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Aloha! Planning a Hawaii vacation with a 2 year old can be exciting yet challenging. With six major islands to choose from, deciding where to go can feel overwhelming. But not to worry – we’ve got you covered! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each island to help you determine the best Hawaiian island for your toddler.

If you’re pressed for time, our top recommendation is Maui. With its calm beaches, abundance of kid-friendly activities, and variety of family lodging options, Maui is arguably the best bet for a 2 year old.

Factors to Consider

Planning a trip to Hawaii with a 2-year-old requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for the whole family. Here are some key factors to keep in mind when choosing the best Hawaii island:


Safety should be a top priority when traveling with a young child. Look for islands that offer a safe and child-friendly environment. Hawaii has several islands known for their family-friendly atmosphere and low crime rates. The island of Maui, for example, is known for its calm and shallow beaches, making it an ideal choice for families with young children.


Consider the activities and attractions available on each island. Look for islands that offer a variety of activities suitable for young children. Oahu, for instance, boasts a range of family-friendly attractions such as the Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, and the Dole Plantation. These attractions provide educational and interactive experiences that are sure to captivate your little one.


When traveling with a 2-year-old, it is important to choose accommodations that cater to the needs of families. Look for hotels or resorts that offer amenities such as cribs, high chairs, and childproofed rooms. The Big Island of Hawaii, for example, has several family-friendly resorts that provide these amenities and even offer kids’ clubs and supervised activities.

Getting Around

Consider the ease of getting around the island with a 2-year-old. Look for islands that have reliable public transportation or easily accessible car rental options. The island of Kauai, for instance, offers a convenient shuttle service that can take you to popular attractions and beaches, eliminating the need to navigate unfamiliar roads with a young child in tow.

Remember, every family is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Consider your child’s needs and interests when making your decision. Ultimately, the best Hawaii island for a 2-year-old is the one that offers a balance of safety, activities, accommodations, and ease of getting around.

Overview of the Islands

If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii with your 2-year-old, you may be wondering which island is the best choice for your family. Each island offers unique experiences and attractions, so it’s important to consider your child’s needs and interests. Here’s an overview of the islands to help you make an informed decision.


Oahu is the most populated island in Hawaii and home to the state capital, Honolulu. It offers a mix of urban and natural attractions, making it a great choice for families with young children. Some popular family-friendly activities on Oahu include visiting the Honolulu Zoo, exploring the Waikiki Aquarium, and spending a day at the famous Waikiki Beach. Oahu also has several kid-friendly hiking trails, such as the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail and the Manoa Falls Trail, where you can enjoy beautiful scenery and easy walks.


Maui is known for its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and family-friendly resorts. It offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere compared to Oahu. One of the top attractions for families on Maui is the Maui Ocean Center, a state-of-the-art aquarium that showcases the diverse marine life of Hawaii. You can also take your little one on a scenic drive along the Road to Hana, where you’ll encounter waterfalls, black sand beaches, and breathtaking views. Baby Beach in Lahaina is another popular spot for families, with calm waters perfect for young children to splash around in.


Kauai, also known as the “Garden Isle,” is a paradise for nature lovers. It offers a more rustic and untouched experience compared to the other islands. Kauai is home to stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and dramatic cliffs. While it may not have as many kid-specific attractions as Oahu or Maui, it still offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures. You can take a scenic boat tour along the Na Pali Coast, hike through the Waimea Canyon, or simply enjoy a day at one of the many beautiful beaches. Kauai’s slower pace and natural beauty make it a great choice for families looking to unwind and connect with nature.

Big Island

The Big Island, also known as Hawaii Island, is the largest and most diverse island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It offers a wide range of activities and attractions for families with young children. One of the highlights is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can explore volcanic landscapes and witness the power of nature. Another must-visit spot is the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, where you can stargaze and learn about astronomy. The Big Island also has beautiful beaches, such as Hapuna Beach and Kua Bay, where your little one can play in the sand and swim in the calm waters.


Lanai is a small and secluded island known for its luxury resorts and tranquility. While it may not have as many kid-specific attractions, it offers a peaceful and relaxed environment for families looking to escape the crowds. Lanai has beautiful beaches, such as Hulopoe Beach Park, which is known for its clear waters and tide pools. You can also take your little one on a guided horseback ride or explore the island’s unique rock formations at the Garden of the Gods. Lanai offers a more intimate and exclusive experience for families seeking a quieter vacation.


Molokai is often referred to as the “Most Hawaiian Island” due to its strong connection to native Hawaiian culture. It offers a more authentic and traditional experience compared to the other islands. Molokai has beautiful beaches, such as Papohaku Beach, which is one of the longest white sand beaches in Hawaii. You can also visit the Kalaupapa National Historical Park, where you can learn about the history of the island and its leprosy settlement. Molokai is a great choice for families looking to immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture and history.

Our Top Recommendation for a 2 Year Old

When it comes to choosing the best Hawaii island for a 2-year-old, Maui stands out as the top recommendation. Known for its beautiful beaches, family-friendly resorts, and a wide range of activities suitable for young children, Maui offers an unforgettable experience for both parents and their little ones.

Safe and Calm Beaches

One of the main reasons why Maui is the best Hawaii island for a 2-year-old is its abundance of safe and calm beaches. With gentle waves and shallow waters, beaches like Baby Beach in Lahaina and Kapalua Bay are ideal for toddlers to splash around and play in the sand. Parents can relax and enjoy the breathtaking scenery while knowing that their child is in a safe environment.

Family-Friendly Accommodations

Maui boasts a wide range of family-friendly accommodations that cater specifically to the needs of young children. Many resorts offer amenities such as children’s pools, playgrounds, and even supervised kids’ clubs. This ensures that both parents and their 2-year-olds have an enjoyable and stress-free stay on the island.

Exciting Activities for Toddlers

Maui offers a variety of exciting activities that are perfectly suited for toddlers. From visiting the Maui Ocean Center to see marine life up close to taking a scenic drive along the Road to Hana, there is no shortage of things to do with your 2-year-old on the island. Additionally, many tour operators offer age-appropriate activities such as whale watching tours, where children can marvel at these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Overall Family-Friendly Atmosphere

Maui has a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that makes it an ideal destination for families with young children. The locals are friendly and accommodating, and many establishments have a family-friendly vibe. Whether you’re dining at a local restaurant or exploring the island’s attractions, you’ll feel comfortable and at ease with your 2-year-old in tow.

For more information on Maui and its family-friendly attractions, you can visit the Go Hawaii website. So, pack your bags, don’t forget the sunscreen, and get ready for an amazing family adventure on the beautiful island of Maui!


We hope this overview has helped narrow down the best Hawaiian island for your 2 year old. While every family and child has different needs, we believe Maui offers an ideal blend of safety, activities, lodging, and ease of getting around. Wherever you choose, the key is focusing on relaxation, spending time together, and making lasting memories. Let us know if you have any other questions – we’re happy to help make your Hawaii vacation with toddler unforgettable. Aloha!

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