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Going to Hawaii next month help finalizing itinerary

Going to Hawaii next month help finalizing itinerary

Jul 11th, 2004, 03:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 218
Going to Hawaii next month help finalizing itinerary

Well, finally after a year of waiting we will be heading off to Hawaii next month! I have gotten a lot of great tips and info from this board since my initial planning. I hope that you can now help me finalize my itinerary.
It's my husband and I and our two girls ages 7 and 12. The itineraries are loosely based to allow room to add activities and flexibility according to the weather.
n Oahu, must do's are:
Arizona Memorial, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, The North Shore

Would also like to do: Pineapple Plantation Tour, Exploring Chinatown, Bishop Museum, Waimea Beach and of course shopping.

Monday - We will be arriving in Oahu (after a long trip from the East Coast) approximately 11:00 p.m. Will take arranged transport to Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Tuesday - I assume we will be up extremely early as we will be on East Coast time. Order room service for breakfast ($$$) and watch the sun come up from our lanai. Pick up our rental car in town as soon as the office opens (9:00 a.m.) and head out to explore nearby areas. Suggestions welcome here. Spend some mid-day time at hotel. Maybe hit the Arizona Memorial at the end of the day? Is it less crowded then?

Wednesday - Hanauma Bay while we are still on East Coast time clock we can get up early. Diamond Head in the afternoon.

Thursday - Drive out to North Shore and perhaps stop at Pineapple Dole Farm. Explore some other Northern Beaches. Suggestions....

Friday - do some local shopping for souvenirs(Chinatown) and spend some time at hotel.

BIG ISLAND - Must do's - Volcano National Park.

Saturday - Catch mid morning flight to Big Island. Arrive Kona around noon and head to Hilton Waikoloa via rental car. Afternoon at leisure to explore Hotel or nearby town.

Sunday - Head to A-bay and hope to get a glimpse of turtles. Early Afternoon - Dolphin Discovery for the girls at Hotel.
Free after 3:00 p.m. - Suggestions.

Monday - Get up early and take the North Route on the way to the volcano. Suggestions for Breakfast here. Stop at Rainbow Falls, Akaka falls and maybe the botanical gardens. Have a late lunch in Hilo (so we won't be too hungry on the drive back). Get to the Volcano about 3:00 p.m. talk to the Rangers and get oriented Hopefully, we can get to see the lava flow at night.
What time does it get dark?
Drive back that night via North Shore. Any places we could take a snack to go?

Tuesday - I'm sure we wil be tired. Spend some time at hotel (breakfast suggestions nearby?). Drive out to Waipio Valley in the afternoon. Don't intend to drive into the valley - just want to take a look.

Wednesday - Free to do any suggested activties. Pick up some souvenirs.

Thursday - Catch flight back home and start feeling sad about leaving paradise....

lia_b is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 04:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,685
For the Arizona Memorial, you receive tickets with a tour time on them. Not sure when the last tickets would actually be handed out, but I suspect not much after noon. Also it does get very hot on the Diamond Head hike,you are better off doing it early in the day.
SuzieTrue is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 02:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,960
You should add Hapuna Beach to your list of must-do's on the Big Island. Go Saturday afternoon after you check into your hotel, or go Tuesday or Wednesday. Just go at least once! It's nature's perfect beach. And be sure to go in the water -- the sea floor at Hapuna feels like a fine carpet.

You'll pass right by Hapuna on your way to Waipio (and Hilo). Have lunch at Three Frogs Cafe. Walk around the point on the north side to see the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Have a drink or bite to eat there.

As for your other BI questions:

-- Stop in Waimea for breakfast on your way to Hilo. It's about a half hour drive from the Hilton. Our favorite is the Paniolo Country Inn, although there are many other places to eat in Waimea.

-- Sunset on the BI during August is around 7PM local time.

If you or anyone in your family is into snorkeling, head south on Tuesday or Wednesday to see Kailua (be sure to check out the main drag, Alii Drive), then proceed further south to Kealakekua Bay. It's about the best snorkeling anywhere in the state -- dolphins are common, as are turtles, eels and a wide variety of fish.

