As tropical getaways go, you can’t beat a vacation to Hawaii. As a dream destination with a universal appeal, it’s easy to see why the islands have become synonymous with paradise. From sugary white beaches to Technicolor coral reefs, and a diverse range of hiking trails and volcanoes for the adventurous soul, Hawaii truly has something for everyone.
However, it’s not always as simple as just deciding to vacation in Hawaii. Each of the islands here are truly diverse, offering a whole new set of sights, experiences and attractions, so it’s important to choose the right one.
The following tips will help you choose the right island for your trip. Alternatively, if you have the time, plan on some island hopping and take in a few!
Kauai is the northernmost island in Hawaii, and it’s a great choice for those who want to experience rugged natural landscapes and travel off the beaten path. It is the most undeveloped of the main islands, so it sees far fewer crowds, and you’ll get access to untamed nature like lush forests and white, sandy beaches.
Highlights here include the trails of Kokee State Park and Waimea Canyon (cited as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”). Wailua Falls is a popular waterfall, and Poipu Beach was voted one of America’s best beaches.
Maui is a great choice for those who love beaches, hiking, and food. This is the second largest island in the Hawaiian chain, and many believe it is home to some of the best beaches in the world.
Maui highlights include whale watching in Lahaina Town as well as driving the Road to Hana — one of the most scenic drives in the world. Travelers to Maui also enjoy the many hiking trails that wind past waterfalls and through volcanic national parks. Of course, there’s also a great restaurant scene here. Foodies flock here for Hawai’ian regional cuisine.
Hawai’i – The Big Island
The big island is aptly named — it is larger than the rest of the islands combined, and because of this, travelers can experience 11 of the world’s climatic zones. This means everything from white sandy beaches and snow-capped mountains to waterfalls, rainforests and one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
Travelers interested in hiking, culture, and wildlife will love it here. Highlights include Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Historic Kailua-Kona Town, Waipio Valley, and Ka Lae (America’s southernmost point).
Oahu is known as the “gathering place.” I you’re traveling internationally, you will first land here at Honolulu’s airport before making a domestic connection. However, Oahu itself has a lot to offer for those willing to spend some time before transiting. This is a great spot for travelers hoping for adventure with access to modern amenities, and the island offers a vibrant mix of cultural and natural wonders.
Highlights include surfing the North Shore’s famous giant waves, hiking along knife-edged pali (cliffs), and reliving American history with a visit to the Pearl Harbor museums. Waikiki Beach is also a big draw for international visitors because it’s considered Hawaii’s most iconic beach. Since this island gets major publicity, you can always find coupons, discounts and vacation deals.
INSPIRED?! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