The island of Oahu in Hawaii is known for beautiful sunsets that have become attractions in themselves. The sky's changing colors and the slowly setting sun exude a vibe of serenity, wonder, and sense of oneness with the universe. Oahu's sunrise, however, is not to be outdone. It is as magnificent as the sun set, if not more rewarding, if only one is already up and about to witness its unfolding beauty.
Apart from leaving the comfort of your bed before dawn, catching the rising sun may require a little extra effort to enjoy. A hike to an elevated spot or trip to the beach is a must if you want the the best vantage point. Below, we list down four best Oahu spots for watching the sunrise. Make sure to check the weather forecast and time of sun rise before you go to bed the night before and set your alarm clock accordingly. We assure you, getting up early to witness an Oahu sunrise is all worth it!
Kaiwa Ridge Trail
Also known as the Lanikai Pillboxes, the Kaiwa Ridge Trail is a 1.6 mile scenic trail located near Kailua. This trail is relatively easy and very popular among locals and visitors. It only takes less than an hour to get to the top of the trail where two old military bunkers (pillboxes) that now serve as platforms for enjoying the breathtaking views of Kailua, Lanikai and the Na Mokulua offshore islets.
Koko Crater Railway Trail
Not as easy as Kaiwa Ridge Trail, Koko Crater Railway Trail requires some leg workout. This 1.8-mile trail leads to the top of an extinct volcanic cone and is lined with 1,048 railway ties. It is quite steep and not for those with bad knees. But once on top, it’s worth it with 360-degree views of East Oahu. Points of interests while the sun is rising include the Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Makapuu, the Koko Crater Botanical Garden and Honolulu.
Sandy Beach Park
If you are not into hiking, Sandy Beach Park is your best spot for witnessing an Oahu sun rise. Enjoy the rising sun while exploring the tide pools. This expansive beach in the island's southern shore is popular among bodysurfers for its massive shore breaks.
Makapuu Beach Park
Another hike-free alternative to watching the sun rise in Oahu is Makapuu Beach Park. It is just a few minutes up the road from Sandy Beach Park. Be amazed by the stunning views as the rising sun slowly illuminates Oahu’s Windward coast and the nearby offshore islets.