Waikiki beach has the 5th most celebrated sunset in the world, according to a Forbes columnist.

What, you may ask, makes a sunset “celebrated?” Beth Greenfield says it is a sunset that is appreciated “those marked with popular daily rituals that draw applauding, dancing, drumming masses.” She chose ten locations from around the world where sunset “is a real crowd pleaser.”

The top location is Oia, Santorini, for the crowds that gather to applaud as the sun sinks into the sea. A nightly drum circle gets Tel Aviv, Israel second billing. Rio, Brazil (number 3) and Ibiza, Spain (number 4) both welcome sunset with cheering crowds. That brings us to Hawaii for number five – where sunset is marked by torch lightings, hula shows and conch-blowing ceremonies “plus crowds of tourists and locals who clap as the sun disappears and casts a glow over Diamond Head.”

Personally, I think all that should get us the top spot – after all, Hawaii adds dance, music, pageantry AND cheering crowds to the evening spectacle (the sunset dinner cruises didn’t even get a mention – we have BOAT-loads of celebrations.) And, as beautiful as the sunset is at Waikiki, it also provides a dramatic backdrop to luaus in the Ko Olina area of Oahu. Surely, the imu ceremony with attendant royal court is a unique celebration of sunset — let’s see any Greek island top THAT! Feathered helmets and capes on fire with the setting sun, for heaven’s sake!

I have only had the pleasure of experiencing sunset on Kauai of Hawaii’s other islands. While it was also beautiful, it didn’t draw cheering crowds or drum circles – which is exactly the point. A visit to Kauai is an escape from the tourists and locals who crowd Waikiki. Solitary sunsets are also appreciated, if quietly. I am certain each of the islands of Hawaii has a sunset that is celebrated each night – if only by a sigh and the whisper “Lucky we live Hawaii.”


  1. The best sunset in Hawaii has to be wherever you are in Hawaii. It doesn't matter what island; they are all beautiful and unique.  Although Kona has some amazingly red ones due to all the vog. Pretty strange looking, but lovely!

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