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Which Islands To Visit

If you haven't visited Hawaii before, or haven't been to all the islands, you may need help deciding which island(s) to visit on your trip.  The rows in the table below list common interests and activities.  In the column for each island you will find our rating of those activities for that island.  Realize the ratings are based on our personal evaluation and your rating may differ.  But they are a guideline for you to use in evaluating which islands will best fit your interests.  

Print the table below.  Cross out the rows of "Interests and Activities" that don't appeal to you.  Then add up the remaining numbers for each column.  The islands with the highest totals match your interests closest.  Use this in planning your itinerary.

Interests and Activities



Big Island




Beaches 5 5 3 5 3 3
Sightseeing 5 4 3 3 2 1
National Parks and Wonders 1 4 5 3 2 1
Tropical Scenery 2 4 2 5 2 1
Resorts 3 5 5 4 1 4
Golf 2 5 5 5 2 3
Activities  5 3 1 0 0 0
Peace and Quiet 1 1 3 4 5 5
Snorkeling 4 4 5 4 2 2
Historic Sights 5 3 4 1 2 1
Shopping 5 3 2 2 1 0
Night Life 5 3 0 1 0 0
Totals (of the rows of interest to you)            

Don't Try to Do It All
When you go to Hawaii you want to enjoy your time there but also come home rested and refreshed.  If you don't plan your trip you will waste time trying to determine what to do when you arrive and miss out on many things.  So, be organized and plan your trip,
but don't plan how you will spend every waking minute.  Leave some time open each day to relax or do something you didn't allow enough time for originally.  Leave a day or two of your trip completely open to just relax or to do impromptu things you plan "on the spot."  Anything you miss on this trip will be waiting for you when you go back; and you will go back after experiencing the islands.

Don't make the mistake of trying to see too many islands on your trip.  One obvious reason is that packing, traveling to the airport, waiting on your plane, flight time, getting to the next "hotel", unpacking, etc. will kill at least a half day for transferring to each island.  That isn't why you travel to Hawaii.  You can easily stay 4-5 days on each of the four major islands and still not do everything you would like to.  So, for a two week trip we recommend no more than three islands.  You can see by our ratings that Molokai's and Lanai's primary attraction is getting away from it all and relaxing.  It's hard to get enough of that, but you can see the sights on either of those islands in a couple of days.

See our "Suggested Itinerary" for each island to see our preferences, depending on how many days you plan to spend on each island.


Suggested Island Itineraries

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Big Island
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