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Greatest Hawaiian Island to Go to — for First-Timers!

If you’re visiting Hawai’i for the first time, you might be overwhelmed by your options. Each island has a distinct vibe, and each has a variety of things to do for different kinds of travelers. There isn’t a universal answer for which island is best for first-timers, because every visitor is different, just like each […]



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If you happen to’re visiting Hawai’i for the primary time, you is perhaps overwhelmed by your choices. Every island has a definite vibe, and every has a wide range of issues to do for various sorts of vacationers. There isn’t a common reply for which island is finest for first-timers, as a result of each customer is completely different, identical to every island.

Due to this spectacular range, right here’s a breakdown of which Hawaiian island is finest to go to for the primary time, in keeping with what sort of traveler you might be and what you hope to do there:

Massive Island of Hawai’i

That is simply one of many epic views that await you on the Massive Island.

From the pristine coast to the best mountaintops, the Massive Island is filled with journey. It’s referred to as the Massive Island as a result of it’s the largest (clearly), so large compared to the opposite islands, in actual fact, that it's bigger than all of them mixed.

What’s extra, it has 8-10 of the world’s 14 microclimates — all on only one island!

It doesn't matter what sort of traveler you might be, to get essentially the most out of the Massive Island, you’ll have to spend a great period of time there. Due to its relative dimension and abundance of issues to do and locations to see, that is the perfect vacation spot for first-timers who've extra time to discover.

The action-seeker

In case you are hoping to pack in as a lot motion as doable throughout your Hawaiian trip, that is the island for you. Hike the highest of Mauna Kea to see snow-capped mountains — sure, snow! — or head to certainly one of solely 4 seashores on this planet which have inexperienced sand. To feed your interior adrenaline junkie, you possibly can hike up a volcano, cliff bounce, swim on the base of a waterfall, and a lot extra.

Want I say extra? That’s only a style of all of the motion. See extra on what to do on the Big Island here. If you happen to’re in it for the water actions, try this record of the best spots for snorkeling on the Big Island as effectively.

The non secular traveler

Some would possibly say that being in nature alone is sufficient to represent a non secular expertise. If you happen to’re on that prepare, the Massive Island has loads of locations to attach with Mom Nature. If you wish to take it one step additional, you’ll discover that it’s an epicenter of spiritually charged locations.

You'll be able to keep in an eco-lodge, go to one of many sacred locations (like Hawai’i Volcanoes Nationwide Park to see the Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs), be a part of a non secular retreat, or try one of many historic parks to study extra about Hawaiian spirituality. Try this information for getting essentially the most out of your transformational visit to the Big Island.


Oahu is essentially the most visited of all of the Hawaiian Islands and residential to the capital metropolis of Honolulu. Whereas most guests have doubtless heard of Waikiki seaside and Diamond Head Crater, there’s much more to Oahu than simply the vacationer scorching spots. When you have little or no time and wish to pack your quick journey with a variety of enjoyable actions with out having to journey too far, this can be a nice choice for you.

There's a large number of things to do on Oahu, so should you’re a traveler who desires to see and do quite a bit, this can be a nice choose for you. Oahu can be the proper spot for guests who're simply starting to dip their toes into the journey world. Right here’s why:

The do-it-all explorer

In comparison with the opposite islands, Oahu has essentially the most infrastructure. You could find a metropolis vibe in Honolulu, with its large buildings and neatly paved roads, whereas different, smaller islands require a 4×4 to get from place to position in some instances. Within the large metropolis, you’ll discover vibrant nightlife and world-class eating places, however Oahu additionally has some lovely pure wonders, like Diamond Head Crater.

So in order for you a visit that features dancing the evening away plus mountain climbing, browsing, snorkeling, and swimming at waterfalls multi function, Oahu has all that and extra. It’s superb for these of you who wish to pack your quick itinerary with tons of various actions.

The journey novice

Honolulu has Hawai’i’s solely worldwide airport, so first-time vacationers will discover this island extra accessible, particularly should you’re coming from overseas. There are additionally loads of resorts, lots of them all-inclusive, which might be nice for amateur vacationers, as a result of many provide airport pickup and have organized actions, which takes the stress off planning your journey.

Generally touring for the primary time — particularly should you’re solo — might be intimidating. Don’t really feel foolish for reserving your first journey at a resort! They could not provide essentially the most “genuine” journey expertise, however they could be a gateway for extra later. If you happen to’re completely averse to a resort, strive reserving an Airbnb on Oahu and asking your host for ideas that may assist your journey go smoother.


road to hana

Maui is much less crowded than Oahu however nonetheless receives thousands and thousands of holiday makers annually. It has a extra outdoorsy vibe than Oahu however not fairly as a lot selection because the Massive Island. That mentioned, this island is filled with pure magnificence and has a lot to do for a protracted keep should you determine to take your time right here. Whereas Maui actually generally is a excellent place to spend only a couple days, you’ll wish to plan for at the very least every week or two to actually make the most of all of the unbelievable things to do there.

If you happen to’re the sort of one that lives for an important street journey or thrives whereas touring solo, Maui is your finest guess in Hawai’i. Right here’s why:

The road-tripper

This island is dwelling to the Highway to Hana, a 64-mile route with over 600 turns that winds by way of dense jungles, over steep mountains, and alongside the rugged coast. Alongside this street, you’ll discover lots of the island’s finest sights, together with a number of waterfalls, sea caves, black-sand seashores, and rather more.

Renting a automotive on Maui and setting out on an epic journey alongside the Highway to Hana is a road-tripper’s dream. Discover all you could know concerning the Road to Hana here.

The solo traveler

Certain, you could possibly say that any of the Hawaiian Islands are nice for solo vacationers due to the abundance of issues to do, locations to remain, and total security of the islands. This is applicable to Maui particularly due to how simple it's to search out group actions and meet different vacationers.

If you happen to’re the sort of solo traveler that positively desires to get out and meet different folks, Maui has a variety of actions that you are able to do in teams, like yoga lessons on the seaside or surf classes. Get extra inspo and tips about traveling solo to Maui here.


Kauai is the Hawaiian island that receives essentially the most rain, leading to thick inexperienced jungles and roaring waterfalls galore. It’s the fourth most-visited island, so there are fewer vacationers and extra alternatives to have views just like the one above all to your self, should you’re keen to make the hike there.

To get essentially the most out of Kauai’s rugged magnificence, you’ll wish to spend an honest period of time there. Plan for at the very least every week, and think about renting a automotive to get round. If you happen to’re an avid hiker or trying to have an exciting expertise in Hawai’i, that is the island you’re meant to go to.

The mountain climbing fanatic

Kauai is dwelling to Waimea Canyon, aka “the Grand Canyon of Hawai’i”, so it’s no shock that that is one of the best choose should you like to hike. If you happen to’re down for a problem, strive the 22-mile spherical journey on the Nā Pali Coast (Kalalau) Path, which ends at a beautiful seaside and has tons of waterfalls alongside the way in which. You may also climb up Sleeping Big East (Nounou Mountain) for a legendary view of the ocean and surrounding mountains.

Generally the very best issues to see require a protracted hike, however that’s the fantastic thing about getting out into the good outdoor, isn’t it? In spite of everything, it’s all concerning the journey — and the hikes on Kauai are a number of the finest in all of Hawai’i.

The fun-seeker

Certain, mountain climbing is thrilling at instances. However can you actually evaluate that to the adrenaline rush of flying over Jurassic Park‘s surroundings in a helicopter? The Nā Pali coast is totally breathtaking, whether or not you see it from a sailboat or from a seaplane or helicopter. This can be a must-do for thrill-seeking guests to Hawai’i.

Different thrilling adventures on Kauai embody snorkeling with sea turtles, browsing, and exploring sea caves. For extra concepts, see this record of one of the best things to do on Kauai.



Lanai is among the least touristy of the principle islands, which has its perks and disadvantages. Its dry local weather makes for rocky cliffs and dusty roads, most of that are unpaved. In comparison with the plush jungles and ample waterfalls of Kauai, for instance, it’s like evening and day. One large perk of the dry local weather on Lanai is that there are a lot fewer mosquitos, which is a large win should you’re a mozzie magnet like me.

