Hawaii Fact 16 of 50: Island Nicknames

Did you know that each of the eight major Hawaiian Islands has a nickname based on a distinguishing characteristic? Here’s the list of island nicknames:

Hawaii – The Big Island

Maui – The Valley Isle (also the Magic Isle)

Lana’i – The Pineapple Isle

Molokai – The Friendly Isle

Oahu – The Gathering Place

Kauai – The Garden Isle

Niihau – The Forbidden Isle

Kahoolawe – The Target Isle

About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.


  1. Aloha! Just a note that “The Magic Isles” (plural) is a marketing tag line somewhat more recently created, meant to encompass all three islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. 🙂 Sharon

  2. The nickname for Kahoolawe is both a little funny, but sad at the same time. I know there’s restoration efforts in progress, but hopefully someday soon those effects can all be reversed.

  3. @ Sharon – thanks for that clarification on the Magic Isles.

    @ Kris – I had the same reaction to Kahoolawe as you did.

  4. Actually, Kaho’olawe was known as “The Lonely Isle” because of its seclusion.

  5. The Big Island was also “The Orchid Island” and “The Volcano Island”
    Kahoʻolawe was both “The Target Island” and “The Lonely Island”

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