1st timers to Hawaii HELP!!!!

Old Jun 18th, 2012, 09:24 AM
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1st timers to Hawaii HELP!!!!

Hi all! My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Hawaii in early September for about 6 nights and are having trouble selecting an island. My initial inclination was the Big Island because of the diverse landscapes, but after reading several posts and books, I'm leaning away from that, due to lack of good beaches and no nightlife. Basically we want really nice beaches and a lush tropical landscape. A little nightlife is necessary, but no clubbing or anything. Basically we don't just want to sit in our room all night, but we want somewhere romantic. I would like some good snorkeling and just a really good feel for Hawaii. Also, I think we'd prefer to go to the large resort route. Please help! I think we're between the Big Island, Maui, and Oahu. Any other suggestions would be appreciated!!
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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Between those three I would chose Oahu.
I think Maui is too similar to southern California for my taste. And the Big Island is what you've described.

Oahu (for me) has more diversity, feels more tropical and historically old Hawaii.

You might consider Kauai, as it is nice, quiet, lush, tropical, has beautiful beaches on both the North Shore and South Shores. There is hiking, snorkeling, and beautiful beaches.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 12:44 PM
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Maul is too "LA ish" for me and Oahu (atleast waikiki area) is very Miami like with a bit of Rodeo drive thrown in! Kauai is our favorite but cannot speak to the night life. Really have never looked. I'm sure there are bars that would fit your needs however. Kauai is so lush, more low key than Maui or Oahu. BUT Oahu on the north side of the island is very different than Honolulu side. Waikiki does, however, have lots of nightlife but for tropical paradise, I'd pick Kauai, for beaches and snorkeling and Hawaiian beauty.....
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 01:52 PM
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Kauai is scenically gorgeous but there is not much to do at night. For me Maui has a good balance of great beaches, excellent snorkeling, beautiful scenery, and lots to do at night.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 06:49 PM
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I' agree with Monterey Bob.
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Old Jun 18th, 2012, 07:00 PM
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Maui first...

Oahu second...

save Big Island and Kauai for your future family trip... or your retirement...
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 07:56 AM
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Thanks for the replies, I think we are going to split our trip between Oahu and Maui! In Oahu, is it worth it to just stay in Waikiki and drive up to the North Shore and the other areas for the day? Any lodging recommendations there? Also we are planning on using hotel points in Maui at the Grand Wailea which I heard is one of the best hotels there. Any other suggestions or things we should not miss while there will be appreciated!
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 08:40 AM
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There aren't that many accommodations outside of Waikiki (Turtle Bay in the north, the Kahala (formerly a Hilton) closer to Diamond Head), so yes, stay in Waikiki and take a couple of day trips (Kailua, Hanauma Bay, the Pali Highway, Haleiwa, north shore beaches, Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor). Best of both worlds.
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Is 7 nights enough time for both Oahu and Maui??
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 09:56 AM
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It's not ideal, but it's doable. Ideally, you'd give each island at least 5 days. But you could do 3 days on one island, then early the next morning travel to the second island for 3-1/2 days.
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 11:28 AM
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You can easily do two islands. Suggest you spend 3 days on Oahu - snorkeling at Hanamalu Bay and driving around the island - and of course - hitting the clubs.

Then get over to Maui - and we prefer the area around Kapalua/Napili - but you are closer to Lahaina and the clubs if you stay at Kanapali.
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 11:32 AM
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Oh - missed the part you have points for the Grand Wailea. There are also clubs down that way too.

For Oahu - get a good deal for 3 nights - Waikiki is fine - and then one day - leave early to snorkel at Hanamalu bay (20 minute drive from Waikiki) - and continue around to Kailua - and there - either continue up the east side and visit the North Shore -by way of Turtle Bay and then down the middle of the isle - or from Kailua -h ead back to Hono through one of the tunnels in the Koolau's - and do the North Shore another day - perhaps via the shorter route of going up thru the middle of the island.

