Hawaii is filled with natural beauty, beautiful people, and great vibes. It’s the only state in the U.S. that is geographically located in the tropics. 

There are six major islands, each unique with its own beauty. 

So how do you know which island is right for you? Here’s a rundown of each island and the type of traveler it’s perfect for. 

Related: How To Do Oahu, Hawaii The Outdoorsy Way


Also known as the Garden Island, Kauai is filled with stunning beachings and is perfect for a baecation. Enjoy the romance of the Napali Coast on the island’s North Shore. Spanning 17 miles of coastline, the coast is accessible via boat, air, or a hike. 

Kilauea Kauai Coast
Unsplash | Cristian Guerrero

Poipu Beach Park is where you may spot an endangered Hawaiian monk seal with a view of the sunset. 


At one point, this island produced 75% of pineapples in the world. The island is a former plantain and is home to 3,500. If you want an intimate travel experience, Lanai is a great choice and is the smallest of the six major islands. There are only three hotel properties on the islands. There are no traffic lights on the island, and about 30 miles of the roads are paved.  When exploring the island, its best to rent a four-wheeler rather than a car. 

Go snorkeling or swimming at Hulopoe Bay or explore Keahiakawelo garden, which is sometimes referred to as the Garden of the Gods.

Although there are no direct flights to Lanai from other states, you can fly into Maui and then catch a flight to Lanai. 


If you’re obsessed with nature, Maui is the island of your dreams. The island is known for its gorgeous beaches and is perfect for snorkeling, where you may spot an endangered Hawaiian monk seal. In the winter, humpback whales call Maui’s waters home. 

Get your chocolate fix by visiting Maui Kuia Estate Chocolate, where you can tour its cacao farm. 


Much like Lanai, this island does not have a traffic light. It is less developed than the over 5 islands and is like a time machine, transporting you back in time. Enjoy one of the largest white sand beaches in Hawaii at Papokaku Beach Park. Be extra cautious if traveling in fall and winter, as the conditions could be dangerous. 

Bask in nature at Halawa Valley. There is a guided hiking tour, perfect for stunning views of greenery and waterfalls. 


If you’re a city traveler, Oahu is ideal. The island is bustling and houses restaurants, shopping, culture, history, and high-rise hotels. 

Farran Manuel in Oahu, Hawaii

Get a history lesson at Pearl Harbor and a cultural lesson at the Polynesian Cultural Center. 

Enjoy the clear waters of Shark’s Cove, where sharks are actually not in abundance. End your day with the Pineapple Express Train Tour at Dole Plantation. 

The Island of Hawaii, aka the Big Island

This island is almost twice the size of the other 5 islands combined. This island is perfect for the traveler who loves adventure. See two of the most active volcanoes in the world, swim with manta rays, or enjoy the waterfalls. 

When here, you have to visit the only seahorse farm in the world, Ocean Rider. 

Related: This Afro-Brazilian Family Is Traveling To Hawaii From Brazil In A ’76 VW Bus