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7 Spectacular Hawaiian Islands to Explore

Which Hawaiian island should you visit? The most popular Hawaiian Islands offer similar experiences, but they are far more varied than you might think. Hawaii’s abundance of natural beauty is waiting to be discovered, whether you’re organizing a fun family holiday or a romantic break for two. Here is a list of your choice to visit to help you choose the best Hawaiian island to stay on for your upcoming holiday.

Best Hawaiian Island

1. Maui – The Valley Isle

Image by hmmunoz512 from Pixabay

Some of the world’s beautiful beaches may be found on this second-biggest island. To go whale watching, plan your vacation to Maui during the winter. Get up early to see the sun rise over Haleakala, take a walk around charming Lahaina, or cruise the breathtaking Road to Hana.

There’s a reason so many people who visit Hawaii repeatedly exclaim, “Maui no ka oi.” Maui is the most well-rounded of the Hawaiian Islands, with excellent snorkeling, excellent hiking trails, a volcano you can trek inside, and much more besides.


1. Makena Beach State Park (Big Beach)

Big Beach, sometimes called Oneloa or Makena Beach, is a popular tourist attraction in south Maui due to its proximity to popular resorts and luxury hotel areas like Wailea and Kihei.

2. Lahaina Town

Historic hub with great whale-watching, shopping, and dining. One of the most diverse cities in Hawaii is also one of its oldest; it is unmistakably Maui. A visit to the port town of Lahaina is a must for anybody visiting The Valley Isle to browse the many art galleries, eateries, gift stores, and historical sites dotted throughout the vibrant community. Lahaina should be noticed while visiting Maui.

3. Iao Valley State Park

The ‘Iao Needle is a naturally occurring rock formation hidden in the dense greenery of the ‘Iao Valley State Park. It is an old basaltic core in the stone with a green covering protruding from the valley’s floor (volcano remnant). From the valley bottom to 2,250 feet above sea level, the ‘Iao Needle climbs 1200 feet.

4. Haleakala

To call Haleakala National Park excellent would be a tremendous disrespect. The highest mountain on the island is located at Haleakala, which spans a sizable area in southeast Maui. Additionally, it covers 38 kilometers to establish the world record for ascending to the most excellent, most significant, the shortest period.

5. Hana Highway 

The greatest attraction on Maui is the picturesque Road to Hana. Vacationers from Maui go to Hana because it is all about relaxing. The greatest way to experience the famed Road to Hana and the surrounding is to let someone else drive.

2. Kauai – Garden Isle

Image by Kathy VanDeventer from Pixabay

Kauai has perfected the art of seduction with its brilliant sunsets, beautiful beaches, and azure skies. However, the oldest and the most famous island in the Hawaiian chain does not need to rely on flashy glitz or tourist traps to attract visitors; instead, it caters to those who prefer a low-key vacation.

The Garden Isle is great for a romantic holiday since it has a more laid-back vibe than neighboring islands like Oahu and the Big Island, allowing its natural beauty to shine. Koke’e State Park and Waimea Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” are two of the most popular destinations in the area.

Remember that Kaua’i is one of the rainiest islands in Hawaii, so bring your galoshes and an umbrella.

Kauai is serviced by a single major airport located at Lihue. Kauai’s North Shore and Eastern Coasts and the more modern property developments along the island’s Southern Shore all provide fantastic options for visitors looking for a place to stay.

Trails may be found in Kokee State Park, Waimea Canyon(Grand Canyon), and the “Garden Isle” is home to numerous magnificent gardens, including the tranquil Limahuli Garden.


1. Wailua Falls 

The breathtaking Wailua Falls will fulfill each childhood dream you’ve ever had of viewing a waterfall with two distinct levels. And speaking of fiction, the beautiful Wailua Falls was used in the pilot episode of the classic TV series Fantasy Island.

