Hula Hop the Hawaiian Islands - Full-Time Travel

Hula Hop the Hawaiian Islands

Hula Hop the Hawaiian Islands

Sunshine, seashells, surfing, and a whole lot more

Picking Hawaii as your travel destination is the easy part, but deciding which islands and which towns to explore isn’t as simple. Lucky for you, we’ve curated a shortlist of spots you should add to your itinerary if basking in the Hawaiian sun is in your future. Our ideal trip to Hawaii is the perfect balance of off-the-beaten-path hideaways, quaint villages, sparkling beaches, and a few of those tourist-magnet spots, because Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park is even more breathtaking than it looks in photos. If you can hit every island for a few days, we definitely recommend that. Each has its own bit of magic to offer, but these are a few of our favorites. 

Oahu is home to the capital city, Honolulu, and the vibrant neighborhood of Waikiki, but it’s not all high-rises, popular beaches and outdoor shopping strips. Head to the North Shore for quaint surf villages and perfect waves or the east coast for lush green mountains. 

Maui is the island with a little bit of everything. A melting pot of highlights found on its neighbor islands. If you’re eager for an adventure, explore the Road to Hana or hike around Haleakala National Park at dawn to watch the sunrise from the summit of a volcano. Enjoy the laid-back nature of the charming town of Paia. From the fresh fish to the shirtless surfers perusing shops on their way home, you’ll certainly feel like you’re on island time. 

The Big Island’s varied terrain makes for plenty to do, see, and explore. Traverse Hawaii Volcanoes National park, swim with manta rays, wiggle your toes in the green sand at Papakolea, or swim under waterfalls in Hilo. 

All of the islands are special, but Kauai feels extra rare, and here’s why: only about 20% of the island is accessible by foot or car. It is much less developed than any of the other islands, so as you step into the unspoiled golden sand, you truly feel like you are the first human to do so. 

It would be hard to package up all of the islands into a few sentences, which is part of the reason why they are so breathtaking. You can’t quite put it all into words.

Keawaiki Bay, Maui

photo credit: @richexploration

Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, Kauai

photo credit: @jarvisphoto

North Shore, Oahu

photo credit: @waikatospear

Koko Crater Railway Trail, Honolulu

photo credit: @remiyuan

Pipiwai Trail, Hana, Maui

photo credit: @gen035

Akaka Falls, Big Island of Hawaii

photo credit: @neovision

Iao Valley State Park, Wailuku, Maui

photo credit: @richexploration