The Major Hawaiian Islands
Oahu is the most heavily populated Hawaiian Island and also the most frequently visited. Over a million people live here and over 4 million visit every year. Most people end up in Waikiki, but Oahu also has a few other famous spots like Pearl Harbor and the North Shore (huge waves and major surfing in the winter).
100 Hotels on Oahu, ranked by popularity at Tripadvisor
Waikiki Vacation Packages
Honolulu Vacation Packages
Oahu North Shore Vacation Packages
Maui is the second-most-visited Hawaiian Island. Maui has been voted the best Island in the World a dozen times. The East side of Maui consists of Hana, one of the most remote and unspoiled places in all the islands while the West Side is covered with beaches and resorts and people.
Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, generally staying small-town and laid back. Kauai has miles and miles of sandy shoreline with incredibly sculpted mountains in the center.
The Big Island is the island actually called Hawaii, but most refer to it as the Big Island. It is the newest Hawaiian island, covered with fields of old, black lava everywhere, and really big. Unlike the other islands you can't get to anywhere in less than an hour. It's the most unique island but not always what visitors think of when they think of Hawaii.
Molokai is a small island with a low population and visitor count. It's very old-Hawaii and can provide incredible relaxation opportunities but without a lot of activity opportunities. Sure there are beaches galore and miles of open countryside, but not a lot of companies offereing things like surf lessons and boat charters.
Lanai is another small island with a low population and visitor numbers, but it's quite a bit different than Molokai. There are only two major hotels on Lanai, one on the ocean and another in the mountains and both tend toward the luxury end. It's close enough to Maui that there are a lot of ferries that will take you between the two islands.