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Why Visit Hawaii?

Hawaii, a picturesque archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, is a tropical paradise renowned for its natural beauty and unique culture. With 8 main islands and 4 that are especially popular with tourists (Oahu, Hawai’i, Maui, and Kauai), Hawaii’s landscape is a captivating blend of beaches with white, black, and red sand, volcanic mountains blanketed in green, lush rainforests, and cascading waterfalls.

Surfing, diving, snorkeling, hiking, biking, and engaging in native cultural festivals and events like luaus should be on every Hawaiian vacation itinerary. The spirit of aloha permeates the islands, helping tourists feel deeply connected to the people and natural beauty of these remote islands.

By air
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How to Reach Hawaii by Air

Most travelers reach Hawaii by flying. It’s the fastest and most popular way to get to the islands. You can access all 4 of Hawaii’s main islands via plane on direct and connecting flights from North America and countries around the world.

Take a look at Hawaii’s major airports, the most popular entry points for travelers worldwide:

  • Honolulu International Airport (HNL): Located on Oahu in the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu, this is the largest and busiest airport in the islands. Travelers arrive here from North America, Asia, and Europe on a daily basis by the thousands. Many flights arriving in HNL are direct flights from major West Coast U.S. cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Connecting flights from other cities and countries further away also touch down in HNL. The average flight time to Honolulu International Airport can range from 5-11 hours (North America) or 8-10 hours (Asia).
  • Kahului Airport (OGG): Maui’s major international airport is Kahului, with thousands of passengers arriving and leaving daily from cities and countries all over the world. Most direct flights arrive here from U.S. cities on the West Coast and Asian countries, but connecting flights are frequent and common from other places around the world. Direct flight times to Maui can take 5-6 hours on average.
  • Kona International Airport (KOA): One of the major airports on the Big Island (Hawai’i), Kona International Airport is a popular entry point for travelers heading to the Big Island from the U.S. and Asia. Direct flights from either destination range from 5-11 hours, with flights from Asia on the longer end.
  • Lihue Airport (LIH): Kauai, known as the Garden Isle, serves international travelers with Lihue Airport. You can catch direct or connecting flights to this airport, depending on your departure city and airline. If you’re coming from the U.S. West Coast, like San Francisco or Los Angeles, your direct flight should take 5-6 hours. Connecting flights from other U.S. cities can take 15+ hours, depending on layovers.
  • Hilo International Airport (ITO): Hilo International Airport is the Big Island’s other major airport, welcoming travelers headed to the island’s eastern coast with frequent direct and connecting flights from all over the world. Direct flights from the U.S. West Coast are the fastest, taking 6-7 hours on average. Flights from Asian countries like Japan may take 9-11 hours.
How Long Is the Flight to Hawaii?

The flight time to Hawaii can also vary depending on the departure city, the specific island in Hawaii, and the flight route. Here are approximate flight times from some popular destinations to Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii on the island of Oahu:

  • Los Angeles, USA: Around 5 to 6 hours
  • New York City, USA: Approximately 10 to 11 hours
  • Tokyo, Japan: About 8 to 9 hours
  • Sydney, Australia: Around 10 to 11 hours
  • London, UK: Approximately 18 to 19 hours
  • Auckland, New Zealand: About 9 to 10 hours
  • Vancouver, Canada: Around 6 to 7 hours
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By road
How to Reach Hawaii by Road

Traveling to Hawaii by road isn’t possible since it’s an island chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. However, many people choose to rent a car to get around after arriving in Hawaii via plane or boat. The islands have well-maintained roads in the tourist and more populous areas, but rural areas can be hit or miss with road quality. Heavy rains can wash out rugged rural roads.

Hawaii’s islands offer some particularly scenic drives, like the Road to Hana on Maui and Chain of Craters Road on the Big Island. Rental cars are essential on the Big Island if you want to see and explore as much of the larger area as possible.

By railw
How to Reach Hawaii by Rail

It’s not possible to travel to Hawaii by rail. The only trains operating within the Hawaiian islands are tourist trains on Kauai and Oahu. These trains use historic rail lines to bring travelers to old sugar cane plantation sites with views of the ocean.

By water
How to Reach Hawaii by Water

Many travelers choose to get to Hawaii by water on a cruise ship. Hawaiian cruises are extremely popular and offered by cruise lines around the world, from North America to Asia and Australia. Hawaiian cruises typically sail from ports like Vancouver, Los Angeles, Miami, and Tokyo for multi-night trips by water to explore 2 or more of the Hawaiian islands.

Cruises take longer than flying, but offer an all-inclusive experience with meals, drinks, snacks, and entertainment provided onboard over a 5-14+ night journey.

AI Disclaimer Disclaimer: This page was created with help from AI | Reviewed by: Andrew Helling, Editor-in-Chief