Nu’uanu Pali Lookout is a stunning lookout point in Oahu, Hawaii that offers breathtaking views of the islands and valleys below. Located on the windward side of the Koʻolau mountain range, it’s one of the most popular attractions for visitors to experience during their stay in Oahu. Today, Nu’uanu Pali Lookout provides an incredible view from its 1120-foot elevation above sea level. Whether you’re looking to take pictures or just soak up some spectacular scenery, it’s worth making the trip out to this beautiful spot!


  •  Nu’uanu Pali Lookout on Oahu, Hawaii is a popular attraction featuring stunning views of the islands and valleys from its 1120-foot elevation.
  • The lookout has a rich history as the site of King Kamehameha I’s victory in the Battle of Nuʻuanu in 1795, which unified all of the Hawaiian Islands under his rule.
  • Visiting Pali Lookout offers visitors picturesque views, hiking trails, wildlife viewing opportunities, and an opportunity to learn about Hawaii’s fascinating history and culture.
  • Shopping and dining options are available in Kailua Town nearby, including specialty shops, art galleries, eateries serving local cuisine, and seafood caught fresh off the boat at Kaneohe Bay.
  • Visitors can choose to stay near the lookout with options ranging from luxury resorts to camping sites offering intimate connections with nature.


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Derived from the Hawaiian word for “cliff,” the Pali Lookout stands as the legendary battleground where King Kamehameha I emerged triumphant in the Battle of Nuʻuanu in 1795. This pivotal event united the island of Oʻahu under his reign, but not without the sacrifice of countless soldiers who met their fate on the daunting cliffs of the Pali. This battle marked the end of decades of warfare between rival chiefs and tribes, which had been raging since the mid-17th century. Thus, unifying all of the Hawaiian Islands under his rule. It marked an important milestone in Hawaiian history: from then on, the islands were ruled by one single leader instead of by many independent chiefs.

Today, Pali Lookout stands as a symbol of Hawaii’s unification. The site has been preserved, with its original stone walls still standing and plaques outlining the battle scene erected around it. A nearby visitor center offers more information about this historic event and how it impacted modern-day Hawaii. For tourists looking for more than just beautiful views, Pali Lookout provides an ideal opportunity to learn about Hawaii’s fascinating history and culture.

What to See at Pali Lookout – Hiking Trails, Views, and Wildlife

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Pali Lookout, also known as Nu’uanu Pali, offers visitors a chance to experience some of Hawaii’s most breathtaking views. Located on the windward side of Oahu, the lookout is located at the top of a cliff that offers panoramic overlooks of the Koolau Range and Kaneohala Mountains. From the top of Pali Lookout, one can get a spectacular panoramic view of Kaneohe Bay, Chinaman’s Hat Island, Kualoa Ranch, Kaneohe Marine Corps Base, and even the historic Molena Point Lighthouse off in the distance. On days when there is no wind at sea level you can look out over the majestic Pacific Ocean as far as your eyes can see. At certain times of the year, you may even be lucky enough to witness fruit bats flying up from their homes deep within Manoa Valley below. Pali Lookout also offers several hiking trails for visitors to explore. One of the most popular trails is the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail, which stretches 4 miles along a rugged coastal area and features incredible views of Makapuu Beach.

In addition to its beautiful scenery, Pali Lookout is home to an array of native wildlife including hawks, eagles, and nene (Hawaiian goose) among many others. Visitors can take part in wildlife viewing experiences as they traverse through various trails. There are also opportunities for bird-watching as numerous avian species call this area home. With its combination of hiking trails, magnificent views, and abundant wildlife, Pali Lookout makes for a perfect day trip from Honolulu or any other part of Oahu!

Restaurants and Shopping near Pali Lookout

Kailua Hawaii Tropical Landscape View
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Nestled at the top of the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout, visitors to the area can explore a variety of shopping and dining options. Just down the hill from the lookout is Kailua Town, a historic district filled with specialty shops, art galleries, and restaurants serving up something for everyone. For those looking to experience Hawaiian culture, some boutiques offer handmade jewelry and accessories made with local materials. There are also souvenir stores where visitors can pick up mementos such as t-shirts and postcards to commemorate their visit.

Kailua Town boasts a wide variety of eateries as well. From casual food trucks serving up mouthwatering local dishes to upscale restaurants that feature award-winning chefs, you’ll be sure to find something that tickles your taste buds. Many places also host live music performances on select nights making it easy to enjoy entertainment while you eat. Just a few minutes away from Pali Lookout is Kaneohe Bay where visitors can grab some delicious seafood right off the boat. The fresh fish caught here is especially popular among locals and visitors alike who flock there daily in search of dinner they won’t soon forget! Whether you’re just looking for something fun to do or hoping to get an authentic taste of Hawaiian culture, Kailua Town and Kaneohe Bay near Pali Lookout have plenty of options for shopping, eating, and exploring!

