Here's what someone sent me. We picked Oahu because of the ease of transportation, it's a lot cheaper then Maui, and it had Pearl Harbor. We're going to honeymoon for 4 nights on the Big Island because we want to see the volcanoes.
Here's a look at the primary islands and their major attractions:
Hawaii Island is commonly known as the Big Island for good reason. It's larger than all the other islands combined. But aside from Hilo (the county seat), Kailua-Kona (a popular visitor destination) and the luxurious resorts along the Kohala coast, it retains a rural flavor.
Major Destinations on the Big Island: the Kona coast; Kailua-Kona; Hilo; Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, with two active volcanoes (Mauna Loa and Kilauea); Mauna Kea (the world's tallest mountain).
Big Island Attractions: If you're into the outdoors, this is the place for you. Attractions include sandy beaches in shades of green, red and black; beautiful coral reefs; snorkeling; deep-sea fishing; gorgeous flowers, including most of the orchids for lei made in the state; cattle and horse ranches; horseback riding; mesmerizing landscapes; cascading waterfalls; golf; watersports; and hiking. Nightlife and shopping are limited.
Kauai is the oldest and northernmost of the inhabited Hawaiian islands. Nature is its biggest draw.
Major Destinations on Kauai Island: Waimea Canyon, Kokee State Park, Poipu, Lihue, Napali Coast, Princeville, Hanalei.
Kauai Island Attractions: Mountains; valleys; waterfalls; spectacular beaches; hiking; fishing; golf; whale-watching; kayaking and sailing; bird-watching; ziplining; and snorkeling, surfing and other watersports. Shopping and nightlife are limited.
The smallest of the main islands is quiet and uncrowded. It is almost completely owned by Castle & Cooke, the parent company of Dole Pineapple. But commercial pineapple production has stopped, and tourism is now the mainstay of the economy.
Lanai Island Attractions: Sailing, fishing, golfing, ocean rafting, hunting and back-road exploring.
Maui is the second most-visited Hawaiian island, after Oahu. It is also the most expensive to visit. Lodging, meals, and activities seem to be more expensive on this island. But, to me, it is the most beautiful. However, you cannot avoid a car rental when visiting Maui as you can in Oahu.
Major Destinations on Maui Island: Haleakala National Park, Hana, Ka'anapali, Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina, Wailea, Wailuku, Kapalua.
Maui Island Attractions: Wonderful beaches; calm ocean bays; stunning mountain and volcano vistas; sugarcane fields; highland ranches; twisting mountain roads; whale-watching; golf; hiking; ziplining; sailing and other boat excursions; deep-sea fishing; and watersports such as snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, windsurfing and parasailing.
This rural island is best suited for travelers who want to see the old Hawaii and unwind quietly. You will find seclusion on this island.
Major Destinations on Molokai Island: Kaunakakai, Kalaupapa National Historical Park, Halawa Valley.
Molokai Island Attractions: Isolated beaches, mountains, waterfalls, deep-sea fishing, history, hiking and relaxing.
Oahu is the political, social, economic and population hub of Hawaii. It attracts the most visitors of all the Hawaiian islands. This island is much more commercialized than the other islands and has the largest airport. The transportation system in Oahu is such that you do not have to rent a car to get around.
Major Destinations on Oahu Island: Downtown Honolulu, Waikiki, Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, Hanauma Bay, the North Shore.
Oahu Island Attractions: City life, including theater, opera, museums, shopping, nightclubs and fine dining; lush greenery; beautiful beaches; great historic sites; sailing; surfing, windsurfing, kayaking and other watersports; golf; and hiking.
You certainly won't have trouble finding things to do in Hawaii; in fact, you may have trouble paring the list down to something manageable. There truly is something for everyone.
I recommend that you decide which island best suits your vision of the ideal Hawaiian vacation and concentrate on it for your first visit.
Most first time visitors who have limited time choose Oahu because of ease of transportation and it's not as expensive as Maui.