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10 days in Big Island and Kauai

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Aug 29th, 2014, 01:56 PM
  #1
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10 days in Big Island and Kauai

We are planning our trip to Hawaii for our wedding anniversary end of Nov - beg. of Dec 2014. We have been 5 years ago in Oahu and Maui and this time plan to split time between Bi and Kauai. We will have 10 days/9 nights. We would like do some sightseeing, see the islands, do some snorkeling, visit national parks on BI and have some time left to just relax on the beach. I was thinking to split time - 5 nights in BI and 4 nights in Kauai.
I would really like to travel around Bi but with only 5 nights would prefer to stay in one place and not to switch hotels.
What would be the best itinerary and places to visit in these timeframe in Bi and Kauai? What is the best area to stay on both Islands time wise and weather wise this time of the year. Would really appreciate any suggestions.
We prefer to stay in nice comfortable places but not really in big chain hotels. Any suggestions on accommodations? Any good resorts with low rises or bungalows?
We are now doing some research to book our flight from NY and have started reading/ planning our itinerary and researching accommodations.
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Aug 31st, 2014, 01:06 PM
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To enjoy both sides of Big Island of Hawaii would take your whole time. The Kohala Coast (NW) has the sunny beaches. Volcano National Park is SE, with best lodgings in the town of Volcano. Most people fly into one side and out of the opposite side (KOA and ITO).

You could also enjoy your whole time on Kauai. The prettiest part, the north shore, will probably already have rough seas, but you could split your trip between, say, Hanalei, and Poipu on the south shore.

Your best flights will be nonstops on wide-body aircraft from NY to HNL.

Each transit between islands will take up half a day, door to door. You'd have too many, IMO, to split your stay between two islands, unless you'd stay Oahu plus either Kauai or Maui.

Early Dece
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Aug 31st, 2014, 01:07 PM
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Whoops! ...Early December is the least expensive time to visit Hawaii, with lots of options for cars and lodgings...but not over the Thanksgiving holidays.
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Aug 31st, 2014, 08:49 PM
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As far as places to stay on the Big Island, I would suggest one of the Kohala resorts. My favorite is the Mauna Lani, because it is full of natural beauty and history.

"Mauna Lani is renowned for its devotion to preserving and enhancing the cultural history of Hawai'i. Danny Akaka oversees the resort's effort to spread the wisdom of Hawaiian culture and the rich heritage of Kalahuipua'a. The resort is nationally recognized for its successful honu program, cultural activities, indigenous plant life and historic fishponds."

I think the other resorts are fine, too, so check out the prices and see what you are comfortable with. The Four Seasons is the most expensive, and the Hapuna is one of the less expensive.
The Mauna Kea is very nice, and because it is further north you will be away from the vog which is problematic in Kona. You will also be closer to the beautiful, lush, North Kohala area with its abundance of fish, whales (seasonally), history, national and state parks, hikes, and a lovely black sand beach at the end of the road at Pololu.

I have many times gone to Volcano for the day, driving from Hawi at the northern tip of the island, and it is a beautiful drive through Waimea, over to Honokaa, on through Hilo. It is such a pretty drive that some compare it to the road to Hana on Maui.

You can't really see the lava up close (or very easily). If you can afford it, and the lava is flowing, a helicopter ride is unforgettable. But just being at the volcano, seeing the steam vents and craters is well worth a long, exciting day.

Here is a link to a recent post I made with some of my favorite places on the Big Island. http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...omment-8868093

Kauai is small, and you can see it well in 5 days pretty easily. It is so beautiful! But the Big Island is magnificent with its incredible geological diversity and history.
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Sep 1st, 2014, 08:53 AM
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Thanks everybody for your quick responses. Our anniversary is Nov.30th so, we plan to leave NY on Friday after Thanksgiving. How id the weather on BI and Kauai this time of the year? We visited at the same time of the year Maui and Oahu 5 years ago and it was wonderful.

We are now thinking to fly to Hilo and spent there one night, next morning visit Volcano park and drive to Kohala resort area and stay there for the rest of our stay in BI. Does it make sense?
Kailani, thanks for your advices. Will definitely check Mauna Lani. Four seasons is out of our price range. Are all the resorts have beaches to swim on. Do some of them have better beached than the others even on Kohala coast? What are the best trips we can do/see during our stay on Kohala coast?
We have 9 nights altogether. Should we split 5 nights on BI and 4 on Kauai or vice versa? I am reading that Kauai is gorgeous. Is it easy to stay in one place in Kauai and visit both shores?

ChiSue, I understand that we can spent the whole time on one island but Hawaii is not the closes destination to us, we do not go there that often so prefer to visit 2 islands at the time. We might come back to one or both of them next time
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Sep 1st, 2014, 10:03 AM
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I'm just seeing a LOT of time getting to airports and sitting in them. Each transit eats half a day, and you'd have three. Let's follow the path you've set out.

