The best places to stay in Hawaii are some of the most scenic locations in the world. Hawaii is a beautiful and popular vacation destination known for its tropical climate, stunning beaches, and diverse natural landscapes. From the bustling city of Honolulu on Oahu to the rugged beauty of Kauai, each island in Hawaii has something unique to offer visitors.

Choosing where to stay in Hawaii can be overwhelming, as many options exist. This blog post recommends the best areas in Hawaii based on the specific island.

To make the most of your trip, its essential to consider factors such as proximity to attractions, amenities, and the overall atmosphere of the area. Whether youre looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventure-filled trip, this guide will help you find the best areas to stay in Hawaii.

 

1. Oahu

Oahu is the most populous and developed of the Hawaiian islands and is home to the state capital of Honolulu. This famous island is known for its iconic Waikiki Beach, a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Other attractions on the island include the Diamond Head crater, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.

Best Areas to Stay in Oahu

Several areas on Oahu are popular with tourists and offer a range of accommodation options. Here are a few options to consider:

hawaii island with outdoor swimming pool

  • Waikiki: This is the most well-known and touristy area of Oahu and is located on the islands south shore. Its home to a wide variety of hotels, restaurants, and shopping, and it is an excellent choice for those who want to be in the heart of the action.
  • The North Shore: This area is on the islands north shore and is known for its laid-back surfer vibe and beautiful beaches. Its a good choice for those who want a more relaxed atmosphere and are interested in activities such as surfing and hiking.
  • Ko Olina: This newer resort area is located on the islands western side and is known for its upscale hotels and golf courses. Its a good choice for those who want a more luxurious vacation and are willing to be farther from the main attractions on the island.

Attractions and Things to Do in Oahu

Oahu is home to some of Hawaiis most popular attractions, including Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and Pearl Harbor. These attractions are all located within a short distance of each other, making it easy to visit multiple sites in a single day.

famous waikiki beach

  • Visit Waikiki Beach: This iconic beach is located in the heart of Honolulu and is known for its white sandy shores and clear waters. Its an excellent spot for swimming, surfing, and other water sports.
  • Hike to the top of Diamond Head: This iconic mountain is located on the islands east side and offers a challenging but rewarding hike to the top, with stunning views of the surrounding area.
  • Explore the North Shore: This area is located on the islands north shore and is known for its laid-back surfer vibe and beautiful beaches. Its a great place to relax, surf, or go on a scenic drive.
  • Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center: This cultural attraction is located on the islands north shore and offers the chance to learn about the history and culture of the Polynesian islands through interactive exhibits and demonstrations.
  • Take a tour of the island: Oahu has a number of tour companies that offer guided tours of the island, including sightseeing tours, hiking tours, and adventure tours.

Visitors can easily access these popular attractions by staying on Oahu and making the most of their time on the island.

Other Activities on Oahu

Oahu truly has something for everyone, with various activities and experiences to choose from. Here are a few examples of the types of activities and experiences that visitors to Oahu can enjoy:

hilton hawaiian village with sea turtles

  • Water sports: Oahu is home to a number of beaches that are great for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, and other water sports. Waikiki Beach is a trendy spot for these activities.
  • Outdoor adventures: Oahu offers a number of opportunities for outdoor adventures, such as hiking and biking trails, as well as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. The North Shore is a perfect area for these types of activities.
  • Cultural attractions: Oahu is home to a number of cultural attractions that allow visitors to learn about the history and traditions of the island. The Polynesian Cultural Center is a popular destination that offers demonstrations of traditional Hawaiian crafts and activities. Pearl Harbor is also a significant historical site that offers insight into the events of World War II.
  • Shopping: Oahu is home to a number of shopping areas, including the open-air market at the International Market Place in Waikiki and the boutiques and art galleries in the historic neighborhood of Chinatown.

 

2. Maui

The famous island of Maui has a wide range of accommodation options, including luxury resorts, hotels, and vacation rentals. This makes it easy to find a place to stay that fits your needs and budget. Maui is home to some of Hawaiis most beautiful beaches, including Kaanapali Beach, Wailea Beach, and Makena Beach. These beaches offer crystal-clear waters and pristine sands and are great for swimming, surfing, and other water sports.

Best Areas to Stay in Maui

  • Kaanapali: This resort area is located on the islands western side and is known for its beautiful beaches, luxury hotels, and golf courses. Its a great choice for those who want to be close to amenities and activities.
  • Wailea: This upscale resort area is located on the islands southern end and is known for its beautiful beaches, luxury hotels, and golf courses. Its a good choice for those who want a more relaxed and upscale atmosphere.
  • Makena: This secluded area is located on the islands southern end and is known for its beautiful beaches and luxury vacation rentals. Its a good choice for those who want a more private and peaceful vacation.

