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24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

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Connecticut
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24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

Just realized I posted this in the wrong forum and cannot figure out how to move it - wanted to place in Kauai forum not Lihue - my apologies! We are a family of five with three boys ages 10, 10 and 12 - all adventure seekers, and we will be visiting Kauai and Big Island for a little over three weeks in July. We took the kids to Maui and Oahu for nearly three weeks last year and now returning for the other two amazing islands which my wife and I visited alone many years ago. Based on your experiences, how many days do you feel will be adequate to fully explore Kauai? And do think, given that time of the year, it will be ok to stay in the North area and use that as our launching pad to explore? Are there any preferred sites to book a house/villa/condo for our stay? I have checked out VRBO and wondering if there are other recommendations... We might mix up our stay with several nights at the Westin villa property or Sheraton in Princeville and wondering if those places are good for kids? Thanks for your reply. I used Trip Advisor for our previous two trips and all the responses helped us tremendously!

Edited: 10:47 am, October 15, 2012
California
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1. Re: 24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

There are lots of sites to check out rentals:

http://www.parrishkauai.com/

http://www.summitpacificinc.com/

To name a few...

Staying on the North Shore of Kauai sounds perfect to me but probably what I would do with those 2 weeks is stay on the South side at maybe the Hyatt for a few days. The trouble with having 3 kids (and I speak from experience) is you need to rent two rooms and that gets $$$$. The kids would love the pool and activities at this hotel much more than The Sheraton in my opinion. My kids used to like to stay at The Hyatt or Marriott after our stays on the North Shore in a condo. At The Marriott they liked the over the top pool, being next to Dukes, having the surf lessons right at Kalapaki Bay etc. We just never left, but you could do west side activities from this location.

BTW There is no Sheraton in Princeville. There is a Westin Timeshare and a St Regis Hotel which is very, very expensive.

As far as amount of time on both islands, I think you really need 10-12 days on The BI. I would stay in a few locations too. We were there 9 days and drove WAY too much. I wished we had stayed by the volcanos vs driving there. So if you did 12 and 12 that sounds perfect. Then split those 12 on Kauai and stay 8-9 days North and 3 or 4 at The Hyatt or Marriott. That is kind of the best of both worlds and like having an extra vacation. Sounds like a nice trip!

Connecticut
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2. Re: 24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

Thanks for your reply. The Sheraton is in Koloa which I believe is near Princeville? We can use reward points to stay at either the Westin or Sheraton which is why I mentioned it. The points needed for the St. Regis are way too many so we will not be staying there. When you rented a condo which company did you use? When staying on the Big Island, I was thinking of either the Sheraton or renting a condo or villa in or near Kona. When I went with my wife we travelled around the island and stayed at several places which made the driving seem less so I know what you mean. We stayed in Hilo for several days and used that as our base for exploring the volcano.

California
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3. Re: 24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

Koloa is on the South side and not in Princeville. The Sheraton is in the area called Poipu. The Westin is on the North Shore in the community of Princeville.

Now that I am a homeowner on Kauai I do not use rental agencies, but when I did I used Summit Pacific's site, VRBO or once I used a travel agent and they found me a place through a rental agency no longer in business.

As far as your questions about the BI, I am not good for that. I didn't like The BI, but you could get the condo info on their forum. We stayed in the Waikoloa area which was okay, but overall I wasn't a fan of this island.

Connecticut
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4. Re: 24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

I was way off on the Sheraton location, thanks for correcting me.... If staying in the North can we reasonably explore the entire island of Kauai with a car or are the drive times too long?

Moorpark, California
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5. Re: 24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

jebett gave you two great rental agencies in her post. I use Parrish exclusively when renting on the island (unless we decide on a few nights in a hotel).

http://www.parrishkauai.com/

We have two boys, ages 10 and 13 and we prefer Poipu though the north shore is gorgeous and has great beaches. My kids love to boogie board and no one in my family snorkels, so we stay south where we can get some wave action. Poipu has easier access to Waimea Canyon and the west side of the island than the north shore (you cannot drive all the way around). What type of activities are you interested in? Snorkeling will be much better on the north shore in July. There are a lot of hikes up there, too. But you can also spend a lot of time hiking at Waimea Canyon. Do you have a budget in mind? We always rent a condo with a kitchen and more space to spread out. If you stay in Princeville, you will have at least a 2 1/2 hour drive to Waimea Canyon (Kokee Lodge).

Edited: 12:35 pm, October 15, 2012
La Mirada...
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6. Re: 24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

Kaua‘i is easily explored with a car regardless of where you are staying. You cannot drive clear around the island, but from the far North end to the far West takes about 2 1/2 - 3 hours, maybe a bit more.

3Chihuahuas

Santa Rosa...
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7. Re: 24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

It doesn't matter if you posted it on the Lihue forum. All posts made on any of the sub-forums go up on the main Kauai forum which is what most people pull up anyway. Most don't hop from sub-forum to sub-forum. All Kauai related posts in any sub-forum are shown on one page.

