Is there a better way to finish the day in Hawaiʻi than with a stunning sunset? If there is, we can’t think of one!

We’ll share our favorite sunset spots on all four islands to help you end the day right on Oʻahu, Maui, Kauaʻi, or the Big Island. Settle in, soak it all in, and celebrate another beautiful day in paradise.

Best Sunsets on Oʻahu

Ko ʻOlina

The Ko ʻOlina lagoons are perfectly positioned for catching sunsets. All four offer an excellent view of the setting sun. Lagoon 4 has the biggest parking lot, so you may want to head there to make your sunset experience simple.

Or, if you want a whole week of beautiful sunsets, get a room at one of the area’s resorts, which include Marriott’s Ko ʻOlina Beach Club, the Four Seasons Resort Oʻahu at Ko ʻOlina, and the Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa.

Mākaha Beach Park

As with many of Oʻahu’s west side locations, Mākaha Beach Park is a great spot to catch a killer sunset.

Mākaha can also be a great spot to catch a wave. In fact, it’s one of the spots where modern big-wave surfing got its start. (It’s also where legendary Oʻahu surfer Rell Sunn earned her nickname—the “Queen of Mākaha.”) In other words, Mākaha Beach Park has plenty to offer beyond its dependably excellent sunsets.

Ala Moana Regional Park

Easy parking and close proximity to town make Ala Moana Regional Park a no-muss, no-fuss place to take in the sunset. The park has plenty of facilities, including showers, bathrooms, and barbecues, so come early, bring the whole family, and make a whole day of it.

Sunset Beach

The name says it all. Originally called Paumalū (“taken secretly“), Sunset Beach has earned its English name many times over. (Even if that name was bestowed by a real estate developer looking to attract potential buyers!)

To some, Sunset Beach is better known as a major destination for big wave surfing along Oʻahu’s famed North Shore. Whether you’re there to test yourself at this challenging break or take in the end of the day, Sunset Beach is well worth a visit.

(By the way, if you can’t find a parking spot at Sunset, head just down the road and try your luck at Waimea Bay, which also offers excellent views of the setting sun.)

Waikīkī Beach

A busy hub of tourism. A great place to catch a wave. The perfect spot to soak up a beautiful sunset. Waikīkī Beach is all of these things.

Set up right on the sand and watch the magic unfold. Or, if you prefer to toast the sunset with a cocktail in hand, head to the Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian or to House Without a Key at the Halekulani Hotel. The cocktails at House Without a Key are accompanied by traditional Hawaiian music and hula dancing several nights a week, which can make an already extraordinary sunset extra special.

Kaʻena Point State Park

If you prefer to earn your sunset, head to Kaʻena Point State Park, up on the northwestern tip of Oʻahu. You’ll have two options to get to Kaʻena Point. Whether you approach from the Mokulēʻia Section (north shore of Oʻahu) or the Keawaʻula Section (west side of Oʻahu), expect to hike about 2.7 miles each way—and expect quiet serenity as you take in the changing colors of the sky.

Best Sunsets on Maui

Haleakalā Summit

Didn’t snag a coveted Haleakalā sunrise reservation? Don’t fret; sunsets from the summit of this dormant volcano can be just as spectacular—and sometimes even more so. (And, as a bonus, you won’t have to crawl out of bed in the wee hours of the morning!)

For the best sunset views, drive to the very top, where you’ll find Puʻuʻulaʻula, also known as the Summit Observation Deck. Join the others perching on the rim to soak up the last few rays of the day.

Tip: Make sure to dress warmly! Temperatures can get as low as 30°F at the summit.

Kapalua Bay Beach

In 2018, Kapalua Bay Beach was named “America’s Best Beach” by Dr. Beach (Florida International University professor Stephen Leatherman). Whether you’re there to sun yourself during the day, snorkel the surrounding waters, or celebrate the sunset, you can’t go wrong when you pick Kapalua Bay.

“Secret” Cove Beach, Mākena

This not-so-secret spot is often the site of one (or more!) sunset weddings each night. The gorgeous backdrop draws bridal parties from all over to exchange vows in this secluded cove at the close of the day. Because the setting is so picturesque, parking can be tricky. Plan to arrive early.

If you aren’t lucky enough to get a spot at Secret Cove, head up to Mākena Beach (a.k.a. “Big Beach”), just up the road. Poʻolenalena Beach, just another few miles toward Wailea, can also be a great spot to post up for sunset.

Keawakapu Beach

When you’re craving a long beach walk, Maui has a couple of excellent spots that deliver, including Keawakapu Beach. This western-facing beach is also perfectly positioned for reveling in the sunset.

As you stroll the white sand beach, enjoy the colors of the sunset as they shift right in front of you. There’s also plenty of free, public beach access parking at Keawakapu, so you won’t have to spoil your sunset vibe by battling for a spot.

Best Sunsets on Kaua’i

Poʻipū Beach Park

Poʻipū Beach Park has a lot to offer—a gorgeous beach to spread out on, picnic areas, snorkeling, and amazing sunsets. Extend your beach day to take in the changing colors at the end of the day, or just roll up at the appointed time to catch the show.

