I can solely go to one Hawaiian island. Which do I decide?: Journey Weekly

I can solely go to one Hawaiian island. Which do I decide?: Journey Weekly
Christine Hitt

Christine Hitt

Probably the most frequent questions I am requested by potential guests is which of the Hawaiian Islands to go to, particularly if their finances limits them to selecting just one. Of the eight most important islands, six of them are open to guests and two, Oahu and Maui, are the preferred. I normally method answering this query two methods after which depart it as much as the particular person to determine.

Associated: My favourite spas in Hawaii

First-time guests typically have already got a listing of locations they need to see which can be all usually discovered on Oahu, similar to Pearl Harbor, the North Shore and Waikiki. That is a simple one to determine — they need to go to Oahu.

For the extra adventurous traveler, nevertheless, who is okay with lacking a few of these must-see, bucket-list locations, I supply an expanded description of the Islands:


Oahu has the biggest inhabitants with 1 million residents, so the town and visitors could also be typical of different main cities. Now, there are nonetheless some rural enclaves, however discovering a distant spot or seashore with little to no individuals is just not as simple as on a few of the different islands. This instantly is a turnoff to some vacationers, whereas others is not going to be bothered by it so long as they can see the world-famous locations Hawaii is thought for, similar to Waikiki Seaside.


On the other finish of the spectrum, I supply Kauai, which is way more rural and crammed with loads of waterfalls. That is nice for vacationers who’re searching for extra scenic wonders and distinctive adventures, similar to boating off the Napali Coast. However there is no such thing as a large metropolis to wander at evening and, in some locations, when the solar goes down, there’s not a lot to do. The quiet solitude and wonder is commonly a spotlight for a lot of vacationers, however identical might want extra of a steadiness between metropolis and nation.

The scenic Road to Hana in Maui. The island offers a happy medium between urban Oahu and rural Kauai.

The scenic Street to Hana in Maui. The island provides a contented medium between city Oahu and rural Kauai. Picture Credit score: HTA/Tor Johnson


I typically say Maui is one of the best of Oahu and Kauai mixed, as a result of it has a vibrant downtown and seashore space, but it surely solely has a small slice of the inhabitants that Oahu has — 164,221 in 2021. There are many resorts and issues to do and see on Maui, similar to lovely waterfall hikes, whale-watching, the Street to Hana and Haleakala volcano.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island, often known as the Large Island, is certainly one of my favourite islands. Its huge dimension permits for brief roadtrips from one facet of the island to the opposite. I adore it for its historic websites, similar to Puuhonua o Honaunau and Puukohola Heiau, and energetic volcanoes. Exploring Hawaii Volcanoes Nationwide Park and seeing the lava inside Halemaumau Crater is a kind of once-in-a-lifetime, must-do experiences. This island additionally provides you the sensation that there are locations you may uncover by yourself. There will not be indicators to each seashore and public path and discovering them by yourself is a part of the enjoyable.

Molokai and Lanai

Molokai and Lanai have their very own distinctive histories and fantastic appeal, attractive seashores and gorgeous cliffs. Lanai’s inhabitants is about 3,000 and Molokai’s hovers round 7,000, in order one can think about, these islands function at a slower tempo. Molokai even has an indication exterior its airport that claims, “Decelerate, that is Molokai.” One key distinction is that Lanai does promote tourism greater than Molokai, as Larry Ellison has invested within the resort properties and cities and opened Sensei Lanai lately. Lanai additionally has one factor I completely love: off-roading adventures like no different place in Hawaii.

Selecting which island to go to actually comes all the way down to guests’ preferences and what they need out of a visit. However these basic overviews, do assist information them of their choice.