Your First-Timer’s Guide to the Islands of Hawaii

If it’s your first time traveling to Hawaii, the planning phase can be overwhelming. Yes, you’re going to Hawaii, but does that mean you’re going to the island of Hawaii or one of the other five islands that make up the entire state of Hawaii? Here at Must Do Travels, we want to help you narrow it down, so we have put together this primer for the six major islands.

Island of Kauai


AKA “The Garden Island” Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island. With dramatic cliffs and waterfalls, huge mountain spires and tropical rainforests, this is where you want to go for those amazing photographs of spectacular Hawaiian landscapes – or you can do some outdoor adventuring, as Kauai offers plenty of kayaking, zip-lining and hiking opportunities.

Oahu beach filled with people


If you want to see how the bulk of Hawaiian natives live, go to Oahu (aka “The Gathering Place,” and Hawaii’s third largest island) and discover how the old and new ways of life co-exist on this bustling island. Home to Hawaii’s state capital, Honolulu, Oahu is perfect if you like a little bit of everything. Start your day relaxing on the beach and surfing in one of the small villages, and then head into the city for some good food and nightlife.

Island of Molokai


Molokai (the fifth largest island) is a tiny island jam-packed with rich history and outdoor adventure. The bulk of this island’s population is made up of those with Native Hawaiian ancestry, and they are very passionate about preserving their culture. The residents of Molokai also love their land, and because of that, you’ll have no shortage of outdoor activities to explore here, whether it be rock climbing, guided hikes or horseback riding or even an air tour to see the island from above.

Bay on the island of Lanai


Hawaii’s smallest island does not hold back. Whether you’re into a luxurious stay at a high-end resort with exquisite golfing opportunities, or exploring the roads less traveled on 4-wheelers, Lanai can provide. This small island is perfect for a group of varied interests.

Island beach of Maui


Maui is the second-largest island, often referred to as “The Valley Island,” and it’s easily a crowd favorite. This is the island with that picture perfect white, sandy beaches. It’s where you want to go out on tours to see humpback whales jumping up and out of the water. Maui is rich with hiking trails, farms to tour, snorkeling, helicopter tours. You name it: Maui probably has it.

Ocean rocks in Hawaii


Here it is … the big one. Hawaii. This is the largest island (almost twice the size of all the rest) and of the twenty-two different climates in the world, the island of Hawaii experiences twenty-one. In Hawaii, you can experience rainforests one day, and then head up the mountain and play in the snow. Make sure you explore the black sand beaches (yes, beaches where the sand is actually black), check out the Puna forest where you can see lava trees and swim in tide pools that are heated by the nearby volcano, which you can also check out. Or, of course, just grab your book and go chill out on the beach to relax.

So now you can book that trip with a little more confidence about where you want to go and what you want to see! No matter what you do, you’ll have a fantastic time. So what are you waiting for?

At Must Do Travels, we believe traveling shouldn’t be a hassle, but an adventure to remember awaits and we can help get the adventure you need started. Have fun as you explore!