Choosing the perfect Hawaiian island to visit is challenging for many travellers. Hawaii is an archipelago of six stunning islands, with each island serving a wonderful but different Hawaiian experience. With the choice of six of the world’s most stunning islands at your disposal, picking the best Hawaiian island to visit is a daunting task. It would be an unbelievable experience to tour all of the Hawaiian Islands, but it would require extra time and of course, great expense. Nonetheless, when you are in Hawaii, try to find the time to visit at least a couple of these major islands for a rewarding travel experience.
Of all Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is probably the most loved by Mother Nature. There is colourful and vibrant plant life across the entire island. Kauai is a haven for city dwellers seeking to escape the daily bustle of the fast city life. Its natural and undisputed beauty has found favor with many well-known filmmakers. Great movies such as Jurassic Park and South Pacific were filmed on location on various spots around Kauai.
Among travellers, the Island is famously known as “The Garden Isle” because of its spectacular waterfalls, pristine rivers and lush green rainforests. Kauai Islands stretches out generously into the sea, baring over 50 miles of undisturbed white sand beaches that are popular with newly-weds seeking to enjoy the pleasures and relaxation of their honeymoon.
Yet that is only half the picture. The island is also home to adrenaline junkies and adventure seekers. It is the best Hawaiian island to visit for action-seekers as the island has plenty to offer, such as kayaking, ziplining and hiking. Do not forget to bring a camera with extra capacity and battery; there is plenty of amazing scenery to keep you clicking away. Your tour is incomplete in all manner of ways if you forget to visit the incredible Waimea canyon and the Napali Coast.
With breathtaking landscape and seascape to keep the camera rolling, and a ton of fun activities to do, Maui is most certainly one of the best Hawaiian Islands to visit. Next time your travel agent brings up a Maui package, rise to the occasion and book it without blinking. Maui ushers you to a travellers’ paradise. If the sandy beaches of Kaanapoli fail to mystify you, try some of the world’s toughest hiking trails such as Pipiwai trails and the moon crater of Haleakala. Visit the shores of Lahaina town to catch whales basking. If it is whale-watching you seek, make sure to book a winter Maui vacation package instead.
Other than whales, Maui Island is also home to some of the most stunning golf courses, and amazing national parks that draw wildlife lovers from all over the world. It is the best Hawaiian Island to visit if you enjoy a little bit of teeing action with your travel. The Haleakala National Park is a favourite with many tourists; it is great for game drives, trekking and hiking.
Oahu is the best Hawaiian Island to visit if you love a party and a vibrant night life. If your nights are boring up until you hit the party scene, you must include Oahu on your travel itinerary. The island is a hive of partying during the night as much as it is during the day. Oahu is nicknamed “The Gathering Place” because of its vibrancy, the famous Waikiki Beach, and of course, a huge population of people from all over the world.
When on Oahu Island, make sure that you visit the Iolani Palace, residence to the last Hawaiian monarchs, as well as Pearl Habor for a dash of Arizona Memorial. Carry your wallet around, as Oahu is a shoppers’ paradise that will have you buying and buying some more in no time. If the vibrancy, the partying and rigorous night life becomes too much for your liking, you can always escape to hike up the famous Diamond Head crater – Leahi.
If you are heading to Oahu, check out our Top Things to do in Oahu page.
The Big Island
The Big Island sure does have big surprises, and it is the best Hawaiian Island to tour if nothing stands between you and adventure. One of the Island’s biggest selling points is the Kilauea volcano, which is the most active volcano in the world. For this, the Island has the famed “Volcano Isle” tag to show. Away from volcanoes, the Island is also home to the birthplace of King Kamehameha, famous ancient temples, as well as exciting hiking trails.
Big Island is also teeming with rich marine life, amazing flora, as well as black, green and white sand beaches. It is the best Hawaiian Island to visit if you want a wide range of accommodation options. There are cheap vacation rentals suitable for tight budgets as well as high-end luxury hotel packages for the more relaxed budgets.
Molokai Island is the best Hawaiian Island to visit if you seek to run away from it all. When day-to-day life becomes stressful, you need to point your compass to Molokai. The island is home to all that is serene and undisturbed. It is like a sanctuary, a paradise of peace and tranquillity. The island is the kind of place you go to unwind; to get things back on track. Molokai is a quiet little place without big buildings or traffic. Of all the six Hawaiian Islands, Molokai is the most ideal for a tranquil holiday.
On the Island, you have the opportunity to learn Hawaiian culture, the Hula and other cultural dances, as well as sport fishing among many other activities. When boredom creeps in, go enjoy mule rides or dip your feet in the white sands of Papohaku beach.
Lanai is the best Hawaiian Island to visit if you lust after heavy duty pampering. The island is home to numerous 5-star hotels that provide excellent “pampering”service. If you love to golf as you travel, Lanai offers some of most alluring golf courses in Hawaii. When you have had all the pampering for the day, walk the unpaved roads to Puu Pehe, or the Sweetheart Rock, or the famous Keahiakawelo, which means Garden of Gods.
Visiting all these islands in a single trip is nearly impossible, but if you have the time and the means, it can make for a rewarding experience. Finally, before selecting your travel packages, use the guide above to narrow down what kind of vacation you desire. If you crave night-life and shopping, Oahu is your island. If you love the outdoors and need some peace and relaxation any of the other islands would suite your needs. Figuring out which island for you is the best Hawaiian island to visit can be a lot of fun, so enjoy your journey!
Which is your favorite Island in Hawaii?