1. Laʻie Point State Wayside
Laʻie Point State Wayside lies on a peninsula in the town of Laʻie, on Oʻahu’s north-eastern shore. This small scenic lookout was featured in the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall, it’s the spot where the main characters jump off a cliff. Most people stop here during a circle island tour to view the island that sits offshore, it features an unusual hole at its center creating a photogenic sea arch.
2. Lānaʻi Lookout
Lānaʻi Lookout on Oʻahu’s south-eastern tip is an oceanfront outcropping of layered rocks shaped by years of waves crashing over the shoreline. Pause at this unique landscape, it’s one of the best photo opportunities on the island. On a clear day, you can see the island of Lānaʻi out to sea, along with Molokaʻi and Maui. It’s also a nice place to spot whales in season (Dec-May).
3. Makapuʻu Lookout
Makapuʻu Lookout is the easternmost point on Oʻahu, located just off the Kalanianaʻole Highway. It’s a popular photo and hike stop during a road trip around the south-east corner of the island. The views are panoramic and take in Mānana Island (also called Rabbit Island), Black Rock Island, dramatic sea cliffs, and the expansive ocean. It’s great for whale watching in season (Dec-May).
4. Nuʻuanu Pali State Wayside (Pali Lookout)
Nuʻuanu Pali State Wayside, also called Pali Lookout, is perched high above the pali (cliffs) of the Koʻolau Range. It’s the best place to get a good look over East Oʻahu including the towns of Kailua and Kāneʻohe, and the island of Mokoliʻi (Chinaman’s Hat). This lookout is steeped in historical significance, the site where King Kamehameha won the Battle of Nuʻuanu in 1795 uniting Oʻahu under his rule.
5. Puʻu ʻUalakaʻa State Wayside (Tantalus Lookout)
Puʻu ʻUalakaʻa State Wayside, known as Tantalus Lookout, is one of Oʻahu’s most breathtaking vantage points. From Waikīkī, it takes around 20 minutes to ascend Round Top Drive to this lookout on Mount Tantalus, an extinct cinder cone in the south Koʻolau Range. It features a sprawling view of Diamond Head, Downtown Honolulu, and Punchbowl and an inviting lawn that’s perfect for a picnic.