Favorite Hawaiian Island?

It’s a hard call but somebody has to make it. I’m willing to give it a try.  First, some background. It wasn’t that long ago that Hawaii was just a dream to me, a place for only the lucky or the rich. But ten years ago we decided to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary with a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii and Oahu. Wow and wow!  I was immediately and forever smitten. After that trip I was determined to see all of those beautiful islands at least once, if only so I could pick my favorite.  Thus I found myself coming up with more reasons to go.

‘Why don’t we go to Hawaii to celebrate my birthday?’ or  ‘let’s go to Maui for my retirement present!’  Both worked.  Last time it was, ‘we’ve got to see Kauai; how else will we know which island is the best?’  And so we finally completed our mission (okay, mainly my mission) to visit the four major Hawaiian islands:  Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. I loved everyone one of them but which is my favorite? They all have so much to offer.

There’s Oahu where we stayed at Waikiki, climbed to the top of iconic Diamond Head and looked down upon Honolulu.


We paid our respects at Pearl Harbor, drove to the North Shore, and went to the Dole Pineapple Plantation.

On the Big Island (so called as the other three islands would fit into its massive size with room to spare), we hiked through lava tubes and watched a glowing volcanic vent at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We enjoyed the turtles at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach (perhaps my favorite beach in all of Hawaii) and stopped by the Waipio Valley Overlook.



We loved Waimea Canyon and the rugged Napali Cliffs on the island of Kauai, the oldest and smallest of the islands.  It was there we woke up one day to an amazing sunrise when a hurricane was expected to arrive (but thankfully didn’t.)  What’s not to like?


On Maui, the second largest island, we went to the top of Haleakala, drove the winding road to Hana (one of America’s most scenic drives), and visited many gorgeous beaches, including our favorite snorkeling beach, Maluaka. 122



468598_10150658595327335_342349669_oAnd every night whenever we could we watched a beautiful Hawaiian sunset.024How on earth do you choose between these beauties?  Of course you really don’t have to but isn’t it fun to try?  So if I am pressed, I would say that the Big Island is currently my favorite, with Maui running a close second. But we’ve been to the Big Island multiple times and to Maui only once.  To be fair, it seems another trip to Maui is in order. And so we will escape the winter rain and snow of the Pacific Northwest and make our second trip to Maui to settle the matter once and for all.

‘Love is lovelier the second time around,’ goes the old song.  Will the same be true of Maui?  Will it take the top spot from the Big Island?  It’s going to be tough but I’ll let you know the verdict when we return.  Either way, we are the real winners.


Aloha!   Susanne

14 Comments on “Favorite Hawaiian Island?

  1. I have to confess to simple envy here, Susanne. From the UK, Hawaii is still a destination for the rich, and something of a dream for most of us. Perhaps if I ever win the Lottery, I will be able to tell you which island I like best. Until then, I will happily make do with your lovely photos.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Honestly I do feel very lucky. For years we were pretty frugal in our travels, mainly enjoying camping and road trips. We are not rich; maybe we just saved the best for last! Fortunately we in the Pacific NW are about as close to Hawaii as you can get so it’s a pretty common trip from here. Please do continue to enjoy the photos. Thanks as always for your comment. 🙂 Susanne

      • It is your location that helps with those trips, Susanne. I wasn’t suggesting that you are rich, just lucky! I do know a few English people who have visited Hawaii, but it is still quite unusual here.
        Best wishes as always, Pete.

  2. Pam (the Mom of Hemingway and Steinbeck) here: I’ve been to Hawaii several times. I think my favorite trip was to Kauai many years ago with my mom. At the time it was very rustic and the people were so nice. It was incredibly beautiful and I loved every moment. We even got to change planes on Molokai so at least I can say I was in the airport there. 🙂

    • Hi Pam! Thanks for your comment. 🙂 I know a lot of people who really love Kauai because it’s smaller, quieter and quaint. I really liked it too especially Waimea Canyon. But I’m still partial to the Big Island maybe because of the size and variety of things to do there. But honestly I would be happy to go back to any one of them! They each have their special qualities. Such a paradise!

  3. I visited Oahu with my Mom when I was 11 and loved it–except for the sunburn! Vic and I went to Big Island to visit a friend who moved to Hilo and it was ok, with some lovely accents, like Captain Cook. But I just can’t handle the “island time” thing. I like punctual people.

    • I always lather up .. being fair skinned I will always burn… And I love that Hawaii is so relaxing ..island time is perfect when you’re on vacation.. but viva la difference! there’s something for everybody somewhere! 🙂

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