My wife and I are planning an aniversary vacation to Hawaii for September 2014. We have never visited the islands.
We plan on 11 or 12 full days in the islands, not counting the day flying in or out.
On Oahu, we plan to see Pearl Harbor, go to a Luau, hike Diamond Head Crater, visit Hanauma Bay for beach time/snokeling, and go to Waikiki Beach.
On Maui, we want to hike Haleakala National Park, and go snuba or snorkeling at Molokini.
On Kauai, we want to kayak (Wailua River), hike Kalalau Trail, take a helicopter tour of the island, and spend some beach time/snorkeling at Ke'e Beach.
With all the activities above, are there any "must-see" places or things we are leaving out?
All things being equal, we would probably lean toward vacation rentals/condos over a hotel. Up to about $300/night on average would be fine with us. We prefer ocean and beachfront, and quiet.
How do we plan our vacation from here? Buy flights then lodging? The other way around?