical landmark with mesmerizing panoramic views. The site is where the Battle of Nuuanu occurred in 1795. During the fierce battle, hundreds of soldiers were forced off the cliffs. The triumph of King Kamehameha united Oahu under his rule. To mark the historic battle, the site was named “Pali” which means “cliff” in Hawaiian.

Nuuanu Pali Lookout

The five-mile drive northeast of Downtown Honolulu leads you across majestic trees and lush forests. The city eventually fades out from view and is replaced by a dreamy and peaceful landscape. When you get there, feel the wind across your face and appreciate the compelling presence of Oahu’s pristine beauty.

It is nestled more than a thousand feet above the Oahu coastline surrounded by mountain peaks. This stone terrace gives a great vantage point of Kaneohe, Kailua, and Chinaman’s Hat. Other notable sites that can be seen at this lookout are Kaneohe Marine Corps Base, Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden, and Hawaii Pacific University’s Windward campus, 

Laie Point

For quite some time, the dazzling views of Laie Point were a local secret. But in the past few years, this peninsula in the Pacific Ocean has gained popularity. It features a small islet with a big opening in the center. The islet has an array of rock stackings; an indication that people have paddled their way to the rock formation. Its jagged shoreline is attributed to the constant breaking of waves. People who love to dabble in photography will enjoy taking photos of landscapes and unique textures.

Laie Point

Laie Point has a cliff where people like to venture. Those who love a rush of adrenaline jump from this cliff to the azure water. That’s why the area has become a popular cliff jumping spot. 

The piece of land which extends into the ocean from Laie is called Laniloa. According to a legend, a mo‘o (giant lizard) once stood guard in this spot to bring down intruders. When Kana (a Maui demigod) and his brother saved their mother from Molokai and returned her to Hawaii, he set out to kill all the mo‘o. He destroyed the mo‘o at Laniloa by severing its head and cutting it into five pieces. Kana threw them into the sea and today they represent the five small islands off Malaekahana namely Moku’auia, Kihewamoku, Kukuiho’olua, Pulemoku, and Mokualai.

Life is beautiful, so make the most of it by embracing happiness and finding fun everywhere it takes you! Sign up for our private tours Oahu and live life to the fullest.

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