Hawaii Island recommendations????

Old Jun 30th, 2011, 02:31 PM
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Hawaii Island recommendations????

I am planning a first-time trip to Hawaii next summer for me and my husband, and I am overwhelmed with the various islands and would like to hear itinerary recommendations. My husband and I are 25, and we love to relax and enjoy nature. I want to have a laid-back, care-free vacation where the majority of my time is spent relaxing on the beach. Although we are both laid-back, we also enjoy outdoor activities. We both love to hike and are interested in hiking to waterfalls and a volcano. I would also like to take a surfing lesson. We do not care about the nightlife/bars/clubs/etc.

I do not want to spend my whole vacation island hopping. Instead I would rather visit just one or two islands so that I am not packing my bags every other night. I would prefer to stay away from the super crowded parts of Hawaii. I am looking for more of a private vacation.

Any recommendations??? Thanks!
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Old Jun 30th, 2011, 02:54 PM
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I haven't been in many years, but to see an active volcano, you have to go to the Big Island (the island of Hawaii).

To meet the rest of your criteria, no question, Kauai!
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Old Jun 30th, 2011, 03:41 PM
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The only island with an active volcano is the Big Island. You could easily spend your entire vacation there. Or if you're willing to skip the volcano experience, Kauai most closely fits what you describe.
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Old Jun 30th, 2011, 03:50 PM
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Do 4 nights in Kauai and 4 or 5 nights in Maui-
Stay in Poipu in Kauai and Kaanapali in Maui-unless you are going Dec-April-skip Kauai because it will be raining, and do either Oahu or Big Island. Stay at the Marriott Ko Olina on Oahu-away from crowds but you can surf-it's the only island that has good surfing. (Big Island has some) Big Island-if you can afford it the Fairmont is great-
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Old Jun 30th, 2011, 06:49 PM
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If you want privacy, consider renting a condo on the Big Island (Only Island with a volcano). Look at places South of Kona, things are less hectic there. Get a copy of "Hawaii, the Big Island Revealed" from Wizard Publications.
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Old Jun 30th, 2011, 07:44 PM
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Having stayed at The Marriott Ko Olina, I feel I must point out that the " beach " is a series of man-made lagoons. It's perfectly nice, but not where I'd go for a truly " beach" vacation. For that, on Oahu, I'd go to Waikiki if you want a great beach lots of shopping and restaurants and a very lively vibe (some would say crowded), or I'd rent a place in Kailua, where the beaches are just gorgeous, the kayaking is fantastic, and it's not very crowded at all.
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Old Jul 1st, 2011, 06:30 AM
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My personal pick for a first trip would be the Oahu/Maui combination. Because those are two beautiful islands that together I think give a nice sample taste of Hawaii. But to clsest fit the list of specifics this poster has outlined, that would be Big Island/Kauai.
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Old Jul 1st, 2011, 09:28 AM
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For the type of vacation you're wanting I can't recommend Kauai enough!!! Definitely Kauai! I definitely would NOT go to Oahu. In my opinion, and having been there, it is too commercialized and too crowded. I did not get the quiet, tropical island feel from Oahu. I also would not split my time, for example 4 days each, on two islands. There is enough to do for 7-10 days on one island.

My husband & I are 30 and 29. We, just like you, enjoy most of our time spent relaxing on a beach and we love hiking! We have been to Kauai three times. Our first & second trip were in 2007 and our third trip was just a month ago. We finally got to go back after 4 years! We went from May 28-June 4. We absolutely LOVE Kauai!

I don't know where you will be flying from but we find that the best flight is with US Airways. Their flight has a layover in Phoenix then Phoenix straight to Lihue, Kauai. We fly from Austin, TX.

We love staying on the North Shore at the Sealodge Condos in Princeville. For our most recent visit, we stayed in this unit:http://hestara.com/b10.htm The Sealodge is situated on a bluff so it looks out onto the ocean. You can hear the waves crashing when the windows are open! We love staying at the Sealodge! Hestara was a great company for reserving our condo...we did everything through email; all that is required is $250 to reserve the condo then the remainder of the balance is due 30 days before your trip. Also, if you book with Hestara there is a discount with Avis or Budget for a rental car.
http://hestara.com/index.html
We loved the B10 and will stay there again but also I would like to someday stay in this unit:http://hestara.com/c8.htm

Each time we have been to Kauai, we have used Budget for our rental car. We always get a Mustang convertible. For your planning purposes, the total of our car on this most recent trip was $451 for the week. We had the car from Saturday May 28 at 2:30pm until Saturday June 4 at 7:30pm. I thought it was a great price!

My husband & I love nothing more than to relax on a beach for the day. There are plenty gorgeous beaches to choose from on Kauai! We like to eat breakfast at the condo; bring an ice chest and have lunch on the beach consisting of sandwiches and chips; then we go out for dinner.

