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Kona vs Maui - which island?!

Dallas, Texas
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Kona vs Maui - which island?!

We've been to Oahu and Kauai. We are trying to plan another Hawaiian family vacation. We are debating between Kona or Maui… We have two teenage sons, 16 and 18 years, looking for adventure and Activities, in addition to beach days! Pls share your advice!

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45 replies to this topic
Healy, Alaska
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1. Re: Kona vs Maui - which island?!

Kona is a place on the Big Island, also known as the Island of Hawaii. SO - when are you planning to come and how many days do you have? Any particular activities? Looking for hotel, condo, resort? Do share a bit more please. :)

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Kailua-Kona
Kailua-Kona
Island of Hawaii, HI
Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Kona vs Maui - which island?!

Just one week in August.

Canby, Oregon
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3. Re: Kona vs Maui - which island?!

Yes do let us know do you like water activities, hiking, sight seeing, hotel/condos right on sandy beaches and if seeing Volcano is important.

Rank in order. Both islands will be great.

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Kona vs Maui - which island?!

As mentioned above - Kona is an area on the Island of Hawaii.... if you meant to say you might chose the Island of Hawaii or Maui for one week - I'd pick Maui but if you meant that you only planned to visit the Kona area since you posted on the Kailua- Kona forum - of the Big Island one week would be ok but there are IMO better places on the BI to spend a week.

Edited: 03 April 2017, 18:26
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5. Re: Kona vs Maui - which island?!

Kona is not the beachy part of the Big Island. That is South Kohala. There are Top Questions on the differences between Kohala and Kona.

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Kailua-Kona
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Kohala Suites by Hilton Grand Vacations
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6. Re: Kona vs Maui - which island?!

The main difference between Maui and the Island of Hawaii is in the amount of development and people. Both islands have some of the best snorkeling in the state. Both islands have nice beaches, although there are more and bigger beaches on Maui (and they are also mostly much more busy). There is a lot more beachfront development on Maui, which means more beachfront lodging, especially condos. The Big Island has almost no beachfront development outside of a handful of hotels. The condo developments in the beach district of South Kohala are mostly all set back a ways, which is nice for the scenery aspect, but is not as desireable for people looking for a condo right on a beach.

Aside from the beachfront aspect, you get more bang for your buck in lodging on the Big Island - you can get a large, luxury two or three bedroom condo with central air starting at around $200-250 per night or even less.

The Big Island of course has the active volcano and the manta ray night snorkel, which are popular adventure activities. Maui has better beginning to intermediate surfing. Both places are good for SUPing, ocean kayaking.

Maui has more restaurants, shopping, walkable towns and more buzz.

That's kind of a general overview, so the questions you'd want to ask are, how important is a beachfront condo to you, what are you hoping to get in your budget, how important is VNP and the manta ray night snorkel, do you want more people watching, a little nightlife, and towns and shopping or less of that. The teens will also have more people in their age bracket on Maui.

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Dallas, Texas
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7. Re: Kona vs Maui - which island?!

Thank you! This is so helpful.

California
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8. Re: Kona vs Maui - which island?!

Do you have a good map of the Big Island? Do you have a good map of Maui?

The Big Island is 5.5 times as large as Maui! You could put more than 5 Mauis into the Big Island. Different population, topography, etc.

Buy a good travel guidebook for each Island, and a good (real) map ... and dig in. See what appeals to you.

Also, you're on a little sub-Forum for the Island of Hawaii/Big Island Forum. If you pull up the full Island of Hawaii Forum, scroll down a bit and see what being discussed. Also check out the Top Questions to the right-hand side of the screen.

Same drill for Maui. Pull up the Maui Forum and see what we're discussing. Lots of dialogue about accommodations, restaurants, activities and such. Check out their Top Questions as well.

* Keep moving ahead. August is a busy month!

Also, count your nights when planning. Not your weeks or days.

Edited: 03 April 2017, 22:36
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9. Re: Kona vs Maui - which island?!

I second everything SheaG said. We left Maui couple days ago (second trip there) and are now on BI for the first time. We have a great condo but are already missing Maui.

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10. Re: Kona vs Maui - which island?!

Well, I just spent Memorial Day here on an almost empty, gorgeous, easy to get to beach with some of the finest snorkeling and visibility in the state, something I could not have done on Maui. I do not miss Maui when I leave. lol.

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