For most people, Hawaii conjures up dreamy images of coconut palms, rolling waves and white sandy beaches. But did you know there are actually eight Hawaiian Islands, and that each one has its own unique feel?
Some of the islands are known for their modern vibe, while others retain a sense of Hawaii’s storied past. Choosing the right island for your Hawaiian vacation depends on your personality and what you want to get from your trip. Here is our definitive guide to the four most visited islands.
Oahu – An Urban Escape
Ideal for surfers and those who love exploring urban destinations
Oahu is the most populated island in Hawaii—hence its nickname, “The Gathering Place.” Oahu also draws the most tourists, largely because this bustling island offers something for everyone, including legendary surfing, endless beaches, world-class accommodations, five-star dining, and vibrant nightlife. Oahu is also known for its art galleries, museums and monuments, including the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, which is just a 20 minute drive from Honolulu on the South Shore.
Hawaii – Unparalleled Diversity
Ideal for hikers and those who prefer to keep their options open
“The Big Island” is exactly that—the largest island in the chain. Hawaii is also the most diverse of the Hawaiian Islands. Visit in the winter to snowboard Mauna Kea and horseback ride through tropical forest all in the same day. Hawaii is also home to two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Madame Pele. The beaches here are magnificent, as is the hiking. The accommodations are diverse on Hawaii, too. You’ll find everything from budget-friendly rentals to world-class resorts.
Maui – Laid-Back Charm
Ideal for honeymooners, golfers and foodies
“The Valley Isle” has a laid-back feel that makes it perfect for honeymooners or anyone looking for a laid-back getaway. You could easily spend your entire vacation on the island’s pristine beaches, but if you’re looking for a little adventure consider hiking Haleakala at sunrise or golfing one of several championship golf courses on the island. Feeling hungry? Maui’s chef-driven restaurants showcase only the freshest local ingredients.
Kauai – Hints of Days Gone By
Ideal for adventurers and anyone who’s feeling a little nostalgic
“The Garden Isle” is the least developed of Hawaii’s main islands. In fact, most of Kauai is inaccessible by car. Waimea Canyon boasts miles of hiking trails and the only navigable river in Hawaii. The Na Pali Coast is the perfect place for a sunset sail or morning snorkel trip. Everywhere you go, you’ll see lush hillsides and small towns reminiscent of Hawaii’s early fishing villages. If you want to experience Hawaii as it was 50 years ago, this is the island for you.
Book Your Hawaii Vacation Today
Now that you’ve chosen an island, it’s time to start thinking about where to stay. ResorTime has over a dozen resorts on the four main islands, and each one is as unique as your Hawaiian vacation. You can book online in just a few minutes, or you can call (877) 477-7368 for personal service from one of our travel specialists.