best island to visit in Hawaii
Hawaii

Hawaii has been a popular component of every travel enthusiast’s bucket list. The scenic views, diverse Polynesian culture, vibrant flora and fauna, geographic beauty, exotic cuisines, and tropical vibes make it an easy favorite for people from around the globe.

But what many people do not know is that going to Hawaii is a little complicated as it is a collection of islands and not a single unit.

So here are a few things you need to know before you plan your trip:

10 Things to Know About Hawaii

Things to Know About Hawaii

  1. Hawaii is nicknamed the Aloha State. The Hawaiian state is a collection of 8 major islands.
    • Hawai’i – The Big Island
    • Maui – The Valley Isle 
    • Oahu – The Gathering Place 
    • Kaui  – The Garden Isle 
    • Moloka’I – The Friendly Isle 
    • Lana’I – The Pineapple Isle 
    • Ni’iahu – The Forbidden Isle
    • Kaho’olawe – The Target Isle 
  2. Only 7 major Hawaiian islands are properly inhabited, and only 6 islands are open for tourism. 
  3. Apart from the 8 major islands in Hawaii, there are 132 smaller Islets or Archipelagos, which are groups of closely cluttered tiny island pieces. 
  4. Hawaiian Airlines provides the best way to reach the island state as it is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 3,758 miles from the American mainland, more than 4,000 miles from the Asian mainland, and 5,600 miles from the Australian mainland. 
  5. Inter-island travel is easier through as there are ferries, boats, helicopters, and private seaplanes. CoVid test protocols or documentation are not required for traveling within Hawaiian islands.
  6. With the help of Hawaiian Airlines, you can reach any of the 3 International Airports in Hawaii-
    • Honolulu International Airport (HNL)
    • Hilo International Airport (ITO) 
    • Kona International Airport (KOA)
  7. Hawaii is a state, and Hawai’i or the big island is a part of Hawaii state. 
  8. Hawaii follows the Hawaiian Standard Time (HST), which is 10 hours behind the Universally Coordinated Time (UTC), 5 hours behind Eastern Standard Time (EST), and 2 hours behind the Pacific Standard Time (PST). Hawaii does not follow daylight savings time.
  9. Hawaii is the 50th state of the USA and hence does not require a visa for American citizens to enter.
  10. There are 6 active volcanoes in the Islands of Hawai’i and Maui.

Best Way to Travel to Hawaii

Best Way To Travel To Hawaii
  • Reaching Honolulu is the easiest way to get into Hawaii. It is one of the top 30 busiest airports in the USA and is considered the primary gateway to Hawaii.
  • The HNL is conveniently at the capital of the state, Honolulu, making it the most modern, accessible, and comfortable city in Hawaii, which is perfect for recovering from the jetlag and long flight to Hawaii.
  • Honolulu airport accommodates more than 21 airlines, networking with more than 60 countries across the globe, making it the most accessible of the 3 international airports in Hawaii.
  • Flights to Honolulu can arrive through one of its 4 runways across 4520 acres. Most International Hawaiian Flights reach Honolulu airport making its annual passenger count exceed 21 million.

Best Time to Visit Hawaii

 Time To Visit Hawaii

The culinary delights, the sceneries, hiking trails, water sport activities, volcano sightings, beach resorts, cultural heritage sites, historical sites, festivals, spas, shopping, and luxury hotels distributed in the Hawaiian islands makes it difficult to plan an itinerary that accommodates the maximum of what Hawaii has to offer.

Here are a few tips to help you plan your vacation to Hawaii:

