Main Hawaii Destinations To Visit
Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai are the most popular islands and see more visitors than any other island in Hawaii. Each of the main islands offers its own distinct charm, perfect for a unique and unforgettable Hawaiian experience.
Click on any of the 4 photo cards below to learn more about each island!
Where Is Hawaii Located?
Hawaii is near the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Although these chains of islands are a part of the US, it is about 2,000 miles from the continental United States.
How Many Islands In Hawaii Are There?
Hawaii is actually made up of 137 islands! But we typically will refer to the 8 main islands that are most populated.
Below are the eight main islands from largest to smallest:
- Big Island
Can You Visit All 8 Islands In Hawaii?
No – Although most islands welcome visitors, there are a couple of islands that are prohibited to travelers.
Ni’ihau is often referred to as the “Forbidden Island” which is privately owned and highly restricted. Though there are ways to visit through helicopter tours and diving activities, Ni’ihau is a very exclusive island.
Koho’olawe is the other island that is uninhabited and not accessible to the public. This island is off-limits to travelers due to its history as a military training area. There is significant environmental damage and unexploded ordinances left over, making it very unsafe.
Hawaii Travel Planning Tips
⏰ Time Zone: Hawaii runs on Hawaii Standard Time (HST). HST is 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time (3 hours behind during daylight savings).
💸 Money: Be sure to always have some cash on hand. There are a few amazing markets and restaurants throughout the Hawaiian islands that only accept cash. You won’t want to miss out on them!
🛬 Flights & 🏨 Accommodations: Be sure to book your flight and book your accommodations early in advance to secure the best deals and availability. Hawaii is a very popular destination, with millions visiting every year, so you definitely want to get first pick!
🗒️Planning Activities: There are a few popular tours and attractions that you will have to reserve ahead of time.
🚗 Car rentals: It is highly recommended to rent a car to get the most out of your Hawaii experience.
Is Hawaii Safe To Travel?
This is a very common question for travelers in general, and Hawaii is definitely one of the safest places to travel in the world. Hawaii has a low crime rate compared to many other places in the United States, and local residents will often help out strangers since they embody the aloha spirit.
However, like any other tourist destination, there are safety concerns to be aware of to ensure an enjoyable Hawaiian experience. As long as you exercise precautions and are aware of potential risks, you will likely be safe in Hawaii.
For added safety, be sure to dress in Hawaii outfits that blend in with the locals.
Do I Need Travel Insurance In Hawaii?
Yes – travel insurance is a good idea if you plan on traveling to Hawaii. A common misconception is that travel insurance isn’t something to worry about since Hawaii is a part of the US.
Traveling to Hawaii in itself is already such an investment, including your flights, accommodations, and even your own personal belongings. So many unforeseen circumstances can occur at any time traveling and could end up costing a lot.
Hawaii Blogs: More On Hawaii Travel
Hawaii Travel FAQs
Is Hawaii Worth Visiting?
Yes – Hawaii is an unforgettable experience in paradise! From snorkeling with turtles, historical sites, diverse foods to try, and sightseeing in a relaxing atmosphere, there’s something for everyone in Hawaii!
Hawaii’s diverse environment allows you to adventure from the mountains to the oceans, and everything else in between. Hawaii’s amazing beaches and fascinating hikes cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world.
Can You Visit Multiple Islands In One Trip to Hawaii?
Yes – But in our opinion as locals born and raised in Hawaii, it is NOT recommended.
Even though the islands of Hawaii are small, they have an abundance of activities that you don’t want to miss out on. If you try to island hop, there’s a high chance that you won’t get the full experience that each island has to offer.
Hawaii runs on island time and it’s the perfect opportunity to slow down from everyday life. Every island is very different and has its own charm, so we always recommend spending 7-10 days on each island.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Hawaii?
Even though Hawaii’s climate is pretty much the same no matter when you visit, there are some things to consider before booking your trip.
In general, the temperatures are pretty mild all year round in Hawaii. Although the summers are exceptionally hot and humid, winters can be slightly colder than normal.
The sunshine in Hawaii is so refreshing, but can also be unbearable at times. You always want to be properly protected from too much sun exposure while on the islands.
The hurricane season in Hawaii is from November to March when the most rain and high winds are present, and Hawaii beach towns are at a higher risk.
Hawaii Travel Seasons
Hawaii Peak Season: The peak season in Hawaii is during the summer months from June to August, as you will see the most sunshine during these months. The winter months from November-January is the second peak for travel, since the holidays bring in an influx of visitors.
Hawaii Slow Season: The best time to visit Hawaii is after the summer peak, during the slow season in the fall from September to October. This is the time when a lot of kids go back to school, so you will see the least crowds.
If you aren’t affected by allergy season, springtime is also another slow season in Hawaii. The visitor counts drop and the cost to travel could be exceptionally less.
What Should You Pack For A Hawaii Vacation?
As mentioned, the sun can be surprisingly very brutal in Hawaii, so you want to be prepared with reef-safe sunscreen and the proper protective gear to beat the heat.