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Oahu Instagram Spots: 25 Beautiful Places to Visit on Oahu

Are you traveling to Oahu soon and looking for the top photo spots on the island? Well then, this article is perfect for you! We’re breaking down 25 Oahu Instagram spots you will want to take advantage of on your trip. Plus, we’ve even included a map at the end so you can find them all.

You’ve most likely come across some of these beautiful places to take pictures in Oahu while scrolling on your feed, for example, the famous pink hotel (The Royal Hawaiian) or the well-known Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden.

However, we hope to surprise you with a few spots you may not have heard of. Keep reading to discover the 25 most instagrammable places in Oahu, including beaches, hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions, and more.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission when you book an activity or reservation through these links at no extra cost to you.

1. Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

Woman walking in road in Ho’omaluhia Botanical GardenHo’omaluhia Botanical Garden is one of the best places to take pictures in Oahu. Between the palm trees, mountain backdrop, and gorgeous greenery, it’s easy to see how this garden got its name. In fact, “Ho’omaluhia” means “to make a place of peace and tranquillity.”

Due to the surge of visitors coming to the gardens, taking photos on the main road is now prohibited. You’ll see signs throughout the gardens that warn you not to take photos in the street!

Woman walking through palm trees at Ho’omaluhia Botanical GardenNonetheless, there are tons of other beautiful locations throughout the property to snap pictures. For example, strike a pose by the palm trees or snap a photo of you sitting on the bench by the lake.

Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden is free to visit; however, you’ll probably want to go first thing in the morning to beat the crowds and snag a coveted parking spot. Hours are from 9 AM to 4 PM every day except Christmas and New Year’s Day.


2. The Byodo-In Temple

Woman walking in front of The Byodo-In Temple across bridgeThe Byodo-In Temple, located in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park in Kaneohe, is one of the most beautiful places in Oahu. After all, who knew that you could find a little piece of Japan in Hawaii?

Byodo-In is actually a replica of a 900-year-old Buddhist temple, making it an incredibly peaceful corner of the island. If you’d like to visit, we recommend going earlier in the day to enjoy the cooler weather. As is the case with many attractions on Oahu, parking is limited at this location.

Woman sitting on bench in front of The Byodo-In TempleGeneral admission costs $5 per person for ages 13-64, $4 for seniors, and $2 for children. One of the best activities here is feeding the koi fish. So, make sure to purchase fish food at the temple entrance.

Regarding where to take photos, two of the most popular spots are the red bridge at the entrance and the bench in front of the temple. A quick note: Byodo-In can get busy–especially on the weekends–so you’ll need to be patient to capture a photo without many other visitors around.

3. Haleiwa Joe’s (Haiku Gardens location)

Woman walking in front of gazebo at Haiku Gardens with Haleiwa Joe's in the backgroundIf you’re looking for a stunning restaurant for dinner on Oahu, you must visit Haleiwa Joe’s during your trip. This chain has two locations on the island: one in Haleiwa and one in Kaneohe. Although the food is excellent at both, our favorite is the Kaneohe (Haiku Gardens) locale.

In recent years, this spot has become so popular that securing a table can be a bit of a hassle. However, we can assure you that the view at Haleiwa Joe’s is 100% worth the wait.

Read More: Best Places to Eat in Oahu

View of Haiku Gardens from Haleiwa Joe's in KaneoheOne of our best travel tips for the Haiku Gardens location is to arrive an hour before the restaurant opens at four and get in line. Often, the wait after putting your name down on the list can range from 1-2 hours. Plus, arriving early means you can snag a coveted parking spot.



Nonetheless, you can make the most of your time while you wait by perusing the botanical gardens and snapping some pictures of the grounds. After all, it is one of the top Oahu photo spots. Just make sure to bring bug spray–you’ll thank me later!

4. The Royal Hawaiian

Woman in pink dress walking in front of the Royal Hawaiian hotelThe Royal Hawaiian is undoubtedly one of the best places to take pictures in Waikiki. This property opened its doors in 1927, also making it one of the oldest hotels on Waikiki Beach. As you can tell from the photos, everything at the Royal Hawaiian is pink!

