When people picture Hawaii, they think of beautiful beaches, tropical flora and fauna, volcanoes, native culture, and impossibly blue water. With six beautiful islands to choose from, it’s difficult to know which one best suits you personally. Here are some tips to help you decide which island is best for you.
1. Base Your Decision on Beaches
Image via Flickr by Anosmia
If you want to go to Hawaii for the beaches, any of the six islands will meet your needs – they all have spectacular beaches. However, Maui, Kauai, Lanai, and Oahu are probably your best bets.
Maui is the largest and most popular destination of the four islands and has beaches to fit every mood. There are snorkeling coves, beautiful sandy beaches, and the world’s biggest and most surfable waves.
Poipu Beach on Kauai was voted one of America’s best beaches. Hulupo’e Beach on Lanai is a long crescent of sand great for snorkeling and has a quiet park nearby.
2. Base Your Decision on Food
Image via Flickr by Marco Falcioni
In this case you’ll want to focus your time on the islands of Oahu and Maui. Oahu is known for its endless feasts featuring local Hawaiian cuisine, Japanese izakaya, and high-wire fusion dishes by Hawaii’s best chefs.
Maui has some spectacular chef-driven restaurants that boast the best local ingredients in their famed regional creations.
3. Base Your Decision on Authentic Culture
Image via Flickr by DirectDish
No matter which island you visit, you’ll be able to experience the rich culture, starting by staying in fabulous hotel from which to begin your explorations. With a little research online, you’ll find the ideal Honolulu hotel that reflects the culture of this diverse group of islands.
Oahu is home to the most multiracial group of the islands; so much so that census-takers aren’t quite sure what to put down. It’s a combination of East and West as old as Hawaii itself.
On Hawaii, the Big Island, you can participate in culture rather than just observing. Learn to make a lei, catch fish the old Hawaiian way, and of course dance the hula.
Molokai is made up of more than 50% residents with indigenous heritage. In fact, it is the island most likely to preserve its culture rather than promote local tourism.
4. Base Your Decision on Natural Beauty
Image via Flickr by Ken Lund
There’s quite a bit of stunning scenery to go around when it comes to the Hawaiian Islands. Kilauea on the Big Island includes the most active volcano on Earth, emerald valleys, lava flows, lofty summits, rain forest, and icy waterfall pools.
Maui offers trails that take you to towering ridgetops, bamboo forests, cascading waterfalls, and Haleakala National Park.
Lanai will make you feel like you’re isolated on a subtropical island away from the rest of the world. With a stark landscape and few people, this island has unvisited corners waiting to be explored.
Kauai, the Garden Island, delights visitors with sheer coastal cliffs, gaping chasms, and overwhelming tropical flora.
Molokai boasts the world’s tallest sea cliffs, hidden waterfalls, and deserted beaches.
There are so many things to consider when deciding on the island that best matches your idea of the perfect Hawaiian vacation. But rest assured, there is a spot on one of these islands for you.