Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail

#10 in Best Things To Do in Honolulu - Oahu
Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail picture1 of 3
Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail2 of 3
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Key Info

Price & Hours

Free
Sunrise-sunset daily

Details

Hiking, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.1

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Less than 6 miles northeast of the Koko Crater Trail lies the 2-mile-long Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail. Easier to trek than the one at Koko Crater, this free trail overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is a prime spot for spotting seabirds and whale watching between November and May. The path also leads to the red-roofed Makapu'u Lighthouse, which was built in 1909.

Visitors love that the Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail is paved and features ample benches, making it easy for travelers of all ages to explore. Many also rave about the trail's "amazing" views, adding that bringing a camera is a must. But remember, this path is mostly exposed to the sun and wind, so dress appropriately, wear sunscreen and pack plenty of water. Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources recommends allotting at least two hours to complete this hike.

The Makapu'u Point Lighthouse Trail opens shortly before sunrise and closes around sunset every day, but the path's parking lot (which is by the trailhead just off of Kalanianaole Highway) is only open from 7 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., so visitors who plan on watching the sun rise should park on the side of the main road. All parking at the trail is free, but space is limited in the lot. Buses and Waikiki Trolleys do not make stops within walking distance of the trailhead. Restrooms and water fountains are not available on-site. Additional information about the trail can be found on the State of Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources website.

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Nineteenth-century Hawaiian royalty used to come to the Honolulu neighborhood of Waikiki to relax and surf, just as scores of tourists do today. That's because this area's famous beach (which is a string of several beaches dotting the island's southwest coastline) is the go-to spot for its soft, honey-colored sand and the high waves that lap the shores during the winter months. But you don't have to be a surfer to appreciate Waikiki Beach; just lie back on a beach towel, relax and gaze up at the majestic Diamond Head State Monument in the distance.

When you need a break from the beach itself, there are scores of shops and restaurants lining the adjacent Kalakaua Avenue. The street is home to some of the world's most exclusive (read: expensive) designer boutiques, including Cartier, Coach, Hermès and Louis Vuitton. Many of the best Oahu hotels also overlook Waikiki Beach.

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