For example, you can even order Pink Palace Pancakes for breakfast here. Therefore, this five-star hotel has earned the nickname “The Pink Palace of the Pacific” over the years.

Woman walking on tiles in front of famous archway at the Royal HawaiianMost people like to take photos in the Coconut Grove area (featured above). Here, you’ll have a fantastic view of the property’s Historic Wing as well as the iconic “Royal Hawaiian” sign. If you’d like to check out another colorful hotel in the area, head to Shoreline Hotel Waikiki.

If you’d like to book a stay at the Royal Hawaiian, you can click here.

5. The Sheraton Waikiki

Woman walking next to infinity pool at the Sheraton Waikiki with Diamond Head in the distanceDid you know that the Sheraton Waikiki boasts North America’s largest oceanfront infinity pool? Additionally, it has an epic mountain backdrop featuring Diamond Head, making it one of the best Honolulu Instagram spots.

To enjoy the fantastic pool at Sheraton Waikiki, consider staying a night during your Hawaii trip! Plus, most rooms boast ocean views, offering glimpses of Helumoa Playground, Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head from your patio.

Woman holding out cocktail over a view of the Sheraton WaikikiThe best time to photograph the infinity pool is in the morning when it first opens: at 8 AM. At this time, the light is still relatively soft, and you won’t have to worry about capturing other guests in your photos!

Another fun time for pictures is at sunset, although the pool tends to be pretty busy at this time of day. Note that the sun sets toward the Edge of Waikiki bar.

Click here to book a stay at The Sheraton Waikiki.

6. Moana Surfrider

Front façade of the Moana Surfrider hotel in Waikiki BeachThe Moana Surfrider opened in 1901 as the first hotel along Waikiki Beach. For this reason, guests lovingly refer to the property as the “First Lady of Waikiki.” Today, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and is part of Westin Hotels & Resorts.

From its stunning colonial-style architecture to the gigantic banyan tree, there is no shortage of photo spots at the Moana Surfrider. Grab a signature cocktail at the Beach Bar under the banyan tree or peruse the Historic Banyan Wing.

Cocktail under the banyan tree at the Moana SurfriderIf you’re visiting on the weekend, make sure to experience afternoon tea at the Veranda at the Beachhouse. This activity is undoubtedly instagrammable!

You can book a stay at the Moana Surfrider here.

7. Waikiki Beach

Woman walking along Waikiki Beach with Diamond Head in the distanceWaikiki, Hawaii’s most famous beach, attracts both tourists and locals with its two-mile stretch for surfing, boogie-boarding, snorkeling, and more. It also provides a scenic view of Diamond Head, a volcanic tuff cone that you can hike during your visit.

Additionally, Waikiki Beach is close to all sorts of shopping, restaurants, and hotels. For example, if you stay at the Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, or Moana Surfrider, you’ll be staying directly on the beach.

View of Waikiki Beach from the Royal HawaiianHistorically, Waikiki Beach was a playground for Hawaiian royalty. During the 1800s, those who were lucky enough to vacation here would surf using longboards. Fun fact: in the Hawaiian language, “Waikiki” translates to “spouting fresh water.”

Read More: Packing List for Hawaii

8. ARVO 

Table at ARVO with breakfast toastARVO, an Australian café in Honolulu’s SALT At Our Kaka’ako, is one of Oahu’s most Instagram-worthy restaurants. Open daily from 8 AM to 2 PM, it offers creative breakfast choices, including uniquely topped toast and lattes with fun flavors like charcoal and lavender.

We tried the Nutella toast and meatballs and toast on our visit! If you aren’t familiar with the term “arvo,” it’s a term from Aussie slang meaning “afternoon.”

Flat lay of nutella and meatball toast at ARVO cafe in HonoluluService at ARVO is quick and friendly, and the café’s plant-filled aesthetic is super photo-worthy. Pro tip: we suggest visiting ARVO earlier in the morning or in the afternoon before it closes to avoid crowds.

