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Where else can Compete with Hawaii?

Where else can Compete with Hawaii?

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Old Jul 3, 19, 8:44 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by wolfpacktrojan View Post
Have you considered Costa Rica? You can get there on AS metal out of LAX, and it is a beautiful country that offers an assortment of activities. Comparable flight time to Hawaii as well, so it won't feel like you're traveling terribly far. Just took a quick glance, and it looks like they have a handful of Hilton properties as well.
Yes, I'd say Costa Rica as well for a tropical experience comparable to Hawaii. I adore New Zealand, but that's very different than Hawaii, despite the maritime and Polynesian connections they both share.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 10:13 pm
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Originally Posted by rayfound View Post
I love traveling to Hawaii, have been 3 times in the last 4 years: Maui/BigIsland, bigIsland/Kauai, and finally just got back from 9-nights on the big island that left me longing to return.

I should start that I put essentially all my accumulation of rewards into Hhonors and Alaska Airlines, and National Emerald Club. So utilizing those programs to offset costs is absolutely a consideration, but not the only one. I'm based in Southern California. We have kids aged 5 and 8 now.

My wife has said that we need to see the world beyond just repeat trips to Hawaii (I would visit every summer if she'd let me), but I am trying to scour some destinations that can stack up against what I love about Hawaii
Reality check: if you go to some other beach destination, it won't stack up to your perception of Hawaii no matter how nice it is because of your love of Hawaii. So step out of your travel rut, make your wife happy and broaden your children's horizons: go somewhere without a beach.

Where? I suggest asking your wife what she'd really like to do. Culture, history, mountain climbing, or garden tours - maybe she's already got a destination in mind. Maybe the kids have some place they're dying to see (that doesn't involve roller coasters or giant mice). How about a cruise to Alaska? My kid loved that. Seeing English castles? Dinosaur dig in Argentina? Boston has great science, history and museums, plus the Freedom Trail. Tivoli and Legoland Denmark (by far the best one!) - awesome family trip. Yellowstone. There are so many wonderful options beyond the sands of Hawaii (but hiking the lava at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is truly awesome in the original meaning of the word).
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Old Jul 6, 19, 4:18 pm
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I'll put in a vote for New Zealand. You can get here with AS miles on a few different airlines, including Qantas and Fiji. I just moved here from the US (and even stopped in Hawaii for 10 days on the way!) so I'm a bit biased.

Travel in NZ is easy, at least once you get used to driving on the other side of the road. Some excellent beaches, both at the northern tip of the North Island. Look into the Bay of Islands and especially the Tutukaka Coast which National Geographic ranked as one of the best coastlines in the world.

Hiking here is world-class. If you want to combine beaches and hiking, check out the Abel Tasman coast track. The entire hike is 37 miles but you can easily do day-hikes individual sections. There are outfitters that offer combined hike/kayak/water taxi day trips from the surrounding towns. Beautiful beaches. One of my favorite parts of NZ.

https://www.doc.govt.nz/abeltasmantrack

On the other end of the spectrum is mountain hiking. If your kids are up to longer hikes, look into some of the Great Walks outside Queenstown on the South Island. I highly recommend the Routeburn Track. Generally done in three days, there are park-run huts along the route or you can opt for the luxury option with Ultimate Hikes, who runs hotel-quality lodges in the parks with full catering.

https://www.doc.govt.nz/routeburntrack

There's also lots of great biking. Outside Queenstown you'll find some excellent bike trails. There's the Otago Rail Trail, though for a day trip mixed with some great food I recommend the Gibbston Valley. There's a gravel bike path that goes through a dozen or so wineries and you can stop for tastings. There some some taverns along the way for lunch. Some companies in Queenstown will drop you at one end of the valley with bikes and then you just call them whenever you're done for the day and they come pick you up and drive you back to town.

Also look into the Hauraki Rail Trail near-ish to Auckland.

There are Hiltons in both Auckland and Queenstown, though I've never stayed at either.

edit: Realized you're talking about US summer, which would mean NZ winter. Disregard.

Last edited by txflyer77; Jul 7, 19 at 4:57 am
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Old Jul 6, 19, 5:16 pm
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For the UA flyer, French Polynesia, for one. Itís literally as if you replaced the American influence with the French while keeping a lot of the fundamentals
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Old Jul 6, 19, 7:15 pm
  #20  
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What about Cabo? AS flies there. There are Hilton properties.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 11:20 am
  #21  
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
What about Cabo? AS flies there. There are Hilton properties.
We have a family member with a beach House there. We went last year... liked Cabo OK but with kids didn't find it an amazing place to visit.

Flora Farms was incredible meal and cocktails though.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 12:36 am
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Originally Posted by rayfound View Post
We have kids aged 5 and 8 now.

My wife has said that we need to see the world beyond just repeat trips to Hawaii (I would visit every summer if she'd let me), but I am trying to scour some destinations that can stack up against what I love about Hawaii:
  • Reasonable award redemption on AS.
  • Reasonable reward valuations (I've averaged less than 50,000 hhonors pts/nt for my stays on BI/Kauai)
  • Great assortment of activities: Hiking, snorkeling, Nature, interesting food, sightseeing, etc...
  • Relaxing beaches
  • Simple/domestic travel
  • easy/relaxing self-directed once there
So i am trying to figure out any other places that might scratch the same itches as hawaii, but in a different way. Doesn't have to be beach/tropical, doesn't have to be everything hawaii is, just spitballing for ideas.

Thanks
If you're wanting to stay domestic, have you considered the east coast beaches like Nantucket, Cape May, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Kiawah Island, etc.?
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Old Jul 12, 19, 11:02 am
  #23  
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Yep! That's on the list. We've spent some Time in Savannah and Hilton Head - have family out there.
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