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Hawaii: Maui and Big Island questions

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Nov 22nd, 2017, 10:46 AM
  #1
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Hawaii: Maui and Big Island questions

Doing some preliminary research on Hawaii and would like some advice. If/when this happens (it would be a couple years out most likely), would spend ca. 7 days in Honolulu. Being already out that far, would be interested in seeing Maui and the Big Island as well.

However, not sure if the best way to see them is to:

-go out there for a two day jaunt to Maui and a four day jaunt to the Big Island, or

-do them each as a flight based day trip via organized tour out of Honolulu, with each day focusing on the national parks.

If doing the former, am thinking about this scenario:

HAWAII BIG ISLAND

Hilo

-Mokupapapa Discovery Center. 308 Kamehameha Dr.
-Pacific Tsunami Museum. 130 Kamehameha Av.
-Lyman Museum and Mission House. 276 Haili St.
-Liliuokalani Gardens. Banyan Dr.

-Organized tour (Rainbow Falls, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Black Sand Beach).

Kona

-Kamehameha Compound. 75-5660 Palani Rd.
-Hulihee Palace. 75-5718 Alii Dr.
-Mokuaikaua Church. 75-5718 Alii Dr.

-Kona Heritage Corridor Historical Tour (Coffee Plantation, Painted Church, Puuhonua O Honaunau Historical Park).

MAUI

Lahaina

-Baldwin Home Museum (Master's Reading Room, Lahaina Restoration Foundation). 120 Dickenson St.
-Banyan Tree. 649 Wharf St.
-Maluuluolele Park. Front and Shaw Sts.
-Whaler's Village Museum. 2435 Kaanapali Pkwy., Kaanapali.

-Organized tour: Haleakala National Park.

Are the attractions listed above in Hilo, Kona, and Lahaina worth spending time on? For all but the organized tours, would be using public transportation -- and yes, am willing to be patient with the reported slowness of Big Island buses.

Many thanks for any feedback you can provide.
bachslunch is online now  
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Nov 22nd, 2017, 12:11 PM
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I would NOT try to visit any of the islands as flight-based day trips. No time to really see/do/experience.
Kathie is offline  
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Nov 22nd, 2017, 12:30 PM
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Too little time, IMO, stick to Oahu especially without a car.
Big Island needs at least a week, more is better, my first trip there was only 5 days (hubby was there for business 2 days) and barely scratched the surface.
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Nov 22nd, 2017, 01:44 PM
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I wouldn't add islands unless you have at least 3-4 days (minimum) for each. Especially the Big Island... well because... it's BIG!
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Nov 28th, 2017, 07:56 AM
  #5
 
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Aloha, your final itinerary will depend on the experience you want while visiting Hawaii. If you are looking for mostly beach and relaxing, then Oahu (sightseeing and beaches) and Maui fill the bill. Oahu is very crowded, very famous and pretty expensive - even by Hawaii's high prices generally.

If you are more search and explore types, then the Big Island is full of adventure. It really is large and it's not practical to stay in one place the whole time; tackle it in West / East halves staying in Kailua-Kona area and then either South or Hilo.

I might suggest for a first (or only) trip, you spend 5 full days on Oahu + incoming travel day, and then at least 5 - 7 days on the Big Island if you can take the time.

Schedule your homebound flight to leave from Kona when you make your reservations. This keeps the inconvenient and expensive interisland flights to just one.

We have a condo on Big Island flying into Kona then spending 4 days on Maui before flying home from there. For us, four days in Maui is a nice change of scenery and a beach vacation as odd as that may seem. The beaches are very different there than on the Big Island.
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Dec 1st, 2017, 10:27 AM
  #6
 
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One week = One island. Ten nights = Two islands. Two weeks = Three islands, unless one is Big Island and you stay both sides.

Day One in Hawaii is 'catch up' day as your body adjusts to the time change. Each transit between islands is only 30 minutes airtime, but will consume 4 - 5 hours, door to door.

Try to avoid round trips by arriving at Island #1 and departing for home from your last island. It is also possible to set flights so that you can fly into, say, HNL, then wait two hours within security before flying on. This is best done 'single ticket' to protect you and your luggage from airline delays.
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Dec 2nd, 2017, 09:51 AM
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When we were young, we did 4 islands in two weeks. It was a great trip but it was also the first of many trips to Hawaii. I wouldn’t recommend it now.
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Dec 10th, 2017, 06:38 PM
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good advice. Too much in short time. Do you want to experience or just "see".
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Dec 10th, 2017, 09:12 PM
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If I had 7 days, I'd spend them in Kauai---the island is small, yet incredibly diverse. You can stay either in the north near Hanalei and Princeville ---idyllic views, the movie South Pacific was filmed here, lush greenery. At the northern tip of the island you can do part of the Na Pali trail --beautiful views of the ocean from cliffs. In the south, there is Poipu, more sun, fairly good snorkeling. Up in the center is the arid little Grand Canyon, also great for hiking. DH and I loved it -also the Big Island, where we spent two weeks dividing ourselves between the Kona Coast at the Four Seasons (DH's company paid as a reward) and Volcanic National Park, then driving up through the gorgeous botanical gardens to the north, ending with five nights at the Mauna Kea, with a lovely beach back on the coast again.

I had a Waikiki vacation once in Oahu and hated the high-rise we stayed in. DH and I spent 10 days in Mauii and were overall disappointed (perhaps in part because we had to cancel a trip to Venice and Prague due to a medical problem and this was plan B)

I strongly agree with the one week one island advice. Whatever you choose the air will smell like flowers and there are lovely fruit drinks MUCH better than what you find on the mainland, either with rum or "virgin".
cmstraf is offline  
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Dec 11th, 2017, 08:04 AM
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Whatever you choose the air will smell like flowers

I love that line!
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Dec 12th, 2017, 08:13 PM
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"Whatever you choose the air will smell like flowers"

Yes, a great line, and a great memory, of when I stepped off the plane after a 10 1/2 hour flight in 1980, having left the snow and cold far behind, and breathed in the moist tropical air of Hawaii, for the very first time.
I also received one of those lei greetings, as another highlight....
So my love affair with the Land of Aloha began.
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