top of page

Sunsets, water activities, beaches and food - few of the breathtaking things that Oahu has to offer

Hawaii - Oahu, Part 2

Sunset at Waikiki, April 2023

Sunset vibes, happy times. Breathe in the sunset. Something beautiful is on the horizon - unknown quotations author(s)

To watch a sunset is to connect with the Divine — Gina De Gorna

In this blog, I will expand on my experiences chasing the stunning Hawaiian sunsets, exploring the lovely beaches of Oahu, water activities, and delicious food stops around the island. Now, let's get this going.

Hawaiian sunsets

Chasing the Hawaiian sunsets is a league of its own. On a clear, non-cloudy, and non-rainy day, the views of the setting of the sun on the horizon amidst orange-golden hues in the skies, swaying palm trees, and calmer ocean with low tides are the Universe's way of showing us the essence of paradise on earth. In my humble opinion, the following makes Hawaiian sunsets stand out from any other sunsets on non-Hawaiian beaches,

  • The tranquility of the Hawaiian islands paves the way for feelings of immense bliss and peace.

  • Occasional to rare opportunities for viewing dolphins on some of these beaches at sunsets

  • Manta ray sunset tours in Big Island are really unique because one can watch the sunset while snorkeling alongside the Manta rays from the water. Wildlife + sunset – do we need more?

As the sun sets in the west of the island, one must plan to catch the sunsets in the western-facing areas of the island. Here we go,

Map of Oahu, a tool to the readers to view the locations mentioned in this blog

Sunset at the Waikiki Beach

Located on the south shore of Honolulu, the world-famous Waikiki beach was once the playground for Hawaiian Royalty in the 1800s, where they enjoyed surfing on longboards Waikiki is a unique beach in many ways because it is an urban beach located in the hustle and bustle of the Waikiki neighborhood. Steps away from the designer fashion stores on Kalakaua Avenue and fine dining, one of the best sunsets on the island can be watched at this beach while also catching glimpses of the beach hula shows. As my Airbnb was only a 10-minute walk from the Waikiki beach, I leveraged opportunities to watch sunsets, explore a few dining and dessert options, and take walks on Kalakaua Avenue.

Peek at Hula, a Hawaiian dance at a beach facing hotel in Waikiki beach

Sunset at Ala Moana Beach Park

One of the most picturesque sunsets on the island can be viewed from Ala Moana Beach Park on the south shore of Oahu near Waikiki. Walkable from the Waikiki beach, this beach park is famed as the locals' favorite for sunset with panoramic views Best places on Oahu to watch sunset. Although I didn't catch glimpses of the panoramic views of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, I viewed the gradual setting of the sun hidden behind the trees from the beach.

Sunset at Pu’u ‘Ualaka’a State Park AKA Tantalus Lookout

Tantalus Lookout, a short drive from Waikiki, offers spectacular views of the ocean, mountains, and Waikiki while catching the sunset. It houses a beautiful lush lawn where the viewers can sit/lay down/gather over a picnic while delighting the views of the setting sun. Although the day of my visit turned out to be a cloudy evening, which precluded the sunset viewing, I thoroughly enjoyed the stunning dusky views of the ocean, mountains, Diamond Head, and Waikiki from this lookout.

Magical views of the Diamond Head, Waikiki skyline and the Pacific Ocean at sunset from the Tantalus Point

Sunset at Sunset Point Beach Park, North Shore

This was my favorite sunset watch on this trip, as the namesake goes sunset viewing on this beach is among the finest on the island, so mark this as a definite stop during your visit to this island. As explained in my Part I blog of this trip, the North Shore visit was my last sightseeing stop during this trip. Chasing the sunset at Sunset Point Beach Park remains etched in my memory for years to come because there were very few people on this vast beach amidst a seemingly endless ocean with the setting sun on a clear sky. As I am penning this experience, I am transported back to that evening which paves way to recalling the following intangible feelings - with immense gratitude and prayers in my heart, and silence accompanied by the calming sounds of the ocean and incredible sun setting in front of me, as if just for me, as if it was a private show....... See, this is why I love traveling so much because it evokes these feelings within me like nothing else does on my non-traveling routine days. No amount of material wealth, human connections, or other sources of entertainment such as movies, dining out with friends/family, etc, does this for me in all my years of life on Earth till date. This is exactly why I leverage any opportunity to travel and get lost in Mother Nature be it for a couple of days or a couple of weeks.

