Kauai vs Maui
My wife and I are finally taking our honeymoon after being married for a few years.
We are going to go to either Maui or Kauai and I have the green light to surf a few days while the wife pampers herself at the spa.
We'll be going the 3rd week of November. I'm an intermediate surfer and feel confident surfing up to head to slightly overhead surf. We're also looking for an island where we can hike, snorkel, zipline and with any other outdoor type activities (although I think they may both off these).
So, which island would you go to and would you bring a board or rent? And if anyone has any recommendations on hotels/resorts and/or good places to rent boards it would be appreciated.
in hawaii maui is considered the desert isle. kauai the jungle. maui is sorta user friendly. kauai has pissed locals.
Originally Posted by jml7140
either way you can't go wrong. lots of waves.
let your wife pick so you have a little ammo in your first fight as a married couple.
They're both nice but different. West Maui is a little more built up and probably has more nightlife, shopping, restaurants, etc. Kauai is a little less developed. Both have good hiking, kauai having the famous Napali coast. Snorkeling is probably better on maui. It rains A LOT on kauai, Mt. Wai'ale'ale is the wettest spot on earth with an average of almost 40 feet of rain a year. Both have north and south swell exposure, both will be pricey. Princeville on the NS of kauai has lots of board rental places, it was more difficult to rent in Lahaina maui at least for me a few years ago. Have you considered the Big Island? :)
Originally Posted by jml7140
Never been to Maui but it's not all desert...it's very tropical actually.
You will probably find more activites on Maui and more honeymooners there.
I liked Kauai alot. It could be pumping in November on the north shore of Kauai. There are more surfing options on Kauai than Maui. The Na Pali coast is probably the most beautiful part of all of Hawaii I think. Try the helicopter rides of Na Pali coast.
Try the Hanalei/Princeville area for a place to stay. There are some nice "honeymoon" quality hotels there, plus you have quick and easy access to several surf breaks up there. Overall though it's really laid back and quiet. The beaches are really beautiful though (Tunnels/Ke'e/etc)
Kauai is quiet compared to Oahu. I'd avoid Oahu completely to be honest with you. Never had a problem with Kauai locals...just don't do anything stupid and you will be fine. To be honest caught more attitude in Waikiki from angry locals than Kauai.
Never been to Maui, but wife and I went to Kauai and Oahu last summer for our honeymoon.
Kauai is absolutely beautiful - a lush, green, tropical paradise. There are tons of outdoor activities. The Hiking and kayaking are both great as the scenery is stunning. There are parts of the island (Na Pali coast) which can only be seen/accessed by plane/heli or by hiking or kayaking. I definitely second stinkbug's recommendation of a heli or plane ride to check it out.
Kauai is definitely less developed that Oahu and what I imagine Maui is, which I like. Almost everyone I have spoken to who has been there (for a normal trip, not surf trip) has said Kauai is their favorite island. It does rain there a lot, so from a chilling on the beach perspective it is not the most ideal - Maui would be better for that as that island is known for consistent perfect weather. Imagine Maui has better high end resorts too. If you want some adventure, to be active and get out of your hotel, I don't really think Kauai can be beat for that.
I stayed on the south shore since I was there in the summer, but that time of year I think north shore is where you want to be to surf.
Been to both. There's great stuff to see and do on either island, but I'd pick Kauai if I had to choose just one to go to for a honeymoon. It's a little more laid back.
Kauai is known as the Goddess Island and Has the only fresh water river in the chain which is pretty cool to check out. There's an awesome trail you can hike to the highest point and If your into nature you can experience a very cool sensation. and maybe even say hey to the Hamilton's! And I would like to get back there soon!!!
I've lived on both. Maui by far has the most alternative adventures, hiking, zip-line, biking the Volcano, the road to Hana. Kaanapali north of Lahaina has some great resorts, plus, Lahaina is definitely better for shopping and nightlife, as well as user friendly surf. The biggest complaint I had about surfing on Maui is driving around to get to the different spots that are actually breaking. Its a long way to get to Dumps or Honomonu from Kaanapali, but then again Honoloa is right in your backyard, as is Lahaina harbor. November's a tricky month. It can get rainy, and it can be flat. Winter surf is just sort of starting to wake up that time of year. Maui Wave Riders has a great selection of rentals from small to big boards and sups. They're in both Lahaina and Kihei. Plus, that's the beginning of whale season, which are far more abundant around Maui then any of the other islands. You can also take adventures to Lanai for some of the best relaxing time ever or Molokai for horse back riding.
On the other hand, Kauai is the only island with easy to get to year round, 365 day a year surf. As well, Kauai is the picture perfect brochure. Watch Tropic Thunder to get a good idea. Adventures on Kauai are a little less apparent, but they are there. The locals are fine. Show respect, get respect. Poipu is nice and very user friendly, year round long boarding. If you want more firing surf, the north shore from Hanalei to Haena is amazing. Tunnels is the ****. Cannons might be a superior wave to Pipe, but far easier to get access since it is never crowded like Pipeline can get. Hanalei is phenomenal with multiple breaks that are accessible for multiple skill sets. In fact the main break at Hanalei might be one of the most accessible big waves on the planet, not to mention the beach is absolutely beyond breathtaking. As well, Pine Trees in the middle of Hanalei can get deceptively good. Rentals are available at any of the surf shops around Lihue, but they keep island hours, so call first.
In all reality, if you want the getting away from it all experience, Kauai is the clear winner. Though rain is always the enemy. November might not be as rainy as February (picture everyday rain, all day), but November is a good time of the year to go to either island because its nowhere near as crowded as other times of the year. If your looking to mingle a bit and maybe even meet some of the 'nice' Hawaiians, as opposed to the aggro locals, Maui has a lot more going on to service tourists. How long do you have? The only thing I can definitely suggest is pick one island and don't plan to do too much. The great part about Hawaii is sitting around and doing a whole lot of nothing. "Maui Revealed" and "Kauai Revealed" are great guide books to help with your decision.
One thing I will forewarn, depending on how you hit it, Maui can be flat that time of year, and it does't have the alternative always breaking I can at least surf a long board spots like Kauai and Oahu. However, if you want to swim in rivers and experience easy to get to waterfalls, ect. Maui would be awesome.
Lastly, don't consider the Big Island too much. It is beautiful, but the surf is fickle and the breaks are much further away from each other. On the other hand, you can always rent a van and camp on any beach you choose.
Whatever you choose have fun, and stay Aloha!
You have to do every island you can. They are all different in their own way. The Ritz Carlton in Kapalua, Maui. Or, St. Regis in Hanalei, Kauai. Either will blow you away. Hanalei Bay or Honolua Bay.
Be mellow, be nice, live Aloha, at least while you visit their islands.
Keep your guard up too. Like everywhere else, they got drug problems over there too. **** happens. If you rent a car, dont leave your stuff in it. Don't jaywalk in Waikiki, or Oahu. Be smart in and out of the water.
I lived on Oahu for a few years and island hopped alot.....Hawaii is amazing.
Thanks for all of the feedback. We are definitely leaning towards Kauai as most of our friends/family have recommended it. I would just kick myself if Jaws was going off and I missed it.