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Hawaii in 2 weeks- help!

Old Apr 5th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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Hawaii in 2 weeks- help!

Spur of the moment trip to Hawaii end of April/beginning of May for 10 days. No itinery yet, open to some good guidance. Couple, 60, good condition. Like hiking, sight seeing, good food, not on a budget, don't need 5 star either. One, two or three islands? Flying in and out of LAX. Volcanos, rain forests, and amazing drives are what we are looking for. No nightlife needed. Live in Fla so the beach is not a big deal. I'm sure there have been plenty of posts regarding similar but need advice asap, especially in light of recent changes to Hawaiian economy due to Tsunami in Japan.
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 06:58 PM
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If volcanos, rain forests and amazing drives are your interests, I would recommend you spend the entire 10 days on the Big Island. We spent 10 nights there -- 2 in Kona, 3 near Volcano, and then 5 on Kohala Coast. There is so much to do on the Big Island that you could easily spend the whole 10 days there.

We spent the first 3 nights in a B&B; we are not usually B&B people, but this one was great. I can get you the info if you'd like. From this area near Kona, we were able to see the sites on that part of the island. Then we drove the southern route around to the Volcano. When we left the Volcano area we drove the northern route to the Kohala Coast.

We've also been to Oahu, Kauai and Maui, and we love them, too, but I like to really explore one island at a time.

I'll try to find my trip report and top it for you. Have fun planning!
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Old Apr 5th, 2011, 07:40 PM
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Absolutely the Big Island. I'd suggest a week in Kona and the rest either in Volcano or Hilo. Hilo is on the rainy side where the lush vegetation is, and very close to the volcano national park. Kona is on the dry side. Get a good guide book like The Big Island Revealed to find where to go.

Don't worry about the effects of the tsunami. Although some things were damaged and one resort is permanently closed (kona village, which was very expensive) everything else is up and running.

For a scenic boat trip along the Kona side ending in a snorkeling experience in calm, crystal clear water, take the Fairwind Cruise out of Keauhou, which is located at the south end of Kona town. You can book online.

Also drive to the northern tip on the west side to Hawi (ha-VI) which is a small artsy town. Eat at Bamboo restaurant and gallery. Be sure to try their coconut sauce -- divine!
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 05:29 AM
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Wow- thanks, unexpected sugestions! Sure add more details.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 06:36 AM
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This a good website for the Big Island. www.konaweb.com

If you don't want to take a cruise to snorkel--there are a couple of areas in south Kona that you can drive to--Kealakekua Bay and Honaunau Bay (called Two-Step). If you're on the east side of the island--there are tide pools with fabulous coral that you can snorkel also. there are some brief videos on youtube--search for Kapoho Tide Pools.

We also enjoy Sushi Rock for lunch in Hawi. http://www.gokohala.com/business/dining/Sushi_Rock.html

Mi's Italian Bistro http://www.misitalianbistro.com/ and Ke'ei Cafe are restaurants we enjoy in south Kona.

Waipio Valley, outside Honokaa, in Hamakua and Place of Refuge on Honaunau Bay in south Kona are also beautiful places to visit. Akatsuka Greenhouse, on the road to Volcano from Hilo, is a beautiful place to stop--wonderful orchids and clean restrooms. http://www.akatsukaorchid.com/

If you have any other specific questions, please ask--there are lots of BI lovers on this forum.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 07:01 AM
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For a volcano, you need the Big Island. You could spend all 10 days there (maybe in a two locations?) or you could add Kauai if you want to see two islands.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 07:45 AM
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Two islands, max. One (or maybe both) on The Big Island.

Can fly direct LAX-KOA.

If you stayed two weeks on TBI, you'd have plenty of time to really explore the Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park. I'd give it 2-3 days.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 07:55 AM
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Pick one island. You lose a day flying from one to another even though the flights are short. Go to http://www.trailblazerhawaii.com to see which island to choose. Since you are wanting adventure, I'd suggest Kauai, the greenest and most beautiful in my opinion.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 08:19 AM
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I'm not always in agreement with those who say pick one island and stay there First, I think you lose half a day, not a whole day, changing islands. Second, lots of people want to go to two places, which we have done on multiple occasions. Ten days is plenty to visit two islands in my opinion. Based on your "wants", I'd recommend the Big Island and either Maui (more developed, resort-y) or Kauai (more laid back, natural).
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 08:58 AM
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I say 'pick one island' when people only have 5-7 days. But with 10 or more I think that's plenty to see two islands if you want to.
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 09:56 AM
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While others bicker about one island or two. . . and with just a short time to decide and plan

My favourite drives in Hawaii in no particular order

Big Island:
The high road 250 to Hawi thru pastures and a tunnel of trees for miles

Hawi to to the end of the road 270

The low road back,270 that some refer to as humback highway - although the whales will have migrated by May

The left at the end of Kapoho Rd Big Island

Maui:
The road to Hana and beyond

The west end drive

Molokai:
The east end drive

Goodluck deciding
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Old Apr 6th, 2011, 11:02 AM
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I love that high road drive along 250 to Hawi on TBI. It's almost like driving through the English countryside.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 05:51 AM
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Placename, we loved that drive, too! The views are incredible on both sides of the car -- it was almost too incredible to take in at one time. Next time I would plan to take a longer time for that drive so we could stop more often.
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Old Apr 7th, 2011, 08:17 AM
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Yes, Samsaf, I know what you mean about wanting more time to poke around up there. It is so interesting and seems like a very special and quiet area.
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