6 Best Islands to Visit in Hawaiifor First-Time Visitors

Hawaii is a go-to vacation destination for adventurers and your average tourist. The state is known for its tropical weather, beautiful beaches, and many outdoor activities. Tourists worldwide have visited it for years, and there are still so many reasons why you should also see it.

It’s what travelers usually think of when they say they want to enjoy a tropical climate, beautiful beaches, diverse culture, amazing views, and much more. It is a cultural melting pot where you can find people worldwide. It’s an ideal place to travel to see different cultures and learn about new things.

The best time to visit Hawaii is during the winter when it’s not too hot or humid, but there are still plenty of things to do in the area.

How to choose the best Hawaiian island to visit?

The answer to the best island to visit in Hawaii takes work. Many factors would determine the best island for you, and there are many islands to choose from in Hawaii, so narrowing down which one to visit can be difficult.

It all comes down to the activities you primarily want to do on your trip there. Some places are more remote, so they are perfect for outdoor activities. Some areas in Hawaii are more populated, so there are more amenities here that are easy to access, so they’re perfect for when you want to stay within one place.

Some places are best for water-based activities, so you can stay there if that’s the point of your going there.

Who you go with to Hawaii will also matter because they may have different goals than you when it comes to Hawaii, so make sure to consider that before going.

With that said, if you’re planning on looking for the best island to visit in Hawaii as a first-time visitor, here are some options.

1. Oahu

Oahu is the third-largest island in Hawaii and is where the capital city of Hawaii is located, which is Honolulu.


Since Honolulu is the capital city of Hawaii and is the most popular place to travel to for tourists, many solo female travelers and other tourists go here first. One tip for women travelers traveling to Hawaii, especially in Oahu, is that it’s like some of the populated cities in America, so you still need to be cautious, despite its paradise-like environment.

When it comes to your first time traveling to Hawaii, Oahu is the best place to start because there is a wide array of things to do here. Everything from shopping, dining, and beaches is available here for you to do. That’s why it’s also the ideal place to be if you’re a traveler with family or other people coming with you with varied tastes.

2. Kauai

The northernmost island of Hawaii is the island of Kauai, which is all about exploring nature and the outdoors. Therefore, if you want to go shopping and party all day and night, then Kauai might not be the best island destination in Hawaii for you since it’s better for more outdoorsy people.

Some of the go-to destinations for outdoor adventures on the island of Kauai would be the following:

  • Kalalau Trail
  • Na Pali Coast
  • Queen’s Bath
  • Koloa
  • Waimea Canyon
  • Koke’e State Park
  • Allerton-McBryde Botanical Gardens
  • Poipu Beach
  • Limahuli Garden and Preserve
  • Hanakapi’ai Falls

Given all of these outdoor destinations, there would be plenty for you to do when you find yourself on the island of Kauai. Therefore, if you’re looking for an adventure and want to go outdoors while you’re in Hawaii, then Kauai is the best place to go.

Big Island of Hawaii

The largest island of Hawaii is named after these groups of islands, but it has the colloquial name of the “Big Island.” This island is best for cultural and natural enjoyment as it offers a unique set of places to visit, including the most active volcano in the world, Kīlauea.

It’s an excellent place for a hike and an exciting place to start if you’re looking for some of Hawaii’s cultural and historical markers.

4. Maui

When you think of Hawaii, you think of a romantic getaway surrounded by beaches. Therefore, if this is the kind of Hawaii experience you want, then heading directly to Maui is the best way to go, and many honeymooners would agree. Of course, you can also bring your family and kids with you.

Speaking of romance, don’t forget to enjoy the sunrise or sunset right from Haleakalā with your significant other.

5. Lanai

If you want to go to Hawaii but go off the beaten path away from many of the usual tourists, consider going to Lanai.

Most of this island is a rugged landscape and relatively inaccessible, not to mention that it’s one of the smaller islands of Hawaii. Since this island is smaller, it’s also perfect for a short trip. However, if you enjoy the solitude, you might as well consider staying there longer.

6. Molokai

Another low-key destination in Hawaii that is still worth visiting is Molokai. It has a much more limited number of choices for hotels and other tourist amenities, so it’s not for someone picky about accommodations. It’s also difficult to access as you must get a small charter plane from Honolulu or Maui.

Nonetheless, if you want a wholly different Hawaii experience than most other tourists who head to Hawaii, then Molokai is the isolated wonderland you might enjoy.


These islands of Hawaii all offer different sides of the beach paradise that is Hawaii. Whether you’re an adventurous person looking for a unique experience or a person who wants your regular tourist experience, an island in Hawaii can fit the bill of what you’re looking for. Therefore, consider which island you want to visit to enjoy your time there.