There are eight Hawaiian Islands, with six major islands welcoming visitors. You’ll find each island offers its own distinct environments, activities and attractions:
The oldest and northernmost island in the Island chain is graced with dramatic, natural beauty. Discover the epic Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon (the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”), and beautiful Hanalei Bay.
Home to Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, the North Shore, and the majority of Hawaii's population, Oahu is a vibrant fusion of the contemporary and the cultural, with countless “town and country” adventures to experience.
With almost half of its population being of Native Hawaiian ancestry, Molokai is an island that has preserved its connection to the past. This is the home of remote Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
Without a single traffic light, Lanai is a true island getaway for luxury, romance and privacy away from crowds. This is the home of pristine Hulopoe Bay and rustic Lanai City.
The second largest Hawaiian Island features Haleakala National Park, the road to Hana, and some of the world’s finest beaches. Maui is one of the best places in the world to whale watch every winter.
Hawaii, the Big Island
Hawaii Island is larger than all of the other islands combined. This is home to Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Niihau is a privately owned island. Access to the general public is highly limited.
Currently being restored, Kahoolawe was once used as a target by the U.S. Navy and Air Force. Permission is needed to go ashore.
Travel to Hawaii:
Most visitors arrive at Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu, Hawaii's major airport. All major domestic carriers and many international carriers serve Oahu, so you can get to Hawaii from just about anywhere. There are also direct flights from the U.S. mainland to Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii's Big Island.
Geography of Hawaii:
The Hawaiian Islands are one of the most isolated archipelagos in the world and the southernmost state (the 50th state) in the United States. It is generally drier on the leeward (western) sides of the islands, and wetter on the windward (eastern) sides. Hawaii’s wide range of elevations and microclimates allow you to experience a variety of environments including lush rainforests, volcanic deserts, and some of the world’s best beaches.
Due to shifting volcanic activity, the oldest Hawaiian island is Kauai to the northwest and the youngest is Hawaii’s Big Island to the southeast. You can see this difference by comparing the topography of these two islands: On Kauai you’ll find lush rainforests and sea cliffs worn by time along the Napali Coast. Hawaii’s Big Island features rugged lava landscapes as well as Kilauea Volcano, erupting to this day at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Weather in Hawaii:
Hawaii’s climate is consistently pleasant. Summer, between April and November, is warmer and drier (average temperature is 75˚-88˚ F) while winter, between December and March, is a bit cooler (68˚-80˚ F). Trade winds keep things comfortable year-round.