If you look at a map of the Hawaiian Islands, you’ll see the eight major islands as well as over 130 little ones. Of those eight islands, six are open to the public and the last two are off-limits. Here’s a quick rundown of the six Hawaiian Islands open to tourists:
- Hawai’i – Usually referred to as the Big Island, the island of Hawai’i is the largest isle and has the most variety of experiences. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for on your trip, then start with the Big Island.
- Lana’i – Nicknamed the Pineapple Island for its distinctive shape, Lana’i is owned by tech billionaire Larry Ellison and has the state’s most posh upscale resorts. Stop here for a taste of luxury during your tropical vacation.
- O’ahu – This island, known as the Gathering Place, is home to the vast majority of Hawaii’s residents and offers a more metropolitan experience. If you want to explore the state’s food and art scene, spend time in the capital city of Honolulu on O’ahu.
- Maui – Perhaps the most famous island for tourists, Maui, or the Valley Isle, offers luxury resort experiences at prices a little more reasonable than Lana’i. Stay here if you want to relax and enjoy the tropical paradise with a drink in hand.
- Kaua’i – Nicknamed the Garden Isle, Kaua’i is the most rugged of the six vacation islands. If you’re looking forward to getting in touch with nature and finding some adventures on your trip, we recommend coming to Kaua’i.
- Moloka’i – This island, nicknamed the Friendly Isle, is home to a large percentage of native Hawaiians and offers the most authentic look at traditional Hawaiian culture. We recommend stopping here if you want an authentic island experience.
Wherever you decide to visit, we recommend checking out our All Hawaii Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle, as well as Action+, a yearly subscription that gives you access to all 100+ of our US tours.
Essential Travel Guide: