What is the best island in Hawaii? Well, that truly is a matter of personal taste – what you might think makes one island the ‘best’ may be something that someone else absolutely doesn’t like at all.
But let me take a stab at it here – basing this on my own personal opinion. I like the islands best in this order: Oahu, Kauai, Maui, the Big Island, Molokai, and Lanai. However, the Big Island is perfectly fine, it’s just that I lived there just about forever, and can’t think of anything about it that excites me anymore. Molokai and Lanai are cool, but they’re so quiet … not my thing these days. Even though Oahu is crazy with people, I like it because there’s so much to do.
I asked my husband (he lived in Hawaii for 17 years on Oahu and the Big Island). I said “What island in Hawaii do you like the best?” and he said “For What?” and I said “to vacation on” and he said “It depends on what you want to do!” And I agree with this – that’s why it’s hard to say “ THIS is the best Hawaiian island” — because each island is similar but way different and offers different choices.
if you like museums, nightclubs, incredible shopping, hiking, waterfall, and eating choices, plus incredible beaches, and you don’t mind a lot of people and traffic, then Oahu is your island.
If you like all of the above, but would like a bit less people and don’t mind a bit fewer choices then Maui is your island. Maui has been voted ‘the best island in the world’ by some travel magazine’s readers for umpteen years in a row. Many people really, really like Maui. It’s very pretty and had awesome beaches and great weather and still has lots to do. Plus there’s the road to Hana, which is unique to Maui.
If you like laid back-ness, a quiet pace, awesome hiking, beautiful scenery, great weather, remoteness, then consider Kauai.
If you would like to explore the active volcano, want to see black sand beaches, are very interested in sport fishing, and don’t mind driving, then think about the Big Island.
If you want peace, quiet, awesome views and empty beaches, and don’t mind not as many options, then consider Lanai or Molokai – Lanai if you have lots of money, molokai if you are more budgeted.
So that’s it – Once you’ve been to Hawaii once, you’ll understand a little more what I mean here.