View Full Version : Hawaii vacation recommendations?

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06-06-2010, 08:53 PM
My family is planning a big vacation to Hawaii next summer or winter. Only my stepmom has ever been but this will be the first time for the rest of us and she has never planned a vacation there. Can anyone recommend anything? We want to rent a house for the 7 of us. My dad wants to be on or near a golf course and of course we also want to be on or very near the beach. Has anyone ever rented a house for a week over there? Can anyone recommend some amazing golfing? Just trying to get started on this so we can plan it plenty in advance to make sure everyone can go and hopefully get the best rates!

06-06-2010, 10:59 PM
It depends. Do you want touristy or out of the way? Any particular island that you think is a must? There are so many options to choose.

06-06-2010, 11:09 PM
We just want to be close enough to a store because we plan on staying at the house and/or the beach with my dad also enjoying the golfing. We might go to a restaurant one or two times but mostly plan on cooking. We don't care which island, we don't know anything about them but we aren't limiting to a certain island or excluding any certain island.

06-07-2010, 01:01 AM
Don't bother with Oahu unless you have to see Waikiki. Oahu is very built up. Maui is probably the best place to go if you want more built up. Kauai is gorgeous, much like Maui was 20 years ago. My husband and I were there for our honeymoon in '82. Maui was very simple then, it's changed a lot. Then we were there about 3 years ago, unfortunately it was while they were having some rather unusual weather. It rained for 30+ days straight. It was when a dam broke on Kauai and took out a few homes and roads. Two weeks of rain in paradise :eek:!

We stayed at the Grand Wailea on Maui, it was a convention (aka we did not have to pay for it :)). Amazing hotel!
My husband played golf at a few places, I'll ask him where was the best. Then we went to Kauai for a week, still raining, but the island is beyond beautiful. the nicest place to stay on Kauai (we did not stay there) was
http://www.princeville.com/. We drove up there for dinner one night and wished... we stayed at
wich was very nice. But the views at Princeville are beyond belief.
The big Island is your best bet for the best weather, it rarely rains, but you won't see rainbows either.

If you go to Maui, get up very early one morning and drive up to Haleakala, so you can see the sun rise, it is worth it:

Also, drive to Hana, it is on the far side of the island from Lahaina. There is a place there called 7 Pools. It's awesome. It's seven waterfalls that step down a hill, into each other, then empty into the ocean. You can swim in the pools and swim under the waterfalls. Pack a lunch and make it a day trip.

06-07-2010, 01:16 AM
I don't know if this is a recommendation because I'm not a golfer and never played golf at this place BUT, my grandparents lived near a really beautiful course overlooking the beach on the big island. It was at the Mauna Kea Resort (http://www.princeresortshawaii.com/mauna-kea-golf-course/big-island-golf-course.php). It's about an hour north of Hilo and about 30 minutes from Akaka Falls which is really beautiful.

Because it's on the big island instead of Honolulu or one of the others it's not very touristy at all. That's either a plus or a minus depending on what you are looking for. The little town of Honokaa (http://hotspotshawaii.com/melpages/honokaa.html) is only 15 minutes away and considered part of the Parker Ranch area where there are cattle and horse farms, as well as sugar cane plantations. The largest nearby town is Waimea where you'll find some nice restaurants and plenty of shopping, but again, it's not really a touristy place. Waimea actually felt a lot like a small town in Northern California.

I don't know what the requirements are for using the course if you aren't staying at one of the resorts, but if you are looking to stay in a house I'm sure there are rentals available in the area, perhaps not directly on the beach, but certainly only a short drive away.

Good luck! It sounds like a lovely family vacation.

06-07-2010, 02:06 AM
Thanks for the recommendations! I am definitely going to pass them on to my parents. I know one of the nicest places we found so far is a house on Kauia. It was beach front and absolutely gorgeous. They do have houses on the beach, some even with private beaches, they just run about $1500 or more (I saw some running well over $5000 a night) a night but that seems to be OK by my parents, so I won't complain!!

06-07-2010, 02:08 AM
Hubby and I were in Hawaii last fall... we loved the Big Island! We were in Kona for a week and can't wait to go back. It was so much nicer than any of the other islands/cities we visited.

