Oahu is a Hawaiian island that offers incredibly beautiful scenes for capturing Instagram moments. You can lounge on the beach with the waves gently rolling in from the turquoise surf, or you may want to snap a panoramic view of jungle foliage that blankets as far as the eye can see.

    Every aspect of tropical beauty can be in frame in Oahu. From unusual viewpoints of the volcanic surroundings to serene vistas as you hike up a mountain, your Instagram followers will be astounded by your experiences. Here’s where to shoot for photos of Oahu you can brag to your friends about.


    Lanikai Beach

    A hidden gem with lovely seascapes

    Lanikai Beach is both a hidden gem and one of the best Instagram places in Oahu. It is secluded, which means you can get the right backdrop most of the time without people walking by, and the Mokulua Islands are what really set it apart.

    The Mokulua Islands are mountains that jut up from the ocean floor about a mile out, each with distinct enough features to add to the charm of the picture. The water on Lanikai Beach is shallow and the perfect shade of light turquoise, which provides an even more lovely contrast with an occasional green palm that lingers above the soft white sand.

    Read more

    Location: Lanikai Beach, Kailua, HI 96734, USA

    Open: Daily from sunrise to sunset


    Hanauma Bay

    Great photos above and below the waves

    Hanauma Bay is part of the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and is one of Oahu's secluded beaches that offers great snorkeling with an emphasis on wildlife preservation. Hanauma Bay is on the innermost edge of a cove that is the remnants of a volcano, which presents an exotic landscape of jungle greens and rugged cliffs to photograph.

    This is the reason you want to come to grab the perfect Instagram moment. The cove allows the clear waters to gently roll onto the shore, and this also means Hanauma Bay is teeming with marine life. You'll likely want to grab some snorkeling pics while here.

    Location: 100 Hanauma Bay Road, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Monday from 6 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 808-768-6861


    Historical Haleiwa Town

    A historic town on Oahu's northern shore

    The historic town of Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu is the perfect stop for experiencing historic Hawaii architecture and taking a glimpse into the former sugar plantation industry. While beaches and natural beauty dominate the Hawaiian landscape, towns like Haleiwa are a great place to enjoy all aspects of Oahu.

    You may want to pose in front of one of the famous surf shops or meander to one of the brightly colored downtown stores. The unique shopping boutiques and uncrowded parks are another way to enjoy a change of pace in Haleiwa Town and show your Instagram followers historic Hawaii.

    Location: Haleiwa, HI 96712, USA

    Open: 24/7


    Pink Pillbox

    Hike to this brilliantly colored hilltop bunker

    Pink Pillbox on the west side of Oahu is hilltop bunker and scenic spot. You don't want to miss the chance to grab the perfect selfie at this one-of-a-kind destination with an ocean background stretching to the edge of the horizon. This unusual hot-pink bunker is a popular hiking destination with the most scenic overlook of the surrounding ocean and countryside. 

    The hike up to the Pink Pillbox starts on Kaukama Road near Pu'u'ohulu Kai, where you can head up the trail overlooking Maili. While many say the hike is challenging, everyone says it's worth it – especially for that special shot.

    Location: Waianae, HI 96792, USA

    Open: 24/7


    Kuliouou Ridge

    A rewarding hike along a ridge trail

    Kuliouou Ridge is a popular hiking trail in Oahu that rewards you with lush mountain scenery. You'll be immersed in nature while hiking across a mountainous 4-mile trail overlooking East Oahu. The lush volcanic vegetation is begging for you to share the adventures with your followers. 

    You can snap pictures of Honolulu from atop the ridge, and the view is made even better by the green mountains that rise up from either side of the city. Almost every spot on the ridge trail is perfect for an Instagram moment, as the light-brown path naturally contrasts with every shade of green on the surrounding countryside.

    Location: Kuliouou Ridge Trail, Honolulu, HI 96821, USA

    Open: 24/7


    Koko Head Summit

    Hike around a volcanic crater

    Take the Koko Head Summit and hike around a massive volcanic crater on a mountain jutting up from Oahu’s lush countryside. You’ll be able to reward your Instagram followers with the view from the top of the entire southeast end of Oahu after you've climbed thousands of stairs to show off what you've accomplished.

    The view is breathtaking because you can see for miles around. Every degree of green vegetation blankets the island below, all the way out to the ocean horizon where the puffy clouds meet the blue waters.

    Location: 7430 Kalaniana'ole Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96825, USA

    Open: 24/7


    Kakaako Murals

    Admire Hawaiian-inspired street art

    See Oahu’s Kakaako Murals for yourself to truly understand how the vibrant Hawaiian-inspired street art comes to life in the Pacific sun. The immense size is one remarkable aspect, and you can put it in the right perspective when grabbing a picture standing right in front of a larger-than-life mermaid or psychedelic seascape.

    The murals have become a community project, which shows a camaraderie for culture and love that you can capture and share with your followers.

    Location: 800 Pohukaina St, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA

    Open: 24/7


    Crouching Lion

    A challenging yet rewarding hike

    The Crouching Lion hike is one of the most challenging but also most rewarding hikes in Oahu, where the view makes it all worth it. The Crouching Lion is located right next to the edge of the island, and it's also on the edge of a cove, which means you are surrounded on 3 sides by every shade of clear turquoise water imaginable.

    The thick vegetation that runs up the sides of the mountain gives you that ideal tropical feel, and the pictures you snap raise no doubt that you are in a tropical wonderland.

    Location: 51-676 Kamehameha Hwy, Kaaawa, HI 96730, USA

    Open: 24/7


    Stairway to Heaven

    Climb the Haiku Stairs

    Stairway to Heaven or the Haiku Stairs is a hiking trail in Oahu that might also be one of the most visually rewarding experiences of your life. The hike follows a narrow ridge that would be impossible without the stairs and handrails, which also provide the necessary safety. Jungle foliage climbs up the mountain ridge on either side. 

    Capture the nuances of the vibrant colors in the daytime, from the tropical carpeting to the turquoise seas. Nighttime gives you the chance to capture the illuminated towns below. Be sure to follow a certain route from the Moanalua Valley Road trail as certain sections are deemed trespassing and illegal.

    Location: John A. Burns Fwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA

    Open: 24/7


    Three Peaks Hike

    Capture distant mountain ranges

    The Three Peaks Hike in Olomana isn't a walk in the park, but that means you have the opportunity to capture views that very few are ever able to. The hike is aptly named for the 3 peaks that jut up like sharks' dorsal fins.

    The hike is also more inland than some others, which gives you the chance to capture for your Instagram followers distant mountain ranges that fade off into varying greens and browns as the sun casts its light across the island. You have the chance to show off the rarest sights of mountains covered in jungle flora, and you won't be disappointed.

    Location: Olomana Maunawili, HI 96734, USA

    Open: 24/7


    Start planning your trip

    Why book with Hotels.com?

    Keep exploring

    Travel alert

    Check COVID-19 restrictions.

    Find out more
    Back to top