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Big Island Plus.....?

Old Nov 7th, 2017, 08:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Big Island Plus.....?

First-time family trip to Hawaii in early June.
Spending one week at Hilton Waikoloa Village on Big Island (for free) and would like to visit one additional island for 3-4 days.

Being our first time, is Oahu the obvious choice (Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Village,...)?
Guessing Maui or Kauai would mean more travel to catch our flight back to the States.
2idocs is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2017, 09:00 AM
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Whether Maui or Kauai means more travel time back to the mainland depends where you're going. From San Francisco, we can fly nonstop to most of the islands.

Oahu is a great place to visit. I don't tend to do "cultural" things when I visit Hawaii, preferring outdoor activities (we have been to Pearl Harbor - it's one of those things I think every American should do once), but in addition to the two sites you mentioned, there's Waikiki, the north shore beaches, Kailua and Lanikai (kayaking there was awesome), Diamond Head, the drive across the island on the H3 (spectacular in parts). So you can't go wrong with Oahu.

Kauai is not called "the garden isle" for nothing. It's lush and gorgeous all over, but particularly on the north shore. We stay south because we prefer to be at oceanside, whereas many if not most accommodations on the north shore are high up on cliffs (just personal preference). Not nearly as "developed" as Maui. Very tropical.

Maui is more developed than Kauai with a few "planned" resort communities -- Kaanapali Beach and Wailea. But it has a lot to offer besides - upcountry, Haleakala, road to Hana, Lahaina, etc.

Really, you can't go wrong!

When you're on the Big Island, be sure to drive north of Waikoloa, to Hawi and the Pololu Valley. Also, the beach called, variously, Magic Sands, Disappearing Sands, White Sands -- all the same -- just south of the town of Kona, is great (thick white sand, warm water, yummmm!)
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Old Nov 28th, 2017, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Do you think it's your only trip to Hawaii? Then don't miss Oahu. FYI - you'll want to remember that Hawaii is a State and you will be returning to the Mainland...not returning to the States (as you will never leave the States).
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Old Nov 28th, 2017, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Our family did a similar trip a few years ago.

The Hilton Waikaloa is a beautiful—though somewhat Disney-esque property—with much of it being man-made. It’s great fun for kids, especially. Depending on their ages, kids can explore via the shuttle boats, on their own.

You might not need to tour around much. There is pretty scenery close-by, of course, if you want to day-trip. Our rental car stayed in the parking lot almost all week, because the kids were having so much fun, and because we had a second week elsewhere in Hawaii.

So, my advice would be to look for contrast to Waikaloa for your next stop. More quiet, more lush, maybe? I’d vote for Kauai. Unless it’s much more expensive In airfare. If it is, do Oahu and choose from all it has to offer.

Sounds like fun!

How old are your family members?
MoBro is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2017, 09:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
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I would not move islands unless you must get to HNL to fly home. Each transit can eat 4 - 5 hours, door to door, mostly boring highways and doing time in airports. (We have flown KOA-HNL and stayed within security before flying home.)

You are staying NW on Big Island. Drive north to Hawi and across the upper road into Waimea. Go through Waimea to the east coast and the valley lookout to experience moving from "dry side" to "wet side". You could also find this enroute to Hilo.

From NW, Drive south past tacky Kona Town to Place of Refuge. Hulihee Palace is in Kona -- if it is open. Kids might like Kona with the "Made in China" knickknacks.

Unless you have very young children, I would plan to stay at least one night in Volcano (SE). (Toxic fumes at the volcano are not good for small lungs.) Fly into KOA and out of ITO -- or the reverse. I would not make this a daytrip -- four hours in the car, and possibly not even see 'red glow' which is visible at night.

Do not plan to drive Big Island after dark. (KOA to Waikoloa is OK.) It's not about your skills; it's about unfamiliar, dark roads and possibly "sedated" locals in trucks.
ChiSue is offline  
Old Dec 20th, 2017, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 119
Recently put together a few tips for visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park...thought I'd share the link to our website.

Agreed about not making HVNP a day trip from Kona side; you'll only be cheating yourself out of the complete experience. Stay in Hilo, Puna or Ka'u as part of your trip and you'll enjoy a fuller experience....

So, anyway, here are our 7 Tips for Visiting Hawaii Volcanoes NP...scratches the surface of a visit

TJM_70 is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2017, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,670
I see this post is a little old.

But do you have plane tickets yet?

Do you have to fly thru Oahu?
suze is offline  
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