It is easy to have lots of questions when you are planning a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. If you are unsure of where to begin, perhaps try doing some island hopping instead of picking a single island to visit.
Regardless of where you travel around Hawaii, there are certain things you will find everywhere: delicious food or “ono grinds” which translates to good eats, amazing beaches, and happy people. Every island has a rich flavor to offer. O’ahu, the capital island offers the North Shore for surfing, a wonderful Buddhist Temple and an overall kinetic energy with hopping night life. Maui is home to hanging loose and relaxing; especially for beach bums.
Ancient Kaua’i offers towering sea cliffs and gorgeous sights. The Big Island of Hawaii is actually the youngest out of the islands. Here you can witness new land being born! Lana’i offers complete resort luxury. Enjoy living life on the rural outskirts of Moloka’i. Here native Hawaiian traditions still run strong. The Aloha State has everything you need for a sunny, sand filled vacation.
Islands At A Glance
Best for: Beaches, Museums, Food
Come to O’ahu if you desire multicultural modernism. It is excellent if you wish to explore how ancient Hawaii merges with the West and the East while greeting the 21st century. This small island offers a large city to explore. The majority of the state residents call “The Gathering Place” home. Here, everyone rubs elbows on city sidewalks, on the bus, on country streets and on the beach. There are numerous empty beaches not far from downtown Honolulu’s monuments, art galleries and museums.
Eating on O’ahu is an excellent experience. The Japanese gastropubs or izakaya is delicious. Also try offerings via island style food trucks; ideal when you are on the go. Some of the top chef’s in Hawaii are just waiting to serve up your food!
2. Hawai’i – The Big Island
Best for: Hiking, Culture, Wildlife
Check out the most active volcano on earth called Kilauea. It provides interesting hikes and stunning backgrounds of icy waterfall pools, emerald green amphitheater valleys and both ancient and active lava flows. The dense rain forest can be challenging yet rewarding, along with some of the loftiest summits you may ever discover.
Culture is a participatory event on the Big Island. It is meant to be not only observed but absorbed and experienced. You will be invited to watch fish being caught the traditional Hawaiian way. Dancing a hula and creating leis are just a few of the fun things you can do. Watch out for the night marchers here.
Experience the natural wildlife and watch as sea turtles glide up to a seaweed buffet, Spinner dolphins dance above the ocean and endangered nene cross the road on a regular basis. Humpback whales are the show-stoppers here during the winter months. Don’t forget your camera!
Best for: Beaches, Hiking, Food
Maui is renowned for its sun and surf. The glorious sand offers a beach for every person. If you are seeking a calm snorkeling cave or prefer to enjoy the wind and kite boarding attractions, they are all options. Some of the largest surfing waves on the planet reside here. Simply pack a picnic down on the sand and scan the horizon for whales during the winter.
Superb trails will take you to the most interesting places in Maui. For instance, do you want to see some bamboo forests? How about cascading waterfalls and exciting ridge-tops? There is a cindery volcanic national park that is quite memorable as well. Whether you want some challenging backcountry treks or prefer an easy stroll, Maui has got you covered.
There are numerous chef driven restaurants that are home to bountiful organic gardens. Grass-fed beef from pastures and fresh daily fish are often on the menu. Maui offers the raw ingredients to make mouth-watering regional creations.
Best for: Remoteness, History, Beaches
If you prefer a more isolated getaway, Lana’i is the place for you. It offers subtropical pleasure away from the rest of the world. The population is low and inviting. The landscape is serene and begs you to go on adventures to explore its unvisited locations.
For the majority of the 20th century, approximately the entire island supplied the world with pineapples. The crops have long since disappeared; however, the vintage plantation town of Lana’i City still takes center stage.
The main beach in Lana’i is called Hulupo’e Beach. It consists of a long crescent of sand on a bay that is great for snorkeling. It is backed by a spacious and tidy park.
Best for: Culture, Adventure, History
Over fifty percent of the residents on Moloka’i have an indigenous heritage, making it the Most Hawaiian Island. Local people consistently favor preservation of the culture and the land over a variety of schemes that would attract more tourists. The aloha spirit is alive and well here and visitors enjoy the genuine atmosphere as opposed to the welcome that money can buy.
A young priest, known as Saint Damien travelled to the Kalaupapa Peninsula in 1873, a remote location on the island. He travelled there to take care of leprosy patients and became the first saint of America. Nowadays, this amazing peninsula is home to a national park and considered to be one of the top adventure centers in Hawaii.
The highest sea cliffs in the world are home to hidden waterfalls and delightfully misty rain forests. The wild adventure offered by the deserted beaches beckon to be explored and enjoyed.
Best for: Beaches, Hiking, Food
The island of Kaua’i is home to many people who simply came for a visit and decided to stay. The closest traffic light is over 20 miles away. The laid back vibe penetrates the North Shore life. Predominant pass times include: hiking, and surfing. The sunniest location on the island is Po’ipu. It resembles a tropical version of summer camp. On the South Shore, the majority of days offer a plethora of activities.
Cliffs and canyons dominate the rugged terrain located on the Garden Island. There are sheer coastal cliffs and gaping chasms that offer distinguished green flora. This is also considered to be the wettest location on earth and therefore, is often shrouded in cloud cover. It is an extraordinary example of a dramatic landscape and ideal for taking many memorable pictures.
With so much to offer, it is easy to see why many travellers wish to island hop and make the most of their visit to the Hawaiian Islands. Be sure to budget accordingly so that you can take time to sight see and relax in between your flights.