Due to Lanai’s rugged panorama and total lack of vacationers, that is one of the best choose for vacationers who wish to get off the crushed path or discover some severe solitude. It’s additionally finest for a fast journey, because it’s so small and there are fewer sights on the island.

The off-the-beaten-path adventurer

Contemplating you’ll want a 4×4 automobile to get from place to position on Lanai, that is the literal definition of “off the crushed path.” It additionally has only one resort: the 4 Seasons. That signifies that many of the island has remained comparatively untouched by the mega-tourism of the opposite most important islands. You’ll have the ability to try tide swimming pools, seashores, and rocky overlooks that really feel worlds away from the large resorts, although the island is just 140 sq. miles.

Discover concepts on the place to go and what to do on Lanai here.

The solitude lover

This goes hand in hand with getting off the crushed path, however generally we simply want some solitude — and Lanai is the perfect place to get away from different folks whereas having fun with Hawai’i’s pure magnificence. In comparison with Oahu, Maui, and the Massive Island’s thousands and thousands of yearly guests, Lanai will get extra like just a few thousand. There’s even a great probability you’ll get a few of its most beautiful locations fully to your self should you go to them early within the morning.

You may also go to some of the sacred locations on the island, Kaunolu, for a beautiful sundown — good for disconnecting with the world and reconnecting with your self.



Like Lanai, Molokai is a smaller and fewer touristy, with a extra “native” really feel. The truth is, there aren't any resorts in any respect, and residents have taken an lively half in protecting them off the island.

Molokai is filled with the pure magnificence that Hawai’i is thought for, however it has a very completely different vibe than the opposite most important islands. You received’t discover many vacationer sights per se, however should you’re keen to open your self to studying from the locals and interesting in a significant means, you’ll discover a lot to do no matter how lengthy you keep. Most guests solely spend just a few days on Molokai, however that each one relies on what you hope to get out of your journey there.

The genuine traveler

Contemplating its absence of resorts, high-rise inns, and the standard vacationer sights you’ll discover on the opposite most important islands, Molokai is for vacationers who wish to find out about Hawaiian tradition by interacting with locals. The island hasn’t modified a lot within the final 50 years, a undeniable fact that the locals are pleased with. If this sounds fascinating to you, Molokai might be your spot.

Some folks would possibly warn you that the locals on Molokai don’t need vacationers there in any respect, however take into account that your perspective towards folks there goes a great distance. Be variety and go ready to study. See extra on experience Molokai’s authenticity here.

The horseback rider

Certain, that is fairly area of interest, however one of many coolest issues you are able to do on Molokai is horseback experience to a former leper colony. The journey takes you thru the thick jungles of the island to a spot that feels such as you’re in a time warp, all of the whereas driving a horse with an area information. It’s some of the distinctive experiences in Hawai’i, superb for a singular traveler such as you.

Journey Responsibly in Hawai’i

When in Hawai’i, there are particular concerns to remember, together with leave-no-trace ideas that must be utilized each time you benefit from the nice outdoor.

  • By no means contact, method, or chase wildlife, This consists of turtles and dolphins.
  • Cut back or get rid of your reliance on plastic, as Hawai’i has stopped recycling it.
  • Solely put on reef-safe sunscreen. Hawai’i’s reefs have been considerably broken attributable to sunscreen.
  • At all times respect signage asking you to avoid cultural websites, even when different persons are disrespecting it.
  • Remember that you're a visitor, and comply with all native well being tips and guidelines.

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Whereas tourism isn't superb for a lot of locations, it’s additionally a actuality that it isn’t going wherever. We completely agree that it can be crucial that tourism to Hawai’i be accountable, so we’ve at all times been right here to supply information that helps folks expertise it as responsibly as doable. Folks will at all times be in search of this type of data, so we purpose to be the primary useful resource they'll see, one which encourages them to take pleasure in Hawai’i ethically.

No one is a “good” traveler, although, and which means we are able to do our greatest and nonetheless acknowledge that there’s at all times one thing to study and methods to enhance, it doesn't matter what sort of traveler you might be.

If something, I hope this record helps you select the island that fits you, and that you just’ll have the ability to to go Hawai’i with extra data than you may need had in any other case.

Support author of this article and visit his post, originally published HERE

This post is originally published at Be My Travel Muse blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!