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Old Apr 21, 03, 11:07 am   #1
 
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Consolidated "Which/how many Island(s) Should I Visit? What Order? How Long?" thread

I'm taking my in-laws, mother/friend to HI this fall. I've always vacationed on Maui or Kauai, but am considering taking them to Lanai or the Big Island this time, after a few days in HNL as they want to see the Arizona memorial. I'm a bit uneasy taking Senior Citizens to places I've never been as I'm the director of this trip and I don't want to fall short of their expectations. Could anyone urge me that venturing over to Lanai or Big Island instead of my familiar Maui/Kauai won't flop for a party of six adults? Thanks.
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Old Apr 21, 03, 2:36 pm   #2
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Welcome to Flyertalk UpgradeMoi

I think further explanation is needed as far as what type of activities (if any) the group will want to do.

Based on your initial explanation, I would suggest the Big Island as having been to Lanai, there is not alot to do for senior citizens.

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Old Apr 21, 03, 5:40 pm   #3
 
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I would suggest the Big Island, partly because if the seniors are not very mobile, there is still much to see without too much walking. I took my Mom (age 80 at the time) there and she loved it. She *is* pretty active though. Since the island is so big, a lot of what you will see is accessable via car, so expect to be driving here.

We stayed at the Royal Kona Resort (I'm partial to it because I have friends working there) and there is also the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel on the other end of town). From both hotels, seniors can walk into Kailua-Kona and shop or stroll along the water. The town was safe enough for my Mom to stroll on her own at night.

She also enjoyed the stroll through Greenwell Coffee Farm to see how coffee is grown and processed. It is a very short tour :-)

The Painted Church is an interesting stop on the way to the volcano, as is the black sand beach where green sea turtles usually sleep on the beach.

The rain forest and volcano are a neat place to visit, but beware that there may be some fumes and smoke that some older people and people with breathing problems should avoid. Still, there is still much to see there.

Based upon previous experience, that whole trip from Kona to the volcano and back with only brief stops, can take all of a day (and then some).

I also suggest that people try the Hilo side trip for another day. You can venture out through Waimea along Rt 19 to the falls on the Hilo side and possibly do a bit of shopping over there. There is a large mall along the trip.

This too can be an all day trip, depending upon how long you stop in Waimea. This is where the Parker Ranch is (the largest privately owned ranch in the US).

You can spend yet another day going up the west coast of the island, stopping at the various resorts and possibly dipping your feet in the water at each :-) You may also venture up to Hawi and come back down Rt 250 through Waimea.

A trip up Saddle Road may not be the best for y'all, as the atmosphere gets quite thin and many rental car companies prefer you NOT to drive it. There are observatories up there and the occasional snow drifts!

With extra time, you can travel down any of the roads along the coast to see fishing villages, the Captain Cook Monument or just housing.

Perhaps grab a real estate book and relax and dream... THAT IS WHAT I DID.

I am currently in the process of buying a coffee farm in the Captain Cook area and will be cutting down a couple acres of macademia nuts to plant coffee. You see, the area is beautiful and the island is quite captivating. I hope to be moved in within a couple months, then the REAL work begins :-) I too will open my farm to visitors and give tours.

The Big Island is so big that it takes up to a week just to begin to get the flavor of the place. While not as compact and green as Kauai, it deserves a visit and you and your travelers will remember the trip for a long time.

I have posted numerous trip reports which cover this island and the others, in Flyer Talk, and you are encouraged to check them out. If they have scrolled off, go to http://trip.myhawaiiansite.com and read them in numerical order. These cover most of the islands.

Please let me know if you have questions, I'd be happy to help. There are some photos I took on the island at http://myhawaiiansite.com/hawaii.htm
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Old Apr 22, 03, 12:00 am   #4
 
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I'd rule out Lanai. I think Kona would be great, because it is such a great walking town. Great restaurants and shopping, just a beautiful place to be, period. You can split up and stroll at your own pace if you like. One group could drive south a half hour and snorkle. Then there's all the other things mentioned above going for the Big Island to explore.
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Old Apr 22, 03, 9:44 am   #5
 
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Thanks for the quick replies, and especially to Lavarock7 for such a thorough, detailed, and generous sharing of info. I'm very encouraged now to "give it a go." The Seniors travelling with me are each pushing 80 yrs of age which throws activities into the passive arena, although each is in fairly decent health. We'll be reliant on autos for sightseeing, with some short walks thrown in for options. Dietary needs are not too restricted. Sincere thanks, again, and I am going now to visit the suggested websites.
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Old Apr 22, 03, 12:21 pm   #6
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Let me underscore the caution noted above re Saddle Road and Mauna Kea. Saddle Road peaks out at about 6k feet, but Mauna Kea's peak is 13.7k ft.! I am 35 and athletic, yet I felt dizzy just walking around. Don't take the seniors there!
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Old Apr 22, 03, 6:06 pm   #7
 
