The Best Hawaiian Island To Honeymoon | Maui Ocean Center

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A Couple’s Guide to Choosing the Best Hawaiian Island to Honeymoon

November 30, 2023

The first step in deciding which island is right for you is asking yourself what type of traveler you are? Are you the adventurous type? The luxury honeymooners or maybe a combination of a few. Let’s narrow it down!

The Adventure Seekers:

The Romantic Escapists:

cultural connoisseurs:

Relaxation enthusiasts:

Urban Explorers:

Nature Lovers:

Luxury Aficionados:

The Spiritual Wanderers:

Brief Overview of the Main Hawaiian Islands

Hawaiʻi, a tropical paradise in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, is a diverse archipelago

of islands, each with its own character and charm. Hawaiʻi is celebrated for its unique blend of indigenous Hawaiian culture, Asian influences, geological processes, and historical events that have shaped each island.


To understand which island is right for you, you must understand the cultural influences and unique blend of heritage that each encompasses. Let’s get into it!

Oahu: The Gathering Place

Perfect for the: Cultural Connoisseurs & The Urban Explorers


Oahu is referred to as “The Gathering Place,” and stands as the vibrant heart of the Hawaiian Islands. Characterized by diverse geography, it hosts iconic landmarks such as Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor. The island’s cultural significance is deeply rooted in Hawaiian history, serving as the historical seat of power for Hawaiian royalty. Throughout the pre-unification period, Oahu played a pivotal role in the island chain’s governance, hosting important chiefdoms and becoming a hub for political and social activities.


The district of Waikīkī on Oahu, in particular, held great importance as the residence of Oahu’s high chiefs and ruling monarchs. The ancient heiau (temples) that once graced the landscape, such as Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau, stand as enduring testaments to Oahu’s historical and spiritual significance. The island was a key player in the events that led to the unification of the Hawaiian Islands under King Kamehameha I in the late 18th century, solidifying Oahu’s place in Hawaiian history as the nexus of political authority and cultural heritage.


Oahu has a well-developed transportation system, including buses and highways, making it easy for visitors to explore the island. Our urban explorer honeymooners will love Honolulu and its unique blend of urban sophistication. 


And for those beach vibes that you came to Hawaiʻi for, Waikīkī Beach stands as an iconic and world-renowned stretch of shoreline nestled in the heart of Honolulu. In addition to it’s white sand, Waikiki Beach provides an array of water activities, including paddleboarding, snorkeling, and catamaran cruises. The beachfront is alive with entertainment, from traditional hula performances to live music events, but also caters to families, with sections of the beach providing calm waters suitable for children. 

Maui: The Valley Isle

Perfect for the: The Romantic Escapists & Nature Lovers


Often hailed as the best Hawaiian island to visit, Maui stands out for its rich Hawaiian culture and unique biology and microclimates. 


Maui is often referred to as “The Valley Isle” due to the presence of numerous large valleys carved into its volcanic landscape. The island’s topography is shaped by the West Maui Mountains and the massive shield volcano, Haleakalā, which together create deep, lush valleys. The island’s diverse ecosystems, including rainforests, coral reefs, and wetlands, support native plants and endangered species like the Maui parrotbill and Hawaiian hoary bat. Conservation initiatives focus on protected areas, coral reef preservation, watershed protection, and educating residents and visitors about sustainability.


Maui offers the perfect outdoor escape for those couples that enjoy connecting through nature with stunning hikes. Among those is the popular Haleakalā Crater hike, which unveils volcanic landscapes and unique flora. The Pipiwai Trail near Hāna leads through bamboo forests to cascading waterfalls like Waimoku Falls. For panoramic views, the Waihe’e Ridge Trail near Wailuku traverses lush rainforest and offers glimpses of waterfalls and stunning vistas.


Maui also offers some of the best beaches you can find. Kāʻanapali Beach gives you crystal-clear waters, soft white sand, and fantastic snorkeling opportunities. While Honolua Bay is a snorkeling and diving haven known for its picturesque beauty, clear waters, and vibrant marine life. For a quieter beach experience, Baldwin Beach Park on Maui’s north shore provides a beautiful expanse of sandy shoreline, ocean views for that perfect romantic and sunset.


Beyond its beaches, Maui takes pride in its heritage and you can find cultural festivals and events throughout the year that showcase Hawaiian arts, crafts, music, and dance. Make sure you look at what events are happening before you go! This could affect rates and accommodations. 


Lastly, It wouldn’t be a trip to Maui without visiting one of the top 10 best aquariums in the world, Maui Ocean Center. At the aquarium you won’t just be able to get up close and personal with local marine life, but you’ll get the chance to learn about their conservation and coral restoration efforts in a larger conversation about preserving Maui’s ecosystem. Maui Ocean Center has also started to roll out adults only themed nights at the aquarium so make sure to check their event calendar so you don’t miss one while you’re there.