2. Waimea Canyon

The enormous canyon in the Pacific, known as Waimea Canyon, is 10 miles long, and 1 mile wide, known as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific” by Mark Twain. The Waimea River originates in the canyon, carved out by torrents and floods created on Mount Waialeale’s top thousands of years ago. Waimea, meaning “crimson waters,” is how the river got its name. The old rock within the gorge is being broken down by many natural processes, which give the area a crimson color.

3. Kalalau Trail 

The Kalalau Trail is an 11-mile journey into paradise, and it has been called “the walk on Kauai.” In front of you lies a plethora of beautiful landscapes, including green valleys, waterfalls, sea caves, and more.

4. Poipu Beach 

Being at one of the most beautiful beaches with a breathtaking sunset in the United States, you may bask in the sun and participate in various water activities.

3. Oahu – North Shore

Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay

Oahu, the largest of the Hawaiian islands and where the bulk of the population resides, is a dynamic blend of natural and cultural treasures with the entertainment and comforts of the 21st century. Explore the waves of Oahu’s North Shore, learn to surf on Waikiki beach, or experience American history at the museums and monuments of Pearl Harbor.

The island of Oahu is the epicenter of Hawaii Island, with world-class attractions, excursions, shopping, surfing, and nightlife. You can tell that this island is the most developed of the big ones because of how busy it is; unlike certain parts of Hawaii, there is constant activity here. But don’t worry; Oahu’s natural side is just as worth exploring, with fantastic hiking trails, breathtaking vista points, and an abundance of scenic coastlines.

The island of Oahu is served by a single major airport, which is situated in Honolulu. Waikiki is home to the lion’s share of Oahu’s hotels, but the rest of the island is also dotted with hidden treasures.


1. Waikiki Beach 

Everyone loves coming to this tropical paradise to swim, surf, snorkel, and more in the clear blue ocean and on the long white sand. From Kapi’olani Park in the east to Hilton Hawaiian Village in the west, Waikiki beach is a lovely tropical paradise with something for everyone.

2. North Shore 

The 17-mile stretch of Oahu’s northward shore, from Ka’ena Point in the west to Kahuku Point in the east, is often referred to as the North Shore. This spectacular section of Oahu’s north shore coastline is well-known for its surfing and snorkeling opportunities.

3. Pearl Harbor 

Pearl Harbor, a National Historic Landmark and one of the most critical locations in American history, is a solemn memorial of a horrible day. Soldiers who served in World War II are honored at many monuments and museums throughout the area.

4. Hanauma Bay 

Hanauma Cove Nature Preserve is a magnificent wineglass-shaped cove nestled within the sheltered side of Koko Head on the southeast coast of Oahu, not far from Hawaii Kai. The magnificent bay is just 30 minutes from Honolulu (in excellent traffic! ), yet it seems like a world away from the busy metropolis. The enormous gulf cannot even be seen from the beach due to the lush green, gently fluted hills of Koko Head that surround it.

4. Lanai

Image by Art Lashbrook from Pixabay

Lanai, the most remote inhabited island in the Hawaiian Islands, has much to offer tourists despite its tiny size. Lanai may seem like two different places at once, yet being just nine miles from Maui. The first kind of resort offers guests high-end facilities and professional golf courses.

The other may be seen riding about in a 4-wheel-drive car on the island’s rough back roads, searching for hidden gems. In any of Lnai’s three areas, you may relax, explore, and enjoy some alone time.

Lanai offers various gastronomic options despite being the smallest populated island in Hawaii. Known for its burgers, handmade bread, and laid-back atmosphere, Blue Ginger Café is a good choice if you’re looking for a neighborhood hangout.

Pizzas and sandwiches are both well-regarded at Pele’s Other Garden Deli. If you need a cup of coffee and some souvenir coffee to take back to the mainland, Coffee Works, one of the few coffee shops on the island, is another must-visit location.

5. Big Island – The Orchid Isle

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The Island of Hawaii, commonly known as the Big Island, is the largest and has many ecosystems, from tropical rainforests to icy tundra.

The Big Island of Hawaii is substantially bigger than Kauai. Thus it has a more rural atmosphere. Moreover, Hawaiian Island is as diversified as they come, with everything from beautiful rainforests to bleak, black lava landscapes that extend for kilometers.

