Review post for Oahu vs. Kauai vs. Big Island Hawaii

Review post for Oahu vs. Kauai vs. Big Island! If you have any questions about locations, just lmk!

Disclaimer: this is our opinion based on our experiences so those who want to be nasty and attack me personally, as was done in my post specific to Waikoloa, can scroll on by because we don't need any non-aloha spirit here.

Background: We've stayed at Hilton Hawaiian Village (Waikiki Beach on Oahu) twice (February and August) and the Hilton Waikoloa Village (Waikoloa on Big Island) once (October). We have also spent 2 days on Kauai as well. We have found we prefer Oahu & Kauai vs the Big Island. All islands are warm and tropical year round and water is always a good temp.

-So many things to do and see on a medium size island. Some of our favorites are Lanikai/Kailua beach, Byodo-in Temple, North Shore, Hoomaluhia Gardens, Pearl Harbor, drive the H1/H2/H3, Halona Blowhole, PCC, and Hanauma Bay.
-So much to eat and savor! Our favorites include Sweet E's, Guava Smoked, Leonard's, and Dukes (both breakfast buffet and the Thursday prime rib buffet; we've eaten at Dukes about 10 times and have never had reservations so don't let the "need" for it scare you away).
-everything you need is close by. We have our small comforts that we love and enjoy and have found we definitely want them close by.
-Waikiki Beach is beautiful at just about every location and the water is warm all the time.
-the lagoon at HHV is perfect for little ones, along with the fireworks and the after dark activities like the light up toys and helicopters.

-there are more people, but that didn't bother us because we enjoy interacting with people from all over and people watching and Waikiki Beach is great for both. People are from all over the world and we enjoy seeing and hearing the differences.
-not really many others.

-beautiful and what you'd expect "Hawaii" to look like. So lush and green!
-Poipu Beach with the most amazing snorkeling and great little area for small ones. We saw multiple turtles and sea lions sunbathing.
-Kauai has geological features you'll never see anywhere else like the Na'pali coast and Waimea Canyon.
-Great food and great beaches.

-because it is smaller, there is less to do for a longer vacation.

-it's BIG so there is more to see but requires a lot of driving.
-it's unique. The entire east side of the island looks like someone took a giant tiller to the ground. Volcanoes National park is pretty awesome to check out. It has almost all climate zones which is pretty awesome to drive through.
-It has unique beaches like Black Sand Beach and Green Sand Beach
-Jackie Reye's has amazing food. My husband said he had the most amazing Mahi Mahi of his entire life. We liked the Hilo location better than Kona (original). I had the pasta with shrimp and chicken and it was great along with the sunset dream cocktail.
-Black Sand Beach 49 was amazing with the most crystal clear and perfect temp waters that were great for snorkeling, plus it's just the right size with population control too.

-everything is very isolated and many comforts from home are hard to find. We spent a ridiculous amount of time just trying to find or wait for basics outside of Kona (coffee, food, gas) and when we did, there were few options.
-While it has a few nice beaches, they are not abundant like other islands.
-we spent more time driving than we preferred and if we wanted to do so, we would've stayed on the mainland and did a road trip.
-the airport is extremely small with next to nothing as far as food and drink. When you are getting on a 6 hour flight, and have very little to take with you as far as food and drink because you can't take it through security, it's pretty stressful.
-everything is way more expensive than Oahu and Kauai, although we felt like Jackie Reye's was reasonable and worth it given the amazing food.
-we'd never go back to Hilton Waikoloa Village. Too big, isolated, old, expensive, and limited with none of the quality we'd expect for the price.

All in all, as a late 30s couple with a 6 year old son, we much prefer Oahu and Kauai 99/100 times, and only prefer the Big Island to remind us of what else is out there but also what amazing places the other two are and why they are so special.

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