Current co-host Whoopi Goldberg introduced the episode as "the biggest day in the history of The View," then called Walters "amazing and fabulous" as the 84-year-old broadcasting legend took the stage to thunderous applause from the audience.
Former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the first surprise guest on Friday's edition of the show, which was taped Thursday.
"I can't believe this day has come and that it's real," Clinton said.
Walters told Clinton she should join the program now that there is an opening. When Clinton laughed at the offer, Walters asked her if that is because she is planning to run for president.
"I am running around the park!" Clinton said, advising Walters to take some time off and enjoy her hard-earned leisure time.
Walters' finale also included appearances by actor Michael Douglas and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, as well as a pre-taped segment with Walters and Saturday Night Live alum Cheri Oteri -- doing a spot-on impression of Walters -- interviewing each other.
"If Hillary runs, I think you'd be a great vice president," Douglas told Walters.
"I had to be here," Winfrey said, describing Walters as a pioneer for women in journalism.
Dozens of successful female broadcasters, including Robin Roberts, Katie Couric, Connie Chung, Kathie Lee Gifford, Gayle King, Diane Sawyer, Jane Pauley, Joan Lunden and Paula Zahn, then lined up to hug Walters.
"This is my legacy," Walters said, visibly moved by the tribute.