Hawaii: Each Island Offers a Unique Vacation Experience

Choose the island that's right for your travel style!

Hawaii—America’s tropical paradise of the Pacific. People know it for its glistening beaches, hidden waterfalls, idyllic year-round weather, legendary luaus, epic surfing and miles of towering palm trees dancing in the island breeze. And while you can find these iconic items on each of the six main vacation islands, each individual island offers an ambiance and experience that is unique. To help you find the one that’s perfectly matched to your travel style, here’s a brief tour of the islands and their unique qualities.


This is where the action is! The most popular and populated of Hawaii’s islands, Oahu is No. 1 for visitor arrivals and for good reason: it’s as convenient as it is captivating. You’ll find the most flights, a wide range of hotels and resorts, and an endless list of sights and attractions to explore, all working together to make a vacation on this island fun, fabulous and affordable. Bustling Waikiki is world renowned for its famous beach, and strolling along its iconic golden sands is a must-do for every visitor. But that’s just the beginning of what this vibrant city has to offer. Immerse yourself in the customs, culture and history of the islands at the Polynesian Cultural Center, pay homage to the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice at the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, and hike to the top of Diamond Head to take in the breathtaking view. Venture up to the North Shore to watch the surfers test their skill against the legendary waves or spend some quiet time snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of Hanauma Bay. Waikiki’s active nightlife invites you to indulge your palate at a variety of celebrity chef owned restaurants that tempt you with culinary fusion dishes that are both exotic and familiar at the same time.


Maui has earned a well-deserved reputation for romance and its pampering spa resorts keep it a popular honeymoon destination—but it is truly so much more. From the lush waterfalls of the Iao Valley to the tranquil beaches of Ka‘anapali and Wailea to the unforgettable drive along the Road to Hāna, you’ll find breathtaking natural beauty at every turn that inspires all ages. The challenging links at Kapalua are the standing favorite of the PGA tour for its annual season opener, offering championship play and spectacular vistas. This island’s must-do? Watching the sunrise from the slopes of Haleakala—an experience you’ll never forget.


Known as the Island of Adventure, this is the place for active travelers and nature lovers. Larger than all of the other islands combined, it offers 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones, ranging from the snow-capped mountains of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea to the black-sands of Punalu‘u Beach. Family-friendly resorts are the perfect home base from which to explore the waterfalls, rainforests and botanical gardens of Hilo; try snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding in the calm waters of Kona; relax on the beach or enjoy championship golf. A visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is not to be missed!


Looking to venture a little off the beaten path to a quieter island where you can relax and enjoy Hawaii’s natural beauty? This is the one to choose. Experience the expansive grandeur of Waimea Canyon, aptly named the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Kayak up the Wailua River to the famed Fern Grotto, surf the waters of beautiful Hanalei Bay, visit a coffee plantation (and sample the local brew), swim with sea turtles in Poipu and indulge in a pampering spa treatment at a luxury spa resort. A cruise along the Napali Coast is a true must!