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What is the BEST Hawaiian Island? (for a vacation)


Waikiki beach I already have done a super long write up on which Hawaiian islands should you visit but I am going to write this for the people on my list, making it a little more short and sweet.

First, let me say that there is no BEST island. All the islands are pretty awesome and they all have their own unique pros and cons.

When you are trying to choose an island to vacation on in Hawaii, you will want to think more about what YOU are wanting from your vacation.

This will change for each individual and will be different every time they go to Hawaii.

That being said, here’s my opinion.

Sea Turtle on the big islandwhen I lived in Hawaii, I always loved to visit Oahu. It was my absolute favorite island.

very rarely, did we go to any of the other islands. In fact, we only went to Kauai once and I never felt the need to go back.

Here’s my stats: I lived on the big island for 14 years: I visited Kauai once. I visited Maui three times. I lived on Oahu for 2 months. I visited Oahu … probably 30 or 40 times. I visited Molokai once, and I visited Lanai once.

why do I love Oahu so much? Sure, Oahu has a ton of people. and a ton of traffic too. Both of those things make it not so much fun sometimes.

However, Oahu has incredible beaches – waikiki Beach is absolutely amazing – and there is so much to do on Oahu it’s silly.

anything you can think of, you can do on Oahu. And Oahu is where Pearl Harbor is, if that history is important to you. also, Oahu may be the most inexpensive island to visit.

So definitely consider Oahu for your vacation plans.

now, if you have already been to Oahu or you really don’t want to deal with people and traffic then your next choice might be Maui.

Maui is also an amazing island and many many people will argue it is the best Hawaiian island.

If you are looking for a lot of peace and quiet, then maybe you will want to consider Kauai, Molokai, or Lanai.

If you want to see the active volcano or have heard good things about Kona, then you will want to go to the big island.

Oahu beach It may seem like I have ranked these islands in order from best to worst:

1. Oahu 2. Maui 3. Kauai 4. Big Island

But I really didn’t do that. I am still saying that there is no best island and it’s really just what’s best for you so the first thing you might want to do is sit down with yourself and your family and whoever is going to Hawaii with you and ask

What do we want from this vacation? What is our vision of what Hawaii should look like?

if you can answer those two questions clearly, and leave me a comment down below, I will pick out what I think would be the best island for you. :)

Regardless, I always like to say that you can’t go wrong in Hawaii, and if you really can’t decide – then either take a cruise or pick two islands and visit both of them.

8 Responses to “What is the BEST Hawaiian Island? (for a vacation)”

  1. 1 Heather426 6 June 2013 @ 11:05 pm

    Hmm, I would say Maui first, Kauai second, Oahu third, but Kona is my fave place in Hawaii. Just don’t love the rest of the Big Island as much as I love Maui and Kauai. I do love Oahu, but always stay at the Northern end of the island away from Honolulu, except when I stay there I like to live it up at the Royal Hawaiian.

  2. 2 Lauren 7 June 2013 @ 9:12 pm

    Oahu sounds heavenly! I did visit there once about 15 years ago, and I think it’s time to visit again.

  3. 3 Lesley Stevens 8 June 2013 @ 1:41 am

    I loved going to Hawaii! I cried in the airport on the way back. God did His best work in that state. I would move to Kauai because I love how small it is. I love the Big Island too because I do feel like I have a lot of privacy there as well. I’m not one for crowds and Oahu and Maui seemed a little more crowded and “city-like” to me.

  4. 4 Kim 10 June 2013 @ 7:50 pm

    I’ve only been to Oahu, but it was such a beautiful place. A friend of mine was living there, and we picked fresh mangoes from her tree every morning for breakfast. My fair skin didn’t adjust well to the intense sunlight, and I had a tan line that didn’t fade for over a year! Next time I’ll be more careful.

  5. 5 Maggie miraflor 31 July 2013 @ 7:39 am

    My most favorite island has been Kauai ! ,
    even tho I was born , raised , n etc in Honolulu . My Mom n stepdad lived in Puhi , Kauai over 30 years before she moved back to Honolulu to be close to her immediate family , I visited them 2 times in Kauai n fell in love with that island , so beautiful , NOT crowded like Honolulu , Awesome places to see n do !, my husband has never been to any of the neighboring islands ( only Oahu ) cause he was stationed at Barber’ Point in the Navy , so before its too late in our lives , he wants to visit Kauai ( I always talk about it ) n Maui next year about September 2014 for 2 week’s ! , I have been to all the Islands except Lanai , don’t know why ??!
    Anyway , send me flyers from Kauai n Maui so my husband has an idea of where I’m taking him , my ex family is from Lahaina n I know where to go , last time there was ages ago n I’ve seen pictures of all the new developments that has been made , thanks for letting me chat away , be waiting for the letters , flyers n etc that you want to send to me , Mahalo n Aloha
    Maggie Miraflor

  6. 6 vera 17 August 2013 @ 5:04 pm

    I,ve been to Oahu twice and Kauai twice. I really like Oahu for Waikiki and poly cultural center. But it,s a bit too much traffic for me. I like Kauai for the smallest to travel.We,re going in Oct to stay at Kauai beach villas. I love to relax and just look at the ocean. Like to visit shops and go to luau. Maybe next time we,ll try Oahu or Maui

  7. 7 Mary s 2 December 2013 @ 1:13 am

    Hi Lisa:) I’m responding to your email. We have already booked our flights to Oahu the last week in February 2014. I’m planning on attending wunderlust yoga conference the last weekend while we are there. We are just not sure what side of the island would be best for us. My husbands preferences for the trip are to drink beer and relax on the beach, take in the beauty of the island and go to a luau. I would like to stay somewhere where I can walk out to the beach and relax maybe read a book some what private and quiet (not sure about the big waves if that would be relaxing-never seen them!). I would like to go to the fish market and buy our food, ride bikes to the markets and beaches. Drive to hiking and museums and maybe close to great snorkeling … Yes snorkeling is important to me. :) also close to a yoga studio, that would be nice lol. Thank you for your help!

  8. 8 Lisa 6 December 2013 @ 8:22 pm

    You have to stay in Kailua, Lanikai, or maybe Ewa Beach area. Definitely look into Kailua and Lanikai first though! I think that is exactly what you are looking for.

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All content by Lisa! I have visited Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and Molokai extensively and I lived on the Big Island for 14 years and Oahu for several months.

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