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Maui vs. Oahu

San Diego...
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Maui vs. Oahu

My husband and I are looking to plan our first trip to Hawaii. We are both in our 20's, and I am torn between Maui or Oahu. I have been looking up information on both islands, and I just cannot make a decision. We will be going for one week, and will only be visiting one island (I wish we could see more). I have read all the reviews and spoke with different family members/friends and it seems to be a tie, but Maui might be slightly ahead. I want to be able to relax and enjoy the beach for the most part, but on a few days still be able to explore and enjoy the island. I would like to enjoy the night, which makes me lean more towards Oahu..but everyone says that Waikiki is very congested and city like. I feel like if I don't go to one, Ill be missing out on something! Also, if you could put your suggestions on where to stay that would be great!!! I was looking to stay on Waikiki of course for Oahu, and Kaanapali for Maui.

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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21,484 posts
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1. Re: Maui vs. Oahu


Oahu has some of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii if not the World.

Check out Kailua or Lanikai for a rental


The North Shore of Oahu all the way to East Side is not built up at all.

Only a short 30 min. drive from Kailua is Waikiki, a good place for dining and great nitelife.

Also, a lot more Patriot Fans,


Sydney, Australia
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510 posts
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2. Re: Maui vs. Oahu

Hi there,

I second Oahu!

Oahu has far superior beaches to Maui and is alot more fun in my opinion (especially for a couple in their 20's).

If you have the time, I suggest splitting your stay between Waikiki and somewhere on the beautiful North Shore (we LOVED Turtle Bay Resort).

That way, you get the best of both worlds - party in Waikiki and then relax on the North Shore for a few days.

We did 5 nights Waikiki, 4 nights Turtle Bay and then 6 nights Maui (Kaanapali) on our last trip. Our time on Oahu was our favourite, hands down.

Good luck and have a great trip!

Manhattan Beach...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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19,436 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: Maui vs. Oahu

If it's your first trip to Hawaii, I'd choose Oahu. Pick your hotel in Waikiki carefully. The right hotel will make your trip just what you want.

Be sure and rent a car a couple days to drive around the island, the beaches there are beautiful too.

laguna niguel, ca
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7,324 posts
14 reviews
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4. Re: Maui vs. Oahu

You need to know everyone has their favorite island, so there is no one answer. Maui has a lot of very nice pool resorts, also Maui is abut 100% tourist so there is no city to deal with. If you watch hawaii 5-0 you can see what waikiki is like.

Personally I find the beach in waikiki much more interesting and fun than kanapali and there are a lot better bars in restaurants in waikiki, but that is just me. Maui is also nice but in a different way. Maui is more like a rancho mirage stay, Waikiki is more like pacific beach

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
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51,363 posts
422 reviews
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5. Re: Maui vs. Oahu

In your 20's, for a honeymoon, Oahu.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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2,206 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Maui vs. Oahu

Think of Maui as the the New England Patriots- A good, solid place to visit and certainly a playoff team.

Think of Oahu as the New York Giants- SuperBowl Champs, a place that has it all!

Victoria, Canada
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142 posts
22 reviews
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7. Re: Maui vs. Oahu

You're going to get Oahu lovers on this forum and Maui lovers on their own. Maybe post your question to both?

You're right to just visit one island, no point spending part of your precious week in the airports. They are both gorgeous (the islands, not the airports!). Oahu has more big-city stuff going on in Honolulu and has exquisite beaches outside the city, plus some very interesting historical sites. Kaanapali in Maui is 100% resort and is absolutely stunning, but without the big-city vibe. Nothing to distract you from having a fantasy tropical vacation.

I had to make this choice for our upcoming summer vacation (okay, it's our 8th (9th?) trip to Hawaii so the angst wasn't so acute) and I went by which resort I wanted to stay at. Going to check out a new one on Oahu that sounds perfect.

Either way, wander, explore, relax and enjoy!

8. Re: Maui vs. Oahu

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