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Maui vs Kauai

Birmingham, United...
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Maui vs Kauai

Hello Hawaii Experts

Me and my husband, both mid 20s, are planning on visiting Hawaii in September /October. We've been to Oahu last year and now plan to venture another island for our next trip. I'd love to see both islands, but we can only choose one. Which one is better for a young married couple to visit? We are looking for a laid back, relaxing holiday but we will also do touristy stuff and activities available within the location but subject to cost. We want to make sure too that there are plenty of restaurants to choose from and shops to visit (but doesn't have to be like the shopping centres in Waikiki) as long as we have shops to go to to buy souvenirs and necessities. We don't hike, scuba dive or surf. We like to see historical places, beautiful sceneries and go on road trips.

So which island would be suitable for us, and which area in That island would be best for us to stay in :)

Thank you!!!

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1. Re: Maui vs Kauai

I posted a similar question in the Maui forum yesterday so those replies might be helpful to you. I still can't make my decision and we are in a very similar situation to you, except this is our first trip to Hawaii and we are planning to see Oahu and another island. I will be watching this thread for replies too!

St. Louis, MO
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2. Re: Maui vs Kauai

You'll want to hear from destinations experts and others who have visited both islands (many have visitied both regulary), and I know you'll get responses.

You can search on this forum too as I've seen this question asked a great deal since I've been reading this forum for help planning our Kauai trip. Just put in Search in: Kauai forum and in the next box put in Maui vs. Kauai and click on the search key. You can do the same with "Maui forum" too.

I haven't been to either yet, but FYI here is a little survey about picking an island that might give you some insight also. It just includes the main four people typically go to.


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3. Re: Maui vs Kauai

Both islands are great especially that time of the year. This is a frequently asked question and if you type your question into the search box, many will pop up. We on this forum love Kauai, which is why we like to help others love it.

Maui definately has more restaurants and more right on the beach resorts. Kauai is more laid back, less people, adventure filled with lots of great hiking and activities. They have very nice stores but not huge shopping centers like Maui's Wailea Center with Gucci, Coach etc. I like the little shops that line Kapaa town and Hanalei. I like to go to the farmer's markets and honor stands for my fruits and vegies. Kauai is all about that. Since Kauai is the oldest of the islands, there is a lot of history. Visit the beautiful gardens, the monestary, the Kauai Museum and more. Both islands are wonderful but Kauai will steal your heart.

Destination Expert
for Maui
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4. Re: Maui vs Kauai

I love Maui for the MANY different restaurants, the awesome snorkeling ( better than on Kauai), many beautiful beaches and activities... Everything is convenient yet there are places you can still get away and be very secluded.

I love Kauai for the north shore- many people love the south, and I'll visit- but the north does it for me. The mountains, ocean, waterfalls and rainbows all in one view. The peace and the serenity.

Can't go wrong with either!

Destination Expert
for Poipu
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5. Re: Maui vs Kauai

Well, there's not much "road tripping" to do on Kauai - it's 2 hours from one end of the island to another (there's no road that goes all the way around) so for that point I'd say - Maui (Road to Hana).

For me, Kauai's main draw is hiking, but there are plenty of folks who go to Kauai and never set foot on a trail. There are "walks" that really shouldn't be missed - the stroll up to the Kalalau Lookout in Waimea Canyon and the Lithified Cliffs next to the Hyatt, the beach path on the east side.

There are some historical sites on the island, but they may not be as "polished" as you might expect - Grove Farm, Kauai Museum, Waioi Mission House and church, the Russian Fort, and many heiaus.

Shopping - you'll find a cute shop here or there and there's always Macy's and Costco with their local style and souvenir selections, but if you plan to occupy large blocks of time shopping to fill another suitcase, you may be disappointed.

If you go to Kauai you really should budget for a helicopter tour (doors off if you have the $$) or a Na Pali boat tour.

We've been to Kauai in September twice now, and it can get HOT earlier in the month in Poipu, particularly if the trade winds die down. We're planning a trip for Sept. 2013 and leaning towards renting a house in Hanalei the 2nd week (but I keep changing my mind, so who knows where we'll end up?).

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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6. Re: Maui vs Kauai

My comments in the Maui forum don't change.... I like Kauai better. I like Maui, but for contrast to Oahu, Kauai is it.

Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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7. Re: Maui vs Kauai

It's more than 2 hours from end to end of the road on Kaua`i. Waimea Canyon is a good road trip. We always enjoyed just driving around the back roads seeing what there was to be seen. Any road trip here is going to include a lot of stops to see things along the way.

Lion's Head, Canada
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8. Re: Maui vs Kauai

I prefer Kauai, DW prefers Maui. The last several trips have always included Maui and Oahu, with some Kauai and Lanai time as well.

Bottom line, though, when it comes to Hawaiian Islands.... we like them ALL!

Kaua'i, HI
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
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9. Re: Maui vs Kauai

Aloha from Kaua'i!

Apples and oranges - each island has its fans and each island is unique and different from another.

I live on Kaua'i, so obviously I prefer it over Maui - when I do go off island to Maui, I enjoy the Kahului area and driving to Hana - beautiful areas that aren't as commercial and resort oriented as the Lahaina/Kāʻanapali area.

Kaua'i is laid back, more rural than many areas on the other main islands, and relies more on its natural beauty for attractions.

You just need to research and find which one you prefer since everyone is different.

I don't like pitting one island against another - because there is no right answer for everyone.

Malama Pono,


Los Angeles...
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for Venice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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10. Re: Maui vs Kauai

There is no right or wrong answer, or decision for that matter. I guarantee that you will be happy whichever Island you pick. They are both breathtaking. You can go to Maui this year and to Kauai next one, or the other way around. Just pick one.