Which is the Best Hawaiian Island for Kids?

January 14, 2022

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii with your family, you probably have one big question: Which is the best Hawaiian island for kids?

Obviously, there’s no wrong choice. However, each island does have its own unique appeal. As a result, the answer really depends on the type of vacation you want to experience.

Are you searching for a relaxing trip with lots of amenities? Or, are you looking for a vacation that adds a bit of adventure to your life?

The best Hawaiian island for kids also depends on the ages and interests of your children. No matter what those may be, though, we’ll help you through the process of deciding which island is right for you.



Why is Oahu the best Hawaiian Island for Kids?

Oahu is ideal for families seeking sun and fun on the beach as well as modern city-style amenities. In addition, this island boasts the highest number of attractions and is the easiest to navigate.
Pros of Visiting with Kids: 

  • The sheer number of things to do on Oahu makes it an easy choice for visiting families.
  • Plenty of food options, including choices familiar to kids (think chain restaurants).
  • Easy access to world-class beaches.
  • The only international airport of all the islands, making travel easier with kids.
  • The largest number of hotels, making it the cheapest Hawaiian island to visit.

Cons of Visiting with Kids:

  • Oahu is heavily visited and densely populated. As a result, there are a lot of people and a lot of traffic.
  • When you stay in Waikiki or Honolulu, you have to deal with crowds and busy beaches.

Oahu is considered the best Hawaiian Island for kids due to its affordability (in contrast to the other islands) as well as the sheer number of things to do and amenities it offers.

It’s also a good choice for families seeking the classic Hawaiian Island vacation. During a week on Oahu, you can experience the famous beaches of Waikiki, hike Diamond Head, tour Oahu’s North Shore, visit Pearl Harbor, attend a luau, and so much more.

Related Post: The Ultimate Hawaii Packing List: What to Bring and What to Skip



Why is Maui the Best Hawaiian Island for Kids?

Maui is the perfect choice for families seeking a bit of touristy fun but also wanting more remote adventures. This Hawaiian Island combines beaches, snorkeling excursions, scenic drives, and cultural activities to create the perfect family vacation.

Pros of Visiting with Kids:

  • Beautiful, award-winning beaches that are less crowded.
  • Features a mix of city attractions as well as more rural activities for a slower-paced vacation.
  • Ideal island to visit for snorkeling.

Cons to Visiting with Kids:

  • To travel around Maui, you will need a rental car and may need to rent car seats depending on the age of your children.
  • There are fewer paid attractions in Maui, so if your kids need lots of stimulation it might not appeal to them.

Maui is an excellent choice for families with kids of all ages. Due to its combination of things to do, from remote outdoor excursions to ticketed fun like luaus and cruises, have a wide variety of options while visiting Maui.

Likewise, it’s easy to access Lanai, a smaller, lesser-known Hawaiian Island, via ferry from Maui. Beaches here are also some of the best in the world, which is sure to win over every member of the family!

Related Post: 10 of the Most Interesting Facts About Hawaii



Why is Kauai the Best Hawaiian Island for Kids?

Kauai is the top choice for families seeking a Hawaii vacation that’s all about the great outdoors. From the beach to lush, tropical jungles, this island truly lives up to its nickname of the “Garden Island.”

Pros of Visiting with Kids:

  • By far, Kauai features the fewest crowds of all the main Hawaiian Islands.
  • Perfect choice for families looking for a relaxing yet adventurous vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Some of the best Hawaii hikes are on Kauai. As a result, it may be better suited for families with kids who can hoof it on their own.

Cons of Visiting with Kids:

  • Kauai doesn’t have a lot of ticketed attractions. The things to do here are centered on outdoor fun.
  • Little to no public transportation so you will need to rent a car.

Kauai tends to be the best Hawaiian Island for kids with families who thrive in the great outdoors.

Why so? Well, this island is teeming with outdoor activities from hiking to cascading waterfalls to sun-drenched days at the beach.

The unspoiled nature of the Kauai scenery is also some of the most spectacular of all the islands. This island really speaks to families searching for a true tropical getaway. Can't-miss sights include the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, and Tunnels Beach.

Related Post: Hawaii for First Time Visitors: 8 Tips to Know Before You Go

Big Island

Why is the Big Island the Best Hawaiian Island for Kids?

Families with kids a bit older may choose the Big Island for their Hawaiian vacation as it offers a mix of educational and cultural offerings as well as a large variety of climates and things to do.

Pros of Visiting with Kids:

  • A vast amount of activities ranging from zipline tours to volcano excursions.
  • Sea turtles everywhere! The Big Island has the largest population of sea turtles of all the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Features a mix of city and country life.

Cons of visiting with Kids:

  • As there is an active volcano on the island, it could erupt and seriously affect your travel plans.
  • The Big Island is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands which means attractions and activities are spread out. As a result, getting around tends to take longer.
  • Beaches tend to be rockier here than the other islands.

Visiting the Big Island is an amazing trip as landscapes and climates juxtapose each other at every turn.

Related Post: 24 Incredible Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Facts Every Visitor Should Know

Here, you can explore one of the world’s most active volcanoes at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park before embarking on an adventure on the Hamakua Coast which features lush valleys and magnificent waterfalls.

Which is the Best Hawaiian Island for Kids?

As you can see, the answer to this question really depends on you and your family. Every Hawaiian Island beautifully captures the spirit of Aloha.

As a result, no matter where you go, you’re sure to have a fantastic vacation experience. It really is the perfect place to spend a family vacation.

What Did We Miss?

Have you had some Hawaiian adventures with kids? Tell us your pros/cons experiences and what we should share with others in the comments below.

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