  • For trips as short as a week, try to limit your itinerary to one island. 
  • Do not try to limit your vacation in Hawaii to a mere 3 or 4 days. Plan leisurely around a minimum period of 7 to 10 days and more. Hawaii keeps getting better with the more exploration you do.
  • Choose your island according to your preferences. For a more active nightlife, Oahu is a better option. If nature retreat is what you need, the big island Hawai’i is the better option. 
  • Road traffic can be a little hectic in the urban areas in all the islands. Be prepared to handle delays.
  • Opting for car rentals are a necessity if you wish to get around the island as most destinations are spaced out.
  • Traveling between islands is only possible through boats, ferries, helicopters, or private gliders, or seaplanes. 
  • Plan your tickets to Hawaii in advance for the best deals.
  • Do your research on the tourist attractions on each island before fixating on choice. Find the list of fun things to do in Hawaii before you plan your trip.
  • Hawaii has banned the use of plastic bags for a few years now. So bring your own bags and avoid plastic bags. Everything except Reef-safe sunscreen is prohibited in Hawaii. 
  • Assume that a minimum of 7 to 10 days is perfect for covering the maximum number of tourist destinations in Hawaii. 
  • Plan a budget-friendly trip by scheduling it in the off-seasons. Find the best time to visit Hawaii below.

Hawaii is an equatorial island, where the Tropic of Cancer passes right through the state. It is blessed with a perennial tropical climate throughout the year. It has approximately a consistent temperature all year round. There are occasional downpours depending on the low-pressure formations.

The seasons in Hawaii are mostly dry and wet seasons. The wet seasons are at their peak during November to January and can ruin your beach weather if that is your primary reason to visit Hawaii. 

Apart from the seasons, the USA National Holidays and vacations also influence the crowd flux in Hawaii and hence the Hawaii flight ticket fares and the hotel rates. The prices tend to peak in the USA during summer and spring breaks.

The best months to visit Hawaii are as follows: 

  • March to October – These months are the most comfortable to visit Hawaii as they have been recorded to comparatively have the least amount of rain. It is sort of a dry season. Most of the Hawaiian festivals are scheduled in the months of June to September. 
  • November to January – These are the wettest months in Hawaii. This can also be considered to be an off-season as there are price drops during these periods. In Hawaii, January has recorded the lowest temperature at 23°C. 
  • The shoulder season can also be between September to mid-December, where the crowds and prices are moderate. 
  • Golden week is a concept in a Japanese work culture where employees are given 4 consecutive paid holidays during the months of March, April, or May. Hawaii attracts crowds from Japan during these periods and can be crowded.
  • Tickets from Japan or passing through Japan need to be scheduled while avoiding the Golden week.

Best Islands to Visit in Hawaii 

The most visited islands of Hawaii are

  • Oahu
  • Maui
  • Hawai’i
  • Kaui

All islands of Hawaii are unique and mesmerizing in their own ways. But the facilities that each Hawaiian island entails and the experiences they offer are different.

Depending on your preferences, consider the following list of things to do in Hawaii on each of the islands before confirming which Hawaiian island to visit. 

OAHU – The Gathering Place 

Oahu is the best Hawaii island for vacation and is the hub of all the best features of the state. It is also the most visited island in Hawaii, with over 10 million annual tourists counted.

It is the perfect combination of city and country, urban and tropic consisting of all the modern facilities but also the serenity of the scenic beaches, rivers, mountains, fields, and waterfalls. It is also most convenient to visit for a quick getaway as the HNL airport is located on Oahu island.

The capital of Hawaii, which is the city of Honolulu, is also situated in Oahu. The mountains and beaches are both only a few minutes drive from Honolulu. Waikiki in Oahu has more than 100 hotels, Kualoa ranch is the infamous mountain range that is found in the ‘Jurassic Park’ movie.

The Aloha stadium hosted the NFL pro bowl series multiple times.

Features

  • Nightlife
  • Beachside
  • Parties
  • Beaches
  • Shopping
  • Surfing
  • Watersports
  • Trekking

Things to Do in Oahu, Hawaii

Things to do in Oahu, Hawaii
  • Monoa Falls Hike 
  • Hanauma Bay Beach 
  • Pearl Harbor National Memorial 
  • Makapu’u Point Lighthouse 
  • Kualoa Ranch Ziplining 
  • Waianae Whales and Dolphin Watching 
  • Koko Crater Railway Trail Hike  
  • Diamond Head Crater Hike 
  • Ho’omoluhai Botanical Gardens 
  • Waikiki Beach Water Sports and Surfing 
  • China Supermarket
  • Chinaman’s Hat Island in Kualoa Regional Park 
  • Lanikai Pillbox Hike 
  • Lulumahu Waterfall Hike 
  • Halona Blowhole 

Hawai’i – The Big Island 

Another popular choice for Hawaii vacations is the big island. The volcano national park on the big island is a primary tourist magnet. It has great shopping sites and beaches.

