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Help with Hawaii not at the beach. Suggestions need !

Help with Hawaii not at the beach. Suggestions need !

Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 10:14 AM
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Help with Hawaii not at the beach. Suggestions need !

We would like to spend a week in Hawaii this coming January but neither of us like sitting on the beach. We're active seniors. We'd like to stay somewhere special, maybe upscale but unpretentious, rent a car and do some touring. See things like a volcano, lovely scenery. We would prefer a small town or quiet area.

I hope someone on this forum can suggest which island would suit us best and where to stay.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 10:47 AM
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I like Oahu and Maui. I haven't "done the beach" in years, did WAY too much of it years ago.

Have you been to Hawaii before? You can find quiet on Oahu and there is tons to see and do there for those who don't want the beach scene. My next choice would be Maui.

As far as accommodations? Well, I love the Royal Hawiian but that could be considered pretentious I guess and it is in the middle of Waikiki so probably not what you are looking for. I think its fabulous still, and it was refurbished not long ago.

I stay at the Hyatt when I'm on Maui but again, not sure what you are looking for, but there is a lot to do an Maui too.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 11:04 AM
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If you don't like the beach, I would not recommend Maui. There is the volcano and a few places but after a day or too that pretty much is all there is - other than ocean activities. I love Kauai but again the draw is the beautiful landscape and beaches.

If you like a variety of activities I would also pick Oahu. There are many places to stay outside of Waikiki. However, I too would recommend checking out the Royal Hawaiian. It is old school Hawaii - architecturally lovely, with beautiful grounds, taking you back to the old feel of true Hawaii charm.

Oahu has so many varied choices - you can do historical sites (Iolani Palace, Arizona Memorial, Duke Estate, Dole Plantation) to lovely scenery (Pali Highway, North Shore, Japanese Temple area).

There is fun local flea market shopping, to great little mom and pop restaurants in local neighborhoods.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 11:23 AM
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 11:28 AM
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I've only been to Kauai and it happened to be in January. There's plenty to see/do for a week exploring the island. The challenge will be to decide to stay on the north shore or the south, both of which have lovely accommodations and sites.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 11:39 AM
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You are really describing The Big Island of Hawaii.

You could look for some nice rental on www.vrbo.com

Make sure you make your rental car reservation when you make your flight reservation. Rentals get more expensive the closer to January.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 12:22 PM
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I have just spent a couple of days on Oahu at the J W Marriott at Ko Olina. It is a quiet area about 30-45 minutes drive to the busier Waikiki area. I am not a beach person either!! I spent hours on my balcony, overlooking the pool and ocean, just relaxing, reading, emailing, having coffee, etc. Very quiet location compared to Waikiki (where I am right now, but flying back to the mainland tonight).
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 12:34 PM
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If seeing an active volcano is a big deal to you, the Big Island is your only choice. But I suspect you might be disappointed at seeing it, and I'm not sure you'd find the "right" place to stay there.

So look at the Koa Kea on Kauai. It's on the south coast, where you'll find the best weather at that time of year, and a short drive away from Waimea Canyon. When the weather is best, drive to the north shore for the scenery that, more than other islands, is what you imagine of an exotic, tropical, south Pacific island.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 01:17 PM
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I agree with the Big Island and recommend staying on the Hilo side. It's near Volcanos National Park and some beautiful waterfalls.
On Maui, there are plenty of areas in Upcountry that are away from the beach. Check out Haiku, Makawao and Kula. Twin Falls is a beautiful place for an easy hike. More flora and waterfalls at the Garden of Eden. I enjoy going to Wailuku town for coffee, a casual meal and a browse through shops including a Ukelele one. Iao Valley is a pretty spot.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2012, 05:37 PM
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If you want to see the real Volcano - Big Island, but you can also get up early to drive up to Haleakula on Maui and watch the sunrise.

Kauai is also beautiful and our favorite island but there is more to do/see on Big Island - including the Volcano.

Would recommend you fly into Hilo - stay a couple of nights at the Volcano/Volcano Village and then maybe head to Paniolo land - up by Waimea, and visit the Parker Ranch - and/or drive all the way to the top of the island at Hawi, etc.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2012, 08:58 AM
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The only current active volcano is on the Big Island. So if that is an absolute requirement, that decides it for you.

I think any of the islands has plenty to see and do that doesn't involve laying on the beach all day. As long as you get a rental car, and enjoy driving, hiking, exploring.

