posted 5 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 2
212 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

Hawaii is BEAUTIFUL!!! I went a few years ago on a family trip and it was so nice!

I was there for 2 weeks on a very relaxed vacation mid-June. A lot of my time was spent just swimming, lay on the beach, and trying local food! We did some tourist-y things but we also were able to find some more local beaches and restaurants which was AWESOME!!!

I would look into renting a car for your time there. That’s what we did and it was nice. I’m not sure how great the transportation system is there so I can’t say whether or not that’s a good option.
I would also look into island hopping. I’m not sure how much it costs but you could always do day trips (or a night trip) to a different island. We did a day trip to Kona (rented another car for the day) and it was cool to do a little more exploring. We didn’t get to see as much as we would have liked in Kona but it was still fun!

Also PUT ON SUNSCREEN EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR!!! I got the worst sunburn of my life there (not so bad I had to see a doctor or anything, just SUPER red and super painful!) and I tried putting on sunscreen as much as I could remember (I will admit that I forgot a little too much) but I still got burnt.

Also go snorkeling! We went to a local walmart and just picked up some cheap gear in Honolulu and then found a local (or not as busy) place to use our gear. I swam with a huge turtle for a while! it was AWESOME!

Post # 3
96 posts
Worker bee

Commenting to follow. Fiance and I are considering a Hawaii honeymoon with a stop in CA!

Post # 4
4018 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I was in Honolulu/Waikiki Beach in mid March. I stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki. It was a beautiful hotel and centrally located. I will say that Honolulu is very touristy which some people like but others don’t. Tons of people everywhere. If you’re wanting to do more things like exploring nature in a quiet environment, I would probably pick another island. I’d also definitely rent a car. I loved Honolulu, but I never really felt immersed in the culture of the island. It was beautiful, but there were times were I felt like I was in Florida instead (no hate meant towards Florida!). I would definitely recommend snorkeling and climbing at least one mountain wherever you go. We climbed Diamondhead and got some of the best pictures. Have fun! 

Post # 5
489 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I’m from Hawaii, and I’d recommend going to Honolulu for part of it, and then Maui or Kaui for the rest. Honolulu is super crowded/touristy, but it also has lots to do, so I think it’s worth it to stay there for part of the trip. My favorite Waikiki hotel is the Moana Surfrider. It’s beautiful and actually has a beach, unlike many (most?) of the hotels in Waikiki which don’t actually have any beachfront property since the beach there is actually very cliffy/rocky in most areas.

Maui & Kaui are both a bit less developed (Kaui even less so) and I think they have a more relaxed/natural atmosphere if you’re looking for that. The Grand Wailea in Maui has an insane pool, but other than that I don’t have many specific suggestions there.

I will say, you should probably rent a car wherever you go unless you are going to stay in your resort the entire time. Getting around is not so easy on public transportation.

Post # 6
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Love Hawaii! Here’s a quick rundown:

Oahu: Waikiki is the more resort/touristy area. Lots of hotels & shopping, a nearby mall, on the beach, more city-like. Located on the outskirts of Honolulu, and is a very busy area. You can get around via the bus system.

Maui: Popular for the typical Hawaiian vacation with access to lots of resorts and more local shops and restaurants. Less busy, but it’s a ways away from the airport and there isn’t a strong/easy transportation system set up so you’d benefit from renting a car. Lahaina is the popular vacation area. Lots of activities to do nearby, as well as beautiful beaches.

Kauai: One of the more “hawaiian” islands as it is less developed and more lush. Think Jurassic Park (the original was filmed there). If you’re more into outdoorsy things this could be a good island for you.

Molokai/Lanai – Not intended for vacationers. Skip these islands.

Hawaii – Kona and Hilo are the main cities, but I’d recommend you visit these for a night or two rather than stay for a week.

My overall recommendation would be Lahaina area on Maui. There is so much to do and you still get the Hawaiian experience. Check out the Road to Hana, splurge on dinner at Mama’s Fish House in Paia (worth every penny), go to a luau. and just ENJOY!

Post # 7
2597 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Honolulu (on the island of Oahu) is Hawaii’s main city and so you would get all the benefits/drawbacks of that–meaning, there’s going to be the most stuff to do on Honolulu, but there’s also less of the sort of “pastoral” vibe. If you’re a person who doesn’t want to be on a beach all day and like having some city-life (shopping, arts&culture, nightlife, etc.), then Honolulu might be a good choice. It does have beautiful beaches, but you know, it’s still a working city. I also think that in terms of the swimming quality, Honolulu has among the best options–of course all of Hawaii’s oceans and beaches are beautiful and you’ll find great sandy beaches on all islands, but generally Kona has a rockier shoreline and Kauai’s waters can be downright dangerous, for example. I admit, my family is from Honolulu and so I’m a bit biased, but one thing that drives me nuts is when people go to Honolulu and claim it’s “tourist-y.” Waikiki might be “touristy” but again, Honolulu is a city, and no more or less toursity to me than New York is–it depends on where you go. Oh–but bad traffic in Honolulu. Like, seriously bad traffic ;(

Both Kauai and The Big Island (the official “Hawaii”) are quite rural. The Big Island has the active volcano, which gives it a unique landscape–you can visit black sand beaches and hike nearish to the lava flows. The Big Island’s two large cities, Hilo and Kona, are also quite different in terms of their ecology–Hilo is the “wet side” and very rainforest-y (lots of State Park hiking if you like that sort of thing); Kona is the “dry side” and very …dry. Most of the big-name hotels are in Kona lining the shoreline, but TBH, there isn’t that much to do in Kona aside from being at the resorts (not that that’s a bad thing–most of the resorts are absolutely gorgeous and a lot of them have all kinds of entertainment right there–water slides, boat canals, luaus, I think the Hyatt Waikoloa has a dolphin lagoon (?)). There’s some tiny local development and the coffee plantations, plus a little nightlife along the coast, but it’s all kind of touristy. If you like to golf, however, the Big Island has some great courses. 

