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Hawaii island hopping

Oahu is the perfect start to an extended stay

Hawaii is a single paradise made up of six islands. So how does one choose which is the best island to visit in Hawaii? Simple — don't. Just extend your stay for a little Hawaii island hopping.

The honolulu airport, your island hopping hub

Thanks to Honolulu’s central airport, Oahu is more than just a domestic and international hub. It’s also the main artery to Hawaii’s other destinations, featuring convenient 20- to 45-minute flights to Oahu’s sister islands, making Hawaii island hopping easier than ever. If Oahu is on your list of must-visit islands, make sure to stay at THE MODERN HONOLULU, the closest Waikiki hotel to the airport.

So just how close are the islands? Molokai is a mere 20-minute plane ride away, while a flight to Lanai is only 25 minutes. Airlines can reach Maui in 30 minutes from the Honolulu airport, while Hawaii’s Big Island is 45 minutes away. Hawaiians call that interstate travel.

So which is the best island to visit in hawaii?

We’d say Oahu of course because it exudes modern paradise, mixing urban attractions with Hawaiian adventures, particularly at (and nearby) THE MODERN HONOLULU. (Continue to explore the Epicenter maps to learn more about the island of Oahu and the modern city of Honolulu.)

Of course, though, if volcanoes are your thing, you’ll want to consider adding a few days to your trip to explore Hawai’i, home to world’s largest volcano. (Hawai’i is also known as the Big Island to distinguish it from the 1,500-mile-long archipelago). 

Meanwhile, Maui is perhaps the most pristine island dotted with quaint towns and serene beaches. For even more seclusion, the small footprints of Molokai and Lanai deliver up their own dose of solitude. For outdoor enthusiasts, visitors to Kauai can explore the 3,600-foot-deep Waimea Canyon, described as “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

Now that you've discovered paradise, learn about Hawaii's evolution >

travel tips:

Hawaii follows Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HAST), which is two hours behind Pacific Standard Time (PST), three hours behind Mountain Standard Time (MST), four hours behind Central Standard Time (CST) and five hours behind Eastern Standard Time (EST). Hawaii does not observe daylight savings time, so add one extra hour to the time difference during this March-November period.