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Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

Mount Vernon
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Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

I'm struggling with which 1-2 islands to visit for the 1st trip to Hawaii. Any tips on how to pick? Would like to stay away from the crowded areas.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

When are you coming? How many days do you have? Family trip or couple? Favorite activities? All the info helps . . . also view the Top Questions - which includes a summary of each island. We all have our favorites. :)

United States
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2. Re: Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

How many nights do you have? Where are you traveling from? How many people in your party?

What's your nightly accommodations budget? Are you looking for a hotel or a condo? Factor tax of 13.42% into the budget (slightly higher in Oahu).

What draws you to Hawaii? We can't advise on best island without knowing more about what you like to do. Shopping, cooking, dining out, hiking, snorkeling, swimming, going to a luau, going to farmers markets, seeing museums, visits to botanical gardens, surfing, whale watching, etc. Also if you absolutely need to be ON the beach and not just near the beach, that can easier accomplished on certain islands.

Each island has busier areas and quieter areas. Much depends on what side you stay on (wetter or drier) and what time of year you are coming. Winter is popular with snowbirds and whale lovers, but summer is also popular, and whenever kids are out of school people flock to Hawaii even if it is just Memorial Day or Labor Day etc. "Shoulder" seasons tend to be less popular, as does between (American) Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Staying in a quieter area also depends how far you can stand to be from the nightlife, beach, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, sights, etc.

Read a summary of each island:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28932-c1048/Hawaii:U…

Here's some quizzes to help you decide:

www.hawaiigaga.com/best-hawaiian-island.aspx

hawaii-guide.com/content/posts/which_hawaii_… [scroll down for the quiz]

Edited: 31 January 2014, 02:32
washington
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for Maui
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3. Re: Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

Great book called "Hawaii for Dummies", sorry name but it is very helpful for newbies and available on Amazon. As stated, unless you have at least 10 nights, changing islands is a a royal pain and not really worth it.

Mount Vernon
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4. Re: Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

Will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary Sept. 2016. Will be an adult trip with a total if 11-12 people. Looking forward to seeing beautiful mountains, beaches, snorkeling; also think it would be great to relax on a lanai if a beach house/condo while maybe having Dolphin, Sea Turtle, and possible whale sightings. Would also like to see an active lava flowing volcanoe. We'd like to split the cost of a beach front house. Probably the highest cost per night we could do would be around $600 per night if it could accommodate us all. Will probably be there for around 7-10 days.

Mount Vernon
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5. Re: Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

Thanks! I'll check out the quizes & the summary of each island. Sounds like they could be a helpful tool. I've never been to Hawaii, but from everything I've read & from the pictures of the beautiful scenery I feel that I could EASILY live there! :)

Mount Vernon
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6. Re: Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

I will be looking for that book. Thank you!

washington
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7. Re: Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

As with most of our visitors, you want it all! Ain't gonna happen! At the moment there is no easily accessable view of lava and now way to tell on the Big Island of hawaii what it will be like in a year or 2. Madame Pele has her own schedule!

With a crew that size you will probably want to book multiple condos in the same complex on one island, which one is your choice.

Final note, no whales in Sept.!

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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8. Re: Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

No whales in September, but you should see dolphins on any boat tour, and you'll probably see turtles when you go snorkeling. Be on the lookout for monk seals, too. They're endemic to Hawai`i and extremely endangered.

Wisconsin
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9. Re: Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

7 to 10 days one island only. I love Maui. You can't have it all with one island. 10 nights you could do 2 islands. 10 days, no.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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10. Re: Trouble picking which 1-2 islands

Well - any island could work, but if you want something less busy/less commercial, then it would be either Kauai or the Big Island - though each island has less busy areas, those are the more rural islands. Kauai tends to have more houses & cottage type rentals than I have seen on some of the other islands, though condos can be found on any island as well. I think I would choose the northshore of Kauai. I rented a house there one summer with a bunch of friends - worked out amazingly well. Start looking at vrbo.com - see the variety on each island and where they are located it - maybe on will really speak to you. :)

Edited: 31 January 2014, 17:26