Deciding the best Hawaiian Island to visit for your Hawaii vacation is an important step in planning your trip to the Hawaiian Islands. The best is relative, and each island in the chain is different from the next, each island with its own charm and personality. All are tropical and mostly lush, but the diversity of the islands will likely surprise you. Lush on one side, mostly barren on the other - this is especially true on the Big Island and Maui.
We have created a couple of pages which may assist visitors in selecting the best island for them and their travel party. Our quiz on Which Hawaii Island to Visit should help visitors determine which island is best suited for them; using a set of criteria to narrow down the best choices. Additionally our Selecting the Best Hawaiian Island article may prove useful when trying to get the lay of the land, as it were, with each island. The later article provides a variety of facts and quick statistics about each island to help visitors narrow their choices.
If Oahu ranked up the most points on your scorecard then you're probably someone who enjoys the big city, fine accommodations and dining, and the general atmosphere that comes with a big city. Honolulu is the 11th largest city in the US and is probably where you'll spend a lot of your time. Oahu has the best selection of both cultural and historical sites in the islands, including good museums. The island is an excellent place for water spots, and the beaches will be sure to please. Oahu lives up to its nickname, "The Gathering Place." Want to learn more about Oahu? Just visit our Oahu Guide section.
A lot of folks say "Maui no ka oi," which means "Maui is the best." Whether or not your score card shows this, Maui is a fine location for almost all visitors to the islands. It's the middle-ground between the big city on Oahu and the country life of Kauai and the Big Island. A lot of folks choose Maui as their honeymoon destination. Many families love the large selection of condos available here. The Hana Highway is one of the worlds premier driving attractions and Haleakala, one of Hawaii's National Parks, is a incredible place to visit. Golfers and windsurfers will also find Maui very suitable to their liking. Maui's nickname is the Valley Isle, and when you arrive, you'll see why. Haleakala to the east and the West Maui mountains to the west - incredible! Want to learn more about Maui? Just visit our Maui Guide section.
Hawaii's Big Island
If the Big Island topped your list, we don't blame you. It's our favorite too, and for good reason. The Big Island is by far the most diverse of all the Hawaiian islands, and it's BIG - really, it's the size of all the others COMBINED! From barren grasslands to lush jungle, lava fields to snow capped mountains - it's all here. Plus, it's the only island you can literally walk on land younger than you are! How cool is that? Kilauea is still erupting, and often puts on quite a show for visitors where lava enters the ocean. The Big Island offers a solid selection of world class resorts on the Kohala 'Gold' coast, condos around the island, and excellent B&B's in both Kona and near the Volcano area. The Big Island also is bustling with activities to partake in, be it hiking to a recent lava flow or riding horseback in gorgeous Waipio Valley. Plenty of good hiking is available, and bird watchers will love the volcano area as well. Want to learn more about the Big Island of Hawaii? Just visit our Big Island Guide section.
If you like all things green, like seclusion, and love to hike - OK, if you're into nature... welcome home! Kauai offers the paradise to all folks interested in ecological-based activities. Kauai is the oldest of the major Hawaiian islands and has certainly earned it's nickname, "The Garden Isle." Beautiful flora and fauna exist all around the island. Being the oldest island, Kauai also has some incredible beaches. But what really wins the price on Kauai is the fact that the bulk of it can't be reached by car. So, that means grab your hiking pole and head out to hits the trails. Kauai offers the best hiking of any island in the chain; be it the beautiful coastal Kalalau trail on the Na Pali coast or a hike inland to see Wai'ale'ale's "weeping wall," you can't beat the hiking on Kauai. Kauai is also home to Waimea Canyon, which Mark Twain called, "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific." Kauai is definitely one of the more romantic islands as well. The only downside is often the weather. All things green means lots of rain. But don't let that worry you, Kauai is an incredible island to visit; a personal second favorite in the chain. Want to learn more about Kauai? Just visit our Kauai Guide section.
Article Edited/Contributed by: John Derrick