Finding Hawaii Five-0 filming locations on Oahu

Hawaii Five-0

In addition to the attractive detectives solving the weekly crime mystery, Hawaii is the shining star of the CBS hit TV series Hawaii Five-0. We may never know the influence the show has had on Hawaii tourism, but every Monday night, the show highlights Hawaii’s beauty — enticing viewers to visit.

The vast majority of scenes are filmed on Oahu, where the Five-0 team is stationed in the tropical metropolis of Honolulu.

I love playing my own detective role with each episode by trying to determine where Hawaii Five-0 scenes are filmed. In fact, sometimes I find I’m more interested in the scenery than the story line.

I’ve put together this list of recognizable filming locations for fellow Hawaii Five-0 fans to explore as part of their Oahu vacation.

Kualoa Ranch
Many of the jungle and mountain scenes are filmed at Kualoa Ranch on windward Oahu. (See this map for the exact location.) The ranch has been the site of many television shows and movies, such as LOST, 50 First Dates and Jurassic Park, to name a few. The ranch offers a movie set and ranch tour that’s roughly an hour-long. Read our review of this tour. Kualoa Ranch is nice to see, regardless of its television and big screen fame.

Near the entrance of Kualoa Ranch

Ali’iolani Hale — Hawaii Five-0 Headquarters 
Historic Iolani Palace and Ali’iolani Hale are located near each other in downtown Honolulu. In the show the exterior of Ali’iolani Hale is shown. This building is the headquarters for the state of Hawaii’s judicial system. You would probably also recognize the statue of King Kamehameha in front of the building.

Ali'iolani
Ali’iolani Hale in downtown Honolulu

Hilton Hawaiian Village
This longstanding Waikiki hotel has been the backdrop for many scenes. (See our post with photos and video of Hilton Hawaiian Village.)  When the team meets up for dinner, usually it’s at the oceanfront Tropics Bar and Grill, though I’m not sure how recognizable it would be.

Do you recall the episode when Chin was grieving the loss of his wife and he was sitting on the beach and Danno joined him? That was shot on the beach just outside of Tropics Bar and Grill. The rest of the team were dining in Tropics while Danno and Chin had their conversation.

Tropics bar and grill

Perhaps a more recognizable filming spot near Hilton Hawaiian Village, is where Kamekono parks his shrimp truck. It’s near the ocean side of Kahanamoku Lagoon. I believe the shrimp truck is only onsite just for filming, though. The scenery should look familiar. The following photo shows Rainbow Tower of Hilton Hawaiian Village. Kahanamoku Lagoon is located on the right side of Rainbow Tower. The shrimp truck scenes are filmed near the top sliver of sandy beach just to the left on Rainbow Tower  and near to the rock wall that’s built into the ocean.

Rainbow Tower Hilton Hawaiian Village

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Many of the show’s funeral scenes are filmed at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, which is also known as Punchbowl. Steve McGarrett’s father’s grave site is set here. We recommend that you visit this site regardless of your interest in the television show. It’s a beautiful and moving place to visit. See our post on visiting Punchbowl.

Punchbowl
Punchbowl

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51 comments
  1. A great article. I love this show. I hope to be able to visit some of these place when I’m in Hawaii next year. Hopefully, I’ll get lucky and they will be filming when I’m there!

    1. Its great Gina I’m here now and they have signs up telling everybody The gunshots being fired are not real. There down the block filming now Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach,

  2. Enjoy the current series but I’m old enough to remember the original, though I saw that in black & white! Love the pictures and it is good to get some background information on the locations.

  3. Help, we are in Oahu for a week with my mother in law who loves the show and desperate to see something from the series any ideas where we can take her to see some action . Trying to book tour but no response from company 🙁

    1. We are not privy to the filming schedule. That type of information is kept under wraps. The filming production doesn’t want an audience on location. Our best advice would be to check each of the locations listed in this article and ask around while you’re there as well. Good luck!

  4. Yesterday my wife and I got our pictures with Scott Caan. Five-O was filming by Kahanamoku Lagoon and he was gracious enough to pose. Put the pics on my Facebook!

  5. It’s January 3/2015 are they still filming and do they usually film everyday ?? Just planning a trip for jan/February and was hoping to catch a glimpse if they will be filming

    1. The show is still being filmed in Hawaii. They keep tightlipped about their filming schedule so as not to attract a crowd. Ask around while you’re on the island.

