Another itinerary question !!

Old Feb 10th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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Another itinerary question !!

Hello,
We finally narrowed down Hawaii for our summer vacation. We are a family of 4, 2 adults and kids of ages 12 and 8.5.

We are planning to spend 2 weeks in Aug in Hawaii, although if there is room I would like to shorten the trip by couple of days based on your recommendation.

This is our first trip to Hawaii, and we would like to visit Maui and Big Island.

Here is a very rough itinerary:

Day 1: Fly into Maui (hoping we can get direct flights from NYC or NJ)
Day 2 - Day 9: In Maui

Day 10: Fly to Hilo
Day 11: Stay in Volcano National Park
Day 12: Drive to Kohala coast
Day 13- 17: Stay on this side of Big Island
Day 14: Fly home

Any feedback ? I have not done any deep research, want to just figure out how many days we need in each place.

Would love to hear some suggestions,
Kush
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 12:53 PM
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Your best nonstops on widebody aircraft (767's, 330's) are from JFK and Newark to HNL. You'd use Hawaiian Airlines to OGG and to ITO, then back to HNL from KOA. I don't think there are any nonstops to Maui or Big Island. There are west coast connections, but I avoid the 757's that mostly fly those routes. Hawaiian Airlines has a widebody out of Oakland -- just to HNL I think.

If you will need to fly in and/or out of HNL, consider staying Your children are old enough to appreciate some of the history in and around Honolulu. You might want to spend some nights there while you tour Pearl Harbor and Punchbowl, Iolani Palace, the (un-stuffy) Bishop Museum. Outside of the city, the *rest* of Oahu is a beautiful tropical island.

You might think what you hope to see and do at each location before allocating your time.
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 01:42 PM
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I am a yearly visitor to Maui and have been to both sides of the big island. I think your itinerary is excellent.
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 02:01 PM
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Thanks to both of you.

Hmm, I have been thinking about spending few nights in Honolulu, but if we do that we have take few days off of other 2 islands or not do one of them at all !! I personally was going to do Honolulu and Kauai on another trip.

Any suggestions on modifying the itinerary ?
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 02:26 PM
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Leave Oahu and Kauai for your next trip (assuming you do not have to go thru Honolulu for flights).
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 03:23 PM
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I agree with suze.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 03:49 AM
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Well, I am hoping to find flights to do just that !!

Thanks suze.

Now, can any of you suggest some good places to stay in Maui, Big Island (in volcano park and Kohala coast)?

Kush
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 08:01 AM
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The Mauna Lani resort area is a great area to base yourself on the Kohala coast. It has a decent beach for snorkeling and there is a Foodland and some good restaurants at the Mauna Lani shops. Plus, it's closer to Hapuna and Mauna Kea beaches than the condos in the Waikoloa Beach area.

The condos in the Waikoloa Beach area (near A-Bay and the Marriott and Hilton) are probably going to be less expensive than condos at the Mauna Lani. We stayed in the Waikoloa Beach area on our last trip, and it was fine. You're closer to the airport and Costco than you would be in the Mauna Lani area.

I would just give the Mauna Lani area an edge for being closer to a grocery store and good beaches (love Mauna Kea beach).
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 11:44 AM
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We stayed at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Kohala and loved it. It's right on a fabulous beach. For kids in Maui I would recommend the Westin resort hotel. It has the best pools for kids.
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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 05:32 AM
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Your options in VNP are the Volcano Lodge (recently refurbished and pricey) and cabin camping at Namakanipaio (same website for both http://www.hawaiivolcanohouse.com/cabins-campsites/) or at the many B&Bs, condos, or inns just outside the park in Volcano Village.
I disagree about Mauna Lani on both proximity and snorkeling/swimming points; it's more isolated, with fewer restaurants, shops, etc., available than Waikoloa Resort, which has the new Island Gourmet Market in the Queens Shops for groceries (and the old ABC standby across the street in Kings); there's even a new food court (the only one on the coast north of Kona). The beach for that resort hotel is built up; Mauna Kea, a bit down the road, has terrific snorkeling, but Mauna Lani not so much. BTW, the distance to Mauna Lani is only 10 minutes from Waikoloa Resort, so the driving distance to Kailua-Kona (or the airport or costco) is really negligible.
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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 10:09 AM
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Wow, Sylvia3, I could not disagree more on the snorkeling. I found the snorkeling at the Mauna Kea to be poor. Just a little bit on both ends of the beach. Having said that, the beach at Mauna Kea is spectacular and well worth many visits. My favorite on the island. I found the snorkeling at the Mauna Lani to be among the best on the island. Better, even then Kealakekua. There are two beaches at the Mauna Lani to snorkel….Honokaope and Makaiwa Bay. Makaiwa was my favorite with lots of reef fingers and all sorts of fish and sea life.

