Planning a tropical vacation to Hawaii can be a stressful task as there are at least 15 beautiful islands to choose from.
Two popular vacation spots, Maui or Kauai are similar in many ways however each island offers its own unique and exciting experience. So the question is, which island is better? Here are some considerations that may help inspire your next Hawaiian escape:
Fun fact: Maui is made up of several different ‘sub-climates’, meaning depending where you decide to stay on the island, the weather can fluctuate a few different ways. However, each area on the island generally has a warm weather pattern and if you’re looking to soak up all that tropical Maui sun, the best times to visit are April through May and September through November.
The spring and fall seasons not only provide you with satisfying weather but you’ll also be able to avoid the high season rates and crowded beaches that usually come from travelling to Maui during the summer or winter months.
If a relaxing beach setting is what you’re searching for, then Maui is the spot for you. The waters surrounding Maui are much more calm than the waters surrounding Kauai, especially during the cooler months. In addition, Maui beaches span a coastline of 120 miles and are of the most swimmable compared to that of any other island in Hawaii. Many of these beaches are easily accessible and are equipped with lifeguards, picnic areas and restrooms. A few popular beaches of Maui include Ka‘anapali, Baldwin, Wai’anapanapa and Honolua Bay. Whichever beach you decide to venture to, one thing is certain, a day lounging under the sun is an essential part of the Maui experience.
What To Do in Maui
Maui caters to both adventurers and to those who are looking to just kick back and relax; the Road to Hana reigns supreme, but below you will find some other great suggestions on things to do around the stunning island of Maui!
Maui is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery in the world. One of the best ways to take in all the beauty is to embark on a scenic drive on the famous Road to Hana (or the Hana Highway) where you’ll be able to revel in all the magnificent waterfalls, sea caves and roadside fruit stands that pop up on almost every corner. Aside from Hana Highway, simply exploring the island by car will provide you with an abundance of scenic beauty; from picturesque rainforests to sparkling sandy shorelines, there is just so much to be admired.
When it comes to Maui wildlife, you will discover some creatures living on the island that cannot be found anywhere else on earth as well as plenty of lively marine life.
Everyone who comes to vacation in Hawaii instantly falls in love with the sea turtles that you can easily spot swimming on some of the shorelines of popular beaches in Maui. Some of the animals you’ll see on land include, mongooses, axis deer, wild boars monk seals and a variety of different birds. While spending a day on the water you’ll possibly encounter humpback whales, sea lions and dolphins inhabiting the waters! If you have a fear of serpents, you’ll be glad to know that Hawaii in general has no indigenous snakes and that there are strict laws in place to keep the Hawaiian islands snake-free!
Whether you’re looking to relax and unwind or would prefer a more adventurous way to pass the time, Maui has an exciting variety of attractions and activities that there is something to cater to everyone’s interests.
If you’re on the thrill seeker spectrum, you can discover the incredible marine life on the Maui Atlantis Submarine tour or for something a little more vigorous you can go hiking up the dormant Haleakala volcano! Snorkeling is another popular activity that travelers thoroughly enjoy when in Maui and it’s been said that Po’olenalena Beach seemingly offers the best snorkeling in all of Hawaii.
If relaxation is on the horizon, you can of course soak up the sun on one of the many stunning beaches we mentioned above or perhaps spend the day playing a leisurely game of golf on one of Maui’s 14 golf courses. Or take a day trip to Maui Mall, where you can catch a movie at the best cinema on the island or spend a few hours browsing the local shops! You can also find ample nightlife in Maui as well as many fine dining establishments for you to enjoy.
The Maui Vibe:
If it’s your first time visiting Hawaii and are looking for that classic tropical experience, then Maui is for you! Considered to be more of a tourist area, Maui in general caters to travelers of all ages with a range of interests as the island has a wide array of activity options for all to enjoy; so if you have an upcoming family getaway planned, Maui might be the best choice!
Honeymooners? Maui is a beautiful destination for a honeymoon as it is newlywed central with tons of romantic sunset walks on the beach and candlelit dinners to be had!
