Maui or Kauai: Which Hawaiian Island Is Best For You?

Maui or Kauai: Which Hawaiian Island Is Best For You?

Many fortunate travelers escape to Hawaii in their lifetime, while others never quite make that long trip.

It’s important to know which island is best for you so you don’t waste your travel time.  It’s best to be on a Hawaiian island that will create memories that you will cherish forever or at least until you have the chance to venture there again.

Kauai is a raw beauty that is difficult to comprehend for those of us who are comfortable on the Mainland.  Take a helicopter tour from Blue Hawaiian Helicopters to have a heart pumping view of the entire island, from it’s towering coastline to the frightening adventure of dropping into ancient volcanoes to search for waterfalls and sleeping cones.

Once your feet are happily on the ground, drive through tropical vegetation to find the harbor.  Eleele is a town with real harbor, not a dress up cute and pretty harbor, one similar to that you might see in Alaska.  Once you have found the harbor, take a Napali Coast sunset cruise with Captain Andy.   The crew is charming and offers a great buffet dinner while you watch seals rest on the beach, dolphins play in the waves and rainbows arc across the sky.

Stay at a place where the beauty of the island is preserved.  The Hyatt at Poipu Beach is an elegant place where tropical foliage, rough seas, and magical views meet.  Trails along the coast invite adventure while pools encourage relaxation.

Maui is a bit different.  The town of Lahaina is a harbor town with a history with mystery.  A whaling village with a bawdy past, the beautiful town features a main street that has been crowned one of the “Top Ten Greatest Streets” by the American Planning Association.  Lahaina was originally the royal capital and continues to attract visitors with its enormous banyon tree, restaurants and bars.  Sunken within its shoreline is a seat where royalty came to birth their children.

Maui offers the famous Road to Hana.  A twisting road that leads to black sand beaches, beautiful tropical gardens and waterfalls.  Lesser known areas include Route 30 north to the Nipali Coast.  Travelers will find locals surfing along its rough coast, drying skins on roadside boulders, and selling hand-carved gifts as well as coconut juice straight from the coconut.

Along with snorkeling, sailing, and horseback riding adventures, Maui offers boat trips to nearby islands for further exploration.

Whether you enjoy the pristine environment of Kauai or the more tamed beauty of Maui, either island is worth a visit.  Which island is your favorite?

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Marcie Ricker is a grandmother who lives in Hamilton, MA with her husband, children and grandchildren. She has a Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture from North Carolina State University and a Master's Degree in Elementary Education from Salem State University. She has recently published a children's book "The Sugar Witch Switch" about a great Halloween tradition of trading Halloween candy for a toy, compliments of the Sugar Witch. She loves to garden, but lives to travel and has been to all 50 states as well as Europe, Africa, Mexico and almost all of the Caribbean Islands. Travel ignites the spirit and gardening soothes the soul.