Where to Stay Near Pali Lookout

Landscape of Hawaii Lanikai Beach
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Visitors looking for a place to stay near Pali Lookout have a wide variety of options available. For those looking for a more luxurious experience, there are several resorts and hotels located close by, with easy access to the lookout point. For those looking for a more traditional Hawaiian experience, there are also plenty of camping sites available around the lookout. Camping provides visitors with an intimate connection to nature, as well as direct access to all of the lookout’s stunning views and areas of historical significance. Lanikai Beach Park, located at the base of Koolau Mountain Range on Oahu’s windward coast, is one such campground offering beautiful views and easy access to Pali Lookout. No matter where you choose to stay while visiting Pali Lookout, you are sure to enjoy your time there! From luxurious resorts to rustic camping sites, there is something for everyone when it comes to staying near this beautiful landmark.

Tips for Visiting Pali Lookout

Visiting Pali Lookout is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your visit.

  • The best time to go to Pali Lookout is early in the morning or at sunset. This will allow for beautiful lighting that will enhance your photos and provide some of the best views on the island.
  • It’s important to keep safety precautions in mind. Make sure not to lean over too far and stay close to designated pathways as they mark safe areas for exploration.
  • Consider bringing bug spray as mosquitoes are common during certain times of year.
  • If you’re planning on taking photos, make sure you bring a tripod so that your shots come out looking professional in quality.
  • Drop by plenty of local artisans nearby with handmade goods that capture the beauty of Hawaii’s culture If you’re looking for a unique souvenir.
  • Be cautious with loose clothing and small items as they may be swept away by sudden gusts.
  • Embrace the captivating display of shadows created by passing clouds at the Pali Lookout.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Pali Lookout is a scenic lookout and tourist attraction located in the Nuuanu Valley in Oahu, Hawaii. Set atop a cliff with a spectacular view of the ocean, it offers breathtaking scenery as well as historical landmarks.

Visitors can expect to witness breathtaking scenic views from atop a cliff that overlooks a lush valley as well as the windward coast of O’ahu. The lookout is surrounded by endemic vegetation, including native Hawaiian plants, trees, and flowers, adding to its natural beauty.

While visiting this breathtaking viewpoint you must take proper precautions for your safety—stay away from edges (of cliffs), obey warning signs/instructions provided by staff/personnel on site, and be aware of your location at all times when traversing through trails/roads surrounding Pali Lookout—to ensure your safety as well as that of those around you!

There are no fees associated with visiting or enjoying Pali Lookout’s stunning scenery; however donations are accepted and appreciated to help maintain this beloved landmark for future generations!

The best time to visit Pali Lookout depends largely on what type of scenery you would like to experience while there. If you want pleasant temperatures and beautiful sunsets over Kaneohe Bay then April through October is usually ideal; however, if you’re interested in seeing more dramatic clouds and rainbows then winter months could be better suited for your trip.

Visitors to Pali Lookout will find several attractions that make this spot worthy of a visit. Historical markers are detailing important events in Hawaiian history. Additionally, there are trails for hiking, biking, or jogging, as well as picnic areas where you can relax while taking in the breathtaking views of Kaneohe Bay.

How to Get There

Located just a short drive from downtown Honolulu, this historic site offers unparalleled views of the magnificent Koolau cliffs and the vibrant Windward Coast. You’ll be mesmerized by the scenic drive along the winding Pali Highway, surrounded by lush nature.

By Car

If you’re traveling by car, take the H-1 Freeway headed west from Waikiki. Then, take the Pali Hwy (Hwy 61) and exit just before the Pali Tunnels. Park your car in the designated parking lot and make your way up to the lookout on foot.

By Bus

Unfortunately, there is currently no direct bus route to the Pali Lookout. The #67 Oahu Bus does stop at the end of Nu’uanu Pali Dr, but there is an uphill gap of about half a mile along the highway to reach the lookout.

Come and Discover the Stunning Beauty of Pali Lookout!

With its impressive cliffs, vibrant rainforest, and glistening blue waters below, Pali Lookout is a sight that will leave you speechless. Pali Lookout is the ultimate destination for both residents and visitors. Don’t forget to bring your camera – there are countless photo opportunities here that you will cherish forever!