Tantalus Lookout is a hidden gem with an incredible view. Even more incredible is it's lack of crowds. On the island of O'ahu, that makes Tantalus Lookout unique and totally worthy of a stop on your sightseeing schedule. Trust me, you won't regret it.
As you can imagine, Hawai’i literally has planeloads AND boatloads of people coming to our shores every year.
So finding a quiet spot can be pretty difficult for a tourist, especially on O’ahu, the most populated of all the islands. Finding a quiet spot that’s also gorgeous!? Well, that’s nearly impossible.
But since you’re here, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Tantalus Lookout at the Pu’u Ualaka’a State Park.
Pu’u Ualaka’a State Park
The Pu’u Ualaka’a State Park is an out-of-the way park located at the top of the mountain right next to downtown Honolulu. Proximity is fantastic if you’re staying in Waikiki.
To get to the park, though, you have to drive up a winding road through a residential area, so it’s nicely hidden. In my opinion, that’s what keeps it from being overrun by a gazillion people.
There are trails you can do if you like to hike and the forest is really well-preserved. Even you don’t want to go traipsing through it, you will definitely be able to appreciate it’s beauty.
When you get there, you’ll enjoy some of the most amazing views of Diamond Head and Honolulu stretching all the way to Pearl Harbor.
The best part? It’s one of the very few spots with a high vantage point that’s also wheelchair friendly – you just get out of the car, roll down the sidewalk to the pavilion and enjoy nature in all it’s glory!
We went on a Saturday afternoon at 2pm, found parking immediately and enjoyed the sights with maybe 10-12 other people. No one to push through or wait behind. Everyone was to take as many photos as they wanted for however long they wanted to. It was nice to be able to really enjoy a beautiful spot without the crowds.
The first time we came here was in 2009 when we first arrived on O’ahu. I’ve only been back a couple of times since then, however, at the time it made an huge visual impact. Can you blame me for loving it so much!?
So when we were scouting locations for one of Max’s upcoming social media campaigns, I immediately thought of it! Tantalus Lookout is so scenic, and very “Hawai’i”. Perfection.
Some behind the scenes footage for a very special campaign! You’ll see more on Max’s Instagram in November.
Tantalus Lookout, as you can see, is also the perfect spot for a romantic picnic. Bring a blanket and a basket full of pupus, settle in, and enjoy those wonderful Hawaiian breezes. I guarantee, you won’t want to leave.
In fact, I’d encourage you to stay for the sunset. If you’ve never seen a Hawaiian sunset, then you’re in for a treat! But no matter what, if it’s for 15 minutes or three hours, Tantalus Lookout should definitely be a stop on your itinerary. Especially if you’re a visitor to O’ahu that wants go off the beaten path!
The views are too good to miss. And if you’re like me, a long-time resident,then take some time to drive up the mountain. You’ll still be able to enjoy the view like a tourist, while knowing that you don’t ever have to leave. How lucky are you?!
TIPS: Come early in the afternoon if you plan on seeing the sunset. That’s when Tantalus Lookout gets the most crowded and parking can become a problem.
Although you can walk or hike up to the park, I’d suggest driving or taking an Uber. It’ll be a long climb otherwise. And most of all, take a deep break and LOOK at what nature made! Pretty incredible, isn’t it?!
“Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
– John Muir”