Maui or Oahu for Honeymoon? An Honest Comparison to HELP you Choose!

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Maui or Oahu for Honeymoon? If you are also stuck in this dilemma, then you are not alone. The majority of Americans face this dilemma when deciding on the ideal honeymoon destination in Hawaii.

Although Maui and Oahu are both excellent romantic gateways, they are quite different from each other. That is why I have compared Maui and Oahu in this article based on a range of critical factors to help you decide which one to choose for your dream honeymoon trip.

If you’re looking for a cosmopolitan honeymoon destination with an abundance of activities, stunning beaches, world-class shopping malls, and dining, as well as cultural and historic attractions, consider Oahu over Maui. Maui is a better honeymoon destination than Oahu if you want a relaxing and a romantic honeymoon away from the hustle and bustle of the city, with magnificent natural beauty and a plethora of adventure activities.

Maui or Oahu for Honeymoon?


Why you should choose Maui over Oahu for your Honeymoon?

Maui black sand beach
Waianapanapa State Park, Maui Black Sand Beach

If you’re looking for an authentic Hawaiian experience with beautiful relaxing beaches, premium resorts, great snorkeling, spectacular scenery, fewer crowds, and an abundance of adventure opportunities, then Maui is a better honeymoon destination than Oahu. To put it another way, Maui is less congested, more romantic, and more relaxing than Oahu.

In comparison to Oahu, Maui offers beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and a plethora of outdoor activities. Oahu is more densely populated and city-like, whereas Maui is more truly Hawaiian. Thus, if you want to have a tranquil honeymoon experience, head to Maui rather than Oahu.

🏖Suggested Read: Is Maui Worth Visiting? 9 reasons Why You Must Visit!!

Why you should not choose Maui over Oahu for your Honeymoon?

If money is an issue, Oahu is a better choice than Maui. Hawaiian Tourism Authority data shows that Maui is the most expensive of Hawaii’s islands, while Oahu is the most reasonably priced.

🏖Suggested Read: Is Maui Expensive? How much does a Vacation to Maui Cost?

Why you should choose Oahu over Maui for your Honeymoon?

Waikiki beach Honolulu
Waikiki beach and Diamond Head, Honolulu, Oahu Island

If you’re searching for a cosmopolitan vacation with endless touristic activities, beautiful beaches, high-end shopping centers and restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and cultural and historical attractions, choose Oahu over Maui for your honeymoon. Oahu is ideal for couples who enjoy a lively atmosphere and a big-city vibe.

🏖Suggested Read: Is Oahu worth visiting? You Bet! 9 Good Reasons to Go

Why you should not choose Oahu over Maui for your Honeymoon?

Major tourist attractions on Oahu, such as Honolulu and Waikiki beach, are highly commercialized. Thus, if you want an urban vacation experience, Oahu is a fantastic choice; but, if you want a real tropical vacation experience surrounded by lush green landscapes and forests with romantic and relaxing vibes, Maui is a better option than Oahu.

Maui vs Oahu: Who has more romantic vibes?❤️

Maui romance
Couples enjoying their time on a beach in Maui

Both Maui and Oahu offer beautiful beaches and an abundance of activities but when it comes to a romantic and relaxing vacation, Maui is a better place than Oahu.

Unlike Maui, Oahu is the busiest island in Hawaii, and life moves at a rapid pace here. It is best suited for people who love big-city vibes and bustling beaches. The majority of couples who visit Oahu stay on the crowded Waikiki beachfront in Honolulu.

Honolulu is Hawaii’s business hub, teeming with high-rise restaurants, massive industrial complexes, and shopping malls. The same is true for Waikiki Beach, which is bordered by numerous luxury shopping malls and restaurants. Indeed, when I first came to Honolulu, it felt like New York to me. So, if you’re looking for a relaxing and romantic trip, Oahu is not a good option.

On the contrary, Maui is widely regarded as the most romantic islands in Hawaii, which accounts for its popularity with honeymooners. Unlike Oahu, Maui is less crowded and less commercialized. That’s why life in Maui moves at a slower pace while staying connected to nature.

