Best Places to Watch the Sunset on Kauaʻi
If you’ve ever been lucky to catch one of Kauaʻi’s magical sunsets, you know what all the hype is about. Exploding colors of deep red, bright orange, electric purple, and pastel pink fill the sky with fire, spanning outward from the west. Kauaʻi is blanketed in awe-inspiring hues as the sun sets on the Pacific Ocean, creating a visual masterpiece unlike any other.
The sun’s setting is an extraordinary time, as it marks the end of a day and invites us to pause, unplug, and get present while reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future. Can you recall your last memorable sunset? Where were you? Who were you with? Did it evoke thoughts or memories of someone or something significant?
If you are a sunset chaser, we highly recommend that you experience it from the water on one of our tours. While no two sunsets are ever alike, and plenty of striking colors are seen right from wherever you are, here are some of the best places to watch the sunset on Kaua‘i:
1. Polihale State Park: Kaua‘i’s most western beach stretches 17 sandy miles in length. Looking straight out at neighboring Ni‘ihau, Polihale boasts some of the most majestic sunsets on Kaua‘i. Watch the sun descend on a clear ocean horizon gleaming with brilliant, sparkling blues and golden beams of light. Polihale is a very sacred place, so please don’t drive on the beach or the dunes, tread lightly, and always pack your trash. “Please note that the road leading to the park is an unimproved dirt road that may flood during rains and become impassable. Other areas have deep sand. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended. Rental car companies may prohibit use of their vehicles on this park access road.” – Division of State Parks
2. Kekaha Lookout: As sunset draws near, drive up toward Kōke‘e on Highway 550, pull over a couple of miles up the road at Kekaha Lookout, and park – trust me, you don’t want to miss this. With wide open spaces, and an unobstructed, elevated view, the sunset offers a magnificent display of beautifully vibrant colors painted across the landscapes of water and sky.
3. Poʻipū: People come from all around to gather in the grass in front of the Beach House Restaurant near Lawai Beach, where the sun sets on the ocean’s vast expanse. The grassy overlook is a perfect place to witness the green flash, visible when the sun sinks below the horizon and emits a momentary green flash.
4. Kīlauea: If you know, you know. Head down Kīlauea Road toward the Kīlauea Point Lighthouse, and get your place in what is most likely a long line of cars pulled over on the side of the road. As you look out toward Makana Mountain, get ready to see Mother Nature at its finest.
5. Keʻe Beach: Walk east down the beach and sit on the soft sand for one of the most incredible sunsets Kauaʻi offers. Here, the sun bids aloha to another day in paradise as it sinks into the western sky, cradled by the mountains of the Nāpali Coast, and provides a vividly unforgettable experience that promises to leave you speechless. Keʻe Beach requires that you reserve a parking permit before entering the park.
Next time you’re in the mood for inspiration, insight, or one heck of a light show in the sky, check sunset time, grab a blanket and maybe a friend, and head to one of these epic locations. To be wowed in daily life, sometimes all it takes is a remembrance to look, see, and appreciate what is happening right before our eyes. We sure are lucky to live and visit Kauaʻi!
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