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Which is better Maui, Kauai, or Big Island?


Jan 8th, 2011, 12:37 AM
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Which is better Maui, Kauai, or Big Island?

We are planning a Hawaiian vacation this summer in mid June for about a week. However, our dilemma is choosing which island! We already know Oahu is out. Much too crowded and touristy. We want a great relaxing island feel with great beaches, beautiful scenery, and things to do. With a 16 year old and a 10 year old we don't want them to be bored, but we aren't the super scheduled kind of people Suggestions? Maui? Kauai? Big lsland?

Also, for clarification we aren't super interested in hiking or at all interested in surfing lessons incase this comes into play. (A little hiking might be nice, but not for long. Or more than one day.)
annalli is offline  
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Jan 8th, 2011, 02:03 AM
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We consider the Big Island Paradise; Hapuna Beach (state park) is a dream. The only drawback is that there is only one (pricey) resort hotel but it is lovely. You may be able to find reasonably priced lodgings in nearby Puako (about 2mi from the Hapuna beach) with kitchen facilities. You'll need a car to get around but there is so much to see and do on that island that one week is almost too short (if you want to do some sightseeing). The Kilauea volcano is still active and you can actually get quite close to the lava flow. We have seen all the islands (and stayed on Oahu and Maui) but nothing comes close to the variety of the Big Island. We have come for 10+ years and stay usually for 2 weeks and we are still discovering new things ...
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Jan 8th, 2011, 06:45 AM
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For me the charms of the Big Island and Kauai are the hiking, snorkeling, and physical beauty. However, the activities there are outdoor related. The food scene on both Island is average at best. Given your criteria, I think you should look at Mauai. It has great beaches and "things" to do.

For me, it's the BI and then Kauai but I am a hiker.
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Jan 8th, 2011, 06:56 AM
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People who love Kauai send their friends to Maui.
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Jan 8th, 2011, 08:24 AM
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I think you and your kids would really like Maui. There are really nice beaches, things to do that aren't hiking and it's not so big that you'd have far to drive to change activities.
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Jan 8th, 2011, 08:25 AM
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Everyone has their favorite island. Not all of Oahu is "too crowded and touristy", only Waikiki. There's the whole rest of the island to explore. That said, any of the 3 islands you mention fit the description of what you are looking for.
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Jan 8th, 2011, 09:02 AM
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Kauai really seems to be the most beautiful of the islands. However, I don't want the kids to be bored. They aren't super hard to please and they don't have to always be on the go. Would Kauai be boring for a teen and a 10 year old?

Also, regarding Maui... Is it over crowded in June? I'd really like to stay away from the crowd as much as possible. Any suggestions on great places to stay?

And then Big Island plays in.... Which has better scenery Maui or Big Island?
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Jan 8th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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You are just going to make yourself crazy by asking this here and multiple times on Trip Advisor.

Maui is the easiest for first-timers.
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Jan 8th, 2011, 10:00 AM
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"Better" is subjective because the scenery on all the islands is so incredibly diverse and unique. There are large portions of the big island which are like a lunar landscape, which is not what a lot of people think of when they picture Hawaii in their heads. But then you have the Hilo side which is more lush and the Volcano National Park which is a highlight for a lot of people. I personally am not a fan of the scenery on the BI, but the snorkeling there is the best in the state (IMO) and I've already been twice and will go back for a 3rd time for sure.

The scenery on the north shore of Kauai is exactly what I picture in my head when I think of Hawaii...super lush, very green, dramatic cliffs, great beaches...the whole thing. I love Kauai and have been 3 times so far.

I also love Maui, though, and am heading for my 5th trip in March. Maui is much more developed than either Kauai or Big Island, but it's a very easy island to do. You can have lush (Road to Hana or Hana itself), remote (also Hana), resort-y (Ka'anapali), vibrant (Lahaina), or upscale (Wailea). Beaches are great, and the food is far better than on BI or Kauai. It's a beautiful island and a very easy one to recommend to first time visitors.

The good news is that you really can't make a wrong choice.
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Jan 8th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Kauai is paradise for me. I don't go there to "do" things, but there's more than enough to keep you and kids occupied if that's what you want. There's ziplines, tubing, helicopter rides, horseback riding, boat rides, luaus, renting bikes, kayaking ...

I'll be heading back Wednesday ... and am looking forward to doing none of the above ;-)
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Jan 10th, 2011, 07:45 AM
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We went to Kauai last March...family of four(kids 13 and 9) and grandparents...I LOVED IT! I have been to Oahu, Maui, BI and Kauai is my fav!(not too touristy, but enough to do) Kids were not bored...Outfitter Zipline Adv Tour(kayak, zipline, a little hiking), Smith Family Luau, Beaches-Poipu, Glass, Lydgate, Shave Ice..stayed in Poipu and drove up to Princeville...agree with Beanweb24..can't really go wrong with any choice!
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