Hawaii Honeymoon Itinerary - Opinions Please

Old Aug 20th, 2004, 12:21 PM
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Hawaii Honeymoon Itinerary - Opinions Please

My FI (fianc&eacute and I are spending almost 3 weeks in Hawaii from September 27-October 15 for our honeymoon. We are in our early 30's and like a lot of activities. Not to say we don't like to lie on the beach, we just can't do that every day, all day. We LOVE to swim in the ocean though. So, here's our itinerary for the 19 days - feel free to make any suggestions as everything is changeable. I would especially like to hear comments about the companies we are using for the activities and the restaurants.

Thank you so much to all the fodorites for the great info and recs...


Day 1:
Fly from DC to Oahu
Staying at Outrigger Reef for 1 night (get in too late to transfer to Kauai - our next stop)
Have drinks at Shorebirds after arriving
Go to bed

Day 2:
Breakfast at Shorebirds (any other recommendations for breakfast here welcome - our flight leaves at 11:30am)
Flight to Kauai
Pick up Jeep
Check in at Sheraton in Poipu
Dinner at The Beach House

Day 3:
Morning Helicopter Ride with Inter-Island
Afternoon at the beach at hotel
Poipu Sunset Sail with Captain Andy's

Day 4:
Drive up the North Shore - hit as many beaches as possible - definitely Queen's Bath
Dinner at either Tropical Taco, Duane's Ono-Burger or BBQ Inn

Day 5:
Hit the beach - maybe North Shore again, maybe somewhere else
Dinner at Café Hanalei for Seafood Buffet

Day 6:
Paddle Jungle Streams Kayak with Outfitters Kauai in AM
Beach in afternoon
Dinner at Duke's

Day 7:
Na-Pali snorkel expedition with Na Pali Explorer
Visit Waimea Canyon
Dinner at Kintaro

Day 8:
Hit the beach
Smith's Tropical Luau for dinner

Day 9:
Fly from Kauai to BI
Pick up Jeep
Check in at Fairmont Orchid
Hit Hapuna Beach
Have dinner somewhere close (any suggestions welcome)

Day 10:
Sea Quest morning snorkel expedition
Dinner at Big Island Steakhouse

Day 11:
Golf at Mauni Lani North Course
Dinner at Roy's

Day 12:
Volcano National Park (and other sightseeing on the way)
(Will travel the north route both ways taking the scenic route going there and visit "What's Shakin", Waipio Valley lookout, Rainbow Falls, Boiling Pot, Akaka Falls and maybe Botanical Garden
Breakfast - Paniolo Country Inn
Lunch - not sure - need suggestions
Dinner - not sure - need suggestions

Day 13:
Oceanside couples massage at the Spa Without Walls
Dinner at Pahu i`a at 4S

Day 14:
Maybe kayak across Kealakekua Bay to Captain Cook's memorial (we visit this spot on the other tour, but I'd like to kayak across the Bay and see the dolphins at my own pace)
Dinner at Lulu's

Day 15:
Horseback Riding trip with Paniolo Riding Adventures
Dinner at Brown's Beach House

Day 16:
Fly from BI to Oahu
Pick up rental car
Check in at Hilton Hawaiian Village
Dinner - no clue - need advice

Day 17:
Visit Flea Market
Drive up to North Shore
Dinner somewhere on North Shore

Day 18:
Diamond Head
Hanauma Bay
Dinner at Roy's

Day 19:
Pearl Harbor
Dinner - not sure yet
Flight for home at 9pm

On Oahu, we definitely want to hit Giovanni's Shrimp Truck, A'okis for shave ice & Kua 'Aina, just not sure when...
jlo92504 is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2004, 01:57 PM
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Just at a glance for Oahu: On the day that you go to the flea market, you should also visit Pearl Harbor since it is in the same area. For giovanni's and Aoki's, you should do that on the day you visit the North Shore. Looks like all that can be done on Day 17.
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 03:33 PM
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Day 9 dinner: Cafe Pesto (north of Hapuna in Kawaihae). Or Donatoni's (Italian) or Kirin (Chinese) at the Hilton Waikoloa for something more upscale. Koa House Grill and Merriman's are two other options, both are steakhouses in Waimea.

Day 12 dinner: If you'll be staying at VNP until late afternoon, one option for dinner would be the Kilauea Lodge. Quaint, and the food is generally excellent.

