Hawaii boasts a rich cultural and traditional heritage which, in combination with its wonderful beaches, landscapes, and resorts, makes it a hugely popular destination for vacations. When planning a vacation in Hawaii, there are several considerations to take into account. Perhaps you desire a relaxing beach vacation, maybe you want to explore the natural wonders of Hawaii, or you may even decide that adventure sports are what you seek. Whatever way you decide to enjoy Hawaii, choosing the island to visit is essential. Each of Hawaii’s four islands has something special to offer and to help you select the perfect island for your vacation we have provided an overview of each below.
Kauai – The Garden Isle
The geographically oldest island of Hawaii is also the northernmost and offers the perfect destination for exploring natural wonders. Graceful, dramatic beauty defines this island with sights such as the Waimea Canyon, the trails of Kokee State Park, and the stunning gardens of Limahuli Park among the highlights. The island is also home to Poipu Beach, voted one of the best beaches in the United States.
Maui – The Valley Isle
The second-largest of Hawaii’s four islands, the Valley Isle is the ideal destination for beach and swimming lovers. Long stretches of coastline host some of the best beaches in the world including Makena Beach State Park. The island is also the place to go for whale watching in the winter months with some of the most spectacular whale watching tours in the world available. Other highlights on Maui include Haleakala National Park, home to the highest peak on the island, and Iao Valley State Park, home to the iconic Ioa Needle. Don’t forget to explore the historic Lahaina Town and drive along the incredible Hana Highway for cultural and scenic experiences.
Big Island – The Orchid Isle
Hawaii’s largest island by some distance, the Orchid Isle is larger than all of the other islands combined. In fact, the island is so large that it plays home to 11 of the world’s 13 climactic zones from sun drenched beaches to snow-peaked mountains. There is a wide range highlights to enjoy on Big Island including waterfalls, botanical gardens, and rainforests around Hilo, the world’s most active volcano in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and the historic setting of PuuKohola Heiau. For cultural enthusiasts a visit to Waipio Valley is a must. The valley is home to Hawaii’s largest isolated inhabitants. Don’t forget to head south to Ka Lae, the southernmost point in the United States.
Oahu – The Gathering Place
Home to the majority of Hawaii’s population and its capital city, Honolulu, Oahu is an eclectic mix of traditional culture and the 21st Century. This is the perfect spot for learning more about American history at the museums of Pearl Harbour or to soak up the sun, sand, and waves at North Shore or Waikiki Beach. The island is also an ideal destination for adventure sports with one of Hawaii’s premier snorkelling spots at Hanauma Bay & Nature Preserve and the birthplace of surfing at North Shore. Enjoy sweeping views of the island at Nuuanu Pali Lookout and enjoy the incredible nightlife on this buzzing island.