What are the 8 Hawaii Islands Nicknames? (and their meanings)
You’ve come to the right place if you’ve ever wondered why Maui is known as the Valley Isle.
Hawaii is made up of eight main islands, and each one has a special nickname that reflects its unique character and culture. Some of them are open to tourists, so you can go there to experience the Hawaiian magic for yourself, while others require you to use your imagination. Learn all about the history of the nicknames given to the Hawaiian islands in this brief history lesson, as well as what makes each island unique.
1. OAHU (The Gathering Place)
What is Oahu’s nickname? – The Gathering Place
There are several explanations for how the name “The Gathering Place” was given to the island of Oahu. First and foremost, compared to all other Neighbor Islands, Oahu has the highest population in the state, accounting for roughly 72% of all residents. Second, tourists adore “gathering” on Oahu, as the island and its tourist-friendly neighborhoods like Waikīkī and Kailua have turned into a haven for visitors looking to visit Hawaii.
Waikiki is where every fantastic Oahu vacation begins. There are numerous cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops along the beachfront district where you can spend time with friends and family. Outdoor adventurers can spend their days surfing the world-famous breaks on the North Shore, snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, or hiking to the summit of Diamond Head on O’ahu. Trek to this charming volcanic crater on Waikiki’s outskirts to take in the expansive island panoramas.
2. MAUI (The Valley Isle)
What is Maui’s nickname? – The Valley Isle
On your flight in, you’ll likely realize why Maui is known as The Valley Isle. Since many of the island’s towns and districts are tucked between Haleakalā and the West Maui Mountains, Maui’s two main mountain ranges, driving through central Maui frequently gives the impression that you’re traveling through a single, expansive valley. The largest dormant volcano in the world, Haleakala, offers a spectacular sunrise display from its peak. When you go on vacation to Maui, think about scheduling a helicopter tour excursion for even more breathtaking views of the lush island.
The Valley Isle is awash in history, too. Lahaina, a former whaling port, and the well-known Kaanapali resort area jointly served as Hawaii’s capital until 1845. You can experience unspoiled nature, including strong waterfalls, dramatic, Jurassic Park-like landscapes, and black sand beaches, as you travel along the Hana Highway, which is surrounded by forest and is one of the most famous and picturesque coastal drives in the world.
3. KAUAI (The Garden Isle)
What is Kauai’s nickname? The Garden Isle
The Garden Isle moniker was given to Kauai as a result of the island’s protracted rainy season and vast expanses of uninhabited land. You are aware if you have visited the island. Nearly everywhere you turn, there is something in bloom, and it’s difficult to ignore the lush valleys and overgrown jungles. The island is home to some of the best botanical gardens in the state, including the Allerton Garden, the Limahuli Garden and Preserve, and the Na ʻĀina Kai Botanical Gardens, as a result of its flourishing nature.
With names like Allerton Garden, Limahuli Garden and Preserve, and Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens, it should come as no surprise that Kauai is home to the best botanical gardens in Hawaii. This island is truly a Garden Isle!
4. HAWAII ISLAND (The Big Island)
What is Hawaii’s nickname? – The Big Island
It’s funny how locals in Hawaii may mistakenly believe that the Big Island is actually called Hawai’i Island when you speak to them. This nickname is extremely widespread in the regional dialect. However, Hawaii Island is known as the Big Island because of how enormously large it is. Hawai’i Island, the largest island in the United States, covers an area of more than 4,000 square miles and accounts for 63 percent of the total landmass of the Hawaiian archipelago. Driving from one end of Hawaii Island to the other will take you more than a few hours, unlike Oahu, Maui, or Kauai, and road trips feel like legitimate road trips. The Big Island of Hawaii is home to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where Kilauea Volcano has been erupting continuously for more than 30 years. Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea are two additional significant volcanoes that can be found nearby. Moreover, the expansive Kau Desert, verdant valleys, and tropical rainforests provide a striking backdrop for the region’s sparkling beaches.
5. MOLOKAI (The Friendly Isle)
What is Molokai’s nickname? – The Friendly Isle
When you visit Molokai, the island with the state’s largest concentration of native Hawaiians, you’ll experience the true meaning of aloha. The Friendly Isle moniker was given to the island by its inhabitants to honor the hospitable and close-knit communities dotted throughout Molokai.
Everyone knows one another here, and watching out for your neighbors is part of daily life. Hawaii’s cultural diversity of Japanese and Filipino foods shine here in the small beachside restaurants because Molokai is less developed than the other islands that are home to major cities. Grab a bite to eat and strike up a conversation with a local; they’re usually happy to invite you along to a party or on a tour of some of the island’s lesser-known attractions. The island’s main draw is that its north coast has the highest sea cliffs in the world, which must be seen to be believed. This is in addition to the welcoming people and authentic cuisine.
6. LANAI (The Pineapple Isle)
What is Lanai’s nickname? – The Pineapple Isle
People typically associate Dole Plantation on Oahu or Maui Gold on Maui with pineapples. However, James Dole, then-president of the Hawaiian Pineapple Co., now known as the Dole Food Co., purchased the island of Lanai in 1922 and turned a large portion of the land there into a pineapple plantation, making the tiny island the largest in the world. However, since 1992, when the production of pineapples was phased out, Oracle Corporation CEO Larry Ellison purchased 98% of the island. Since then, he has worked to improve the island’s infrastructure and develop an environmentally friendly agricultural industry for the island’s roughly 3,000 residents.
7. NIIHAU (The Forbidden Isle)
What is Niihau’s nickname? – The Forbidden Isle
If you’re not a member of the Robinson family, who are the only owners of the island, Niihau is known as the Forbidden Isle. Only authorized visitors, U.S. Navy personnel, and representatives of the government are permitted access to Niihau. You can take a tour of Niihau, though, if you’ve ever wanted to cross that off your bucket list: “tour an almost deserted Hawaiian island.” But beware—it is not inexpensive!
SEE MORE: What To Know About Ni‘ihau Island: Forbidden Island Hawaii
8. KAHOOLAWE (The Target Isle)
What is Kahoolawe’s nickname? – The Target Isle
The nickname “The Target Isle” for Kahoolawe comes from its recent use as a bombing range by the U.S. Navy for training and testing, serving as a sobering reminder of the injustices meted out to Native Hawaiians and their lands. These activities degraded the island’s natural environment, tainted the waters, and left unexploded weapons all over the place. After nine years, the U.S. Navy was forced to stop bombing Kahoolawe after the group Protect Kahoolawe Ohana filed a lawsuit to stop the practice in 1976. Native Hawaiians use the island for spiritual and cultural rituals, and restoration efforts are currently being made to rid it of any unexploded weapons.
Topic: What are the 8 Hawaii Islands Nicknames? (and their meanings)
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By: Travel Pixy
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