Highlights of Hawaii

04 Jun 2018
by Sara Jane Crane —

The Hawaiian islands have long been considered the best islands in America, but with so many islands to choose from, how do you find the island that is best for your Hawaii vacation?

Honestly, you can’t go wrong, but each Hawaiian island has a distinct lifestyle, flora and fauna, and its own unique range of activities. Between the beaches, the natural wonders, and the world-renowned aloha spirit, if you have to choose just one island for your vacation, it can be tough. That’s where we come in.

Here are our biggest tips to help you make your choice, but to really dive into what each island has to offer, you should talk with one of our Hawaii vacation specialists. Their years of experience with the islands will give you insights that you can put to great use on your vacation, saving you time and money.

Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii

Oahu – The Gathering Place

Hawaii’s most populated island is home to world-famous Waikiki, but outside of Honolulu, the island is just as green and gorgeous as all the rest.

Oahu Highlights:

  • Waikiki Beach – Iconic gathering place for visitors from around the world.
  • Pearl Harbor – Explore the historic sites recounting the Pearl Harbor attack.
  • Hanauma Bay & Nature Preserve – One of Hawaii’s premier snorkeling sites.
  • Nuuanu Pali Lookout – Historic spot with fantastic mountain views.
  • North Shore – Legendary birthplace of big wave surfing.

Maui in Hawaii is famous for sunsets

Maui – The Valley Island

Maui is full of family-friendly beaches and activities for all ages.

Maui Highlights:

    • Lahaina Town – Whale watch, shop, and dine in this historic hot spot.
    • Makena Beach State Park (Big Beach) – One of Maui’s largest beaches.
    • Iao Valley State Park – Historic site home to the iconic Iao Needle.
    • Haleakala National Park – Scenic home of Maui’s highest peak.
    • Hana Highway – Famous for the scenery, twists, and turns on the way to Hana town.

Na Pali Coast on Kaui's spectacular north side

Kauai – The Garden Isle

Geographically the oldest island in the archipelago, Kauai’s lush green mountains, and rainbow-prone valleys never disappoint.

Kauai Highlights:

    • Wailua Falls – Kauai’s most popular waterfall.
    • Kalalau Trail – Spectacular coastal trail on Kauai’s North side leading to the Na Pali Coast.
    • Poipu Beach – Voted one of America’s best beaches.
    • Waimea Canyon – Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

Hawaii, Big Island Historic Site near Kona town

Big Island – The Orchid Isle

You might come for the volcanoes and waterfalls, but you’ll stay for an authentic taste of Hawaii. Larger than all of the other islands combined, the island of Hawaii, also known as Big Island, encompasses 11 of the world’s 13 climatic zones.

Big Island of Hawaii Highlights:

    • Historic Kailua-Kona Town – Historic seaside hot spot.
    • Waipio Valley – Hawaii’s largest isolated inhabited valley.
    • Downtown Hilo – Discover local treasures in the island’s capital city.
    • Ka Lae (South Point) – The southernmost point in the United States.
    • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – Home of one of the world’s most active volcanoes and otherworldly scenery.


Two Four Seasons resorts are a big tourist draw for this small island. Its quiet lifestyle and rustic charm will win your heart.


The “Friendly Island” has a deep connection to Hawaiian culture and an untouched natural beauty you won’t find anywhere else.

Content sponsored by Classic Vacations, our June 2018 Partner of the Month