Best Photography Spots in Honolulu, Hawaii. Hawaii is a gorgeous island paradise that many dream of visiting at some point in their lives. These islands are located off the coast of the mainland United States and are multiple islands that make up the state of Hawaii. Honolulu is on the island of Oahu, on the south shore and is the capital of Hawaii. Like many other tropical islands, there is no shortage of warm sand, vibrant blue waters, and local culture.

If you are trying to explore Hawaii, it may be hard to know where to start or how to tell all the islands apart. This guide will help you start right on the big island where you can explore volcanoes and lively neighborhoods. For those looking to find the best photography spots in and around Honolulu, check out the list below.


The gear we recommend is a good camera and the holy trinity.  A wide-angle lens.  14-24mm or something similar.  A 24-70mm or something similar and, of course, a 70-200mm or something similar.

If you do not have these particular lenses, do not worry; something similar will be just fine. It would be best if you also had a tripod.

Best Photography Spots in Honolulu Hawaii

1. Waikiki Beach

Waikiki beach is the main beach of this area as well as the most popular. It is centrally located and tourists can easily access this beautiful area. There is no shortage of white sands and the best part is that there is an open swimming area that is protected by a seawall.

image7Best Photography Spots in Honolulu Hawaii Waikiki Beach

2. Makapuu Lookout

For those looking to get some views away from the city, this lookout point is the place to go. It takes a bit of hiking but when you reach the cliffs and make it up to the Makapuu Lighthouse, you’ll know that you’ve found one of the best panoramic views in the area.

3. Diamond Head

Diamond Head is another beach in this area and is also a great place to capture some stunning island shots while watching people surf and boogie board. This beach is protected by a shallow reef and is known for the sea turtles that pass by. If you’re lucky you can capture some truly breathtaking rainbows and sunsets.

image4Best Photography Spots in Honolulu Hawaii Diamond head

4. Waialae Beach Park

This beach is lined up and down with palm trees, iconic for tropical islands. It has a great view of the coastline and is also a very picturesque neighborhood fit for picnics and enjoying the water.

5. Kualoa Beach

This is a spot on the island as well as Mokolii is a short way away from the Koolau Mountains. The ranch on Mokolii is commonly used in movies so you might recognize it if you’ve seen Jurassic Park, Jumanji, or even the romantic comedy, 50 First Dates.

6. Lanikai Beach

Lanikai is a beautiful beach on the island. The water is calm, the Lanikai pillboxes have awesome views, and there are even fun activities like snorkeling or kayaking to do nearby. Take your camera with you and enjoy the beauty of this beach.

image3Best Photography Spots in Honolulu Hawaii Lanikai Beach

7. Pali Lookout

If you’re not the type to go on a hike, the Pali Lookout is the perfect place for you. This is located off the Pali highway and is a great way to see Kaneohe, Kailua, and all the greenery this island has to offer.

Best Photography Spots in Honolulu Hawaii

8. King Kamehameha Statue

This is a statue that represents the history of Hawaii and was created for King Kamehameha I who was a warrior and a leader. He was known for uniting all of the islands. There are four of these you can find around the island but the one that sits at Aliiolani Hale is the most popular.

9. Duke Kahanamoku Statue

Duke Kahanamoku is known as the father of modern surfing. He won an Olympic medal and also broke many records as a surfer, swimmer, and canoe paddler. This statue is found on Kuhio Beach and is a great way to honor the late champion.

10. Pink Pillbox

This hill overlooks the west side of Oahu so it is a bit of a ways ( ~30 minutes) from the capital. But it gives you incredible photo opportunities because of the views it offers. There are many trails to hike in the area and plenty to explore.

11. Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden

This garden is its own tropical rainforest and has many beautiful plants housed in its collections. You can find native plants from many countries all over the world here as well as walking trails, a lake, and leisure areas.

Best Photography Spots in Honolulu Hawaii

12. Kakaako Wall Murals

To find some places for urban shots of Honolulu, you can go admire the Kakaako murals about a mile south of downtown. It is home to local artists who use warehouses as their canvas.

13. Moanalua Gardens

This is a park that was created on the grounds of a historic royal home. It used to be where King Kamehameha V lived and now it is the location of festivals and greenery.

14. Hilton Hawaiian Lagoon and Rainbow

This is a well-known hotel in the area and there are lots of places to go in order to capture its beauty. What it is well known for is the rainbow that is located on its side which you can easily see from the beach.image2

15. Byodo-In Temple

There is a little bit of Japanese culture you can find on the island too and that is at the Byodo-In temple. This is located inside the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park and has architecture styled after historical Japanese buildings.

image5Best Photography Spots in Honolulu Hawaii Byodo-in temple

16. Banyan Trees

Banyan trees are common in Hawaii and you certainly can’t miss out on photographing this unique tree. These look like they are made of millions of roots and trunks to form ginormous tress.

Best Photography Spots in Honolulu Hawaii Banyan Treesimage1

17. Kaupo Bay

Someone that enjoys exploring and photographing tidepools would fit in perfectly here. It is on the east side of the island and it is an area that is not too crowded with calmer waters which makes it easier to explore.

Best Photography Spots in Honolulu Hawaii

18. Royal Hawaiian Hotel

This is one of the most iconic hotels in the city. It is a bright pink color and is nicknamed “The Pink Palace”. It is located right on Waikiki Beach so it is easy to access.

19. Downtown Honolulu

Downtown Honolulu has its share of giant buildings and a great skyline. Take a hike to capture it from afar or explore up close and personal.

image6Best Photography Spots in Honolulu Hawaii Downtown Honolulu

20. Pu’u ‘Ualaka’a State Park

This park is one of the most popular photo spots. It has many hiking trails and lookout points and gives you one of the best views of the island of Oahu all the way from Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor.

These are the best photography spots in Honolulu Hawaii

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