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Hawaii trip for a veteran with a first-timer

Hawaii trip for a veteran with a first-timer

Old Dec 5, 16, 9:27 pm
  #1  
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Hawaii trip for a veteran with a first-timer

I'm the veteran (perhaps not so many trips as some on this board, but I've been 2x each to Maui, Kauai, the Big Island, and Oahu) and my friend will be coming with me in February as the first-timer. We don't have an agenda yet beyond arriving in and leaving from HNL. I'm trying to think of an itinerary that would make us both happy. We have 11 full days on the ground.

We are both very into food, so I might want to stay a couple of days in Honolulu just to eat. After that...maybe fly to KOA or ITO (and fly out of the other one, to maximize efficiency) so she can see Volcanoes NP and also spend some time doing Big Island stuff? And maybe after that, Kauai--that's the island I have been away from the longest--or is that too ambitious?

Since it's been so long since I was a Hawaii novice, I'm not sure which islands would be the most desirable for a first visit. I like them all!
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Old Dec 7, 16, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
I'm the veteran (perhaps not so many trips as some on this board, but I've been 2x each to Maui, Kauai, the Big Island, and Oahu) and my friend will be coming with me in February as the first-timer. We don't have an agenda yet beyond arriving in and leaving from HNL. I'm trying to think of an itinerary that would make us both happy. We have 11 full days on the ground.

We are both very into food, so I might want to stay a couple of days in Honolulu just to eat. After that...maybe fly to KOA or ITO (and fly out of the other one, to maximize efficiency) so she can see Volcanoes NP and also spend some time doing Big Island stuff? And maybe after that, Kauai--that's the island I have been away from the longest--or is that too ambitious?

Since it's been so long since I was a Hawaii novice, I'm not sure which islands would be the most desirable for a first visit. I like them all!
3 nights HNL
4 nights Maui
4 nights B.I.
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Old Dec 7, 16, 4:37 pm
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My suggestions

For a first-timer I suggest the following:

Two or three nights Honolulu - see the island, beaches, surfing spots and traffic

Then two or three nights Kauai for the valley and north shore

Then the Big Island for the rest of the time. There are resorts to explore (even if not staying there), the volcano for a night trek to see lava, and a few days to drive around the island to see waterfalls and rainforest, etc.

http://www.hawaiimagazine.com/conten...p-kona-weekend

Last edited by Lavarock7; Dec 15, 16 at 11:13 am Reason: Add link
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Old Dec 7, 16, 7:14 pm
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Thanks, I think this is what I'm leaning towards. I need to check on flights and how much time we will expend getting between islands.
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Old Dec 13, 16, 5:06 pm
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I just came back from a 7 day trip to Oahu. Since it was my first time, I actually felt that it wasn't enough days just for one island let alone island hop. I spent a whole day just at the PCC. I did a helicopter tour, snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, Pearl Harbor, Waimea Valley, sailing tours, and etc.
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Old Dec 13, 16, 5:20 pm
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Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
Thanks, I think this is what I'm leaning towards. I need to check on flights and how much time we will expend getting between islands.
Changing islands does kill a good part of a day. Arr. airport 90 min. early, 35 min. flt, rent a car, ck into hotel, etc, etc. And of course it gets dark ~6>6:30 every night. Limits outdoor activities on travel days. Doing only 2 islands would be more restful. We usually split time between Maui & BI.
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Old Dec 15, 16, 3:58 pm
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For the amount of time you have I personally wouldn't explore more than 2 islands. But that is me, personally. I hate wasted time, and flying interisland is wasted time IMO.

Caveat - I have only visited the Big Island and Kaua'i. The strongest recommendation I have is, save the BI for last. That was the first island I visited (my wife's aunt lived there so it was the "logical" first visit) and I was soooo disappointed. I was expecting lush foliage and sandy beaches*, and I tell you - the trip from KOA south to Kealakekua was one of the most dismal trips I've ever made. In the end it was a good trip, but the amount of absolutely barren, rock-(lava)strewn hillsides is almost unbelievable, and even where stuff is growing it's all these huge boulders mixed in. Totally not what I was expecting. All that said, I feel the BI does have a lot to offer, VNP being a great part of it. Also the diversity E/W and the fact that you can drive all the way around.

I really liked Kaua'i (except the roosters) and would recommend it as a first choice for any newbie. The main reason is that it feels "old", like it's still in the '50s or '60s. Yes, there are modern resorts, but they are mostly if not all off the main roads - you don't see them unless you turn down that road. Most of what you see driving around is just regular working class people who happen to live in paradise.

*you can find both on every island, but that's not the impression when you fly into KOA.
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Old Dec 15, 16, 4:25 pm
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I agree with those who advise to stick to 2 islands. Since you have a first-timer with you, plan on at least a few days on Oahu doing the tourist thing - Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, the north shore - as well as eating. Then spend the rest of your time on one of the other islands. Kauai is our personal favorite, as it feels the most laid back, but all of the islands offer some unique experiences.
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Old Dec 15, 16, 4:42 pm
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Originally Posted by skj View Post
I agree with those who advise to stick to 2 islands. Since you have a first-timer with you, plan on at least a few days on Oahu doing the tourist thing - Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, the north shore - as well as eating. Then spend the rest of your time on one of the other islands. Kauai is our personal favorite, as it feels the most laid back, but all of the islands offer some unique experiences.
If you have to do more than one island, I agree with this. (I like to spend two weeks on one island instead of wasting time island hopping.) For the second one, I recommend Kauai. It is most like what people picture Hawaii being.
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