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Hawaii vacation recommendations?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by BigB08822, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    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!
  2. Myskate

    Myskate New Member

    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.
  3. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    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.
  5. uyeahu

    uyeahu Agitator. Sharpie lover (figuratively speaking).

    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. 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 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.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  6. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    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!!
  7. Habs

    Habs Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. uyeahu

    uyeahu Agitator. Sharpie lover (figuratively speaking).

    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.
    BigB08822 and (deleted member) like this.

    MOIJTO Banned Member

    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!!!
  10. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    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...)
  11. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    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.
  12. NancyNC

    NancyNC Well-Known Member

    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?).
  13. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    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...
  14. Rukia

    Rukia Currently in the 7th circle of Feelin Good

    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.
  15. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    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:
  16. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    OMG Jenny, I didn't think about all of the Lost attractions I might be able to see! However, this is going to be at least another year from now so I wonder if any of that will remain.

    Thanks to everyone, I am keeping this page bookmarked and will be passing on all of this information to my parents.
  17. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

    I loved Kauai. If I went back, I'd stay in the area around Princeville. Absolutely stunning. And there's supposed to be good golfing there, too. If you rent a car, there are great places to go for hikes, like the Napali coast. But, if you're looking for lots of other activities and a really touristy place, Kauai probably is not your choice.
  18. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

    If you have the time, I would try to at least visit Waikiki. The ambiance is so different. Yes, there are so many Japanese and Chinese tourists but I love the international feeling, it reminded me a bit of living in Okinawa, and the window shopping at all the haute couture shops on Kalakaua is :rollin: If you love shopping don't miss the Ala Moana. We just left there a year ago, well HI, that is. I now have to drive an hour and a half just to get to a mall with a tiny Nordstrom as the only thing our sucky local mall has is a tiny Belk, I don't even bother. :(

    Another thing, if you plan on going into the water a lot you may want to consider going in the summer or early fall as the winter can get surprising cool. You may want to check the temps with the other islands. Southern Oahu is fairly sunny in the winter but I know there are other parts of the island that are quite breezy and overcast with temps in the 70's, plus the Pacific is always cold.
  19. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    When I lived in Hawaii, my friend and I used to walk through Waikiki every now and then for the fun of it. It was a fairly cheap way to spend the day. They have a very nice aquarium. I agree that Honolulu is great. I lived out past Waipahu, but worked in downtown Honolulu, so I was there almost everyday. My point was that if I had a limited amount of time to spend in Hawaii, I wouldn't spend it in Waikiki (the beach leaves a lot to be desired and the sand there is not so great.)
  20. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Another island that gets little mention is Lanai. It's almost entirely privately owned, so I doubt there's opportunity to rent a house, but it could be a worth a day trip. There are a lot of natural and historic sites, and you could have a fancy lunch at one of the two Four Seasons that are there.
  21. mikey

    mikey ...an acquired taste

    I don't know about this. I lived on Oahu for 6 years, 3 of them in Waikiki and 3 of them in Aiea. I absolutely loved Waikiki and will probably retire there. If that makes me a "stupid tourist" (and I never heard anyone refer to it this way), then so be it.
  22. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    When I lived in Hawaii (amongst mostly younger blue collar workers,) I could retire there now if I had a dollar for everytime I heard visitors and/or people from the mainland referred to as stupid tourists. I always thought it was unfair to hear people say that because tourism has helped Hawaii in so many ways, but that's just how it was, believe it or not. Do you really think that anybody there would say it to your face? Heck no. They will wait until you spend your money and then laugh at you/make fun of you behind your back. It happens. :(

    Besides, you lived there long enough to at least be consdered a "semi-local." There's a huge difference between that, and being a tourst there on vacation...
  23. CantALoop

    CantALoop Well-Known Member

    Waikiki is definitely an experience, it's pretty much the only place in the entire islands that has some semblance of a nightlife (but still nowhere near those of major mainland cities). That and the nearby Ala Moana/Ward centers are pretty much the entertainment center of the island.

    There definitely is a part of the populace that holds contempt for tourists, but they're too stupid to recognize that the monarchy and plantation days are over and that Hawai'i really has no resource at the moment that can supplant the level of income that tourism brings in. Same goes for the military bases. They may represent prostitution of the local culture and natural resources, but money talks.

    Politics aside:

    North Shore: Really country, great surf, but getting increasingly touristy minus the urbanization. Still worth a look.

    West/Leeward (Ko'olina, Kapolei): Dry area, but REALLY sunny. The only water park on the island is there, and Paradise Cove has the best lu'au feast (and the hottest dancers).

    East/Windward (Kailua, Kaneohe): Extremely lush and verdant, beautiful dramatic mountains, but also very rainy. Kualoa Ranch is where a lot of movies and Lost are filmed.

    Kahala: Luxury homes, rentals, and resorts. A nice way to stay near town but far from the touristy aspects.

    Neighbor Isles
    My favorite neighbor island is Kaua'i. There's greenery everywhere on that island. The resorts are amazingly large and sprawling, and IMO it's the best place to relax. There are only 2 nightclubs on the whole island, but the great thing is that the locals are extremely friendly and will ask anybody to dance without hesitation. :lol:

    Maui is nice, and the west side of that island is great for seeing pods of dolphins and whales. Haleakala crater is amazing too, hiking there is like being on another planet.

    The Big Island is my least favorite. The volcanoes are amazing, but after that, once you've seen one lava flat, you've seen 'em all.

    Source: born, raised, and living on O'ahu for almost 30 years. ;)
    BigB08822 and (deleted member) like this.