1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Which of the Hawaiian Islands Suits You Best?

Find out which Hawaii island has the most to offer you for your next vacation


Map of the Hawaiian Islands
Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

One of the hardest parts of planning a trip to Hawaii is deciding which of the Hawaiian islands you should visit. We recommend that you plan on visiting at least two of the major islands so that you can get a feel for what Hawaii is all about.

In order to help you choose which islands are best suited for you, we have developed a 23-question scorecard. After you have completed each of the questions and determined your final score you will have a better idea of what best suits your tastes and vacation preferences.

When you've completed your scorecard, be sure to complete our poll at the end of this feature and tell us your results.


  1. Print a copy of a blank scorecard, which will help keep your score. The print link is located on the upper right of the page. (If you don't have a printer handy, just take a piece of paper and label six columns for each of the individual major Hawaiian Islands: Hawaii Island, the Big Island, Kauai, Lana'i, Maui, Moloka'i, and Oahu.)
  2. Read each category.
  3. Everyone should answer the Lodging and Money sections. Under the Interests section, answer only the categories that are important to you.
  4. For each category, each island is given a score. For each of the categories you answer, write down the scores shown for each island in its designated block on your scorecard.
  5. At the end of the survey, add up your scores for each island. Remember, if one of the topics has little or no interest for you, you should have left that category blank.

Let's get started:


Pick only one of these three choices:

  • World Class Resorts
    Resorts are fine hotels with additional amenities on premises for your enjoyment. Each of the Hawaiian Islands has fantastic resorts where you can go and never leave the property if you so desire. Many have golf courses adjacent to the property. Some islands have more resorts than others. If staying at a World Class Resort is important to you, score:
    Big Island - 10 Kauai - 6 Lana'i - 6 Maui - 10 Moloka'i - 0 Oahu - 4
  • Hotels
    If you prefer a hotel to a full resort, score:
    Big Island - 4 Kauai - 6 Lana'i - 0 Maui - 8 Moloka'i - 2 Oahu - 10
  • Vacation Condominiums
    For many families and couples who are looking to save some money on lodging and food, a rental condominium is the perfect option. The daily rate is generally less than the best hotels and resorts, and you can prepare as many of your meals on premises as you wish. If you prefer a condominium score:
    Big Island - 4 Kauai - 8 Lana'i - 0 Maui - 10 Moloka'i - 2 Oahu - 4


In all honesty; no trip to Hawaii is cheap. The airfare alone is often quite expensive. There are ways to save money on lodging and food as well as the type of activities you do on your vacation.

Pick only one of these three choices:

  • Money is no object
    If money is no object and you want to experience the ultimate luxury on your vacation, score:
    Big Island - 12 Kauai - 10 Lana'i - 20 Maui - 16 Moloka'i -2 Oahu - 8
  • Saving some money
    If you want to still have lots of fun, but want to save some money on lodging and food, score:
    Big Island - 12 Kauai - 10 Lana'i - 0 Maui - 12 Moloka'i - 6 Oahu - 16
  • Budget Travel
    If you are willing to stay at two or three star hotel or condominium, perhaps do not want to rent a car, yet still be close to things to see and do, score:
    Big Island - 6 Kauai - 6 Lana'i - 0 Maui - 8 Moloka'i - 2 Oahu - 16


Pick as many of these choices as you want. Skip those of no interest to you.

Enjoy the Beach and the Sun

Hawaii has consistently dominated Dr. Beach's list of the best beached in the United States. If you're a beach person, you'll find that Hawaii has white sand, black sand, red sand and even green sand beaches. If you love beaches and want to get that great tan, score:
Big Island - 6 Kauai - 4 Lana'i - 1 Maui - 10 Moloka'i - 1 Oahu - 8

Deep Sea Fishing

The Big Island of Hawaii is the sportfishing capital of the world. If sportfishing is your interest, score:
Big Island - 10 Kauai - 0 Lana'i - 0 Maui - 5 Moloka'i - 0 Oahu - 4

Dining Out

Each of the Hawaiian Islands offers excellent dining options; however, some islands have more great restaurants than others. Many of the fresh vegetables grown on Maui are featured at Maui restaurants. If fine dining is important for you score:
Big Island - 4 Kauai - 6 Lana'i - 1 Maui - 10 Moloka'i - 1 Oahu - 10

Diverse Ecology

Would you enjoy exploring an island where you can see snow on the tops of the mountains alongside deep valleys with waterfalls and black sand beaches? Hawaii offers a more diverse ecology than almost anywhere on earth. If you're looking to see samples of Hawaii's diverse ecology, score:
Big Island - 10 Kauai - 6 Lana'i - 1 Maui - 8 Moloka'i - 4 Oahu - 4

NEXT PAGE > More Interests

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.