Further south is the Place of Refuge, which is a very cool area with a distict feeling all its own. Lots of Hawaiian history here.

If you really want an adventure, keep going further south all the way to South Point (it's a LONG drive). Then hike east 3 miles to the Green Sand Beach. It's a very austere area -- sparse, but breathtaking in its own way. People either love it or hate it (I'm in the former group!). But I guarantee you've never seen water the same shade of deep blue before. If you go, be SURE to bring sunscreen and lots of water. There are zero facilities at or near the beach.

One last suggestion, if anyone in your family is an astronomy buff, be sure to do the sunset/stargazing tour to Mauna Kea summit. Google "Mauna Kea Summit Adventures" for more info. Everyone I've recommended it to has said it was one of the highlights of their trip.

Anyway, have a great time!
fdecarlo is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 05:22 AM
Posts: n/a
lia_b, I really, really recommend you do Diamond Head and the Arizona Memorial in the morning. Diamond Head is too hot in July/August, IMO, for an afternoon adventure, and it is always better to get to the Arizona Memorial as early as possible. The tickets are given out, first come, first serve, and you may have a long wait or not get in that day if you wait til afternoon.

Also, I think you'll want to take a look at the Waipo Valley when you take the Northern route to Volcanoes National Park. It's very convenient to swing up and do that, rather than making a special trip back over to Waipio Valley another day. Have a wonderful time.........
Jul 12th, 2004, 05:36 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 95
Also recommend morning hike of Diamond Head. We usually pair with Hanauma Bay, hitting Diamond Head first thing and then moving on to Hanauma Bay. As I'm sure you are already aware, parking at the Hanauma Bay fills fast, we try to be there by 9 am and don't usually have a problem. Have fun!
chitowngirl is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 07:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 218
Ok- well it looks like we are going to have to do three early mornings. Hanauma Bay, Diamond Head and Arizona. Chitowngirl you usually do Diamond head and Hanauma Bay together? How early do you get to Diamond Head to do both? I am just afraid to get to Hanauma Bay too late but if it?s doable it sounds like a good idea. Fdecarlo thank you for the great suggestions and for reminding me about Hapuna Beach and Kealakekua Bay. It was on my original list of to do?s and with so many revisions I would have missed at least one of them. By the way, my hubby is thinking that it is silly for us to stop at the Botanical Garden on the way to the Volcano. Is it worth it? How much time could we allow?

thanks again!
lia_b is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 07:27 AM
Posts: n/a
lia_b, the botanical gardens are fabulous, especially if you love flowers and photography. I think, for the price of your ticket that you need a couple of hours there. (We were there for a good three.) Did you understand my point about seeing the Waipio Valley on the way to the park? I don't think you'd want to go back a separate day, unless you were planning to travel down into the Valley, etc.

Regarding doing Hanauma Bay & Diamond Head together, it sounds to me that it would be a bit much, if you wanted to get to Hanauma Bay reasonably early......... I wouldn't want to "rush" Diamond Head; also, you might happen on a very busy day there.

Good luck with your planning....... it will all work out and be wonderful!
Jul 12th, 2004, 08:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 218
Thank you. I do love flowers which is why I want to stop there. I understand what you said about Waipio. I will try to see as much as I can on the way to the Volcano.
lia_b is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 44
Wow!! You've got alot planned. Recommendation: take at least one day when you don't have an agenda. Just get up when you're ready, eat breakfast, and take it by ear. You'll appreciate it.
elvis957 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 11
Definitely go to Hanauma Bay early. It gets VERY crowded and if you don't get there in the morning, forget about going. Make sure to take a flashlight for Diamond Head-- you go through a dark tunnel. I'd also recommend Sweet Potato Hill outside of Honolulu for a beautiful view of the city. It's a lot less crowded than Diamond Head and you drive right up to the top. Great place to see the sunset. As for the North Shore, there are some beautiful beaches that you all may enjoy. The little town by North Shore has a great shaved ice shop. Make sure to go to the shrimp huts which have the best shrimp I've ever had! I also enjoyed horseback riding at Turtle Bay. That may be something the girls enjoy. Have a wonderful trip!
mdardie is offline  

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