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When planning a trip to Hawaii for the first time, understanding the differences between all the islands can be confusing. Yes, they are very different. Each island has something unique to offer and it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you, especially for your first trip.
Which Island Of Hawaii Is The Best
In our opinion, Maui is the best island to visit if it’s your first time in Hawaii. You can find it all in Maui: adventure, great snorkeling, great hiking, jungle experiences, beautiful beaches, great food, and great accommodations. Not only that, it usually has the best weather and enough to keep you busy all weekend.
Quick And Easy Guide To The Best Hawaiian Islands
It’s not just because we love Maui (although we do), there’s a long list of reasons why it should be first.
There are several reasons why Maui is the best for a first-timer, but here are the top nine reasons:
I know what you’re thinking: Aren’t there great beaches all over Hawaii? Yes, but Maui has some easy beaches, amazing canyons, and plenty of diving for those who don’t like the ocean.
You don’t have to go far to find a beach with good swimming, because there are many hotels and resorts right next to them.
What Is The Best Hawaiian Island To Live On?
Since we have a small child, we are always looking for easy beaches as a family. Maui has undoubtedly child-friendly beaches, all within easy reach of the resort.
One of our favorite activities is snorkeling, and Maui has the most snorkeling options with incredible fish and marine life. Here you will find shelters, (mostly) calm seas, clear water and the best chance to snorkel with sea turtles.
In addition, you can go snorkeling in the volcano from the boat or take a day trip to the island of Lanai. Also, if you are in whale season, you are sure to see whales singing underwater or on a kayak trip.
According to Hawaii Tourism Agency visitor statistics, Maui is the most visited island (after Oahu). Because Maui receives so many visitors, lodging options are plentiful and growing.
Which Hawaiian Island: How To Choose The Best For You
If you want to stay in a luxury hotel, Maui has plenty of them. If you want to stay in a budget friendly hotel, you can find it here. Do you want to go on vacation with the pool? Mau has a lot of people. Do you prefer camp or glitter? Maui has great options.
We think Maui is the perfect destination for all types of travel. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it in Maui.
Glamping (glamor camping) is fun, relaxing and affordable on Maui. I am here outside the tent at Olowalu camp.
The Big Island is not the only island you can visit. In Maui, you can take a day trip to Halakala to enjoy the sunrise, sunset or hike. It’s a great way to see another side of Maui and learn what the island can be.
Map Of The 7 Hawaiian Islands
Also, visiting Haleakala is the perfect jumping off point for exploring Maui – a place you definitely don’t want to miss.
If you want to explore the west and south of Maui (where most of the hotels and resorts are), you can go to the East Maui House. Yes, you will have to go to Khana to get there and this is one trip you don’t want to miss. Yes, the road will be busy with other tourists visiting Khana. But most do not stay long in Hana and rarely stay overnight. If you are looking for a quiet vacation, East Maui is the place.
We don’t want to be biased here, but we think this is the best dining option in Maui. You can eat fresh fish caught locally, enjoy good food at one of the many food trucks, or treat yourself to a great dinner. The options available on Maui are incredible.
And, we’re not the only ones who think Maui has the best food. On the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice list of best restaurants, Maui has three of the top 15 restaurants. No other Hawaiian restaurants made the list.
Which Hawaiian Island Is Best For A Surf Trip
Restaurants like Lahaina Grill and Mom’s Fish House are TripAdvisor’s top restaurants in the world.
If you come for the sun, head to Maui. Yes, all the islands get their fair share of sun and rain – and the sun is never guaranteed here – but Maui has the best moments of sunshine.
The main resort area is at the tip of the island. The leeward side receives less rain and sunshine.
We’ve calculated the rainfall for major parks on each of the Hawaiian islands, and you’ll find the least amount of rain in Maui. Ideal for a beach holiday:
What’s The Best Hawaiian Island To Visit For Your First Time?
We think there will be enough to keep you busy on Maui, but if you want to make a quick trip to another island, you can take the Lanai Ferry. It’s worth noting that other island hops (such as Oahu and Kauai) require you to fly. Lanai and Molokai are only accessible by ferry, and can be done on a day trip or a two- or three-day excursion from Maui.
If you want an easier option to visit Lanai, consider a snorkeling day trip. They will take you to the best spots, stop for lunch and take a quick walk on the lanai and watch the dolphins while you are there. It was an adventurous day, but worth it.
If you’re in Hawaii from mid-December to mid-April, you’re lucky enough to be here during whale watching season. Every year, 12,000 whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii to breed. Maui is one of the best places for whale watching. The channel west of Maui is shallow and the water is warm, making it the perfect place for whales to calve and prepare for their journey to Alaska.
If you’re here during whale watching season, you can take a boat tour (very exciting) or just watch from the shore. We often pull over to the side of the road to watch whales.
Best Beaches On Hawaii Big Island
Read our ultimate guide to whale watching in Maui (and get a discount on one of our top attractions).
While most of us think that Maui is the best choice for the first time, there are times when other islands are better options.
Planning your first trip can be difficult. That is why we have created a video with several videos of each island so that you can decide which island to visit on your first trip to Hawaii.
And don’t miss our copy. Easy to capture and print to help you know the information for each island.
Which Hawaii Island Should You Visit?
Log in and we’ll send you the proof so you can explore the islands from the back of your hand!
We’ll share 4 activities on each island, a map of the city’s attractions, and famous locals (and food)!
I am the founder of Hawaii Vacation Guide with my husband, Jordan. We live in Maui and Oahu and continue to travel, experience and learn about the Hawaiian Islands. We travel with our children, Henry and Edith, and sometimes our dog, Hattie. I am the organizer! I love planning trips from the mainland, island hopping adventures, sightseeing days and everything in between. I spend a lot of time in Hawaii suping and my favorite time of year in Hawaii is whale season!
Which Hawaii Island To Visit & To Avoid For First Timers?
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