There are 8 islands that make up the Hawaiian Island Chain, so how do you choose which one to visit? Check out our guide below to help you plan your perfect Hawaiian vacation.
This is the main island of Hawaii, where we live and where the capital, Honolulu, is located. With the famous beaches of Waikiki and excellent shopping, this is the island I think everyone should visit at least once. That being said, it is also the most crowded island, and traffic is almost a daily nightmare. This island is also the most current/modern island, and perfect for kids. Come here if you’re looking to see famous landmarks (such as Pearl Harbor!) and are into the city life.
The most luxurious of the 8 islands, where all the celebrities go to get away in style. Frequented by the likes of Oprah, Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears, and also home to the famous Grand Wailea Resort. Maui is perfect for honeymooners and those who want to get pampered in paradise; it also boasts of luxury shops; catering to lifestyles of the rich and the famous. Maui is also special because along with its high class amenities, there is excellent snorkeling, world class beaches, adventurous activities, and beautiful scenery such as the Road to Hana.
Lana’i and Moloka’i
Come to one of these two islands if you want to fall off the grid. These two islands have a very slow pace of life; don’t expect anything quick to happen here! Jarden went to Moloka’i recently, and it wasn’t uncommon to wait an hour for your food (again, very relaxed pace lol) or see someone strolling down the street casually riding a horse. If you want to be isolated and get away from it all, escape to either Lana’i or Moloka’i.
My favorite Hawaiian Island, Kaua’i is a beautiful mixture of country and modern. There are parts of the island (such as Princeville), where you can play tourist and relax in a 5 star hotel, but there are also tons of country areas where you can explore your lush surroundings. Kaua’i is absolutely beautiful with gorgeous waterfalls and sea cliffs, the thrill seeker in me raves of the zip lining and hiking, and it holds the perfect amount of isolation without being too remote. This is where we’re planning on heading for our next staycation; the beauty of Kaua’i is undeniable.
The Big Island (Island of Hawai’i)
Hawai’i, nicknamed The Big Island, is more for the outdoorsy type. This island holds excellent hiking, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, and tons of wildlife. This island is also home to the famous (and recently controversial) Mauna Kea, the only place in Hawai’i that gets snow! This Big Island offers picturesque landscape and excellent history for the active traveler.
Kaho’olawe and Ni’ihau
These two islands are listed last as they are pretty inaccessible to the average person. Ni’ihau is privately owned, and you can only visit via helicopters on half day tours, as no accommodation to tourists on the island exists. As for Kaho’olawe, it was used as target practice for the U.S military for years, and is therefore pretty much uninhabitable. For the few people that do get to visit Kaho’olawe, the reasons are primarily environmental/educational/spiritiual, not for tourism. You probably won’t get to explore these two, but don’t worry as you have 6 other viable options!
Each Hawaiian island holds something special; you can visit all 6 and still have a different lasting impression of each one. If you’re able, visit 2-3 by island hopping to get a more well-rounded experience of Hawai’i as a whole.
Which Hawaiian island would you want to visit?