Sand, surf, and laidback locals are what Hawaii is most known for — but did you know that each island in the Hawaiian chain has its own distinct vibe? This gem of a destination truly has something for everyone, and understanding what each island offers is crucial before you start planning your Hawaiian getaway.
Whatever your travel style, Hawaii has something for you:
The Nightlife Lover: Oahu
As the most populated island of Hawaii, there’s always something going on in Oahu.
If you crave the energy of big cities filled with bustling locals, towering skyscrapers, and some of the best bars in the Pacific, this is the island for you. Plus, you’ll still be privy to some beautiful beaches and hiking excursions.
Stay at one of the hopping hotels in the Waikiki resort district, like the five-star Halekulani Hotel, for a rambunctious good time. For a more somber, reflective moment, visit the site of Pearl Harbor, west of Honolulu.
The Sun-and-Sand Seeker: Kauai
As the oldest island in Hawaii’s chain, Kaui offers up the best beaches of the bunch. Sink your toes into lush sand or traverse the spectacular seaside cliffs on Kauai’s north coast. Nicknamed the “Garden Isle,” Kauai also has plenty of verdant green valleys and forests to explore. For perfect weather, don’t skip a trip to Po’ipu, considered the sunniest portion of the island.
The Adventurer: The Big Island
Dolphins, sea turtles, and volcanoes, oh my! See it all up close on The Big Island, home of the Earth’s most active volcano, Kilauea. Hike around waterfalls and lava flows for an unforgettable experience. You can also catch an amazing glimpse of the migratory whales from Hilo Bay and other beaches (although keep in mind that peak whale watching season is from January to March, so you won’t see any in the summer).
The Relaxed Recluse: Lanai
Sparsely populated and isolated (the island doesn’t even have a single stoplight!), Lanai is ideal if you’re on the hunt for a truly private getaway. Breathtaking scenery, like one of the longest sandy beaches in Hawaii, combine with relaxed seclusion, making this a perfect romantic escape for two or for a quiet spa getaway. For a truly luxurious, pampered experience, stay at the legendary Lanai Four Seasons.
The History Buff: Molokai
Over 50 percent of the population of Molokai claims indigenous heritage, so the cultural vibe of this small island is incredibly authentic. You can also visit the outpost of Saint Damien, the U.S.’s first saint who traveled to Molokai in the 1800s to work with the leper colony there.
The Foodie: Maui
Maui has plenty of culture, shopping, beaches, and rugged beauty — but what really stands out is the food. From friendly streetcar vendors to five-star restaurants that showcase the freshest local ingredients, this island is a food lover’s dream. Participate in a traditional luau with roast pig and pretty leis, or embark on a food tour that takes you to the best hole-in-the-wall spots you might otherwise miss, like the poke bowl at the supermarket Foodland Farms. No matter your taste buds (or your budget), Maui’s amazing culinary scene has got you covered.
We’ll Plan the Best Vacation Just for You
Found an island that suits your style? Get in touch with our Hawaii experts today to start planning your getaway — you’ll be saying “aloha” in no time. And yes, we can combine trips to multiple islands for a truly custom experience that touches on all of your interests.