Discover the Diversity of the Hawaiian Islands

Campbell Industrial Park in Oahu.

Campbell Industrial Park in Oahu. Photo © Floyd Manzano, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Escape the world you know in Hawaii. Wander beautiful stretches of white sand. Swim in warm, crystal-clear water. Explore colorful reefs teeming with marine life. Lose yourself under a canopy of tropical rainforest. Cool off in passing rain showers and enjoy the rainbows that follow them.

As the most isolated archipelago on the planet, Hawaii is a place of geologic and biological extremes and a living experiment in evolution. One source of Hawaii’s appeal is the diversity of the islands. As the most isolated archipelago on the planet, Hawaii is a place of geologic and biological extremes and a living experiment in evolution. Active volcanoes and erosion continually redefine a land populated by myriad endemic and native plant species found nowhere else on earth. The islands are also a true cultural melting pot. Their rich agricultural promise has attracted immigrants from all over the globe, contributing to Hawaii’s eclectic cultural heritage, cuisine, and lifestyle. At the heart of Hawaii’s ambiance is aloha, a gift of hospitality from native Hawaiian tradition that resonates among all who live and travel here. Aloha brings with it a deeply ingrained reverence for nature: a respect for the land, the ocean, family, and friends.

Though tied together by statehood, each island offers a world of its own. O‘ahu is the Gathering Place, where big-city pleasures overlap with tropical adventure. Maui is dominated by endless beaches. The Big Island of Hawai‘i is a primal wonderland, with barren lava fields alongside fertile forests and farmland. Kaua‘i is the Garden Isle, where verdant cliffsides plummet into the sea below. And secluded Moloka‘i and Lana‘i offer a journey back in time to Old Hawaii.

How can you choose just one? It’s possible to explore each of these worlds, with all of their diverse charms—especially if you’re the kind of traveler who can’t stay put for too long. Island-hopping is an art, not a science: an opportunity to make your own way based on what you want to see and do. A strategically planned two-week itinerary offers you the chance to visit all of the main islands. With one week, it’s possible to explore two islands at a slightly slower pace. Read on to discover the treasures of all of the islands for yourself.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Hawaiian Islands.

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