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Old 01-03-2014, 09:55 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Newnan, Georgia
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Aulani - What Other Island Should We Visit?

Hi -

We (me, my DH and DD - 15 years old) are planning a trip to Hawaii in late May/early June of this year. Since we are DVC members, we are planning to stay at Aulani; however, we have decided to add a few extra days to our trip so we can visit another island. We will probably stay for a total of 9 or 10 nights. What other island would you choose to visit? We would like to see the active volcano, but have also heard that Maui is a must see. It's so hard to pick just one!

Also, is it better to stay a few days in Waikiki before going to Aulani? We are planning to rent a car.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 01-03-2014, 10:10 PM   #2
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We've been to both the Big Island (without kids) and Kauai (with kids) and loved both. It really depends on what you are looking for. The BI was really neat with the volcanoes and stargazing on Mauna Kea, plus coffee farms in Kona. Kauai was much more lush with beaches and fun activities like ziplining and the boat tour of the Napali Coast. We've never been to Maui but debated between it and Kauai and decided on Kauai because it seems to be less touristy. And rental houses were cheaper.

Personally I'd rather do the drive from Aulani to the sites on Oahu than stay in Waikiki. But again that's personal preference. Waikiki/Honolulu has a big city feel that doesn't appeal to us on a tropical vacation. We like to escape to paradise after a day of sightseeing.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:25 PM   #3
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Planning to visit Aulani for the first time this summer but have been to Hawaii 4x before and I would ALWAYS recommend visiting another island because it is so far to travel and airfare is your biggest expense. It makes the entire trip more worthwhile. I have included Maui on ALL of my trips and honestly usually only spend 2 or 3 nights on Oahu as it is our least fav. island. But will spend a week there this time since everyone seems to love it so much because it is not in Waikiki. Waikiki Beach / Honolulu is a big city and very touristy. While it's a "must see" while you are there I don't think it's necessary to STAY in Waikiki. You will want to see the beach and Diamond Head and visit Pearl Harbor - but this can all be done in day trips from Aulani.

In addition to Maui (our most fav. island) we have also stayed on the Kona side of the Big Island. We liked the Big Island but still preferred Maui. We have only done a day trip to Kauai. We will get around to staying there some day. It is quieter - more "honeymoon-like". We usually stay in Ka'anapali on Maui but have also stayed in Wailea. When we stayed in Wailea we found we kept driving to Ka'anapali to eat or to do this or that so now we just stay in Ka'anapali so we don't have to do so much driving. Wailea is a more "exclusive" resort area and was more expensive (at least it seemed like it to us).

ALL of the islands are fascinating and beautiful. I would add AT LEAST 3 nights, preferably 4 nights for each additional island. It will take a good portion of a day to transfer islands even tho the flights in general are less than 1 hour. By the time you travel to the airport, drop of your rental (YES, get a rental for anyplace outside of Waikiki), get thru security, travel, pick up luggage and get new rental on the next island and drive to new resort hotel you will easily have spent 6 or 7 hours doing all of that. Then POOF you have "lost" a day.

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Jan 2014 - 5 n @ AKV Jambo House / Aug 2013 - 9 nights @ SSR / Aug 2012 - 9 n @ Boardwalk Villas and HRH / Mar-Apr 2012 6 n @ Bay Lake / August 2011 Disneyland Paris and DCL MED cruise / August 2010 Disney's DVC resort at Hilton Head Island, SC / March 2010 Kidani Village at AKV / August '09 BCV & Vero Beach / May '09 SSR / July '08 AKV & B2B Cruises on The Wonder/ January '08 VWL / August '07 OKW / July '06 Offsite - Waikiki, Kona & Ka'anapali, Hawaii / July '05 Disneyland & Disney Magic West Coast Cruise to the Mexican Riviera / Summer '04 CSR / May '03 Offsite - St. John, USVI / Summer '02 AKL & O.C., MD

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Old 01-05-2014, 12:29 AM   #4
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Another vote for Maui if its your first time to the islands. We have family on two other islands, but my ILs have a timeshare in Maui and that's the island we always try to visit. It's a good mix of having enough things to do but being laid back enough for an island visit. Maui is really, really beautiful. We stay in Wailea (great beaches) but find ourselves driving often to the Lahaina and Kaanapali side. Kauai and Hawaii (Big Island) are much, much quieter but both also very beautiful.

And in regards to seeing the active volcano, we did a day trip to the Volcanoes National Park. It is an amazing experience. Last time we stayed for a week on "Big Island" but the lava flows were never viewable which was slightly disappointing.

Tough choice but I think it depends what you'd like to see.

The drive from Aulani to Waikiki is about 20 minutes (?) so you could easily drive to Waikiki. But if your drive to and from Waikiki is during weekday rush hour, it could be a lot longer... I think the bigger issue is that once you get to Aulani it's really hard to leave!
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:31 PM   #5
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for golfers

If you play golf, Poipu Bay on Kauai is a must. Simply breathtaking views and holes that are immediately seaside. The Wailea course(on Maui) is nowhere near as spectacular and is not seaside (across the street), although the Grand Wailea hotel is one of the world's top if you ever get the opportunity to stay there (should be on the DVC exchange program, one of the higher tier hotels obviously).
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DVC members since 1/07 (SSR & Aulani)
Married at Disney's Wedding Pavilion, 4/00; Y&B 4/05; BCV & DCL Bahamas 1/07; BWV 9/07; SSR Christmas '07; AKV 6/08; OKW 7/09; ABD Backstage Magic 3/10; Vero Beach & DCL Bahamas 3/11; DCL Alaska 6/12; SSR 10/12; VGF Thanksgiving '13; BCV 3/14; BLT & Vero 6/14
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:08 PM   #6
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I'm just going to sneak myself in here, because we are trying to decide the same thing. We went to Aulani in 2012 and only stayed on Oahu. We go again this June and are considering adding another island.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:35 PM   #7
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My vote would be Maui lots to do and see
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:52 PM   #8
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I can only add to what others have said,make time to go to another island.Each island is different from the others and if I am flying all the way from the East Coast,I am going to see as much as possible.

I dont think you can go wrong whatever island you pick but I would lean to Maui over the others if you are picking just 1.A lot of diverse scenery there from the road to Hana to Mt.Haleakala and a lot in between.

Waikiki-We stayed there our first trip to Hawaii and did enjoy it but very crowded.I would say a day trip would be all you need.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:49 PM   #9
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We had to make this very decision for our upcoming trip. DH and I have been to Hawaii quite a bit but this time I am going with DSis who has never been. She finally decided on Big Island in addition to Aulani. The varied terrain on BI was what tipped the scale for her. Kona, Volcano area, Hilo, Parker Ranch area and Gold Coast are all very different from each other and all on BI. BI also retains a more authentic Hawaii "feel" than Maui, IMHO, just because Maui is being so heavily developed for tourists. However, Maui is so beautiful and DSis may never get back to Hawaii so we decided that on moving day we would make a day trip to Maui and just drive to a few areas like Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua and maybe Paia. We will get a morning flight out of Kona, fly to Maui for the day and fly out of Maui to Aulani that same night. It will be a pretty tiring day but I can't think of a better place to relax on the following day than Aulani!
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