Hawaii - Hawaii in early December 2011
May 21, 11, 2:08 pm
Hi, I am planning an anniversary trip for my parents in early December 2011. I have them flying into Maui and out of Honolulu, eight nights. Have not bought the in-between flight yet. Am trying to figure out how to best break up the trip, how many days in Maui, how many days do they need in Oahu, etc. Would appreciate some help, as I have never been to Hawai'i myself.
I've been told that there are a few musts - a luau (not sure where/which one), Molokini snorkerling, road to Hana (I will reserve them a car for Maui). But again, not having been myself, it is challenging to plan.
Thanks in advance!
May 21, 11, 6:02 pm
I would spend 6 nights in Maui and then the last 2 in Honolulu. Get early morning interisland flights to HNL to maximize the two days there. Or, if they don't want to get up early put them on one of the last flights to HNL the night before...making it 5 days in Maui instead. But 2 full days is sufficient time for them to see Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, Waikiki and perhaps even a drive to the North Shore and a stop at Giovanni's Shrimp Truck (http://www.yelp.com/biz/giovannis-shrimp-truck-kahuku).
1st Cav Vet
May 21, 11, 6:12 pm
The answer to your situation is best defined by what your parents like to do.
If they are golfers or just want to sit by a quiet beach...broadwayblue is clearly on target. On the other hand, if they are "shoppers" or city night life "types", then reduce time in Maui to 4 nights and comparatively "bounce" around Oahu.
May 21, 11, 7:24 pm
they are not golfers, and definitely not the nightlife "types". coming from NYC, i doubt they will shop much, if at all. broadwayblue's suggestion seems like it may be the right split. they will want to do some hiking, snorkeling, and nature and history-related things, basically, everything not found in the concrete jungle of New York.
with respect to maui, how scary is the drive to Hana? we did the PCH drive in California together, and my dad was uncomfortable on quite a few blind turns - i am concerned that the road may be too much for them to enjoy themselves. does it make more sense to book a van tour? are those at all enjoyable?
i was thinking of booking Molokini with Trilogy for snorkeling. Is that worth the crack of dawn departure time, or could they find decent snorkeling without taking a tour boat?
also, do they need a car in Honolulu/Waikiki? or should i look to have them stay somewhere other than Waikiki?
May 21, 11, 8:02 pm
IMHO, PCH is a trivial cakewalk compared to the road to Hana.
If he was uncomfortable on any part of the PCH, the road to Hana may be a bit much - especially if it's raining, which is quite likely that time of year. If that's the case, they'll have to drive over streams which overflow the road, which are on hairpin turns high above the coast.
Me? I love that sort of stuff, but not everyone does.
May 21, 11, 8:14 pm
If you can't handle PCH in CA then driving Road to Hana should not even be on your radar.
There are van size tour buses that do the road to Hana with driver and guide that you can look into.
May 22, 11, 7:14 am
I'd do 6 nights on Maui and 2 nights on Oahu. Ideally they'd stay in Oahu first and Maui last, but I see that you've booked the opposite. Oh well.
The "must-dos" on Oahu IMO are USS Arizona (aka "Pearl Harbor"), USS Missouri (I highly recommend the Explorer's tour), and Punchbowl Cemetery. They are very moving. These can all be done on one day, so 2 nights on Oahu is perfect. You want to get to USS AZ early (7am). I'd rent a car in Oahu so that they are not chained to the bus schedule.
I don't agree with folks who say that the Road to Hana is a must. While parts of it were really cool, especially the road past Hana, it's a lot of tedious, sometimes hair raising driving. If they really want to experience it, my advice is to shorten it. Start your day at Ho'okipa Beach and watch the windsurfers do their thing. Then drive a few miles towards Hana, stopping to enjoy a few waterfalls and the Arboretum. Maybe eat a picnic lunch at one of the state parks. Then turn around! No need to actually get to Hana, because there's very little there of interest. If it's a clear day, head up to the summit of Haleakala. If it's not a clear day, head to Iao Needle State park.
Options for Maui:
Old Lahaina Luau
Warren & Annabelle's (highly recommend)
Ziplining on Haleakala
Sunrise or sunset at Haleakala
Stargazing on Haleakala
Snorkeling trip to Molokini
Trilogy all-day trip to Lanai (highly recommend)
Snorkeling at Honolua Bay
Whale watching (highly recommend)
May 22, 11, 11:27 am
............also, do they need a car in Honolulu/Waikiki? or should i look to have them stay somewhere other than Waikiki? Thanks again!
Coming from NYC, they should feel right at home at and enjoy Waikiki. The Oahu bus system (TheBus) is very good and especially reasonable if they are seniors. Even if not, they give a transfer which is good for a timely return trip. A one day car rental would handle a trip to the North shore with a shrimp truck lunch and Punch Bowl which is doable but a little difficult by bus. The Arizona could be done by bus or as the first stop on the island tour. Unless they really like to rent a car and drive for the bulk of the trip, my choice would be a minimum time on Maui. There are all sorts of things to do in/from Honolulu/Waikiki by bus or tours. Meals come as cheap as a plate lunch (or dinner) for $6 (which we often share) or as high end as one would desire. Check out the other threads or PM for additional suggestions. They are in for a treat, Aloha Ken
May 22, 11, 12:16 pm
I have them on the direct flight back from HNL to NYC (Mom doesn't fly well so I am trying to minimize the number of connections they have to make, and the number of smaller planes they have to get on), so that's why they are flying into Maui first. I think I will go with six nights in Maui, two in HNL in Waikiki, get a car in Maui for the duration of the trip, reserve a car in Waikiki for the day after they arrive with a backup reservation for the full length of the Waikiki stay so that they have the option of cancelling one or the other if they want.
The partial drive to Hana sounds like it may be the best option, because they will definitely want to at least drive to Haleakala. Thank you Recreation for the idea!
Thanks everyone for your input. This is really helpful.