  6. So depressed….depressed….I WATCH AND LOVE THIS SHOW,….faithfully…ITS ALWAYS ON RECORD….I WAS able to sacrifice and send my 15 YR OLD TO Hawaii with her school….On one trip she seen my FAVORITE ACTORS on set for a show….SHE HAS NO pict only of the pick up truck that I see every week…..GOD CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT,.MCGARRETT…..WHERE ARE YOU? MAKE MY DREAMS COME TRUE…I NEVER been to Hawaii and I will be married 20 yrs July 16, 2015… HELP …MY FAVORITE SHOW

    1. Happy anniversary today! I’m currently visiting Oahu and saw signs (incognito) where they were filming today and wanted to go so badly, but they had security all in place.

  7. McGARRETT…IF you have a heart for one of your most LOYAL FANS….THIS IS FORM PREVIOUS EMAIL…MY Child was there but only have limited pict….I am a die hard fan been married 20 yrs in July (email) aj8718@hotmail.com

    1. Dave – it’s Oahu. They tried to make it look like another remote island, but we believe it was filmed around the Kualoa area of Oahu.

      There’s not an uninhabited Hawaiian Island of that size and with that jungle-like terrain.

      1. Thanks. That’s what I expected. What about the snorkeling scenes? They were incredible. Any idea where they were filmed?

        1. No idea on the snorkel site. Honestly, I doubt that it was all filmed in Hawaii. We’ve snorkeled all over Hawaii and we’ve never seen some of the fish that were in the show last night.

  8. The 01/08/2015 episode showed a hotel that they claimed was on Maui. To me it looked like the Kahala on Oahu (formerly the Kahala Mandarin, I think). Can you confirm the “luxury resort”? Mahalo.

  9. Love Hawaii was there for 25 th anniversary love the people wish could see Hawaii five o crew but know there busy great crew and awesome show we stayed at old iliki before remodeled hope someday get back there we are going on 42 yrs maybe see our favorite show being filmed would love that

    1. Hi,
      Yes there’s a food truck parked in that spot every day, I visited last month and had lunch there. The only difference is that there are no tables like in the show
      Tracey

  10. How awesome. We were in Hawaii November 2015 and stayed across from the Hawaiian Hilton. All we knew was Wheel of fortune was filmed there, not Hawaii 5-O..would have definitly gone over and checked it out 🙁
    Did ride through the Punchbowl and saw the headquarters..but no actors. Hope to go back again someday..visit was wayyy to short

  11. My husband and I are in Honululu for our honeymoon and both of our birthdays- he has booked me the hawaii 50 tour as we both love the show so much and watch it in the UK at any opportunity! Would love to see the cast so if anyone knows any filming dates from 9th-14th november would make our dreams and triple celebrations come true! Mahalo 🙂

  12. I’m a big fan do you now where you have to leave in Hawaii to see all the action I would love to see mcgaret I’m think of moving in time for season 7

  13. Thank you for this guide. I was awarded a special fellowship to the East-West Center back in the day and spent 3 months in Hawaii. It is a lovely, special state.

  14. Any idea where the “exploded” building in tonight’s (1/13/2017) episode is located? My guess is that it was actually a building under construction, dressed to look like an explosion had occurred.

  15. Great show and episodes just keep getting better!! Wish they would redo the 70’s Tasty Chop Seuy Film Location. Great story.
    My fav from both series..

      1. Actually, they do by closing roads so they can film Just been watching filming here. They had signs up telling people what is going on.

        1. That’s awesome that you’ve gotten to watch filming. How exciting!

          Just to clarify my point…. they don’t widely advertise when and where they’ll be. In your case, you were lucky that they happened to be were filming where you are and while you are visiting and that they gave warning that gun shots in Waikiki were not real.

    1. We’ve read that there’s going to be a remake of Magnum PI! I wonder what they’ll do about the Robin’s Nest as that estate was demolished this week, sadly.

  16. There are too many good shopping places to mention; trust me, you’ll find them. The answer to your second question is —YES everything about Hawaii is VERY expensive —but, SO worth it !
    Enjoy…..

  17. I might have a chance to go this year! I’m 12 and I LOVE the show. I’d be going in June for my birthday and there would be nothing better than being able to meet them. We don’t have much money so it might not happen. Please pray that I will make it!

  18. My wife and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary on Oahu in May, 2019. I’ve been blessed to visit that beautiful state on 4 occasions. The first; US Army, Schofield Barracks, the second and third were business get-aways and the 4th was celebrating our 10th anniversary. We’ve been hoping to see one of the sets for Hawaii Five O. This site has given us some good ideas.
    God bless
    James

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