Maui offers a perfect blend of romantic ambiance and diverse landscapes, making it an ideal destination for couples seeking a romantic yet unforgettable getaway. For a comprehensive list of things to do in Maui make sure to read this blog: Things To Do In Maui For Couples.

Kauaʻi: The Garden Isle

Perfect for the: Spiritual Wanderers & Nature Lovers


Kauaʻi, often referred to as “The Garden Isle,” is the oldest and fourth-largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It’s known for not only its natural beauty but also a haven for wellness and rejuvenation. Kauaʻi’s tranquil and less-crowded atmosphere offers couples a sense of privacy and seclusion. There are secluded beaches, hidden coves, and intimate accommodations that makes it a paradise for our nature lovers and spiritual wanderers alike.


Explore the diverse beaches of Kauaʻi, each with its unique charm. Start on the north shore of Kauaʻi, where Hanalei Bay is one of the largest and most picturesque bays in Hawaiʻi. Couples can take a leisurely stroll along the crescent-shaped beach, relax on the soft sand, or even try paddleboarding or kayaking in the calm waters. Also situated on Kauaʻi’s north shore, Tunnels Beach is known for its unique underwater tunnels formed by lava tubes. The beach is framed by the dramatic peaks of the Nāpali Coast, providing a breathtaking setting for romantic moments. Tunnels Beach is a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving due to its vibrant coral reefs. 


Located on the western side of Kauaʻi, Polihale State Park boasts a long and remote beach. The beach offers panoramic views of the Napali Coast and the island of Ni’ihau. If you’re up for a little more adventure opt for a helicopter tour offering unrivaled views of inaccessible areas, majestic waterfalls, and the diverse terrain that defines the island.


Dive into Kauaʻi’s heritage with a tour of the Kauai Coffee Company estate to learn about the art of coffee cultivation and indulge in tastings of locally grown coffee. Make sure to also visit the Kauaʻi Museum in Lihue to peek into the lives of the island’s early inhabitants. The museum offers insights into the customs, rituals, and daily practices of the ancient Hawaiians. From the ingenious agricultural techniques that sustained communities to the spiritual beliefs embedded in their daily lives, the exhibits paint a vivid picture of Kauaʻi’s pre-contact era.

Whether couples are seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Kauai offers a diverse range of experiences that make it an attractive destination for honeymooners.

Big Island (Hawaiʻi): The Orchid Isle

Perfect for the: Adventure Seekers


The Big Island of Hawaiʻi, often referred to as “The Orchid Isle,” is the largest and youngest of the Hawaiian Islands. The nickname “The Orchid Isle” is inspired by the abundance of orchids that flourish in the island’s tropical climate. Orchids are known for their exquisite and diverse blooms, adding vibrant splashes of color to the island’s natural tapestry. 


Beyond orchids, the Big Island boasts a remarkable biodiversity, thanks to its varied climate zones. The island features everything from lush rainforests and botanical gardens to arid deserts and snow-capped peaks which makes it perfect for our honeymooners that want to experience adventure, romance, and cultural exploration. 


The island’s vast expanse of over 4,028 square miles offers a playground for activities such as biking, horseback riding, and scenic drives, allowing couples to explore microclimates and lush tropical gardens in the Hāmākua Heritage Corridor. 


For those seeking an adrenaline rush, ziplining adventures over waterfalls and dense forest canopies provide an exhilarating way to witness the island’s majestic landscapes. Golf enthusiasts can tee off at world-class courses on the Kohala Coast, offering not only challenging play but also unforgettable scenic backdrops. For hiking enthusiasts the island boasts over 150 miles of trails, including iconic routes like the Nāhuku (Thurston Lava Tube) and the challenging Crater Rim trail in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Each activity, from exploring historic sites to traversing volcanic landscapes, contributes to a memorable and enchanting honeymoon on the Big Island.


The Big Island is home to some of the world’s most active and impressive volcanoes, including Kīlauea and Mauna Loa are found on the Big Island. 


Kīlauea has been continuously erupting since 1983, while Mauna Loa is the largest shield volcano on Earth. The volcanic activity has shaped the island’s topography, creating dramatic landscapes and fertile soils ideal for plant life. Visitors can explore volcanic craters, lava fields, and witness the raw power of nature in action. For more information on how to visit these volcano’s click here.


Remember to tailor your activities to your interests as a couple, and take advantage of the unique opportunities the Big Island has to offer for a truly unforgettable honeymoon experience.

Molokai: The Friendly Isle

Perfect for the: Cultural Connoisseurs & Relaxation Enthusiasts

Molokai’s renowned for its unspoiled beauty and preservation of traditional Hawaiian culture, providing visitors with a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience. The island is characterized by its remote beaches, historic sites, and a leisurely pace of life, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an intimate and tranquil escape.

