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-   -   Oahu disappointing to do last? (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/oahu-disappointing-to-do-last-335632/)

luv2travel5 Jul 10th, 2003 08:53 AM

Oahu disappointing to do last?
 
Hello, I am planning a trip to Hawaii for September. I would like to visit 3 islands in 8 days - kind of get an overview to see where I'd like to return to one day. I'm planning 2.5 days on Oahu, 3 on Maui and 3 on Big Island. Our flight is into Oahu, but I'm thinking of then flying to Big Island, doing the 3 days there, then 3 days on Maui and then ending in Oahu. Oahu really needs to be done either first or last to not incur an extra plane flight.

Since we arrive on Labor Day weekend, my thought was that Oahu may be super crowded and it might be better to start on a less crowded island for that particular weekend? But I wonder if we'll love BI and Maui and feel kind of disappointed wrapping up the trip on Oahu? Am I better to end on Maui and just suck up the crowds on Oahu over Labor Day?

Thanks for any advice...

Rainy Jul 10th, 2003 09:00 AM

Personally I like Oahu last - I can buy all my cheap souveniers I didn't get on the outer islands and not have to lug them to all the other islands.

applejaxs Jul 10th, 2003 09:42 AM

I would plan Oahu last(for your stated reasons). I would prefer to visit Oahu first and get the feel of the island life, then sink into the luxurious smaller islands for total relaxation((r)). We have gone a couple times and as long as you rent a car, you can always drive to a less populated area if you want more solitude.

EricoSmith Jul 10th, 2003 10:02 AM

I disagree. Waikiki is so much hustle and bustle, it certainly isn't a relaxing place. I really enjoyed getting through the hectic pace on Oahu and then relaxing on the other islands to end my vacation.

uuhhhh Jul 10th, 2003 10:29 AM

since you've never been, you won't know the difference between "super crowded" and just plain crowded anyway. so start in waikiki. it's a good place to transition into the weather and an island frame of mind.

imo, 3 islands is too much in 8 days. okay, you want an overview, but you want to relax too don't ya? with that schedule, you'd spend almost a day in transit/airports/flight.

JohnD Jul 10th, 2003 11:16 AM

I vote for flying to HNL connecting to Big Island for 3 days, then on to Maui for 4 days, and on last morning take the earliest flight to HNL, do Pearl Harbor/Arizona and/or drive around the island flying out that evening back to the mainland. :S-

ltt Jul 10th, 2003 12:52 PM

if possible, i'd do it last but really it doesn't matter. just know that you will be ending your trip at the busiest island on your trip. however, it's still fun - lots of restaurants, etc. the above point about the souveners is good to. i would also only do two islands in 8 days. not sure if you are aware but i just read an article the inter-island flights have gone up in cost significantly.

hampton32 Jul 10th, 2003 02:26 PM

Why do so much jumping around? 3 islands in 8 days is not relaxing. Why not keep it to one or two? Our personal favorite is the Big Island.

ronjrank Jul 10th, 2003 06:35 PM

Hi,
I my wife and I just returned from Hawaii on our honeymoon. We went to Maui first for 3 nights , then the Big Island for 3 nights and finally oahu for 1 night. After the Big Island any of the Islands would have been a let down. Plus we stayed at the Mauna Lani Bay Resort on the Big Island. My wife and I went to Kauai two years ago and we both liked the Big Island the best hands down. As for Oahu the best must experience was the Arizona Memorial. If I were you start with Oahu and end with the Big Island. We also stayed at the Marriott Resort at Ihilani while on Oahu whihc was nice and stayed at the Four Seasons Wailea in Maui. IMO Mauna Lani was the best of the three. I hope this helps.

tinatoadster Jul 12th, 2003 05:36 PM

Just got back and did Oahu last. I am so glad. I was so terribily dissapointed. It was a very abrupt ending to our great vacation. It was so crowded and hectic. Only went to see Pearl Harbor, etc. That was worth it.

My vote, do it last.

Sarah Jul 13th, 2003 05:32 AM

My mother did 4 islands in 12 days and says what she remembers most are the plane rides.

I guess you know what you are getting yourself into moving around that much. About Oahu last I would suggest it. If you are from a city it won't matter to you. If you hate cities than it will matter to you.