Your best flights from NY are into HNL. If your interisland flight is on the same ticket as your mainland flight, you can through-check luggage to ITO. You'd sit at HNL for two hours to allow for luggage transfer to Hawaiian Airlines, then fly to ITO and stay Volcano one night. (You are going to be operating at half-speed the next day as your body adjusts to the time change and recovers from travel stress. Maybe you want two nights at VNP.)

Then you drive the pretty northern route to the Kohala Coast for three/four nights.

On Day Six you arrive at KOA 90 minutes before your flight to HNL and then fly on to Lihue.

You stay Hanalei or Poipu for five nights, then arrive 90 minutes in advance of your flight to HNL and sit at HNL for two hours before you depart for home. (OR, if your HA flight is not on your mainland flight ticket, you claim luggage at HNL and re-check it to your mainland flight, then go through TSA lines before boarding your flight home.

I would only do this over a two-week span. Actually, I've never stayed fewer than two weeks on any one island.

Weather should still be good, but the ocean will have turned to rougher north (and calmer south) on Kauai. Boat tours around the Pali may be interrupted.
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Sep 1st, 2014, 12:41 PM
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In late November I'd stay in Poipu, the ocean will be rougher up on the North Shore although you may get lucky and yes of course you can visit both sides.
If you want to do a boat tour, book it early in your stay in case they have to cancel and reschedule. Boats will be going out of Port Allen all year, North Shore tours stop in October or sometimes earlier. I've been out in November on Holo Holo and had a great time.
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Sep 1st, 2014, 07:40 PM
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Thanks, will definitely look into a boat tour. A question on hotels on the BI - I was looking at resorts along Kohala coast (Puako, Waikaloa) and search engines also often add hotels in Kailua-Kona. What area is the best for staying and swimming? Where is the beach better? I love swimming and prefer calmer water. Looks like not all hotels have even access to the beach.
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 08:23 AM
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Kohala is the best for swimming on BI. The beach at the Mauna Kea is the most lovely in all of Hawaii. I would opt for ocean view or ocean front if it is in your budget. Have stayed at Fairmont Orchid and the Mauna Kea. Both lovely and wonderful beaches. 10 nights you could do two islands but take into consideration travel time, wait time, flight time, car waiting time, drive time when thinking about it. Since it is such a long fight for you, I would do Kauai and BI. Not likely that you will go back next year right? Being on the West Coast, we are blessed that we can go quite often. kauai is our island of choice and then KI. Check out Costco travel if you are a member of Costco. They have great prices and they include a car in their pkgs. Even if you just rent a car from them, you will save money. They waive the $10.00 a day mandatory 2nd driver fee that Hawaii has on its car rentals. $10 a day adds up and could be spent elsewhere. we have used them on BI twice and elsewhere as well. Aloha
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 08:24 AM
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Irina, the better swimming will be on the Kohala coast. Hapuna and Mauna Kea beach both have great swimming.
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Sep 2nd, 2014, 10:16 AM
  #11
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Thanks everybody for your advices. Shar, will definiely check Costco travel. There is a travelzoo deal for Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows that sounds good - 699 per 3 nights oceanfront and 1109 for 5 nights. This resort has pretty good ratings and kKilani highly recommends it on this post as well. We are considering this deal. Does it have a good beach as well?
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 10:33 AM
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Just be aware that Kohala can have rough surf that time of year.
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Sep 3rd, 2014, 12:00 PM
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Here is an aerial view of the hotel with a description from a reliable guide book http://tinyurl.com/mrusyak
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Sep 4th, 2014, 03:38 PM
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Hello, we are going to Kauai 8 days, leaving for Oahu on Thanksgiving (very cheap travel day) and a week later going to Maui. In Kauai and Maui we have rented a condo thru VRBO.com and even tho it will be a holiday in Kauai, got a nice condo on the beach next door to Hyatt for cheaper than the hotels and likely much nicer (w air conditioning). (Poipu Shores). Also, weather appears to be stormy in Hanalei, Princeville area and nicer and safer water on Poipu, just saying, Have fun!
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Sep 5th, 2014, 02:54 PM
  #15
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Thanks Goldie, will check it out. We are actually changing our plans to go to Kauai for 6 days and Maui or Molokai for 3 days. We realized that BI and Kauai too much for 9-10 days.
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Sep 7th, 2014, 09:59 PM
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Three days on Maui is not nearly enough. Given the number of full days in Hawaii and the jet lag coming from NY -- and assuming this is your first trip to Hawaii -- I would strongly consider sticking with just one island. There's so much to do on the Big Island, Kauai, Maui and Oahu that you could easily fill a week or two on one of them.
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