Hawaii?

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Chip_Oatley
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Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:37 pm

About two weeks, late March to mid-April period.

What to do? Where to fly into and out of, assuming flexibility with points and itinerary?

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:48 pm

IIt's a great time to go, after peak season.

I would be happy with two weeks on the big island, but a week on Maui also works. Rent a car on Hawaii.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:59 pm

I love the Big Island. It's got loads of stuff to see and do, and there's still quite a bit of open space. The Kona coast gets lots of whales and there's dolphins all over the place. Best snorkeling out of the main Hawaiian islands, too. South of Kona there stuff like organic farms where you can do homestays, B&Bs, and other types of alternative accommodations. The Hilo side is lush and tropical, Hilo is a dump but I love. South towards Puna and Volcano NP is worth at least a few days. I have no problem spending weeks on the BI.

Maui could work too. It's a lot more crowded and is probably the most touristy island. There's a ferry to Molokai (and possibly Lanai?). I think Maui is better for a shorter visit. It's got everything people go to Hawaii for and is compact.

Kauai is the most beautiful island, and is small and quiet. It'll have the fewest direct flights from the mainland.

Oahu is the most Local island. It's a Big City though, and people don't always appreciate that. I lived there for three years and loved it, but don't know if I would recommend it for more than a week to someone not tied to it.

It really depends on what you want to see and do. If it was me, I'd spend the two weeks on the Big Island since I'm a diver and a Nature Boy. If I was going to expand out from there, I'd probably add Kauai or Oahu. One scenario could be to fly into Kona and do 7 or so days (swim with dolphins, check out the volcano, Hilo farmers market), then fly to Kauai and check out the north shore for 3-4 days, then end the trip in Honolulu (North Shore, museums, food) before hopping a flight back to the mainland.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:22 am

Thank you, sirs.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:22 am

I'd be flying out of Seattle.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Lost Soul » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:04 am

Alaska flies direct to Hilo and Kona. Well they do from here, so probably Seattle too.

Kona (leeward) is a lot drier than Hilo (windward).
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Godjira » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:13 am

I think if you choose one island, Maui is good for an all-around experience. The only problem is accommodation- I suspect nice places are expensive. I stayed with my friend in Hana, and he lived in free teacher housing, which wasn't nice, putting it nicely.

I stayed on the Big Island in a condo, which was fantastic for the price- less than $200 a night. I didn't think Hilo was a dump, but it was definitely more developed and suburban than I was expecting. The Kona side was very low key by comparison, but the massive lava fields can feel a bit desolate. The big island can involve a lot of driving, too.

Kauai is really beautiful, and involves very little driving!

So, if I were to do two weeks, I would probably do a few days in Honolulu, spending time in the city and then visiting some of the good beaches there. Then I would hit two islands- probably Maui and Kauai or the Big Island and Kauai, depending on your tastes.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Homerj » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:26 pm

Been 6 times (all islands) Marge has been 7.
My 2 faves are Maui and the Big Island.
In Maui we usually stay in Kaanaapli because the beach is nice and the boardwalk is long, but it ain't cheap.
Less expensive would be Kehei or Napilli.
There is excellent snorkelling out by the 4 seasons (just continue on the lava road, pick a spot where you can park you car on the side of the road and jump in).
Last time we were snorkelling there we saw a grouper that was easily 3 times the size of Marge, tons of tropicals and really good intact corals.
The hana hwy drive is lovely but it will take you all day.
Riding a bike down Haleakula is also worthwhile but dress warm as you start at about 11000 ft. and its ch-ch-chilly in the a.m.
I like the big island because of the diversity and the very cool Volcano NP.
Problem is the island is big and you may want to stay in more than one place.
We usually stay at the Marriott in Hapuna or at the very reasonably priced Sheraton outside of Kona.
This is the most reasonable island hotel price wise by far.
Costco and Safeway are your friends.
There is something to recomend about all islands so you really can't go wrong...choose the two you will go to...post and we can take the advice from there....
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:07 pm

Thank you all.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:39 pm

If you end up in Kona, and aren't using points for hotels, there's a million condos available. We do that for anywhere from a week to a month and use it as our base for all leeward side activities. If you go offseason and book for an extended period, you can often get serious discounts. Another plus is you can cook meals and so save quite a bit of money doing that.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Godjira » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:02 pm

My friend was living in Hana, so I had to drive that road in and out several times. I went around the outher way, too, around the southern route. It got to look impassable at points, but I managed.

Next time, I’d like to hike across Haleakala and come down in Hana. Anyone done that?

