best hawaiian island to visit

What is Considered the Best Hawaiian Island to Visit?

The best Hawaiian island to visit stands out from the rest of the United States, almost feeling like a trip to another country. These islands were formed by volcanic activity in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, far from any other land.

best hawaiian island to visit

It’s tempting to think that the top six most visited Hawaiian Islands offer much the same kind of experience, but actually, they’re way more diverse than you might think.

So, let’s go into the specifics that can assist newcomers in picking the perfect Hawaiian island for their needs.

Best Hawaiian Island to Visit

Hawaii has six main islands you can visit, and picking the right one, especially if it’s your first time, can be tough.

Each island has its own vibe and cool things to check out. You can count on delicious local food and sunny beaches no matter where you go, but there’s way more to explore.

Some islands are lush and perfect for hiking, while others are packed with landmarks and nightlife.

Since there’s so much to do on each island and not a ton of travel between them, it can be difficult to decide where to go.

But don’t worry, there’s no bad choice in Hawaii. It’s all about finding the island that matches what you’re into and how you like to travel.

Here are the best Hawaiian islands to visit;

1. Maui

best hawaiian island to visit

Being the true diversity of the Hawaiian Island, Maui is one of the top destinations in Hawaii with all the amazing things to do.

It’s not half the size of the Big Island or as small as Lanai, not as lively as Oahu or as peaceful as Kauai.

Through experiencing the world of wildlife, history, and culture, this place provides you a unique experience.

There’s a collection of things to do, including watching hula dancers, golfing on the coast, ziplining, snorkeling with sea turtles or just chill at great beaches.

Maui is a beautiful small island, positioned between the Big Island and Molokai.

Each area is assigned to a region of the planet. Besides the beachgoers, who typically stay in the coastal areas of South Maui and West Maui, there’s a lot more beyond them.

Take a ride along the beautiful Hana Highway to enjoy the eastern coast of Maui, make it up to Haleakala, the biggest dormant volcano in the world, in the Upcountry or discover the ancient battlefields of Iao Valley State Park in central Maui.

The best way to impress and to enjoy the island is by booking a helicopter tour.

2. Hawaii – The Big Island

best hawaiian island to visit

The Big Island of Hawaii is a one off in terms of its geography, which encompasses a diversity of landscapes from black sand beaches which are not common to snow-capped peaks, and from lava deserts to lush rainforests.

It’s always growing, as the ongoing volcanic activity of Kilauea since 1983 extended the lava flow.

The island has been going through recent eruptions, earthquakes, and landslides, similar to the collapse of Halemaumau crater in May 2018.

Well, you may actually get a shock if you’re expecting a classic holiday in Hawaii which involves luaus and romantic scenes.

Yet, the island’s hiking trails, state parks, and unparalleled beaches provide a presence and a color variety that are not to be found anywhere in Hawaii.

When you require additional time, you can opt for any of the leading Hawaii tours guided by the local specialists who can help you make the most of your journey.

3. Molokai

best hawaiian island to visit

Moloka’i is the least developed island on this list, perfect for those who enjoy exploring off the beaten path.

It’s a paradise for nature lovers, with lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and some of the tallest sea cliffs globally.

Even if you’re staying overnight in one of the quiet oceanfront cottages (there’s only one hotel on the island) or visiting for the day from another Hawaiian Island, Moloka’i offers plenty to reconnect with nature.

You can relax on the secluded Papohaku Beach, snorkel along the 28-mile reef, or join a guided cultural hike through Halawa Valley.

4. Honolulu – Oahu

best hawaiian island to visit

Oahu is a unique blend of city luxury and stunning natural beauty, unlike any other Hawaiian island.

Honolulu, the capital city, is the epitome of urban charm, with a mix of cultural and historic sites such as Iolani Palace and the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

In Waikiki, skyscrapers stand tall against pristine white sand beaches, creating a striking contrast.

For a taste of rural Hawaii, head to the North Shore, known for its breathtaking blue waters and scenic hiking trails.

But Oahu offers more than just these iconic spots.

Its diverse dining scene, lively cultural events, and vibrant nightlife make it a true hub of Hawaiian culture, earning its nickname as the “Gathering Place.”

5. Lanai

Lanai is Hawaii’s most exclusive island, with billionaires like Bill Gates and Larry Ellison vying for a piece of its real estate.

But don’t let their competition deter you from visiting. Lanai offers a breathtaking natural spectacle, including remote beaches, unique rock formations, and vibrant underwater reefs.

To explore these hidden gems, you’ll need an off-roading vehicle and a sense of adventure, as many top sights like Shipwreck Beach and the Munro Trail are off the beaten path.

After a day of exploration, unwind at one of the island’s upscale hotels, where you can enjoy delicious cuisine, top-notch service, and luxurious accommodations.

If you’re still craving excitement, there are plenty of activities to try, from deep-sea fishing and horseback riding to lawn bowling and more.

6. Kauaʻi

Kauaʻi is probably the most famous one of the Hawaiian islands for its stunning hiking trails, unforgettable overnight backpacking trips, exciting scenic drives, and açaí bowls that will spoil you. Therefore, it is topping the list.

Nevertheless, while it is true that Kauaʻi deserves its name, the ‘Garden Isle’ – it is prone to hard rains, particularly in the wet season of winter.

Yet, it would be a shame not to go to the place because of the rain. Showers are normally short and scattered throughout the year rather than being long continuous rains.

Despite the rainy days, Kauaʻi also presents many other wonders like its beautiful beaches and magical tours along the Nāpali Coast.

Kauaʻi is indeed a heaven for nature lovers and adventurers. Its variety of activities, almost all of which are done outdoors, is what makes it a paradise.

If you’re just starting your experience in the Hawaiian Islands and are a nature enthusiast, Kauaʻi is the place with an adventure that you will never forget.

When deciding on which Hawaiian island is the best to visit, every island offers something very unique and interesting.

Even if you are a city person and soak in the hustle and bustle of Oahu, or seek solitude in the peaceful trails of Kauaʻi, or can afford the luxury of Maui’s resorts, there is something for everyone.

The ideal island for you will come down to the kind of things that you enjoy doing and the types of experiences that you want to have while traveling.

In other words, if you are in the mood for a thrill, peace, or the essence of Hawaiian culture, the islands will offer a piece of paradise for you to discover.

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