One of the most beautiful and sunniest states in the USA, Hawaii is a great pick for winter vacation ideas. As a cluster of eight islands, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to what kind of trip you want – each island has its own unique charms. The whet your appetite, here are the five best Hawaii islands.
Oahu is one of Hawaii’s liveliest islands – there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re here to ride the waves at one of Oahu’s many surf spots, hike its trails to find jaw-dropping views, or learn more about world-changing events at Pearl Harbor, Oahu can keep you busy for weeks on end.
At some point during your time on Oahu, you’ll want to hit the beach. There are so many to choose from that it’s easy to find postcard-perfect shores, but you don’t want to miss Lanikai Beach, Kailua Beach Park, and Waikiki Beach.
For those incredible views we mentioned, hike up to the Diamond Head State Monument, an unmissable Hawaii activity for keen walkers. From here, you can find panoramas across the ocean and over the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu.
Nicknamed Hawaii’s ‘Garden Isle’ because of all the greenery that covers it, Kauai is the perfect spot for getting out into nature. Any avid hiker should definitely visit Kauai during their time in Hawaii, to complete the 11-mile Kalalau Trail, which runs along the north coast of the island and offers spectacular views.
Also don’t miss Waimea Canyon – known as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’ – and flawless shorelines at Po’ipu Beach, Kalapaki Beach, Hanakapi’ai Beach, which are all perfect places to kick back and get some serious R&R.
3. Hawaii Island
Hawaii Island, also known as Big Island, is the largest in the state, and has therefore the most diversity and range of things to do. With Akaka Falls State Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Waipio Valley, nature lovers will be happy here and these vast landscapes offer a playground for anyone who loves to get outside.
Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii Island is one of the best places in the whole of Hawaii to go snorkelling, with plenty of fish to see even in the shallow waters. If beaches are your thing, head to Hapuna is known to be one of the best on Hawaii Island – a white-sand paradise ideal for a lazy day in the sun.
Voted by travelers year-on-year as Hawaii’s best island, there’s a wealth of things to do on Maui. This paradise is characterized by its soaring hills and plunging valleys, making in one of the most visually stunning Hawaiian islands.
Visit the little town of Hana, if only to experience driving along the scenic, winding ocean road that links it to the rest of Maui. Take a walk through Iao Valley State Park, one of the best places to experience green and wild nature on the island. Finally, make sure to drive up to the summit of Haleakala to watch a sunrise or sunset – there’s a strong possibility it will be the best you’ve ever seen.
It might be small in size, but Molokai packs a punch when it comes to beauty. One of the most popular things to do in Molokai is take a mule ride in Kalaupapa, which take you 1,700 feet down the world’s tallest sea cliff. This is constantly rated as one of the best things to do on the island, and for good reason!
Also don’t miss gorgeous Halawa Valley, which is dominated by giant mountains and thundering waterfalls, then stop by Papohaku Beach. At three miles long, this is one of the longest stretches of white sands in Hawaii, making it one of the best places to relax in the sun.