When you book your flight, your first question will be where to go in Hawaii. Despite being the youngest state in the USA, Hawaii is formed from 137 volcanic islands, six of which you can visit. That means you have six to choose from, and they’re all pretty tempting…

Use this quick guide to where to go in Hawaii and you’ll be ready to pack your bags in no time. (P.S. when you do, check out the travel essentials I wouldn’t leave home without – you won’t want to either!).

1. Blend city and wildlife in Oahu

Oahu is the third largest island and is also one of the most populated. You’ll find a mix of urban life with wildlife, so it’s a great best of both escape. Hike around Diamond Head or Koko Head, surf on the north coast, home to some of the world’s most famous surfing competitions, dive down to see what lies beneath… And when you’ve had your fill of Oahu’s natural wonders, head to Honolulu for exclusive shopping and more beautiful beaches.

There are many other attractions too, like the Pearl Harbor military base, Hanauma Bay, and Polynesian Culture Center. The Dole Pineapple Plantation is great if you’re travelling with kids.

Oahu, Hawaii
Oahu, Hawaii

2. Make the most of Maui’s natural wonders

Maui is a popular honeymoon destination with wonderful beaches and nature. One of the main attractions is the road to Hana. Drive it and you’ll pass waterfalls, dense forests,  beaches and stunning views. You’ll also encounter the active volcano Haleakala – this is the perfect spot to watch the sun rise or set.

Find out more about a road trip on the road to Hana on Maui with this guide.

Maui, Hawaii
Maui, Hawaii

3. Go trekking in Kauai

This is the oldest island and it’s also one of the greenest, earning the nickname of the garden island. The landscape is green with rainforest and relatively wild. Plus, the regular spells of rain keep the waterfalls flowing beautifully. Wailua Falls is the most popular.

It’s the perfect destination if you want an active getaway, or enjoy trekking. And if you do, don’t miss the west of the island. Here, you’ll find the coast of Na Pali, renowned for being a natural wonder, with one of the world’s most scenic trails to explore.

4. Explore the volcanic beauty of Hawaii’s Big Island

This is the largest and the youngest Hawaiian island, where several active volcanoes including Mauna Kea, the highest and the largest in the entire archipelago, and Kīlauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, stand.

It is one of the most beautiful and interesting islands because there are twelve different climate zones, resulting in varied habitats. Rainforests, wildlife, botanical gardens, dolphins, turtles, black and red beaches… these are just a few of the great attractions that await visitors.

Hawaii big island

5. Live luxuriously in Lanai

One of the smallest islands, Lanai is known as Pineapple Island because for many years it was a global producer of these fruits. Now, if you’re looking for where to go in Hawaii for the ultimate luxury, Lanai is the island to choose. The pineapple producer has been reborn as a playground for celebrities, with exclusive resorts to prove it.

6. Experience authentic Hawaiian culture on Molokai

Molokai is another small island and boasts a reputation for being the most authentically Hawaiian of the entire archipelago. It’s a place you can experience the hula dance and taste Hawaiian culinary delights to your heart’s content. Molokai is an oasis of peace and tranquility, with largely undisturbed jungles, cliffs and deserted beaches.

Fancy tying in a stint of island hopping to a wider USA road trip? These are the seven states you should visit (and what to do when you get there!)

Where to go in Hawaii

Have you thought about where to go in Hawaii? Which islands are top of your wish list?

15 COMMENTS

  1. My husband’s family is from Oahu so that’s where we spend most of our time, but we’ve also loved quick trips to Kauai and the Big Island. Would love to get to the smaller islands at some point, too.

  2. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii – in fact, one of my school friends now lives there as he married a hawaiian girl. I love the sound Kauai – I’d love to experience the lush landscapes and do some trekking!

  3. Amazing! Frankly I don’t know much about Hawaii and reading made me realized that Hawaii is more than just beautiful beaches. I’m sure my husband would love to trek in Kauai. Lovely photos!

  4. Such beautiful photos of Hawaii! I’m on a (non-threatening) hunt for the best wildlife spots in the world and would never really have thought of Hawaii before! What kind of wildlife did you see?

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