The Best of Hawaii: Itinerary Ideas

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Want to do specific activities in Hawaii but have no idea which island has the best of the best? Use these lists to get ideas and helpful tips about the best surfing, scuba diving, exotic beaches, and much more!

This article is designed to help you choose which Hawaiian islands to visit if you have a particular activity in mind. Granted, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that all the 6 major islands of Hawaii have all of these activities in one shape or form. We have used a mixture of popular opinion and our own personal research and experiences for compiling these lists. An “(s)” indicates it may only be available during certain seasons. Remember to always check conditions & availability, especially for water activities.

Best Nightlife

1. Oahu – Waikiki

2. Maui – Lahaina

3. Big Island – Kailua Kona

Best Hiking

1. Kauai – Na Pali Coast (s)

2. Kauai – Waimea Canyon

3. Big Island – Mt. Kilauea

Best Surfing (Advanced)

1. Oahu – North Shore

2. Kauai – Hanalei Bay

3. Maui – Honolua Bay

Best Surfing (Beginners)

1. Oahu – Waikiki

2. Kauai – Kalapaki Beach

3. Maui – Launiupoko Park

Best Scuba Diving

1. Maui – Molokini

2. Maui or Lanai – Lanai Coast

3. Big Island – West Coast

Best Windsurfing / Kite Surfing

1. Maui – Hookipa Beach Park (advanced)

2. Maui – Kanaha Beach (beginner)

3. Oahu – Kailua Beach

Best Snorkeling

1. Oahu – Haunama Bay

2. Maui – Kaanapali (Black Rock)

3. Kauai – Lydgate Beach & Tunnels

Best Shopping

1. Oahu – Aloha Market & Waikiki

2. Maui – Lahaina

3. Big Island – Kailua Kona

Best Nude Sunbathing

1. Maui – Little Beach in Makena

2. Big Island – many locations

3. Kauai – Secret Beach in Kilauea

Best Exotic Beaches

1. Maui – Red Sand Beach (Hana)

2. Big Island – Punaluu Black Sand Beach

3. Big Island – Mahana Green Sand (s)

Best Nature Experiences

1. Kauai – Na Pali Coast

2. Big Island – Kilauea Volcano

3. Maui or Lanai – whale watching (s)

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