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brando3004 Feb 26th, 2013 10:08 AM

Hawaii vs California
Looking to take a vacation with smaller children at the beginning of September. Would like to spend some time in California but also would love to visit Hawaii. We have about a week for our trip. Is it silly to try to do both or should we focus on one place? Where should we go and what should we do? We are very adventurous and love the outdoors. Would also like one day to be just a day at the beach. And whether it's in California or Hawaii, we would like to stay along the beach. Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

PeaceOut Feb 26th, 2013 10:35 AM

Trying to visit Hawaii and California in one week isn't a good idea. Choose one, do some research, and come back to ask more specific questions.

They are very different states. If you can afford Hawaii, go for it-- if your kids are good travelers for the longer flights, and if you think it's worth it to take them (you didn't mention their ages). One week is the minimum to visit Hawaii, because it's a special place.

If you decide not to splurge on Hawaii, California has so many great places, you need to narrow down your preferences.

tenthumbs Feb 26th, 2013 10:36 AM

From where will you be beginning your trip? Keep in mind that it's about a 5 hour flight from California to Hawaii. How old are the children~babies, toddlers, or grade schoolers? What ammenities do you want for your accommodations, and what is your budget?

brando3004 Feb 26th, 2013 11:37 AM

kids ages are 5 and 4 and are very good travelers. california has sea world and disney land and things like that. - would look at san diego/las angeles. hawaii is somewhere i've always wanted to visit, i just didn't know what they had for kids to actually DO. money really isn't a huge issue. just looking at taking a nice vacation.

sf7307 Feb 26th, 2013 11:42 AM

Well, what do you want to actually DO? When I go to Hawaii (often), it's mostly to do nothing! If you're looking for activities/sites appropriate for 4 and 5-year olds, then yes, southern California has more of them.

wekewoody Feb 26th, 2013 11:47 AM

Get the Fodors book on Hawaii and read it. It will give you a decent overview of the state.

tenthumbs Feb 26th, 2013 11:47 AM

Hawaii doesn't have any amusement parks, but Honolulu has a zoo, and most kids are pretty content to spend all day in a pool or digging in the sand on the beach. :)

It sounds as if Southern CA would be a good fit for your family if you'd like to mix up things like theme parks and beach time.

brando3004 Feb 26th, 2013 12:17 PM

Yes, I think Southern California is the way to go right now. We do want to do the parks and I would love to stay along the beach. What are good beaches and what other stuff do you recommend doing?? I'd like somewhere where it's more private and not packed with tourists.

ChiSue Feb 26th, 2013 01:30 PM

Remember, September is going to be HOT in both places. I might go for more coming and going to a beach and less standing in lines (Disneyland).

tenthumbs Feb 26th, 2013 01:56 PM

San Diego would be the best of both worlds~beaches, a world class zoo, Sea World, Balboa Park...........

Tomsd Feb 26th, 2013 02:13 PM

You can "commute" to Disneyland/Anaheim in an hour+ from San Diego (depending on where you are staying) - assuming you go after (or before) morning and afternoon rush hours.

While I/we love Hawaii - don't think the kids would really know what they are missing if you come to San Diego - and go to tide pools, the Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Sea World, Legoland, and so forth.

If you stay near the beach - it's not that hot in SD - but if you go inland - it can heat up.

22tango Feb 26th, 2013 03:07 PM

"While I/we love Hawaii - don't think the kids would really know what they are missing if you come to San Diego..."

But mom and dad will have some idea of what they're missing, whereas the kids could care less and be happy regardless. So why not spend a week on Maui, staying at some place like the Grand Wailea or Hyatt; nice beaches and great pools at both.

tenthumbs Feb 26th, 2013 03:27 PM

We still don't know where the OP's trip originates. If it's from the east coast, the idea of flying to Hawaii with a 4 year old and 5 year old sounds daunting.

suze Feb 26th, 2013 03:34 PM

Hawaii is a LOT more exciting than California (state of my birth) to my point of view. More exotic, less traffic. As far as what's to do for kids, start with some sand toys and to go the beach, float toys and a hotel pool, Fort de Russy and Kapiolani parks, the Zoo.

I agree depends where you are flying from if California or Hawaii might make more sense because of flight time and routes.

spirobulldog Feb 26th, 2013 03:58 PM

If you are going to the beaches to swim, keep in mind that CA are pretty cold, even when its hot, IMOP anyway.

brando3004 Feb 27th, 2013 05:25 AM

We are flying from Kansas.

Tomsd Feb 27th, 2013 06:47 AM

In early September - people are swimming at all the beaches in San Diego. The water is warmer in Hawaii yes, but you see kids in bathing suits in the water all along the coast.

Check out the Cove which also has lifeguard - or Mission Beach.

MichelleY Feb 27th, 2013 08:24 AM

I would take them to Hawaii. At that age, kids are easier to please and don't need the constant entertainment. They are happy with the beach and pools. Save S. Cal for when they are a little older, need more entertainment, and can do more of what is offered.

tenthumbs Feb 27th, 2013 08:27 AM

Kids that are 4 and 5 probably aren't going to be "swimming" unless it's in a pool. Suze is correct~Hawaii is much more exotic, but you'll spend less time getting to CA. My own personal opinion~flying from Kansas is going to be a long enough flight for your little ones. Since you only have a week, I would say spend it in San Diego and save Hawaii for another time. Also, don't forget~Labor Day is in the beginning of September.

suze Feb 27th, 2013 09:53 AM

I wouldn't be against the San Diego idea. Or even Los Angeles and include Disneyland.

I love Hawaii but maybe the kids would appreciate it a bit more, and have an easier time with the long flight, when they are a couple years older.

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