diamond head honolulu

Best Scenic Spot in Honolulu

Best Spot for a View

Whenever I find myself in Honolulu(and it isn’t that often) I absolutely have to visit one of my favorite places in the entire world. That favorite place is hands down the beautiful hillside views of Honolulu from Diamond Head State Monument just outside of downtown Honolulu. The reason I love it so much is because of the incredible views you get from the summit of this hike. You can see out all over Oahu and peer right into downtown Honolulu as well as Waikiki. The turquoise-colored water mixed with dark blue is stunning in and of itself. If you look closely you can also see the airport and even see airplanes taking off and landing on the horizon. Let me take you on a short journey of why this place is so amazing and why I consider it to be the best scenic spot in Honolulu.

diamond head honolulu
Diamond Head Honolulu, Hawaii

Diamond Head State Monument

Diamond Head is actually the site of an old military outpost during WW2. It was fortified to protect the island of Oahu and Hawaii from an attack by the Japanese or other Axis powers of those days. What makes Diamond Head so interesting also is its topography. If you were to look from above you would think that Diamond Head got hit by a crater, but actually according to a State of Hawaii parks page, it was created from a volcanic eruption. As you can see in the picture below, Diamond Head jets out of the Pacific Ocean and borders the edge of Waikiki. It looks beautiful from this angle at Waikiki Beach always hugging the coastline and overlooking Waikiki and greater Honolulu.

Diamond Head Hiking

The hiking at Diamond Head is simply amazing. The trails are laced with old WW2 bunkers and incredible views of Waikiki, Honolulu, and the surrounding ocean. On a day with clouds, you can see how the clouds form a blanket over the green hills of Oahu. The trail gets steep at some of the stairways leading up, and at certain points, you will walk on paved areas. Other points will be dirt. The total distance of the hike is just under 1 mile and you will rise about 600feet or so in elevation from bottom to top. You can read more about the trail on the State of Hawaii’s page.

It costs 5$ to enter Diamond Head to hike the trail. There’s also a gift shop at the bottom selling some souvenirs. In order to park there, it will cost more depending on the vehicle and number of passengers. I’d recommend wearing some decent hiking or tennis shoes and bringing some water. Some locals use the trail for exercise and walk bottom to top multiple times. As for most people though, you are here for the views, so take your time and enjoy it. Happy hiking! If you are looking for another awesome place to go hiking, then consider learning more about what it’s like to hike in Seoul!

How to Get There

I always walk to Diamond Head from Waikiki and this can take upwards of one hour or more. If you are willing to walk the 3 miles or so from Waikiki to Diamond Head, then you will be in for some other pretty incredible views. If you decide to walk along the coastline, you will be walking on a sidewalk for quite a ways that look into the yards of folks who live on the edge of the water in multimillion-dollar properties. You can also see the water from a higher point than at Waikiki Beach as you are slowly walking up a grade towards the Diamond Head trail.

The picture above gives you an idea of how you can walk from Waikiki to Diamond Head. You will be walking from the point where the buildings turn into more green space. The walk is great for those who want a challenge and to get more out of the experience of being in Honolulu and Waikiki.

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