What can I say besides lucky kids there! What a great experience they're going to have to be able to travel with their family that long and have that many adventures. Good for you.

On where to stay..... the island isn't that big that you can't park yourself in one spot and visit the other parts of the island easily. One caveat to this is that I'd make sure that where you settle on should be a place where you have what you want right there also (such as swimming beach for the kids) for those days where you might not want to get in the car. This would mean the east shore wouldn't work for you with the exception of the Marriott Kauai Beach Resort on Kalapaki Beach (as first mentioned by Jebett here).

Overall though I think you'd do better with a condo vs. hotel rooms.

Healy, Alaska
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8. Re: 24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

Kauai is my favorite island, but the Big Island would be my next favorite. I haven't traveled there during the summer, but I love Kauai in the summer. And while Kauai is my favorite and I would be happy there for weeks, the Big island will require much more of your time to explore, so I would split it with 2 weeks on the Big island, 1 week in Kauai staying on the northshore. It is quite easy to do a day trip to explore the Waimea canyon/Kokee state park from the northshore . . . it hasn't taken me too long to get there, but maybe I hit the times just right driving. Most condos on the northshore are in Princeville, but depending on your budget, you may find a house that suits your needs too - I do use vrbo.com and also had luck last fall here on TA's Flipkey. Do book early as summer is a busy time in Kauai. Do post (if you haven't already) on the Big Island as well. Man - what a great vacation - I am excited for you!! :)

London
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9. Re: 24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

Hi - I would recommend the Regency Hayatt at Poipu (finances allowing...) as with boys your ages they will be safe to let loose at the resort, which is huge. The upside is the pools are huge fun, with little slides and upper and lower ones and great for hiding and seeking etc etc, plus a shallow lagoon for more boisterous stuff. Swimming at night in the underlit pools is highly recommended.

The downside of the RH is that the beach, Shipwreck, which is right beside the hotel, and is absolutely gorgeous is, frustratingly, not recommended for swimmers, owing to the very tight shore break/dump (waves break at very short distance, up what I assume is a steep drop off from the sand). Just how dangerous it is I simply don't know. The hotel calls is a non-swimming beach. It was full of very agile body boarders - who looked highly competant - when we were there, and I know our teenage boys (older than yours) would happily have plunged in - we were just too scared to let them as I think on beaches like that you just have to be cautious - a lot of gung-ho tourists come to grief on beaches when they ignore local conditions (happens in my native part of the world as well, with the Atlantic, so I appreciate the dangers of strange beaches). Shipwrecks beach is not life-guarded either. But boy, it's beautiful!

Because of that (and the cost of the RH!) the Sheraton was the other one we considered (didn't go for it in the end) but on the day we visited Poipu beach I ate lunch there while my son did some (very summer gentle!) surfing (board hire from Nokumu, no problems)(is it Nokumu? I'll have to check - sorry - surf shop just off the public beach area). The Sheraton is clearly not as 'luxurious' as the RH, but its huge pull is its location, right on the beach, which is beautiful, and again, the boys can go body-boarding right in front of it.

One note of caution - if you do opt for the RH, don't bother to eat at the poolside restaurant - we found it a bad combination of poor quality fast food and very highly priced! I think it's taking advantage of a captive market. (The food at the central open air bar area was much nicer, and the ambience and views fabulous!). The beachside open air restaurant at the Sheraton was very good I thought, for its location.

Connecticut
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10. Re: 24 days in July in Kauai and Big Island with kids...

Thank you all for your replies. When we took our three boys to Hawaii last year (Maui and Oahu) they definitely loved the surfing and boarding experiences, as well as adventurous hikes and cliff jumping. Honestly, when I was 10 or 12 years old never in my life would I consider jumping the heights they did... but they loved it. I am going to assume the jumping heights were in the 20 to 30 foot range with some about 10 feet. They do enjoy snorkeling as well and love beaches. From reading your replies, it seems like it might be a good idea to split time between the north and south but staying in the north exclusively (with driving times stated) is also a possibility. Our budget is limited and we could stay at the Westin or Sheraton using points and not looking to stay at another resort given the cost. The idea of an affordable rental is appealing, and I have been researching those on VRBO which seems to have the most listed. My kids love swimming pools which is the one drawback to house/villa/condo rentals, although some villas or condos offer small pools on site. Our favorite resort was the Westin villa property on Maui which combined great pools and a nice beach. Not sure what to do this go around but will figure it out over time. My wife and I honeymooned on Kauai and the Big Island and stayed at B&B's which was amazing. This time, with kids in tow, ideally the larger resort is best, especially with the swimming pools. I would say at this point, trying to decide on the Westin Villa property in Princeville area or a rental nearby... having kitchen and laundry facilities is huge! Are there good waves to go boarding on the North side or is that activity best reserved for the South?