9. Leonard’s Bakery

Pink box of malasadas from Leonard's Bakery in HonoluluLeonard’s Bakery is a popular foodie spot in Honolulu that’s famous for its delicious malasadas. If you’ve never heard of these unique desserts, they’re Portuguese donuts without a hole.

Leonard’s offers malasadas coated with sugar, cinnamon sugar, and li thing, as well as malasada puffs filled with custard, chocolate, guava, coconut, and macadamia nut. You’ll need to order at least half a dozen to get the Instagram-famous pink Leonard’s Bakery box. 

Malasadas from Leonard's Bakery in HonoluluSince Leonard’s is so beloved, you can expect to wait in line most days. However, the queue does move quickly! If you don’t have much time, we recommend passing by first thing in the morning when the bakery opens or during the early afternoon.

10. Nu‘uanu Pali Lookout

Landscape view of Nu‘uanu Pali Lookout in OahuNu‘uanu Pali Lookout is one of the most beautiful places in Oahu for landscape photography. This cliff offers a panoramic view of the island’s northeast coast and is a short five miles from Honolulu.

Entrance to the lookout is free, although you do have to pay for parking. Moreover, be prepared for lots of wind! Trade winds blow through the valley and between the mountains, causing a wind tunnel that creates quite the sensory experience.

While visiting, be sure to read the placards detailing the historical significance of Nuʻuanu Pali, the site of the infamous Battle of Nuʻuanu, one of the bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history. Allocate 10-30 minutes for this educational experience.

Read More: Things to Know Before Visiting Oahu

11. Manoa Falls

View of Manoa Falls surrounded by rocksManoa Falls is a popular hiking trail near Honolulu, ending with a waterfall that’s one of the most scenic places in Oahu. The trail itself is about 1.7 miles long and is considered a moderate hike. Make sure to wear shoes with good traction on your visit, as the trail can get very muddy.

Just so you know, swimming in the waterfall is not allowed because of bacteria in the water. Furthermore, double-check trail conditions before starting your hike.

Since this area receives heavy rainfall, the trail occasionally closes due to flash flood warnings. Parking in the Paradise Park lot costs $5, and the hike should take about 1-2 hours roundtrip, depending on the conditions.


12. Haleiwa: North Shore Oahu Sign

Woman standing next to Haleiwa surfer sign on the North ShoreWhen visiting Oahu’s North Shore, be sure to capture photos with the Instagram-famous Haleiwa surfer signs. Created by artist Carole Beller with the North Shore Chamber of Commerce, these installations have become popular spots for Instagram-worthy pictures in the area.

Woman leaning against Haleiwa surfer sign on North Shore, OahuYou can find the surfer girl version at 62-330 Kamehameha Hwy and the surfer boy at 62-400 Joseph P. Leong Hwy. Just to let you know, both of these signs are located along the side of the highway. So, please take all of the proper precautions when pulling over to take your photo.

13. Wings mural in Haleiwa Town 

Woman in front of wings mural in Haleiwa Town on the North Shore, OahuRenowned artist Colette Miller’s Global Angel Wings Project features murals worldwide, including one in the heart of Haleiwa Town. While exploring the shops and enjoying shave ice at Matsumoto’s in this neighborhood, be sure to visit this vibrant installation.

Woman in front of Colette Miller angel wings mural in HaleiwaThe exact address is 62-620 Kamehameha Hwy, on the side of the green building next to Rainbow Bridge Gift Shop. Photo tip: wear a bright color that will pop with the wings against the green backdrop!

14. Haleiwa Bowls

Açai bowl at Haleiwa Bowls on Oahu's North ShoreHaleiwa Bowls is a wonderful foodie spot featuring photo-worthy açai bowls, smoothies, and cold brew coffee. You’ll find this super cute “shack” at 66-030 Kamehameha Hwy. It opens daily from 7:30 AM to 6 PM and has a convenient parking lot directly behind the shop.