I spent 2 weeks at a conference at the East West Center at the U of H with a The Bus pass. It was fun just wondering around near the university, and I would walk down to Diamond Head most evenings then over to Waikiki, and then take The Bus back. I took The Bus to Kailua too- drank many beers and got a terrible sunburn.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:48 pm

I lived in Manoa Valley and in Kaimuki during my time there, and this is what my staycations looked like
It was fun just wondering around near the university, and I would walk down to Diamond Head most evenings then over to Waikiki, and then take The Bus back. I took The Bus to Kailua too- drank many beers and got a terrible sunburn.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:49 pm

I'm thinking Honolulu may be one of the best cities around for Japanese food outside of Japan. What say you, Godjira?
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:19 am

My grandmother's first cousin, my closest non-close family DNA relative on those testing sites, lives in Honolulu. She's like 95.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Godjira » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:16 am

section8 wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:48 pm
I lived in Manoa Valley and in Kaimuki during my time there, and this is what my staycations looked like
It was fun just wondering around near the university, and I would walk down to Diamond Head most evenings then over to Waikiki, and then take The Bus back. I took The Bus to Kailua too- drank many beers and got a terrible sunburn.
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section8 wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:49 pm
I'm thinking Honolulu may be one of the best cities around for Japanese food outside of Japan. What say you, Godjira?
I would agree with that. I especially recall liking the sashimi and tempura there. I liked poke everywhere. I can't imagine that there is another major city outside of Japan with as many ethnic Japanese living in it. Maybe in South America? I'm not sure.

I would also say that Honolulu has some of the best Chinese food in the United States.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by tzarine » Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:33 pm

go to shirokiya in ala moana. it's been renovated. there's lots of good japanese food - unagi, mochi, gyoza. much of it imported. there are many japanese expats in town eat & shop there. there are more japanese in sao paolo.

my fav for poke is foodland & i just love azuki bean shave ice

i love the walk to manoa falls.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by muthafunky » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:27 am

I would second Shirokiya, really enjoyed the variety of Japanese food and you can get pints of Sapporo for $2

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by 5waldos » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:23 pm

Maui and whale watching. The year we were there the whales were everyplace. They would splash and breach just off the beach.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:25 pm

Now that I think about it, Chip might be a bit late for whales.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by 5waldos » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:41 pm

I think the season goes until May although Feb and March are the peak season.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:44 am

I always miss the whales.

I actually would change everything for the sea turtles. I have wanted to volunteer with a sea turtle group for years.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:22 am

I don't recall ever hearing about any turtle groups there like you hear about in Costa Rica. The populations are pretty healthy and well protected. Some Hawaiians have been talking about eating them again since there's so many.

You could look into a tour of Coconut Island with the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. The tours are infrequent, but there's lagoons with sharks and all sorts of other marine life being studied, so they also fill up quickly. The tours were small and informal and you could interact with the scientists as they did their thing, at least when I worked there. There was a turtle breeding program, too.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:21 am

That sounds promising.

I also like raptors.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Homerj » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:38 pm

Chip_Oatley wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:44 am
I always miss the whales.

I actually would change everything for the sea turtles. I have wanted to volunteer with a sea turtle group for years.
Napilli beach in maui has a family of 6 sea turtles who live there, we've seen/swam with them everytime we've visited.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:55 pm

Bump

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Homerj » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:17 pm

I'll let u know about the whales...going to Hawaii in 4 weeks.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Scrubb » Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:50 am

We stayed at the same SHeraton south of Kona that Homer mentioned. We didn't really like it. Some nice lava shore to poke around on a bit though no ocean swimming), but otherwise it's pretty characterless. And the restaurants are really expensive. And because it's out of town you can't walk to anywhere at all. But maybe we're just not Sheraton people. Still, I'd way rather be right in town.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:22 am

like

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:45 am

That Sheraton and that end of Kailua are kinda lame. There’s a million condos near there that would be better and likely cheaper than the Sheraton.

There’s not many good beaches in Kailua. You need a car to get to them, but they are excellent. In town, there’s the beach at the king kam hotel, white sands, and then Kahuluu for snorkeling with turtles. There’s lots of nice little pocket beaches with mostly rocks that will be quiet and have stuff like turtles and reef but they can be hard to find if you are not a local.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Homerj » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:18 pm

The hi-lite of that place is the manta's come every night and it's very cheap for Hawaii hotel prices.
Agree it is isolated a bit, but who goes to Hawaii without renting a car.
Also they have a big pool.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Godjira » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:35 am

We stayed near Waialea Beach, in one of the condos just to the south of there. It's all quite new and there's a mall, but it's a beautiful area in terms of beaches. The condo was fantastic. It had two bedrooms, two baths, there was a pool, and a BBQ grill, etc. etc. It was about $300 a night, but it was worth it.

We spent a lot of time driving, which is really, really easy to do on the big island, towards Hilo and some of the other places along the eastern side of the island and by the volcano.

If I were to do it again, I would probably just spend my days by Waialea and evenings in downtown Kona.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:23 am

I'm flying to HNL next Tuesday. Thing about beaches--I get plenty of that now. I'm interested in volcanoes, hiking, music, maybe a few tours, and stuff on the water.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Steve_in_Exile » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:06 pm

Chip_Oatley wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:19 am
My grandmother's first cousin, my closest non-close family DNA relative on those testing sites, lives in Honolulu. She's like 95.
Give that DNA crap a rest once in awhile. :lol:

I'm embarrassed to admit that I have never been to Hawaii. It's about time to get my ass over there.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:54 pm

Chip_Oatley wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:23 am
I'm flying to HNL next Tuesday. Thing about beaches--I get plenty of that now. I'm interested in volcanoes, hiking, music, maybe a few tours, and stuff on the water.
Volcanos are obvs a Big Island thing, although the one on Maui is interesting if not active. The last eruption damaged some of my favorite places in the area.

