We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

which island - Maui or Kauai?

Rockies BC
Level Contributor
1,001 posts
6 reviews
Save Topic
which island - Maui or Kauai?

I have been staying away from this wonderful forum for the past while because with a new baby I just can't bear to daydream about a paradise that I can't visit for 4 or more years. However, Baby Cutie is proving to be such a sweetie (and Miss 7 an ideal Big Sister) that we are now playing with the idea of returning to Hawaii perhaps in the fall of 2012, when Baby Cutie will be 2 yrs old. So now I am wondering if we should expand our horizons and try Kauai instead of Maui?

Here's what I LOVE about Maui: I love the bustle of Kihei and could spend hours in the quilting shop at the Azeka Mall. I love the family-friendliness of the Kam beaches. I love poking around the Kalama village shops. I love the funkiness of Paia & could drop (and have dropped!) a small fortune in the gallery shops. I love watching the surfers at Hookipa and could spend hours - days - watching them and the surf roooooooooooooll in. I love the peacefulness of Haiku and the Fourth Div'n Marine Park. I love poking around Makawao and nosing around all of Upcountry, enjoying the gardens, the winding lanes, the views (and the wine at the winery!) I love driving up the Haleakala the being on top of the world. I love the drive to Hana and how I feel like the world's most skillful driver as I whip round corners with fierce concentration while still taking in the views. I love the historical sites - the sugar museum, all the historical buildings in Lahaina - I've been to the museum in the old Courthouse three times!, Wailuku, the Bailey house, the Kepaniwai heritage gardens. I probably wouldn't miss Kaanapali but I do like taking the beach path & seeing how the other half lives in those posh resorts. I most of all love the beach at Poolenalena (see my TR from the fall of 2009!).

So, given all that, would I enjoy Kauai? I have read more than once that some people find Maui to be too commercial/ized; I don't have that perspective. Most importantly, would there be enough for an 8 yr old & a 2 yr old to do when the parents do not want to spend the entire day on the beach but like to sightsee and (in my case) do a bit of shopping?

Mahalo for the input!

Hana, Hawaii
Level Contributor
8,062 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: which island - Maui or Kauai?

Yea EastBC! You now came back to cause trouble with the great "Kaua'i VS Maui" debate! LOL (Just kidding!) Posted a comment to you on Kaua'i TA. I don't know what to say. I can see you being very happy as a family in Maui again. (Beaches might be a bit tamer for Baby Cutie and there is probably more activities to chose that Kaua'i. So I can see you going back to Maui. Of course, now there's nothing wrong with Kaua'i...just depends...plenty there.

Haven't I been a great help. EastBC, you know, YOU are going to have to decide. What about other constraints such as condo prices...airfares...etc? (Lots of price range lodging on Maui you know....especially Kihei!) I really think it depends what KIND of pace of vacation you want EastBC.

Ok, I am ready to get grief now from other posters. There's no way you're going to lose with either Island; after all, it's paradise!

Edited: 24 July 2011, 20:21
Maui
Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
Level Contributor
56,426 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: which island - Maui or Kauai?

Aloha,

Oh, good to hear from you, East!!! And good to hear all is well with Miss 7 and Miss 1. Congrats on the expansion of the family.

I'm biased............but think that for Miss 1's first trip, Maui would be better. Not because you-and the whole family wouldn't enjoy Kauai, I know you would. But I'm thinking about (another) long plane ride and all........and how you feel so "at home" on Maui. It's that feeling of ease and R&R that will make it 'coming home' instead of feeling like you now have to go/learn/do everything on a "new" island, I guess. Hope that makes sense!

Besides-I want to see Miss 7-8 and meet miss 1-2. So I'm being selfish, I admit it!

Hana, Hawaii
Level Contributor
8,062 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: which island - Maui or Kauai?

As much as I respect my friends on Kaua'i TA, I must totally agree that SW is correct about Maui for a lot of reasons. This is not meant to be critical (it will be taken so), I think Maui by nature is more family friendly with resorts and beaches...especially for young kids. (Of course on Kaua'i there is south Kaua'i which is wonderful!)

But I think SW would agree with me that Maui is probably the better choice for you, especially with young Baby Cutie.....Wouldn't you agree with me SW?

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
Level Contributor
46,990 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: which island - Maui or Kauai?