Popular Hotels and Resorts in Maui

  • The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea: This luxurious resort is located on the southern end of the island and offers stunning ocean views, a private beach, and a range of amenities, such as multiple swimming pools, a spa, and several dining options.
  • The Grand Wailea: This luxury resort is also located in Wailea and features a private beach, multiple swimming pools, a spa, and several dining options. It is known for its impressive art collection and beautiful gardens.
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua: This luxury resort is located in the Kapalua resort area on the western side of the island. It offers stunning ocean views, a private beach, a golf course, a spa, and several dining options.

Attractions and Things to Do in Maui

Maui is known for its beautiful beaches, luxury resorts, and outdoor activities. Here are some of the main attractions and things to do on the island:

tourist destination on hawaii's largest island

  1. Visit the historic town of Lahaina: This charming town is located on the islands western side and is known for its historic buildings, art galleries, and restaurants. Its a great place to explore and experience the local culture.
  2. Explore Haleakala National Park: This stunning park is located in the central part of the island and is home to the highest peak on Maui. It offers a number of scenic hikes, as well as the chance to see the sunrise or sunset from the summit.
  3. Take a drive along the Road to Hana: This winding road takes visitors through lush rainforests and past waterfalls, beaches, and scenic lookout points. Its a beautiful drive that offers a chance to experience the islands natural beauty.
  4. Go snorkeling or diving: Maui has a number of clear and calm bays that are great for snorkeling and diving, with an abundance of colorful marine life to observe.
  5. Visit a beach: Maui is home to a number of beautiful beaches, including Kaanapali Beach, Wailea Beach, and Makena Beach. These beaches are great for swimming, surfing, and other water sports.

 

3. Kauai

Kauai is one of the best places to stay in Hawaii as it offers a combination of natural beauty, luxury accommodations, and small-town charm. This scenic island is home to some of the states most beautiful beaches, including Poipu Beach and Hanalei Bay. These beaches offer crystal-clear waters and pristine sands and are great for swimming, surfing, and other water sports.

Best Areas to Stay in Kauai

There are several popular areas to stay in Kauai, each with its own unique charm and amenities. Here are five options to consider:

just a tourist destination

  • Poipu: This resort area is located on the islands south shore and is known for its beautiful beaches, luxury resorts, and golf courses. Its an excellent choice for those who want to be close to amenities and activities.
  • Hanalei: This charming town is located on the islands north shore and is known for its laid-back surfer vibe and beautiful beaches. Its a good choice for those who want a more relaxed atmosphere and are interested in activities such as surfing and hiking.
  • Kapaa: This town is located on the islands east side and is known for its small-town charm and variety of dining and shopping options. Its a good choice for those who want to be close to amenities but want a more local experience.
  • Princeville: This upscale resort area is located on the islands north shore and is known for its beautiful beaches and luxury accommodations. Its a good choice for those who want a more luxurious vacation and are willing to be farther from the main attractions on the island.
  • Waimea: This town is located on the islands west side and is known for its charming downtown area and proximity to the Waimea Canyon. Its a good choice for those who want to be close to natural attractions and want a more local experience.

 

Popular Hotels and Resorts in

There are many famous hotels and resorts in Kauai to choose from, but here are a few recommendations:

world famous waikiki beach

  • The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa: This luxurious resort is located in Poipu and offers a range of amenities, including multiple swimming pools, a spa, and several dining options.
  • The St. Regis Princeville Resort: This upscale resort is located in Princeville and offers stunning ocean views, a private beach, a golf course, and a spa, as well as several dining options.
  • The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas: This luxury resort is also located in Princeville and offers a range of amenities, including multiple swimming pools, a spa, and several dining options.
  • The Sheraton Kauai Resort: This popular resort is located in Poipu and offers a range of amenities, including a private beach, multiple swimming pools, and a spa, as well as several dining options.

 

Attractions and Things to Do in

Kauai is known for its beautiful beaches, natural attractions, and small-town charm. Here are some of the main attractions and things to do on the island:

popular tourist destinations

  • Visit Waimea Canyon: This stunning canyon is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and offers breathtaking views and a number of scenic hiking trails.
  • Explore the Napali Coast: This rugged coastline on the islands northwest side is only accessible by boat or on foot and offers beautiful views and opportunities for hiking and sightseeing.
  • Go snorkeling or diving: Kauai has a number of clear and calm bays that are great for snorkeling and diving, with an abundance of colorful marine life to observe.
  • Visit a beach: Kauai is home to a number of beautiful beaches, including Poipu Beach and Hanalei Bay. These beaches are great for swimming, surfing, and other water sports.
  • Explore the small towns and villages: Kauai has a number of small towns and villages, such as Hanalei and Kapaa, that offer a variety of dining and shopping options, as well as opportunities to experience the local culture.

