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Old 04-11-2011, 07:08 PM   #1
ccudmore
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Hawaii Anniversary Trip - looking for recommendations

My wife and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this coming October and plan to go to Hawaii to meet up with another couple we met on our honeymoon those many years ago.

None of us have ever been to Hawaii before and don't even know where to begin when it comes to where to stay, what to see and do, etc. We want to have mostly a relaxing, scenic vacation with some sight-seeing, but don't want to hang out in cities. We're thinking 10 days.

I'm sure there's lots of you out there who've been to Hawaii and can possibly give us some advice. Any suggestions of what to do (or what not to do) would be huge!!

Thanks so much.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:14 PM   #2
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Start reading. Make a list of your must-sees. Each Island has it's own personality. Good luck with your planning.

Our among our favorites on Oahu

Arizona Memorial
Climbing Diamond Head
Iolani Palace
Shrimp from the trucks
time on the beach
Watching the body-surfers at Sandy Beach
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:42 PM   #3
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If you are there ten days I would do 2 islands. I would recommend Maui for sure. Depending on whether you want to do "touristy" things, see the volcanos or just chill out on the beach, then you could pick another island. There is so much to see and do that you will have no problem filling 10 days. Usually you spend two full days just getting there and getting home anyway, depending on where you live.

The absolute best books are the "Revealed" series (Maui Revealed, Oahu Revealed, etc.) There is tons of great information in those books, including little known places to visit and restaurant recommendations.

Once you decide on which island or islands, I can give you more specific recommendations. We found some AWESOME restaurants on our last visit!
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:19 PM   #4
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Have you considered the island-hopping cruise? We did the Pride of America with NCL. We left from Honolulu & visited Maui, Kuaia, and both sides of the big island. We would do day trips on the islands, then head bck to the ship. This type of cruise gives you a taste of each island, with the relazation of the ship. Now, this may not be what you want to do - just an idea.

I agree that the ".....Revealed" Travel books are great. You will find plenty to do wherever you visit in Hawaii.

Happy researching!
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:21 PM   #5
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We have done 5 Hawaii vacations and I absolutely love the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua on Maui. There are great dining options there and in Lahaina which is 10 minutes
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:40 PM   #6
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DH and I just spent our honeymoon there in July. We spent 8 days on Maui and it was awesome!! We chose to rent a condo through VRBO at the Whaler. It was a great location and was a better deal than the hotels.

If you like sushi check out Genki Sushi in Lahaina or Sansei in Napili. Also in Lahaina was Lulu's which had great breakfasts.

Plan on spending a day each driving to Hana and to Haleakala. In Paia there is a fabulous cafe called the Green Banana...we went there twice during our stay.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:55 PM   #7
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I've been to Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island, and my favorite is Kauai. It's so lush, peaceful and relaxing. It's also very easy to get around. We stayed on the South Shore (Poipu), but it took only 40 minutes or so to drive all the way to Hanalei on the North Shore. In contrast, on Maui, it felt like it took forever to drive anywhere. Of course, that was partly our fault for choosing to stay in Wailea. We chose it because it was quieter than the Lahaina area, but then we drove into Lahaina a few times, so it would have been better just to stay nearer to there. The road to Hana is fantastic, but very slow-going. You're in and out of the car all day long. It's a must-see, IMO, but probably added to our feeling of being in the car too much on that trip. We also enjoyed ziplining on Haleakala, snorkeling at Molokini and Iao Valley State Park.

On the Big Island, it's all about the volcanoes. Take a helicopter over the active volcano. Awesome!

Our favorite things on Kauai: Ziplining, riding bikes along the beach near Kapaa, boat tour to see the Na Pali Coast, and just hanging out on the beach and snorkeling, of course.

You really can't go wrong on Hawaii, though. All the islands are beautiful and offer a lot to see and do. Get some books and read about the islands to determine which sound most appealing to you.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:52 AM   #8
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The Ritz Carlton hotels are the best by far if its in your budget.

I don't believe there is one on my favorite isle, Kauai. It has all the amenities of the other islands with a small town feel. There are great resorts on the beach and small B&B's up the road. It has Waimea Canyon (awesome vistas) and the Napali coast. Pictures don't do justice...get up into a helicopter to see the area.

There are lots of other activities (great for families or couples) like zip-lines and snorkeling. We could walk out of our unit and into the water with a beautiful coral reef teeming with tropical fish.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:14 AM   #9
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My DW and I celebrated our 20th Anniversary, last October, with a week-long stay on Maui! We honeymooned there, and it was wonderful to see that some things had changed and others hadn't! We stayed in a fantastic condo called the Mahana which is so close to the ocean you could throw a shell off your lanai and hit the surf; every unit comes with a wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling ocean view!!

There's so much to do on any one island; surfing, snorkeling, hiking, shopping, luaus!! On Maui, we went paragliding off the side of Haleakala ... it was awesome!!

