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IST 605: Honolulu and Oahu Travel Guide

An in-depth guide to where to stay, eat, and visit in Honolulu, (and to a lesser extent Oahu moreover) Hawaii.

Wish You Were Here!

Welcome to the Tantalus Lookout (Puʻu ʻUalakaʻa State Wayside)!

About a twenty-minute drive from Waikiki, the Tantalus Lookout, part of the Puʻu ʻUalakaʻa State Wayside offers perhaps the most stunning and wide sweeping view of virtually all of Honolulu. Nearly three times the elevation of Diamond Head, the view spans clear over the volcanic cone, and even grants views off towards Pearl Harbor! The road to the summit is steep and windy, though the reward is just fantastic! More than just an overlook, the lookout area boasts a picknick area, a forest preserve, and connects to the Nā Ala Hele Trail System!

          Because this lookout is so expensive, it can really give you an “eye in the sky”, and help decide where you want to go next, as well as giving you the chance to say “look, there’s our hotel! What’s more, while other lookouts such as Diamond Head and Punchbowl close well before sunset, Tantalus is open daily year-round from 7am-7:45pm, making it an ideal spot to catch the sunset! Plus, its free!

          You can expect there to be a small crowd here, especially on clear sunny days, though it is never out of control. Parking is free but limited, and do be aware of the “high theft area” signs; nothing to fret over, just don’t “act like a tourist” and leave your valuable uncovered – same as most populated places! Whether coming up for a picknick, the sunset, or just the view in general, the Tantalus Lookout is sure to impress!


Pro Tip: Up for a hike? Right at the base of the ridge which hosts the lookout is the Makiki Valley Loop Trail, a moderate to moderately-strenuous hike of about 3.5 miles. While this hike might not be best for beginners, it is simultaneously popular and secluded, and one can really feel like they are trailblazing through a lush jungle, while still being able to see the city though openings in the trees!

Check It Out!

More Photos!