Travelling to Hawaii can be an incredible adventure. With so much to do and see on these gorgeous islands, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and miss out on some of the most amazing experiences and adventures. That’s why so many travellers are turning to Hawaii luxury homes for their stay. By staying in a real home, visitors gain access to local culture and know-how they otherwise would have missed. Real luxury homes afford guests all the same comforts and amenities they can expect from a world-class hotel or resort, but without the crowds.
But even after you decide where you might want to stay, what should you do with your time in this tropical paradise? How do you choose which island (or islands) would be best for your vacation getaway? Read on for our guide to the Hawaiian islands, and a few helpful tips to guide your choice in which island is right for you.
Oahu is by far the most-visited of the Hawaiian islands and is home to the state capital Honolulu. Located centrally in the island chain, Oahu has ample tourist sites and beaches to satisfy any first time visitor. It’s home to famous sites like the Pearl Harbor Memorial, the Iolani Palace, and the USS Arizona Memorial. There’s a lot of well-documented history on this island from the days it was home to Polynesian royalty, right up to the bombings that occurred in World War II. Oahu also has some amazing beaches and natural landmarks for visitors to discover, including Diamond Head, a volcanic cone offering amazing views of the island from its summit. Famous beaches, like Waikiki, are also a favourite place to visit, and for more low-key vibes, visitors can head to North Shore to watch surfers and grab a bite to eat. Awesome snorkeling opportunities can be found all around the island, and beaches vary from high-surf to low tidal pools to suit every kind of swimmer. If you’re looking for a diverse activity-filled trip, Oahu is the perfect island for your getaway.
Maui is a top honeymoon destination, which is obvious the minute you set foot on the majestic island. Some say it’s the nicest of the islands, although it seems to be a tie between Maui and Kauai depending on who you talk to. Maui is definitely living at a slower pace than the big island or Oahu, and guests will enjoy epic scenery and plenty of outdoor things to do and see with an incredibly beautiful backdrop. The island boasts 30 miles of beaches and one of the largest and nicest national parks in the archipelago: Haleakala National Park. This park is best known for Haleakala crater, a dormant volcano that makes for amazing scenery when viewed from above. Helicopter tours are a popular activity here for this reason, especially for photography buffs. The island is also famous for the majestic waterfalls and tidal pools of Ohe’o Gulch. Don’t say we didn’t warn you – Maui is all about the romance.
Another favourite Hawaiian island, Kauai offers visitors a great sneak peek into the life of islanders, from its awesome surf spots to beach park hangouts where locals like to party. For a truly authentic Hawaiian experience, many visitors flock to Kauai. The island is also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts, as it has some pretty amazing places to explore on foot. Nā Pali Coast State Park hosts the famed Kalalau Trail, as well as stunning sea cliffs and geologic formations. Waimea Canyon State Park is often compared to the Grand Canyon in size, although some prefer it to the mainland monument for its greener colours and lush jungle feel. Polihale State Park is home to an amazingly wild beach with perfect white sand and stunning cliffs – also a favourite to visiting artists for its remote and undeveloped setting. On the northwest part of the island, Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens offers tours for guests wishing to visit the 240-acre preserve, filled with waterfalls and life-size bronze statues. For a relatively safe swimming beach that still has some epic surf, visit Anahola Beach Park. Watch locals catch the waves or paddle out for a chance at catching your own. The coral reef here makes for relatively tame surf compared to the rest of the island. For a mesmerizing and remote Hawaii experience, consider Kauai in your travel plans.
The big island of Hawaii is surprisingly one of the least visited of the chain. Visitors typically come with specific sites in mind, and often these include one of the two active volcanoes on the island or one of its state parks. By far one of the most interesting things to see on the island are the diverse beaches with multi-coloured sand. Green sand is found on Papakolea Beach, while black sand is found on Punalu’u Beach. Akaka Falls State Park offers amazing hiking to a large waterfall, and the island has several famous snorkelling sites including Hapuna Beach and Kahalu’u Beach. For an outdoor trip filled with discovery and adventure, the big island might be the perfect island for your getaway.
Lanai & Molokai
While these two islands receive very few visitors each year, there still are a couple of reasons to go. Both have extremely different landscapes than the other islands, with Lanai seeming almost lunar in some places and Molokai boasting a large forest reserve. You’d really need to have an outdoor-based itinerary to enjoy these remote islands, but if solitude is high on your list, they might be worth checking out.