My latest blog post was all about the sunsets on O’ahu, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love sunrises even more. There’s something about watching the sun come up that makes me feel alive and excited to start my day. I really believe that if you start your day with a sunrise, especially in a beautiful place like Hawaii, your day is bound to be a good one!
Here are my top 5 favorite places to watch the sunRISE on O’ahu (there are PLENTY more spots to do this than those I’ve listed below – these are just some of the places I like to go myself).
- Sandy Beach – We live pretty close to Sandy Beach so this is where we visit most often, but proximity isn’t the only reason we love it so much! There usually aren’t many people here in the early mornings, the views are perfect, and there are options for where or how you can watch it. You can take a long walk on the soft sand, or go to the other side and check out the tide pools – each place has a different view.
- Top of Makapu’u Lighthouse Hike – This hike is very popular, but again, less people come here before the sun is up. Mid-day it’s especially hot with the lack of shade and the asphalt path, but early in the morning it’s nice and cool and the view from this high up is so peaceful and serene. During whale season, it’s the perfect spot to see some action. On this particular day, we saw a mom and her baby playing, jumping, and splashing around SO close to the shore!
- Lanikai Pill Boxes Hike – This hike is becoming more and more popular because of these sunrise views over the Mokes. I mean, can you blame people? It can be a super short hike if you just want to go to the first or second pillbox to see the sunrise, or you can keep trekking for a longer hike. What I love most about the pillboxes hike is that you can see this view within minutes of starting. If you’re climbing before sunrise, I’d bring a headlamp or use your phone as a light so you can see your path along the way.
- Kailua Beach – If you aren’t up for a hike, going to Kailua Beach to go for a 3-4 mile walk/run or just sitting on the sand is a wonderful way to start the day. Walking in the powder-soft, white sand as the sky turns these beautiful pink-peach tones might be the most relaxing thing I’ve ever done here. It’s quiet, except for the sound of the waves lapping against the shore, the water is always warm, and the sand is always soft under your toes. It’s a nice beach during the day too, but early mornings here should not be missed.
- On top of Koko Head – This is the best spot if you’re willing to work for it! 1,048 giant steps to the top make for a very sweaty, challenging climb, but the view on the other side is absolutely worth the effort. I’ve probably done this hike 100 times and each time I hate it a little bit on the way up (okay, sometimes I hate it a lot), but then feel so great when I get to the top. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes (if you’re super fit and trying to get up really fast) to an hour if you’re taking short breaks. It’s only about a mile up, but it’s really UP there. Again, bring a light with you for the way up, but make sure to shine it down to the steps and not straight up in front of you or the resident climbers who are already on their way back down will get mad at you for shining lights in their eyes!
- Diamond Head Road Lookout – This is a very easy spot to get to. Just drive up Diamond Head Road, park your car and get out! It’s a great place to watch the surfers and the sunrise at the same time. You can also park at the bottom of the road near Kapiolani Park and go for a nice up-hill walk, ending at this view before you turn around to go back down. Metered parking at the park is free until 10am and the spots at the actual lookout are free all day!What’s your favorite spot on the island to catch the sunrise?