All of the Hawaiian Islands are beautiful; however, each island has its own kind of “beauty.” It is fascinating how each island is so different from one another. When I think of Hawaii I think of lush, tropical jungles, pristine beaches, hammocks, along with delicious mai tai’s, lava flows, and shave ice. From my travels, I have found that Kauai and Maui are my favorites.
Kauai is very jungle-esque and is quieter compared to the other islands. The island known as “The Garden Isle” has good beaches, and a laid back way of life. The two most distinctive aspects of Kauai are: the NaPali Coast and the Waimea Canyon. It is amazing that two of the most breathtaking sites in the world are wrapped up on one tiny island. Take a helicopter tour along the NaPali coast and fly into the Wai’ale’ale crater, the wettest place on Earth. Swim along the sandy shorelines of Poipu Beach on the southern coast of Kauai, or do a little shopping up in Princeville. No matter what you do, this tiny island will find its way into your heart.
Maui has AMAZING beaches. When I first arrived on Maui, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed because it wasn’t as green and jungle-y as Kauai. However, after spending two weeks on this beautiful island I was able to enjoy Maui for its own beauty. Travel to eastern Maui to experience the lush, tropical jungles, and swim in one of the countless waterfalls. Stop at Wai’anapapa State Park and lounge on a majestic black sand beach. On the western side of Maui, the town of Lahaina is a must do. I loved walking the boardwalk and shopping right next to the ocean. The road to Hana is spectacular; there are so many adventures to go on along this 52 mile stretch of road. This island has great shopping and luxury resorts as well. Again, the beaches on this island are fantastic (don’t miss Makena Beach aka “Big Beach”).
Oahu is the most popular Hawaiian destination and the most busy. When I think of the relaxing vibe in Hawaii, Oahu is a little too busy for me. The Waikiki area, filled with traffic and highrises, make it difficult to completely decompress and relax. Oahu does have some fun adventures though! Go shark diving off the northern coast (in a shark cage of course) or go sky diving, I don’t think you could ever find a better view. One thing you must do if you travel all the way to Hawaii, is take the time to visit Pearl Harbor. You will not be disappointed.
We did a tour of Lanai and it’s very quiet. There are no stop lights on the island, and it remains largely undeveloped. Shipwreck beach is fun to explore, be sure to take the time to learn about the legends and ancient curses that encase this mysterious island. As far as a big selection of shopping, restaurants, and “touristy” stops, there is not much. This island is a great place if you are looking for ultimate privacy in paradise.
The Big Island and Molokai are the only main islands we have yet to visit. They are on our list of places to explore. So, what Hawaiian island is your favorite?