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Looking for Hawaii excursions to do with parents - 6/2019

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Dec 1st, 2018, 09:45 PM
  #1
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Looking for Hawaii excursions to do with parents - 6/2019

My husband and I are sailing The Pride of America with my parents (78 & 84) to see the Hawaiian islands this June. I am looking for suggestions for things we can do. They are able to walk unassisted but have slowed down quite a bit, so hiking is out. They are also not ones to sit on the beach. My parents have already been to Honolulu and have seen Pearl Harbor, but they love things like that. We'll be in Honolulu over 24 hours before we sail, and then to Maui, Hilo, Kona, & Kauai. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed trying to plan out our trip. Any suggestions or tips would be appreciated. I told a friend about my dilemma and she pointed me to Fodors.com. This is my 1st post.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 09:50 AM
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If they like historical tours, we really liked the docent tour of the Iolani Palace in Honolulu.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 09:56 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Here's a few ideas for the Oahu stop.

I love the Iolani Palace, and I did just the audio/headset self-tour (the docent times didn't work for me) and it was a highlight of many Honolulu trips. I highly recommend that as one option to consider. Nearby there is also the Foster Botanical Garden and Kuan Yin temple there. Those all pair up nicely (i walked between the two but you could easily take a taxi instead).
The Doris Duke Shangri La estate tour is another unique and interesting thing, but you'd need to see if the schedule works with the cruiseship times, they limit the tours and take only small groups in vans out to the property leaving from the Art Museum downtown.

https://www.iolanipalace.org/
https://www.honolulu.gov/parks/hbg/h...al-garden.html
Doris Duke's Shangri La | Center for Islamic Arts and Cultures


Bishop Museum is another thought, but I have not been myself to tell you about it.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 10:17 AM
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On Maui... again depending your time allowed on the island and if you are able (or want to) rent a car.

Going up Haleakala was the most amazing thing I did on Maui. You can do it without too much walking if you don't do any of the hiking trails, rather just drive up to various places you can park at the scenic outlooks. https://www.nps.gov/hale/index.htm

The town of Lahaina is interesting. Besides the newer tourist stuff like galleries, shops, restaurants, it was at one time the capitol of the islands and has a rich history. There are self- or guided- walking tours of the town you can take. There is also Old Lahaina Luau and Feast of Lele but I don't think those would fit the cruise schedule, as they are offered in the evenings. https://lahainatown.com/
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 11:30 AM
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On Kauai I would rent a car and drive up to the North Shore with maybe a short stop at Kileaua Lighthouse (closed Sundays and Mondays), visit Hanalei and have lunch, maybe stop at Ke'e Beach first if you can find parking. There are some real cute shops in Hanalei, as well as many places to eat (I like Hanalei Gourmet or the Dolphin).
Or you could drive up to Waimea Canyon, it is a very short walk to the lookout points. Head north first to Koke'e State Park and visit the Kalalau Lookout or Pua O Kila Lookout, then visit the Canyon on your way back down.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 12:32 PM
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Thanks so much, Michelle! I've added that to my list.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 02:37 PM
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Also on Maui, if you rent a car and go up to Haleakala, combine it with a ride over to the winery at the Ulupalakua Ranch.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 05:05 PM
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If viewing gorgeous scenery is an attraction, I would rent a car in Kauai, drive to the airport area in Lihue, and go on a helicopter ride around the island, seeing the Na'pali coast.

Here is just one example: https://www.bluehawaiian.com/
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Dec 3rd, 2018, 07:34 AM
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Big Island -Many folks seem to hit the shores and wander around...it's always interesting when the boat arrives and we are in Kailua or Hilo. A few ideas we would recommend to anyone off the top of my head...


I have never been on a cruise, but I assume you are responsible for your own transportation. So, thinking you'll use Uber or Taxi to get around:
On Kona side
A coffee farm tour or Kona Historical Society
Hulihe‘e Palace is walking distance from the dock
Avoid Kailua-Kona "farmers" market in parking lot
We enjoy a drinks and pupus at Don the Beachcomber or Huggo's on the Rocks


Hilo side:
Lyman Museum & Mission House
Tsunami Museum
Shopping in Hilo town

If you have time and transportation Akaka Falls, Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden (this is a walking event, but I think they provide golf cart shuttles)

There's a lot to do in Hilo town area. This is a tour you can take that hits zoo, mac nut facility (not too impressive, but, worth a short visit) and Akaka

falls...https://www.rhshorex.com/hawaii/akak...pical-gardens/

Hilo Farmer's market is good and usually entertaining and interesting.
Hilo shopping is decent, all walking distance.
For just a pretty place to see, visit the Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens

Last edited by TJM_70; Dec 3rd, 2018 at 07:36 AM.
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Dec 3rd, 2018, 02:01 PM
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Jamie99 and others: FYI, the road north of Hanalei remains closed. It was destroyed in April's floods. So Ke'e beach, Lumahai, Tunnels, and Limahuli gardens are inaccessible. The latest estimates are that it could take another year before those roads open.

