Hawaii is a unique vacation destination for visitors as there are eight different islands to choose from that all offer different things to do and see. From endless beaches to overgrown hiking trails, there is something for everyone to experience while visiting Hawaii. That’s why, in today’s blog, we will highlight the eight islands of Hawaii while discussing the island’s characteristics and history.

If you are ready to plan your Hawaiian getaway and are looking for the finest vacation villas available in Kapalua, contact our team of professionals at Aloha Vacation Villas. With a variety of Kapalua Bay villas to choose from, we offer luxury villa rentals for both families and individuals alike. To learn more about the eight islands of Hawaii, continue reading more below.


Niihau is one of the most unique islands in all of Hawaii. Also known as “The Forbidden Island,” Niihau is restricted to most individuals that visit Hawaii. In fact, Niihau is also restricted to residents of other Hawaiian islands. The history of Niihau dates back to the 1860s, when the island was purchased by the Sinclair’s. One of the stipulations that were put into place when the Sinclair family purchased Niihau was that only Niihauans could occupy the island. To this day, the rule still holds true where you can find as little as 30 people inhabiting the 70-square-mile island. While Niihau is technically off-limits to tourists and local Hawaiians, some individuals can take private tours of the island after paying the right price.


Nicknamed the “Garden Island,” Kauai is the oldest island in all of Hawaii. Kauai attracts the active tourist who is seeking adventure, as there is an endless amount of hiking, ziplining, and a variety of other outdoor activities worth considering. From overgrown cliffsides to breathtaking waterfalls, there is never a dull moment while exploring Kauai. Kauai is also home to some of the best Hawaii regional cuisine, a highly specialized style of cooking that utilizes the islands fruits, vegetables, fish, and cattle to create a delicious offering of appetizers, main dishes, and desserts.


Oahu is the third largest island in Hawaii, and is home to some of the most popular beaches. Tourists visiting Oahu can experience the vastness of the island by taking one of the many offered helicopter tours. If you feel more daring, however, you can experience the thrill of flight by going skydiving above the island. If you prefer a laid-back day of lounging by the ocean, you can visit Waikiki, one of the most famous beaches in all of Hawaii. Home to Honolulu, the state’s capital, you can be sure that you will never run out of fun activities to fill your day with while you enjoy your vacation.


The second biggest island in Hawaii, Maui is where Hawaii regional cuisine originated. Since then, the surrounding islands of Hawaii have been able to adopt the outstanding style of cooking that uses fresh ingredients local to Hawaii. Maui is also home to Kapalua Bay, and D.T. Fleming Beach, which we have covered extensively in our previous posts of things to do in Kapalua. With plenty of walking trails, beaches, and excellent restaurants, it’s no wonder that Maui is repeatedly voted as the best island in the United States. If you are looking for the perfect location to experience all that Hawaii has to offer, Maui is a clear frontrunner.


Molokai is the fifth biggest island in Hawaii and sports some of the tallest sea cliffs in the entire world! There are plenty of fun activities for visitors to experience like snorkeling, hiking, swimming, and more. Since Molokai offers moderate temperatures year round, there is never a bad time to visit the lush island. For tourists that love trekking deep into the wilderness, Molokai is home to Halawa Valley, a moderate hike that is home to gorgeous views and towering waterfalls. For this reason, Molokai is one of the best islands to visit if the seclusion that comes from nature is something that interests you.


One of the less trafficked islands in Hawaii, Lanai is ideal for visitors who are looking for solitude in a tropical paradise. While Lanai is home to luxury lodging, it is also known for its backroad adventures and offroading tours. Not only is Lanai known for its outdoor tours, it also features three of the highest rated golf courses in all of Hawaii. Manele Golf Course has been graced by some of golf’s greatest athletes as it’s challenging holes are accompanied by beautiful oceanside views. If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of some of the major Hawaiian islands, Lanai is the perfect choice for your needs.


What once was home to a bombing site for the United States military is now an uninhabitable island that is restricted to the public. Kahoolawe is the smallest of the Hawaiian islands, and can only be visited during volunteer opportunities to restore the island’s natural vegetation. Choosing to volunteer on the island of Kahoolawe is a brave task, as the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission has repeatedly stated that the island and its surrounding waters are home to unexploded ordnance from when it was a bombing range for the United States military. If you are seeking to restore Kahoolawe’s habitat, consider learning more about its available volunteer opportunities.

The Island of Hawaii

Rightfully nicknamed the “Big Island,” The Island of Hawaii is the largest of the eight islands. A unique experience when compared to Hawaii’s seven other islands, The Island of Hawaii lets visitors experience every type of climate as it is home to sunshine, snow, volcanoes, and tropical forests. One of the most intriguing points of interest, however, is The Island of Hawaii’s Punaluu Beach. Punaluu Beach is made up of completely black sand, making it one of the most interesting beaches in all of Hawaii. With a number of volcanoes and beaches to explore, the Big Island is one of the top places to see while visiting Hawaii.

As you can see, each of Hawaii’s eight islands offer unique characteristics that attract all walks of life. If you are considering visiting Maui and are looking for the most luxurious vacation villas available for rent, look no further than Aloha Vacation Villas. Our Kapalua Bay villas are loaded with amenities such as a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and many other perks not offered at Hawaiian resorts. To learn more about any of our available properties, or if you have any additional questions or concerns, contact our friendly staff today at Aloha Vacation Villas. We look forward to speaking with you!