BEST HAWAII PICKS
 

BEST SCENIC PLACES ON OAHU

Listed in alphabetical order

 Ala Moana Beach Park  From here you have surrounding scenery of the Ko'olau mountains, Diamond Head crater, Downtown Honolulu, to the vast Pacific ocean. You can truly get a feel of the modern advancements from here, but lose yourself in the beauty of the ocean view. Walking on the shoreline of this beach all the way around Magic Island is a wonderful way to spend a little time absorbing Hawaii and still be close to all the action.

 Diamond Head Crater

 It's a hard to beat the view that the top of Diamond Head Crater provides. Everyone who successfully hikes the trail to the top (which is not too difficult) will get to see a perspective that is not only breathtaking, but can only be beat by riding in a plane or helicopter. Bring a bottle or 2 of water with you and a flashlight. (yes, a flashlight. A part of the trail takes you into an old military bunker that is pitch dark)

 H3Freeway
Likelike Hwy
Pali Hwy Drive

 There are 3 ways to "cut" straight through the mountain to get from one side of the island to the other. The driving over the H3 freeway, Likelike Hwy, or Pali Hwy takes about 25 minutes and goes from Honolulu to the Windward side of the island(the Windward side is basically Kaneohe or Kailua).  If you are the driver, you may miss some of the great views these drives have to offer since your eyes should be on the road, so make sure your passengers switch off with you or go the the Pali Lookout to absorb the view from a phenomenal lookout point outside of the car.
 Kaka'ako Waterfront Park  This park on the waterfront not only has a unique ocean view out to the horizon with waves crashing along the man made wall, but it also gives a nice view of Ala Moana's Magic Island. If you are ever on O'ahu on the 4th of July, this is a great place to watch the fireworks. It gets really crowded, so go early.
 Kualoa Beach Park (Chinaman's Hat)  Over the years, the city has really enhanced this park. It used to be a great hidden camp ground, but it now groomed for all to enjoy. This is as close as you'll get to seeing Chinaman's Hat without going into the water, so bring your camera! If you plan to be out in the area around lunch time, it's a beautiful place to have a picnic.
 Tantalus - Various lookout points   This is a drive that goes into the mountains and has some fantastic views of the island. Like most areas in the world, there are places where the local couples go to have a romantic place to "get to know each other better". The scenic views that Tantalus has to offer are often not known to tourists. If you want a great place to see the Honolulu City Lights, here is the best place to venture. The windy road can be dangerous, so take your time and be aware of the "super" sharp hairpin turns. During the day, the lookout areas are easy to spot since parking areas will appear seemingly out of nowhere. If you have a tripod, this is a great time to bring it with you to get a beautiful scenic shot with you in the forefront, and Diamond Head in the background.
 Makapu'u Lighthouse  This is a great hike/walk to get a beautiful of the east side of O'ahu. You'll get great pictures of the coastline if you bring your camera while doing this "easy" hike. It's highly recommended by many visitors to the island and is often mentioned as one of the best lookouts on the island.
 Manoa Falls  This is Hawaii's natural beauty at its best. It's usually a muddy hike to get to the 150ft waterfall, so wear clothing and shoes you don't mind getting brown. Bring some water, shoes, a camera, and mosquito repellent with you for a nicer experience. Also, this is one of the wettest spots on the island, so it's not a bad idea to bring an extra set of clothes or a light jacket, just in case it pours down rain on you.  As refreshing as the water may look, don't drink the water or enter the stream if you have an open wound. Leptospirosis (a disease which can be contracted from rat urine) is in the water has made more than a few people sick in the past and can kill you. You will notice the signs at the entrance of the trail warning if this.
 North Shore  O'ahu offers some spectacular views all along the north shore. If you're driving around the island, stop periodically on the side of the road (where it's safe) and take 10 minutes or so to absorb the beauty before you. It's such a shame to drive by such beauty and not take a "still" moment to really look at what is around you every few miles. You'll definitely appreciate the slower "country" style environment a lot more than you would in Waikiki.
 Pali Lookout  I am sure this is O'ahu's #1 most visited scenic lookout point. Not only does this lookout have a fantastic view of the Windward side of the island, but it also has a "personality". The Pali lookout has very strong winds. Some people who have attempted to end their lives by jumping off the cliff here have been saved by mother nature unwillingness to cooperate with them as she blew them back up. It's not uncommon to see people walking back to their cars with cuts and bruises from being blown over from the wind. This is a lookout not to be missed. It's free, easy to get too, and one of the highest points on the island made as a lookout.