Hawaii - First Time - HELP!

Old Jan 28th, 2012, 08:31 AM
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I've only done the road to Hana once, and it was years ago (but I don't think it's changed much!) and thought it was great - we were young and did the round trip in one day. We thought it was very scenic, there were great places to stop, etc.
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 08:36 AM
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A stop that is a must along the road just before you get to Hana is Waianapanapa State Park. There you can see some gorgeous black sand beaches and take a nice hike along an original and ancient Hawaiian footpath called the King's Highway. It is a gorgeous oceanfront walk along the lava cliffs. You can can walk out as far as you want and turn around go back. I am told you can walk all the way to Hana on it, but DH and I were not up to that, plus we had our rental car parked at the State Park. It is other worldly and very neat to know that native Hawaiians have been walking on these stones for many hundreds of years. I think you'd like it.
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 03:15 PM
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Tomsd said, "So don't worry about doing it right or wrong but just do it!!!" I'm glad you said this because that's what I tell people who ask which parks to see in Utah. They are all different and you really won't go wrong!

Curvy roads don't discourage us and we love to stop along the way and see the sites. If the road get's to bad we can always turn around and go back and do something else.

So now I'm thinking of splitting our time on the Big Island to 3 or 4 nights in Hilo area and maybe 7 nights in Kona area. Good idea or bad idea? On Maui I'm thinking of a week and torn between central Maui around Maalaea or western Maui. I can get better rates for staying 7 days so don't want to split up where were stay on Maui.

Thanks again for everyone's input.

Utahtea
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 05:05 PM
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If it were me - I would spend the time up at Volcano Village - or maybe at the Volcano house. If you want to spring for it there is no better place than the Volcano Village Lodge - a former Artists' retreat in the rain forest. Again, from the Hilo airport to the Volcano area is only about 20 minutes - so you could also go back down to Hilo and up to Akaka Falls, etc. http://volcanovillagelodge.com/lodge.shtml

I think 2 or 3 nights in that area would be plenty and then get to the sunny Kona side.

For Maui - if you stay up on the Kaanapali/Kapaulua area - you can always drive down to Kiehei and to Upcountry Maui - so if you get a good deal for 7 days - suggest you consider that.
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 06:39 PM
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I liked the Big Island. But I LOVE Kauai. IMHO, no comparison for natural beauty. Not saying the BI isn't beautiful, and I certainly enjoyed VNP, Akaka Falls, Place of Refuge ... but I didn't see anything to compare with Kauai's Kalalau Lookout, Waimea Canyon, Napali Cliffs, Hanalei Bay, or several other favorite spots.

I guess that's why they make 32 different flavors ;-)
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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Since it sounds like you're leaning towards BI and Maui, check out this link for hotels/condos on Maui...and on the BI for that matter. Good aerial shots and a decent synopsis of each place.

http://wizardpub.com/maui/mauaerials.html

http://wizardpub.com/bigisland/bigresort.html
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 09:16 AM
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We are doing 3 nights in Hilo and 8 in Kona starting next week! Seems like the perfect split for us.


JUST DO IT!!
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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DebitNM...can't wait to hear about your trip. Have FUN!

Utahtea
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 11:38 AM
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Lots of info:

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...trip-to-hi.cfm
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 02:01 PM
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dusty56438, WOW...lots of great stuff but I've decided not to go to Oahu. I will check out your links.

AIR CONDITIONING...Will we need air conditioning at our lodging? The units I'm looking at don't mention air. I'm going to call on a few to see if they have air, but wanted to know if it's something we're going to want from Mid April to early May?

Utahtea
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 05:04 PM
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utahtea

You'll find a lot of the websites on the thread good for all islands.
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Old Jan 29th, 2012, 05:05 PM
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You should be able to find decent deals on Maui in both Kannapali/Kapalua area and also in Kihei, which has a number of condos. We like Kihei because it's a short drive to get to just about anywhere in Maui, but I would like the area that tomsd recommends as well. I wouldn't recommend Maalaea -- there are nicer areas, in my opinion. There are a number of B&Bs on Maui, some in Kihei area, that you might also consider.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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OK...it's official, we have booked our flights flying to Big Island and flying home from Maui!

We have our first 4 nights booked near Hilo. Waiting to hear back on the next 7 days on Kona side. We aren't going to have air conditioning on the Big Island. Are we making a mistake for April/May time frame?

Haven't decided where on Maui yet. edjim, what's wrong with Maalaea area? We are looking into places though VRBO and looks like a lot of great ocean front ones with great rates. I had read it's quiet and doesn't have a lot of traffic.

And then there is the rental car to start thinking about. Maybe I should start a different thread for Maui lodging and Car rentals.

Utahtea
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 03:28 PM
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It's probably too late since you said you booked, but we are staying here: http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/231062

We actually had a local fodorite go and check the condo out and gave it 2 thumbs up.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 03:44 PM
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No need for A/C. Have you heard of the sweet Tradewinds? Even though with the recent global warming (long term seasonal trend or due to us?) - you rarely feel any humidity in Hawaii. It may get warm, but to me - nothing even remotely close to what you can find in the Carribean, Central American, etc.

For rental cars, try rentalcars.com, and then also just google away for the best deals. You should be able to pick one up on a weekly rental both places, even if you have to possibly pay a drop off charge on Big Island.

Hey - have room in your suitcase for a guide?
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 03:47 PM
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Amd from my experince - there is nothing wrong with the Maaleaa area - just to me it doesn't have the personality/setting of say - Napili, or Kapalua. If I remember though - there is/was a very good fish restaurant there, and you are midway between Lahaina and Kihei - so it's a decent choice - ideally if you can get something on the beach.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 03:51 PM
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I find AC is needed on the west side of TBI. You can't rely on the particular microclimate of your accmodation having a tradewind. The Waikoloa/Kohala area accomodations are all built on an old black lava flow and it always seems to be hotter there.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 04:28 PM
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Tradewinds are fine if they are blowing and you are staying in a place that takes advantage of them. So many condos have windows on one side or have minimal air flow. We have found over the years that finding an end unit with windows on the side that is not shared really helps. Whether you get a/c or not depends upon what the unit is like. We have stayed in beachfront/oceanview units that get full-on afternoon sun and they get very hot inside. The price you pay sometimes for a sunset view. I think it is prudent to get a/c. If you don't need to use it, fine. You must have ceiling fans at the very least though.
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 04:45 PM
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DebitNM, Where are you staying on the Kona side? That's not a done deal for us yet.

Utahtea
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Old Jan 30th, 2012, 05:08 PM
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I think Maalaea is a little isolated ... and not in a good way. I've been through it, and yes, it is centrally located, but outside of the aquarium and a few restaurants (very few), there's not a lot there. I have heard that the beaches there are not as good (windy?), but I can't say from experience. Maybe some other posters can offer more details ... but after spending time at the nearby beaches on the south shore (Makena/Wailea/Kihei, it would be hard for me to head to Maalaea. On the south shore even near the resorts, the beaches never seem crowded. West shore has more of a resort feel.
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