Chance of a lifetime for us to visit Hawaii islands. Unfortunately only have time to visit either Kauai or Maui? Which should not be missed. Thanks.
Kauai was the first Hawaiian Island I ever visited, but since I saw Maui I have not been back to Kauai. Maui is more developed but there is much more to do, more choice of resorts and restaurants and shopping. Kauai has some excellent scenery, but a lot of that is often in clouds and rain. Na Pali coast has no equal, but it's hard to access. I love to snorkel, and Maui is way better for that. Had my car broken into in the hotel parking lot in Kauai, so maybe that effects my opinion too. Kauai and Lanai and Molokai are just side trips for me.
I think you need to explain you enjoy doing and what you would like to see while on the island. Both islands will provide you a wonderful vacation. Do you like to snorkel, do you like to spend evenings on the town, do you like to hike? What you are interested in will help the experts help you. As I said though, both islands are beautiful and you will not be bored at either place.
Kaui offers more chance to do things on your own (hiking exploring). Maui has more development for shopping dinning. You will likely enjoy both. Things unique to each:
Kauai: Waimea Canyon, Napili coast
Maui: Road to Hana, Haleakala
Of activities personally I think the Ziplining in Kauai is better, but the snorkeling may be better in Maui. Both offer great chances to do thing. Only on Kauai can you canoe/kayak up a river though.
If any of that is important there's your answers. If not tell us your idea of a hawaiian vacation and it might help to direct you to the proper island.
Maui is my favorite. Kauii is beautiful, but a little too quiet for our taste. We really love Maui, Kaanapali in particular. Not too quiet, but not too loud either.
You need to tell us when you are visiting ...
Who is "us?" You and spouse? Kids? Extended family?
How many nights do you have?
As a general rule, I would recommend Maui over Kauai for first-timers -- but we really need more detail. What are you looking for? What do you want to do on your trip?
My favorite is Maui, and my husband's favorite is Kauai. You have two winning choices.
I would agree with dhauk that Maui has more activities to offer. More beaches, more activities, more things to do and see, and yes more developed than Kauai. Hubby likes Kauai because it is quieter and less developed. They are both beautiful.
If you go to Kauai, the north side is very rainy, therefore very green and lush. But the south side is always sunny, so it is better to stay in Poipu area on the south, and just drive to the North side on day trips. The helicopter ride to see the Napali coast was awesome.
Or Maui...most visitors stay on South or West Maui.
My husband and I will be there July 25, for no more than 2 days. We love cliffs, mountains, oceans, canyons. I was thinking of driving on Hana highway in Maui. However, my husband may freak out on a 6 hours min. round trip drive, with possible bumper to bumper traffic. Otherwise, Maui would be our first choice. Heard that scenic drive in Kauai us more stunning than Hana drive. It would be more convenient for us to fly from Hilo to Maui. From Hilo, Going to Kauai requires a change of plane.
oh, so would go to kauai...sorry mauites...i love the peace and beauty of kauai. you can book it around the island in 2 days...yes, it would be fast, but there are many hikes in waimea, drives up the north coast, and lots of farmers markets. i love kauai..Edited: 14 April 2011, 21:39
I vote Maui, it's our favourite. We have been to Maui 4 times and on our last trip we went to Kauai, it is nice but we find the beaches nicer in Maui, the chickens started to get on my nerves as I'm a bit afraid of birds. We did go to a lovely Luau while on Kauai, and had some nice meals. I didn't like that it was a lot more humid than Maui and since we stayed in a hotel while on that island we didn't have use of a dryer and our towels, swimsuits etc never dried out.
Maui is more of a party island, with better snorkeling, Kauai is a lot more kick-back and quiet, both islands are a win-win in visiting, read up on both and see what fits the bill for you guys. Go to T.A. for Kauai just to get both sides of the story, good luck and have fun. Hubie