Sunrise in Honolulu: 10 Beautiful Spots to Watch the Sunrise in Honolulu 

Honolulu is the heart and soul of Oahu, an island of Hawaii. Stretching across the southern shores from Pearl Harbour to Makapuu Point, Honolulu has some spectacular sunrise spots against the backdrop of the Pacific ocean. With a wide range of attractions, bustling nightlife and gorgeous beaches, the city is a popular tourist destination for folks worldwide. Watching the sunrise in Honolulu can be the perfect start to your day of exploring the island! 

Best Time to View the Sunrise in Honolulu

Honolulu consistently has only two seasons- Summer and Winter. Oahu is usually packed with tourists throughout the year looking to surf or enjoy a laid back vacation by the beach. However, the best season to visit Honolulu is mid-April to July when temperatures are moderate. 
Sunrise in Summer: Summer in Honolulu, Oahu is between May to October. The skies are clear and the waves are strong making for beautiful sunrise views as well as surf sessions. The average daytime temperature is  85° F (29.4° C) and the sun rises approximately between 6:00 AM and 6:30 AM. 
Sunrise in Winter: If you're looking to avoid the peak season, plan to visit Honolulu in the winter. The cheaper hotel prices and emptier beaches make for relaxed and unobstructed sunrise views! The average daytime temperature is 78° F (25.6° C) and the sun rises at approximately 7:10 AM. 

10 Best Places to Watch the Magical Sunrise in Honolulu 

Known for its pristine beaches and a myriad of water sports, watching the sunrise in Honolulu is an underrated experience and not one to be missed! The island comes to life with the glow of the morning sun on its picturesque shores. Here are the top 10 places to soak up the warmth of the sunrise in Honolulu. 

1. Puu Ualakaa State Park

Puu Ualakaa
The Puʻu ʻUalakaʻa State Wayside is an urban park located close to downtown Honolulu. With sweeping views of southern Oahu, the state park has a one-mile hike with picnic shelters. Get an early start to the day, head over to  Puʻu ʻUalakaʻa and watch the Honolulu sunrise against the backdrop of the city skyline.
Address: 2760 Round Top Dr Honolulu, HI 96822
Timings: Monday to Sunday 7:00 AM– 6:45 PM
Entrance Fee: None 

2. Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach
If you’re up for an adventure, Sandy Beach is the perfect place for you! With high tides and strong waves, Sandy Beach is popular for surfing and bodyboarding and is flocked with tourists in the summer. Located on Oahu’s southeastern shores, it faces east and has magnificent sunrise views from over the horizon! 
Address: 8801 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96825, United States

3. Lanikai Pillboxes

Lanikai Pillboxes
Also known as the Kaiwa Ridge Trail, the Lanikai Pillbox hike is a short but steep hike with picturesque views of the Mokulua Islands, Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach. The trek to the top is worth the effort with terrific views of the city and the ocean!  Get an early start to the day to see the sunrise in Honolulu from atop the Lanikai hill! 
Address: 382 Kaelepulu Dr Aalapapa Drive, Kailua, Oahu, HI 96734-3312
Difficulty of Hike: East to Moderate 

4. Kaena Point

Even though Kaena Point is on the western tip of Oahu, it has stunning sunrise views and a scenic hiking trail that can be accessed from the east and north. The Kaena Point has a significant place in Hawaiian culture since the shoreline divides the spirit world from the real world and is the place where souls would meet with their ancestors. 

With white-sand beaches, beautiful Pacific waters and dolphins sightings, the Kaena Point is best visited before dawn so that you can hike to the top and get a glorious view of the Honolulu sunrise! If you’re visiting in winter, you can go snorkelling or surfing in the high tides. The Kaena Point makes for a remote and off the beat location to enjoy a relaxed sunrise in Honolulu. 
Address: Farrington Hwy, Waialua, HI 96791, United States
Difficulty of Hike: Moderate to Hard 

5. Leahi- Diamond Head

Leahi- Diamond Head
Located on the eastern shores of Waikiki’s coastline and a short drive from downtown Honolulu, Leahi is a dormant volcano and one of the most identifiable landmarks in Hawaii. The hiking trail to the top of the mountain is fairly easy with stairs and old out of commission military bunkers along the way. The breathtaking views from the top makes the trek totally worthwhile!

Explore the crater or spread a blanket and have a picnic but don’t miss out on the beautiful sunrise with a panoramic view of Oahu from Koko Head to the Waianae Mountain Range.
Address: 3187 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, United States
Timings: Monday to Sunday-  6:00 AM. to 6:00 PM 
Admission Fee: USD 5 for cars, USD1 for pedestrians 

6. Makapu’u Beach

Makapu’u Beach
Makapu’u Beach is located on the eastern shores or Windward Coast in Oahu and is famous for Bodysurfing, bodyboarding and fishing. With a long coastline with white sand beaches, it has strong rip currents ideal for surfing in the winter and calm waters in the summer. The dark volcanic mountain and the quaint lighthouse on top are an iconic Hawaiin sight!

You can enjoy a peaceful sunrise by the beach or hike up to Makapu’u point- the easternmost point on Oahu and watch the sunrise in Honolulu
Address: 41-095 Kalanianaole Hwy, Waimanalo, Oahu, HI 96795-1808

7. China Walls

China Walls
One of Hawaii’s lesser-known attractions, China Walls is a rocky beach in Koko Kai Mini Beach Park. The park is located near a residential neighbourhood so China Walls is not flocked by tourists and is a remote and peaceful location to watch the sunrise in Honolulu! The huge waves crashing into the rocks and beautiful lava-formed rocks makes for spectacular views! 
Address: Hanapepe Pl, Honolulu, HI 96825, United States

8. Ala Moana Beach Park

Ala Moana Beach Park
Ala Moana Beach Park, conveniently located between Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, offers something for everyone! With a half-mile white-sand beach strip, shady trees, picnic tables, tennis courts, and an additional half-crescent beach! One of the most frequented beaches by both locals and tourists, Ala Moana is the perfect spot for an early morning view of the sunrise in Honolulu if you do not want to venture too far away from the city
Address: 1201 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814, United States
Timings: Monday to Sunday: 4:00 AM to 10:00 PM 

9. Koko Head Crater

Koko Head Crater
A beautiful 1.4-mile loop, the Koko Head Crater is a moderate hike with stunning views and rich history. Originally a military establishment, Koko Head Crater still has some remnants of the bunkers and railroads. While the hike may look daunting, throw on a headlamp and get an early start to the day to catch the sunrise in Honolulu from the mountain top.

Located in Southeastern Oahu, Koko Head Crater offers splendid views and instagrammable backdrops! 
Address:  Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96825

10. Waikiki

Home to stunning beaches, resorts and public parks, Waikiki is the most visited neighbourhood near Honolulu. With world-class dining, shopping and entertainment facilities, watching the sunrise from Waikiki is an urban alternative! You can get some breakfast at various restaurants dotting the shoreline or visit the zoo and aquarium after viewing the Honolulu sunrise. 
Address:   Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815
Add these sunrise spots in Honolulu to your itinerary list for a free but memorable way to spend your mornings on the beautiful Hawaiian island! The spectacular panoramic views make the early morning rise totally worth it!

This post was published by Anupama Manjunath

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