Welcome back EastBC. Glad to hear all is well with Baby Cutie and I know Miss 7 must be great big sister. I can't tell you of all the neat stuff to do on Kauai, as I've only been there twice. I loved it. Stayed on the north shore once and then on the south shore. Thinking variety is the spice of life I recommend you go to Kauai. It's stunningly beautiful. Sure, there might not be as many things to do as on Maui but there are things to do!! Enough for the little ones, with buckets and shovels and wonderful beaches. The locals are very friendly and accommodating. As caddy has said, you can't go wrong!!

Bellingham...
Level Contributor
619 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: which island - Maui or Kauai?

Last year, when my wife and I were deciding on which island to go to, it was a similar situation. We had been to Maui a few times before, and the lure of Kauai was tempting. However, we were bringing kids in tow for the first time. In the end, we decided on Maui - primarily because knowing that we had seen all that we had wanted to see in our first few trips. We knew we didn't have to drag the kids around somewhere that we wanted to see (knowing they had no interest).

Funny but we ran into the same thing AGAIN this year. We were dead set on Kauai, but a friend got us a good deal on a timeshare. Also, my in-laws wanted to come this time, and they wanted to go to Maui (hey - free babysitting). So, Maui - here we come. Again!!! :-)

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
1,716 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: which island - Maui or Kauai?

Maui and Kauai are both beautiful islands (Our two favorites). Based on your descriptions of long list of things you like to do. You should go to Maui.

We were there quite a few years ago with our 2 year old, pretty much spent our whole vacation at Poipu beach. A great family beach on the southern tip. But not a whole lot else for families with young children.

Hubby and I used to go to Kauai more often before we had kids, we enjoyed hiking, and going to remote beaches. Now that we have young kids, we find ourselves prefering Maui. It has so much more to offer than Kauai.

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
Level Contributor
20,585 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: which island - Maui or Kauai?

We went to Maui for many years, had a family condo in Kihei. Felt it was time to go to Kauai about 1990 and much prefer it. The Keiki beach in Poipu is just wonderful for families with clear shallow water, shade, picnic tables. We've been bringing our 7 year old grandchild since she was one to the south shore. She just loves all there is to do on Kauai.

We drive up to the north shore and go to Hanale where there are one lane bridges, waterfalls, have a Shave Ice, we enjoy trying a new place everyday, visit the Kauai Dairy, the Chocolate Co, go on Capt. Andy's sunset sail (can sit inside with baby) out of Port Allen, Lygate Beach has the best playground, Train at Kilohana Plantation, Wildlife Refuge and Lighthouse, our GD took a surf lesson. Some like the museum in Lihue or even a helo ride. There is the Spouting Horn, local farmer markets.

If you stay at the Hyatt in Poipu, there is a wonderful salt water lagoon, right next to the ocean, that the baby can play in the sand at water's edge, rent one of the kayaks and paddle smoothly around the lagoon, go on the water slide, or swim in their pool system. View the black and white swan.

If not a guest, the Hyatt has free Parrot shows in their outdoor lobby, feeding of the Koi fish, lei making, hula shows by kids at the Seaview Terrace on Tuesday and Saturday at 7 PM.

La Costa, California
Level Contributor
2,625 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: which island - Maui or Kauai?

and Canative don't forget the Kauai Coffee Co. My wife and I had a real nice visit there.

Kauai is beautifull and everything tells me it should be my favorite, but I keep going back to Maui. It's mainly that I've found better snorkelling on Maui and we had a hard time finding moderately priced restaurants that we liked on Kauai. Maui, to me is the compromise between natural beauty, and fun toursity stuff.

We're going next month for the 5th time to Maui, we'll get back to Kauai, I hope, next summer.

Dave

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
25,488 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: which island - Maui or Kauai?

Aloha,

Maybe Kauai the next time.

I love Kauai because I love the outdoors, I can shop on Oahu, and I cant sit still in a resort like setting.

Maybe when the kids are older you can do more outdoor stuff with them.

After all, your the one that used " Love" 11 times in your post.

There will be many more times to explore. I think your heart is still in Maui.

Aloha

Rockies BC
Level Contributor
1,001 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: which island - Maui or Kauai?

Thanks everyone for the "welcome back" and the great ideas! SW, you have made a good point about feeling "at home" on Maui - and how it's nice to not have to cope with a new place when dealing with a toddler on her first "real" trip. In fact, I feel so "at home" on Maui that I was starting to notice the things that were NOT so great about Maui the last time! Altho when I think about it now, some 9 mo later, I can't really recall specifics about the less-than-great things, & just remember how great it really was!

Again, mahalo for all your input - and can I truly spot Caddy & his Shackettes if I make it to Hana next time? I'll be looking for pink! EastBC