Two women take a selfie at one of the best photo op locations in Hawaii.

Have you ever left Hawaii wishing you had spent more time photographing your experiences? The surreal color pallette that awaits you on the Hawaiian Islands is like no other. So why not depart for your next flight over the Pacific with a list of the best photo ops in Hawaii to get those Instagram-worthy shots?

Here are the 14 best photo ops in Hawaii. No filter necessary!


Kualoa Ranch

Selfie with a hungry dinosaur? It’s no wonder Kualoa Ranch is home to where many famous movies were filmed – Jurassic Park and Pearl Harbor to name a few – it’s a stunning locale. The photographs on an ATV tour through the jurassic valley, or on horseback, are well worth the trip. Don’t forget to visit Secret Island, which is a breathtaking and remote beach. This is the perfect, quiet place for photos doing yoga on a paddleboard. And of course, snap one lounging in a beach hammock! Location: Between Honolulu and the North Shore

Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, is one of our top picks for best photo ops in Hawaii.

Lanikai Beach

Lanikai means “heavenly sea,” and this half-mile strip of beach is ranked as one of the most beautiful in the world. Your camera won’t have to work very hard to capture the beauty here. Two islands sit offshore providing the perfect backdrop for photos. Both sunrise and moonrise shots are a must on Lanikai. Location: Windward East Side in Kailua

Lanikai Beach in Kailua, Oahu offers a beautiful backdrop for pictures.

Top of Diamond Head

The short, but sweaty hike to the top is well worth the views. Your background image will include Waikiki city views and striking blue lagoons. Gorgeous!

 A photographer takes a photo of the shoreline from the top of Diamond Head State Monument.

Hanauma Bay

Before walking down into the cove of Hanauma Bay for an incredible snorkeling experience, take a photo at sunrise overlooking the bay. The colors of the water and the rising sun are simply spectacular. Don’t forget a selfie with sea life below the surface.

Hanauma Bay sunrises on Oahu, Hawaii are a must-see for photographers or anyone looking to capture unforgettable vacation memories.

Haleiwa, North Shore

During winter, you can get some pretty great photos smiling in front of the massive, curling waves on North Shore. No matter the size of the wave in the distance, include a colorful Matsumoto’s shave ice to make your friends back home completely envious!

The waves at the North Shore of Oahu are worth photographing.

Swimming with Wild Dolphins on the West Shore

This might be your favorite photo op of them all! Use the burst mode to capture the quick and playful spinner dolphins leap out of the water and pose for the camera with their acrobatics. The west side is also known for colorful tropical fish and green sea turtles.

If you swim with dolphins in Hawaii, taking pictures is a must!

Fireworks on Waikiki

Each Friday night, the Hilton Hawaiian Village puts on a free fireworks display on the beach. Get your best selfie smile ready and pose in front of the exploding colors at night.

Hilton Hawaiian Village has a free fireworks show every Friday night--perfect for selfies!

Photo courtesy of tylerjordanphotography

Big Island, Hawaii

Underwater with the Mantas

One of our favorite activities on the Big Island is the nighttime Manta Ray Snorkel. Get a Waterproof GoPro or other waterproof camera, and take pictures galore of giant manta rays barrel-rolling off you and your fellow visitors. Amazing!

The Manta Ray Snorkel is a must-do activity in Hawaii. Don't forget to take photos!

Up in the Air in a Helicopter

Are you ready to take to the air via helicopter to admire the landscapes of Hawaii? Waterfalls galore, lush landscape, and even wild lava flow can all be captured from your bird’s eye view. Add a little action to your aerial photos by including your own smile flying over the blue ocean in your chopper!

If you want to get a great birds-eye view of the Aloha State, what better way than a helicopter ride?

Sunset at Lava Lava Beach Club

Dinner, drinks, and live music at Lava Lava Beach Club is a must. Take a few fantastic photos playing corn hole on the beach, lounging with friends under the tiki torches, or beside a hula dancer swaying to the strumming of a ukulele as the sun goes down.

Lava Lava Beach Club is not only an enjoyable experience, but also a great place to take beautiful photos!

Photo Courtesy of Lava Lava Beach Club

Umauma Falls

On the west side of the island, in Hilo, some of the most beautiful waterfalls are waiting for your camera to capture their roaring beauty. For the adventurous photographer, snap this waterfall by way of zip-lining or a canyoning tour.

Umauma Falls are breathtaking and also the perfect Hawaii vacation photo op.

Waipi’o Valley

Stunning from the lookout and even better within the valley itself. What awaits you? Waterfalls, lush vegetation, black sand beaches, crystal blue ocean, and wild horses. This photo opp is a must!

Waipio Valley is one of HGV's top picks for best Hawaii photo opps.

Pololu Valley

Are you an early bird? Take advantage of the time change, and head to Pololu Valley for stunning sunrise photos. Whether you take pictures at the lookout or hike down to the black sand beach, Pololu Valley is, without a doubt, one of the best photo ops in Hawaii.

Pololu Valley is a pretty photo opp at all times of the day, but it really becomes something even more special at sunrise.

On the Bridge at the King’s Land Pool

Kings’ Land by Hilton Grand Vacations has the pool. Capture its beauty and the glow of yourself and fellow travelers on the bridge overlooking the waterfall. This photograph will be a ‘framer,’ most definitely. Bonus: The waterslide can offer a fun photo of being silly with friends and family!

The bridge at the pool at Kings' Land is a selfie location sure to make your friends jealous!

Do you have your own list of best photo ops in Hawaii? We’d love to hear your ideas, so leave us a comment below!

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