Even the small bowls are big enough to share if you just want a snack! Plus, the prices are very reasonable for açai bowls: the small bowls run between $11-12, and the large size is $13-15.

Woman sitting in front of Haleiwa Bowls eating açai bowlAs far as taking photos at this location, it’s best to visit during a slower time of day. For example, we went on a Thursday morning and were able to snap photos without anyone else around. You may even spot some cute little geckos! 

15. Waimea Bay Beach Park

Landscape view of Waimea Bay Beach Park on Oahu's North ShoreWaimea Bay Beach Park is one of the most beautiful beaches on the North Shore. It’s an ideal place to visit with family and snorkel, swim, boogie board, or surf!

Plus, this beach has clear blue-green water and white sand, one of the best photo spots in Oahu. The park also offers public bathrooms and outdoor showers so you can rinse off before leaving.

Waimea Bay can get really busy, especially during the high season, so it’s best to arrive early in the morning to secure parking. Although the parking lot directly next to the beach park is small, additional properties offer parking across the street for $10-20.

16. The Sunrise Shack (Sunset Beach location)

Woman standing in front of the Sunrise Shack at Sunset BeachThis vibrant café is another of the most popular Oahu photography spots–I’m sure you can see why from the photos above! The Sunrise Shack actually has three locations: one across from Sunset Beach, one inside the Outrigger Waikiki, and another at Shark’s Cove in Haleiwa.

However, the original location at Sunset Beach is by far the most insta-famous. The menu includes bullet coffee, açai bowls, smoothies, and juices.

Woman in yellow dress in front of the Sunrise Shack at Sunset Beach on Oahu's North ShoreThe Sunrise Shack is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. It’s often busy, but patience pays off for a great photo! While there, grab some Sunrise Shack merch–the colorful t-shirts or hats serve as adorable souvenirs.

Look Here: Hawaii Quotes for Instagram Captions

17. Beach swings

Woman swinging on beach swing on Oahu, HawaiiThese stunning beach swings are scattered along Kamehameha Highway and provide some incredible photo opportunities. In fact, they’re the best secret photography location on Oahu!

We don’t have the exact locations–and honestly, I don’t want to give them out to keep these areas private. However, you’ll definitely come across them if you spend some time on a road trip along the North Shore.

Beach swing on Oahu's North ShoreThe swings can be tricky to get onto, so make sure to have a travel buddy to help hoist you up! The beach where we took these photos had three different swings so that we could take our photos quickly.

18. Kualoa Regional Park

View of Kualoa Regional Park, including palm trees and a view of Chinaman's HatKualoa Regional Park is a wonderful spot to spend the afternoon with family. As you can see from the photos above, this park is also one of the top Oahu photo locations!

It’s surrounded by palm trees, the ocean, and a landscape that’s straight out of Jurassic Park. Plus, it’s a popular place to go kayaking from the beach to an island locally known as “Chinaman’s Hat” (Mokolii Island), which sits about 600 yards offshore.

This park is ideal if you’re hoping to see the Kualoa area but couldn’t secure tickets to see Kualoa Ranch. There is plenty of public parking, bathrooms, and picnic areas, meaning you could easily spend hours relaxing here.

19. Kualoa Ranch

ATV tour at Kualoa RanchKualoa Ranch, spanning 4,000 acres, is renowned for its role as a filming location for classics like Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, and Hawaii Five-0. The property boasts award-winning guided tours, such as ATV Raptor tours, the Hollywood Movie Sites tour, and Horseback Walking tours.

Due to the ranch’s popularity, these experiences fill up weeks to months in advance. We recommend booking your guided tour as soon as possible, especially if you have a specific experience in mind. Click here to learn more about the available tours at Kualoa Ranch.

Note: Exploring the Kualoa Ranch property requires a tour; otherwise, access is limited to the gift shop and restaurant. If tickets are unavailable, monitor the website for cancellations. Alternatively, consider visiting Kualoa Regional Park across the street.