Day 14 dinner: Skip Lulu's and hit either Jameson's By the Sea, Kona Inn or Huggo's. Even Outback has better food (and quieter/better atmosphere) than Lulu's.
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 03:56 PM
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Hi- we will be in HI for our honeymoon also at the end of yours. We will be in Honolulu the weekend of the 14th also. I have us probably going to Alan Wongs, Sansei, and Halewei Joes (on the North Shore. You are so lucky you can take such a long honeymoon!!
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 05:27 PM
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Seems like most of your time in Kauai is spent doing things on the north shore. Why did you choose the Sheraton which will require a lot of driving and is not that nice of a hotel? If you are sure you want to stay on the south shore, the Hyatt is much better.
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 05:33 PM
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Im my opinion I don't know how you can enjoy yourself when virtually every minute in every day is planned in advance. Itineraries are for back home at the office. Is this how most people people do it when they visit Hawaii (or any other place) - with a detailed prepared in advance itinerary?

Opinions please!
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 05:56 PM
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Just be aware of some changes at Sansei starting in September. They are currently located at 500 Ala Moana Blvd. (Restaurant Row). They will be moving to the 3rd floor of the Waikiki Beach Marriott, and it it have two restaurants--Sansei Seafood, and Sansei Steakhouse. Then their current Restaurant Row location is being renovated into another restaurant, but still owned by DK Kodama. The space adjacent to the current Sansei is now a wine bar called Vino, which is owned by DK Kodama and sommelier Chuck Furuya. I went there a couple of weeks ago and it was fab! But the emphasis is on wine, with a very small food menu.
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 06:18 PM
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i agree with izacruisin, every minute of everyday during normal life is what you have to do, and where you have to be at a certain time, honeymoons and vacations are for what you want to do at that moment, not where you are suposed to be, or what you planned 3 months ahead of time,
my husband and i are going to Hawaii in less than 2 weeks for 17 days, we have 4 dinners planned and about 4 or 5 activiites, that's it, the rest is whatever we want whenever we want....ahhh, nothin like not being on a schedule!
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 06:20 PM
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If you like activities you should not miss hiking the first two miles of the Kalalau trail in Kauai. It does seem like you will be doing lots of driving back and forth between north and south. We went to Kauai recently and stayed on the south shore, but ended spending most of our time at the north shore beaches. The driving did get a bit old after awhile. Our solution? We are staying in Hanalei next year.
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 06:35 PM
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I don't see anything wrong with Jen's itinerary. It's not like every minute of every day is planned out. But at least for the smaller Hawaiian islands, I agree it's better to just make a list of things to do, places to eat etc. and just go whenever you want, not on a planned schedule.

The Big Island is a different case because driving distances are larger, and it's useful to plan major activities ahead. E.g. coordinating a Volcanoes Nat'l Park daytrip with dinner at Kilauea Lodge or somewhere else near the park.

One other suggestion for Jen -- if you and/or your fiance' is into stargazing, try and catch one of the tours to Mauna Kea summit.
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 08:09 PM
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Your itinerary is full--but you may have to be flexible in case of bad weather.
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 08:40 PM
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We will also be in Oahu around the same time you are enjoying your honeymoon. We will only be there for 2 two days including the day we arrive. Is it possible to visit Pearl Harbor if we are there very early and also drive to the North Shore on the same day? Thanks for your help!
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 09:11 PM
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I would agree that your itinerary seems most ambitious, jlo, given that it's a honeymoon, but you know yourselves best, and of course, you can always cut something out if you choose. But what a great trip! And for almost three weeks no less! You will love the helicopter tour in Kauai-going down the coastline in a copter is a not-to-be-missed experience! (ditto for a helicopter tour for the Big Island over the volcanos on a beautiful, clear day-fantastic!)

I second the suggestion of the Kilauea Lodge for either lunch or dinner-the food is really good here, even if a tad expensive.

Now as to romantic dining choices in Honolulu-I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend my favorite restaurant, maybe anywhere in the world-that would be Keo's Thai Restaurant on Kuhio Ave. I used to live in Honolulu, and I really miss this place! I read somewhere that Keo's is "loaded with atmosphere" but that doesn't quite do it justice. It is so lovely-the restaurant, bathrooms, are filled with fresh orchids-and it has such a special vibe, some places just do, you know. There always seems to be an interesting crowd-you could be dining next to VIPs or saffron-robed Buddhist monks-several US Presidents on layovers to and from Asia have stopped in here. The food is better than anything I've ever had in Bangkok, that's for sure-but the spring rolls-they are to die for!

Because Keo's is not on the water, I would also want to recommend dining somewhere with just the right ocean setting, and actually, the restaurant in the HHV-Bali-by-the-Sea, fits that bill nicely-stunning ocean views, upscale setting, great Pacific Rim cuisine-this could be one choice, and another would be the elegant "La Mer" in the Halekulani Hotel. This restaurant has it all: a romantic ocean setting, with exquisite neo-classical French cuisine, but with the inimitable fresh island ingredients and interpretation-very special. I'm sure you'd be quite happy with any of these choices (but then, it's hard to get a bad meal anywhere in Honolulu!)

