If you love gorgeous tropical flowers and cascading waterfalls, Oahu is a photographer’s dream! Find out some of the most beautiful places on Oahu that will make you fall in love with Hawaii!
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When you think of Hawaii, you probably are picturing lush, green mountains and golden, sandy beaches.
Oahu is one of the best Hawaiian islands for photographers because it has such a variety of beautiful backdrops and amazing Oahu attractions.
These 13 most beautiful places to visit in Oahu are simply awe-inspiring and will definitely have you doing a double-take to decide if that vision of beauty is real or just a figment of your imagination.
You’ll definitely want to hit up these best views in Oahu!
Most Beautiful Places on Oahu
1. LANAI LOOKOUT
The breathtaking Lanai Lookout is often overlooked, but it’s one of the coolest Oahu island atractions.
What is really special about this lookout? The stunning lava formations.
The dazzling blue waves crash into the rock formations creating one of the greatest photo opportunities on Oahu.
You may just be lucky enough to witness humpback whales frolicking off the coast!
Also known as Turtle Beach, it’s hard not to become instantaneously mesmerized by the giant green sea turtles that bask in the sun and call this place home.
Laniakea Beach is part of the 7 Mile Miracle–a stretch of nature with an abundance of the perfect surf, sand, and shore found anywhere on Earth.
It’s a place of heartbreaking beauty and absolute splendor.
Puʻuohiʻa, also known as Tantalus, is a botanical paradise, cyclists proving ground, hikers heaven, and a birdwatcher’s delight. It’s also becoming on of the most Instagrammable places in Oahu.
Few places on Oahu retain the mystery as Tantalus has.
A canopy of kukui and banyan trees shades the mountain’s single road where mongooses race fearlessly across.
The melodic calls of shama thrush echo from trees swathed in giant philodendron leaves. It’s cool, peaceful and woodsy.
Memories from longtime residents paint a picture of the mountain in the last century as Eden-like.
Ka’a’awa Valley is one of Oahu’s most beautiful valleys and is largely untouched by modern development. That’s what makes it one of the top Oahu tourist attractions for photographers.
In ancient times, it was considered to be one of the most sacred places on Oahu.
The Ka’a’awa Valley has been used for location filming for more than 50 major motion pictures and television productions.
So if you feel like you’re in Jurassic Park, it’s because you are! Don’t worry though, it was just a movie, right?
The non-denominational temple grounds is a lushly landscaped paradise nestled in a cleft of the pali.
The Byodo-In Temple grounds include meditation areas, a large reflecting pond with hundreds of Japanese koi, stunning statues, small waterfalls and home to wild peacocks.
Because it’s hidden away and it’s so gorgeous, it’s a popular place to take photos of Oahu, Hawaii.
Kaneohe Sandbar is a collection of exposed islets surrounding coral reefs and is the only such place in all of Hawaii.
It is protected by a coral reef and shows up a beautiful bright white small beach during low tide and it can be covered with waist-high water or completely exposed during high tide.
Kaneohe sandbar is surrounded by the striking Ko’olau mountains, features crystalline turquoise waters, and fine white sand. It is truly a picturesque slice of paradise!
Maunawili Falls has so much character.
Although many waterfall hikes are gorgeous, this one is breathtaking!
It has several clearings that open up the valley to show you how deep in the midst you actually are. Truly storybook worthy.
8. WAIKIKI BEACH (Near Diamond Head)
Now, you might not necessarily consider Waikiki Beach to be “beautiful” because it can get crowded.
However, if you head to the Eastern part of the beach, closet to Diamond Head, you will be in for a real treat! It’s actually one of my favorite places in Oahu.
Here, it’s much less crowded so you’ll get to enjoy this amazing beach without having to fight for a spot for your towel.
And the views of Diamond Head are simply gorgeous!
9. KUALOA RANCH
While technically the Ka’a’awa Valley and Kualoa Ranch are in the same space, I decided to separated them for this post because I see them very individually.
Kualoa Ranch is in the perfect spot to see mountains on one side and coastline on the other.
It’s a popular Oahu wedding destination because it’s absolutely gorgeous! And it’s one of the must-do attractions in Oahu island.
If you’ve been drooling over Instagram photos of people standing in an empty road in Hawaii, chances are it was taken at Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden on Oahu.
It’s recently become one of the top tourist attractions in Oahu!
Now, technically you aren’t supposed to take photos standing in the road. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not still one of the top beautiful Oahu Instagram spots.
Here, you’ll see lush gardens right up against the mountain and it’s enough to make any photographer drool a little.
There’s also several other places to take photos here, like from the parking lot or service road.
11. CROUCHING LION
If you are looking for magazine-worthy places on Oahu, Crouching Lion is it. In fact, it made the cover of Hawaii Magazine!
It’s a bit of a hike, but even beginners will be able to climb up at least one of the two trails at Crouching Lion to get unsurpassed views of Oahu.
Now, I believe it might technically be illegal to do this hike, so keep that in mind.
While this isn’t a natural wonder on Oahu, it’s seriously one of the most beautiful hotels in Hawaii.
It’s nicknamed the “Pink Palace” and you will truly feel like a princess when walking around the grounds. The architecture is really detailed and the lobby and the grounds are all immaculate.
They are also launching a new Waikiki luau this summer that looks incredible!
Personally, I think this hotel is one of the prettiest places in Oahu!
13. KAILUA BEACH
If you are looking for one of the best beaches on Oahu, Kailua Beach will be at the top of your list.
Well, I’d say it’s tied with Lanikai Beach in terms of the most beautiful beach on Oahu.
Here, you’ll find powdery sand and clear blue water.
Plus, you can see Chinaman’s Hat, a little island right off the coast.
Hire an Oahu Vacation Photographer
If you really want to take advantage of the most beautiful places to visit on Oahu, you should consider hiring a vacation photographer.
While we’ve used a lot of Oahu vacation photographers throughout the years, some of my favorite experiences have been through Flytographer.
They are a concierge vacation photography website where you can find photographers almost anywhere in the world.
Flytographer makes it easy to choose the right photographer for your vacation destination. You can read all about their photography style, favorite places to shoot, and scroll through their portfolio.
And the booking process is simple and quick. Choose the photographer you like and pick your preferred dates. Then, Flytographer will check availability and get back to you with a proposed plan.
If your favorite photographer isn’t available, they will check to see if another photographer can do your shoot.
What I love most about Flytographer is that they are FAST! We sometimes receive our photos before the end of our trip!
SAVE $25 ON YOUR FLYTOGRAPHER OAHU VACATION PHOTOGRAPHER
First timers will save $25 off their first Flytographer photo shoot if they use my affiliate link.
They specialize in proposals, engagement, maternity, and family photography. It’s perfect for anniversaries, special occasions, or simply because! And you can meet that at any beach or cool attractions in Oahu.