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.

Halemaumau Crater, Big Island

Within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Kilauea’s Halemaumau Crater lava lake has been rising. Crowds are drawn to see its molten rock and flowing lava as it creeps across the floor 100 feet (30.4 meters) below the adjacent crater.

Halemaumau Crater, HI, USA

Halemaumau Crater Lava Lake | Public Domain/Pixabay

Halemaumau Crater Lava Lake | Pixabay

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

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
Map View
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

Chinaman’s Hat, Oahu

Mokolii (commonly referred to as Chinaman’s Hat) is a small island in the Kaneohe Bay, just a third of a mile (half a kilometer) off the shores of Kualoa Point.

Chinaman’s Hat, Mokolii, HI, USA

Chinaman's Hat - Oahu Hawaii | © Cristo Vlahos/WikiCommons

Chinaman’s Hat, Oahu, Hawaii | © Cristo Vlahos

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