20. Lanikai Beach

View of Lanikai Beach, the most beautiful beach on OahuIn our opinion, Lanikai Beach is the most beautiful beach on Oahu. It has some of the softest white sand, incredible views of the Mokulua Islands, and warm and tranquil water. Plus, it’s only about a 40-minute drive from downtown Honolulu.

Despite its charm, Lanikai Beach does have some drawbacks. For example, it doesn’t have a parking lot, meaning you’ll have to find street parking in strictly enforced residential areas. Furthermore, there are no public facilities here, like bathrooms, lifeguards, or showers.

Lanikai Beach is also a fun place to go kayaking and explore the Mokulua Islands. Mokulua Nui, the island on the left, is open to kayakers and paddleboarders, while Mokulua Iki, on the right, is closed to the public. The journey typically takes 1-2 hours, depending on kayaking experience.

Read More: Free Things to Do in Oahu

21. Lanikai Pillbox Hike

Photo of the view from the Lanikai Pillbox HikeIn Kailua, discover the Instagram-worthy Lanikai Pillbox trail, a moderate hike on Oahu’s windward side with panoramic views of Lanikai Beach and the Mokulua Islands. The roundtrip typically takes 60-90 minutes, depending on whether you proceed to the second pillbox.

Wear sturdy hiking shoes for traction, and bring an insulated water bottle to stay cool and hydrated in the heat. For more Oahu hiking options, consult AllTrails and always research trail conditions. Note that the Crouching Lion hike, often recommended, is currently closed indefinitely.


22. Waimānalo Bay State Recreation Park

View of Waimānalo Beach Park, with turquoise water and mountains in the distanceWaimānalo Beach Park is another of the island’s most photo-worthy beaches. Besides its stunning landscape featuring the Ko’olau Mountains, Waimānalo has another huge draw: the lack of crowds! For this reason, we consider it one of the best hidden gems in Oahu.

Parking is limited, providing a tranquil respite compared to the other busy beaches on the island. For example, Waimānalo is about 45 minutes from Waikiki Beach, and the difference between the number of visitors is enormous!

23. Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail

Woman standing at outlook at Makapu'u Point Lighthouse TrailMakapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail, a family-friendly hike, spans an easy 2.5 miles and is about a half-hour drive from downtown Honolulu. It’s also dog-friendly if you want to bring your furry friend along!

The pathway offers a stunning ocean view where you may spot whales from December to April, with high chances in February and March. For another great hike nearby, consider the Koko Crater Tramway to Koko Head Lookout.

24. Halona Beach Cove & Halona Blowhole Lookout

View of Halona Beach Cove & Halona Blowhole LookoutThis spot on Oahu’s Southeast Shore is pretty awesome because you get to see two attractions in one: a blowhole and a beautiful beach cove. Halona Beach Cove is a small pocket of sand that you can hike down to from the blowhole lookout point. Just remember to be mindful of the surf!

The water is usually at its calmest during the summertime. However, keep in mind that there are no public facilities here. So, don’t expect to see a lifeguard on duty or a public bathroom. Nonetheless, you will find incredibly clear water where you can watch for sea turtles!

While you’re in the area, we also recommend visiting the nearby Lanai Lookout. This panoramic spots features amazing rock formations where you can watch the waves crash ashore.

25. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

View from above of Hanauma Bay, showing clear water and coralHanauma Bay is one of the most beautiful places in Hawaii for underwater photography and snorkeling. However, thanks to its popularity, there is a new online reservation system to limit the number of visitors and help re-establish the bay’s marine ecosystem.

With this in mind, reservations can only be made a maximum of 48 hours in advance. Tickets open at 7 AM Hawaii Standard Time, so wake up early to snag your spot. Also, make sure to bring your GoPro for some incredible underwater photos!

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Discover 25 Oahu Instagram spots, including beaches, hotels, restaurants, attractions, and other beautiful places to take pictures on Oahu.

This article was first published in June 2021 and has since been updated.

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