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Best Places to Catch the Sunrise and Sunset


Stunning…breathtaking…awe inspiring

These are just a few words to describe the sunsets and sun rises throughout Hawaii. No matter how long you’re staying here on vacation, you have to make time at least one morning and night to sit and gaze at these beautiful displays of nature. Hawaii’s inspirational sunsets have been captured time after time on TV and in print, but until you can see one for yourself, you haven’t lived yet.

Streaked with red, orange, pink and even blue hues, you can wake up to the sun as it rises from the horizon and then watch it sink slowly into the ocean 12 hours later. No matter where you are in Hawaii, the sun rises and sunsets will be gorgeous, but there are prime spots where you can get the best views possible.


In Hawaii, the sun sets between 5:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. depending on what time of year it is. On Oahu, North Shore beach is a famous spot to see sunsets, with an incredible palette of colors dominating the sky. Honolulu harbor, Waikiki Beach, Magic Island, and Ala Moana Beach are all excellent spots to camp out and wait for the sun to descend beyond the harbor.

Overall, west-facing shores and bays will give you the best views of the sunset. In Maui, hike to the top of Haleakala for the most intense spectacle. Or, enjoy a picnic at the peaceful Big Beach at Makena State Park while viewing the sunset. If you’re in Kauai, stake out your claim at the Koloa Landing Sunset Wall, Polihale Beach, Ke’e Beach, Kilauea Lighthouse, Hanalei Nay, Poipu Beach, or Kalalau Lookout. On the Big Island, anywhere along the western Kona coast is perfect for viewing sunsets. Look out for the trademark “green flash” that everyone talks about when the sun disappears behind the horizon.

Sun Rises

Sun rises are a whole different ball game in Hawaii, with a whole new set of rules as to the best place to view them. Check out these places to catch a great sunrise:


Halona Blowhole Lookout, Kailua Beach Park, Sandy Beach Park, Kaneohe Bay, and Waimanalo Beach Park


Coconut Coast, Kalalau Lookout, Lydgate State Park, Spouting Horn blowhole at Poipu Beach


Haleakala summit, Hana, Ho’okipa Beach

Big Island:

Hawaii National Volcanoes Park near Halemaumau Crater, Liliuokalani Gardens, Pololu Valley Lookout in North Kohala

Now that you know the best spots for sunrises and sun sets, set your alarm, grab a blanket and a sweetheart, and get out there! If you’re up anyway for the sunrise, why not sign up for a tour of the rest of Oahu with Hoku Hawaii Tours while you’re at it?