Which Hawaii volcano should we visit?

Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:31 AM
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Which Hawaii volcano should we visit?

We're planning a trip to Hawaii, and my husband wants to get up close and personal with a volcano. We were planning on the Haleakala tour, but would Volcanoes National Park on BI be a better volcano to visit? For starters, it's active Has anyone been on the bike trails there?

Also, we're between BI, Oahu, Maui and Kauai. We can only pick two or three. I would normally strike BI, except for the promise of lava. Any thoughts? We love the beach, wandering around, eating local food, and unreal scenery. I don't think that's very helpful, though, when you're talking about Hawaii.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:41 AM
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Volcano National Park is DEFINITELY the one you want to see. As you said, it is the active one, while Haleakala is extinct. No comparison in my book.

Big Island is very amazing. The island's diversity is fascinating, and there is SO much to do there! If you like "wandering around" and "unreal scenery" then you must go!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 09:42 AM
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i would make maui one of my choices!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 10:35 AM
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Thanks for the votes! Would I be doing myself a huge disservice to leave out Kauai? I feel like we'd get beaches in Maui, volcanoes in Hawaii, and a fun, laid-back city feel in Oahu. The greenery in Kauai sounds gorgeous, but the other three have plenty of lush vegetation, right? Or am I totally off?

Any favorite places/areas on the islands? Any lodging suggestions? Budget isn't a big issue, but we'd probably be happiest at a low-key hotel or a cute beach cottage. Any suggestions?
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 11:33 AM
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Just my opinion, but if you're going to do three islands, leave out Maui. There are nice beaches on Kauai and Oahu, too.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:57 PM
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Merry -- any specific rasons why you'd pick the other three over Maui? Just interested to hear the pros/cons of the islands from people who've been there!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Compared to Kauai, the other 3 don't have as much lush vegetation. The Big Island especially does not as it's the youngest. I love Kauai for its lush, jungle-like feel-I've hiked extensively on the other 3 islands and none have that same feel and look as Kauai.
Rather than agonizing over what island to leave out, you just have to think that you'll come back and see that one later. They are all great for different reasons, and favorites are totally subjective. Don't try to fit too much in-unless you have two weeks, 3 islands is a lot.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:09 PM
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Again, just my opinion, but Maui sort of offers a best of Hawaii, which is great if you only want to go to one island. However, if you're willing to do more than one, almost anything Maui offers another island has the same thing, only better. In other words, I can think of several things about each island that make it unique in the state except Maui. Does that make sense?
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 01:21 PM
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That makes total sense, Marry -- so basically you're saying Maui is like a sampler platter, if you don't have time to explore the other islands for their unique strengths. Right?

Christy -- thanks for the info on Kauai. I know this is all totally subjective, and I know I'll probably wind up back in Hawaii again, but I like hearing everyone's opinions! Here's another question: Are there areas on the other islands that are kind of...quintessential? Like is there an area of Oahu (or Kauai, or BI, or Maui) that sort of embodies the whole island for you?
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 04:20 PM
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You already know that Big Island is the only one with an active volcano.

However, you probably are not going to see any live lava unless you take a helicopter tour. Even a night hike will only get you to within about 1/2 mile. That's close enough to see the glow.

Hawaii Volcanoes National park is really nice.

Of the four main islands. I like Oahu, then Maui, then Big Island, then Kauai.

Oahu has the most famous crater in the world, Diamond Head. Punchbowl (National Cemetery of the Pacific) is in another crater.

Haleakala on Maui is really nice.

Lots of info:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34696831

Also:

www.mauihawaii.org

www.visitmaui.com

www.bigisland.org

www.kauaidiscovery.com

www.kauai-hawaii.com
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Old Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:06 PM
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Volcano National Park is amazing.

We were able to walk on brand new earth that crunched like glass beneath our feet.

We drove down Chain of Craters Road, where you can see where they had to rebuild the road every time the lava crossed over it. The scenery is gorgeous, overlooking the Pacific.

And.. we saw red hot lava flowing! Sure, we were sort of far away, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we will treasure always!

The park has lots of rain-forest type hikes. You can't really go wrong.

We stayed at the Orchid in Kahala and LOVED it!

Have fun planning!
Dina
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