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Hawaii advice, please #267463
10/30/2021 04:37 PM
10/30/2021 04:37 PM
Joined: Jul 2021
Posts: 21
Kansas City
K
KC2SXM Offline OP
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KC2SXM  Offline OP
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K
Joined: Jul 2021
Posts: 21
Kansas City
For our 40th anniversary my husband and I have decided to take the family to Hawaii. We will have two in our 60’s, four in late 30’s, an eight and a nine-year old. While all of us love to travel, it has been mostly U.S., European, and Caribbean. None of us is familiar with the Hawaiian islands. We will be going end of July/first of Aug to work around school and sports.

We love adventure: hiking, surfing, snorkeling, in addition to kid-friendly activities and lazy days on the beach. Some of us definitely want to go to the Pearl Harbor memorial. We’re hoping to rent a large house so we can prepare some meals on our own (lots of dietary restrictions).

I’m looking for advice as to best island to stay on for our needs. Do we need cars or is there easy and accessible transportation? ANY advice and recommendations are welcome.

Thank you!

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Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: KC2SXM] #267485
10/30/2021 09:39 PM
10/30/2021 09:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,313
Vancouver, WA
Todd Online content
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Todd  Online Content
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Posts: 4,313
Vancouver, WA
All the islands are very different. If you want to go to Pearl Harbor then that makes your decision easy unless you want to island hop. Best thing about Honolulu right now is there is not near the tourism from Asian countries which lowers the amount of people but that is mostly a factor in the Waikiki area. I have mostly only been in the Waikiki area and up into near the Disney resort but we have friends that love Turtle Bay. There is a lot to like about O'ahu but it is last on my list of the four main islands to visit.

My favorite is the Big Island, Hawaii, and it is huge compared to the others. You can find some good beaches, not near as good as Maui, but there is so much of a difference from one area of the island to the next on island including climate zones. Lots of option, but also more spread out.

Maui has probably the best beaches, very nice island with a lot of activities and food options. Probably the best for new tourist.

Kauai is more natural, old school which is a nice change. Good hiking, some good beaches, but very limited compared to the others for activities. Good place to hike, or read a book.

Prior to Covid we would go over a couple times a year, business and pleasure mixed as I have business there. But all said, I would rather go to the Caribbean or Mexico than Hawaii. But if you have a thick wallet Hawaii can be fun.

I would add, if you are staying in the Waikiki area, not need for a car except if you wish to leave town. Parking alone is expensive and car rentals in Hawaii are crazy expensive right now. Take a cab, or hire to get to Pearl Harbor. The other islands unless you plan on staying at the resort a car is suggested.

Cheers,
Todd

Last edited by Todd; 10/30/2021 09:41 PM.

I prefer the Isle seat
Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: Todd] #267516
10/31/2021 10:10 AM
10/31/2021 10:10 AM
Joined: Jul 2021
Posts: 21
Kansas City
K
KC2SXM Offline OP
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KC2SXM  Offline OP
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K
Joined: Jul 2021
Posts: 21
Kansas City
Thank you so much for your response! You have been quite helpful!

Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: KC2SXM] #271531
12/18/2021 03:38 PM
12/18/2021 03:38 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,423
Bucks County, Pa.
toast Offline
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toast  Offline
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Just returned from a 3 island tour, Kauai , Lanai and Maui. Kauai is absolutely breathtaking, the natural beauty and diversity of terrain, grand canyon of Hawaii ( I never knew) the Napali coast, best done by boat. If you like natural outdoor activities, this island has it all. A car is needed no matter which island, if you really want to explore.

Maui was very developed, lots of large resorts lining the beaches ( like Oahu) in many parts and very "American" in my opinion. If you like resorts etc, then you will like it. There are some good spots to get natural outdoor activities , but it was very developed more than my taste likes when i get away.

Everyone says the Big Island is a must and we did not get there, but intend to go back and return to Kauai and Big Island, we had alot of homes to choose from on Kauai so do your research and a VRBO or AirBNB should be no problem. That will help with expense as well, as I agree this was one of the most expensive places we have ever travelled.