I'd second the recommendation for Waimea Canyon and Koke'e Park on Kauai. That is offered among the ship's excursions, but you could drive yourself if you prefer. It would be much less expensive and you could go at your own pace. Waimea Canyon is almost on par with the Grand Canyon -- and the views of the Kalalau Lookout from Koke'e are spectacular. Driving to Hanalei would also be fantastic, mostly to see the scenery along the way, since they don't want to sit on the beach.

Be sure to wave when you pass Princeville.;-) We always enjoy watching the ship head to the Napali coast -- and back again.
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Dec 3rd, 2018, 05:59 PM
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Thank you to everyone who has given suggestions. This is a great help!

I wish I knew how to send everyone their own thank you but I have not been able to figure this out yet. When I do a quick reply it does not send to the individual but shows as an extra post. I tried to delete my 1st thank you because I don't want to clutter (and noticed others do not do this). I usually am fairly tech savvy, but I can't figure it out... even after reading the FAQs.
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Dec 4th, 2018, 10:56 AM
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The only way to send to an individual poster is by using the PM (private email system) here.

That's how the threads work here on Fodor's... you are replying to everyone or for anyone to read. It's fine to say THANKYOU!
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Dec 4th, 2018, 12:46 PM
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Hi Songdoc,
Yes, I know the road is still closed past Hanalei other than to residents, but was hoping maybe some of it might reopen by next June.
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Dec 4th, 2018, 01:41 PM
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Hi Jamie99 --

Sadly, it's not looking like the road will be open by June. I'd been hearing "by the end of 2018 ..." but now I'm hearing it could be the end of 2019!

There are so many places in need of repair in addition to the road north of Hanalei. (i.e., the parking lot and Weke Rd. that leads to the Hanalei Pier, the trail to the dam in Kilauea, etc ...) It's a massive job and there are a limited number of workers and machines available. It's a nightmare for those in that area who depend on renting their properties for income, as well as other businesses. Few people on the mainland realize the extent of the devastation.

FYI, the beach around the Hanalei Pier is now back to normal. Hundreds of bags of sand were brought in. But the only way to access the pier is by parking at the pavilion and walking along the beach.

Luckily, there are lots of additional beautiful places to see on Kauai.
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Dec 4th, 2018, 08:11 PM
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This is all good to know. Thanks so much! This is a wonderful place to start. All four of us appreciate the recommendations.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 07:31 AM
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If you don't book ship's tours, you'll need to reserve a rental car at each port for DIY touring, or book other land tours on your own. You won't want to hang around the commercial areas where the ship docks.

The famous "Dummies" series has a quick read that outlines each of the islands. They are all 'scenic', with beaches, resorts, some history, but each also has one or two things that are unique or 'best of' some natural or man-made sight/activity.

I'd do 'historic' and 'urban' in your very short time on Oahu. Will you overnight on iconic Waikiki?

My picks for air tours are Kauai or Big Island of Hawaii, although Maui has a nice one that includes Molokai. Much of Kauai is *vertical*, only visible by air or sea. Big Island is too massive to cover very much of it your short time there. You don't want to spend too many hours in a car. All the islands have some traffic, and speed limits are low (45 MPH on *highways* in most cases). Get good driving maps of each island, and factor in more time to any time estimates.

You might develop a list of what you'd like to do on each island, then come back here for feedback.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 06:56 PM
  #17
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We arrive around noon the day before we board. Our pre-stay is at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (Waikiki).

Thanks so much for all the suggestions!
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Dec 7th, 2018, 08:35 AM
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My DH and I are also Seniors. You could escape the frenetic HHV by going 'next door' (and back in time) to enjoy the public areas of the Royal Hawaiian.

Day One in Hawaii is largely adjusting to the time change. I want some food in hand when we wake before dawn -- and before restaurants or room service are up and running. Do you want to see the new exhibits at Pearl? Early morning could be a calm time of day to visit Punch Bowl and drive up the Pali.
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Dec 8th, 2018, 09:22 AM
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Excellent ideas. I see the Punchbowl is less than a 20-minute drive from our hotel. I think revisiting Pearl Harbor is a good idea. My husband and I went there in 2012... our 1st and only visit to Hawaii. Thanks!
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Dec 9th, 2018, 06:14 AM
  #20
mms
 
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Next door to your hotel is the Hale Koa which is a military hotel. They do have a nice bar (Barefoot Bar) right by the beach that is open to the public though and is a great place to sit and watch the sunset.
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