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Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?

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Chicago, Illinois
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Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?

Hi all,

I greatly apologize if this question has been asked lately but I would really love a fresh take on reasons to just do Oahu for a week and skip Maui?

I feel a little internal pressure to do more than one island, but I really would prefer not to... I don't want to go through the trouble of hopping to another island just because.

I have been reading tons of opinions online and have a nagging feeling Maui might just be too slow/nothing special for me.

I am just feeling a little indecisive and would love the support of your wonderful community.

Thank you!

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1. Re: Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?

One week = One island. You can do either one, but stick to just one. It's a long trip, and your first day will be a little blurred as your body adjusts to the time change. Departure days are also a little 'lost'.

Most first-time visitors want to see the historic sights in Honolulu and spend at least a day driving around Oahu's pretty east and north shores. You might even split your stay with a night or two at Turtle Bay -- very different from Waikiki.

However, a lot of Chicagoans seem to believe that Maui (Kaanapali, to be specific) IS Hawaii, so maybe you want Maui! LOL

WHEN you visit could be another factor. In winter the northernmost parts of Kauai and Oahu are likely to be wet and windy, and the ocean will certainly be rough. Maui is not usually AS affected, although I wouldn't book Napili or Kapalua then.

You NEED a car for Maui; not within Honolulu.

Atlantic, Iowa
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2. Re: Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?

If you only have a week, I would suggest staying on one island. If you like lots of nightlife, etc. Oahu would be best for you. Maui is more laid back, island feel with lots of water activities. They have some nightlife, but definately more limited than Waikiki. If you are into partying, stay on Oahu.

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3. Re: Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?

Maui is, frankly, a little bland. That is, unless you want to spend hours in the car driving the Road to Hana or schlepping up a dormant volcano in the dark amid a pack of tourists to sit and watch the sun rise (the same sun that'll be rising everywhere else in the world.)

I love staying on Kaanapali Beach for a few days to just lie on the beach, snorkel Black Rock, and read a book by the pool. But after a few days of that I get a little restless and start to wish I was on Oahu.

I think of Maui as the golf-coursiest of all the Hawaiian islands: manicured, clean, with far less international flavor than you get on Oahu.

So, basically, all the stuff that Maui offers someone like me I can just as easily enjoy on Oahu.

Now, if your idea of a great week's vacation is packing three times, unpacking three times, driving to airports three times, going through airport security three times, watching airplane water-landing videos three times, checking into hotels twice, and realizing you lost half a day that you could have spent enjoying Hawaii -- by all means squeeze in both islands.

: )

But unless you really want to drive the lo-o-o-ng Road to Hana or hike Haleakala crater/that area, I really don't think Maui is worth squeezing in to such a short trip.

Hope that helps!

Edited: 03 October 2012, 19:17
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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4. Re: Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?


Stay on Oahu, you will enjoy it and not come close to seeing everything in a week. Maui is different, true-just as each island is.

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5. Re: Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?

It all depends on what you want to do. But stick to one island if you only have a week. You have never been to Hawaii, before - right ... and so you are trying to anticipate some things that you really can't ... picture. Like Maui being "nothing special." You are SO wrong. LOL!

So here's the deal: there is no wrong answer. Oahu is generally rural, but includes the City of Honolulu (sizeable at over 800,000 people). So if you crave more of an urban experience - choose Oahu. Also, if you would rather have the option to take a bus or a bus tour - then choose Oahu.

Maui - great diversity. No large cities like Honolulu - yet significant development. Boring - no way! Amazing natural sites! Gorgeous. Great activities (like Oahu). You'll need a car.

Whatever you decide - do your homework and put together a rough itinerary of what you would like to see and do. Reading the Maui and Oahu Forums will help you greatly. If you change your day-to-day plans ... that's fine. Just have an idea of what you want to see and how to get there.

You only have time for one Island.

Lagrangeville, NY
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6. Re: Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?

Go with your feelings -- if you think Maui sounds slow to you it is because it is much slower than Oahu. Granted not as slow as BI or Kauai...

With 1 week you can easily spend on Oahu visiting various sights and never be bored or do the same thing twice (unless you want to)!

I love Oahu. I know I can find sparsely populated beaches (on weekdays), plenty of great foods at wide price range, plenty of cultures/histories, stunning scenery, etc all within 1 hour"ish" drive from Waikiki. (Drive times vary greatly depending on traffic since rush hours are to be avoided on Oahu.) Night life is just steps away when you are staying in Waikiki.

Although no need for a car around Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, I would definitely recommend renting a car for at least a day or 2 so you could sightsee other parts of the island on your own schedule.

Let us know what you like to see and do if you would like suggestions.

Edited: 03 October 2012, 19:49
Kapaa, Hawaii
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7. Re: Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?

There is no right or wrong answer here. I happen to love all the islands for the differences, not because one is better than the other because they aren't!! For most people, 10 days would be fine for 2 islands. Anything less can leave you breathless unless that is the kind of vacation you are looking for.

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8. Re: Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?

With just one week I would stick to one island we didn't start visiting two until we started going for two weeks.

I love Oahu but I wouldn't call Maui bland I went to Maui with the misconception that it's very resorty we are not into resorts at all. There are plenty of areas like that on Maui but we stayed in Napili and it was wonderful very lowkey and laid-back all the accomodations there are older 2 story places.

Every Hawaiian island is unique and beautiful in it's own way.

Kauai, Hawaii
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9. Re: Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?

Best reason: you don't have time for 2 islands. No way could either island be done any justice. You'll find more than enough to keep you busy on O`ahu. Maybe Maui next trip?

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10. Re: Reasons to Skip Maui and Just Do Oahu?

I liked Maui OK. It was my 1st time to Hawaii and my folks took us all on a 50th anniversary trip (10 adults/relatives).

But personally I love Oahu. I could easily spend a couple weeks there (heckwho am i kidding, i'd move there if I could figure out how to swing it!)

My reasons for not splitting up a vacation trip unless you've got a good chunk of time is the hassle. With only a week or 10 days, no way would I want to have to pack up, check out, and schlepp back to the airport 5 days in, fly to another island, figure out transportation, get to a new hotel, etc. etc.

Not interested.