As far as activities:
-On our trip 4 years ago we did horseback riding on the South Shore with CJM Stables. The ride went along the beach. It was beautiful and fun! http://cjmstables.com/
-We also really like boogie boarding/body surfing whichever you want to call it. There is this perfect beach on the South Shore called Brennecke's Beach that is made for boogie boarding. The condo had two boogie boards for our use. If you stay at a place that does not have them you can rent boards for cheap at Snorkel Bob's.
-We have NOT done this (yet) but hope to on another trip...we have looked into trying ziplining at:http://www.adventureskauai.com/
-On our trip 4 years ago we attempted the Kalalau Trail hike. We wanted to hike the two miles to Hanakapi'ai Beach but we didn't make it. We hadn't done hiking prior to the trip four years ago but since that trip we have done some hiking in Colorado and will be ready to tackle the hike again on another trip. For the some great insight on the Kalalau Trail I highly recommend reading this:http://vicki-h.travellerspoint.com/58/
-On this trip we had the most fun renting beach cruiser bikes from Coconut Coasters in Kapa'a and riding the trail along the ocean on the east shore! We loved it so much we did it twice during the week we were there! http://www.coconutcoasters.com/ You can hike the path if you don't want to ride bikes but the bikes were just so fun!
-There is another hike that we looked into doing while on this recent trip but I didn't pack long pants or tennis shoes so we decided to wait until next time we go. It is very close to Princeville just before the town of Hanalei. I got the information on the hike from:http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Kauai...9533934&sr=8-1
I HIGHLY recommend this book! also if you choose to visit another island there are the same books for each island. It has all the information you could need on beaches, hiking, activities, dining, maps and so on. It really is the best book!
-There is also a hike to a "secret" waterfall that I read about on Vicki's blog:http://vicki-h.travellerspoint.com/55/

I also HIGHLY recommend that you read Vicki's blog in its entirety about her recent trip to Kauai. I loved it! http://vicki-h.travellerspoint.com/toc/

I am also typing up a trip report about our recent trip to Kauai. I'm still working on it but here's what I have typed so far:http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...ing-a-bike.cfm

Here is a map of the island to give you an idea of when I'm talking about Princeville (where Sealodge is); Hanalei; South Shore (where Brennecke's Beach is); Kapa'a (where Coconut Coaster bike rental shop is):http://www.summitpacificinc.com/kauai_map.html

I love the island of Kauai and feel like it's a magical place! I am a detailed and organized type of person so I'm sorry if I overloaded you with information but I love helping! My husband & I don't want to wait four years again so we are wanting to go back again next year! Enjoy planning and have fun on "my" island!
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Old Jul 1st, 2011, 09:33 AM
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louistraveler, what a great post! We are returning to Kauai for perhaps the 5th time and only for a few days in October (it's easy to do from northern California), and despite being twice your age, I plan to add your suggestions to my list of must-dos!!
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Old Jul 1st, 2011, 10:44 AM
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Thanks sf7307! I'm so jealous that you live in California and can just take one flight to Hawaii!

Also, I didn't include the name of that hike we didn't do and want to do next time that is in Hanalei: Hanalei Okolehao Trail...it is on page 148 in the Ultimate Kauai Guidebook.
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Old Jul 1st, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Thanks - I have that book already (from our previous trip in 2007). We're staying in Poipu, but definitely want to make it up to the north this trip (we were stymied by traffic last time - it was so bad we turned around and went back!)
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Old Jul 1st, 2011, 01:15 PM
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Thanks so much for the information everyone! sf7307, you didn't overload me with information at all! I greatly appreciate it, and the more I do my research and talk to other people, the more I'm convinced I am going to visit Kauai! Thanks for the hotel recommendations as well! I'm so excited!
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Old Jul 2nd, 2011, 07:26 AM
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I have to disagree with one small thing to defend Oahu (not necessarily for this OP but generally speaking). When people say it is "over commercialized and too crowded" I believe they are talking only about the Honolulu/Waikiki area. There's an entire island beyond that one city to explore, which is not developed or crowded.
suze
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Old Jul 2nd, 2011, 03:58 PM
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Yes, Suze, and the General Store in Haliewa has the BEST shave ice!
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Old Jul 5th, 2011, 10:40 AM
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Actually, it was me, louistraveler5, that "overloaded" you with information!

Your post says "next summer" so when exactly do you plan to go?

If you need anymore help just post...I'm always on Fodor's.
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Old Jul 12th, 2011, 01:21 PM
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I'm sorry louistraveler5! I think I posted that out of exhaustion. Thank you for all the information! We would like to go any time next June. We could go in July, but I would prefer to go in June. I am thinking about staying a couple of nights in Oahu, and I am looking for a place to stay. Do you have any suggestions? I loved your Sealodge suggestion, and we are going to book there! It looks so nice!
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Old Jul 12th, 2011, 01:38 PM
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Louistraveler5 - what an awesome post. We are going in next July and I am bookmarking everything you did! Thanks so much.
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Old Jul 13th, 2011, 08:01 AM
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We went to Oahu in August 2005 for our honeymoon. If you are going for two nights then I recommend staying in the Waikiki area. We stayed at:http://doubletree1.hilton.com/en_US/...8428C22A.etc22

If I went back to Oahu I would like to stay at:
http://waikiki.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/

For your two days there, I recommend hiking Diamond Head and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nyc_blues/3316573083/ (not my picture, borrowed from Flickr) If I remember correctly, Hanauma Bay is a 10-15 minute drive from Waikiki.
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