Maui’s breathtaking natural landscapes, beautiful and soothing beaches, lush green mountains, and rainforests all contribute to the island’s relaxing and romantic atmosphere, making it an ideal romantic destination in Hawaii.

Winner: Maui

Accommodation🏨

Maui hotel
Marriot hotel in Maui

Accommodation often takes the biggest chunk of our travel expenses and when we talk about a vacation to a super expensive place like Hawaii then accommodation prices become much more important.

The below table shows, the Average Daily Rate for Hotel rooms in Oahu and Maui in May 2021

Islands Average Daily Rate Average Cost for
6 Nights and 7 Days
Oahu $245 $1715
Maui $596 $4172
(Source: The Hawaii Tourism Authority)

As you can clearly see from the data given in the above table, the average daily rate of hotel rooms in Oahu and Maui are $245 and $596 respectively. The accommodation in Maui is more than twice as expensive as Oahu. However, this is unsurprising given that Maui is the most costly island in Hawaii, while Oahu is the least expensive.

The majority of couples who visit Hawaii for their honeymoon stay for an average of six nights and 7 days. So, if we calculate the average accommodation cost for six nights and seven days for two, Oahu would cost $1715 and Maui would cost $4172. Maui, as you can see, is nearly $2000 more expensive than Oahu.

Winner: Oahu, Oahu offers much affordable accommodation options compared to Maui

Maui vs Oahu: Who has better Beaches?🏖

When it comes to beaches, choosing between Maui and Oahu is quite difficult. Maui and Oahu both have some of the world’s most spectacular beaches. That is why, when it comes to beautiful beaches, there is no clear winner between Maui and Oahu.

However, there is one big difference between Maui and Oahu’s beaches that many newlyweds find noteworthy. In comparison to Maui, Oahu’s beaches are busier and more congested.

Oahu beach
Waikiki Beach

Oahu is Hawaii’s most populous island, accounting for around 70% of the state’s total population, and Oahu receives more than half of all visitors to the state.

Thus, while Oahu is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii, such as Waikiki and Lanikai, they are often much busier and congested than those on Maui. Furthermore, Waikiki, Oahu’s most popular beach, is too commercialized and lacks Hawaii’s tropical vibe.

Maui beach

In comparison to Oahu, Maui’s beaches are less crowded and more relaxing. Maui’s beaches are far more in tune with nature and evoke images of a tropical paradise.

So, if you want to enjoy gorgeous beaches in a relaxing atmosphere away from the city’s hustle and bustle, Maui is a better choice than Oahu. Maui also offers a greater variety of beaches than Oahu. It features a broad spectrum of beaches with sands of white, red, and black hues.

Winner: Maui, both Maui, and Oahu have beautiful beaches but Maui’s beaches are less crowded and more relaxing as they are away from the hustle and bustle of the tourists.

Beautiful Natural Sceneries

When it comes to Hawaii, every island is gifted with breathtaking natural beauty. But if we have to compare Maui and Oahu over natural scenery, then Maui has a slight edge over Oahu.

Maui

Road to Hana
Road to Hana, Maui

After Kauai, Maui is the second Hawaiin island that is gifted with spectacular natural scenery. It truly has the tropical vibes of Hawaii. Maui, with its lush green forests, mountains, and waterfalls, is the best island to explore Hawaii’s natural splendor.

Road to Hana” is Maui’s major tourist attraction that features some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Hawaii. This 50-mile scenic drive passes through breathtaking scenery, lush green jungles, waterfalls, and beaches. If you are a nature lover like me then it is a must visit place for you.

Oahu

Honolulu streets

Honolulu and the Waikiki beachfront are the urban and commercialized areas of the Oahu. These parts of Oahu provide the best urban vacation experience, with their variety of top-notch shopping malls, restaurants, museums, and nightclubs. As a result, visitors to the Honolulu side of Oahu think that Oahu is all about parties and bustling beaches.

However, as you leave the hustle and bustle of Honolulu, you will discover another part of Oahu that is teeming with beautiful natural landscapes. The windward side of Oahu, in particular, offers spectacular natural scenery with its lush-green jungles, mountains, and waterfalls.

