Beautiful beach on Oahu
October 10, 2018
| by
Maria Mancuso

Oahu’s Top 9 Photo Spots

With a picture-perfect sunrise and sunset almost every day, beautiful beaches with clear, blue waters and lush landscape throughout the island there almost isn’t a bad place to photograph on Oahu! Here are ‘Oahu’s Top 9 Photo Spots.’

Almost all of Oahu is a near perfect ‘Photo Opportunity’ just waiting for you to snap away and capture that one, or a dozen photos that will help you share your memories of your visit to Hawaii with your family and friends.
But with so many perfect photo spots on Oahu, how can you choose which places to visit and how can we possibly create a list of Oahu’s Top 9 Photo Spots? The truth is, we can’t!  We have selected a list of only 9 of many great spots you can look forward to photographing or just viewing during your next visit to Oahu.

Here’s our list of Oahu’s Top 9 Photo Spots.

1. Waikiki Beach and Waikiki Beach Break Wall
Waikiki Beach is an obvious top photo spot on Oahu. Sunsets, sunrises, and the endless beach activity throughout the day make for great photo opportunities.  The Waikiki Break Wall was is concrete structure that creates a square ‘lagoon’ of water that is safe for children, as well as adults to play in and enjoy the sparkling beach water on Waikiki Beach. 

As the sun sets and as the earliest sun rises over Oahu, the natural colors paint almost unbelievable image across Waikiki Beach. The waves crashing over the Waikiki Break Wall create a spectacular visual effect courtesy of Mother Nature.

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu
Waikiki Beach & Waikiki Beach Break Wall

2. Lanikai Beach
Designated as the #1 World’s Best Beaches in 2014, and the #5 National Geographic’s top 10 Beaches, Lanikai Beach is one of the most photographed spots in all of the Hawaiian Islands.  

As one of Oahu’s Top Photo Spots, Lanikai Beach is popular among local photographers and visiting professional and amateur photographers so expect company when you visit Lanikai Beach. The appeal of Lanikai Beach is obvious the minute you step foot on this beach, clear, turquoise water, white sandy beach and low surf.  

The best time to photograph Lanikai Beach is early morning, as the sun rises.  

3. Kualoa Ranch
This amazing ranch is located on Oahu’s North Shore and is the location where many major mothing pictures have been filmed, including; Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, 50 First Dates and many more.

Kualoa Ranch offers tours of the ranch and there are also many activities including Zip Lines, ATV Tours, horseback riding and more.  Obviously, this provides many, one of a kind photo opportunity.

Kualoa Ranch also has a beautiful, remote beach that is not open to the public called, ‘Secret Island’.  There are many picture-perfect photo opportunities on Secrete Island.

4. Spitting Caves
Next on the list of, Oahu’s Top Photo Spots is the Spitting Caves.  This remote location is not even known by many locals so the number of people at this location during the day can be minimal. The spitting Caves are located on a point on a cliff overlooking the crashing waves below.  As the waves crash against the caves below, this causes the sea water to ‘spit up’ through the holes creating a beautiful natural effect perfect for a front lit or back lit shot.

Directions: The Spitting Caves are located at the end of Lumahai Street in a residential area. There is a yellow marker with “119” on an empty lot, which is where you will enter.

5. Waimea Bay
Waimea Bay is a world-famous bay known for beautiful water and beaches.  But this spot makes our list because of the large rock that the brave jumps off of and into the water below.  It is best to shoot early in the day or late in the afternoon in ‘Golden Hour’ – as is the case in almost all photo opportunities.

6. Lanikai Pillboxes
This Top Oahu Photo Spot requires a fairly easy hike, but you are rewarded with one of the most rewarding views on Oahu.  Although this is considered an intermediate hike, take caution to wear appropriate footwear, hiking shoes or shoes with good tread. 

The views are what you are here for, and the photo opportunities of course. During the hike you will have spectacular views of Mokulua Islands, Kailua Beach and Lanikai Beach and the surrounding residential area. 

7. The Byodo-in Temple
This amazingly beautiful temple is located at the foot of the Ko'olau Mountains in Valley of the Temples Memorial Park.  This temple is a replica of a 900-year-old Japanese temple.  The area features incredible buildings and perfectly manicured gardens.  It is a good alternative to the beautiful sandy beaches and turquoise waters that surround the island.

Byodo-in Temple on Oahu
Byodo-in Temple is located at the foot of the Ko'olau Mountains in Valley of the Temples Memorial Park.

Almost any time of day is good time to visit and photograph the temple and its grounds but remember there are tours and many visitors throughout the day.

8. Ko Olina Resort
Ko Olina is made up of 642 acres with spectacular ocean and mountain views along with 4 – crystal clear lagoons that make for perfect photo opportunities.  Ko Olina Resort is home to Aulani Resort by Disney, Four Seasons Resort, Ko Olina Golf Course and Paradise Cove Luau is next to the resort.  There are many photo opportunities in and around Ko Olina Resort.  It’s best to plan a full day to enjoy the full amenities of the resort. 

Ko Olina Resort on Oahu
Ko Olina Resort - 4 beautiful lagoons make for spectacular photos!

9. Hanauma Bay
Hanauma Bay is an amazing destination to enjoy some of the best snorkeling in all of the Hawaiian Islands, but it also offers incredible photo opportunities.  The wide beach and crystal-clear blue water offer many photo opportunities for the amateur and professional photographer alike.

That is our list of Oahu’s Top 9 Photo Spots and it goes along with article ‘13 Top Photo Spots on Oahu!’  This is in no way a complete list of the best photo spots on the island.  We could have included many more spots, like: North Shore, Diamondhead, The Sunrise Shack, Pipeline and many more spots.

We could have easily created a list of 100 of the best photo spots but Oahu, so maybe we will need to create a ‘Part 2’ list.

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