A Brief Guide to the Hawaiian Islands by Randy Ripley

Posted Friday, February 21, 2020 by

When it comes to visiting, or moving to, Hawaii, you have to decide which island to go to. Each one has its own unique culture, personality, sights and adventures to explore. In total, the Hawaiian Archipelago is made up of 137 separate islands, but most of them are tiny and uninhabited. There are six major islands that you need to know: Hawaii (The Big Island), Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai.



Hawaii is both the name of the state and the largest island in the chain. To avoid confusion, most people just call it The Big Island because it’s almost twice as big as all the other islands combined! Because of its sheer size and massive mountains, you can experience all but four of the world’s climate zones without leaving the island. It also has one of the most active volcanoes in the world: the legendary Kilauea Volcano!


If you’re looking for once place where you can see everything the islands have to offer, the Big Island might be your best bet. Since it’s the largest and youngest of the islands, there’s also plenty of undeveloped land and homesites available for people looking to enjoy the life of tropical luxury.



To the north of the Big Island is the second largest Hawaiian Island: Maui. Maui is known around the world for its unbeatable beaches and scenic views. Since it’s such a popular travel destination, dozens of high-end luxury hotels and resorts have popped up along the coasts, giving the island the nickname of Beverly Hills Island. It’s the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for an ultra-luxurious tropical getaway.



Lanai is the smallest Hawaiian island that’s accessible to the public. The entire island was purchased by tech billionaire Larry Ellison, who promptly put up a Four Seasons Resort for those seeking a luxurious, remote getaway from the busyness of the real world. It’s a popular couples’ destination for romantic adventures in private paradise.



If you’re heading to the Hawaiian Islands for a taste of their unique culture, Molokai might be the place for you. It has the highest percentage of native Hawaiians and boasts the most authentic island experience in the entire archipelago. Residents enjoy a relaxed, traditional, rural lifestyle.


Like all the other islands, Molokai is also filled with natural beauty. It has the world’s highest sea cliffs and the longest continuous fringing reef.



Potentially the most famous island, Oahu is home to the capital city Honolulu. If you like to party, this is the island for you. The largest cities on the other islands might be considered small towns on the mainland, but Honolulu is a true metropolis by any standard. It’s not hard to find exciting restaurants, nightclubs, museums and art galleries. And the surfing scene is hard to beat!


Despite being 14% of the size, Oahu has five times the number of residents as the Big Island. It’s by far the most populated island in Hawaii.



In sharp contrast to the metropolis of Oahu, Kauai’s nickname is the “Garden Island.” Most of the island is covered with dense, centuries-old tropical rainforests that cover the various cliffs and extraordinary mountain ranges. Several places on the island are so remote that they’re only accessible by plane or boat. If you’re looking for a true Hawaiian outdoor adventure, Kauai is hard to beat.



Hawaii is a magical place. With every island comes a new, unique adventure that isn’t possible anywhere else on Earth. If you’re ready to take the plunge and start the next, relaxing chapter of your life in tropical paradise, don’t hesitate to reach out. I have years of experience helping people achieve their dreams of living in Hawaii and would love to help you as well.


Aloha, and welcome to Hawaii.