I would check the events calendar and see what is going on. September there are usually festivals and you can see some great local music.

karentb Jul 13th, 2003 08:14 AM

I did not love Oahu, my husband and I left Oahu two days early to go to Maui. I would do it first and get it over with. It's WAY to crowded

lahainaluna Jul 14th, 2003 07:55 PM

Oops, hit post too early.

Try to fly inter-island early in the morning or you will waste an entire day when you change islands.

Kathi Jul 15th, 2003 07:22 AM

I always do Oahu last - for one thing, my flights back to the mainland are out of HNL, so I like to be there instead of dealing with interisland flights and then the long flight back to NYC (total waste of last day).

I just returned from a similar trip 2 weeks ago, this was our itinerary (I spent the time figuring out the best flights - options, i.e. times/direct interisland flights, etc.)

6/28 arrived HNL at 1pm; flew 2:15pm Aloha Air flight from HNL to JHM (West Maui airport).

* 3 nights Maui (Sheraton Kaanapoli)

7/1 departed OGG (Maui-Kahului airport)on Aloha Air at 2pm direct to KOA (Big Island)

* 3 nights BI (Waikoloa Beach Marriott)

7/4 depart KOA at 8:55am direct to HNL

* 1 night (2 full days)on Oahu (Royal Hawaiian)

7/5 - 9pm HNL flight home

Kathi

JohnD Jul 15th, 2003 08:03 AM

Reply to Kathi,
How obtrusive was the condo construction during your stay at Waikoloa Beach Marriott, and did you see the lava flowing at VNP?
:?

inthechips Jul 15th, 2003 08:33 AM

First of all, will never do Oahu again if we can help it, but recommend, if you must, doing it first. We spent 7 days on Kauai and then 2 on Oahu, mostly to see Pearl Harbor and the waves up at the north shore. We could not stand Waikiki and couldn't wait to get out of there. I guess that's a double-edged sword though - makes it easier to leave paradise.

There are some folks that spend their entire vacation at Waikiki though, so it is again a personal preference choice. We felt like we might as well stay in L.A. and go out to Santa Monica beach for a lot cheaper.

Rusty Jul 15th, 2003 08:57 AM

This forum makes it appear as if nobody ever goes to Oahu. Just a reminder that Oahu gets as many visitors per year as all the other Hawaiian Islands combined.
And if you don't like Waikiki, you don't have to leave Oahu to get away from it.

Kathi Jul 15th, 2003 08:58 AM

Answers for JohnD -

We actually had a room facing the construction, unfortunately! I had used Marriott points for 3 free nights, so didn't have much choice. When we got there, she said we were upgraded to an "Orchid View" room - I wanted to ask where the Orchids were -- as it was facing the construction site!! It was slightly annoying, but not that bad. It looks like they are just in the beginning phases of pouring foundations, etc. so the noise level is not too loud(of course I live in NYC and am used to lots of noise). We spent 2 of the days on the beach and 1 at VNP, so we weren't in our room much while the actually construction was going on. If you weren't in a construction-facing room, then you probably wouldn't notice much at all.

Yes, we saw the lava flows at VNP. We got there in the afternoon and asked the ranger at the main visitor's center. He said that there wasn't much going on and that it was a 4 hour hike to see anything of lava... we drove around the rim; did a few short 20 minute hikes, and then went down Chain of Craters Road. Well, we asked the rangers down there and were told a different story - that the lava was flowing and viewing was good. The 4 hours for hiking was also an over-exageration. We got there at 6:30pm and walked out while the sun was going down. 2.5 miles of walking, mostly over rough lava flows. Saw the lava at sunset. There were 2 active areas that we could stand right by and see the lava oozing like bright orange slime. Then walked back in the dark (had picked up $2 flashlights at K-mart on our drive to VNP). Total hiking time was 2 hours. We were really glad that we did it (definitely worth it - not like the story the 1st ranger told us).

Kathi

JohnD Jul 15th, 2003 09:05 AM

Reply to Kathi, thanks for your thorough update, we were there in March for a similar stay, wish I was still there now. :S-

kaudrey Jul 15th, 2003 09:08 AM

I agree with the posters who don't like Oahu. Go for 1 day (last day) to see Pearl Harbor. We flew to Oahu from Maui in the morning, rented a car for the day, went to PH, drove around the island to see the beaches (crowded, lots of HUGE hotels, yuck), then returned the car and flew home that night.

That's all you need.

Karen


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