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Kauai vs Maui

New Hampshire
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Kauai vs Maui

Hi - My husband and I are planning on taking a trip to Hawaii in either October or November of this year. This will be our first trip there and we plan to go for just a week and stay on one island during our stay. We are looking to just go an relax, maybe do some snorkeling and sightseeing. We're really not into the late night party atmosphere. We have been looking into either Kauai or Maui and would like to get some opinions on which island might be best for us. We look forward to hearing from you! :)

Venice, Florida
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for Kauai
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1. Re: Kauai vs Maui

From what you have said, I'd recommend Kauai hands down. This is definitely not a "party" island and is more laid back than Maui. There are no hi rise hotels and condos in Kauai and it has (at least in my opinion) a much more rural, genuine tropical island feel.

mandeville, la
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2. Re: Kauai vs Maui

Kauai is beautiful, but I didn't think there was that much to do and see. I went for one day and that was enough for me. (I, too, like laidback, non-party atmosphere but like to sightsee, hike, etc.) I haven't been to Maui but that is my next "wish list" place to go on vacation. You'll probably love whereever you go - I adored the Big Island and Oahu was great too!!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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3. Re: Kauai vs Maui

Well, both islands are lovely, and while I had fun on Maui, I don't have a strong desire to return, nor has it captured my heart like Kauai has. Maui does have lots more shopping and restaurants if that is important to you - but that comes at a price - LOTS more crowds. It felt very touristy to me . . . I got tired of dealing with traffic jams and crowds, but it has some very scenic spots - I especially enjoyed Hana and the Tedeschi Winery.

Kauai - how anyone could run out of things to do - my first visit was for 16 days and there are still many things I have yet to do on that incredible island!

What makes Kauai special? Well, as someone else already mentioned, there are no high rises as the law states no building can be taller than a coconut tree, so nothing to mar the incredible views. There are no mongooses on Kauai, so there are more birds there than any of the other Hawaiian islands. There is the incredible Waimea canyon to explore (considered the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), Kokee State park, tons of hiking, rivers to kayak and all the wonderful water activities including swimming, snorkeling, diving, etc. Some of the most beautiful beaches on all the Hawaiian islands. It also has the true Aloha spirit that makes it such a special place. Everyone has their favorite Hawaiian island - just depends what you are looking for. Good luck! :)

New Hampshire
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4. Re: Kauai vs Maui

Wow - this is the first time I'm posting on a forum and I think I'm addicted now. (ha ha)

Thanks for your responses. So far it sounds like Kauai is the place for us. We really appreciate your thoughts on the topic!

Bellingham...
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5. Re: Kauai vs Maui

You say you want a place to just go and relax - well I vote for Kauai! I have been to both Kauai and Maui and enjoy them both, just Kauai is just way more laid back and relaxing than Maui. I am sure you will find plenty to do while you are there and the sightseeing is magnificent. I am scheduled to leave on April 28 for Maui for two weeks and am planning to spend one of those weeks on Kauai and can hardly wait!

Moorpark, California
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for Kauai, Catalina Island
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6. Re: Kauai vs Maui

"Kauai is beautiful, but I didn't think there was that much to do and see. I went for one day and that was enough for me." ---- WOW! I don't think I ever seen anyone say this before. We have traveling to the Hawaiian Islands since 1979. Kauai is our favorite island, by far. We have seen all of the islands at least twice. We spend 10-14 days on Kauai and can never get to everything we want to do. Going back again for 10 days in June. Making plans for all fo the stuff we did not get to do last December. We don't do the night life stuff but we love to hike, swim, bike ride, site see, shop, relax, eat, etc. etc. Kauai is a great place to visit and a lot less expensive than the Big Island or Maui.

Oxnard, California
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7. Re: Kauai vs Maui

I have been to both Maui and Kaua'i, and though I like Maui, nothing compares to Kaua'i! Unless you are someone who doesn't enjoy the outdoors (and yes, I know some and they would be utterly bored on Kaua'i), and unless you have a need to be among crowds and enjoy night life every night, I don't see how you could not enjoy Kaua'i. Every one of the Hawaiian islands has something unique to offer, but I remember my first visit to Hawaii over 20 years ago, and how I kept saying to myself, "Kauai is the Hawaii I always dreamed of growing up."

Santa Rosa...
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8. Re: Kauai vs Maui

Katrinabrain wrote:

Kauai is beautiful, but I didn't think there was that much to do and see. I went for one day and that was enough for me.

ONE DAY? I'm not sure how would even know what there even is to see and do on Kauai when you're there for only one day. With all due respect, I'd have to totally dismiss an assessment of there not being much to see or do there when it was only given one day. That's not even enough time to figure it all out.

Moorpark, California
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for Kauai, Catalina Island
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9. Re: Kauai vs Maui

Napaguy,

DITTO! I guess that was what I was trying to say in my post....

Marti

Seattle, WA. USA
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10. Re: Kauai vs Maui

Based the admittedly limited info you posted I'd have to agree that Kauai seems like a closer match. However, in truth, the few things you listed can easily be found on either island (just because you aren't interested in nightlife doesn't mean that you wouldn't find what you are looking for on Maui).

I'm not trying to confuse you or cloud the issue, merely to point out that you probably need to investigate the "sights" that each island offers in a bit more detail before you make any kind of decision. Maui and Kauai are both wonderful in their own way. Clearly Kauai is the most scenic (actually the most scenic of ALL the Hawaiian Islands) but in truth Maui is the most balanced - and relaxation and snorkeling is easily available on either island.

Rest assured however that EITHER island sounds like it would meet your needs. Personally I prefer Kauai, but we enjoyed our stay on Maui a great deal as well.