Done Oahu & Kauai. Maui or Big Island next?

May 28th, 2007, 04:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 56
Done Oahu & Kauai. Maui or Big Island next?

Hi all,

My husband and I have been to Kauai and lived on Oahu for a couple months last year--and LOVED both islands. We are back in Oahu this month for my husband's job, and we're going to make a trip to one other island before heading home to Wisconsin. I'm tempted to go back to Kauai because it was so rediculously beautiful and amazing, but we want to see something new.

About us...we love all outdoor activities--snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, etc. We're not into fancy restaurants, night clubs, or just laying on the beach day after day. We are in our early 30s, no kids. We have 12 nights June 16-27th for our trip.

The Big island sounds like a great adventure, but we keep hearing that Maui is the best, most diverse, etc.

Any advise? Thanks in advance!
madisonmichelle is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,344
We have been to all 4 of the major islands at least once, and in August, we are returning to BI and Maui. It will be our third trip to each island. We go for 2 weeks, and usually hit 2 islands.

For what you are looking for, either the BI or Maui would fit your needs. The BI is HUGE, though, and requires a lot of driving to see all the different sites. It is also more quiet and remote than Maui. It is gorgeous and unique, the way that Kauai is.

Having said that, my husband and I both agree that Maui is the most well-rounded island. It has a little bit of everything, and offers almost anything you could want in a Hawaiian vacation. It has more beaches than the BI, and the snorkeling is excellent on both islands.

Maybe this doesn't help you, but really, you can't go wrong with either island!
beachgirl86 is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 05:03 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 16
Maui is a must visit.
sealover1 is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 780
I would go to Maui.
egret is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 05:13 PM
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I hear the lava is really flowing well right now on BI, so that would factor into my decision.
May 28th, 2007, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,963
My fave is Maui, though with 12 days that's a good amount of time to see the Big Island.
trippinkpj is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 07:37 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 852
With 12 nights, couldn't you do both?

We've just been to Hawaii once and went to 4 islands in two weeks.

traveler2005 is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
Big Island
starrsville is offline  
May 28th, 2007, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 116
With 10 nights, my husband and I went to three islands. I think you could certainly go to both in 12 nights. Otherwise I'd vote for the Big Island.
xanthippe is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 02:17 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2
I have lived in Oahu for 4 years and thought i did it all. untill i tried the shark cage tour on, maybe you should try exploring oahu extensively.

I have been to Maui you neeed to try the hana drive atleast once too.
lost4sure is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 03:45 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,623
I would spend all 12 nights on the Big Island. We spent 10 nights there a few months ago, and we could have spent more time there.

What we did was stay a few nights near Kona (convenient for boat trips, some snorkeling sites, Place of Refuge); then drove the southern route and stayed a couple of nights near the volcano (convenient to Hilo, all Volcano National Park activities); then drove the northern route to Kohala Coast area for several nights (convenient to beautiful beaches, resorts).

We like to really explore a place. You can always come back to another island.

We've been to Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. Before we visited the Big Island, Kauai was our favorite. Now it's a tie (at the moment) between Kauai and the Big Island.

We love Maui, too, but the Big Island is incredible! And since you have 12 nights, it would give you a chance to really explore that island.

It sounds like you will be back to Hawaii some time for a Maui visit.

Samsaf is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 04:17 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 226
Caveat: I haven't been to Maui, going in Nov/Dec.

I have been to Kauai, Oahu (including 3 nights on the NShore), and the BI.

So far, the BI is our favorite. Besides your ages (we are in our 40's), you explained kids, outdoors, etc.

Hands down walking out to the huge lava flow into the ocean at night was one of the greatest things we have ever done on any vacation anywhere in the world. We each took a walking stick, some healthy snacks, plenty of water (enough to give those that ran out on the way back), and good sneakers (wish I had used hiking boots).

What I would have taken: small unipod/tripod for better camera shots of the lava flowing into the ocean, little "cloth" to put on the ground when we got to the end to sit on, maybe thin garden gloves to get off the ground (lava contains glass like substance - used the garden gloves when snorkeling was also a hint on this board).

Oh, and let me not forget the night time travel to Mauna Kea summit - tour company supplied parka and gloves - and I needed them despite being from New England.

Which ever you choose, it will be fun.
tmt is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 22
I would vote Maui in a heartbeat. Our BI experience in late June was a disappointment. The "VOG" (volcano fog) overwhelmed our BI week at Kona, leaving us with energy-sucking cloudy humidity. Driving to the volcano was long and being there not such a big deal (though we didn’t do the walk out to the lava with our kids). Maui saved our trip with so many different venues within quick driving. The skies were clear and we found a different swimming/snorkeling experience each day— we could have stayed 12 days there! Aloha!
NWMom is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 01:39 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,815
We've done both Maui and the Big Island. Based on what you like to do, I'd definitely vote for the BI. To us, Maui was more developed and expensive, but BI had some huge wow factors for us - we did the hike out to the lava at night in Volcanoes National Park, and it's one of our favorite memories. Also Akaka Falls on the Big Island is the most amazing waterfall I've ever seen; it's over 400 feet tall. We stayed at the Hapuna Beach Prince, and it had the prettiest beach with soft white sand. For us, BI is best if you're more adventurous, and Maui is better for fine dining and pretty drives and things like that.
volcanogirl is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 02:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 56
Thanks for all of your comments.

Lost4sure, I have tried the shark cage on the north shore, and it was a great experience, though scary!

My husband was already leaning towards the BI and Samsaf, tmt, and volcanogirl have me convinced that is the way to go for us!

Thanks for the help!
madisonmichelle is offline  

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