If Poʻipū feels a little too busy for you, head down the road to Shipwreck Beach. Even though it’s right next to the Hilton, it tends to be a slightly quieter place to savor the end of the day.

Kekaha Beach

Along Kauaʻi’s leeward (western) coast, you’ll find Kekaha Beach Park, the perfect place to enjoy a serene sunset. Although there’s parking, restrooms, and lifeguards at the south end, there’s also 15 miles of beach to explore. Stroll as far as you need to find your tranquility.

If you’ve got a four-wheel drive vehicle—and a sense of adventure—continue on to Polihale State Park. (Tip: Take it slow, and stay out of the sand to keep from getting stuck!) In this secluded area, you’ll easily be able to find your own slice of paradise to appreciate the sunset.

Hanalei Bay

This long, crescent-shaped bay offers plenty of daytime fun—swimming, snorkeling, and surfing—plus dramatic sunsets in the late afternoon hours. Head toward Hanalei Pier for the best angle of the sun as it heads toward the horizon.

Kalalau Lookout

Within Kōkeʻe State Park, you’ll find the Kalalau Lookout, which offers a peek into the majestic Kalalau Valley. This incredible vista is memorable by day, and it gets even better when the landscape is bathed in golden-hour light. You’ll find plenty of parking in the paved lot, as well as restrooms—making for a comfortable and unforgettable evening.

Kēʻē Beach

The towering cliffs of the Nā Pali Coast visible from Kēʻē Beach offer a stunning backdrop for the setting sun. You’ll find this beach within Hāʻena State Park on Kauaʻi’s North Shore. If you’re visiting Hawaiʻi, you’ll need a reservation to enter the park and access Kēʻē Beach. (Sunset parking reservations are available!) You can find more info on the state’s Hāʻena State Park website.

Best Sunsets on the Big Island (Hawai’i)


Kailua-Kona’s location on the Big Island’s leeward (western) coast means that you can catch a sunset from practically anywhere.

Why not do it with a mai tai in hand? Take a seat at Don’s Mai Tai Bar & Restaurant at the Royal Kona Resort and select a tropical cocktail from their extensive menu, which includes six mai tai varieties, plus mojitos and other island-inspired concoctions. (They’ve also got plenty of local beers in case cocktails aren’t your thing!) Sip, relax, and repeat.

Maniniʻōwali Beach in Kua Bay

This stunning white sand beach is one of our favorites. Maniniʻōwali Beach shines during the day, with soft white sand and crystal clear water, plus bathroom facilities and parking. As the day closes, many people head home to clean up before dinner. Hang out a little longer, and a peaceful sunset will be your reward.

Mauna Kea

Like Haleakalā on Maui, the elevation at Mauna Kea makes for a pretty extraordinary sunset. If you want to go all the way to the summit, you’ll need a four-wheel drive car. (Some tour companies also offer sunset tours.) You can also get a pretty good view from the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station.

No matter your final destination, make sure you start up early, since Mauna Kea is a popular sunset spot. It also gets cold and windy on the summit. (Below 40°F!) Pack a few good layers to keep yourself warm.

ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay

ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay—or A-Bay, as it’s often called—can be a stunning place to watch the sun dip below the horizon. During the day, this gorgeous beach can get a little crowded since it’s close to a number of resorts. Evenings get a little quieter, with the perfect sunset view found from behind the Kuʻualiʻi Fishpond. (As seen in the shot above!)

If you want to grab a meal or a cocktail afterward, hit up the Lava Lava Beach Club at the south end of the beach. They have chairs and tables set up right in the sand for a true beachfront dining experience.

Spencer Beach Park

Add a little history and culture to your sunset ritual. First, head over to Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, where you’ll find one of largest heiau (temples) in Hawaiʻi. Kamehameha the Great built the Puʻukoholā Heiau at the guidance of kāhuna (priests) who believed the god it was dedicated to (Kūkāʻilimoku) would aid Kamehameha in uniting the Hawaiian Islands. Perhaps they were right: The heiau was built around 1790. In 1810, Kauaʻi and Niʻihau joined the Hawaiian Kingdom, bringing the entire archipelago under one ruler.

After you explore this impressive restored structure, head over to Spencer Beach Park, where you can close out the day at this quiet beach. As you take in the final minutes of sunshine, you might find your mind turning to the Native Hawaiians who occupied this area more than 200 years ago.

Making the Most of Every Hour of Hawaiʻi Sunshine

Sunshine is plentiful in Hawaiʻi—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t savor as much of it as you can. Each of these 21 spots offers you the opportunity to appreciate every hour of the sun’s presence in these beautiful islands—and ignite a spirit of gratitude for all your time in Hawaiʻi.

Making a permanent move to Hawaiʻi? We’d be happy to help you get all your belongings to the Aloha State so you can soak up the sunset every day of the week. Just reach out to one of our experts for a complimentary quote to get started.

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