06-07-2010, 02:10 AM
Be careful making arrangements and always double check maps for location because it's very easy to confuse towns and locations. Many have multiple names and there are many towns possessing the same name. It can be VERY confusing.

06-07-2010, 01:22 PM
Make sure you visit ALL the islands, take the plane tour over the volcanoes. Kaui is especially beautiful and the fern grotto is not to be missed. Make sure you get the shaved ice with beans on the Big island near Hilo! Pearl Harbor is quite something.

Its a beautiful place and don't get caught into the tourist traps. Have fun!!!

06-07-2010, 04:19 PM
Oahu has a lot to offer, but stay away from Waikiki, unless you want to look like "stupid tourist" (as the locals love to call them...)

06-07-2010, 05:03 PM
Don't bother with Oahu unless you have to see Waikiki. Oahu is very built up.

I wouldn't write off Oahu - outside of Honolulu and Waikiki, there is still much to see - smaller communities, unspoiled landscapes, quiet beaches.

Plus there is lots to see beyond Waikiki, beginning with Pearl Harbour - I am neither an American nor a WWII buff, and I was very moved by the entire experience. We spent a day there as there is so much to see, so well presented. I think it would be a great shame for any American to get that close to it and not experience it.

We also found the Dole Plantation quite interesting, and for Lost fans, there's the fun of spotting locations around the island.

Also, the advantage of Oahu, especially when traveling with a group, is that it's just one flight instead of having to hop to another (there are also direct flights to several other islands of course, depending on where you are coming from), and for those planning to "live" there, ie rent a house, all the conveniences and supplies are easily accessed.

06-07-2010, 05:26 PM
I completely agree with Jenny re: Oahu. Pearl Harbor is a must see in my mind. I also loved the walk/hike to the top of Diamondhead for some fabulous views of the island. The North Shore is a lot of fun and completely different from Honolulu. That being said, a few days on Oahu could be plenty. Or even just an overnight in order to do Pearl Harbor. We flew into Honolulu, spent a few days there and taking car trip north on the island and then went on to a week on Hawaii and and a week on Kauai, both of which I can recommend highly. On Hawaii, if you want sun and warmth then head to the Kona area. The area around Hilo was surprisingly cool and cloudy/rainy due to the different micro-climate (is that the right term?).

06-07-2010, 05:47 PM
I was very disappointed in Oahu. However, we did stay in Kahala, which was nice. I have not been to Hawaii (the Island), I have heard it's wonderful. I probably would not jump to go back to Hawaii. From the east coast, it's long trip, and the last time we went it rained the whole time. One or two days of rain wouldn't have been so bad, but two weeks of solid rain was awful. For me, I would rather go somewhere that is not as dependent on weather. But, I am not a huge endless days on the beach person, so...

06-07-2010, 11:00 PM
Oahu has a lot to offer, but stay away from Waikiki, unless you want to look like "stupid tourist" (as the locals love to call them...)

Really? When I was living in Honolulu, my local friends loved Waikiki more than I did. We went down there fairly often.

I lived in Honolulu for a few years, and my in-laws used to live on Molokai. Molokai is very beautiful, but there's nothing there. One resort type place was all that was there last time I went, but it'd be very relaxing if you want to get away. If you like that kind of thing then go there. They can use the tourist dollars.

Despite what everyone on here says, I think Honolulu is one of the greatest places on earth. I would visit there over any part of the islands any day (I should add to this that my in-laws plus numerous friends live there, so I'm rather biased). Plus you have the added convenience of being able to cruise Oahu. North Shore is fantastic, especially in winter when the waves get massive out there. But I am always a city girl at heart, so I'd much rather be shopping anyway.

06-08-2010, 12:15 AM
I loved all of it. First we went to Oahu,stayed in Honolulu, did Waikiki, also drove around to the North Shore which was great. Then to Kauai, which was my favorite I think mostly because we splurged on a fab hotel on Poipu and did the helicopter ride. Our trip to the Na Pali coast got rained out, but it was nice on the south shore that day. Then to Maui, loved the Seven Pools, but the drive was scary. Loved Lahaina, didn't love our hotel which was more budget. Then to Big Island, which I just adored. It was like being on the moon! Great hotel for cheap because it had pools over the water, but no beach (lava), and we went to the volcano, which was amazing.

Here are some recommended golf courses: