June 18, 2024

Hawai‘i – Which Island to Visit?

The fabulous Waikiki Beach stretches to Diamond Head.

First-time visitors to Hawai‘i, when faced with the pleasant dilemma of deciding which of the Hawaiian Islands to visit, might find an island-hopping cruise is the answer. On a week-long cruise from Honolulu, your ship will call at each of the major islands for a day or two and give you a good idea which island you would like to spend more time on.

I myself find it pretty much impossible to choose a favourite from the four main islands. O‘ahu is appealing for its iconic attractions of Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor. Kaua‘i is much quieter and nature lovers will appreciate the island’s lush valleys, dramatic sea cliffs and stunning beaches. Maui is deservedly popular for its excellent snorkeling, whale watching and diverse scenery ranging from beach-lined bays to the surreal landscape of a dormant volcano. Yet, it’s the Big Island of Hawai‘i that offers some of the most memorable attractions – an astronomical observatory atop the world’s tallest island mountain, an active volcano oozing molten lava straight into the sea, waterfalls plunging into deep verdant valleys.

Spectular sights on the Big Island of Hawaii include the Waipio Valley lookout.

Many of the Big Island’s beaches are black due to volcanic ash, but the island’s west side is lined with some of Hawaii’s most beautiful white-sand beaches. This is also where most of the island’s resorts are located, including the famous Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Kohala Coast. Other luxury resorts along this stretch of coast include The Fairmont Orchid and the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

The Kona Coast’s beautiful beaches start in the seaside village of Kailua-Kona.

But if you’re looking to rent a villa for a group of eight to 12 people, the oceanfront homes south of Kohala along the Kona Coast offer an ideal setting for a family reunion or party of close friends. It’s possible to rent privately owned luxury homes in the Kona district and spend relaxing days at the local beaches where you can go surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling in crystal clear waters frequented by green sea turtles and spinner dolphins.

For a virtual tour of a few select oceanfront properties on the Kona coast, visit Private Reserve Vacation Property Rentals at: Property Rentals.

Avatar photo About Anne Vipond

Anne Vipond is the author of several guidebooks to cruising destinations around the world. She draws on an extensive sailing background to impart her enthusiasm for cruise travel. From her home port of Vancouver, she travels by cruise ship to a wide range of destinations to keep her books current and useful for her cruise readers. Her cruising articles have been published in magazines and newspapers throughout North America and over seas.