Here is a driving map of Oahu for your planning:

http://www.honolulupublishing.com/Oa...ap_island.html
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Geesh. It's Hanauma Bay on Oahu - and Hanamalu Tea House on Kauai. see: http://tinyurl.com/746kw36

As for Maui - plenty to see and do there and if you are out clubbing late - and one of you hasn't imbibed too heavily - you might just drive up to the top of Mt. Haleakula to greet the sunrise.

Take sweaters or beach towels as it can get chilly at Oh Dark Thirty up at 10,000 feet.
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 11:39 AM
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It depends on what kind of vacation you want. If you want a vacation with lots of relaxation, then a whole week on only one island will accomplish that. If you want a trip that is a bit hectic but packs in the maximum things you can see in a week, then 2 islands in a week works for that. The Grand Wailea is a fabulous resort on one of Maui's best beaches. In Waikiki, very few of the many of hotels there are actually on the beach. My favorite one on the beach is the Moana Surfrider. Two other good ones on the beach are the Outrigger on the Beach and the Royal Hawaiian. And day trips from Waikiki are a very good way to see Oahu. Have fun!
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 11:43 AM
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I agree, you can do two islands. You've been given great advice in previous posts.

Yes, definitely Waikiki!! The Hilton Hawaiian Village is great, as it is a tiny little bit away from the busier part of 'downtown' Waikiki (not a long walk at all) and has a more 'private' beach that is lovely. No beach is 'private' but the HHV beach is at the 'end' of Waikiki, more or less, so less foot traffic going by all the time.

I also like the Princess Kaiulani (Sheraton) and the Marriott Resort. These two are across the street (the busy Kalakaua Avenue) from the actual beach, but very EASY to get to the sand. The PK is in the heart of the shopping area. Marriott is in the direction of the HNL Zoo, but still in a lively area.

DO rent a car at least one day and drive around Oahu. The scenery is awesome (especially the east coast) and then stop by one of the various shrimp trucks to eat lunch. OMG the shrimp is just fantastic!! You'll feel like a shower when you are done eating, but it tastes SOOOO GOOD.

The local sight seeing buses (trolleys) are a good way to get around the main areas of Waikiki/Honolulu. I usually buy a one-day ticket and hop on/off to various locations that are not within walking distance to Waikiki Beach.

Maui is not my favorite outer island, but I do believe it has what you are looking for.

I am heading back to Oahu in late August. Can't wait!

Aloha
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 02:19 PM
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Tomsd, we don't really want to club too much haha, but would like bars and the like to go to. Thanks for the great suggestions, it's nice to know we can do 2 islands in one trip. Montereybob, I think we want more relaxation than anything, so than you think we should just stick to one island? It sounds like everyone here prefers Maui to Oahu, but is there enough to do in Maui for one week? Again thanks everyone for the great suggestions!
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 03:48 PM
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maui has the beaches, the culture, Lahaina, the water sports, snorkeling, nature, great food and fun at night... Old Lahaina Luau is generally rated one of the best on the islands and there's plenty to keep you busy...
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 03:55 PM
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I think Maui closest fits what you are asking for. Stay not right in, but somewhere close enough you can get into Lahaina for dinner and a show or something. Maui to me is the most what I thought Hawaii would be like.

Personally I love Oahu but that's because I like being in a more urban environment so choose Waikiki most often.
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 03:55 PM
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Absolutely there is enough to do on Maui for one week. You won't even scratch the surface. Don't miss Haleakala.
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Old Jun 19th, 2012, 06:31 PM
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You can hang on Maui for a week and have a good time - but hey - it's not that big of a deal to fly from Oahu to Maui - 30 minutes in the air, and the Honolulu inter-island airport is easy to maneuver - and on Maui - it's an even smaller airport.

Up to you if you want to see and do more - 2 islands - or kick back on one island.

Moi - I prefer to see as much as I can the first time and then have a better idea to spend more time when coming back.
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