(Closed) Who's been to Hawaii? Looking for some recs…

posted 6 years ago in Travel
Post # 4
688 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

What island? We went to Kauai a few months ago and it was amazing. We spent about 650 on airfare for a direct flight from seattle to kauai. As for the lodging, we didn’t have to pay for it – my fiances parents let us use their timeshare.

Food was super duper expensive. I mean like you have 10 items in your cart and it is over 100.00 expensive. The kayaking and touring stuff wasn’t too bad though.

Hope this helps!

Post # 5
574 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

My sister’s stayed in the Pearl Harbor area on O’ahu.  She loved it!  She and BIL went parasailing, snorkling, and took in a lot of the history of the area.  BIL was stationed there temporarily, so they basically were just taking advantage of his time there.

I did find this really interesting little article from About.com where you rate your preferences and each island has a different score.  Once you add up your numbers, the article recommends an island to visit.  

Post # 6
3626 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Did your co-worker give you any good tips? I wish I could help! I’ll ask Fiance, his parents go all the time.

ETA – Ok, they go to Anini Beach on the north shore of Kauai for day trips, when they go. Apparently it’s secluded and beautiful and prefect and there are barely any road signs pointing to it, so it’s pretty empty.

Post # 7
2214 posts
Buzzing bee

I lived in Honolulu for 6 months when I was in college.  The great thing about Hawaii is the that the weather is just about perfect all year.  The biggest expense will definitely be the flight from the east coast.  Waikiki is in Honolulu, and it’s where all the tourists go.  Tons of hotels right on the beach.  Also, the pearl harbor museum is on Oahu, if that interests you.  You can take surfing lessons too, which is fun.  I spent a week on Maui for spring break.  Much less touristy and far more beautiful, IMO.  A few friends and I rented a house near the beach for the week and that was cheaper than getting a hotel, so that’s definitely something to look into.  On Hawaii, the big island, there’s the volcano, but from what I remember it’s quite the trek to get there.  The best part about Hawaii (the state, not the island) is the seafood.  I’m from Boston, so I definitely appreciate fresh seafood.  The sushi was always great.  Food and shopping on the islands is pretty expensive because basically everything is imported.  And I can’t remember which island had Dole plantation, but the pineapple soft serve ice cream was amazing.

Post # 8
822 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

i really like oahu (especially waikiki) but my bro and his wife prefer the other islands because it’s a little more secluded.  i like the tourist-y feel of waikiki.  pretty much any of the waikiki hotels are fine.  i try to find one that on the beach (outrigger waikiki is great one).  for a honeymoon, the north shore area  (turtle bay resort) is pretty nice. there’s a nice jw marriott in paradise cove too.  i don’t know much about the other islands.

if it’s your first time you will want to do a luau and the other various tourist activities.  i am content laying on the beach.  if you’re up for it, the diamondhead hike is pretty cool too.  reward yourself with a snow cone from the truck when you get back down.

Post # 9
2073 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’ve been to Oahu, Maui, and Kauai several times.  I highly recommend the “Revealed” series of books about the islands.  The authors really do know their stuff and have some really good suggestions for the more out of the way spots that are not so touristy.

My favorite hotel chain by far is the Hyatt…each one is just so beautiful.   They often have a “Sunshine on Sale” special where you get a night free for a certain number of nights you book and sometimes you can get breakfast for two thrown in as well.  

Oahu is the most fast paced of all the islands…it’s very busy especially in the Waikiki area.  Definitely see Pearl Harbor.  Snorkelling in Hanauma Bay on Oahu is fun also.  On Maui, plan a day to drive the road to Hana.  Plan to take the whole day so you can stop along the way and not drive back in the dark.  It is worth the spluge to get a soft top Jeep.  It makes the drive that much more fun.  The Old Lahaina Luau is the best luau on Maui.  The whole town of Lahaina is just adorable.  A snorkel trip to the Molokini crater is pretty amazing too! Kauai is very relaxing.  You can zipline and canoe up some rivers in a jungle like setting.  There are also wild roosters and chickens running around.  It’s really funny to see.  


Your budget of 4-5k should be more than enough to have a wonderful time for your trip.  

ETA:  I highly recommend booking your trip through either Pleasant Holidays or Costco Travel (if you’re a member).  They are both great companies and offer great deals on excursions if you book them in advance.  Trying to book once you get to the islands will result in paying at least double what either of these companies charge…often with the same tour company.

Post # 10
368 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Darling Husband and I have lived on Oahu for about 4 months now, and have visited several of the neighboring islands, so perhaps I can help.

But questions for you first – what sort of vacation are you looking for? Do you want a resort/sit at the beach type, something more active, a mixture? Do you want to stay on one island, or visit a few?

Post # 12
494 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I haven’t been but when I was considering honeymooning in Hawaii I did a lot of research online and to me it seemed like Kauai was the best place to go.  I hear it’s more laid back and not as touristy as some other islands.  My cousin & brother have both been to Maui and LOVED IT.  I guess my brother stayed here: http://www.westinkaanapali.com/  and he says it was like the greatest place on Earth.


Personally I had a hard time finding places to stay where there wouldn’t be boatloads of children underfoot which is why we went to Costa Rica instead.

Post # 13
571 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Been to Maui 3 times, it’s the best island!!!

Post # 14
14485 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@UpstateCait:  If you plan far enough in advance, island hopping is not very expensive at all.  You can do something like fly into one island and off of another, then just get one or two one way hoppers – they are typically under $100 (or at least they were the 2 times I went they were 59-79.)   My favorite island is Kauai, a little more ‘authentic’ i think, less crowded and easy to navigate.  Tons of nice beaches, few really nice waterfall spots, the Waimea canon.  I loved Big Island too, volcanos national park is cool to visit and you can see most the major stuff there driving and doing some short walks.  I did do the hike across the crater and thought that was awesome, its long, but not difficult.  You can also rent a jeep and go to the green sand beach and to.. crap, another beach at the tip that requires driving over lava field if you’re up for an adventure (might want a helmet.. kidding.. sort of)  Maui is pretty too – Road to Hana and a sunrise at Haleakela is the first things that come to mind there.  And my least favorite is Ohau… just too touristy and “typical” imo, but still somethign to check off the list I guess since it’s what alot of people go for.  I second the “revealed” series.  I never use guide books, but those were great.

Post # 15
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

We went to Maui for our honeymoon, on approx. that budget. It was the best trip of our lives! Maui was great because it has a nice balance of beautiful beaches and things to do. I’m happy to give you any more details if you decide it’s something you’re interested in!

P.S. The beach right off our resort was the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen, plus we snorkel right there and saw sea turtles, an octopus, string rays, etc. We didn’t even have to spend the money on a big fancy snorkel excursion! Also, we could walk to a whole village of shops and restaurants from our hotel. Personally, I enjoyed just staying on one island. So much more relaxing! 🙂

Post # 16
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I know a bunch of the blogging bees have been. Mrs Turkey is doing her recaps on hawaii now. I also think Mrs Porcupine went there. Maybe you can pm them? i’m sure they would be happy to give you some tips. I’m Jealous! i’ve always wanted to go to HI.

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