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Help planning a Hawaii trip

Detroit
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Help planning a Hawaii trip

Hi, My husband and I along with our two kids will be visiting Hawaii in Feb 2008. We are planning to visit 4 islands in twelve days. Is this feasible? Also we are planning to sightsee the big island for 4 days. Is this enough? These are the following areas we plan to cover in 4 days.

1. Akaka Falls S.P.

2. Hawaii Volcano N.P.

3. Ka Lae

4. Kealakekua Bay

5. Kona coffee plantation

6. Liliukalani Gardens

7.Mauna Kea

8. Punaluu Black sand Beach

9. Puukohola Heiau national Historic site

10. Puuhonua O national historic Park

11. Samuel Spencer beach park

12. Waipio valley

13. Hilo - Pacific Tsunami museum

Are these too many places to cover in 4 days? Have I missed any interesting place? How do we plan this tour ? We like to hike short distance, but we can't do any water activities. Should we stay in one place all 4 nights or do we stay in different places each night? Also, is Feb a good time to visit or is it going to be a rainy season? Thank you in advance for all the help .

VM

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Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Help planning a Hawaii trip

4 islands, 5 flights minimum, 12 days? Way too much packing, unpacking, schleping to the airport, hanging around said airport, getting baggage, driving to hotel. It's a mimmum half a day to move islands.

With 12 days, I'd do two islands, any two, but keep in mind the BI is, well, *big*, and you'll need more time there. Personally, I'd do 6-7 days on the BI and then balance on either of the other islands. With kids, my pick would be Maui.

Saint Cloud...
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for Oahu
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2. Re: Help planning a Hawaii trip

12 nights - 2 or three islands.

Oahu has more to see & do than any other island.

I would spend 6 nights on Oahu & 6 on Big Island.

Lots of info including sites with free brochures:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29222-i37-k647862…

Detroit
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3. Re: Help planning a Hawaii trip

Thank you Lexigirl and dusty. What do you feel about Kauai ? Is there much to see there.

New Jersey
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4. Re: Help planning a Hawaii trip

We just got back from twelve days -- did three islands - Oahu, BI & Maui.

First day was almost all traveling and we were wiped the second day, so we hung out on Waikiki (did hike Diamondhead).Third day, did Pearl Harbor & North Shore - great day - loved Oahu.

Fourth day, flew to BI (Hilo), check into Hotel and did VNP. Fifth day, drove north (sightseeing) and eventually checked into hotel on Kona side - two nights in Kona included snorkeling tour in Captain Cook Bay (highly recommend).

End of trip - five nights in Maui - lots of beach time intermixed with some sightseeing including zipline.

You do have to account for down time and adjustment to time zone change. I wouldn't do more than three islands and we only hit a few things that we really wanted to see on Oahu and the BI. And we did not have any major time delays on our inter-island flights (which we found much easier to deal with than the mainland flights).

Have fun!

Omaha, NE
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5. Re: Help planning a Hawaii trip

As others have mentioned, you may be trying to cram too many islands into your trip. Changing islands will use up a 1/2 day of your vacation each when you consider airport security, baggage, rental cars, etc. By my math, you'll spend about 10% of your vacation time at airports; I don't think that's a good use of your vacation. You may want to eliminate one or more islands from your trip. (With 12 days, I'd do 2 islands maximum.)

It looks like you are interested in a circle trip around the Big Island. Since it takes about 7 hours just to drive around the island, you'll want to split the sightseeing up into multiple days (thus staying at multiple places).

If you decide to spend some vacation time on the Big Island. here's a few thoughts:

Volcanoes National Park : at least 1 full day

Hilo: at least 1 day - gets you Liliukalani Gardens, Akaka Falls, Tsunami Museum

Kailua-Kona: at least 1 day - gets you Kealakekua Bay, Kona Coffee Plantation, Puuhonua O national historic Park

a 1 day drive from one side to another and another day drive back should get you a chance to see all the other sites you listed, but that's 5 fairly busy days.

oregon
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6. Re: Help planning a Hawaii trip

We went to the BI and then Oahu. I suggest the opposite, Oahu and then the BI. Oahu is crowded with people and traffic. I wish we had the chance to relax before we had to come home.

Naalehu, Hawaii
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7. Re: Help planning a Hawaii trip

Aloha Aksm,

You may wish to choose a longer time on Hawai`i Island or selecting just one area to see. So many people leave our island wishing they had slowed it down. You list three spots in the my home district of Ka`u, but if it's nothing more than a drive-by, you may find very little magic in your journey. When we travel, its all about the magic.

I just spent a few days in Honoka`a and had a great time, saw lots of places I hadn't been in a long time and was never more than 10 or so miles from town. Loved it. Waipio Wayside was our BNB and we ate at Il Mondo both nights. Just walk over to T Kanishiro Store and by your favorite wine. Had a great time. Went up to Kolapa and that was amazingly great. Could have spent hours there just checking out the many endemic plants.

Just some thoughts on a different style.

northern california
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8. Re: Help planning a Hawaii trip

Though very few people will actually consider it, I too want to put in a word for spending time in Honoka'a. Even if you don't stay here, don't just drive through. Blane's would be a great stop for lunch or a snack and if you are staying in a condo, bring a cooler and stop by JJ's meats for some steaks, teri-beef or burger meat to cook up back at the condo.

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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9. Re: Help planning a Hawaii trip

you've already been told ...

what you list above for this island is at least eight days of activity at full tilt, which is not the most fun.

Considering that you have children, although I don't know their style, I would say this is not a kind schedule for kids. It's a lot of looking at stuff they may find boring and a whole lot of riding in the back seat of a car on roads that induce car sickness. Also, you cannot take the children above the Visitor's Center at Mauna Kea, period, and the road is bad to get there and will eat a whole day -- I would skip that.

A much nicer plan for children would include half days at some nice beaches like Anaeho'omalu and Hapuna, for example. Spencer is a tiny beach and not much to do. They should enjoy Akaka Falls and the Volcano, but be prepared to see these sights with umbrellas ... still beautiful in light rain, but in very heavy rain you may need to cancel plans.

You asked about February. Yes, it is the rainy season, very much so. While it doesn't rain much on the west side, in February the northwest facing beaches may be very rough. Your children may even want to be at a hotel with a pool in order to get time in the water, although A-bay is usually OK.

I guess my word of warning is that it's a mistake to try and plan a really tight itinerary in February due to the weather and swells that may come in. It is a great time to come here and escape mainland winter, but a more practical approach is to pick a home base and make a plan for the day based on weather and water conditions. You cannot say -- Monday is the beach day. The beach might be closed on Monday due to high surf, so instead you stay flexible. The same with visiting Hilo side. Look for a day when it at least promises to rain LESS than the rest of the week.

This is the time of year that puts the rain in rain forest; however, sprinkled in there you will find some utterly lovely days, but you will not know in advance which days will be fine, unless you are psychic.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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10. Re: Help planning a Hawaii trip

PS. I don't intend to sound mean and discouraging ... what I want is for you to have a stellar vacation, and I believe sometimes the kindest thing is to just say --no, this is not a good or feasible plan, you have got to start over and be much less ambitious, and then it will be possible to give more constructive feedback.

I understand the desire to see everything, but the Hawaiian islands present a lot of ground to cover and our roads are mostly two lane and slow!