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Maui like experience on the Big Island

Corvallis, Oregon...
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Maui like experience on the Big Island

Enjoyed snorkeling and sun filled days for several years in staying in a South Kihei condo. Looking for a new adventure, with similar beaches and laid back atmosphere. Staying 15 days late May early June. Suggestions, recommendations and warnings?

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Maui like experience on the Big Island

Maui and the Big Island are complete different and you cannot and should not compare them. The snorkeling is much better here, but we do not have near the size and numbers of beaches as Maui does. FWIW, there are far less people here, it is much less built up, and the beaches we do have are much less crowded. Look on the South Kohala Coast for the best weather, beaches, and lodging, but again, not Maui-like, and we're very happy about that! :-)

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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2. Re: Maui like experience on the Big Island

Each island has it's own flavor. If you want a Maui-like experience you probably should go back to Maui. Take a look on the main Hawai`i forum at the Top Questions. There's a Summary of Each Island that might help you.

Omaha, NE
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3. Re: Maui like experience on the Big Island

The Big Island is a much newer island, and most of the shoreline hasn't had a chance to evolve into sandy beaches. So you simply won't find miles of powder fine sand like on Maui on the Big Island.

You might try checking out the Mauna Lani area in Kohala to see if something trips your fancy.

LA
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4. Re: Maui like experience on the Big Island

Agree with above.

Also, the less expensive condo accomodations (as in Kihei) are not on beaches. If they are oceanfront, they are in the Kona or Keahou regions and are on black lava without sand. Many are not within walking distance to beaches.

The condo type accomodations that are walking distance to beaches are in the more expensive south Kohala or Waikoloa areas. The beaches near condos are generally much smaller, other than the lovely Mauna Kea beach, but the condos and homes associated with MK run in the high hundreds to thousand $$$ per night.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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5. Re: Maui like experience on the Big Island

Have you been to Kauai? It may be the change you need - has some stunning sandy beaches that the Big Island lacks. :)

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Maui like experience on the Big Island

Not really relevant to the OP, but just to clarify regarding Mauna Kea pricing, the condos at Kumulani start in the low 200s per night, Wai'ula'ula in the 300s, and many of them advertise no cleaning fees and good ocean views, so while they are more than most of the Mauna Lani and Waikoloa Beach options, they're actually pretty good deals if you want to be near Kauna'oa.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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7. Re: Maui like experience on the Big Island

The Mauna Kea finds used to all include the resort amenities package, which is expensive, but now they are allowed to make it optional. I don't think there would be any condos in the 200's with the beach parking privileges and hotel privileges, but if you go up into the 300's you can find those.

Also the MK Resort rents from a pool and includes daily housekeeping, and those are more money than the units on VRBO using their own cleaning service and not offering daily.

So there is a range of what you can get up there from all the perks of the hotel and full guest status, to condo living without hotel perks.

Thanks for the note Shea, sounds like pricing wars have even affected the Mauna Kea.

Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: Maui like experience on the Big Island

As far as what the OP wants, definitely nothing similar to Kihei, but sun, snorkeling and sand are available in a laid back atmosphere. Just need to hop in the car and for 5-10 minutes to get from affordable condo to the beach.

Waia'lea beach for example, not within walking from any condo, but it's a short walk in from the parking and it's probably nicer than any of the Kihei beaches.

Fine textured sand -- only a few beaches have that, but I think the Kohala beaches are more swimmable than many on Kaua'i and there is definitely more sun.

Kona
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9. Re: Maui like experience on the Big Island

How many years ago was your Kihei trip? Kihei has changed a lot in the past decade . . . but even thirty years ago it had a lot more "action" than anywhere on this island - lots of restaurants, bars, etc. in a busy town atmosphere, and miles of beaches. Maybe you could specify which things about that trip make for the most pleasant memories that you're trying to recapture?

But, in general, has other posters have pointed out, Hawaii Island is a really different experience than Maui. If you're coming our way, best just to relax your expectations and come open-minded! If it's snorkeling and beaches that are your biggest priority, then Kohala for sure. If it's a funky town atmosphere that's a less-than-an-hour drive from great snorkeling and beaches, you might like Kailua-Kona.

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Maui like experience on the Big Island

Coming from Oregon like you, I look for much of the same criteria as you when we go to Hawaii: nice beaches, good snorkeling, and sun-filled days. We went to the Big Island last June and stayed in a nice condo in the Keauhou area, where we found the shoreline much as PareoB described: rugged, black lava, no sand. And VOGgy. Next time, we'll look for a place somewhere along the Kohala Coast, as most here are recommending.