Overall, Kauai offers a wide range of attractions and activities to choose from, making it an excellent destination for visitors of all types.

 

4. Big Island

The Big Island is home to many accommodation options, including luxury resorts, hotels, and vacation rentals. This makes it easy to find a place to stay that fits your needs and budget. There are plenty of beautiful beaches, including Hapuna Beach and Kua Bay. These beaches offer crystal-clear waters and pristine sands and are great for swimming, surfing, and other water sports.

This beautiful island is one of the best places to stay in Hawaii, as it is home to a number of natural attractions. One of the points of interest includes the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which offers the chance to see active volcanoes and experience the islands unique landscape. The island is also home to a number of scenic drives and hiking trails.

Best Areas to Stay in

There are several popular areas to stay on the Big Island, each with its own unique charm and amenities. Here are a few options to consider:

kauai island

  • Kailua-Kona: This town is located on the islands west side and is known for its beautiful beaches, shopping, and dining options. Its an excellent choice for those who want to be close to amenities and activities.
  • Waikoloa: This resort area is located on the islands northwest side and is known for its luxury resorts, golf courses, and beautiful beaches. Its a good choice for those who want a more upscale and relaxed atmosphere.
  • Hilo: This town is located on the islands east side and is known for its small-town charm and proximity to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Its a good choice for those who want to be close to natural attractions and want a more local experience.
  • Mauna Lani: This upscale resort area is located on the islands northwest side and is known for its beautiful beaches and luxury accommodations. Its a good choice for those who want a more luxurious vacation and are willing to be farther from the main attractions on the island.

Overall, the best area to stay on the Big Island will depend on your personal preferences and the type of vacation youre looking for. Kailua-Kona may be the best choice if youre interested in a bustling and central location. If youre looking for a more upscale and relaxed atmosphere, Waikoloa or Mauna Lani may be a good option. If youre interested in natural attractions and a more local experience, Hilo may be the best option.

Popular Hotels and Resorts on the Big Island

walking distance for natur lovers

  • The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai: This luxurious resort is located on the west side of the island and offers a range of amenities, including a private beach, multiple swimming pools, and a spa, as well as several dining options.
  • The Fairmont Orchid: This upscale resort is also located on the west side of the island and offers a private beach, multiple swimming pools, a spa, and several dining options.
  • The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel: This luxury resort is located on the west side of the island and offers a private beach, a golf course, and a spa, as well as several dining options.

Attractions and Things to Do on the Big Island

The Big Island offers a wide range of attractions and activities to choose from. Here are some of the main things to do on the island:

best island on oahu's north shore

  • Visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: This stunning park is home to active volcanoes and offers a number of scenic hikes, as well as the chance to see the glow of the lava at night.
  • Explore the islands beautiful beaches: The Big Island is home to a number of beautiful beaches, including Hapuna Beach and Kua Bay. These beaches are great for swimming, surfing, and other water sports.
  • Go snorkeling or diving: The Big Island has a number of clear and calm bays that are great for snorkeling and diving, with an abundance of colorful marine life to observe.
  • Visit a coffee plantation: The Big Island is home to a number of coffee plantations, where you can learn about the process of growing and harvesting coffee and sample a variety of different blends.
  • Explore the islands small towns and villages: The Big Island has a number of small towns and villages, such as Kailua-Kona and Hilo, that offer a variety of dining and shopping options, as well as opportunities to experience the local culture.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, each of the main Hawaiian islands has a variety of areas that are popular with tourists and offer a range of accommodation options. Heres a recap:

  • Oahu is known for its diverse range of activities and experiences, from water sports and outdoor adventures to cultural attractions and shopping.
  • Maui is known for its beautiful beaches and luxury resorts and is an excellent choice for a relaxing and pampered vacation.
  • Kauai is known for its beautiful beaches, natural attractions, and small-town charm, and is an excellent choice for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
  • The Big Island offers a wide range of accommodation options and is home to a number of natural attractions and beautiful beaches.

Ultimately, the best area to stay in Hawaii will depend on your personal preferences and the type of vacation youre looking for.