Going to Hawaii is a dream vacation on top of everyone’s list, for those that have never been. Once you start planning that vacation, you soon realize there are so many amazing islands that it’s hard to pick just one. Most people visit two of islands to get a good feel for Hawaii’s diversity. You can’t really make a bad choice, but it’s good to have an idea of what each island has to offer, to plan your trip around.
Best for: Beaches, Food, Museums
Oahu is the melting pot of Hawaii. You’ll find a ton of culture on this island, from the food to the people. It’s home to all walks of life from all over Hawaii, pacific islanders, and old tribes. You’ll be able to witness this rich culture through the museums and historic monuments in Honolulu.
Don’t forget to try all the amazing food found at street vendors, diners, and even fancy restaurants. You’ll be blown away by the East-meets-West fusion foods and the mom and pop’s comfort foods.
Hawaii, a.k.a. “The Big Island”
Best for: Hiking, Culture, Wildlife
There’s lots to do on the main island of Hawaii, hiking is a huge draw, with Mount Kilauea being the most active volcano on Earth. You’ll see dramatic contrasts of green waters, rivers of lava flowing, sharp cliffs and valleys. This hike delivers on both the challenge and the atmosphere.
The Big Island is definitely more tourist-friendly, you’ll find lots of hula events, leis, and lots of traditional Hawaii foods and functions.
Welcome to surfer’s paradise! Maui is home to some of the best beaches on the planet. Lots of great wind to catch waves on surfboards, kiteboards, and everything in-between. The water is amazing for snorkeling, it’s like an aquarium all around you.
Like the Big Island, Maui is also perfect for hiking and seeing Hawaii with your own two feet. Amazing forests, waterfalls, and more volcanic activity at the national park.
This island is also known as lover’s rock to some. Lanai is more off to the side from the other islands. It’s filled with rich tropical landscape and a fairly sparse population. A sort of hidden gem of Hawaii as it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of all the other tourist spots. There’s even a nice little beach spot that can be your own private little spot, as it’s often fairly empty.
This is Hawaii’s fifth largest island, yet it is also the least populated island. Home of the Hula dance, the island of Molokai is very friendly and humble to all visitors. If you’ve already visited the more popular island, you should consider visiting Molokai before making a return to the others. Why? Well, Molokai is one the best-ranked islands in the world when it comes to pristine tropical environments and rich local culture. The vegetation is filled with exotic plants and animals that are found no other place on Earth. It is quite similar to visiting the Galapagos’ Islands.