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2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

Boston
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2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

Visiting Hawaii in August for the first time with my wife and 2 daughters, ages 11 and 14. We'll have 14 days in paradise, plus 3 days in addition for travel. I'm not sure if it's wise to try and fit in more than two islands, which is tough because I don't know how to make choices between Kuai, Maui and Big Island. I also figure that at least a few days in Oahu are unavoidable. We are not the rugged hiking or scuba diving type, but will swim (beach and pool), snorkel, walk around, and want both the lush beauty and volcanic impact. We all love to eat, my daughters and wife like to visit unusual stores, but I wish to generally avoid prolonged stays in congested areas. My only concerns with Big Island are forcing my sometimes impatient daughters to spend too much time in the car driving around, and whether my wife's very slight asthma condition will be aggravated by the sulfuric air near the volcano. If for one of these reasons we couldn't visit the volcano park, would Big Island still be worth one-third/one-half of our vacation time vis-a-vis Kauai/Maui? The reason I figure we'd do a few days in Omaha is because it's likely we'd be flying there from the mainland and would probably want to give my kids a break from the travel. Would appreciate hearing if that's a valid concern.

Any and all advice appreciated!!

Boston
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1. Re: 2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

For those of you who live in Oahu,I apologize for the "Omaha" typo...

Palm Springs...
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2. Re: 2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

Well what I would do is fly direct to Maui and stay at a place in Napili bay, north of lahina for 5 days and explore... then fly to Kauai, through Oahu, schedule a 4 to 6 houur layover in Honolulu and take in pearl Harbor right next to the airport.... then hop on the palne to Kauai... spend 4 days... at a north shore place.

next fly from kauai to Hilo. and stay in Volcano one night, on your way too Kona or Kohala. spend 3 to 4 days in the west side and fly out of Kona, UA and AA and Delta have non stops to LA, SFO and ORD

This way you see 3 islands Kauai and the Big Island being filled with potential. Maui has its great beaches, but is very touristic as is Oahu.

Keno, OR
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3. Re: 2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

Not having been to Maui, I can't say anything about the idea of splitting a trip with Maui and another island (we do plan to go someday, it looks fantastic, but the truth is we loved our visits to Kauai and the Big Island so much we're not in a hurry to visit anywhere else). There are rather long distances between some of the more teen-oriented activities on the Big Island, so it might not be the best choice, as opposed to Kaui (very short distances, very small island) and Maui. I don't know how congested Maui gets--some of the driving on Kaui is a bit slow near some towns (only one main road from north to south)and the Big Island has a definite traffic problem in the Kona area, most times of the day--the rest of the island is fine.

As to the vog question, we only experienced it once, in the car when driving past the park boundary, and it was a bit acrid and nasty smelling, so we closed off the outside air to the car and it was o.k. after a few minutes. You could check the air quality when you arrive and decide what day was best to go see the volcano--it is a fantastic place to visit.

Have you checked flights as to whether you have to stop on Oahu? We have direct flights from San Francisco to Kona for our next trip, so we are avoiding Oahu entirely this time.

It is always such a hard decision to make--how much to divide a trip of any length between islands...just remember that island hopping can take the better part of a day and when in Hawaii, we prefer to spend time out and about, rather than waiting in airports, picking up yet another rental car, etc., etc. Such a wonderful dilemma to have though! Have a fun trip.

Los Angeles, CA
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for Oahu
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4. Re: 2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

I would highly recommend Oahu and Kauai. Oahu is gorgeous and there is so much to do there! You can stay 3 days in the north shore then 4 days in Waikiki. Waikiki and the North shore are so different they re are almost like two different islands!

