21 Epic Views of Hawaii You Will Never Forget

Na Pali Coast, Kauai | © n4rwhals/Flickr
Na Pali Coast, Kauai | © n4rwhals/Flickr
Photo of Alexia Wulff
15 February 2017

When it comes to finding spectacular views in America, Hawaii takes the cake. Images of lush rainforests, crystal clear waters, and sandy shorelines easily come to mind. But these islands are more than just a tropical destination. You will find—the colored, jagged cliffs carved by volcanic activity of the Na Pali Coast; molten lava from the Halemaumau Crater crashing into the cool waters of the Pacific, and the deep, chromatic gorge at Waimea Canyon.

Diamond Head, Oahu

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Diamond Head Hike | © Daniel Ramirez/Flickr
Diamond Head Hike | © Daniel Ramirez/Flickr

Diamond Head, Oahu

Take the Diamond Head Trail to the summit of Oahu’s volcanic tuff cone nestled along the coastline, and find panoramic views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean. Created by a volcanic eruption, Diamond Head is estimated to be about 200,000 years old.

Diamond Head State Monument, Honolulu, HI, USA

Pu’u Pehe, Lanai

One of Lanai’s iconic landmarks, Pu’u Pehe, also known as Sweetheart Rock, is a crimson-colored triangular sea stack sitting just off the peninsula that separates Manele Bay from its neighboring Hulopo Bay.

Sweetheart Rock | © Steve Jurvetson / Flickr

Waipio Valley Lookout, Big Island

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Waipio Valley Lookout, Big Island

For panoramic views of Waipio Valley and the surrounding landscape, Waipio Valley Lookout is the ticket. But if you’re yearning to get closer to the valley floor, which lies 2,000 feet (609.6 meters) below the towering mountains, take the Waimanu or Muliwai Trail.

Waipio Valley Lookout, Big Island, 48-5546 Waipio Valley Rd, Waimea, HI, USA, +1 808 961 8311

The Road to Hana, Maui

The Road to Hana (the Hana Highway) stretches for over 60 miles (96.5 kilometers), winding through the tropical mountain landscape of Maui from Kahului to Hana. Be sure to stop along the way for awe-inspiring sunsets.

The road to Hana | © Paul Bica / Flickr

Hanauma Bay, Oahu

Named the best beach in America in 2016, it’s no surprise that Hanauma Bay won the stunning views sector, complete with a massive crescent-shaped bay, white sand beaches, and remarkably blue waters.

Hanauma Bay | © Prayitno / Flickr

Haiku Stairs, Oahu

Hiking Trail
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Looking down the haiku stairs at the H3 highway and Kaneohe | © Brock Roseberry/Flickr
Looking down the haiku stairs at the H3 highway and Kaneohe | Looking down the haiku stairs at the H3 highway and Kaneohe
The Haiku Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven, offers unparalleled views of the island of Oahu. But visitors must hike up the steep, 4,000-step trail on the Koolau mountain range—considered to be the most epic, and famously illegal, hike in Hawaii.

Nu’uanu Pali, Oahu

A popular Oahu scenic outlook, Nu’uanu Pali boasts panoramic views of Nu’uanu Valley, the Koolau mountain range, and the windward coast of Oahu.

Oahu Landscape | © Bernard Spragg. NZ / Flickr

Honokohau Falls, Maui

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Honokohau Falls, Maui | Public Domain/Pixabay
Honokohau Falls, Maui | Public Domain/Pixabay

Honokohau Falls, Maui

Honokohau Falls is the tallest waterfall on Maui, plunging 1,100 feet (335.2 meters) to an inaccessible valley floor below. Because of its remote location, a trip via helicopter is the only way to see them.

Honokohau Falls, West Maui Mountains, to the north from the summit of Puu Kukui

Honokohau Falls, Maui | Public Domain/Pixabay

Honokohau Falls, Maui | Pixabay

Kīlauea Point, Kauai

A visit to the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge isn’t complete without a trip to the famous lighthouse, a tall, white structure created by volcanic activity that sits high above the ocean on a cliff.

Kīlauea Point, Kauai | Pixabay