With nearly every type of topography—from rocky ocean cliffs to lava deserts and bamboo forests to over 1200 miles of coral reef, Hawaii is one of Mother Nature’s most lauded masterpieces. Plus, it’s got rockstar food and culture, too, making it a top destination for travelers of all types.
This breadth of travel-worthy offerings can make it difficult to decide where to go for your first trip. Here's our list of some of our favorites on the four most popular islands to help you decide where you want to land for your first trip (or second or third), depending on your style.
The Greenest Island | Adventure Meets R&R
The film location for much of the Jurassic Park movie and 97 percent covered by forests or mountains, Kauai is the place to go if you want a balance of luxurious relaxation and spectacular, natured-fueled adventure. Take a boat tour of the Na Pali Coast, home to the largest sea cliffs in the world spanning up to 4,000 feet tall with deep forested valleys. Go off-roading on an ATV waterfall tour. Kayak the Wailua River. Hike the Sacred Falls. Or go canyoning in the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." Lush outdoor adventure awaits. Kauai is among the best islands to visit in Hawaii for nature lovers and amateur explorers.
The Largest Island | Wild Beauty and Black Sand Beaches
The best island to visit in Hawaii for natural beauty and world-famous Kona coffee, the Big Island is for those who love getting a little, well, wild. You’ll find everything from four active volcanoes to lush green rainforests to green-sand beaches and balmy coastal jungles. Don't miss the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the adorable little mom-and-pop shops in the sleepy bayside town of Hilo.
The Gathering Place | Iconic Hawaii Meets City Life
From the state capitol of Honolulu and the history of Pearl Harbor to its art scene and nightlife, Oahu has so much for visitors to see that makes it one of the best islands to visit in Hawaii. Oahu's reputation has made it Hawaii's most-visited island. Try iconic restaurants like Kani Ka Pila Grille to eat and play like a local with nightly Hawaiian music under the stars, and explore the thriving craft beer and cocktail scene (think lychee martinis). And our own artist-inspired Waikiki Beachcomber is Hawaii's only craft hotel, the perfect home base for cultural adventuring.
The Valley Isle | Chill Vibes and Family Friendly Fun
Maui is best island to visit in Hawaii for families or romantics who are looking for a quieter vacay pace. You'll find a little bit of nature like views of the migrating humpback whales starting in October through the winter months and delicious farm-to-table cuisine. There are lots of family-friendly (and uncrowded) beaches with tidal pools for wading and calm beaches for snorkeling—and don't forget to check out the sunrise at Haleakala. Aloha!
What Is The Best Island To Visit In Hawaii?
The best island to visit in Hawaii is a matter of personal opinion, but all of Hawaii’s islands are beautiful and scenic year-round. We often hear, “Maui no ka oi”, which means “Maui is the best”. While Maui is one of the best islands to visit in Hawaii, there’s plenty to do on all of the other islands.
Once you decide what island is best to visit in Hawaii, check out all our Outrigger ways to stay chic on (almost) every island. Happy first-trip travels!