Bahamas Vs Hawaii: Which You Should Visit First in 2024 [The Comparison]

Bahamas Vs Hawaii

Choosing between the Bahamas and Hawaii for your next vacation could be tough. Each place offers beautiful beaches, fun activities, and unique experiences. One key difference is that Hawaii is part of the United States, but the Bahamas is not. This means you don’t need a passport for Hawaii if you’re from the U.S., but you do for the Bahamas.

This article will compare both places in detail. We will discuss how to get there, where to stay, what to see and do, and more. By reading this, you can decide which destination fits your dream vacation best.

Ready? Let’s start comparing!


The Bahamas and Hawaii offer unique vacation experiences. The Bahamas is great for snorkelers and Bahamian cuisine lovers, with places like Paradise Island and Andros Barrier Reef. Hawaii offers Hawaiian cuisine, active volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawai’i, and spots like Waikiki Beach.

Choose the Bahamas in winter to escape the cold; pick Hawaii year-round for adventure and nature hikes. Costs vary; the Bahamas can be cheaper with careful planning, while Hawaii might need a bigger budget but offers diverse landscapes from beaches to mountains like Haleakalā on Maui.

Bahamas vs Hawaii: An Overview

The Bahamas and Hawaii both shine as stars for travelers but differ in vibe and views. You fly to the Bahamas near Florida or jet to Hawaii’s islands in the Pacific—each has its own magic times to visit.

Read More: Legal Drinking Age in the Bahamas

How to get to each location?

Getting to the Bahamas or Hawaii is easy if you know your options. Here’s a breakdown to help plan your trip:

  1. With American Airlines, you can fly to Nassau, Bahamas, for 10,000 miles in Economy or 20,000 miles in First Class. This is a quick option for travelers coming from Miami (1-hour flight) or New York (3-hour flight).
  2. Reach Hawaii by air from California, starting at 13,000 Avios each way. Southwest Airlines has tickets starting at $124 each way from Los Angeles for those who prefer budget-friendly options.

With these steps, travelers can choose their ideal tropical getaway based on where they’re starting and what suits their travel budget or points balance.

The best time to visit

Choosing the perfect time to visit can make your vacation unforgettable. The weather plays a big role in this decision.

For Hawaii:

  1. April to September offer great weather. This period avoids heavy rains. It’s ideal for beach outings and hiking.
  2. The dry season, from April to October, is perfect for exploring. Less rain means more days enjoying the outdoors.
  3. Hurricane season is less of a worry in Hawaii than in other tropical areas. Still, it’s wise to check forecasts before planning your trip during these months.

For the Bahamas:

  1. December to April is prime time here, with clear skies and cool breezes.
  2. These months avoid the hurricane season, which peaks around November, making travel safer.
  3. Keep in mind that this period attracts lots of visitors, so book hotels early.

Both destinations shine outside of their wetter seasons, making them jewels of vacation spots year-round.

Where to stay?

Finding a place to sleep in both spots is easy. Hawaii has fancy resorts and the Bahamas offers beachfront hotels.

Hotels in Hawaii

Hotels in Hawaii

Hawaii offers many places to stay, from family-friendly spots to luxury retreats. Hotels use points from Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott Bonvoy, and IHG for free nights.

Read Also: Worst Time To Travel To The Bahamas

  1. The Hilton Hawaiian Village stands out with its vast resort setting on Waikiki Beach. Guests can dive into five pools, explore over 20 restaurants, and stroll through tropical gardens.
  2. Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui welcomes families with spacious suites. This place has a water slide pool that kids love and adults find relaxing.
  3. Grand Wailea, also in Maui, offers a touch of luxury with its world-cclass spa and unique pools. It’s perfect for both romantic getaways and family trips.
  4. For travelers wanting a more intimate setting, the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach provides modern rooms and is close to local dining spots.
  5. Adventure seekers head to the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa for easy access to outdoor activities. Here, you can kayak in lagoons or relax at the saltwater pool.
  6. The Westin Maui Resort & Spa on Kaanapali Beach is ideal for sea turtle spotting and snorkeling right off the beach.

Each hotel has its charm, offering something special for every visitor to Hawaii.