The best water in terms of calmness, clarity, and marine life is off of Kona. There’s a million different trips/tours from swimming with dolphins to SUPing.

Hilo farmers market has amazing fruit.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:15 pm

I need help with an itinerary.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:52 pm

Airbnbs are in very short supply.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:57 pm

On BI? That’s kind of a surprise. The eruption was quite the disruption.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:06 pm

Never mind.

So for around 10 days, would you do a few nights in and around Honolulu and then head to BI?

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Homerj » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:31 pm

Waikiki...do the iconic beach, diamond head the Falls hike and Pearl Harbour (these are SoP)....
then head east going to the excellent beaches in kailua and then all the way up north to the big waves and shrimp trucks.

BI ...I think staying in Kona, Kailua or Waikaloa is best because its on the dry side of the island (Hilo is the wettest place in America).
The best beach is Hapuna. The drive across the craters is cool, obviously visit Volcano National Park as it is now re-opened. green sand and black lava beaches are also very worthy. Lots of places to swim with sea turtles and you can swim with manta's at night near the Sheraton outside of Kona.
helicopter and boat trips to see the lava are good, but I don't think its flowing right now.
Marge is yelling at me that its time to go, so thats it for now
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:41 pm

Thanks for the info, homer and S8.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Scrubb » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:54 pm

Mantas don't always show up, at the Sheraton or anywhere else. They never showed while we were there, in 2 weeks. We went and checked pretty much every night. Also did a night dive that was supposed to be with mantas that was a total bust.

And having to drive to go anywhere at all was a bummer for us. Normally we'd have gone for evening walks, walked to someplace for dinner then maybe more drinks after, etc. Having to go get in the car and drive at least 15 minutes, find parking, etc., watch what we drank since we had to drive back, etc., was a drag.

There was an awesome public beach for snorkaling half way between the centre of town and the Sheraton, though. We went there several afternoons and there were fish to see as soon ss your head was in the water. I don't remember what it was called, though. It was a sheltered bay with rocky arms further out protecting it.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:58 pm

Hm, yeah. Moving around a lot is not what I'm looking for. May settle in one spot and take day trips from there---does Kona fit that bill? Or Hilo?

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:29 am

The manta light show is now mostly near the airport. The dive industry wanted a shorter drive with space for more divers.

The snorkeling beach scrubb liked is Kahaluu.

When we go to the Big Island we usually split it 2/3 Kona, 1/3 Hilo-Puna. I’m in the water as much as possible so Kona wins every time even though I like Hilo and Puna. Since you beached up and not knowing how long you are going for I’d probably lean towards Hilo. It’s a bit ramshackle but it has plenty of charm and the people there are an interesting mix. It’s also big enough that it has ‘stuff’. Pahoa is another option as a base but it’s full of counterculture types and that means crystals, goat yoga, and heroin. A few days is fine but it gets to be a bit much. And it’s small and some of the best parts are under lava now.

Hilo has (last I checked) a great hostel called Arnotts Lodge. Yes, the owner is of the Aussie biscuit family. Its a good mix of people and is always welcoming and well run. They have everything from a camping area to an entire house a block away. It’s a block from the water and their tours are excellent. That may be a place to base from.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:32 am

Just reread the first post. I’d do a week based in Hilo and a week in Kona.

Or shave a day or two off both and add a couple of days in Honolulu.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Lost Soul » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:29 am

Homerj wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:31 pm
BI ...I think staying in Kona, Kailua or Waikaloa is best because its on the dry side of the island (Hilo is the wettest place in America).
Hilo gets ~125 inches per year. Lots of towns in SE Alaska are wetter. One small one gets 230 inches. Ketchikan gets ~150, Yakutat gets ~150, Cordova gets ~160 and Whittier ~200 inches.

Sea level is too hot for me. Find a BNB place above Kona where the rain forest starts at 2000 feet and up. Perfect weather. Same/same south of Hilo about 10 miles.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:55 am

The Coffee belt near Kona has some farm stay style Airbnbs.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:00 am

I'll keep looking and researching, thanks. But I'm finding it all pretty expensive for decent accommodation, tours, etc. I still have to fly to HNL but may limit the trip to a week before I head to the mainland.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Chip_Oatley » Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:33 am

OK, first two nights sorted.

Thanks, Scrubb.

S8, yeah, I haven't made it off O'ahu in my planning yet, but did find a farm-to-table place with rooms on the west side about 2 hours from HNL. I expect to be pretty jet-lagged when I arrive.

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Re: Hawaii?

Post by section8 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:08 am

West side of Oahu? That’s area can be rough but that keeps the golfers out.

Oahu has quite a bit to see and do.
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Re: Hawaii?

Post by Lost Soul » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:18 am

I second Oahu. It's got everything except roads up to the mountaintops and snow.

There is a fine waterfall on the northern North Shore called Waimea Falls. You can swim in the pond if the ocean is too rough.

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