One of Molokai’s distinct features is its slower pace of life, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a more relaxed and unhurried atmosphere. This leisurely pace aligns with the island’s commitment to maintaining its rural and traditional character. Part of what makes Molokai special is the warmth of its local community. The residents embody the spirit of aloha, a concept that goes beyond just a greeting—it’s a way of life rooted in kindness, compassion, and respect. Travelers have the opportunity to engage with the community, learning about the island’s traditions, stories, and the deep connection residents have with their land and heritage.

The aloha spirit is palpable in everyday interactions, from encounters with local artisans and farmers to conversations with community members. Visitors often find themselves welcomed with open arms, creating a sense of belonging and leaving them with lasting memories of the genuine hospitality that characterizes Molokai.

The unspoiled landscapes of Molokai showcase pristine beaches, many of which are secluded and offer a sense of exclusivity. Visitors can explore these remote shores, bask in the natural beauty, and enjoy moments of solitude away from the crowds often found in more touristy locations. The island’s commitment to preserving its environment contributes to the authenticity of its natural attractions.

In addition to its natural wonders, Molokai is rich in history and culture. The island is home to historic sites that reflect its significance in Hawaiian history, including the Kalaupapa National Historical Park. This park holds the remnants of a former leprosy settlement and provides a poignant glimpse into a challenging chapter of Hawaiʻi’s past.

Overall, Molokai stands as a haven for those who appreciate unspoiled landscapes, a rich cultural tapestry, and an escape from the hustle and bustle. Its commitment to preserving tradition and providing a serene environment makes it an ideal destination for intimate moments and a truly authentic Hawaiian experience.

Lānaʻi: The Pineapple Isle

Perfect for the: Luxury Aficionados & The Romantic Escapists


Lānaʻi is a unique blend of luxury, seclusion, and natural beauty. Formerly a pineapple plantation, the island has undergone a transformation and now stands as an exclusive retreat, particularly appealing to couples seeking a tranquil and intimate escape. 


To get to Lānaʻi, there are no direct flights from the continental United States. Instead, visitors typically fly to Honolulu International Airport (HNL) or Kahului Airport (OGG) in Maui and then connect to local airlines with service to Lānaʻi Airport (LNY). Alternatively, travelers from Maui can take the Expeditions Ferry from Lāhainā Harbor to Lānaʻi’s Mānele Harbor.


One of the key features of Lanai is its focus on providing a luxurious experience for visitors. The island boasts exclusive resorts that are designed to offer both comfort and seclusion. Visitors can indulge in the island’s two world-class resorts: the Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi and the Four Seasons Resort Lānaʻi, Sensei Lanai. The historic Hotel Lānaʻi, located in Lānaʻi City, provides another charming accommodation option. These resorts are strategically situated amidst Lanai’s stunning landscapes, providing guests with breathtaking views and a sense of serenity. The emphasis on luxury accommodations contributes to the overall atmosphere of indulgence that defines Lanai as a premier destination for couples.


Popular activities on Lānaʻi include hiking, with trails such as Munro Trail, Koloiki Ridge Trail, and Fisherman’s Trail offering unique perspectives of the island. Beachgoers can enjoy Hulopoe Beach Park and other secluded spots like Shipwreck Beach and Polihua Beach.


For transportation on the island, taxis, shuttles, and rental cars are available, and reservations are recommended due to limited supply. The unique driving experience on Lānaʻi includes rugged roads and landscapes, with only 30 out of the island’s 400 miles of roads being paved. Travelers can also explore off-road adventures with four-wheel drive vehicles or book tours with local operators.


While on Lānaʻi, visitors can enjoy various attractions, including Dole Park, Lanai Community Pool, Mike Carroll Gallery, Lanai Cat Sanctuary, and more. The Lanai Culture & Heritage Center provides insights into the island’s history and culture. It’s important to note that Lānaʻi doesn’t have lifeguards on its beaches, so visitors should exercise caution and adhere to safety guidelines. 


The island’s transformation from a pineapple plantation to an exclusive retreat has created an atmosphere of serene intimacy. Visitors can explore the remnants of the island’s agricultural past, gaining a deeper understanding of Lānaʻi’s history and evolution. The blend of luxury amenities, rugged landscapes, and historical significance makes Lānaʻi an ideal destination for couples.

The Perfect Hawaiian Island for Your Honeymoon

Whether it’s the timeless allure of Maui, the cultural richness of Oahu, or the adventurous spirit of the Big Island, your perfect Hawaiian island awaits. As you embark on this once-in-a-lifetime journey, may your chosen island become the backdrop for a love story that unfolds with each sunset and whispers. Aloha and happy honeymooning!


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