Toast.......to Life; White Bay...heaven on earth.
Diane
Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: KC2SXM] #272791
01/07/2022 09:58 PM
01/07/2022 09:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,649
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Brookfield, CT.
We are definitely creatures of habit and our vacation of choice is Sint Maarten, hands down. That said……Been to Hawaii twice and both times home ported on Oahu. First time our objective was primarily to do the historical tour and of course, Pearl Harbor was the highlight of the trip. We stayed on Waikiki Beach for a few days and then moved on to Turtle Bay Resort which we thought was lovely. If I ever win the lotto I’ll go back there and rent a beachside bungalow. Traffic in Honolulu was horrendous and we didn’t really enjoy our convertible till we headed out to the North Shore and we were more free to wander..

Second trip was top shelf all the way - we did the cruise of several islands and they were all different and all gorgeous. Would I go back again? Probably not but only because a ten hour flight to Hawaii loses out almost every time to a four hour flight to the Caribbean. I like the idea of VBRO since most of the resorts would be very expensive and most probably wouldn’t have the cooking facilities and amenities you might be liking.

When you go, make a point of trying the shrimp trucks (and keep your fingers crossed the black flies aren’t out and about…..)and the shave ice, too. 🙂🙂


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: KC2SXM] #274477
01/30/2022 12:00 PM
01/30/2022 12:00 PM
Joined: Jul 2021
Posts: 21
Kansas City
K
KC2SXM Offline OP
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KC2SXM  Offline OP
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K
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Posts: 21
Kansas City
Thank you, Pat. St. Martin has been our favorite island for many years for the two of us, but we want to try something new with the family. We’ve followed many of your recs over the years!

We will begin in Oahu, mostly for the Pearl Harbor Memorial, but will spend the majority of our time on Kauai. We have a large house booked on the South shore.

Any advice and/or recommendations from experienced Kauai travelers would be most welcome. Travel dates = Aug. 1-9.

Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: KC2SXM] #274763
02/03/2022 01:38 PM
02/03/2022 01:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 507
Florida
RobT Offline
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RobT  Offline
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You will traveling in summer, so the surf won't be to heavy. Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Lookout are a must see. If you like hiking, the Kalalau trail on the other side of the island goes along the Napali Coast. it is a difficult but spectacular hike up and down the coast. It is only 2 miles to Hanakapii Beach. It is 13 miles to Kalalau Beach. Too far for a day hike. The currents can be bad, so if the surf is up, do not go in. We went in January a few years ago, and the trail was closed due to bad weather. There are other beaches and caves to explore if the trail is closed or you decide not to go.


Beach Hunter
Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: KC2SXM] #274814
02/04/2022 12:41 PM
02/04/2022 12:41 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,649
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Originally Posted by KC2SXM
Thank you, Pat. St. Martin has been our favorite island for many years for the two of us, but we want to try something new with the family. We’ve followed many of your recs over the years!

We will begin in Oahu, mostly for the Pearl Harbor Memorial, but will spend the majority of our time on Kauai. We have a large house booked on the South shore.

Any advice and/or recommendations from experienced Kauai travelers would be most welcome. Travel dates = Aug. 1-9.


Another thought re a Hawaiian Island trip is to take a helicopter tour. I swore that was possibly the only thing in the islands I refused to do. So of course, that was the first thing my DH booked (as a non-refundable tour, I might add…..) and once strapped in and air bound, I think it was one of the highlights of our trip coming right after the visit to the Arizona Memorial. The air tours are a little pricey but so very worth it. 😊😊


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: KC2SXM] #274957
02/07/2022 09:26 AM
02/07/2022 09:26 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 800
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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ndfaninnc  Offline
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Kannapolis, NC
I 2nd the helicopter tours. Hovering over an active volcano is pretty cool.


Go Irish!!

Bill
Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: KC2SXM] #275409
02/13/2022 02:42 PM
02/13/2022 02:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 737
Panama City Beach, Florida
xrayman67 Offline
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Helicopter tour of Kauai was the highlight of our trip. Our pilot was a native of Kauai who had received his pilot training in the US Army close by my home at Fort Rucker.

Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: KC2SXM] #283072
05/24/2022 11:04 PM
05/24/2022 11:04 PM
Joined: May 2022
Posts: 4
Portland, Oregon
BusyBoater Offline
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Portland, Oregon
Kaui was our last trip in 2020 before the world changed. Natural beauty is incredible: Waimea Canyon and Napali Coast are geographic bewilderments that can only be appreciated in person. A few top recomendations:

Waimea Canyon: you can drive to several lookouts within the park (and you will need a car on Kauai). When we were there, there were a few native Hawaiians doing an unofficial presentation about culture and history on the island that was very interesting and authentic.
Napali Coast: Cannot be seen or accessed from a road. The hike is one of the best on Earth, but professional grade difficult. You can see it by helicopter. Best seen by water IMHO: there are many catamarans that go out for day cruises, I reccomend sunset, but a day cruise will include snorkeling. Can also be accessed by kayak tour, and there are beaches that can be camped.
rivers and waterfalls This is the only Hawiian island with navigable rivers. Lots of waterfalls throughout the island. Secret Falls kayak/hike checks lots of boxes in one trip and easy to rent a kayak. Take tandems, its a harder paddle back than it is up, but kids can make the trip. It is crowded. More secluded adventures for more intrepid travelers.

Here's my full boating report with a few photos Busy Boater: Kaui

We've also been to Oahu/Waikiki a few times. Special place in my heart because it was my first vacation with my wife. My favorites: Diamond Head Hike, Waikiki Beach Catamarans, and wandering through the midcentury hotels. We rented a car the first time we were in Oahu and never pulled it out of the garage. Driving around Waikiki is a PITA and it is very walkable. But if you are only there for 1-2 days and going to Arizona, it might make sense.

Diamond Head: Volcanic Crater with WWII military installation and beautiful views. You can drive into the crater and hike to the top. Its crowded, the trail is pretty improved, but lot of elevation change. I've walked from Waikiki to the top of the crater and back twice in one day, and I'm an average walker.
Beach Catamarans If you have some free time, walk up to any of the catamarans on the beach and they will have a cash price for 1-hour sale. Cheaper than online. Years ago I think we paid $6 for the sail, $1 for mai tais and $2 for Budweiser. Stick with the Budweiser. Beautiful to see Waikiki from the water.
Hotels So many historic hotels. Not all in great condition, but nonetheless, memories from bygone eras. Sheraton from Brady Bunch. Surf Rider from Blue Hawaii. Kaimaina Beach Hotel has a really cool old bar/lobby that still looks as it did on Magnumm PI. Hyatt is designed like a John Portman atrium hotel, but there's no roof on the atrium! Royal Hawaiian was a bust last time we were there (2019).
BeachThe beach is great for boogie boarding or learning to surf too. For more peace and quiet, head south through the park to Kamaina Beach.

Here's my Oahu boating report Busy Boater: Oahu

Feel free to DM me with other questions and have a great trip!

Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: KC2SXM] #283098
05/25/2022 09:12 AM
05/25/2022 09:12 AM
Joined: Jul 2021
Posts: 21
Kansas City
K
KC2SXM Offline OP
Traveler
KC2SXM  Offline OP
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K
Joined: Jul 2021
Posts: 21
Kansas City
Thanks to all for the great advice! After reading comments and talking with friends, we have basic travel plans in place. My husband and I are starting our visit on Oahu to visit the WWII memorial. The kids and grandkids are going straight to Kauai where we will spend a little over a week. We have a large house with a pool and two cars rented (per great advice from TTOLers). Now we need to work out the details. Bought “The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook” but I’m a teacher and no time to read until next week. Thanks again to all!

Re: Hawaii advice, please [Re: KC2SXM] #283165
05/25/2022 08:14 PM
05/25/2022 08:14 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,649
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Brookfield, CT.
I truly hope your Hawaiian adventures turn out to be wonderful - I know the Arizona will be and family time is always a good thing. Enjoy!! 😊😊


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."

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