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 in Hawaii 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 families 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 Hawaii island is best for kids and your family.
Why is Oahu the best Hawaii Island for Kids?
Oahu is ideal for families seeking sun and fun on the beach as well as modern city-style amenities. In addition, to being one of the best Hawaiian island to visit with kids, this island boasts the highest number of attractions and is the easiest to navigate.
Pros of Visiting Oahu with Kids:
- The sheer number of things to do on Oahu makes it one of the best Hawaii island to visit with kids
- Plenty of food options, including choices familiar to kids (think chain restaurants).
- Easy access to world-class beaches is the best part of Hawaii for families
- The only international airport of all the islands, making travel easier with kids.
- The largest number of hotels, making it the cheapest and best Hawaiian island for families.
- Lots of interactive exhibits and luaus including the Polynesian Cultural Center
Cons of Visiting Oahu 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. Check out the Things to Do in Honolulu With Kids: A Parent's Guide for more ideas for this island.
It’s also a good choice for families seeking the classic Hawaiian Island vacation. During a week on Oahu, you can experience the beautiful beaches of Waikiki, hike Diamond Head, tour Oahu’s North Shore, visit Pearl Harbor, attend a luau, and so much more.
Why is Maui the Best Hawaii Island for Families?
Maui is the best island to visit in Hawaii with family 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 Maui 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. The Road to Hana is one of the most beautiful outdoor adventures you'll find in Hawaii.
- Ideal island to visit for snorkeling.
Cons to Visiting Maui 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 worth visiting while on 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 Island in Hawaii 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 Kauai 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. Kauai boasts some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii.
- 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 (this is not the best Hawaii island with toddlers)
Cons of Visiting Kauai with Kids:
- Kauai doesn’t have a lot of ticketed attractions. The things to do here are centered on outdoor fun like hiking and helicopter tours.
- 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.
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.
Why is the Big Island the Best Hawaii Island with 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 Big Island 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 Big Island 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 to visit 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.
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. The best place for kids in Hawaii is really dependent upon what your family loves to do on vacation!
What is the Best Island for Kids in Hawaii?
Which Hawaiian island is best for families? Any votes on the most kid friendly Hawaiian island? Tell us your pros/cons trip to Hawaii experiences and what we should share with others about a Hawaii family vacation in the comments below.