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By all means do the Big Island, which it looks as though you have decided to do. Be sure to spend as much time as you can in Volcanoes National Park. It is quite easy to see from the car with only short walks (or longer if you want) to various sites that really cannot be seen anywhere else. If possible spend the night in the park at Volcano House, or if anyone in your group is active or retired military you can stay at Kilauea Military Camp which has great cabins, restaurant, etc. We took my Mom to the Big Island a couple of years ago when she was 77 (and not in the greatest of health) and we were able to tour a large part of the island by car with absolute enjoyment for her.
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Old Apr 22, 03, 8:25 pm   #8
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I'll be the contrarian and say the Lodge at Lana'i. An octegenarian has all they need there. Relax in a colonial-type mansion with plenty of on-ground activities. But the other suggestions would be nice too.
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Old Apr 27, 03, 10:22 am   #9
 
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I have never been to Lanai, so I cannot comment on that, but I did not love the Big Island. It is SO different from the other islands in my opinion. We stayed in Waikoloa area. It is interesting to see, but 3 days was plenty long enough for me there and I don't have any desire to return. Maui and Kauai on the other hand I keep going back to and never tire of visiting. Wouldn't they love to see the Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon and Mt. Haleakala and the road to Hana? I would definitely vote for Kauai and Maui over the Big Island any day, but that is only my opinion.
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Old Oct 25, 03, 5:15 pm   #10
 
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Which island for a two-day visit?

Hi, I'll be in Hawaii for two days next month and thought I'd visit an island that I've not been to before. (I've already traveled extensively around Oahu and Kauai.)

Given that I have only two days and two nights, which island would you recommend? Which is the most beautiful? I'm leaning toward Molokai or Maui. I'd like to avoid tourist traps and would prefer to stay at less expensive (though clean) hotels.

Any suggestions appreciated.

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Old Oct 25, 03, 6:25 pm   #11
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We've been to the 4 major Islands and like them all. Our favorite for "things to do" is probably Maui.
1.Haleakala Volcano
2.Road to Hana
3.Great golf
4.Molokini for snorkeling
5.Great restaurants
6.Lots of shopping

We like the Big Island for the diversity of landscape. Tough to pick just one but if I had to pick one for a 2 day trip I'd pick Maui. ENJOY.

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Old Oct 25, 03, 10:43 pm   #12
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IMHO Moloka'i would be better for a two day trip since I do not think that you could realistically see all of Maui in two days. I would probably save that for a longer trip.

Moloka'i, I feel, is the more beautiful of the two. Kahului, on Maui, has become like a mini-Honolulu without the high rises and the many visitors Maui pulls in has called for many tourist traps to arise.

On Moloka'i, I think you'll get the best of paradise for the short stay you're planning. Could get a bit pricey... do you like donkeys?

Of course, the Big Island is out of the question -- I think for your time restraints, two days might not cut it... although I guess it depends on what you'd want to see.

Coming from Sydney, it might be a little hassle getting to Moloka'i. You'd have to connect thru HNL and depending on what flights you take from Sydney. The two non-stop flights from Sydney usually arrive into HNL past 11 p.m., which would mean you'd have to spend a night in HNL and then take a morning flight out to Moloka'i (MKK).

You can find more information on the two prospective islands here:
http://molokai.gohawaii.com/
http://maui.gohawaii.com

Good luck and let us know what you end up choosing

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Old Oct 25, 03, 11:37 pm   #13
 
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Since it will only be 2 days and you have seen Kauai, I would opt for Molokai. Two days is enought to get a feel for the place, but not enough to really experience it. I suggest people go to Molokai for at least 3 days and spend part of the time reflecting on the simplicity.

Hawaii would take at least a week to get a good feeling for the island because of its size.

I personally, am not a Maui kinda guy. Oh it was beautiful, but it was more like Florida to me.

Still, visit every island you can for as long as you can, and then YOU decide if you want to visit again or move there :-)
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Old Oct 27, 03, 7:07 pm   #14
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Lanai, While you will not experience it, you'll be able to see it all.
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Old Oct 28, 03, 2:13 am   #15
 
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Thanks for all of these great suggestions and helpful information.

It looks like I may be anchored in Oahu after all since I am not able to secure an award ticket on Aloha Airlines. I'll keep trying daily, but the only option now is a day trip that leaves HNL at 05:40. Yuk!

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For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilisation, and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894)
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