Tantalus has long been a favorite place of mine. Considering its proximity to Honolulu you might think that it gets swamped with tourists and families going for a picnic but I have rarely encountered more than a half dozen people there at any time. There are actually two different spots on Tantalus I recommend checking out. The first is the actual Tantalus lookout in the Puu Ualakaa State Wayside Park, which typically closes right after sunset. You get a wonderful panoramic view of Diamond Head, Honolulu, the airport and beyond. There is a well maintained lawn at the lookout point that is perfect for an afternoon picnic.
The second spot is perfect for checking out Honolulu’s night skyline. To get to this spot head up Makiki St. and stay to the right when the road forks. Turn right on Round Top Drive and follow the road up like you were going to Puu Ualakaa Park. Before you reach the final hairpin turn that precedes the entrance to the park there’s a spot on the right-hand side where you can park your car. This is a good spot but lots of Japanese tour buses come here at night and it can get pretty crowded. Park your car there and walk down the road a little till you reach a demolished house with a chainlink fence blocking the driveway. It’s far less crowded here and you’re afforded a wider view of Honolulu and beyond.