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Hawaii newbie - general location advice needed

Hawaii newbie - general location advice needed

Old Mar 5th, 2023, 04:42 AM
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[QUOTE=Songdoc;17443666]I live on Kauai's North Shore. IMO, that is the only place on the islands that offers my fantasy of Hawaii. All of the islands have beautiful beaches and tremendous natural beauty--and they all have much to offer. But only Kauai offers the beauty in a setting where it is illegal to have a building taller than a palm tree.

We loved Kauai, also. It was everything we hoped Hawaii would be. Green and lush.
Our first trip was to Maui, a long time ago, and I felt like we were in Southern California. Really Disappointing.
The Big Island has diverse landscapes.
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Old Mar 5th, 2023, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Songdoc View Post
I live on Kauai's North Shore. IMO, that is the only place on the islands that offers my fantasy of Hawaii. All of the islands have beautiful beaches and tremendous natural beauty--and they all have much to offer. But only Kauai offers the beauty in a setting where it is illegal to have a building taller than a palm tree.

The last time I was in Maui they were having an August heatwave. It was so sweltering, it was too hot for me to even enjoy the beaches (many of which were packed like sardines). Different stokes for different folks, but I don't come to Hawaii for high-rises, interstates, beachfront hotels crammed full of tourists, and beaches where the next family is two feet away from me.

I like the Big Island very much, and of course, it is the only island with an active volcano. I also enjoy Oahu's North Shore. I think Maui and Oahu are awesome for people who are looking for nightlife, bustling sidewalks, upscale shopping, gourmet restaurants, museums, and people who don't mind crowds. But that's not me.

Before people jump down my throat, I'll reiterate that depending on what you are looking for, each island might be the one that's right for you. But I know several people who were terribly disappointed in Oahu and Maui because they were so different from their fantasies of Hawaii. Just know what you are signing up for.
this is the most important thing to consider when traveling to Hawaii or really any place. Do your research and know what youíre getting into. I love kaanapali for its beach, nice accommodations, restaurants, itís beach walk and proximity to Lahaina. But if privacy and quiet were important to me, I would not choose that area.
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Old Mar 5th, 2023, 09:15 AM
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[QUOTE=ms_go;17443018]Or Napili. We recently stayed at a low-rise, ocean-front condo at Napili Point that was literally steps from the ocean, quiet and easy walking distance to the beaches.

We stayed at Napili Point a long time ago. It was reasonably priced and perfect for our family.
The cove directly next to the property is amazing snorkeling: Honokeana Bay
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Old Mar 5th, 2023, 02:53 PM
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A friend of mine who was lucky enough to be posted to Honolulu for a month a year ago and stayed free on the base, with a rental car, said about Waikiki "they should just scrape the whole thing off into the ocean." LOL. His favorite thing on Oahu was the north shore shrimp trucks.
I used to enjoy Kauai back about 35-40 ish years ago, when there were still some reasonably priced places to stay, and you could access things like the water slides and not need reservations for beach parking. It was even okay to go to Ke'e and Polihale without a reservation back then. I guess now there is always world famous Tip Top and reservations at Ke'e Beach. Still have my Kayak Kauai tee shirt!

Last edited by mlgb; Mar 5th, 2023 at 03:00 PM.
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Old Mar 5th, 2023, 06:59 PM
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mlgb: The only beach on Kauai that requires (or accepts) reservations is Ke'e. There are no reservations for Polihale unless you want to camp overnight. Things are SO much better with the reservation system at Ke'e. There are no crowds, no parked cars clogging the road, and you access the beach from a boardwalk that takes you through absolutely beautiful jungle and taro fields.

Yes, Kauai has gotten expensive, but so has everyplace else. There are still Air B&Bs and condos at lower prices, but not with views.

The Tip-Top Cafe hasn't changed and I like it there.

I like Waikiki for a day or two, but I know what I'm signing up for. Ohhh... those North Shore shrimp trucks. Definitely the most delicious shrimp I've ever had!
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Old Mar 6th, 2023, 09:19 AM
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I don't see anything on this wish list that would determine one island over another. All of them have everything requested. Except (as previously noted) the volcano, rainforest, waterfall line.
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Old Mar 7th, 2023, 04:19 AM
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I haven't read all the posts so this might be a bit of a repeat.

First trip to Hawaii, we stayed couple nights Waikiki because we wanted to see it and Oahu, was happy we did as the north & east of the island is beautiful. And Haunauma Bay for snorkelling.

Rest of the trip on Maui. Ka'anapali was a huge shock, wall to wall hotels on a beautiful beach, very built up. Very disappointing, I did feel as if we travelled from the other side of the world for something I could get in Benidorm. But the next day we drove to Hana and it restored my impression of Maui, the trip along that road was beautiful, We stayed at Napili which we thought was gorgeous. Lots of great accommodation options.Close to Lahaina. Some like to stay in Kihei and down that side of the island but it is not my preference.

Another trip we combined Oahu + Maui + Kauai which has a different feel, loved the north shore but not the rest of the island that much. I thought the whole island was going to be like the Garden of Eden. Some of the beaches are great eg Tunnels. Waimea was very interesting.

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Old Mar 9th, 2023, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by kureiff View Post
Vog depends on the volcano, and itís erupting again.

The beach near Hapuna is at the Mauna Kea resort. Itís beautiful. Parking is limited so you have to get there early or weíve had luck later in the day around 3:30 or 4 pm.

Parking prices have increased at Hapuna5/car plus $5 per person. Love to boogie board there.

We usually book through Kona Coast Vacations as they are cheaper than VRBO or Airbnb.
The volcano has stopped erupting as of a day or two ago; check a local weather report to see if vog is affecting anywhere. The new park fees are in effect almost everywhere: visitors $10/car PLUS $5 PP.
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Old Mar 13th, 2023, 07:29 PM
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well I like Maui- Napili area or Honokowai area. We have stayed at Paki Maui and the Papakea Resort. Both are low rise older hotels. Neither of them had a great beach so we drove to one almost every day. Papakea has several nice pools. Free parking. No restaurant but several within walking distance and also a grocery store. There was a food truck court close by also.
I have a friend who was in Kauai last week but said it was crowded and traffic so bad, they moved to Maui and are much happier there.

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