Hotels in Bahamas

Hotels in Bahamas

Choosing the right place to stay in the Bahamas is easy. You have lots of great options, from resorts to cozy hotels.

  1. Atlantis stands out with its massive water park and luxury accommodations. It’s on Paradise Island, making it a perfect spot for families and adventurers.
  2. The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar offers a taste of pure luxury with its stunning rooms and on-site casino. It’s located in Nassau, so you’re close to local attractions.
  3. Hilton at Resorts World Bimini brings you right into the heart of the Bahamas’ beauty. Its location in Bimini makes it ideal for those looking to explore the sea and relax on pristine beaches.
  4. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Nassau offers a budget-friendly yet comfortable stay for those using hotel points. It’s near downtown Nassau, so exploring the city’s charm is easy.

Each choice guarantees an unforgettable Bahamian experience with its unique features and prime locations.

Notable Destinations

In the Bahamas, you’ll want to see Gold Rock Beach and Staniel Cay. Hawaii offers eye-catching views of Haleakala Volcano and Waikiki Beach.

Famous Spots in the Bahamas

Famous Spots in the Bahamas

The Bahamas boasts many must-see spots. Each one offers a unique glimpse into the island’s beauty and culture.

Nassau stands out as a top destination. It’s not just the capital; it’s a hub for history, shops, and vivid Bahamian culture. Here, travelers find old forts, luxury resorts, and bustling markets all in one place.

Atlantis Paradise Island, too, makes waves. This resort is like its own water-themed world. There are giant slides, river rides, and even an aquarium that’s home to thousands of marine animals.

Pig Beach in Big Major Cay offers something you won’t find anywhere else: swimming pigs. Visitors love taking boat trips to see these friendly animals up close in their natural habitat.

Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park protects a stunning patch of ocean. It covers 176 square miles with clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and rare fish species. Snorkeling here feels like entering another universe.

Gold Rock Beach is part of Lucayan National Park. The beach is renowned for its elongated sandy shoreline, which seems to stretch endlessly during low tide, making it ideal for tranquil strolls beside pristine water.

Thunderball Grotto adds adventure to any Bahamas visit with its underwater caves featured in movies like James Bond’s “Thunderball,” Snorkelers and divers marvel at the sunlit interiors filled with exotic fish.

Harbour Island is famous for its pink sand beaches that stretch along the east coast—three miles of soft, rosy sands set against turquoise waters make it a must-do sightseeing trip.

These places prove the Bahamas is more than sunny skies; it’s an adventure waiting with open arms for every traveler.

Famous Spots in Hawaii

Famous Spots in Hawaii

Hawaii shines with stunning spots that guarantee unforgettable experiences. From lush landscapes to historic sites, every traveler finds something special here.

  1. Waikiki Beach: This world-famous beach attracts visitors with its soft sands and excellent surf spots. Here, surfing lessons are popular, drawing beginners and pros alike.
  2. Volcanoes National Park is home to Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes on earth. Tourists can safely watch lava flows from viewing points.
  3. The North Shore of Oahu is known for big wave surfing during the winter months, making it a paradise for surfers looking for thrilling rides.
  4. Na Pali Coast offers breathtaking ocean views from towering cliffs. Boat tours or helicopter rides provide unique perspectives on this natural wonder.
  5. Hanauma Bay is a snorkeling paradise where visitors can witness vibrant fish and coral reefs in pristine waters.
  6. Maui’s Haleakala National Park: Watch the sunrise from atop Haleakala volcano. The view spans across the island of Maui, creating a moment worth waking up early for.
  7. The Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial is a solemn historical site that honors lives lost during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
  8. Hanalei Bay, Kauai, offers postcard-perfect scenery with its long sandy beach set against mountains and waterfalls.
  9. The City of Honolulu is not only Hawaii’s capital, but also a hub for shopping, dining, and cultural experiences like hula and lei-making workshops.
  10. Molokini Crater: This partially submerged volcanic crater is a hotspot for diving and snorkeling, famed for its abundant marine life and clear waters.

Types of Nature

In the Bahamas, you’ll find clear blue waters and soft-sand beaches. Hawaii offers lush green forests and active volcanoes.