The big island is the largest geographical unit of Hawaii. It has all the best geographic features of Hawaii, from Snow-capped mountains and volcanic sites to lush grasslands, fields, plantations, and serene beaches. 

Features

  • Beaches
  • Trekking
  • Water Sports
  • Whale Watching
  • Volcano Sites
  • Helicopter Tours
  • Boating
  • Shopping 

Things to Do on the Big Island, Hawaii

Things to Do on the Big Island, Hawaii
  • Mauna Kea – Trekking, Biking, and Stargazing 
  • Volcanic National Park 
  • Waipio Valley 
  • Manta Ray Diving in Kona 
  • Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden 
  • Na Pali Coast Sailing 
  • Punalu’u Beach 
  • Waipi’o Valley 
  • Akaka Fall States
  • Rainbow Falls
  • Nahu’ku Hiking

KAUI – The Garden Isle 

Kaui is known for its serene and less crowded beaches. The brilliant mountain ranges brought it the nickname ‘The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.’ Kaui welcomes anyone who is drawn to nature.

Waterfall tours, hiking trails, and helicopter tours are a must-go in Kaui. Mountain tubing is also a popular activity through the rainforest.

Kaui coffee plantations are the largest in America. Connecting with Hawaii’s lush landscapes and local culture is easiest in Kaui. 

Features

  • Trekking
  • Watersports
  • Beaches
  • Helicopter Tours
  • Meadery 

Things to Do in Kaui, Hawaii

Things to do in Kaui, Hawaii
  • Mountain Tubing 
  • Kipu Ranch Adventures
  • Poipu Zipline Tours 
  • Puakea Golf Course 
  • Ocean Course at Hokuala 
  • Wailua Falls 
  • Hanakoa Falls 
  • Hanakaipiai Falls 
  • Kalihiwai Falls 
  • Kipu Falls
  • Napali Coast Sailing 
  • Kaui Helicopter Tours 
  • Waimea Canyon 
  • Poipu Beach 
  • Koke State Park 
  • Mahaulepu Heritage Trail
  • Spouting Horn Blowhole 

MAUI – The Valley Isle 

Maui is Hawaii’s version of the ‘playground of the wealthy.’ It has a vast collection of resorts and spas with organized water sports and beach activities, events, and more. It is a perfect honeymoon destination. Apart from the posh resorts, Maui also has several national parks, trekking trails, waterfalls, and beaches that cost little to nothing and are accessible for everyone.

The Hana highway or the road to Hana is another favorite picture spot. Another prominent feature of Maui is its active volcanos, helicopter tours, and volcano exploration trips.

Features

  • Resorts
  • Spas
  • Beaches
  • Watersports
  • Trekking
  • Waterfalls
  • Volcano Sightings

Things to Do in Maui, Hawaii

Things to do in Maui, Hawaii
  • Halaeakala National Park – Makahika and Waimoku Waterfalls 
  • Iao Valley Tate Monument 
  • Maui Ocean Center
  • Lahaina Beach 
  • Kaanapali Beach and Zipline Adventure 
  • Road to Hana 
  • Hana Tropical Gardens 
  • Kauhamina National Park 
  • Honolua Bay 
  • Maui Golf Course 
  • Molokini Sail and Snorkeling Adventures 
  • Wainapanapa State Park 
  • Payola Bay’s Black Lava Beach 
  • Wailea Beach 
  • Polo Beach 
  • Molokai Helicopter Tours
  • Pipwai Trail
  • Acid War Zone Trail 

Wrapping Up

Although Hawaii has more islands than the above-discussed islands, these are some most spectacular Hawaiian islands. So before planning your trip to Hawaii, you must add these islands to your bucket list. It will surely be the best choice for your upcoming vacations.
So, forget about everything, just pack your bag and be ready to explore the best island of Hawaii.