Oahu has the advantage of the most historic sights and museums that the other islands just don't have.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2012, 10:03 AM
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The only activity you'll see will be steam/gas venting (and a nighttime glow) in Volcano National Park; but that's pretty neat. But there's also plenty to do on Maui; the road to Hana, circumnavigating the island, upcountry climate changes, etc.
The crater of Haleakala is spectacular in it's own way; incredible colors. There are historical sites to visit in Lahaina and Wailuku, in addition to petroglyph trails and heiaus. Also some very old churches (Keawala'i in Makena, 1780s; right on the shore).
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Old Sep 3rd, 2012, 12:36 PM
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If you go to the Big Island you could also fly into Kona which has direct connections to the mainland US.

You're rather vague about the things you'd like to see (other than the volcano which has been addressed). You might actually enjoy being on Oahu depending on your specific non-beach interests.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2012, 05:24 PM
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just curious as to why one would go to Hawaii if you don't like the beach.. Is it just that you like looking at the beach that draws you. Is it warmth that draws you or palm trees? I don't sit in the sun at the beach but to me Hawaii is all about "the beach"....just curious.....
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 08:58 AM
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My DH and I have enjoyed January in Poipu, Kauai, on the west coast of Big Island (Kohala area), in Honolulu, Oahu, and now we spend the month in South Kihei on Maui.

Maui has a nice mix of beautiful scenery plus man-made things to see and do. Haleakala is its' semi-dormant volcano. Road to Hana and Iao Valley are its' most tropical areas. It has grand hotels like Four Seasons and The Ritz, but also more affordable hotels and condos. I prefer the two 'ends' of the island (Wailea and Kapalua) over the tall buildings and densely populated tourist 'destination' of Kaanapali.

Hawaii, being a State, is unlike some places where people stay within a resort. Visitors rent cars and make DIY tours of an island's sights, beaches and restaurants.

Most first-time visitors stay Honolulu for the historic sights. With at least ten nights, a visitor can enjoy two islands. A rental car is necessary everywhere outside of Honolulu if you want to explore beyond your resort.
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 05:16 PM
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If you are active seniors and haven't tried snorkeling, I can't think of a better place to do it than Hawaii. It beats sitting at the beach, that's for sure. I never tried it until I went to Hawaii -- got prescription goggles at one of the rental places -- and I'm hooked forever. The salt water keeps you floating and in many places you can snorkel in shallow, calm water.
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 06:52 PM
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This link & press release below may interest you.

UPDATE - August 18, 2012: Today, the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes Lodge Company softly opens the Volcano House sm Hotel and the Nāmakanipaio cabins. They plan to begin accepting room reservations in the fall of 2012. For more information, please visit their new web site,



Date: August 14, 2012
Contact: Jessica Ferracane, 808-985-6018
Hawaii National Park, Hawaiʻi - The National Park Service's Director of the Pacific West Region, Christine Lehnertz, today signed the 15-year concession contract between Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC.

Visitors will be able to stay in the Park's A-frame cabins and purchase a limited selection of food, drink and retail items from the Volcano House beginning Sat., Aug. 18. The Volcano House will open daily from 7:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

All 10 A-frame cabins at Nāmakanipaio Campground will open gradually, and reservations can be made by calling (808) 756-9625. Cabins start at $55 per night.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC will complete renovations to the cabins and to the historic 32-room hotel, opening in phases over the next 12 months. Improvements to the eight-room annex are scheduled for the first phase, and rooms could open as early as January 2013. The entire renovation project is expected to cost the company between $2.5 million and $3 million. The National Park Service has invested $4 million in seismic and fire upgrades.

According to General Manager George Mangino, the company will hire 50 employees for the hotel, which overlooks Kīlauea caldera and erupting Halemaʻumaʻu. First opened in 1846, Volcano House has a storied history with many notable guests in its registry, including Mark Twain, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Isabella Bird.

Renovation plans for the Volcano House include a strong commitment to sharing Native Hawaiian culture through interpretive experiences including cultural demonstrations, artwork, and handicrafts. Sustainable Hawaiʻi Island ingredients will be featured in the restaurant and other food and beverage outlets.
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Old Sep 4th, 2012, 07:44 PM
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I don't think lack of interest in beaches, is any reason not to go to Hawaii. There's incredible diversity in a;; the islands, along the coasts, but also inland in the countryside, towns, cities, as well.
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Old Sep 9th, 2012, 08:06 PM
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galiano: Have you made your decision yet? As soon as I read your question, I thought that Shipman House b&b in Hilo on the Big Island would be great for you. We stayed there in January 2012 and loved it. We had a car and using Shipman House as our base, we explored the Volcano National Park, which is beautiful and awesome...and we drove up to Mauna Kea, lots of gorgeous view on the way up there. Hilo is a local's town and it's full of lots of great places to eat. It's also on the green side of the island. We had good weather there last January. We also spent a few nights on the northwest coast of the island at the Mauna Lani hotel, to snorkel with the turtles. You might find my trip report if you click on my name.

Enjoy your trip, wherever you decide to go!
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