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March trip

Worthington, MA...
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March trip

Hi everyone-

Wow there is a lot to sift through on this site...its a bit overwhelming. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

My husband and I are planning on taking our honeymoon to Hawaii in march, and have about 12 days there. We were thinking about spending some time on the Big Island, and some time in Kauai while we are there.

We want to go to the Big Island to see the volcano and play some golf mostly...but mix in some time in the water and adventurous activities as well. With that said, we have a few questions...

1. Where should we fly into and where should we stay? We can afford $300-400 a night at the most, and ideally would have local access to some good golf courses but not be a ridiculous drive to the volcano...hotel recommendations would be great, but if not, even the area in which we should stay would be great that would be within a reasonable drive.

2. In march, is there a better side of the island to stay on? Any must do's or must see's in your opinions?

Thanks so much!

Liz

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: March trip

Well, if you want to see both sides of the BI, you really should split your stay. Due to the size of the island it really needs to be seen as almost two separate islands requiring two bases. If you're coming from or going to another island, it's fairly easy to fly into one side and out the other (Kona and Hilo airports). Another option, popular with those booking a west side condo in particular, is to double book a night in Volcano or Hilo. This allows you to travel light to the east side and keep a continuous rate and presence at your west side lodging.

For sun, golf and ocean sports, you'll want to stay primarily on the west side, probably the Kohala Coast as the only two golf courses in Kailua Kona are closed until at least April, plus the weather is consistently better on the Kohala Coast and it has the primary ocean entry and beaches. Your budget is fine to get you either a hotel (I like the Mauna Lani, which has two excellent golf courses) or a very nice condo. Read through the Top Questions on lodging options as well as the Mauna Lani TQ.

With about a week, and in March, which can be very wet on the east side, and chilly in Volcano, I would only stay one night east. With 12 days total, I would allocate a minimum of 7-8 for the BI and even that will be pushing it. Coming from MA, I'd probably fly into Kona, spend six nights there, then drive to Hilo and spend a night there, and then fly to Kauai for the remaining four nights. Kauai is much, much smaller and in March weather there can be pretty dicey, particularly on the most beautiful north shore, but it's a transition month so sometimes you can get lucky too.

Nanaimo, Canada
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2. Re: March trip

Must do for me in March is to see the whales!

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: March trip

12 nights....I'd stay put on BI. Even if you only spend 1 or 2 nights down by the volcano you still are spending a good part of one day driving somewhere. Fly into Hilo...go spend a night or two near the volcano...drive to the Kohala Coast, spend the remaining nights...fly out of Kona. If you must travel to another island ... another 1/2 day traveling as going from BI to Kauai you fly through HNL.

Your budget of $300 -$400 a night is great. Did you mean just for lodging or for lodging, food and car? You can find nice 2 bd room condo's in the Mauna Lani area for under $200 a night. I realize you don't need 2 bd but that's the minimum for a condo.

Edited: 4:34 pm, November 19, 2013
Big Island, Hawaii
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4. Re: March trip

Yes, whale watching will be good on the Big Island, the earlier in March the better. Our humpback whale sanctuary is on the Kohala Coast, whale watching is usually best there from shore or from boat, ocean conditions permitting, as well as from shore along the North Kona coast at Hualalai. In fact, I've already seen whales at Hualalai this year just a few days ago. They come in close to shore there because there's a sudden drop off not far from the shoreline.

The other good spot is starting at the Halii Kai condo complex in Waikoloa Beach all along to the Point complex at the adjoining Mauna Lani resort, a couple of miles away. The cliffside oceanfront condos and shoreline trail and beaches in between there offer panoramic ocean views of the primary whale activity on the island. If you're considering a condo, the Halii Kai and the Point are two excellent cliffside oceanfront choices and will both be in your budget. Halii Kai is in Waikoloa Beach which has two golf courses and the Point is in the Mauna Lani, which I mentioned below. Halii Kai is much newer, the Point is several decades old but has several updated units (unit choice is very important here) and is easy walking access to the two best snorkeling beaches on the island. I prefer the golf courses at the Mauna Lani as they're less crowded and prettier, with less condos right up against them, but the Waikoloa courses are also fun to play. You can play any of them regardless of where you're staying, but sometimes condo and hotel packages will include free or reduced golf rates at their specific resort courses.

Worthington, MA...
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5. Re: March trip

Thanks everyone! This is helpful! To answer questions and clarify for those of you who are ok with continuing to give me your thoughts... :)

1. I don't think we need a condo. Its just the two of us, and we don't plan on spending a ton of time in it other than sleeping. However, it would be nice to be in a pretty nice place with access to a pool and hot tub after a long day exploring.

2. We are pretty set on spending some time on Kauai if we anticipate the weather being ok...is there a side of that island that is better in March than the other in terms of weather?

3. The gist I'm getting is to spend our time on the Big Island on the west side of the island with a day or two at the volcano. If the weather is iffy on the east side usually, we are ok with not heading there on this trip. It seems the Kohala coast is the top spot for us correct?

Thanks all for your help!

Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: March trip

#1. Even if you don't need the kitchen, the condo is still nicer. It just gives you more room. And the kitchen is handy for snacks, and the odd breakfast. Just because the kitchen is there, it doesn't mean you have to cook! There are so many wonderful condos to choose from as well. Often, they can be cheaper than a hotel room. Don't discount them completely! More often than not, you don't pay for parking or a resort fee either.

#2. Follow the advice of your post from October on the Kauai forum. Stay south!!

#3. You can spend all your time on the Kohala coast, easily. We spent 11 nights on the BI and just scratched the surface, and that was with two nights in Volcano. You can not see everything, so just pick and choose. If you don't make it to VNP, you have a reason to start planning the next trip. Also, you can make it a day trip. Not ideal, but many many people can only give the VNP a day. It depends on your interests. With a day trip, you won't be able to do any extensive hiking, or get to the end of Chain of Craters Road, but you can still see a lot. When you enter the park, there is the visitor's center. There are signs up there. "What to see if you have two hours". "What to see if you have three hours". It is extremely helpful to the tourists with limited time, to hit all the highlights.

And keep asking questions!

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: March trip

I agree with all of J0an's points. A condo is still worth considering as she says. In your price point, for instance, you'll be able to get an ocean view or perhaps even oceanfront condo whereas you may only to get a partial ocean view at a hotel, and a condo as noted will give you a lot more space and a quieter pool scene in most cases. But I'd look and see what your budget will get you in both cases. Note that most hotels not only charge for parking but also wifi whereas that is complimentary at most condos, so factor in all your costs.

Edited: 12:41 pm, November 20, 2013
8. Re: March trip

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