2nd time in Hawaii Kauai vs Big Island?

Old May 5th, 2008, 02:42 AM
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2nd time in Hawaii Kauai vs Big Island?

A few years ago we went to Maui. Now my family & I are returning with my 2 adventurous children who are 17 & 15. We are trying to decide whether to spend 1 week on Kauai or should we visit the Big Island also? How many days on each? What activities are a must & I please need rec's on lodging -4 star. Thanks.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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7 days might not be enough for two islands and activities IMHO.

I'd pick one island then concentrate on lodging and acvtivities.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 11:03 AM
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I tend to agree with Kal. The Big Island is just that.....BIG and you can spend a lot of driving time getting around the island.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 11:36 AM
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With adventurous teens, I'd go for the Big Island; and to reduced driving time, divide the 7 days between 2 locations. For your family, recommend look into condos.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:15 PM
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I'd suggest only one island for 1 week. What do your adventurous children like to do? That would help to determine which island would be best.

Both islands have a lot to offer so I'm sure you can't go wrong on either but I do have tg say that Kauai is much more laid back than any of the other islands.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:21 PM
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We did a split between the BI and Kauai on our last trip; I think we were gone 9 days, and we really had to pack everything in to see both islands. If you want to relax a little more, I'd pick one island. If you want to do both, you'll really be on the go. On the BI, we enjoyed the Volcano National Park. At that time, you were able to hike out at night and see the lava which was amazing. Things change daily, so not sure if you would be able to do that. The Kilauea Lodge was a nice place to stay close to the park. Good restaurant on site too. For beach time, we stayed at the Hapuna Beach Prince and really loved it, very pretty beach there. We drove around the island to see everything - Akaka Falls was amazing. Also snorkeled in Kealakekua Bay. On Kauai, our favorite thing was the helicopter tour of the Na Pali coast - an unforgettable memory. We also enjoyed a sunset sail with Captain Andy's, driving to the falls, and seeing the Spouting Horn. We loved both islands; it would be hard to choose one.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 12:36 PM
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In March we (me, husband, my 2 kids & my parents)spent 5 days B.I. & 5 days Kauai and I would've like to have more time on each island. If I had 7 days I'd stay put on one island. Though I enjoyed both islands very much, I really want to go back to Kauai very soon and spend more time on the north side. We stayed in great condos on both islands.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 11:43 AM
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A lot depends on what you want to do. I find the B.I. to get great, but not if you want beautiful, white sand beaches. (Although there are some in the Northern part of the island).

I love Kaui because there seems to be more diversity of the environment and things to do.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 12:12 PM
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Where would u recommend staying in Kauai? Thanks for the info.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 03:07 PM
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With the two adventuresome kids I'd suggest Princeville/Hanalei area.

You have golf, horseback riding, ziplines, Napali Coast hikes, kayacking, surfing and very nice places to stay.

They'd probably like hanging out in Hanalei
>-

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Old May 8th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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Kauai is my all-time favorite so I vote for it.
You will still find hiking, whale-watching (in season), fabulous Zodiac trips along the Napali coast and beautiful scenery reminiscent of an "Old Hawaii". The only thing Kauai doesn't have is the volcanoes.
Perhaps 7 days in Kauai with a helicopter tour to the volcanoes?? Or 6 days in Kauai then the last day go to the Big Island and depart for home from there. That will actually give TWO days there since most of the flights leave for the mainland in the evening.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 07:46 AM
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Addendum to my just-posted message:
Stay in the Poipu area of Kauai. It is the sunny side of the island. Although Princeville is lovely, there's too much rain there for me!
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Old May 8th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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We stayed at the Marriott near Lihue, only because we had points. We really preferred Poipu or the North Shore areas, and that's where I'd stay next time.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 09:24 AM
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I love all the islands, but I found more to do on the BI. I have family on Maui and they feel the best snorkeling (and easiest for young ones)was on the BI. Swimming with the turtles (can't get too close though) was memorable. Get a direct oceanfront condo and it's exciting just to see the whales, fish, and dolphins from your own "home"! BI is more laid back (in my opinion) and the volcano area is a once in a lifetime experience. well, as you can tell--I'm partial and try to go over once a year.
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Old Nov 7th, 2009, 07:21 PM
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We *love* Kauai (been there 5 times the past 5 years!) and all it has to offer; 1 week is our minimum stay there, and that always whizzes by. A couple of the trips we stayed a couple of nights in Waimea as a base for hiking in the canyon (would be awesome with your teens) and the balance of the trip on the north shore, our favorite (more rain, but worth it for the lush, tropical beauty). Even though the island's not *huge*, it can take 2 hours to drive from one end to the other, and that can be tiring if you're trying to do a full day of activities too.

We're taking our first trip in Feb. to the Big Island, and it will be for 8 nights. 6 nights at a private oceanfront home in Puako and 2 nights in Volcano.

Just my opinion, but unless you plan to never return, I think a travel experience is almost always richer (and usually less tiring) if you base yourself somewhere and really explore all the area has to offer rather than spreading yourself too thin. Just my 2 cents
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Old Nov 7th, 2009, 07:29 PM
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P.S. We've stayed in all types of accomodations (super nice vacation home; inexpensive vacation studio; expensive big resort; not-so-expensive resort; cheap hotel; Waimea plantation cottages). By far our favorite is a private vacation rental. Better Hawaii juicy jungle atmosphere, more relaxing, less (or no other) people, less noise, a symphony of jungle sounds vs. the hum of air conditioning units and noisy knocks from all sides (in the case of a hotel). You really feel closer to *The Real Hawaii*. They have rentals for all budgets.
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 08:04 PM
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BI and Kaui - different as night and day. BI is for the most part very dry and volcanic where Kauai is lush and green. Been to Kauai 11 times and have NEVER had rain stop us from doing anything. it rains at night and early morning and an a brief light shower in the day so don't let the stories of rain stop you from going to the most beautiful Garden Isle. BI is BIG! Hilo and top of the island is very green but the rest of it is has patches of green but mostly black volcanic rock which in itself is interesting. Volcano is awesome. both have lots to do. I guess it depends on what you consider to be in your taste. We were recently at both (Septe 09) and again Kaui wins out in our book. we snorkel, hike, swim, tubing, bike ride, kayak on Kauai. Hike, swim, snorkel on BI but there is something about the beauty that is Kauai that can't be beat. On BI we stayed at the Fairmont Orchid - lovely resort and on Kauai we always stay in a condo for the room as we stay longer there. Enjoy your time in paradise.....
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Old Nov 30th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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With seven days I would do only one island. I've been to both Kauai and the Isle of Hawaii numerous times and they are the two best for outdoor activities. I am partial to the BI. I think the volcano is the most unique place the normal tourist will ever see. There are great trails in the national park and very interesting flora and fauna.

If you are into beaches well maybe you should go to Kauai. The BI has some beautiful beaches but not the quantity of Kauai.

If you are into snorkelling, the big island has the best snorkeling of all the islands.

Food wise, neither island is gourmet land.

Regarding lodging, I would probably send two days in Volcano Village and the five days on the west coast. I am partial to Kona Village, an all inclusive resort next to the four seasons in north kona. It's an all inclusive with meals, and many beach toys like kayaks and snorkel equipment. There are some great deals now for families as I recall, you should check.

Cheaper resorts but still nice are Hapuna Prince, Waikoloa Marriot and the Hilton Waikoloa.
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