Nestled against the sparkling waters of the Pacific Ocean, Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is well-known for its breathtaking landscapes. From the lush greenery of its gardens to the sun-kissed beaches, the beauty of this tropical paradise is unmatched.
So whether contemplating renting a home in Honolulu, purchasing a property, or you’re already a local, be sure to keep your camera within arms reach, as there’s no shortage of stunning views in the area. Here’s Redfin’s list of some of the most beautiful places in Honolulu.
1. Waikiki Beach
Waikiki Beach, with its golden sands and turquoise waters, is an iconic symbol of Honolulu’s coastal charm. Framed by swaying palm trees and the majestic Diamond Head crater in the background, this world-renowned beach offers a perfect blend of relaxation and water activities. Whether you’re looking forward to a relaxing day in the sun or hitting the waves, Waikiki Beach provides a picturesque setting.
2. Diamond Head State Monument
Embark on an adventure to the summit of Diamond Head, an extinct volcanic crater offering panoramic views of Honolulu and the vast Pacific Ocean. The moderately challenging hike leads you through tunnels and up staircases, providing an immersive experience of Hawaii’s volcanic history. The reward? Unforgettable vistas that showcase the city’s dynamic beauty.
3. Laie Point
Nestled on Oahu’s northeastern shore, Laie Point is a mesmerizing coastal location that captivates visitors with its natural beauty. As you stand on the rocky outcrop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of turquoise waters and lush greenery. The crashing waves and the cool ocean breeze create a serene atmosphere, making Laie Point an ideal spot for relaxation and contemplation.
“A must-see if you are visiting the island of Oahu in Hawaii is Laie Point in the North Shore,” says local photographer Masha Sakhno. “It has breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, the Ko’olau mountains, and the iconic volcanic rock with a hole in the middle (featured in many Hollywood films). This area is truly spectacular, especially during sunrise and sunset.”
4. Manoa Falls Trail
Embark on a magical journey through the rainforest to reach Manoa Falls, a 150-foot waterfall nestled in the heart of the Manoa Valley. The trail winds through lush greenery, offering a refreshing escape into nature. As the sound of cascading water grows louder, the reward at the trail’s end is the sight of this enchanting waterfall, creating a serene and memorable experience.
5. Lyon Arboretum
For a serene escape into nature, venture to Lyon Arboretum in the picturesque Manoa Valley. Immerse yourself in the lush greenery of this botanical garden, where a diverse collection of tropical plants and exotic trees flourishes. The tranquil trails wind through enchanting landscapes, offering a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts and a feast for the senses.
6. Waialae Beach Park
Honolulu wedding photographer Chris Boulware recommends checking out Waialae Beach Park for its scenic beauty.
“Waialae Beach Park is a hidden gem nestled in Kahala and encapsulates the diverse beauty of Honolulu,” he says. “Its unique allure of palm trees and serene waterfront creates a mesmerizing setting for breathtaking wedding, engagement and family photography. Providing the perfect backdrop for locals and visitors looking to capture their keepsake, surrounded by the essence of Hawaii.”
7. Ala Moana Beach Park
Adjacent to Waikiki, Ala Moana Beach Park is a vast urban oasis offering a peaceful retreat from city life. With a sandy beach, shady picnic areas, and walking paths, it’s a haven for residents seeking a serene escape. Imagine homes in Honolulu with easy access to Ala Moana, providing the perfect balance between the vibrant energy of the city and the tranquility of the coastline.
8. The Ko’olau Range
The Ko’olau Range features lush, emerald-green mountains that stretch across the eastern side of Oahu.. Dotted with cascading waterfalls and framed by lush tropical vegetation, the Ko’olau Range provides a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Hiking trails weave through its slopes, inviting adventure enthusiasts to explore its hidden gems and witness panoramic views of the city and the Pacific Ocean.
“I really believe Hawaii has some of the most unique types of mountains in the world,” says local photographer Kenji Croman. “Millions of years of rain and erosion created the Koolau’s famous unique ridges. This is surely one of my favorite places in Hawaii.”
9. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Dive into the underwater wonderland of Hanauma Bay, a marine sanctuary nestled within a volcanic crater. Snorkel through vibrant coral reefs, where a kaleidoscope of fish and sea turtles dance beneath the crystal-clear waters. The bay’s crescent shape and diverse marine life make it a snorkeler’s paradise, inviting you to explore the depths of Hawaii’s captivating ocean life.
10. Koko Crater Botanical Garden
Discover a unique blend of desert flora at the Koko Crater Botanical Garden, nestled within the Koko Crater on the eastern side of Honolulu. This garden showcases a stunning collection of cacti and succulents against the backdrop of volcanic terrain. Living near Koko Crater allows residents to experience the unexpected beauty of a desert oasis in the midst of a tropical paradise.