The Best Islands to Visit in Hawaii

The Best Islands to Visit in Hawaii

There’s so much to love about the Hawaiian islands. From white sand beaches to picture-perfect views, it’s an explorers paradise. However, the islands are more vast than you think. Each island has something unique to offer, and that can make it confusing for first-time travelers. Which islands are best for families? Which are the perfect places to unwind from the everyday chaos?

This guide shares the best islands worth a visit within Hawaii, as well as what makes each of them unique. Create the Hawaii itinerary of your dreams. Let’s dive into what this gorgeous slice of paradise has to offer.

The Best Islands to Visit in Hawaii
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1. Kauai

Though not as popular as some of the larger islands, Kauai is a diamond in the rough. Known as the “Garden Island” of Hawaii, it’s the fourth most visited island that welcomes over 1 million visitors every year. Kauai is also the oldest island of the bunch, and that means it has a lot to offer that you won’t find anywhere else in the Pacific.

Kauai also wins as far as beaches are concerned. While you’ll find great beaches virtually anywhere in Hawaii, the Garden Island packs a little extra. Not only are the coastlines unspoiled, but they aren’t littered with resorts and tourists. You can even find some hidden beaches if you look hard enough!

Kauai is perfect for all types of travelers. With great villas for a family vacation to Kauai, it’s also a family favorite. With mountains, waterfalls, and endless hiking trails, Kauai is a favorite for explorers and adventurers who love to see the great outdoors.

Perfect for: All travelers, especially those who like to hike, climb, or enjoy nature
Top sights: Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, and Hanalei Bay

The Best Islands to Visit in Hawaii
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2. Oahu

If you want classic Hawaii, you can’t go wrong with Oahu. The capital city of Honolulu is perfect for first-time visitors who want to take in the typical sights that come to mind when you picture Hawaii. Home to Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor, there’s a lot to see.

For a laid-back, relaxed experience, head to the North Shore for secluded resorts and famous beaches. This is where those world-famous surfing competitions are hosted every year. Oahu is the perfect melting pot of the old and new. Take in the relaxed vibe of the surf villages and the bustle of big-city life.

Perfect for: Laid-back travelers or cultural enthusiasts
Top sights: Pearl Harbor Memorial, Diamond Head, and Honolulu

The Best Islands to Visit in Hawaii
Image via Unsplash

3. The Big Island

The Big Island is also known as the Island of Hawaii. This is the largest of the Hawaiian islands and also the youngest in the chain. It’s twice as big as all of the other islands combined, and it’s home to all but four of the world’s climate zones. That’s right, you can experience a Polar Tundra and a tropical paradise all in the same place.

One of the biggest draws of the Big Island are the volcanoes. This is where you’ll find the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Another famous sight is the black sand beaches of Panaluu Beach. The Big Island is a testament to the power of nature, and it sometimes feels untamed and wild.

While other islands might be known for luxury, the Big Island is known for its size. It’s majestic in a way that’s hard to describe unless you see it for yourself. It’s actually growing every year thanks to the active, fire-spitting volcano of Kilauea. Don’t overlook the Big Island in favor of Maui or Oahu. There’s something spectacular about this diverse paradise.

Perfect for: Nature lovers who want to experience a little bit of everything
Top sights: Akaka Falls State Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park

Discover Hawaii

As you can see, there’s a lot to see and explore in Hawaii. No two islands are alike, and you’ll likely need to take several visits to take it all in. That is — if you don’t fall in love and stay forever. These paradise islands make a name for themselves by offering something for everyone. Explore every beach, canyon, and volcano for yourself to see what you’ve been missing.

Hawaii is a Pacific wonderland. What island will you choose for your first visit? From the ever-growing Big Island to the calm villages of Kauai, you can’t go wrong when you’re in this part of the world.

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.


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