Up on the North Shore, you might want to try Haleiwa Joe's Seafood Grill on Kam Hwy. Fresh grilled seafood and steaks, overlooking the North Shore, what more could you ask for?

Your honeymoon trip is the stuff dreams are made of. Enjoy it to the hilt-the chance to do this may never come again!
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 02:23 AM
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Thanks everyone for your recommendations!

MelissaHI: Isn't the flea market only open on Wednesdays and Sundays? I would have to go that day, so if I moved the Pearl Harbor to that day that would mean moving the trip to the North Shore to the day we leave and I don't want to do that. Are they so far away from Waikiki that it would be a pain to drive there twice?

fdecarlo: Thanks for those recs. I've been thinking about Kilauea Lodge and was wondering about Lulu's...oh - and we were scheduled for the Mauna Kea stargazing trip, but I cancelled it because I wanted to go to the live volcano more and I didn't want to take up 2 days with so much travel...maybe next trip.

missyg176: Have fun on your trip! Yes - I know we're lucky to take such a long trip - but I guess this is my reward for waiting for 10 years for him to propose!

Ashley24: I've been debating the North Shore accomodations vs South Shore for a while. We didn't actually choose the Sheraton - our travel agent did. Because we said that our number one priority was to be ON a great beach, and we got such a great deal. We are in an oceanfront room, so I'm not worried about being in a bad room. We won't be there a whole heck of a lot anyway. It's just that now I'm wondering if I wouldn't rather be on the North Shore since most of the beaches I want to visit are up there...need to talk to the travel agent about that one.

Izacruisin and lasjas: I understand that most people are more relaxed when they don't have a schedule - the opposite is true for me and my FI. We need a plan to START with, then go from there. By no means am I saying that these activities/dinners are set in stone. (One reason I chose the travel agent I did - they offer a waiver where you can change ANYTHING on yout trip at ANY time - so if I am on Kauai and decide to spend an extra day, she can fix it even while I'm there.) But, I need a blueprint for this trip or I will get overwhelmed by the endless possibilities and while we are there for 3 weeks, it isn't actually that much time to do all of the AMAZING things Hawaii has to offer and I don't know when we are ever getting back. (And as offlady says - of course, we will need to be flexible for weather conditions.)

iamq: I've been reading about that hike - YES! I want to do that too - have to figure out when....

PeggyEl: I'm not sure about doing Pearl Harbor and driving to the North Shore on the same day - I'd say yes, but I think you'lll have to expect that it will be a LONG day. I don't mind long driving trips, but it would also take away time from seeing things on the North Shore, which I want to maximize. Anyone else have opions on that?

Spygirl: thanks for that rec for Keo's. Sounds wonderful! I'll check it out...

Stay tuned for the trip repoprt sometime around October 16th....
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 04:26 AM
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Day 9 - Dinner - Try Tidepools at the Hyatt, it was awesome.

I would suggest switching to the north shore though, or perhaps do what we did, we split it. But maybe that won't work with your travel agent's deal.

And yay for itinerary planners! I think your itinerary seems very reasonable and you will be able to switch stuff around when you are there (which is inevitable). It's nice to have a plan, that way you don't miss out on anything.

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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 04:55 AM
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Why must people reply that they don't like an itinerary? If you don't, just don't reply. There have been many threads already about the issue of people using an itinerary on vacation. Frankly, I don't think it is all that busy of an intinerary - many days are just beach days or have only one activity (kayak, horseback ride, etc.). I'm off to HI myself on Thursday - counting down the minutes!
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 05:20 AM
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I like your itinerary. I lived in Hawaii for a couple of years and think you have picked some of the best of the best. However, there are two more places you might try to visit:
1. Kauai - Palihali (sp?) State Beach Park (my favorite beach in all HI)
2. Big Island - South Point (green sand beach)

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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 11:49 AM
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amelie: Me too - yay! for planners....

vacationdreamer: have a great trip!

Pumpy: Oh yes! you're right - I forgot about those - I have a list of must do's and I neglected to add those - I DEFINITELY want to go to Polihale - will try to make it to green sand beach.
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Old Aug 21st, 2004, 12:54 PM
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I will get stomped by all the Kauai-lovers for this, BUT I would move one Kauai night to Oahu. There is so much wonderful about Oahu..... I don't think you're allowing enough time there. (I love Kauai, too, but..........) Have a fabulous time!
Old Aug 21st, 2004, 05:31 PM
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Thanks for that suggestion bonniebroad. i do believe you're right. What I'd like to do is just add another day to Oahu...who knows - maybe I'll decide not to leave...
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