The Foodland at Mauna Lani was a favorite grocery store of my family as it has a great poke bar. Island Gourmet is larger and more expensive and crazy busy at dinner time. Waited forever and ever and ever in a check out line just to bring some take out home. Soured me on the place. Monstera is good for sushi.

Waikoloa doesn't really have a great swimming beach….ABay isn't that terrific except for sunsets although it isn't that bad in the morning. If you stay at the Mauna Lani, try to get a condo with access to the beach club. Makes visiting the beach there easier than hiking in from the public lot across the lava fields.

Have a great trip.
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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 10:18 AM
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We also liked Makaiwa Bay for swimming and snorkeling. And Monstera was our best meal on the island. We also stopped at Foodland most days for fish to grill in the evenings.

Again, staying at Waikoloa Beach area was fine and the condos were overall less expensive than what I could find in the Mauna Lani area. And the drive between the two areas is pretty short. But, for us, we'd probably choose Mauna Lani over Waikoloa Beach Resort if we found a comparable price on a condo.
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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 01:24 PM
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I've found superb snorkeling on the south side of Mauna Kea; and the 20 minute walk to Makaiwa puts it on my "meh" list [let us not discuss black sand, which is small and doesn't need more visitors]. Have to agree about A-Bay, EXCEPT: there's nice swimming and ok cove snorkeling IF you want to trudge to the south side.
Been to the Queens Island Gourmet Market, which is a glorified ABC store, many many times, and never ran into a crowd there. Great deli, terrific poke, excellent fresh fish and beef, and pretty good prices, especially for where it is. Pretty good wine prices, too.
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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 04:43 PM
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Thank you all.

Now, if we are looking at the condos, do they have their own beach so to say ? Is VRBO best place to look at for condos ? I am pretty confused about which area to pick for condos or resort seems like a divided opinion here ?

Do any of the resorts provide 1 or 2 BR units at a reasonable price ?

In VNP area , any particular set of condos that are better than others ?
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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 05:22 PM
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Yes, vrbo.com is best place to look. Each condos description will usually tell how far it is from the beach.
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Old Feb 12th, 2014, 05:33 PM
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I don't think there are any condos in VNP. most nearby lodging is in a small village called Volcano Village. Two highly rated lodges there are Kilauea Lodge and Volcano Village Lodge. We stayed at KL last year and loved it. It also has a great restaurant.
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Old Feb 13th, 2014, 06:43 AM
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Inside VNP are camping cabins (tiny, but clean) and the Volcano House Lodge (you can eat there and at the Army mess hall a few miles inside park, which is very reasonable). The other lodging is just outside the park, in Volcano Village. There's more variety than you'd think: http://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals...ate=2014-05-01

Waikoloa resort area (not Waikoloa Village, 6 miles inland) has several condo complexes and two large hotel properties (Hilton and Marriott). Marriott is directly on A-Bay, Hilton has its own "lagoon". There's a range of condos, from reasonable (http://www.vrbo.com/413069) to pricier (http://www.vrbo.com/153709).
Other resort areas have condo rentals (Mauna Lani, Mauna Kea, etc.), but they are usually more expensive: for example, go to this page, and then do a wider search for condos in the area: http://www.vrbo.com/278693 (check for walking proximity to the beaches, though).


Just look at the map for the beaches as you go from A-Bay north to Kawaihae harbor: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&g...A&ved=0CAYQ5xg
Look in the back cover of Hawaii Revealed for the list of their 10 best beaches, and see who makes their cut
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Old Feb 13th, 2014, 06:51 AM
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Good tip from Sylvia regarding the difference between the Waikoloa Village and Waikoloa Beach area. When I was looking a few years ago, I was initially confused about the difference between Waikoloa Village and Waikoloa Beach area because the names are so similar.
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