“The Descendants” Hawaii Film Locations

Kaimana Beach, Photo By Jai Mansson

If you’ve seen the Oscar award winning film The Descendants, (Best Adapted Screenplay) you may be wondering how to find some of the places where it was filmed. Often Hawaii is used to depict somewhere else. The lush landscape of Kolekole was used as an alien planet in Predators and in Tropic Thunder, Kauai’s dense foliage was a Vietnam war backdrop. However, the great part about Alexander Payne’s The Descendants is that every location in the movie portrays the real place.

On Oahu you can visit several locations from the film. The opening scene was shot a half-mile off shore of Waikiki Beach. On a small street north of Honolulu you’ll find the Nuuanu neighborhood where George Clooney’s character lived. Also you can visit the Hawaii State Art Museum and Iolani Palace which were shown in the windows of the Honolulu’s Queen’s Medical Center. Near Diamond Head Crater Park you’ll find the Elks Lodge where more scenes were filmed.

Skip over to the Big Island and you’ll see the Queen Kaahumanu Highway. White coral spells out people’s names against black lava rocks. While your in the area you may want to drive north to the Kekaha Kai State Park and visit the beautiful secluded beaches.

Kalalau Trail, Photo by Mat McDermott

On the island of Kauai you’ll find the spectacular Na Pali Coast and Kalalau Trail, (the helicopter shots of lush green mountains) a 6,175-acre state park which you can hike through or access by boat. Wondering about the beach where George Clooney jogs? Try heading over to Hanalei Bay on the North Shore. The beach is adjacent to the St. Regis Princeville Resort. But the main question: Where is the land trust that is so central to the movie’s plot? Kipu Kai can be visited by ATV through the Kipu Ranch Adventure tour. The tour includes a stop at the beach and areas overlooking the valley.

And don’t forget we have vacation rentals on the Big Island. You can easily book online at, www.letsgohawaii.com. If you need to get in touch with us feel free to contact us at MacArthur and Company / Sotheby’s International Realty.

About the Author

Dodie MacArthur ,


Dodie MacArthur began her real estate career in Honolulu in 1972. She quickly rose from top sales agent and project manager of major Honolulu developments to representing prominent estate and development properties on Oahu and the Big Island. With her honed real estate skills and experience, Dodie founded MacArthur and Company in 1989 with the objective of creating a unique boutique firm, where the clients needs came first. In the first year of operation, the company gained immediate recognition as a leading Big Island firm and continues to thrive as a market leader today. With her abundant energy, creative marketing and dynamic leadership skills, Dodie is responsible for business development and overall company management at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty. She works closely with clients and agents in the marketing and sales of their properties. Her many years cultivating client and broker relationships ensures the firms clients unrivaled exposure. Along with her management staff and team of successful sales agents and brokers, Dodie is able to provide local, national and international clients with unparalleled customized service, fulfilling her promise that the client’s needs come first.

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