Is Maui or Kauai Better?

So, you’re taking a vacation and you can’t decide between Maui and Kauai. It’s a tough choice, especially since both seem like perfect holiday destinations.

In this article, we are going to be exploring whether Maui or Kauai is better, as well as looking at what there is to do on each of the islands.

An aerial view of Na Pali off the coast of Kauai

Maui vs Kauai

Maui is thought of as being marginally better than Kauai, but trust us when we say that the margin is tiny.

Both destinations are beautiful, and you will have an absolute blast on each of the islands.

However, when weighing up the pros and cons of each, Maui does take the prize for first place. Even though there are similar characteristics on both the islands, Maui is just that little more accessible from a tourist perspective.

Flights to Maui and Kauai

The reason Maui is more accessible is that you can get a flight directly to Maui from various locations around the United East even as far east as Chicago. These flights go straight to Kahului airport, which is on Maui.

If you are a little further afield, then you may have to take a connecting flight, say from New York to somewhere on the West Coast. You may even have to fly to the busier Hawaiian island of Oahu

Getting to Kauai is a little trickier.

There are far fewer direct flights, and the ones that exist are from the West coast of the United States only, and may mean one or two connecting flights just to get there.

Getting Around Maui and Kauai

There are also transportation  issues to consider when on the islands themselves. Maui is far more developed compared to Kauai, which is only 20% vehicle accessible.

On Maui, you can easily get around by car or even by bus. You can also walk to many destinations.

Because of Kauai’s lack of accessibility, you typically need to do a cliff-face hike, take a boat ride, or buy a very expensive helicopter ride to experience its beautiful locations. 

Maui is Better

Due to accessibility issues, we believe that Maui is likely to be a better tourist experience for the typical traveler.

If you have more of an adventurous streak, then perhaps you will love Kauai. 

But you may want to consider the fact that Maui gets far less rainfall than Kauai, which is typically a selling point for would-be travelers.

Is there more to do in Maui or Kauai?

Maui and Kauai are very similar in terms of their scenery and landscapes.

Visitors to both islands are likely to find similar tourist activities. You can expect to surf, snorkel, swim, and hike for miles on both of the islands, as well as  boating, kayaking, and even golfing on both Maui and Kauai.

Maui is More Tourist-Oriented

Maui has the best options in terms of an overall tourist experience.

It is far more developed on Maui compared to life on Kauai. You can find countless shops, restaurants (both chain restaurants and high-class eateries), as well as various nightlife options.

Maui is also the destination of choice for many honeymooners, since it is a great place for a romantic getaway:  a mixture of alone time and activities. For this reason also, it is the most family-friendly island.

You may also get the opportunity to see green sea turtles on Maui: they are more common on Maui than on Kauai. 

Kauai is Best for the Intrepid Traveler or Adventurer

The island of Kauai shares the same beautiful scenery as Maui, but it is far harder to access unless you are a fan of hiking off the beaten track.

So, Kauai is the perfect island for adventure-hungry travelers.

Also, in terms of wildlife opportunities, you may see the endangered monk seal on Kauai. You will find them on Poipu Beach where they like to catch some rays.

Maui Certainly Has More Going On

With all the above in mind, we have to come to the fair judgment that there is generally a little more to do on Maui than on Kauai. Maui gives options that would suit both the adventure-happy and the laid-back, relaxed traveler looking for convenience.

Kauai, on the other hand, is more suited to those who want some adventure and don’t mind being away from conveniences and amenities such as chain restaurants, stores, and nightlife.

Both islands make for the perfect Hawaiian getaway, and certainly, it will depend on what you are looking for, but if you want an island with a little more to do and one that is accessible, choose Maui.

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