Nature in the Bahamas

Nature in the Bahamas

The Bahamas is full of beautiful nature scenes. From July to December, it rains a lot, about 8 to 10 inches each month. But this rain makes the islands very green and full of life.

There are many different animals and plants here.

On these islands, you can find colorful birds, big sea creatures like whales, and small ones like spotted deer. The ocean is clear blue and perfect for seeing fish and corals up close.

Nature lovers find the Bahamas a great place to visit because there’s always something new to discover in its wild beauty.

Nature in Hawaii

Nature in Hawaii

Hawaii’s nature is full of life and color. Think beaches with soft sand, big waves for surfing, and underwater worlds that dazzle snorkelers. The forests here grow thick and green, hiding waterfalls you can hike to.

Hawaii sees rain from October to April, but this just keeps the islands lush. Different islands offer unique natural wonders; volcanoes on the Big Island let you walk near lava flows, while valleys in Maui show off cliffs draped in green.

Wildlife in Hawaii adds to its beauty, too. You might see whales leaping from the ocean or colorful birds flying overhead. Dolphins often play near shores, and sea turtles rest on beaches.

Every island offers a chance to get close to nature, whether it’s watching stars at Mauna Kea or swimming with fish in Hanauma Bay. The mix of rainforest, mountains, and ocean means there’s always something new outside your door.

Top Things to Do

In the Bahamas, dive deep into blue waters or dance at a lively beach party. In Hawaii, hike up the green mountains or surf big waves.

Activities in the Bahamas

Activities in the Bahamas offer endless excitement. Here is a list of things you can do:

  1. This adventure lets you meet and swim with the famous Bahamian swimming pigs at Exuma. It’s a fun, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
  2. Dive into Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island. Explore one of the world’s deepest blue holes. It’s breathtaking, both above and below the surface.
  3. Celebrate the Junkanoo festivals. Experience Bahamian culture with music, dance, and colorful costumes. These festivals happen after Christmas, bringing the streets to life.
  4. Snorkel over the Andros Barrier Reef. See stunning underwater life at the third-largest barrier reef in the world. You’ll spot a variety of fish and corals.
  5. Visit Pink Sands Beach on Harbour Island. Enjoy miles of pink-sand beaches. It’s perfect for taking photos or simply relaxing by the sea.
  6. Try conch salad from a local vendor. Taste this fresh, spicy seafood dish that’s a staple in Bahamian cuisine.
  7. Go island-hopping among the Abaco Islands. Each island offers unique beauty and activities, from serene beaches to charming towns.
  8. Sail crystals, clear waters Rent a boat or join a tour to see some of the clearest waters on earth up close.
  9. Explore Nassau’s historical sites. Learn about pirate history and colonial architecture in the capital city.
  10. Watch whales and dolphins. Take a boat trip to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

These activities show just how diverse and exciting a trip to the Bahamas can be!

Activities in Hawaii

Hawaii offers a world of adventure. Here you’ll find activities that range from thrilling water sports to serene nature walks.

  1. Surf big waves on the North Shore of Oahu. This area is famous for its huge waves, which attract surfers from all over the globe.
  2. Attend a traditional Hawaiian luau. Experience Hawaii’s rich culture through music, dance, and foods like poke bowls and lau lau.
  3. Hike up to Diamond Head Crater in Honolulu for breathtaking views. The trail rewards hikers with panoramic views of Waikiki Beach.
  4. Snorkel at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. See colorful fish and coral in clear blue waters.
  5. Explore Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Walk through lava tubes and see active lava flows up close.
  6. During the winter months, enjoy whale-wwatching tours. Spot these majestic creatures off the coasts of Maui and the Big Island.
  7. Take a helicopter tour over Kauai’s Na Pali Coast. Get an aerial view of stunning cliffs, waterfalls, and the ocean.
  8. Learn to cook Hawaiian food in a cooking class, focusing on dishes like taro root dumplings and lomi lomi salmon.
  9. In Kauai, you can kayak along the Wailua River to Fern Grotto.
  10. Visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial in Oahu to honor historical events.

