The most frequent question I'm asked when people find out that I write about Hawaii is which island is my favorite? My answer has changed several times over the years.
All of the islands of Hawaii have their strong points and some drawbacks as well. A lot depends on what you're looking for. Ease of travel, choice of accommodations, varied activities, top dining and nightlife are all things that contribute to making a choice.
Some islands are more crowded than others. Some are much more laid back.
There really is no right or wrong answer. I'll tell you my current favorite in the first answer posted.Tell Which Island & Why
Kauai i My Least Favorite
- The roosters will keep you up all night, rains way to much for me, humid, nothing to do at night, and the restaurants are not good. Big Island is nice, Honolulu has pretty places as well.
- —Guest scarlett
OAHU ,/ Honolulu Waikiki
- We love it there, and find the Bus service allows you to get around without the need to rent a car. It fits our needs being seniors!
- —Guest Jeanne& Ron Brewster
- Maui's has the most diversity of microclimates and activities. It combines modest development with uncommon natural beauty.
- —Guest bill snipes
- Aloha,I live on Kauai and have a suggestion. Purchase the Oahu and Kauai books by Andrew Doughty and Harriett Friedman. They are part of the "Revealed" series and can be found at any major bookstore. You can look at pieces of the books and even buy them on this website. The authors have done extensive research on each of the four major Hawaiian islands and have lots of tips with regard to accommodations, dining, shopping, sight seeing, etc. Look through both books and decide which island better suits your needs. With only 5-7 days here my suggestion is to choose one island and stay there. You will probably feel too rushed to see everything if you island hop on such a short trip. For a 3-4 star resort, your prices will vary depending upon the island and location. For example, on Kauai, Poipu is on the sunny south shore and Princeville is on the north shore, which tends to be wetter but very tropical and green. Both of those areas have the most expensive hotels/resorts but they also have condos and slightly less expensive hotels. You can find a bargain if you're looking for one, but it is going to depend on how long you want to stay and on what part of the island you want your home base to be. There is a lot to see on both islands but you want to be sure to take some time to just relax and enjoy your honeymoon too. Don't spend the entire trip rushing around trying to see everything. You can live here for years and not see it all. Choose a couple of activities you are most interested in (detailed examples in the books I mentioned) and stick with those. Don't be too regimented in your scheduling. Allow time for relaxing by the pool or on the beach and things like that. September is a good time of year to visit. The weather isn't usually ridiculously hot like it is in July and August and most kids are in school so a lot of the tourists have gone home. Oahu is the most populous island in the Hawaiian archipelago. There are a lot of choices in terms of dining, shopping, nightlife, and activities. Kauai is much quieter and a lot of people feel that it is more like old Hawaii. Both islands are incredibly beautiful. Don't let anyone tell you that Oahu is just a big city or that it is like L.A. in the middle of the ocean. That's just wrong! Honolulu is a big city but it is also very pretty. Once you get out of Honolulu, the rest of Oahu is just as gorgeous as Maui, Kauai, or the Big Island. So on Oahu you have all the amenities you might want, but you also get the scenery. In terms of booking a package or going it alone, I can't help you there. I think you might do better price-wise if you book things (hotel, rental car, flight, activities, etc.) on your own, but if you haven't done it before, it might be intimidating. Talk to a travel agent and see what kind of deal you can get. The larger hotels and resorts usually have concierges who can help you with booking activities, too. Consult the "Revealed" books to see what companies are highly recommended (there are lots of different companies that can take you snorkeling, for example) and find out the prices from the concierge or book directly with the company once you arrive on the island. Good luck and congratulations on your upcoming wedding.
- —Guest mKtCyPpldlyKa
of course oahu
- Oahu has everything history and culture. I also love all the others but i believe Oahu is best for snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and much more.
- —Guest sherlly
- The Big Island offers the variety of gorgeous beaches and rocky lava shore. No other island has the ocean life of the big island. We go there every year and swim with sea turtles each day. Amazing!
- —Guest marie123
The Big Island
- Stay at Kona and you get the whole "paradise" label. Beautiful, laid back, with your own hale. The black rock is just amazing. You can visit Mauna Kea and Kilauea, waterfalls. Pure love.
- —Guest Maura
- Kauai is so beautiful. Full of flowering trees, and bushes, also flowers. It is quiet, and peaceful, and not so commercialized.
- —Guest A.J. Gasser
My favorite island
- Kauai is without question my favorite island. It is green, beautiful, small, old, quaint, friendly, beautiful - oh I said that-. The beaches are so gorgeous, the flowers incredible, the people - amazingly friendly. The pace is slower than the other islands. There is not a lot of night life but that is good. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! Oahu is next and Maui is my least favorite.
my fav island
- o'ahu it has it all...big city and all the amenities, the north shore quaintness the south shore and its boaters windward with the cliffs and natural sites leeward dry desert like and then the history and the urban fun of shopping and beautiy of diamond head waikiki and easy access to everything...yes o'ahu's got it all...aloha
- —Guest keonih
Maui, Maui, Maui
- We fell in love with Maui over 3 years ago, and have gone every year since, and will be there in a couple of months. We stay at a private cottage and that is the way to go. We feel like we live on Maui for the 2 weeks we are there. That is a wonderful feeling. The people are so friendly, great restaurants, and plenty of things to do many are free. Maui has a large variations of things to do that no other island has. The scenery is out of this world. You have the road to Hana, black sand beach, red sand beach, sunrise at Haleakala, Lahaina and the snorkeling is way to cool. We have been to Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island. These islands are all beautiful in their own way, but none can compare to Maui No Ka Oi.
- —Guest Bobbie & Jack Adams
- Maui is my favorite island. You can find lodging in all price ranges. The variety of activities and scenery is great. The people are friendly and helpful. Aloha spirit is more than a name.
- —Guest MauiLarry
Maui No Ka Oi
- Having lived five years on Oahu and making two years in Maui, I must say that Maui is my favorite! There is definitely a sense of peace and serenity, plus no shortage of nightlife and good food if you are seeking for fun and excitement. Great hiking trails and sightseeing attractions whether you are a local resident or a visitor. I had played tour guide for friends visiting from New York and Scottsdale and they found time flew fast within their five days of stay filled with sunbathing by the pools at Westin on Ka'anapali; snorkeling along Ka'anapali across the resorts; savoring local fare and lots of fresh fish(opah, opakapaka, marlin, ahi, mahi mahi....); hiking on West Maui; and exploring upcountry Maui (from lavender farm to goat cheese factory to Maui winery and sunset at Halaeakala. Of course, Big Island and Kauai have charming spots too but not the idyllic combination that Maui offers. And did I mention golf? It is definitely a golfer's paradise!
- —Guest sumibal
The Big Island
- The Big Island is the best. It is a very laid back place to explore and relax. I have there for the 16 straight years. No where else will you find so many different climates in one spot. I do also enjoy the other islands, but to be honest, I do avoid Oahu anymore. It's crowded and too touristy for me.
Kauai, hands down
- Kauai is a little bit further to travel, but well worth it. Quiet; I think they still roll the sidewalks up at 8:00, so if you're a party animal....don't come here.