The Hawaiian Islands offer some of the most beautiful sights, genuine people, and tropical vibes. Of the eight main Hawaiian Islands, Maui and Kauai are some of the most highly traveled to places and those who visit almost always come back for seconds. The beauty of the Hawaiian Islands is their natural ability to provide different ambiances, beaches, activities, and things to see.
What to see & do
There are plenty of things to do on both islands, with a few more famous activities most tourist carve time out to do. Maui’s most known attraction is the Road To Hana. Visitors can drive through the lush scenery with views of the ocean while they wind their way up to Hana—they can even make pit stops for snacks, hop on a tour van, or get on a plane to get to Hana in only 20 minutes. Maui is filled with tourist attractions from parasailing, luaus, snorkeling, and visiting national volcanic parks. Kauai offers many attractions, but not even one quite as famous as Maui’s Road to Hana. Kauai’s attractions are a bit less interactive than Maui’s. The vegetation is the most prominent aspect of the island, making it the best for view points and outdoor activities. Kayaking, boating, and hiking are the best in Kauai. The most popular spots in Kauai are Waimea Canyon State Park and Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park.
Who to bring
Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, a significant other, or yourself, one of these islands may be more appealing. Obviously both Maui and Kauai offer incredible vacation get away spots but Maui is definitely the more touristy and event-filled spot. For families with kids, Maui may be more up their alley, and will keep their kids occupied while having a blast. If one’s friends or significant other are wanting to do lots of things during their vacation, then Maui is the perfect spot. Kauai’s more laid back and tropical feel is very suitable for those wanting a relaxing and low-key vacation—the perfect choice for someone traveling alone. If a vacationer wants lots of activities and a more resort-like experience, Maui is the way to go. If a visitor wants to relax and have a chill vacation, Kauai is the perfect spot for impeccable relaxation.
The beaches in Maui and Kauai are very visually similar, but the waters act a bit differently.
Maui’s Ka’anapali Beach:
Kauai’s Hanalei Bay:
While the beaches above look rather similar, the water in Kauai is slightly rougher– making Maui a better choice for beginning swimmers, although beginning swimmers could still manage Kauai waters with more supervision. Both islands supply vacationers with white sandy beaches and clear blue water. However, Kauai’s beaches are wider and more secluded than Maui’s– meaning they are harder to get too and often require 4 wheel drive– perfect for those looking for adventure.
If money is a deciding factor in which island vacationers are going to visit, travelers will have a harder time choosing between these two islands as they are the very similar in price point– a blessing and a curse. If vacationers want to go the resort route, both islands have amazing accommodations, including Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach in Kauai and Montage Kapalua Bay in Maui. If vacationers are pinching pennies, Airbnb Maui and Airbnb Kauai have lots of great choices too!