With six great Hawaii islands that you can visit, how do you choose the best island(s) for you? That’s a question that many potential Hawaii visitors wrestle with. Trust me, I’ve been there.
I’ve seen a few surveys that ask a handful of questions and supposedly result in an answer of the perfect island for you. Though I’m often called a Hawaii expert, just for fun, I take these quizzes to see the result. After the result displays, I have to wonder how’d they come up with that answer? The trouble with these surveys is that they are too short and ask odd questions like, “Your perfect day includes hiking to a volcano or lounging on the beach or pampering in a spa or searching for beautiful waterfalls.” Well, I don’t know about you, but I want to do all of the above! I think the results of these simple questionnaires are as effective as picking an answer out of a hat.
So, how on earth do you pick an island or two to visit on your vacation? I have some suggestions and can point you to some great resources that will help you get started.
1. Review the visitors bureau website for each island. If a particular island looks interesting to you, order their free island guide. These sites and guides highlight the scenery, cultural activities, and island adventures. The island visitor bureaus give you a good flavor for what each island has to offer.
- Kauai: Visitors Bureau website and page to order free Kauai guide.
- Oahu Visitors Bureau website and page to order Oahu vacation planner.
- Maui Visitors Bureau website and page to order Maui vacation planner. Note that the Maui Visitor’s Bureau also includes the islands of Lanai and Molokai – two lesser visited, but fantastic islands.
- Big Island Visitors Bureau website and page to order a Big Island planner.
- Lanai Visitors Bureau website and page to order a free Lanai travel guide. (Also see the link to order a Maui guide that’s mentioned above.)
- Molokai Visitors Bureau website and page to order a free Molokai travel guide. (Also see the link to order a Maui guide that’s mentioned above.)
You might also benefit from surfing the overall Hawaii Visitors Bureau’s website where you can watch videos, find festivals and quickly get lost in discovering all the wonderful things the islands of Aloha have to offer.
2. Take an island virtual tour. A picture is worth a thousand words and a virtual helicopter tour is worth even more! Though the Blue Hawaiian Helicopter island videos were not generated for the intent of helping a potential visitor choose an island, I think they’re great for just that. It’s one thing to see a still photo, but to see a video is even more useful. Here are links to the individual island videos:
There’s about a half a dozen videos or more for each island, so make sure you check them all out by clicking on the “Area of Interest” navigation on the left as well as the circles on the island maps.
3. Review our easy to use Go Visit Hawaii Vacation guides. Though not as fancy as the official visitor’s bureau sites, there’s a great depth of unbiased, practical advice in my island guides. Each guide offers photo highlights of each island, advice on when to go, where to stay, where to play, and where to dine.
- Kauai Vacation Guide
- Oahu Vacation Guide
- Maui Vacation Guide
- Big Island Vacation Guide
- I’ve not written Lanai or Molokai guides yet, but I’ve written plenty of articles about each island. See these links for Lanai articles and Molokai articles.
5. Ask an expert. I’ve vacationed on every island and I know them very well. So, if you have reviewed these resources and you are still not sure which island(s) best suit you, you can ask me. Bear in mind that I am not and cannot be a travel agent. You must do some of your own research first! I write this site on a voluntary basis, so I am not available to assist with trip details.
I can help steer you in the right direction, but again, I cannot plan your details. You need to do your own research or consult a travel agent.
Use the comments to describe:
- What do you like to do on vacation?
- What don’t you like to do on vacation?
- What island(s) are you considering? Are you already leaning towards one or two?
- Have you already identified some must see sights? (For examples: active lava flow, Pearl Harbor, Na Pali Coast)
- Before you say you want to see volcanoes, which is a very common question, read: Where to see volcanoes in Hawaii?
- What time of year you anticipate you’ll be visiting Hawaii?
- How many days you have in mind for your Hawaii vacation? (Your response will influence the number of islands I’ll recommend for your vacation. For a 7 day Hawaii vacation, I recommend you go to just one island.)
6. Don’t worry. You can’t make a bad decision. You can have a fantastic Hawaii vacation no matter which island(s) you choose. They all have their own personality and unique features for you to enjoy and admire.