Kauai is trendy these days because it’s also quite rural and more “natural” feeling–very green, lush island, very beautiful. Again, lots of hiking (with waterfalls and tidepools and all that); good snorkeling; great surfing–although, you have to be careful with that because local spots are definitely LOCAL. But, it’s also somewhat rural. Like, Kauai has a rooster problem and you’re likely to see wild roosters on the beach and hear them crowing in the mornings kind of rural. My family members have had issues with wild boars eating from their fruit trees kind of rural. Outside of Hanalei in Kapa’a or Lihue, things tend to shutter up at like, 8pm. Most visitors like to stay on the north shore (which is where a lot of the hotels and timeshares are) and the main town there is Hanalei–which is cute, but also tiny. And again, Kauai’s beaches are not for the faint of heart–riptides, high-surf, reefs are all common around Kauai. Stick to “established” beaches because you don’t want to take a dip just anywhere. But, like I said, Kauai is popular for a reason–it’s gorgeous and pastoral and more natural/private-feeling. Never met a person who went to Kauai and didn’t like it!

I can’t really comment on Maui because the last time I was there I was like, 10, except to say that we went to Haleakala to watch the sunrise and then hiked down into the crater and that is still one of my favorite memories. 

Also 2nd 

View original reply
azbee:‘s recommendation to think about island-hopping. Most mainland flights go into and out of Honolulu anyway, and it’s such a short flight to the outer islands (and usually fairly cheap) that hopping to one more is probably a good experience. Honolulu + 1 other island is probably enough for 1 week, but I’ve heard of people doing 2…

One last thing I forgot to mention: all of Hawaii’s beaches are considered public. That means that you don’t have to stay at a specific hotel to access the portion of the beach that hotel is on. You can literally walk straight through the lobby of a 5-star joint wearing a big inner-tube and park it on the sand next to the hotel guests. Pools and stuff are another matter, but the hotels are generally required to provide public access to the beach (even billionaire socialite Doris Duke couldn’t get her own private dock–you can still see local kids using it every day after school!)

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  BothCoasts.
  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  BothCoasts.
  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  BothCoasts.
Post # 8
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

It depends on how much you like crowds and being around lots of people, Oahu is pretty crowded, particularly around Waikiki where most people stay. However there are some beautiful places! If you choose Oahu, make sure you get out to the windward side or check out north shore. 

Post # 9
77 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Commenting to follow. We are going to Hawaii as honeymoon too. 😀

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  norwaybee.
Post # 10
3434 posts
Sugar bee

“Maui is for lovers” – there is a reason this saying exists! [Full disclosure – I haven’t been to any islands other than Maui.” Yes, you should have a car and the night life isn’t that great. However, it is in a different time zone so you might be ready to go back to the room by 9 anyway. The beaches are great and there are excursions galore if you don’t want to lounge by the ocean/pool all day. 

Post # 12
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

View original reply
thedentons:  I’ve been to almost all the islands and here’s my take

Kauai – the most remote low key out of all of them. It’s the one you’d go to if you just like laying on the beach all day every day. Not as touristy as the other islands. I liked it but it wasn’t my favorite, as I’m generally the type that likes to be doing things. I can only lay on the beach for so long

Maui – very touristy but also pretty laid back. It was definitely one of my favorites and is probably the most popular as far as tourism goes.

Oahu – This island people usually say is the worst but it was my favorite for a couple reasons. 1. If you stay in the right place, you can still get that authentic Hawaii experience that isn’t super touristy. The north shore (Turtle Bay Resort) allows you to stay on the more remote side of the island where it’s a lot of locals. The beaches are soooo beautiful and it’s not as touristy as the Waikiki. If you stay in Ko’olina (Marriott Beach Club, JW Marriott, Disney Resort and a few others) it’s pretty secluded. A couple of resorts will share a private cove that’s great for swimming. We even swam with sea turtles in the cove.

2. There’s a lot to do other than just laying on a beach. You can visit pearl harbor for some history, the Polynesian culture center is really interesting and fun to learn about the different french polynesian cultures, there are a few great luauas, great shopping in Waikiki or thrifty souvenir shopping at the swap meet, great food, a lot of different activities to do, movie tours, etc. But you can also just lay on the beach all day as well.

3. It has a little bit of everything.

It might be worth it for you to do two islands on your stay. I’ve never done a multiple island trip, but I know people that have and they enjoyed it. One of my friends did like 5 days in Maui and 3 days in Oahu at the end so they spent the first 5 days just relaxing and doing nothing at all and then the last few days they were able to get out there and do more activies on Oahu, like see Pearl Harbor and check out Waikiki which has more of city life feel to it.

Post # 13
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

View original reply
thedentons:  My husband and I honeymooned in Kauai. We had the most amazing time. As others have stated it’s more rural. Which is awesome for driving around and exploring. It’s a small island so getting to see evey part of the island is very easy. My favorite was the north shore (Princeville area). It’s more lush and has more to look at as far as driving around goes. The south shore has the beautiful Waimea Canyon, which is absolutely breathtaking. Lots of beaches are rocky, we found one that wasn’t and it was nice and calm… it’s on the north shore and it’s called Anini beach. We had 4 events scheduled… ATV tour, Kauai Backcountry, a sunset cruise, and a luau. There’s is lots more to do though (helicopter rides, snorkling, zip lining, ect.) I highly recommend the Kauai Backcountry. It’s basically a giant lazy river you float on with rafts. I hope this helps you. I’m sure no matter what island you choose, you will have an awesome time!

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