If you want a *really* special anniversary dinner, I highly recommend Merriman's. They have three locations throughout the islands; Kapalua on Maui (where we ate), Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii and Poipu on the Island of Kauai.

Merriman's was, without a doubt, the finest meal I've ever had, anywhere!
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:02 PM   #10
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I would love some info on Hawaii myself. We are considering it for our 10 year anniversary. I am considering either Oahu or Maui. I don't know which is better. I thought about a cruise but I would want to spend more time than a day at the islands. Is there a tour or something to island hop and see them all while visiting? I know the flights expensive and hotels too but what about food and activities? I figure I need to start budgeting now
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:11 PM   #11
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the 2 things we do every time we go to Oahu is

1. Polynesian Culture Center (look into it and be sure you get the ticket with luau and show) this is an amazing experiance
www.polynesianculturalcenter.com

2. Paradise Cove luau (get a mai tai...yummy)
www.paradisecovehawaii.com/
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:08 AM   #12
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We had our honeymoon in Ko'Olina, Oahu, and I can't recommend it enough! There's 3 resorts on the coast with the Disney resort opening this year.

Each resort has it's own lagoon right behind it, so it makes for a wonderful view and easy access to the ocean. It's on the west side of the island, so it's away from the hustle of honolulu, but the city and north shore are only a half hour away.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:49 AM   #13
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I would suggest two islands as well. I would be between Maui/Kauai and Ohau. The only reason I'm putting Ohau on there (based on what you want to do and not do) is that personally, I feel that going all the way to Hawaii and not visiting pearl Harbor would be a shame.

We are going this December and doing Kauai, Maui and Ohau. We couldn't decide between Kauai and Maui so decided to do both. I would have choosen Maui I think. I'm really looking forward to spending the day driving the Hana Highwaty, getting up at 3am to go to the summit of Haleakala to see the sunrise, visiting Iao Valley State park to see the Iao needle, spending a lazy afternoon on Kaanapali beach, going to the luau at Old Lahaina.

But then again Kauai has the sleeping giant, the NaPali coast (we are going snorkeling there), Waimea Canyon, spouting horn, Wailua river and falls, the fern grotto.

There is so much to do at both places it will be hard to choose but I definately recommend Ohau specifically because of Pearl Harbor. Of course since you are there you might as well hike Diamond Head.

Oh, and I totally agree on the Revealed books. We have the Maui and Kauai ones and they are great!
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvjules View Post
I would have choosen Maui I think. I'm really looking forward to spending the day driving the Hana Highwaty, getting up at 3am to go to the summit of Haleakala to see the sunrise, visiting Iao Valley State park to see the Iao needle, spending a lazy afternoon on Kaanapali beach, going to the luau at Old Lahaina.
The Hana Highway is a lot of fun; all of those one-lane bridges and edge-of-the-cliff roads makes for a really unique driving experience. Lots of people get motion-sick, though, from the constant twisting and turning. Bring Dramamine!!

Sunrise from the top of Haleakala is FANTASTIC! Some days are better than others, depending on the weather and the clouds, but a sunrise on a good day is something you'll never forget!

Kaanapali Beach, especially around Black Rock, is lovely. It's a great place to snorkel because of all the coral that grows on the cliffs. We got to swim with a 'honu' (sea turtle) off the edge of Black Rock when we were there ... so amazing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wvjules View Post
Oh, and I totally agree on the Revealed books. We have the Maui and Kauai ones and they are great!
Just be careful ... as I was warned on the TripAdvisor Maui forum, the locals *really* hate those books because they sort-of encourage tourists to disregard private property laws and tresspass. In addition, places that used to be "private" and pristine are now clogged with tourists and their garbage.

They're often refered to as Maui Reviled.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPZ_Stitch! View Post
The Hana Highway is a lot of fun; all of those one-lane bridges and edge-of-the-cliff roads makes for a really unique driving experience. Lots of people get motion-sick, though, from the constant twisting and turning. Bring Dramamine!!

Sunrise from the top of Haleakala is FANTASTIC! Some days are better than others, depending on the weather and the clouds, but a sunrise on a good day is something you'll never forget!

Kaanapali Beach, especially around Black Rock, is lovely. It's a great place to snorkel because of all the coral that grows on the cliffs. We got to swim with a 'honu' (sea turtle) off the edge of Black Rock when we were there ... so amazing!



Just be careful ... as I was warned on the TripAdvisor Maui forum, the locals *really* hate those books because they sort-of encourage tourists to disregard private property laws and tresspass. In addition, places that used to be "private" and pristine are now clogged with tourists and their garbage.
They're often refered to as Maui Reviled.
I wouldn't leave my trash behind. I also don't plan on going some place that is marked private. It's wrong that they put that stuff in the book.

I'm really looking forward to Maui. We only have 5 days so it will be jammed packed.
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