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Lead in me in the right direction for our first Hawaii trip


Sep 25th, 2017, 02:55 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Lead in me in the right direction for our first Hawaii trip

Hello! I’m starting to research my family’s first trip to Hawaii and I’m finding it a bit overwhelming and would appreciate any advice. We’ll be traveling June 2018 to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We’re a family of 4 with 2 kids ages 10 and 13. We travel yearly to St. John so we love a beautiful beach vacation. We always rent a villa or condo on vrbo and definitely prefer that to staying in hotels. It’s imporant to me that we’re in a location with fairly safe, swimmable beaches. I prefer a location without miles of high rise hotels along the beach...that’s one thing we so love about St.John. Excursions we’d love to do include snorkeling, hiking through rain forests, seeing waterfalls, whale watching trip, maybe checking out a volcano. We’d like to take hiking or biking trips but nothing too physically demanding...we’re pretty fit but we’re traveling with kids and momma has arthritic knees! Lol Not looking for injuries on vacation! We do like to go out for dinners as a family, otherwise not too concerned about nightlife. I don’t care if it’s cheesy, I totally want to do a luau! We’ll have somewhere between 10 days to 2 weeks, depending on what kind of rates we find on accommodations and airfare from the east coast. Suggestions on what islands would be best for us, what locations on the islands, accommodations to check out, places that are not to be missed would be so appreciated!
allieinnj is offline  
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Sep 25th, 2017, 07:50 PM
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Kauai's North Shore and the Big Island would be my suggestion from what you've described. I've been to St. John and it's REALLY laid back. While you can find less densely populated areas on all the islands, Maui and Oahu have more of those wall-to-wall high-rises along the beach that you (and I) prefer to avoid. You won't find that on Kauai. But you will find many wonderful condos that are used as vacation rentals. Many of them have breathtaking views.

On Kauai, look into the condos in Princeville--a 5 minute drive from gorgeous Hanalei Bay, which has great swimming.

The whales are only in Hawaii during the winter, so that's not going to happen.

The only active volcano is on the Big Island. The Big Island also has the best snorkeling. It's not my favorite, but it certainly does have beautiful spots.

I have only stayed at resorts on the Big Island so I can't suggest lodgings.
Songdoc is offline  
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Sep 26th, 2017, 04:24 AM
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While no place is going to perfectly meet your needs, I'd agree that the north shore of Kauai probably comes close.

You'll find beaches, views, hiking. Hanalei is a nice little town for occasional shopping and some good restaurants ranging from fine dining (for Hawaii, that is) to super-informal.
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Sep 26th, 2017, 06:30 AM
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I would also suggest Kauai based on your description. While the north shore is more beautiful (lush) than the south shore (which is also tropical and beautiful, just not as stunningly beautiful as the north shore), we always stay on the south shore because we like to stay right ON the beach, and the accommodations in Princeville etc. tend to be high on a cliff ABOVE the beach. That's not a problem for some people, but for us it is. (I also personally don't like the "planned development" look and feel of Princeville, but again, that's personal preference -- I don't mind it nearly as much at Kaanapali and Wailea in Maui, and I don't know why).
sf7307 is online now  
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Sep 26th, 2017, 10:06 AM
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Agree with the others, definitely North Shore of Kauai that time of year. No high rises on Kauai other than the Marriott which has a grandfather clause. Big Island has the only active volcano.
I'm not a luau fan, but Smith's Family luau on Kauai has a "show only" option without food for about $15pp.
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Sep 26th, 2017, 03:50 PM
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I would recommend the North Shore of Kauai as well.

With two weeks available I think I would do the majority of time on Kauai and maybe at least three days on Oahu. It is so quintessential old Hawaii in so many ways. So much of Hawaii is on this Island - the home of the King & Queens of Hawaii (the Iolani Palace), the Bishop Museum with Hawaiian artifacts and early life in the islands, the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, the easiest access to snorkeling and some of the best of all the islands at Hanauama Bay.
https://hanaumabaystatepark.com/ , China Town, the Byodod Temple http://www.byodo-in.com/ and the surfing mecca of the world at the famous North Shore (Pipeline, Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay).

There is just too much of Hawaii to miss by not spending some some time in Oahu IMHO.
nanabee is offline  
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Sep 27th, 2017, 11:26 AM
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I like the idea of 3-4 days on Oahu to do the historical and cultural things, then 10 days on Kauai for the laid back, less developed experience you seek similar to St John.
suze is online now  
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Sep 27th, 2017, 12:29 PM
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suze, you finally made it to Kauai!!!
Inakauaidavidababy is online now  
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Sep 27th, 2017, 12:38 PM
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Interesting that with the OP's interest in a volcano and snorkeling no one is adding the Big Island.
Songdoc is offline  
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Sep 27th, 2017, 12:51 PM
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Oh very funny. No I have never been to Kauai. Doesn't mean I don't know how beautiful it is. And that it is more peaceful than the touristy parts of Maui or Oahu.

And Songdoc is right, if the "maybe volcano" is a for sure see a volcano, that speaks to the Big Island (another island I have not been on but yes I do know there is a volcano there).
suze is online now  
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