Maui Vacation Rentals:
If Maui is on your travel horizon, we can help find you the perfect villa that is certain to capture your desires of a sensational Maui vacation!
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It’s been said that the weather in Kauai is quite rainy which often would deter travelers from visiting, however rain isn’t always on the forecast! The ‘rainy season’ generally runs during the winter months (specifically November to March) – whereas the ‘dry season’ aka the summer months have less rainfall and more sunshine.
An important thing to remember however is that although it may be rainy, the coast (generally where you’ll be spending most of your time) receives much less rain than the alpine central part of the island, so you’ll be in the clear!
Notorious for their beauty and serenity, Kauai’s beaches are some of the most gorgeous in the world. Unlike Maui, Kauai’s waters are a bit more powerful with rough currents and riptides at times thus making it much less swimmable. It’s important to always check the conditions before taking a dip in the water. However when the water is calm, Kauai is home to many reefs and can be a great spot for snorkeling and kayaking.
Some popular beaches you may want to check out are Ke’e beach, Hanalei Bay, Anini beach, Lydgate Beach Park, and Poipu Beach Park.
What To Do in Kauai
Kauai is an adventurer’s playground and is packed with some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world; so if a getaway to the oldest island on Hawaii is in your near future, plan your itinerary with some of our picks of the best things to do and see in Kauai.
Nicknamed the ‘Garden Isle’, Kauai is a lush paradise that completely embodies the wild side of Hawaii and there is hardly any lackluster views on the entire island. It is without a doubt one of the most naturally beautiful places on earth. From misty mountain peaks, dramatic coastlines and breathtaking waterfalls, there is so much beautiful scenery to take in!
Similar to Maui, hopping in your car and heading on a day long journey to explore the island is one of the best ways to experience all the luxurious landscapes that Kauai has to offer. If you’re into hiking, skip the car ride and trek up one of the many mountain trails to get a taste of the outrageous greenery up close and personal!
Native songbirds, various tropical birds and the island’s infamous wild chickens are just a few of the many remarkable birds that call Kauai home. Alongside the wild chickens, the state bird of Hawaii called the Nene goose is another incredible creature that inhabits the island.
You may also catch a glimpse of many feral cats, dogs, goats and pigs roaming the grounds but there are also domestic animals such as wild boar and a few different species of deer.
Underwater you’ll find an active sea life including blue, killer, sperm and pilot whales as well as bottlenose and striped dolphins! Similar to Maui, you’ll also be able to spot the charming sea turtles crawling along the shoreline.
Kauai is home to some of the best hiking trails in all of Hawaii and is considered a hikers haven! Generally speaking, the trails are tailored for more experienced hikers, such as the Kalalau Trail, a 22-mile trek along the Na Pali Coast; however there are still plenty of places where less experienced hikers can set off and encounter astonishing views like Kuilau Ridge Trail, which is a smaller, two and a half hour hiking trail that delivers stunning views of Mount Nounou.
A few of the islands beaches such as Tunnels Beach, Lawai Beach and Lydgate Park are great spots for some snorkeling or if you’re interested in a more stimulating water activity you can get your surf on and catch the waves at Hanalei Bay, Kalapaki beach or Kiahuna beach.
With it’s laid-back attitude and incredible landscapes, Kauai is naturally the best spot for all sorts of hiking, snorkelling, watersports or just admiring the scenery by the beach. There are a handful of bars and lounges located in Kauai, but don’t expect to see any bustling night clubs with flashy lights!
The Kauai Vibe:
Kauai overall has more of an ‘island’ feel to it – so if you’re a laid back, active, outdoorsy kind of traveller, then pack your bags and head to Kauai!
Aside from the adventurous vibe of the entire island, Kauai embodies a true sense of peace and privacy and is a great destination for anyone perhaps looking for a more of a quiet getaway.
Kauai Vacation Rentals:
If you’re an outdoorsy adventure traveler, then Kauai is the perfect Hawaiian island for your next vacation. How does a beachfront luxury villa in Kauai sound? Let us help you find the most suitable accommodations for you that will provide you with an authentic Hawaiian vacation experience!
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