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Maui or Big Island

Eugene, Oregon
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839 posts
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Maui or Big Island

Greetings everyone!

I am in the very early stages of planning our spring break trip for 2013. Very early stages. I think that I have narrowed my search down to two islands: Maui or the Big Island.

I'd love to go to Kauai, but we are going there in August of 2013 with the football team and I don't want to go to the same place twice in one year. I don't want to go to Oahu because I'd like to avoid the larger city and crowds. Waikiki holds no appeal to me.

Maybe some of you could steer me in the right direction. Here are some of the particulars and further information about us:

We have to stay in a Marriott, as we will be cashing in points.

There will be four of us: hubby and me late 30s, son 17 and daughter 13.

We are not what I would call hikers. We love a good beach, love to swim in the ocean, and adore a good pool. We like the outdoors a lot, but prefer not to expend too much effort getting to it. In other words, I'm not interested in daily hikes.

We like to explore and get away from the tourist areas, or at least away from the big crowds.

We have a relatively healthy budget for food since airfare and car will be mostly free due to gift certificates that I won, and the hotel will be paid for in points.

Our favorite place that we have vacationed thus far is Isla Mujeres in Mexico. We liked it because we were able to live in the neighborhoods with the locals and there weren't huge crowds of partiers. It was definitely a live-in-your-swimsuit kind of vacation where dressed up meant wearing nicer flip flops.

My least favorite place that we have vacationed was Cancun. Didn't like the concrete jungle.....it felt phony. Loved the ocean there, though. We also didn't care much for Miami Beach. Too many fellow vacationers that were VERY impressed with their own physique.

Can anyone give me pros and cons of the islands that I've mentioned? Thoughts?

Thank you very much!

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Quintana Roo, Mexico
Maui Tours and Transportation
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Cranbrook, Canada
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415 posts
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1. Re: Maui or Big Island

My vote would be for Maui. Nicer beaches. Smaller island, not as much driving. Enough restaurants and shopping to keep most people happy.

Camarillo...
Destination Expert
for Maui
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4,867 posts
9 reviews
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2. Re: Maui or Big Island

Well, you've posted this on the Maui Forum so most of the replies here will probably favor Maui :-) Here is a link from the general Hawaii Forum that gives a brief description of each of the islands...

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28932-c1048/Hawaii:U…

There are a couple of Marriott options for you on Maui. Based on your description of what you like, I'd suggest you take a look at the Wailea Marriott in South Maui. It has recently been completely refurbished and has a nice infinity pool. There are also two terrific beaches adjacent to the oceanfront corners of the property that are among the best on Maui.

Edit: Oh I've just noticed that you've also posted this on the Hawaii forum as well.

Edited: 27 March 2012, 22:47
Eugene, Oregon
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839 posts
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3. Re: Maui or Big Island

Thank you both.....yes, I did post on both forums. :)

Anyone else with an opinion? I'd especially like to hear why you prefer one island over the other.

Thanks!

S W Arkansas
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for Kihei, Maui, Hana, Haleakala National Park
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4. Re: Maui or Big Island

Better beaches, more restaurant choices, smaller island means less driving to explore. Oh I sound like razbone in post #1

I loved our week on the BI, but Maui holds our heart even after 20 plus trips (2 wks per trip).

Arroyo Grande...
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1,348 posts
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5. Re: Maui or Big Island

How many nights will you be on Maui??

Too bad you have decided to 'dis Oahu sight unseen. Most of the island is rural ... and the island itself if gorgeous.

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Newberg, Oregon
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6. Re: Maui or Big Island

Another vote for Maui. Same reasons, especially restaurants, though. Our next trip there is September. But also have booked Kona on the Big Island for March 2013. Staying at our Worldmark timeshares both trips. Using airmiles so almost 2 free trips!

Edited: 28 March 2012, 00:08
San Jose, California
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7. Re: Maui or Big Island

Maui has more and better beaches. And Wailea Marriott in South Maui is a very nice area. Upscale and more peaceful than most other popular resort areas on Maui.

Big island is BIG, you will have to do a lot more driving. I remember driving all day to see some of their sights. But the Big Island is more slow and less crowded than Maui.

I am also not a huge fan of Oahu, and not fond of Waikiki Beach.

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Washington, DC
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8. Re: Maui or Big Island

There IS a lot of driving on the Big Island, but if you like driving through beautiful desolation (as I do), there's a lot to be said for it. It is definitely a quieter place than Maui... Having said that - you mentioned you were going for Spring Break, which for most folks is a week. If that's the case and you've never visited either island, I think the definite choice would be Maui... You'll want to be in a more compact area to fully enjoy the experience!

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
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9. Re: Maui or Big Island

This is tough....I really love both islands! However I'm not a huge fan of the Marriott Hotel location on either island.

With teens I would look at the Marriott Beach Club on Maui on Kaanapali Beach...condos give you much more space and a fridge is a real budget saver when traveling with bottomless pits. It's also on a gorgeous beach and offers tons for teens to do.

Just realize that spring break in Hawaii will always involve tons of families at any resort you visit.

San Jose, California
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10. Re: Maui or Big Island

Sorry, I will have to disagree with Mamma on the Marriott at Kaanapali beach.

Kaanapali beach is Maui's version of Waikiki beach. This beach is lined by condos, resorts, and an outdoor mall. It is a very beautiful beach, just too crowded and touristy. If you don't like Cancun, Miami Beach and Waikiki beach, you probably will not like this area either.

Wailea is much more peaceful and relaxing, with lots of nice sandy beaches to spread out. Waliea is very beautiful.

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