Choosing a Hawaiian Island for Your Vacation

12/19/2017 | by Courtney Dennis | Big Island Kauai Local Area Local Tips Maui Oahu Things To Do Vacation News Vacation Planning

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Whether you’re planning a relaxing honeymoon, a family retreat, or an activity-filled getaway, your dream vacation awaits on one of the Hawaiian Islands. Before you pack your bags, get to know each island’s unique identity…

Home to Pearl Harbor and known as The Gathering Place, Oahu attracts more visitors than any other Hawaiian island. Those seeking upscale shopping, fine dining, and thriving nightlife will find it all in Waikiki, aptly nicknamed the Playground of the Pacific. Before you write off Oahu as a strictly urban experience, though, check out its breathtaking beaches (like Lanikai and Waimanalo), world-renowned surf breaks (including Sunset and Waimea), and photo-worthy hikes (such as the Diamond Head Crater and Makapuu Lighthouse trails).

One visit to Maui and you’ll quickly understand the widespread use of the phrase “Maui no ka oi,” meaning “Maui is the best.” Most travelers choose to stay in one of the island’s two primary resort areas, Wailea (on the south side) or Kaanapali (on the west side), where restaurants, shops, spas, golf courses, and stunning beaches abound. Maui’s remote east side, including the infamous Road to Hana, offers a more lush, primitive landscape, while its 10,000-foot dormant volcano, Haleakala, provides otherworldly hikes, sunrises, and sunsets.

The island of Hawaii (more commonly known as the Big Island) may be the perfect choice for those in search of natural wonders. Boasting waterfalls, the magical Waipio Valley, the Kealakekua Bay marine sanctuary, black sand beaches, and even a green sand beach, the Big Island delivers big on scenery. Its volcanoes steal the show, allowing visitors the opportunity to hike to flowing lava, fly over it in a helicopter, or take a boat trip to watch it meet the ocean.

Adventurous spirits hoping for untouched beauty will find Kauai ideal. Exceptional snorkeling spots scatter every part of the coastline, and the Kalalau Trail and Waimea Canyon provide unparalleled hiking opportunities. Kauai’s small size makes it possible to drive the entire length of its coastal highway in about two and a half hours, enabling travelers to enjoy everything from secluded southside Polihale Beach to a peaceful paddleboard trip on the northside Hanalei River.

Whatever vacation experience you choose to pursue in the Hawaiian Islands, you’re sure to find fabulous weather year-round, a rich cultural tradition, and endless adventures!

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