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Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

Dubai
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Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

My partner, parents and brother in law are headed to Hawaii over Xmas/NY period for 12 days and looking to hire a house for the time we are there through airbnb or wimdu but need advice on what island to stay at.

I've been looking into the Big Island but I can't seem to find a lot that people are raving about it. We ideally want somewhere close to the beach, 15 min walking distance to restaurants and lots of activities to do. Can anyone please help with the BIg Island vs lets say Kauai?

Dallas
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1. Re: Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

Why do you not consider Oahu or Maui. Oahu is the most active and has the most restaurants, shopping and activities. Kauai is the most quiet, laid back and probably has fewer places to eat and shop than Oahu or Maui. I can't speak to the big island because I have never been there, but it seems to be quite spread out, and the most unique thing is the volcano and lava, which from what I can tell is not all that spectacular these days.

Also, you will have to have a car for the entire stay on any of the islands except Oahu, although you should get a car for at least a day or two if you stay in Waikiki where most of the hotels and condos are. If you stay at one of the few choices outside Waikiki, you will need a car the whole time there unless you plan to just stay at one place for everything.

Waikiki is very walkable to hundreds of shops and restaurants, lots of beach and other activities, and many things to see and do. Great bus system for several of the places that are popular such as Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor.

So, just some food for thought. Hope it is helpful.

Have a great trip no matter what you decide.

Aloha

Canada
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2. Re: Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

The holiday period in Dec is an extremely popular time in Hawaii.You should be firming up plans without delay.

Before you book a thing, be sure there is a car rental available at a decent price for the time of your visit.They tend to sell out as time goes by. Many folks book accommodations at least a year out for this time period.

Kauai and Big Island are two very different Islands.

Your statement about the Big Island is rather curious. There are so many options on the Big Island for a visitor.....that even after many many extended stay visits, we haven't seen it all....or close to it.

Suggest you start by reading on each Island's forum Top Questions to see which is a better fit for your group.

While there are areas on each Island that have accommodation and restaurants nearby.....you wil definitely need a rental vehicle on each Island ...unless staying directly in Waikiki, Oahu

San Carlos...
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3. Re: Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

You really should stay on Maui in the Kaanapali resort area. On Kauai I would stay in the Kapaa area if you want to walk to restaurants, although you need a car on any island other than just staying in Honolulu/Waikiki.

Healy, Alaska
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4. Re: Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

I hope you haven't confused the Big island with Oahu - many visitors do that - Oahu is the most populated island where Honolulu is located - and the general hub for flying to the other islands. Because it is the most populated, many people presume that the Big island is the Main island. Hope that makes sense!

The Big Island is also known as the Island of Hawaii - has an active volcano and is MUCH larger than Kauai. Both of these islands are very rural and as different as day and night - I love them both. It really depends on what you want to do and see - both island would require a car and while Kauai is very suitable for a home rental, the Big Island usually is best explored from at least 2 different locations, staying on East & West sides of the island.

If you want to stay near restaurants & shopping, I would recommend Waikiki on Oahu, Kaanapali on Maui and Poipu for Kauai. I would book every thing as soon as you can - many folks book Christmas a year in advance. :)

Edited: 31 July 2013, 16:45
Healy, Alaska
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5. Re: Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

It is too early - What I meant in that first paragraph is that Oahu is the most populated and is what many people mean by the main island - it is NOT the Big island. Hope that clarifies things better - I couldn't edit my previous post! Sorry about that folks! :)

Dubai
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6. Re: Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

Thanks for all the feedback, I am referring to the big island of Hawaii not Oahu, we are trying to stay clear of the super touristy places but are a little worried about lack of good restaurants & bars that are walking distance in either the big island of Hawaii or Kauai. Also I keep hearing that you need to do both sides of the big island rather than staying in one place? Ideally we want restaurants, beautiful beaches and activities but not crazy busy tourist trap - am I asking the impossible?

Kauai, Hawaii
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7. Re: Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

No, it's not impossible. Kauai would fit the bill very well. Kauai is small - you can definitely stay in one place and still easily enjoy the entire island. And on Kauai, there is plenty to do! You can be as busy as you want. Get a good guide book and sort out what suits your group. It is also incredibly beautiful.

Kauai would fit your descript. The biggest problem would be finding the right accommodation for the holiday season. Do focus on Poipu. There are several very good restaurants there.

Parrish Collection is a management company that has high standards and very good properties. It is very popular and well know on our forum. Excellent reputation. I would recommend calling them to get started. And there is also vrbo.

Whatever island you choose, do book a car asap. We recommend www.discounthawaiicarrentals.com or Costco for the best deals.

Healy, Alaska
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8. Re: Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

I agree with mezzsop - sounds like Kauai would be a good fit for you. :)

Dubai
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9. Re: Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

Thanks so much Mezzsop that is great information. Question what is Hanalei vs Poipu like? Is Poipu larger hence the recommendation?

Edited: 31 July 2013, 19:21
Healy, Alaska
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10. Re: Big Island Hawaii vs Kauai

Hanalei is a delightful small town on the Northshore of Kauai. There are some restaurants & shops, but not nearly as many as the Poipu area. Also, winter conditions often make the north shore beaches too rough for swimming/snorkeling - and it is rainier north in the winter months, hence why the southern area of the island is recommended for winter holidays. :)