Which Is The Best Island in Hawaii to Visit?

With several beautiful Hawaiian islands to choose from, deciding which one or ones to visit on your trip can be one of the fewer fun parts of planning your vacation. The good news is really can not go wrong and you do not have to just pick one! If you are staying for more than 5-7 days you can always split your visit up to visit two different islands. So we hope this article makes it easy for you to decide which island in Hawaii you will visit during your new trip.


Kauai, more commonly known as the Garden Isle, lives up to its name and is the perfect place for honeymooners to steal away and relax. You’ll understand what we mean when you visit the island for yourself. Everything is lush and green and beautiful. More than that, it feels otherworldly.

The popular opinion amongst the most experienced Hawaiian travelers is that Kauai is the best island. It is the fourth largest island and does not pull in the amount of tourism that the other islands do, which makes it quiet, relaxed and secluded; perfect for a romantic getaway. Their incredibly scenic mountains, clear blue water, adorable restaurants, and breathtaking hiking views will make sure that honeymooners never want to leave.


Oahu blends the city atmosphere with its exotic landscape. The island has a plethora of stunning beaches like Waikiki and attractions like Diamond Head Crater, and Pearl Harbor. Oahu is just perfect for those wanting to enjoy the lively Waikiki shopping, the beautiful beaches, and the Hawaiian culture by going to its festivals, art scenes, and even the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Apart from immersing yourself in the mesmerizing view of the sea from Waikiki with its breezy palms and inviting grounds, you can also go swimming, snorkeling, or hire a canoe or a kayak. The waters of the Waikiki will surely remain etched in your mind for the rest of your life, allowing you to relive your honeymoon years later!

Get up early and make it to the Diamond Head peak for an amazing 360-degree view from the top. The hike itself is 1.5 miles up the crater and can get crowded quickly. A one-hour drive from Waikiki will get you to this legendary surf mecca. The North Shore has a more laid-back vibe. In the winter there are amazing waves where you can watch the pros. Also in the area is the Turtle Bay Resort, the Polynesian Cultural Center (a bit of a tourist trap), and Haleiwa Town which is a perfect place for shopping and getting a bite to eat.


Beautiful Maui is Hawaii’s second-biggest island and a hugely popular honeymoon and destination wedding choice. It offers a little bit of everything with snorkeling spots, black sand beaches on the west side, luxury resorts, and famous sunsets. For travelers who want a more active vacation, Maui is also home to Haleakala, the largest dormant volcano in the world, and the famous Road to Hana, a great 64-mile drive on the east side of the island that connects Kahului with Hana and takes you through some of the most beautiful places in the island.

Honeymooners especially will find plenty of romance between the glorious beaches, lush rainforests, volcanic landscapes, and fascinating cultural activities, Whether you’re an active and adventurous couple or a couple who prefers to luxuriate in bliss, take it easy, and relax, the stunning tropical island has something for all lovers.

The Big Island Of Hawaii

The Big Island, the largest Hawaiian island, is formed by 5 volcanoes, has 8 of the 14 climate zones in the world, and offers a great variety of activities. The Big Island is perfect for those who like the outdoors and it has some unique places that you won’t find anywhere else.

This is where you should go if you are looking to see active volcanos. At Hawaii Volcano National Park you can see lava flows from Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and Mauna Loa, a colossus measuring almost 30,200 feet from the base (underwater) to the summit. Unique to the Big Island is the Manta Rays which you can go diving with year-round. 

Best Hawaiian Island for first-timers

If this is your first time visiting Hawaii, we recommend starting your planning with Maui. Maui is perfect for the first visit to Hawaii because it offers such variety and beauty. Another option is Oahu, there you will also find a variety with the bustling Waikiki area for the nightlife and a variety of shops hotels, and restaurants, but you can also go to the north shore for less crowded beaches and a somewhat more authentic feel.

The perfect trip for a first-time visitor to the Hawaiian islands would be to split your time between Maui and Kauai. You can go to Maui for the In Kauai, the atmosphere feels very authentic and it is not as crowded.

Best Hawaiian Island for Seclusion

If you are looking to get away from the crowds you will want to visit Lanai. Lanai is very close to Maui where you can see it from half of the island. It is a very rural Hawaiian island with few people living on it. You can find some amazing beaches that are not crowded at all and plenty of trails to explore.

Best Hawaiian Island for Adventure

If you are looking for an adventure then head over to Kauai. Kauai is home to tropical gardens, cascading waterfalls, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. During your visit to Kauai you can do the usual Hawaiian activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and hiking, but you can also add some adventure by going on a zip-line tour, exploring a cave, or taking a helicopter ride to see the Na Pali Coast.

Kauai is also great for those who are looking for some excitement. The island of Hawaii (the Big Island) is a great place to visit if you are looking for adventure. There are plenty of things to do on this island including hiking, biking, ATVing, and horseback riding. You can also go volcano sightseeing.

Best Island in Hawaii For Shopping

If you are looking for shopping as part of your Hawaiian vacation, Waikiki on Oahu offers all the luxury brands you would expect to see on the Las Vegas strip. While Waikiki is often mentioned as the best place for shopping in Hawaii, there is also great shopping in Lahaina and Wailea on Maui. Here you will find a variety of stores including local art galleries, gift shops, and high-end retailers.

Best Island in Hawaii for Beaches you

When it comes to the Hawaiian Island with the best beaches, it comes down to Maui and Oahu. Oahu has the longest sandy shorelines with a great variety of beaches. They are easily accessible with many of them being calm and protected by reefs. You can find gold and white sand beaches ranging from busy to secluded. On the north shore, you can even find some beaches famous for surfing in the winter. Maui also has many great beaches. There you will find a great variety of beaches including red, black, green and golden beaches.

Best Hawaiian Island For Nightlife

If you are looking for nightlife during your vacation to Hawaii, Waikiki has the most bars and nightclubs.

Best Hawaiin Island For Resorts

I think it is impossible to choose which Hawaiian island based on which has the best resorts. All of the Islands have awesome resorts. As with most of the categories Maui and Oahu stand out for the number of resorts they have along beautiful stretches of beaches, but you can find amazing resorts on all the Hawaiian islands.

Cheapest Hawaiian Island

Going to Hawaii can be very expensive, but if you are looking to go to Hawaii on a budget, the best island to visit in Kauai. It is the cheapest of the major Hawaiian Islands, and it has plenty to offer tourists. There are beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and spectacular waterfalls. Kauai is also home to some of the best hiking trails in Hawaii.

Compare Islands in Hawaii

Here are some other articles to help you choose which Hawaiian Island is right for you.

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