Surreal sunset at the Sunset Point Beach Park, North Shore

Get a feel for the sunset experience at the Sunset Point Beach Park, North Shore through this raw, unfiltered video clip.

Water activities on the island

Try Scuba Diving Tour, Honolulu

This scuba diving beginner's guided tour was the best among the water activities I did on this trip. This tour is amenable to beginners without prior scuba diving experience, and the guides accompanying the participants are fantastically equipped with knowledge, experience, and soft skills. I signed up for this tour to get a feel for scuba diving. Note that I am not a swimmer – I can just float or swim for a few minutes at a time in a water body where I can touch my feet if I stand. I have an immense fear of swimming in deep waters without a life vest on my body. The maximum depth of the ocean in this tour is less than 15 feet, and my tour happened on Magic Island, closer to the Ala Moana Beach area. My fear didn't leave me, so I just stayed on the surface of the water without diving inside. However, I would highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to get a taste of scuba diving in beautiful Hawaii Try Scuba Diving because of the reasons explained.

Dolphins and You, half a day trip into the Pacific Ocean to view the Dolphins and go snorkeling

I chose to go on this tour for dolphin viewing, which was followed by snorkeling. You may already be aware of my poor swimming skills by now, additionally I also get seasick fairly easily with the slightest ocean currents. Despite these limitations, whenever I visit Hawaii, I repeatedly test my inert inabilities and sensitivities to the ocean by signing up for one of the snorkeling tours in the ocean. On the day of my Dolphins and You tour, the ocean currents were quite strong from the morning, resulting in a rough boat ride on the wavy ocean. The sea sickness prevention band on my wrist and an empty stomach didn't help me even a teeny bit to weather the sea sickness during my boat ride. Unabashedly, I was among the first ones to start throwing up during the ride, and there were a few following my drama, but I realized these things were totally beyond my control.

Internally, I was chiding myself for making a stupid decision to go on these rides in spite of a few such earlier experiences in Hawaii, where I almost always threw up. These self-deprecating feelings gradually declined at the first sight of a pod of beautiful dolphins merrily swimming in the ocean very close to our boat. And then there were a few sea turtles, too. Sights of the pods of dolphins diving and swimming in close proximity to our boat garnered immense feelings of gratitude and fulfillment within me, which convinced me that my stupid decision wasn't all that stupid after all.

Below are a few pictures of a cute seaturtle swimming on its back and pods of dolphins dancing in the turbulent ocean. Raw, unedited video clip of the dolphins jumping in the turbulent ocean follows suit the pictures below.

Trip down the memory lane - A peek into the Manta rays swimming in the ocean during a sunset tour on Big Island in March 2021, below. Big Island is one of the expanding Hawaiian islands, widely notable for the microclimates around the large island, diversity in wildlife, various color sands beaches (black, white and green sands for example) and stunningly pictureque landscape decorated with black lava around the island. Manta rays is one of the unique beauties on this island which I was fortunate to witness closely as seen below.

Oahu beaches

Oahu is a treasure trove for some of the incredible beaches in Hawaii. Kailua and Waimanalo beaches on the Windward/East side; Waikiki and Ala Moana beaches in Waikiki; Laniakea (Turtle), Pupukea (Shark’s Cove), and Sunset Point beaches on the North Shore were a few of the many beaches I explored during this visit. The beaches on the Windward side were bluish, prettier, and crowded. I had my best times in Kailua and Sunset Point beaches.

Oahu – places of eats

When I first started solo traveling almost a decade ago, checking out popular places of eats during my visits were not on my agenda. Since then, in the recent few years, I have evolved into more of a seasoned traveler with an interest in researching and trying out popular places of eats that offer vegetarian options for a complete traveling experience.

