High 5 Most Common Locations in Hawaii to Watch a Sundown

Your top spots from Oahu and Kauai to the Big Island.

Hanalei Bay and Haena State Park on Kauai. Wailea and Makena Beach on Maui. Anaehoomalu Bay on the Big Island. Ko Olina Resort on Oahu.

These are the commonly agreed sweet spots that did NOT take the last five cuts of our readers’ favorite Hawaii spots to see a 2014 sunset list.

Earlier this month, we asked our Facebook reader of HAWAII magazine, ohana, the question again: “What is your favorite place in Hawaii to watch a sunset?” Hundreds of you voted. We counted all the votes.

So, if the very excellent places where the sunset was caught didn’t make this year’s top 5 list, which ones? And which sunset locations moved up or down from last year’s list? Continue reading!

And if you would like to take part in our next Facebook Ohana survey by HAWAII magazine and vote together with our Facebook family with 75,000 readers, visit the HAWAII magazine Facebook page and “like” us. In exchange, you can share your answers on all of our future “Favorite Hawaii” poll questions as soon as we post them, know the poll results when all the votes are counted, and get all of our daily HawaiiMagazine .com photos and features.

Here is this year’s top 5 countdown of our Facebook ohana most popular Hawaii spots to watch a sunset.

top_five_favorite_Hawaii_places_to_watch_a_sunsetPhoto by Talena Webb

# 5: Poipu, Kauai

(Last year: # 5, associated with North Shore Oahu)

The most popular beach on Kauai’s sunny south shore is Poipu Beach. Before enjoying the sunset here, many visitors snorkel in the gentle water near the beach, which winds in a series of crescent shapes for about a mile. The abundant marine life in the area, which has changed little since the early Hawaiians, has fished these waters. In addition to swirling schools of tropical fish, eels, sea urchins, and the occasional sunbathing (Hawaiian green sea turtle), rare Hawaiian monk seals are often spotted swimming or lounging in the sand.

top_five_favorite_Hawaii_places_to_watch_a_sunsetPhoto by Ann Beck

# 4: Kaanapali Beach, Maui

(Last year: # 2)

This mile-long white sand beach on the west side of Maui – a few miles north of the ancient whaling town of Lahaina – is dotted with hotels and condominiums (dominated by the Kaanapali Resort). Most days, in the hours before the sun sets behind the waves, the beach is decked out with sunbathers and swimmers. Along with some of the best waters for snorkeling on Maui, there is the always fun pastime of watching divers jump into the ocean from the 40-foot Black Rock. A walk on the beach runs parallel to the coastal area.

top_five_favorite_Hawaii_places_to_watch_a_sunsetPhoto by Linda Kolch Elkins

# 3: Kailua-Kona, Big Island

(Last year: # 3)

Kailua-Kona was founded by King Kamehameha I as the seat of the Hawaiian government and later became a quiet fishing village and retreat for Hawaiian kings (the capital eventually moved to Honolulu). These days, the historic Kailua village offers a glimpse into the past as well as postcard-perfect scenery. A reconstructed temple is located on the grounds of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Resort. (The original is said to have been built by the king himself.) The dark volcanic rocks that line the water there and elsewhere along the coast make for dramatic sunsets.

top_five_favorite_Hawaii_places_to_watch_a_sunsetPhoto by David Croxford

# 2: North Shore, Oahu

(Last year: # 5, tied with Poipu, Kauai)

The drive from Waikiki to the famous surfing town of Haleiwa on the north coast takes about 45 minutes. A few miles before you reach Haleiwa’s collection of beach shops, restaurants, and shaving ice cream destinations, you’ll see the waters of the shoreline. And during the winter months you will see world class waves. Top-notch surfing competitions are held on the North Shore beaches, which stretch for more than seven miles. Sunset Beach, from the Banzai Pipeline to Sunset Point, is of course one of the most popular places to bring a camera during the dark hours.

top_five_favorite_Hawaii_places_to_watch_a_sunsetPhoto by John Livingstone

# 1: Waikiki, Oahu

(Last year: # 1)

Favorite place to watch the Hawaiian sunset? How could the annual crowd that Waikiki continues to consider the state’s visitor mecca be wrong? With its typically gentle and long-lasting wave break, the water is perfect for learning how to stand on a surfboard or how to paddle an outrigger canoe. While much of the daily water sports activities take place near the Duke Kahanamoku statue, the best view of Diamond Head Crater is on the sand edge of the pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The Waikiki area also includes Fort DeRussy Beach, Kuhio Beach, and Queen Surf Beach.

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