In the vicinity of the hotels, one may anticipate many Hawaiian fusion eateries providing shredded pork, poi (a traditional Hawaiian delicacy), and other local specialties. In tourism, those expect tourists to want to eat what they consider real Hawaiian food, and the restaurants are more than happy to oblige.

Additionally, typical at many eateries are fresh fish and locally produced dishes. You should also taste Kona coffee when visiting the Big Island and bring a bag or two back.


1. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (HVNP), established in 1916, is where people can see the incredible force of nature firsthand.

2. Ka Lae 

South Point is also known by its Hawaiian name, Ka Lae, which means “the point.” Between miles 69 and 70, look for the vast green sign pointing to makai to indicate the exit for South Point Road.

6. Molokai

Image by aishahillbilly from Pixabay

Moloka’i, one of Hawaii’s least populated islands, is ideal for those who want an authentic, off-the-grid experience. Staying overnight in one of Molokai’s calm seaside cottages or just taking a day trip from the other Hawaiian Islands to see its lush jungles, stunning beaches, and the highest sea cliffs in the world is a terrific way to get back to nature.

Sunbathing on private Papohaku Beach, taking a mule ride through gorgeous Kalaupapa National Historical Park, and participating in a guided cultural trek in Halawa Valley are among the most popular things to do in the area.

Only 38 miles long and 10 miles broad at its widest point, Molokai, the fifth-largest island in Hawai’i, is home to the tallest sea cliffs in the world. With a significant portion of its people descended from Natsignificantawaiians, who have preserved their rural way of life due to their love of the land, Molokai has remained faithful to its island origins.

Molokai is undoubtedly an island of outdoor adventure where Hawai’i’s history comes to life, whether you follow a tour up the cliffs leading to Kalaupapa National Historical Park or explore Pphaku Beach, one of the biggest white-sand beaches in the most extensive. Visit the Molokai areas for yourself.

7. Niihau – Forbidden Isle

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Niihau often spelled Niihau, is a privately owned island in the Hawaiian archipelago and is also known as the “Forbidden Island.” The island is home to many people, and this invitation-only paradise entices travelers worldwide.

Niihau, about 18 miles northwest of Kauai, has a length of 5 miles and has been held privately for over 150 years. The reasons Hawaii’s Forbidden Island is off-limits to visitors may be surprising. To guess, consider that it’s not because only the affluent and famous can afford to vacation there.

Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)

1. Which island is ideal for first-time visitors to Hawaii?

Because it is home to well-known locations like Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, and Waikiki Beach, Oahu is the most famous island for first-timers.

But with its luxurious resorts and gorgeous beaches, I suggest Maui.

2. Which Hawaiian island is the most attractive to visit?

Every island has a unique beauty all to itself. In Maui, the Road to Hana is gorgeous. Volcanos National Park on Big Island is extraordinary.

Beautiful Caribbean blue water can be seen throughout Oahu. With its wild beauty and lush beaches, the north shore of Kauai would be a popular option.

3. In Hawaii, which island is best for hiking?

Oahu has the most trails and a variety of hiking opportunities.

Adventurers go to the Kalalau path on Kauai’s Na Pali Coast, which is regarded as one of the country’s most stunning and challenging walks. (A hiking permit is necessary.)

4. Which of the islands in Hawaii has the most excellent beaches?

Due to their abundance of protected beachfront, Oahu’s beaches are the easiest to reach. Visit Maui to find several less-crowded beaches. Visit Kauai if you make a long, muddy climb to a hidden beach.

5. Which Hawaiian island is ideal for couples to visit?

The most excellent honeymoon destination in Maui is a resort with facilities, and Oahu is a fantastic option with the most incredible dining and nightlife.


As was previously said, every Hawaiian island is beautiful, so try not to worry much while selecting the most significant and best Hawaiian Island. So now that you’ve read about the islands’ characteristics, maybe one of them is calling you!

Also Read: 7 Amazing Things About Symi Island



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