You and your daughters will love the numerous activities in oahu and then finish off your vacation in restful, lush beautiful Kauai. Feel free to e-mail me for further questions. scorchestra@aol.com

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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5. Re: 2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

Well, I have only been to Kauai and Maui, and Kauai is definitely my favorite. Someday, I want to do a few things on Oahu, as you mentioned. Now Maui does have lots of action: lots more shopping, restaurants, etc., than does Kauai, but it's very congested and touristy, as also mentioned. While Kauai can be slow w/the one lane bridges, etc., I find that to be part of the charm. I also think the beaches and snorkeling on Kauai are much better than Maui, esp. w/kids. The beaches, such as Ke'e and Tunnels on the North shore of Kauai are gorgeous, w/reefs protecting the area - very nice! I am sure it's hard to decide. If you don't have them, I would recommend getting the Revealed books for each island as they would provide a wealth of information for you. Oh, and there also seems to be more shave ice available on Kauai - a real plus! :) You may want to spend a week on 2 islands, and then just plan on returning - that might make for a more relaxing vacation. Good luck and have a wonderful Hawaiian vacation where ever you go. :)

vermont
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6. Re: 2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

We spent 10 glorious days on the Big Island with our two teenage kids in April last year. We rented the upper floor of a house in Puako (about 20 miles north of the Kona airport) for a week, and then drove to the Volcanoes National Park area for 2 nights at a bed and breakfast there. We spent the last night in Kona before flying out. We loved the Big Island and had no regrets about not visiting the others. Yes, we did do some driving but didn't consider it excessive, and there's such a nice variety of landscapes, climates, vistas, etc. that there's plenty to see and do. We did drive into the Kona area a couple of times during that first week for a snorkelling trip and surfing lessons for the kids (a highlight for my daughter). If you'd like more ideas about the Big Island with teenagers, please contact me directly at philo@gmavt.net. Good luck!

vermont
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7. Re: 2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

We spent ten glorious days on the Big Island with our two teenage kids last April. We rented the upper floor of a house in Puako (about 20 miles north of the Kona airport) for the first week, and then travelled to a bed and breakfast in the Volcanoes National Park area for two nights before continuing around the island and spending the last night in a hotel in the Kona area before flying out. We loved the Big Island and have no regrets about not seeing another island. Maybe next time? Yes, we did end up driving, but it didn't feel excessive. We drove into the Kona area twice during the first week for a snorkelling trip and surf lessons for the kids (a highlight for my daughter). The Big Island has so much to offer, with lots of diversity. If you'd like an itinerary of what we did, I'd be happy to share it with you if you contact me directly at Philo@gmavt.net. Good luck!

vermont
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8. Re: 2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

Sorry about the two posts - thought the first one didn't go through!

Marysville, ca
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9. Re: 2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

Aloha!

I have been going to Oahu for the past 26 years. My daughters, ages 18 & 21 have always gone with us, from pregnancy to present . In fact, my 18 yr old is a freshman at University Hawaii Manoa this year. Just came back from visiting her. Took my 77 yr old mother (also a regular Oahu visitor). Plan to spent some time on Oahu-Waikiki area. Yes, it can be crowded but there are ways around that. We usually go to the beach early-7:30-8:00-stopping at the ABC store for coffee and a newspaper. the beach is quiet at that time. Plan to be off the beach by 11 if you don't like crowds. Do some sightseeing during the day. Lots of places to see like Polynesian Cultural Center , Bishop museum and Valley of the Temples. Many choices for dinner-cheap and expensive. If you are in Waikiki on Friday night -catch the show at the Hilton-$12.00 for a (strong) drink ( 2nd drinks, buy at the other bar-cheaper), chair and an hour ++ show (just the right length for kids) about the history of the islands ending with fireworks!

Your kids will love the International Market Place. Tons of shell jewelry and stuff that young teens love.

Good luck!

carmel
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10. Re: 2 weeks w/family-which/how many islands?

Aloha newt, I agree with fjor Oahu is a great place to visit with teens. Maui and Kaui have great beaches. BI is for the adventurous sight seeing types. My kids loved Oahu for the variety of things to see and do.