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Which Island ???

Many first time visitors try to decide between Oahu, Maui, and Kauai.   Perhaps our descriptions below will help you:


OAHU is the main Hawaiian island and home to the international airport.  Honolulu the capital is like any modern large US city including sky scrapers, Interstates with a rush hour, cell phone toting businessmen, and more concrete acres than grass and palm trees.  Waikiki -- the world renowned beach playground -- is adjacent to Honolulu.  Waikiki accommodations along the beach are 1000 room hotels set in a high rise district.  The  mile long beach has lovely sand, crowds of people, and nice swimming.  There is always some activity to enjoy.  Just off the oceanfront, there are 4 more city blocks of Waikiki low rise hotels -- again more concrete than tropical garden.   Once outside of Honolulu and Waikiki, Oahu becomes more tropical -- albeit with tourist dressing and frequent crowds.  One million people live on Oahu and five million more visit each year.  If your idea of a Hawaiian vacation is a city atmosphere with great beach, then Oahu/Waikiki is for you. 

MAUI is the second most popular island among visitors.   If Oahu's vacationers feel like they have the familiarity of a city at their doorstep, Maui's visitors must feel like they are in upscale suburbia.  Maui is modern, tidy, and pricy.  One review talks about the $25 continental breakfast and the $8 cup of coffee.  In the early 90's we paid $400/night for hotel and $150/night for dinner.  Top vacation spots are Kaanapali Beach [a long, gentle crescent backed by high-rise hotels and condominiums dating from the 1970's], historic Lahaina [an old whaling port once the capital of all Hawaii] and Kihei [where one can get find in-town bargains or beach front luxury resorts].  The rest of Maui is dotted with quiet town, eucalyptus forests, charming roads such as the one to Hana, and of course towering Haleakala volcano.  Maui offers plenty of excellent beaches, fine golfing, wonderful restaurants, and great not-so-crowded sightseeing.  If your idea of a Hawaiian vacation is the "top name" -- with prices to match -- then Maui is for you.

KAUAI is by many accounts the most beautiful Hawaiian island. Most of the island is tiny rural towns are flanked by miles of sugarcane fields, flourishing tropical foliage, and more miles of white sandy beach than any other island. The island's jagged interior mountains, plunging waterfalls, and isolated beaches have a beauty all their own which explains their roles in films such as Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Body Heat.  Kauai's most impressive natural attractions are the enormous Waimea Canyon and the awesome cliffs of Na Pali coast.  In exchange for the natural unspoiled beauty is reduced tourist infrastructure, less grooming, and a higher percentage of cloudy days.  Vacation prices are frequently less expensive by 20%, 50% or more than on Maui or Oahu.  If your idea of a Hawaiian vacation is comfortable luxury, scenery, and quiet -- all with a small town feel -- then Kauai is for you.

MORE THAN ONE ISLAND??  Many people consider splitting a trip to Hawaii into two or more islands.  We don't advise this practice.  You will consume the better part of a day in the pack-checkout-depart-travel-checkin-unpack cycle.   And you will fail to achieve the relaxing magic of Hawaii that you've planned your trip for.    We have visited Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai, we believe that there is sufficient similarity and overlap between the islands that any one of them will give you the experience you are looking for. 


We hope you can found answers to your questions on this website.  If not we are happy to spend time with you on the phone.  Feel free to contact us, it's part of the service included in renting condo 9302.

USEFUL LINKS.  It's difficult to find links with simple unbiased comparison of all islands.  Here's the best we've been able to find.

Which Hawaiian Island should you visit ?-- Personal review from resident of Hawaii

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