Hawaii’s stunning scenery and diverse landscapes have made it a top destination for filming movies and TV shows for decades. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Popular shows filmed in Hawaii include Lost, Hawaii Five-O, Magnum P.I., Dog the Bounty Hunter, and Baywatch. Major movies shot in Hawaii include Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, Blue Hawaii, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Tora! Tora! Tora!.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the beautiful Hawaiian islands as a filming location by looking at some of the most iconic shows and movies shot against the backdrop of sandy beaches, lush jungles, and volcanic landscapes. We’ll also discuss some of the practical and financial benefits of filming in Hawaii.

Oahu and Honolulu

Oahu and its capital city, Honolulu, are popular filming locations for numerous TV shows and movies. The stunning natural landscapes, beautiful beaches, and vibrant city life make it an ideal setting for filmmakers. Let’s explore some of the iconic locations on Oahu and in Honolulu where popular shows have been filmed.

Waikiki Beach

Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world and has been featured in various TV shows. Its golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and majestic views of Diamond Head volcano create a picturesque backdrop for filming. Shows like “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum P.I.” have showcased the beauty of Waikiki Beach, attracting viewers from around the globe. So, if you ever find yourself in Honolulu, don’t forget to take a stroll along this iconic stretch of sand.

Kualoa Ranch

Kualoa Ranch is a breathtakingly beautiful private nature reserve located on the northeastern side of Oahu. This lush green paradise has been the setting for many famous TV shows and movies, including “Lost” and “Jurassic Park”. The ranch offers various tours and activities, allowing visitors to explore the filming locations and get a glimpse into the world of their favorite shows. You can even ride horses through the scenic valleys and experience the magic of the place firsthand.


Honolulu’s Chinatown is a vibrant and culturally rich neighborhood that has been featured in several TV shows. Its narrow streets, colorful markets, and historical buildings provide a unique backdrop for filming. Shows like “Hawaii Five-0” have captured the essence of Chinatown, showcasing its diverse culinary scene and rich heritage. Exploring this neighborhood will give you a taste of the local culture and a chance to see where some of your favorite shows were brought to life.


Maui is a beautiful island located in the central Pacific Ocean and is known for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture. It has been a popular filming location for many TV shows and movies, thanks to its breathtaking scenery. Let’s explore some of the famous spots on Maui that have been featured in various shows.


Hana, a small town on the eastern coast of Maui, is renowned for its scenic beauty and laid-back atmosphere. It has been featured in several TV shows, including the hit series “Lost.” The stunning waterfalls, black sand beaches, and lush rainforests in and around Hana make it a perfect backdrop for filming. If you’re a fan of the show, you might recognize some of the iconic spots like Wailua Falls and Ohe’o Gulch, also known as the Seven Sacred Pools.


Lahaina, a historic town on the western coast of Maui, has a rich cultural and historical significance. It has been a filming location for shows like “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum P.I.” The charming streets of Lahaina, lined with unique boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants, add an authentic Hawaiian touch to any production. If you visit Lahaina, don’t forget to explore Front Street, which offers stunning ocean views and captures the essence of this picturesque town.

Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach, located on the northwest coast of Maui, is one of the most popular beaches on the island. Its golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking sunsets have made it a sought-after location for filming. The TV show “Baywatch Hawaii” was shot in this scenic spot, showcasing the beauty of Kaanapali Beach to a global audience. Whether you want to relax on the beach or engage in water sports, Kaanapali Beach offers something for everyone.

Exploring Maui is like stepping into a tropical paradise. From the rugged coastline of Hana to the charming streets of Lahaina and the stunning beaches of Kaanapali, this island has it all. Whether you’re a fan of the shows filmed here or simply looking to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty, Maui is the perfect destination for your next vacation.


Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay is a stunning location on the north shore of Kauai, known for its breathtaking beauty and serene beaches. This picturesque bay has been featured in numerous shows filmed in Hawaii, including the popular TV series “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-0.” The bay’s crystal-clear waters, lush green mountains, and golden sandy beaches make it a dream setting for filmmakers and a must-visit destination for tourists.

Waimea Canyon

Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” Waimea Canyon is a striking natural wonder located on the western side of Kauai. Its awe-inspiring beauty has attracted filmmakers from around the world, making it a popular filming location for shows set in Hawaii. The canyon’s vibrant red and orange hues, towering cliffs, and cascading waterfalls create a dramatic backdrop that adds depth and visual appeal to any production.

Poipu Beach

Poipu Beach on the sunny south shore of Kauai is a favorite spot for both locals and visitors. Its pristine white sands, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life make it a paradise for beachgoers and a sought-after filming location for shows set in Hawaii. The beach’s natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere have made it a popular choice for TV shows like “Magnum P.I.” and “Jurassic Park.” Whether you’re looking to relax or explore, Poipu Beach offers something for everyone.

If you’re planning a trip to Kauai, be sure to visit these iconic filming locations and immerse yourself in the beauty that has captivated audiences worldwide. You might even catch a glimpse of your favorite TV show being filmed!

Big Island of Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands and offers a diverse range of landscapes and activities for visitors. From stunning beaches to active volcanoes, this island has it all. Let’s explore some of the top attractions on the Big Island.

Kona Coast

The Kona Coast is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. It is a popular destination for snorkeling, diving, and fishing. The coast is lined with luxurious resorts and offers a wide range of water sports activities. Don’t miss the chance to swim with dolphins or take a sunset cruise along the coast. The Kona Coffee Belt, located on the slopes of the Hualalai volcano, is also worth a visit. Here, you can learn about the process of growing and harvesting coffee beans and sample some of the world’s finest coffee.

Volcanoes National Park

One of the most iconic attractions on the Big Island is the Volcanoes National Park. This park is home to two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Visitors can explore the park’s vast lava fields, hike through rainforests, and even witness the incredible sight of lava flowing into the ocean. The park also offers educational programs and guided tours that provide a deeper understanding of the island’s volcanic activity. It’s a truly unique experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Waipio Valley

Waipio Valley is often referred to as the “Valley of the Kings” and is a hidden gem on the Big Island. This lush and dramatic valley is located on the northeastern coast and is accessible only by foot or 4×4 vehicles. The valley is surrounded by steep cliffs and offers breathtaking views of waterfalls and taro fields. Hiking down into the valley is a popular activity for adventure seekers, but be prepared for a challenging hike back up. The serenity and natural beauty of Waipio Valley make it a must-visit destination on the Big Island.

The Big Island of Hawaii has so much to offer, from its stunning coastlines to its unique volcanic landscapes. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, this island has something for everyone. Plan your trip to the Big Island and explore all that it has to offer.

For more information on the Big Island and its attractions, visit https://www.gohawaii.com/islands/hawaii-big-island.


Hawaii has been a filming location for over a century, starting with silent films in the early 1900s. Its tropical environment and diverse landscapes continue to draw producers from Hollywood and around the world. As this article demonstrates, iconic beaches, lush rainforests, historic towns, and volcanic landscapes across the islands have provided unforgettable backdrops to some of the most popular movies and TV shows of all time. For practical and financial reasons, Hawaii will likely continue to be a filming mecca for many years to come.

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