The “Restaurant” With the Best Sunset View in Hawaii

Diamond Head, Oahu

Pssst! Hey you! Shh! Here’s a secret for ya: Hawaii beaches are practically deserted near sunset. Can you believe it? We took this photo from Waikiki Beach near sunset. Notice that this extremely popular beach isn’t very crowded at all and it became even more quiet as the sunset was nearing.

We were amazed at how quiet Waikiki Beach would be around sunset, especially since this was the most vibrant time of the day. The ocean seemed bluer. Diamond Head seemed more prominent and the sand was more golden.

Where were all the people? Why were they missing out on this magic? At about 4pm, most people started packing up their beach bags to go in for the day. They were headed to their hotel room to shower and try to find a place for dinner, preferably with a great sunset view, where they’d be competing with hoards of other people all wanting the same view. Ah, if they only knew that they were missing the “best seat in the house”, they’d not be in such a rush to leave the beach.

Long time readers may recall that one of my top recommendations for having a memorable Hawaii vacation on a budget is to plan a sunset picnic. Planning your own picnic can not only save you money as compared to restaurant prices, but it will undoubtedly provide you with one of your fondest vacation memories.

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Looking back on our recent week-long stay on Oahu, we had some nice gourmet dinners, but none of them compared to our hot dog roast on the beach at sunset. We must thank our friend Dave for providing us with the complete kit for a wienie roast on the beach. Thank you, Dave, for your thoughtfulness and the best dinner we had on Oahu!

You can easily plan your own barbeque as most beach parks have grills available for public use. Alternatively, you can pick up a disposable grill kit from a discount store and grill right in the sand like we did. You can pick up picnic supplies at Foodland, Safeway, and even the ABC stores carry a limited selection of picnic items.

If you do plan a beach picnic, there are two things you cannot do.

  • You can’t make an open fire on the beach. Your grill must be enclosed.
  • You can’t have alcoholic beverages on Hawaii’s beaches.

So, I challenge you to have your own sunset picnic in Hawaii. You’ll be glad you did.

  1. I agree that just before and at sunset is the best time at the beach!
    It seemed that we would finally stop touring around and get to the beach at 4pm each day to swim and boogie board, and hardly anyone would be there. We’d sit and dry off as the sun set.
    What a great time, and I felt reasonably safe when we’d see lots of grandchildren and grandparents hangin out. Grandparents who probably knew all about the great sunsets on the beach.

  2. Wow! – I’m so glad you folks enjoyed the Hot Dogs! ๐Ÿ™‚

    You don’t need to get all dressed up and spend a lot of money to create some of your happiest memories.

    It’s the free & cheap things that I enjoy the most. When I look at old photo albums… Most of the happiest memories are of doing free or cheap stuff outside like going to the beach and swimming, building sand-castles, flying kites, having a picnic or BBQ or whatever.

    You will certainly enjoy fine dining but I believe that most people will find just as much, if not more enjoyment from something like a sunset weenie roast or taking a bucket of drive-through chicken to the beach and watching the free fireworks on Friday.

  3. Wow Sheila,

    I’ve lived on Oahu 29 years and I never even thought of doing that on Waikiki Beach during a sunset. I have gone to Waikiki Beach at night to watch sunsets though. I like the free Waikiki parking near Kapiolani Park. ๐Ÿ™‚



  4. I’ve done this at other beaches, but for some reason didn’t think to do this in Hawaii. If it’s fun at home, it has to be even more fun while in the islands, right?

  5. Nice blog! Just came across this via twitter. I agree with what you said here. There are a couple of great picnic spots on Diamond Head road, just before DH beach, that are secluded and absolutely beautiful.

  6. Many restaurants just don’t live up to their “hype” but it’s hard to go wrong with a hot dog and a sunset! This was a favorite Sunday evening activity for us when we lived on Maui:-)

  7. @ Beth – I still can’t believe how deserted the beaches are at sunset. I’m glad you got to enjoy that peaceful time, too.

    @ Andy – I would have preferred hot dogs on the beach rather than that chili we had for dinner tonight. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ Dave – thanks again for the hot dog grill kit.

    @ Acai – well you’ll just have to plan a family sunset picnic this weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ kjb – there’s always next time ๐Ÿ™‚

    @ Ian – welcome to Go Visit Hawaii and thanks for your first time comment.

    @ Janice – where was your favorite sunset spot on Maui?

  8. Took my wife on saint-valentine to the beach pic-nic.

  9. Wow that’s such a great idea, I can’t believe we didn’t think to do that! We spent many a sunset just watching from the beach but didn’t think to grill, brilliant!

  10. You know, you’re going to have kama’aina following your advice! LOL! I love the grill idea and I love the ideas you share. ๐Ÿ™‚ Where did you get that contained thing? At the grocery store? I’ve got to have a couple in my car for times when the opportunity arises! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. @ nico – that’s a very romantic dinner idea. Restaurants are unusually packed on Valentine’s day. It’s better to have the peaceful setting of a beach.

    @ jim – you’ll have to add that to your list for next time.

    @ Evelyn – I would be extremely flattered if kama’aina found fun ideas for exploring and enjoying their on beautiful islands! If I’m not mistaken Dave said he picked up on of those disposable grills from the 99 cent store for $1.49.

  12. @Evelyn, Almost – I got it at Foodland. It’s somewhat of a seasonal item. They were removing all the Summer stuff to make room for the Christmas stuff. They were “Marked Down” to $1.49. So… I purchased 15 of them! ๐Ÿ™‚

    They usually cost about $5 or $6 bucks in the winter & about $3.50 in the summer.

    It’s totally worth it. No fuss or mess. You just poor some water on it when you’re done and toss it in the trash after it’s safe to do so.

    I also like to buy a small bag off “instant lighting” charcoal – The kind where you just set the bag on fire. I just toss the entire bag into the public BBQ Grill they have set up by the picnic tables.

  13. Congradulations on having one of the best travel blogs of the year. I hope to get to Hawaii in the next couple of years and will refer back to this blog for planning. I travel often with my husband and you can check my blog out and maybe I can help you with your travel adventures if you decide to travel some place new!

  14. I live in Florida and just love the beach at sunset. Your idea of grilling is wonderful. We visited the big island last August and this November we will be visiting Oahu. Love all of your ideas.

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