Which Hawaiian Island To Visit – How To Choose

Hawaiian Island, Hawaiian island vacation
Categorized as Hawaii Vacation Information

Planning the perfect Hawaiian vacation can be a daunting task, especially with an abundance of breathtaking islands to choose from. Each major Hawaiian island has its own unique appeal, from pristine beaches and lush rainforests to majestic mountains, there’s always something for someone. And if you’re having some trouble in finalizing what island would be the best for you, stop worrying, we’re here to help you out! 

Let’s find out which Hawaiian Island to visit for your upcoming trip! 

Best Islands To Visit When Traveling To Hawaii For The First Time – Our Top 5 Picks

Discover the best islands to visit when traveling to Hawaii, ensuring an unforgettable experience filled with natural wonders, cultural riches, and breathtaking beauty. 

Here’s our top picks: 


The island of Maui is known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and towering mountains. If you’re an adventure seeker, you will find plenty to do here. From hiking and snorkeling to surfing, you can do so many things here. 

Tip: Don’t miss the scenic Road to Hana, which winds through rainforests and past waterfalls! 


Kauai, which is also known as the “Garden Isle”, is perfect for nature lovers. You or anyone traveling with you can hike, kayak, and explore the island’s many waterfalls. If you choose this island, do not miss the Na Pali Coast, which is breathtaking and can be explored by boat or on foot.

Hawaii Island

The Hawaii Island, also known as the “Big Island,” is the largest Hawaiian island and is home to some of the most unique landscapes in the world. Adventure seekers will love the active Kilauea volcano, black sand beaches, scenic waterfalls, and world-class snorkeling that’s found on this island.


Lanai is a small, secluded island that is perfect for those travelers that are looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation. It’s known for its luxury resorts and secluded beaches. The Garden of the Gods, a unique rock formation, is worth a visit.


The last pick is Molokai. This one is a quiet, laid-back island that’s perfect for those looking to get away from it all. It’s known for its stunning natural beauty, including the tallest sea cliffs in the world. You should visit Kalaupapa National Historical Park to learn about a former leper colony on the island! 

Remember, each Hawaiian island has its own unique attractions and is perfect for different types of travelers. When choosing which island to visit, consider what activities you’re interested in and what type of vacation you’re looking for. 

Choosing The Best Hawaiian Island To Visit

When planning your stay or vacation in Hawaii, choosing the best island to visit is incredibly important. That’s because each island offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and things to do. Picking the right island will ensure you have an amazing time and get a personalized experience that suits your preferences. 

To help you make this decision, here are 8 essential things to consider:

Climate And Weather

First of all, the weather. Understanding the climate and weather patterns of each Hawaiian island is crucial. Some islands, like Maui and Oahu, enjoy a sunny and warm climate throughout the year, making them perfect for beach activities and outdoor adventures. On the other hand, islands like Kauai and Hilo experience more rainfall, creating lush landscapes and opportunities for waterfall hikes. When choosing an island, always consider the time of the year and the type of weather you prefer during your vacation. 

Natural Attractions

Each Hawaiian island boasts a diverse range of natural attractions. For example, Maui is known for its world-renowned beaches, while the Big Island offers dramatic volcanic landscapes, including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Kauai’s lush rainforests and towering cliffs provide stunning scenic beauty, and Oahu offers a mix of beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and historical landmarks like Pearl Harbor. Try to research the specific natural wonders that interest you and align them with your preferences for better outdoor exploration.

Outdoor Activities

There are 8 major Hawaiian islands and believe us, each of them offers a plethora of outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. Snorkeling in Molokini Crater, surfing in Waikiki, hiking the Na Pali Coast, or even taking a helicopter tour over the breathtaking landscapes of the Big Island are just a few examples. Just like we said in the second tip, it is necessary to determine the activities that excite you the most. Once you know what you want, choose an island that provides opportunities for your preferred outdoor adventures.

