Best places to take photos in Honolulu, Hawaii

Hawaii’s capital city, Honolulu, has it all: world-class shopping, restaurants and galleries, coupled with warm tropical breezes and white sand beaches. 🌴 But be sure to get outside of the city to explore the rest of what Oahu has to offer. From low-key surf towns on the North Shore to stunning blue waters on the Windward Cost, Oahu is filled with incredible photo spots. Read on for the best places to take photos in Honolulu! 📷

1. Lanai Lookout

Located on Oahu’s southeastern shore, Lanai Lookout is set right on the scenic Kalanianaole Highway just after Hanauma Bay. On a clear day, you’ll be able to spot the islands of Lanai, Molokai, and Maui from this unique vantage point. The real star of Lanai Lookout, however, is the other-worldly, flat volcanic rocks that line the coast and turn golden at sunrise and sunset. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a whale in the distance during the winter season. 🐋 

Photo: Flytographer in Honolulu. Brittney and family capture memories in Honolulu on a family photoshoot.

2 Waikiki Beach, South Shore

One of Honolulu’s most famous beaches, Waikiki Beach, is centrally located making it convenient to get to for most visitors to Honolulu. Stroll the long stretch of soft, white sand and be sure to take a dip in the relaxed swimming area, protected by a seawall. You can rent a surfboard and hang ten at the famous Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head watching over you, or grab a mai-tai, sit back and watch the pros in action. 🏄‍♂️  The turquoise waters are always clear and inviting, and the views are always Instagrammable.

Photo: Flytographer in Honolulu. Brittney and family capture memories in Honolulu on a family photoshoot.

3. Sandy Beach

This locally-loved and beautiful beach is just a short drive out of Honolulu if you take the winding, coastal drive around the east side. The waters aren’t for the faint of heart, where the surf crashes onto the beach in powerful, rolling waves. We could watch the fearless boogie boarders and surfers riding the waves all day long, 🏄‍♂️ but if you want to swim in the water, there are safer beaches down the road for a dip. It’s also a beautiful place for a photo shoot, where the rocky landscape shines in the golden morning sun and buildings are nowhere to be seen.

Photo: Enzo in Honolulu for Flytographer. Laura and family capture memories on Sandy Beach in Honolulu with a family photoshoot.

4. Diamond Head, South Shore

The stunning beach at Diamond Head is protected by a shallow reef, making it a great spot for epic waves and sweeping ocean views (and if you’re lucky, maybe even a rainbow). Keep your eyes peeled for friendly sea turtles 🐢 (but remember, always give them 10 feet of space). The lookouts along Diamond Head are popular for catching the golden sunsets, and if you’re looking for an easy, family-friendly hike, the top of the crater has the best views of Honolulu. 

Photo: Flytographer in Honolulu. Ladylyn and family capture memories at Diamond Head in Honolulu with a family photoshoot.

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5. Waialae Beach Park, South Shore

Near Kahala Beach, this palm-tree lined park offers classic Hawaiian coastline views and perhaps one of the most perfect picturesque picnic spots in Honolulu. Nestled in the Kahala neighbourhood, it’s a local spot with calm, shallow waters and stunning views of the sunrise over the water. 🌅

6. Kualoa Beach

One of the most diverse locations on the island is Kualoa Beach Park. The tiny island Mokolii (known as “Chinaman’s Hat” by the locals 🧢) is a short paddle away with the majestic Koolau Mountains rising behind you. Feeling a sense of déjà vu? The nearby Kualoa Ranch is where movies like Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, Jumanji and more were filmed. 🎬 

7. Lanikai Beach

You won’t find a more beautiful beach than Lanikai Beach. The sun rises between the twin Mokulua Islands just off the coast, making it a popular spot to watch the sunrise. For a bird’s eye view, enjoy a short hike up to the Lanikai Pillboxes that overlook this beautiful view. The calm, blue waters make it a popular place for snorkeling 🐠 or if you’re feeling adventurous, rent a kayak to explore the nearby islands. After an afternoon in the sun, the charming Kailua town is just a short drive away.

8. Pali Lookout

Want panoramic views without the work of a hike? The Pali Lookout located just off the winding Pali Highway offers both convenient and breathtaking views of Kaneohe, Kailua and the lush, surrounding landscape. 🚙  Although it’s just five miles from downtown Honolulu, you’ll be amazed at how the landscape transforms into a tranquil, island paradise in a matter of minutes.

9. Haleiwa

A trip around Oahu isn’t complete without a visit to the slow-paced North Shore. The laid-back town of Haleiwa is a surfer’s paradise in the winter as mammoth waves pound the shoreline. The best spot to watch the surfers is the famous Banzai Pipeline. 🌊   During the summer months when the waves have calmed, the nearby Shark’s Cove is popular for snorkeling and catching the sunset.

10. Kakaako Murals

There’s more to Honolulu than just the bustling Waikiki. The trendy, downtown art district of Kakaako is decorated with street art galore that make for colourful backdrops for photos. 🎨  Grab a Hawaiian honey latte to go as you explore the many murals lining the streets. 

Capture memories in Honolulu, Hawaii

Are you ready to say aloha the beautiful island of Oahu with your camera in hand? 🌺 With some of the best beaches in the world, plenty of Instagrammable spots to discover and friendly local photographers ready to capture the magic, your new favourite photos are just a click away. 📷


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