If you’re thinking about planning a trip to Hawaii, congratulations! You’ve chosen one of the most beautiful vacation destinations in the world filled with gorgeous sights, fun activities, and delicious cuisine. Those unfamiliar with Hawaii will learn that the state is comprised of a series of islands renowned for their scenic and rugged landscapes of cliffs, waterfalls, and beaches. The capital island of Oahu is known for its energetic lifestyle, Maui is known for its laid back surfer environment, and the Big Island, Hawaii is known for its majestic volcanoes.

Hawaii's Islands

1. Kaua’i

The island of Kaua’i is the oldest and northernmost island and is renowned for its beaches, landscapes, and laidback lifestyle. The highlights of the island include Po’ipu which is the most consistently sunny area of the island and provides a camp area for visitors to enjoy the beaches of the island. While on the island, you can also visit Waimea Canyon (“Grand Canyon of the Pacific”) or take a boat to the cliffs of the Napali Coast. Another highlight of the island is Wailua River which is Hawaii’s only navigable river.

Stay on Kaua’i


2. Oahu

Visit the island of Oahu for its beaches, food, and culture. Oahu is home to Hawaii’s state capitol, Honolulu, and the majority of Hawaii residents. The island is a beautiful mix of natural and cultural wonders and cosmopolitan and modern arts of the 21st century. Highlights of the island include Waikiki which is referred to as “The Gathering Place” for visitors from around the world. You can also visit Pearl Harbor and learn about the historic WWII site, visit the Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve, and the Nuuanu Pali Lookout. One of the highlights of this energetic island is its North Shore which is characterized by its laid back lifestyle and the birthplace of big wave surfing.

Stay on Oahu


3. Moloka’i

Those looking for ancient Hawaiian heritage and culture, should visit Moloka’i as it is renknown for its culture and history. As a matter of fact, more than 50% of Moloka’i people have indigenous heritage. You can visit Kalaupapa National Historical Park in which you can learn about Saint Damien (the U.S.’s first saint) as well as enjoy the white sandy beach of Papohaku Beach. The town of Kaunakaki is the island’s main town and seaport.

Stay on Moloka’i


4. Lana’i

The island of Lana’i is known for its remoteness, its history, and beaches. The island of Lana’i does not have one single traffic light and is a true island getaway for families, couples, and those seeking isolation. Recently purchased by the billionaire, Larry Ellision, Lana’i is currently undergoing renovations but there are a variety of highlights on the island including pineapples, yes for much of the 20th century the island of Lana’i was covered with pineapples. Lana’i’s mean beach, Hulupo’e Beach is known for snorkeling and an uncrowded park.

Stay on Lana'i


5. Maui

For arguably the best beaches in America, you have to visit the island of Maui. Some of the marvelous beaches are Kaanapali Beach, Kapalua Beach, Kihei Beach, Polo Beach, and Wailea Beach. The island is also home to hundreds of trails through a bamboo forest, waterfalls, and through a volcanic national park. Other highlights include: Lahaina (best for whale watching), Makena Beach State Park, Iao Valley State Park, Haleakala National Park, and Hana.

Stay on Maui


6. Hawaii Island

Known as the Big Island, Hawaii Island is larger than all of the other islands combined is best known for hiking, wildlife, and culture. If you’re into hiking, be sure to climb Earth’s most active volcano, Kilauea. You can also see beautiful waterfalls, rainforests and botanical gardens in Hilo and explore the calm waters of Kona. Other highlights of the Big Island include: Historic Kailua Village (seaside hot spot), variety of coffee plantations, and Hamakua Coast.

Stay on Hawaii Island


This article was written by Walter Godinez.