Leonard's Bakery Malasadas

Malasadas are Portuguese doughnuts; the pastry doughs are fried until the crust is golden brown while the inside remains fluffy and light. These were first introduced in Honolulu by a young Portuguese couple in their bakery, Leonard’s Bakery, in 1952, Leonard's Bakery, which then instantly became the locals' favorite. Malasadas are really popular in Hawaii; in Honolulu, it is the most popular local delicacy to check out in the area since this is where it was first made in 1952. The original malasadas don't have a filling inside, but the evolved versions of these come with varieties of fillings such as custard, chocolate, and coconut filling. Personally, I didn't feel malasadas were super delicious or unique in their tastes, as described in countless blogs, YouTube videos, etc.

Tip: Eat these hot for the best taste. I got these from a Leonard’s Bakery truck called Malasadamobile at Koko Marina Center on my way back from the Makapu'u lighthouse. Don’t be limited to only the brick-and-mortar bakery location since there are a few mobile trucks sprinkled throughout the city as explained in their website.

Noi Thai Cuisine – Waikiki

This restaurant was highly recommended by The Hawaii Vacation Guide, a popular Hawaiian blogger and YouTuber. This Thai place was only a short walk from my Airbnb-type accommodation, and I enjoyed their dinner a couple of times during my vacation. I really liked the vegetarian options and service offered at this restaurant, and I would highly recommend to anyone staying in the Waikiki area to check out this place at least once during their vacation.

Waiahole Poi factory - Waiahole

It brings me so much joy to write about the super delicious treat, Sweet Lady of Waiahole and Haupia ice cream, homemade at this humble traditional joint in Kanehohe, HI Poi factory. Poi is a traditional staple food in the Polynesian diet made from taro Poi. This joint is renowned for its homemade desserts on the island – Sweet Lady or Tahitian Lady where the ice creams are served over warm poi. My itinerary included this place as a must do thing on the island because of the rave reviews I saw on the internet about the aforementioned dessert, and needless to say, it was worth the effort taken to delight my tastebuds with this mouth-watering delicacy.

North Shore food trucks

Food trucks on the North Shore are a laid-back spot to relax and eat from one or more of the cuisine trucks. This is the most popular spot to get lunch in North Shore and, hence usually crowded. I don’t have a specific truck of choice to recommend, though the Thai food from the truck that ended with the nameThai Wagon made me some sumptuous basil spicy vegetarian Thai fried rice.

Coffee shops

Coffee 831, Aloh Health Bar and Café in Honolulu and Island Brew Coffeehouse in Ala Moana Center are good ones to check out for coffee/breakfast. While Coffee 831 is a grab-and-go place, there is plenty of seating and good WiFi (conducive for remote workers) at Aloh Health Bar and Café and Island Brew Coffeehouse. Coffee and breakfast served at all of the above cafes were delicious, so give them a try when you are visiting Oahu.

With this, my Oahu travel stories come to an end. Hawaii has always had and always will hold a special place in my heart. I tried to be as neutral as possible while sharing my experiences and recommendations in my Oahu travel stories, though some biases may have shown their face here and there in the stories. On a side note, August 8th, 2023, was indeed a sad day when the beautiful Maui, one of the Hawaiian islands, was hit by wildfires destroying most of Lahaina, a lovely town in Maui (Maui wildfires) that rekindled my sweet memories of a visit to Maui, including Lahaina in November 2010. When Mother Nature reacts or responds to human follies, it hits so hard and strong that we succumb to its anger in seconds. Maui wildfires taught me yet again that life is short and nothing lasts forever, so I need to leverage every opportunity to learn, grow, and live my life to the fullest that aligns with my purpose, values and goals, and certainly one of the goals is to travel and savor this beautiful world when possible. Thank you dear Hawaii for incredible travel memories....will return soon to explore your Kauai and/or revisit one or more of my favorite islands.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

My blog posts are an extension of my personality and interests. Feel free to leave your feedback or connect with me. Happy reading!

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
bottom of page