Maui vs. Waikiki

If you’re going to Hawaii, then Maui and Waikiki should be on your itinerary. These destinations boast the most gorgeous beaches and a thrilling nightlife that's sure to take your problems away. Both are great and are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.
Maui vs. Waikiki

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Yet, these two places offer a different experience. At the end of this read, you would be able to choose the place you would want to stay in longer. It would then be easier for you to plan your trip and you’d want to start packing!


When you think of Hawaii, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? If it’s the beauty of its environment, biodiversity, and serene beaches, then Maui is the place for you.

Maui is the best destination for those who want to take a break and forget everything. The perfect place to take your time for relaxation. If this is exactly what you want, then it’s time for you to bask in the gorgeous views of Maui.

The first thing that you would notice once you’ve arrived in Maui is that the place is alive with plenty of trees and grasses everywhere. They give you a serene atmosphere. You would forget all your problems as you take in the beaches, mountains, and clear waters that make Maui one of the most beautiful places in the world.

What Makes Maui Unique

The Best Beaches of Hawaii

Whenever you plan on going to Hawaii, it’s impossible for your itinerary to not have at least one beach in it. After all, Hawaii is best known for its world-renowned beaches. Luckily for you, Maui has some of the best beaches in the entire state.

Whether you want to snorkel and encounter the aquatic wildlife or enjoy a relaxing day at the beach, Maui is sure to have the perfect spot for you.

Big Beach

The Big Beach is the best beach in Hawaii to accommodate anyone’s idea of a “relaxing day at the beach”. It is one of the biggest beaches on the island and it is also located in the 165-acre (66 ha) Makena State Park. This guarantees that you’d have an unbothered spot to do all your activities.

You can fish, swim, or snorkel on its premise. You may also have a picnic and enjoy the several food stalls.

Hamoa Beach

If you want your beach a bit more thrilling but still have a tranquil atmosphere, then Hamoa Beach is for you. Although this beach is generally smaller, it has one of the most unique and beautiful settings. It is encompassed by a lush line of Hala trees and it boasts clear aquamarine water.

One thing the Hamoa beach doesn’t have, however, is a reef. This means you wouldn’t see much aquatic wildlife, but it makes the ideal place for bodysurfing!

Ka’anapali Beach

Ka’anapali Beach has been regarded as the best beach in America. Although it no longer holds that title, it is still one of the most sought-after destinations in the country.

With several resorts, world-class golf courses, an enormous and luxurious shopping center, the Ka’anapali Beach is sure to keep you busy. It is also known for its calm shores and the Black Rock where you can test your courage with a 16-foot (4.8-m) cliff dive.

Kapalua Beach

Kapalua Beach is the perfect destination for those who want to experience Hawaii’s diverse marine life. This beach has two reefs protecting the shore, so the water is calmer and clearer than most beaches. For snorkeling enthusiasts, this also means that there are more sea creatures to encounter.

Honokalani Beach

The Honokalani Beach is one of the most unique beaches in all of Hawaii. It sports a black shore, several caves, and abundant greenery, making it a very interesting destination. If exploring its peculiar setting is not enough for you, then you can also check out the Ohala Heiau or try boogie boarding.

Baldwin Beach

If you’re going with your family, then Baldwin Beach is a destination you should consider. This beach is equipped with amenities that would guarantee a good time for a large group. There are bathrooms and pavilions for a more comfortable stay. Barbeques and picnic grounds are also prepared for a nice and authentic beach feast.

Fresh and Unique Cuisine

Maui boasts farm-to-table cuisine that is sure to make you drool. You would be served with savory food of explosive flavors that are also fresh to the brim. As an island, some of the most notable dishes you may try in Maui are the ones with a seafood base.

There’s nothing better than fresh fish on the beach. If you’re not that fond of seafood, however, you could also try the mouth-watering luau pork!

One of Earth’s Biodiversity Hotspots

Maui is a known destination for snorkeling enthusiasts all around the world, and it’s easy to understand why! With rich lands, abundant reefs, and a tropical climate, Maui is gifted with nature.