If you are a nature lover who wishes to immerse yourself in Oahu’s stunning natural scenery, you will undoubtedly enjoy the windward side of the island.

Winner: Maui, Maui boasts one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Hawaii

🏖Suggested Read: Hawaii or Bora Bora for Honeymoon? An Honest Comparison to Help You Choose!

🏖Suggested Read: Hawaii or Cancun for Honeymoon: Which is better?

Adventure Activities

Oahu

Oahu is unquestionably the champion when it comes to activities. Oahu offers a diversified assortment of activities that appeal to a wide variety of visitors. Oahu offers the best urban vacation experience with its world-class shopping malls, restaurants, theatres, and museums. Oahu also has the most nightclubs and bars of any Hawaiian island.

USS Arizona Memorial
Aerial View of USS Arizona Memorial, Oahu

Visitors interested in culture and history can visit the Bishop Museum, the Pearl Harbor Memorial, and Iolani Palace on Oahu. When it comes to water sports, Waikiki beach is unmatched in Hawaii.

Waikiki beach offers an abundance of activities, including surfing, snorkeling, boogie boarding, and canoeing. It is well-known as a surfing destination in particular.

Oahu windward
Oahu’s windward Coast landscape

If you’d rather avoid the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and Waikiki and instead immerse yourself in nature and adventurous activities, make your way to Oahu’s windward side. This area, with its beautiful green landscapes, mountains, and waterfalls, is ideal for adventure activities. In other words, Oahu has something for everyone!!

Maui

Maui is a paradise for nature and adventure lovers. Maui’s lush green forests and mountains provide ample opportunities for sightseeing and adventure. If you’re a nature lover looking for adventure, make your way to the infamous “Road to Hana” . The “Road to Hana” passes through some of Hawaii’s most beautiful landscapes and also provides several adventure options for daring spirits.

Haleakala national park
Haleakala national park

Additionally, you can go hiking in Haleakala national park, which features magnificent desert-like landscapes and opportunities for wildlife exploration. Maui provides a variety of water activities, from snorkeling to scuba diving, kayaking, kite surfing, and whale watching.

Maui snorkeling
Snorkeling with turtles, Maui

Whale watching and snorkeling on Maui, in particular, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The joy of snorkeling with sea turtles in Maui’s crystal clear warm water is unmatched.

Winner: Oahu

Romantic Things to do for Couples

Romantic things to do for couples in Maui

  1. Whale watching
  2. Take the drive on the Road to Hana
  3. Snorkeling with sea turtles
  4. Visiting Haleakala for Sunset
  5. Take a Maui helicopter tour to experience Maui’s breathtaking scenery

Romantic Things to do for Couples in Oahu

  1. Catamaran sunset cruise
  2. Lanikai beach
  3. A helicopter tour over Oahu
  4. Fireworks show at the Hilton Hawaiian Village
  5. Waikiki Starlight Luau at Hilton Hawaiian Village

Maui vs Oahu: Nightlife

When it comes to nightlife, Oahu is unquestionably the champion. When it comes to nightlife, Oahu is the busiest island in Hawaii. In all of Hawaii’s islands, Honolulu has the most nightclubs and bars. The bustling streets of Waikiki, in particular, are packed with lively clubs and bars.

Maui’s nightlife is rather laid-back. Unlike Oahu’s noisy nightclubs and bars, Maui features live music, karaoke, and a refreshing cocktail parties. Therefore, if you are a party animal, Oahu is unquestionably better than Maui.

🏖 Suggested read: 15 Best Cheap Honeymoon Destinations Outside US for Americans!!

🏖You may also like: Cancun vs Cabo vs Cozumel vs Tulum vs Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen for Vacation?

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About the author
Chetan Patil
Hello there, wanderlust. I've been traveling around the world with my friend Aditya for the last three years since finally quitting my job, and life has been a thrilling roller coaster ride so far. Traveling is a spiritual experience for me, not just something I do for fun. Traveling has taught me that "the only certain thing about life is uncertainty." So, embrace uncertainty and make the most out of every moment.

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