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July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

Pittsburgh...
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July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

Hi everyone. I have been reading a lot about the Hawaiian islands as my fiance and I are planning a honeymoon for the 3rd week in July. We're trying to decide between Maui and Kauai, so I'll tell you a little bit about us.

What is important to me: Clear water and great food. Ziplining. A luau.

What is important to fiance: Avoiding crowds. Nice scenery and waterfalls.More to do than just sit on the beach. He loves to fish and also loves to go out to dinner, so good restaurants are very important to us. He would also love to experience a luau.

So it seems to me that Kauai would be best to avoid crowds. However, it seems that Maui would be more appropriate for restaurants, beaches, and fishing.

So my question is... will we likely feel too claustrophobic to enjoy Maui in July? Are there less crowded areas in Maui that are still close enough to Lahaina so that we could go to the luau and enjoy nice beaches and restaurants?

Finally, are there areas in Kauai that might have a good mix of what we are looking for? We are looking to spend $200-$300 per night on accommodations.

Thanks in advance!

Minnesota
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1. Re: July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

Crowded in Maui and Kauai is not the same as crowded other places. Yes summer is more crowded and busy but I will be on both islands in July and know that I will find plenty of uncrowded places. Both islands have beaches I avoid because of the crowds yet both have quiet beaches. Maui is more developed so there are more choices of things. On Maui, with your budget I would suggest the Napili area to stay or even a Kapalua villa on VRBO. It is a quieter area to stay yet you can drive to anything. You didn't say anything about snorkeling, but that is better on Maui. Wider variety of restaurants as well. Waterfalls can be seen on the Road to Hana.

Kauai is less developed. The south shore will have more restaurants and some crowded beaches, but some less so also. The north shore is the most beautiful place I have been where you can see rainbows, waterfalls and the ocean all at once. Quieter there but less restaurants to choose from.

I really don't think you can go wrong....I love both places for different things and I always stay where it is quieter and go to quieter beaches.

California
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2. Re: July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

Either Island is fine - but with your criteria, I would direct you to Maui. The "crowd" issue depends on how you spend your time and where exactly you stay. I wouldn't worry about it.

Pittsburgh...
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3. Re: July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

Thank you for the help! I have never been to Hawaii before, so I really appreciate the advice. I will check out Napili and Kapalua areas.

I didn't mention snorkeling, because I actually have never been snorkeling, but we are interested in trying it out. Any good beginner spots that come to mind?

Iowa
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4. Re: July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

One of the best beginner snorkeling spots is Kapakula Bay. Be sure to go early in the day wherever you are.

I agree with looking to stay in beautiful Napili or Kapalua in the summer. You will love it!

Edited: 02 December 2012, 21:00
Iowa
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5. Re: July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

Sorry meant Kapalua Bay! Didn't notice my silly auto correct.

Minnesota
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6. Re: July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

LOL Teri, I was just about to correct you :) Kapalua is great in the summer and usually has great conditions for snorkeling Usually lots of fish as well as turtles in Kapalua Bay. Another easy area, but you aren't in a protected bay is Airport Beach. It is really easy, park in the lot drop your stuff, walk a ways north, enter water and float down until you get back to your stuff.

Birmingham, Alabama
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7. Re: July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

I love airport beach for snorkeling. Entry is much easier than kapalua, they have good parking, nice showers/bathrooms. You are right by a resort so it can be busy but the beach is big so it doesnt usually feel crazy crowded.

Kapalua parking can be a bear if you arent there early.

Maluaka beach at makena beach resort down south is also easy for snorkeling and not terribly crowded.

Iowa
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8. Re: July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

Travelbugged, I love Kahekili (Airport Beach) too! We stayed at Honua Kai on our last trip and snorkeled there almost every morning. It's a pretty easy place to snorkel, but for beginners, entry can be just a little tricky since there is so much coral close to the beach, don't you think?

At Kapalua you can enter toward the sandy center of the cresent bay then float to the reef at either side along the lava outcrops.

Rachel, it's important not to stand on the coral. Take a look at the "top questions" section in the upper right of this page. Under "Where do I snorkel?" there is a reef etiquette video that you will enjoy and should see.

Snorkeling from shore you will see amazing coral, fish, turtles and more at both places and it is soooo worth doing. It's really very easy if you do a little learning ahead of time.

Come back with lots more questions! Have a great trip!

Edited: 02 December 2012, 21:32
Iowa
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9. Re: July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

Konagirl, guess we cross posted, and... we disagree! :-)

Why do you think entry is easier at Kahekili? Maybe I was in the wrong place!

And I love Maluaka too. We're staying there in January!

Edited: 02 December 2012, 21:35
Minnesota
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10. Re: July- Kauai vs. Maui- will Maui be too crowded?

Teri- At airport, we found an area as we walked north that was a sandy entry between the coral that was easy to enter. It does get deeper quickly so I think some people don't like that. It's amazing that as soon as you start to float you see things. Kapalua is a little rocky in the shallow area so I think some people don't like that. Either way both places are fabulous to snorkel.