If you’re looking for one of the best views in all of Oahu, look no further than Tantalus Lookout. From this lookout point, visitors can see stunning views of Honolulu and Diamond Head. The lookout point is also a great place to go for a hike or do some bird watching. Keep reading for more information about this popular attraction!


  • Sweeping views of Honolulu with Diamond Head in the background
  • Perfect place to watch the sunset or catch a spectacular night view
  • Easy to fit in your itinerary
  • Plenty of things to do in the area, including hiking, having a picnic, and more


You might be wondering why a mountain in Hawaii is named after a Greek demigod. Mt. Tantalus was originally called Puʻu ʻŌhi, but after a failed hiking attempt by students of Punahou School in the 19th century, the mountain was nicknamed Tantalus. In Greek mythology, Tantalus is known for being punished in the underworld by having food and water just out of reach. The name reflects the frustration of early hikers who couldn’t make it to the summit.

Sweeping Views of Honolulu

View from Tantalus Lookout Sunset
Tantalus Lookout at Night

One of the best things about Tantalus Lookout is the stunning view. On a clear day, you can see all the way from Diamond Head to Waikiki Beach. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset. If you’re visiting at night, you can even see the city lights sparkling below.

Things to Do at Tantalus Lookout

Round Top Drive

Round Top Drive is the name of the scenic route that takes you to Tantalus Lookout. A narrow, curving road with a canopy of lush trees, this beautiful route allows you to stop at several points to take in beautiful views of the Honolulu skyline.

Have a Picnic

The manicured lawns at Tantalus lookout make it ideal for having a picnic. Just bring a mat, some food, and enjoy the view. Picnic tables and picnic pavilions are also available in the area.

Hike Mt. Tantalus

Hiking Mt. Tantalus today is a lot easier than when Punahou students failed to reach the summit in the mid-1800s and named the mountain after a figure in Greek mythology with an impossible task. Around 2.5 miles long with an elevation of 600 ft., the trail takes you through the lush rainforest of Oahu with beautiful views of Honolulu along the way. A tour guide can also make the hike easier and more entertaining.

  • Hike an ancient cinder cone volcano
  • 2.5 mile moderate guided hike through lush rainforest


Bike downhill

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, biking downhill from Tantalus Lookout is the perfect activity. The narrow road and lush vegetation make for an exciting ride as you race down to the bottom. You can even combine it with hiking to a waterfall, sailing on a catamaran, snorkeling for an adventure-filled day.

  • Enjoy a scenic 2-mile tropical rainforest trail
  • Option to combine with a waterfall hike and/or snorkeling cruise


Take Instagenic Photos on a Photo Tour

Tantalus Lookout is among the most photogenic spots in Oahu and is part of the most exciting photo tours. You can get your photo taken by a professional photographer and have Instagram-perfect photos to remember your trip by.

  • 5-hour midday photo tour
  • Visit scenic locations like Tantalus Lookout, Pali Lookout, Ko’olau Mountains, and more

  • Get pictures at the best Instagram spots in Hawaii!
  • Take photos at Kakaako Art Walk, Tantalus Lookout, Eternity Caves, and more


Tips when Visiting Tantalus Lookout

  • Bring a jacket. The temperature drops at night, so if you'll be there from sunset, a jacket would be handy.
  • Be careful of your belongings. You will see signs saying that Tantalus Lookout is a high theft area, so it's important to keep an eye on your belongings.
  • Bring a picnic mat. Tantalus Lookout has manicured lawns so it's perfect for picnics or simply sitting down and enjoying the view. But since it is a public place, there might be insects so it's always good to have a mat.
  • Flying a drone at the summit is not allowed. You can, however, stop at the several viewpoints along Round Top drive and fly a drone from there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Tantalus Lookout is open year-round. It may rain more during the winter months (Dec – Feb).

No, Tantalus Lookout is open until 7:45 pm in the summer and 6:45 pm in the winter.

No, admission is free. Parking is $3 for non-residents.

How to Get to Tantalus Lookout

Tantalus Lookout
Hours: 7 AM to 6:45 PM (Winter) / 7 AM to 7:45 PM (Summer)
Free admission
Parking fee: $3 for non-residents
Official Website

Tantalus Lookout is around a 15-minute drive from Waikiki.