Each activity offers a unique way to experience Hawaii’s beauty and culture while creating lasting memories of your vacation.

A Taste of Culture

In the Bahamas, food brings people together. Try fresh seafood dishes that taste like the ocean. In Hawaii, eat sushi and laulau to feel the islands’ spirit. Both places offer flavors that tell stories of their land and people.

Cultural experiences in the Bahamas

The Bahamas offers a deep dive into vibrant traditions, especially through food. Local seafood stands at the heart of Bahamian cuisine. Guests can taste dishes like conch salad or fried fish, giving a real sense of place and flavor.

Music and dance also play big roles in Bahamian culture. Travelers find themselves swaying to the rhythms of Goombay, Junkanoo, or Rake ‘n’ Scrape music during festivals and local gatherings.

Visiting historical sites adds another layer to understanding this nation’s rich story. Forts, museums, and old churches tell tales of pirates, colonial struggles, and the path to independence.

These experiences together let visitors connect with the Bahamian spirit beyond just beautiful beaches and clear waters.

Cultural experiences in Hawaii

Hawaii offers a mix of Asian, Pacific, and native traditions. You’ll taste this blend in its food. Think of eating poke bowls, taro bread, and tropical fruits. Festivals here add color and life, showing off hula dancing and ukulele music.

They tell stories about the island’s past.

Visitors can also learn how to surf from locals or take part in a luau to really feel Hawaiian culture. Crafts such as lei-making are also popular. These activities connect you directly with Hawaii’s rich heritage and warm spirit.

Cost of Visiting

Visiting the Bahamas or Hawaii costs money. Think about flight prices, hotel rates, and daily expenses.

Expenses in the Bahamas

A trip to the Bahamas isn’t cheap. Expect to spend between $2,500 and $8,000 USD for a week’s stay. This range covers your hotel, meals, and activities, but remember, prices can go up during peak times.

Summer is hot here, with temperatures hitting 90°F.

Costs vary widely based on where you stay and what you do. Luxury resorts will cost more than smaller hotels or hostels. Eating out at restaurants adds up, but there are cheaper options if you look around.

Activities like snorkeling or visiting famous spots also have fees. Plan your budget carefully so you can enjoy everything these islands have to offer without overspending.

Costs in Hawaii

A trip to Hawaii might cost you between $2,000 and $4,000 for a week. This range covers your stay, food, and transportation. Meals are not cheap here; expect to pay about $15 to $45 each time you eat out.

For a place to sleep, prices vary widely. You can find hostels for about $50 a night if you’re saving money. But if you want something nicer, mid-range hotels will ask for $150 to $400 per night.

Staying on the Hawaiian Islands means planning your budget well. With these costs in mind, using cashback credit cards or being part of loyalty programs like World of Hyatt might help manage expenses better.

Always check for the best deals on flights with airlines like Hawaiian Airlines, and look out for discounts on lodging too.

Bahamas vs Hawaii: Making the Decision

Choosing between the Bahamas and Hawaii depends on a few factors. The Bahamas sees more storms with seven tropical cyclones a year, while Hawaii averages four to five. If you’re under 21 and looking to drink legally, the Bahamas allows it at 18; Hawaii sets the age at 21.

Both places offer stunning nature, beaches, and activities but differ in culture and climate.

Your travel plans might lean towards the Bahamas for shorter flights from the East Coast of America or Hawaii for its unique Pacific culture and landscapes. Think about what matters most for your vacation—vibrant nightlife, exotic nature walks, ocean adventures? Each destination has its own special mix of these elements.


The Bahamas and Hawaii offer thrilling vacations but cater to different tastes. You need a passport for the Bahamas, not for Hawaii. The weather in Hawaii stays steady year-round, while the Bahamas gets very humid from June to October.

Choosing where to stay? Both spots have great hotels, yet Hawaii gives more choices across its islands. Want adventure or relaxation on a beach? Each place has unique natural scenes and activities.

Regardless of where you go, cultural experiences rich in history await you. Costs can vary, with both destinations offering budget and luxury options. So, think about what matters most for your trip: easy access without a passport, steady weather, specific adventures or cultural touches might tip the scale for you.

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