Cultural Experiences

If you’re visiting Hawaii to indulge yourself with the rich Hawaiian culture, you want to look at the islands that offer traditional practices and know the dates of cultural festivals. If you’re looking at Oahu, you can visit the Polynesian Cultural Center and witness traditional dances and crafts. The annual Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo showcases captivating hula performances. The island of Molokai offers a glimpse into the historical significance of the Kalaupapa National Historical Park. 

Accommodation Options

Different islands offer a range of accommodation options to suit various budgets and preferences. Oahu, being the most populous island, has a wide selection of villas and condos to choose from. Maui offers luxurious beachfront resorts and vacation rentals, while Kauai has charming boutique hotels. The type of accommodation that suits you the best will depend on a number of things, including your budget, the month you’re visiting Hawaii, and the amount of people you are traveling with. 

Getting Around

If you don’t have the budget to rent a car, you want to take a look at the ease of transportation and accessibility on each island. Oahu has a comprehensive public bus system, known as “TheBus,” which provides convenient transportation for exploring the island. If you do have the budget to rent a car, you want to take a look at popular companies that would help you out in exploring Maui, the Big Island, Kauai, and other major islands. The best thing about renting cars is that it allows flexibility and access to remote locations. 

Tip: Evaluate your preferences and logistical needs to make the best decision.

Budget-Friendly Options

Hawaii is pretty expensive, especially during peak tourist seasons, which is why knowing the right month is necessary along with the right island. On almost any island, you can find affordable dining options at local food trucks and markets. Another option is visiting local farmers’ markets. This will allow you to savor fresh tropical fruits and local snacks at reasonable prices (it also supports local businesses). For activities, you can opt-in for free or low-cost activities like hiking trails, beachcombing, or attending community events to make the most of your budget.

Local Food

Hawaii is renowned for its unique and delicious cuisine, influenced by a blend of cultures. Each island offers a variety of local dishes and dining experiences. On the Big Island, try the iconic plate lunch featuring a mix of rice, macaroni salad, and foods like the kalua pork or lomi-lomi salmon. Oahu offers a vibrant food scene with a fusion of flavors from around the world, while Maui boasts farm-to-table dining experiences showcasing local ingredients. Consider which island’s culinary offerings align with your taste buds and culinary explorations.

Consider these 8 things to find an island that suits your budget and plans! 

When’s The Best Time To Visit Hawaii?

When considering the best time to visit Hawaii, opting for the off-peak tourist season can offer several advantages, mainly saving you a lot of money. 

Typically, the months of April, May, September, and October are less crowded, and they’re known for allowing you to explore the islands at a more relaxed pace. Not only will you encounter shorter lines at attractions, but you may also find more affordable accommodations and flight options. Additionally, traveling during these months can provide pleasant weather with fewer chances of rainfall. On top of that, if you have a budget in mind, planning your trip during the off-peak season can be a smart choice, as it offers a balance between affordability and favorable conditions for a memorable Hawaiian vacation.

On the other hand, if you do not have a budget in mind and money is not an issue, you can opt in for peak tourist seasons, which fall between December to March and June to August. In these months, you can attend famous festivals, celebrate huge holidays, and meet a lot of people at the same time.  

When Is Hawaii The Cheapest? 

If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly time to visit Hawaii, consider planning your trip during the shoulder seasons, also known as the off-season. These months, which fall between the peak and off-peak seasons, typically offer more affordable prices and deals on accommodations, flights, and activities. The months of April, May, September, and October often present excellent opportunities to score discounted rates while still enjoying pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

Final Thoughts – Which Hawaiian Island To Visit

Choosing the best Hawaiian island to visit comes down to two key factors: your budget and your travel plans. Each island offers distinct attractions and experiences. If you’re looking for luxury and vibrant nightlife, Oahu is a top choice. Maui is ideal for romance and relaxation, while the Big Island offers unique volcanic landscapes. For nature lovers, Kauai’s lush scenery is captivating. In short, consider your budget and preferences to select the perfect island for an unforgettable Hawaiian vacation!