Hawaii is a vacation dream for many travellers, especially during the cold winter months. Thoughts of tropical breezes, turquoise waves, lush rainforests, and coconut cocktails is enough to get even winter enthusiasts excited. But, while Hawaii maybe be one state, it’s actually made up eight main islands (there are over 130 islands total). Of these eight main islands, six of them are perfect vacation destinations. So which is the best Hawaiian island for your vacation? Well, that depends on your travel style and what you want to do. So get packing for Hawaii because here is a breakdown of the main islands to help you choose the best Hawaiian island for your holiday.
The Island of Hawaii
The Island of Hawaii is the biggest and youngest Island in the chain. Nicknamed ‘the big island’, visitors can actually experience four different climate zones on this one island, including polar tundra.
There are several main regions on the island. Kona is known for its resorts, coffee, and abundant marine life. Scuba divers love it because its home to two of the best night dives in the world: the manta ray night dive and the black water night dive. Kau is smaller, less busy, but known it’s beautiful black sand beach: Punaluu Black Sand Beach. Kau is also home to much of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, including Kilauea; one of the most active volcanoes in the world. A third popular region on the Island of Hawaii is Kohala which is famous for its golf courses.
If you are looking for a great beach vacation or are into volcanoes, scuba diving, or golf then then the Island of Hawaii is the best Hawaiian Island to visit for you.
The Hawaiian island of Oahu is one of the most popular picks for vacationers. Honolulu, the capital and largest city in Hawaii, can be found here long with Pearl Harbor, the famous Waikiki Beach, and the Dole Pineapple plantation.
One of the biggest highlights of Oahu is the North Shore; famous around the world for being a surfing paradise. During the winter months this stretch of beaches hosts premier surf competitions with the best and biggest waves during the months November through February. These are best left to the pros and avid surfers, but don’t worry; there are some smaller waves for new surfers or those wanting to learn.
If you are looking for family friendly resorts, war history, or an epic surf vacation, then Oahu is the best Hawaiian Island for your vacation.
In desperate need for some sun, sand, and an epic beach vacation? Maui is the Hawaiian island for you.
Maui has been voted “The Best Island in the US” repeatedly by Condé Nast Traveler readers and those that have been understand why. The highlights on this Hawaiian island are the world renowned beaches and the beautiful Iao Valley. Adventure enthusiasts will love exploring the island’s rainforests with its hidden waterfalls, watching the sunset in Haleakala national park, and driving along the stunning coastal roads. Maui is also known for humpback whale watching which occurs the winter months.
If your ideal Hawaii vacation involves some adventure, scenic views, and plenty of beaches then head to the island of Maui.
The Hawaiian island of Kauai is known as ‘the Garden Island’. It’s the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands and characterized by jagged cliffs, towering mountains, and lush, green valleys. The island is covered in tropical rainforests, rushing rivers, and cascading waterfalls. There are plenty of activities to try here from kayaking to snorkeling, hiking, and even zip-lining. It’s the perfect destination for nature lovers and thrill seekers.
If you are up for an adventure and want to be surrounded by beautiful nature, then choose Kauai for your Hawaii vacation.
Another great pick for adventure lovers, especially scuba divers and snorkelers, is the island of Molokai. This Hawaiian island is home to the longest continuing fringing reef in the world and offers up some incredible scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities. Plus, since Molokai isn’t a very popular island for tourism and doesn’t have a large population of locals, the waters surrounding this reef are pristine and crystal clear meaning healthy corals and numerous species of tropical fish. Molokai is also home to one of Hawaii’s largest white sand beaches, Papohaku Beach, and the highest sea cliffs in the world.
If you are a traveller who likes to get off the beaten tourist trail, then the beauty of Molokai is waiting for you.
Lanai is the smallest of the Hawaiian Islands and offers two different styles of travel depending on what you prefer. Lanai is a quiet island known for its luxury world-class resorts. So if you are looking for elegance and luxury, it’s a great pick. Want to throw in a bit of soft adventure as well? No problem, because while luxury resorts may be a highlight of this Hawaiian Island, so is off the beaten path adventure. Horseback riding, off-road adventures, and snorkeling can all be enjoyed here as well.
Whether you prefer luxury resort vacations, or adventure (or a mix of both!) the island of Lanai is a great pick for travellers in search of a quiet Hawaiian vacation spot.
Each of the Hawaiian Islands have their own character and charm, but it comes down to it, you can’t choose wrongly.