Naturally, this also means that numerous species of flora and fauna gather around this place. Whether you want to hike in the mountains or go snorkeling, you are sure to have an encounter with fascinating creatures. If you’re lucky, you might even see some Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, Spotted Moray Eels, or even a Hawaiian Monk Seal!

The Road to Hana

If you’re in Maui, you can never miss going through the scenic Road to Hana. Also referred to as the Divorce Highway, this trip features an 84-km long (52 mi) ride with 600 hairpin turns and 60 one-lane bridges. It starts from the northern coast of Maui and heads to the southeastern town of Hana.

It would take roughly 10 to 12 hours to loop but often takes more depending on the number of stops people take along the way.


If you want your vacation in Hawaii to be filled with nights of dancing, lavish dinners, and cultural immersion, then Honolulu’s Waikiki is for you. Although you can do these activities in a lot of other places, only Waikiki can give you an exciting experience without trading comfort.

With beaches, parks, and even a zoo, there are numerous destinations you can go to, all in the convenience of Honolulu’s best neighborhood.

What Makes Waikiki Unique

An Enriching and Exciting Nightlife

Waikiki’s beaches are riddled with numerous bars, night clubs and lounges that turns the night livelier than the day. It is the perfect place for you to enjoy whether you just want to have a drink with your friends or lose yourself dancing in the night.

If partying is not for you, you can also have a simple romantic walk on the shores or maybe watch the fireworks at the Hilton Hotel. You can also go on a cocktail cruise, visit the zoo at night or participate in a luau! The adventure doesn’t stop in Waikiki when the sun goes down. It only gets better!

Best Shopping Centers to Shop ‘til you Drop

Waikiki boasts some of the best shopping centers in Hawaii. They are not just known for their high-end shops and restaurants, but also for the Hawaiian entertainment that is sure to pique your interest. There are also charming boutique shops, handicrafts, and art stalls. You may also see some cultural activities or live performances you can join in!

Get Inside a Volcano

The Diamond Head State Monument is an extensive park of about 475 acres (192 ha). It is the most prominent landmark in all of Waikiki because it boasts the best sights and is regarded for its historical significance.

Although it has been more than 300,000 years since it has been active, this astounding volcano would still take your breath away. The view at the end of its hiking trail is guaranteed to be an unforgettable sight. You may also enjoy exploring the military history of the Diamond Head or peek at one of the telescopes to see Waikiki like never before.

Hawaiian Culture and Entertainment

A handful of tourist destinations in Hawaii celebrate its culture and try to preserve its traditions. However, nothing beats the Royal Hawaiian Center in giving tourists a glimpse of the Helumoa culture in Waikiki.

Featuring one of the largest green spaces in Waikiki, the Royal Grove in the Royal Hawaiian Center is home to several cultural gatherings and performances. Hang around the lush park and get the chance to catch hula dances and ukulele performances. You can even join in and get hands-on experience in lei making and hula dancing.

Is Maui or Waikiki Better?

Maui and Waikiki are top destinations in Hawaii. Comparing them is similar to choosing your favorite pizza. Both are great and are sure to satisfy you, but one of them would better suit your preference.

If a relaxing vacation is what you’re yearning for, then Maui is a better destination for you. On the other hand, if you find yourself wanting to go out and party at night, then Waikiki is a better choice. Either way, a trip to Maui or Waikiki will be an unforgettable trip no matter what.


Is Waikiki in Maui?

No, Waikiki is located in the city of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Maui on the other hand is also one of Hawaii’s islands.

How Far Is Maui From Waikiki?

The distance between Waikiki and Maui is approximately 160 km (100 miles). The main form of transportation to these places is an airplane. The estimated travel time is between 4 to 5 hours.

Is There a Ferry From Waikiki to Maui?

No direct ferries are going to Maui from Waikiki. The only inter-island ferries are to Lahaina, Maui to Molokai, or Lahaina to Lanai. The trips may range from 45 to 90 minutes.

Can You Drive From Waikiki to Maui?

No, it is currently not possible to drive from Waikiki to Maui since they are of different islands. The main form of transportation between these places is airplanes. For a trip from Waikiki to Maui, you would want to go to the Honolulu International Airport on a flight to either Kapalua Airport or Kahului Airport.