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Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

Boston...
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Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

My fiancee and I are trying to plan a honeymoon to Hawaii in mid-July (flying out of Boston). Having never been to any island in Hawaii we would really appreciate expert advice! We love Grace Bay in Turks & Caicos, but really want to go see Hawaii for the first time together. We're planning on taking 10 days or so directly after our wedding. Again, any recommendation on island or resort would be SO appreciated. Since it's our honeymoon, we're willing to pay a premium. Thanks in advance!

What we're into:

+we tend to get up early, and go to bed early

+we love being outdoors, exercising, yoga, yard games, anything active!

+we're not big drinkers, but love great food

+we're really looking to be in the sun/salt water 90% of the time! (we're not so much into chlorine pools)

+we prefer calm paddle board type water opposed to crashing surf

+we absolutely love exploring different local cuisine/restaurants

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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1. Re: Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

Hanalei Bay - north shore of Kaua`i - will be awesome in mid-July. The only problem might be, if you mean THIS July, you're very late in planning. Did you want a hotel or condo/cottage? You'll have way more condo options. If you want a hotel, either the Grand Hyatt, Sheraton or Koa Kea in Po`ipu (south shore) would be nice. Do you have a budget in mind? Know that you'll need a rental car anywhere but in the city of Honolulu, and they can sell out during high season.

Chicagoland
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2. Re: Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

'North' on any island is lovely in mid-summer. Na Pali coast of Kauai, Napili/Kapalua on Maui, Turtle Bay on Oahu, Kohala Coast of Big Island. There's also Lanai!

Outside of Honolulu on Oahu and Kaanapali on Maui, much of Hawaii goes to bed early. AFAIK they really do roll up the roads in many places. LOL

I urge you to recover from the wedding for a night or two before taking the long flights to Hawaii -- where you'll take at least a day to recover from the time change. Best options IMO are shortest possible travel day and flights on widebody aircraft (767's or 330's). Do you have any air miles? We buy coach and use miles to upgrade to first class when we fly Chicago-Dallas-Maui (or Honolulu). This earns us points for the CC charges and for the miles flown (8000+). I avoid west coast connections and the 757's that usually come with those arrangements.

You *could* do two islands in ten nights, but you may not want to spend time flying between islands on your honeymoon. You could spend a month per island and not be 'bored'.

Overland Park...
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3. Re: Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

Waikiki is a romantic destination and has very calm waters most of the time. Kaanapali resort area on Maui is also a good romantic destination. The waters there can be calm many days but not as frequently as Waikiki. Both areas have lots of great restaurants. Is easier to get around seeing the whole island on Maui because it is smaller and has far less traffic. On Oahu if you need to go somewhere by driving through Honolulu it's congested urban type freeway traffic. Kauai is a very peaceful, less developed island, very lush with gorgeous scenery. It also has areas with calm waters in certain areas.

Boston...
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4. Re: Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

Thanks, All. Yes, this July - I know we're a bit late to the planning game. We are looking at Koa Kea in Po`ipu and Andaz in Maui. Also checked out Turtle Bay. All seem really nice. Maui and Kauai both seem like the front runners, although Lanai is also really beautiful, but seems just slightly limited. We probably will avoid Oahu, thanks Bob for your suggestions on that. ChiSue - appreciate your suggestion on travel right after our wedding, we were considering a stop in SFO...or might just power through. We do have miles, luckily. So we should look for the north side of whichever island? Has anyone stayed at either the Koa Kea or Andaz? Anything else in that zone we should check out? Thanks again!

Kona
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5. Re: Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

Kauai is a very special place for a honeymoon - there's just something extra "romantic" about that island that can't be found anywhere else in Hawaii. I think that the north shore/Hanalei area as pzp suggests, is much sweeter than Poipu, but if you want to go the ultra-luxe resort way rather than a more close-to-nature, local-style experience, Poipu can work just fine.

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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6. Re: Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

I'm surprised no one has suggested the Big Island. It has hands down the best waters for ocean sports that time of year (swimming, snorkeling, SUPing, kayaking) in the calmest and clearest water on the Kohala Coast and has very good values in beachfront hotel options. It's also much quieter than the north shore of Kauai in July (although there is no question in my mind that's one if the most beautiful places in Hawaii and if you do choose Kauai I'd definitely stay there instead of Poipu).

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

You have gotten lots of good recommendations , for lots of different islands, but I think you should take some time to sit down and research the islands a bit more before deciding. Look up pictures of the different islands and look up a basic description and some of the major activities on each island. www.gohawaii.com is a good web site to learn about the basics.

Also, Oahu (first) and Maui (second) will have the most restaurant choices with Oahu having the most variety of all different types of food (Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Hawaiian/ Polynesian, etc., etc.). So if trying out food is really important to you, I wouldn't write off Oahu so fast. Also outside of Honolulu, the North Shore of Oahu is beautiful and has a very different , more small town type feel. Oahu also has plenty of good hiking and surfing. Since you are from Boston, you will probably not be phased by the city driving as some tourists from more rural areas are (I found it pretty easy to get around Oahu and we never were in that much traffic except for one time when we were driving to Waikiki right at rush hour, but still it wasn't that bad). Still coming in July, Oahu especially ( but really all of the islands) will be busy.

All of the islands have at least some good hiking and all of the islands have really nice beaches. I think Kauai and Big Island are best for outdoor activities/ adventures, but they also have the least amount of restaurant choices (although of course they have plenty to keep most visitors happy for a week or more, but if you are real foodies you may be slightly disappointed in the limited choices of reasonably priced really good restaurants as opposed to within Honolulu).

So I think one important question to ask yourself is what are your biggest priorities and how would you rank each one? Also, would you like a more developed/ urban area where you can be near lots of restaurants or do you want to stay in a quieter /less developed area where you might have to drive a little while to get to restaurants, etc?

I think doing a little research yourself to help you decide is really key because you know what you want better than anyone, and every person on here has their own favorite island, but their likes and dislikes may be very different than yours.

Good luck!

Overland Park...
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8. Re: Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

If you pick Poipu, the Grand Hyatt hotel is the most romantic and gorgeous on that side of the island. Andaz is a hotel with 15 million dollars worth of recent renovations. So it is bound to be nice. It is near the fabulous Wailea Beach which is one of the best beaches on Maui for easy swimming and beginner body boarding. Lanai is extremely expensive and is very limited in restaurants, shopping, activities, and sights. It's ok for maybe just one or two days.

Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

Well, honestly as a foodie I think the Big Island's best restaurants (Merriman's, Ulu, Beach Tree) are better than any Maui restaurant. But Maui has a lot more and better choices in the midrange and lower range. Oahu of course is better across the board.

I also don't at all agree that Lanai is limited in activities or that's it's only ok for a day or two, there's tons to keep outdoorsy people happy there for a week, but it's not for everyone.

Camarillo...
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for Maui
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10. Re: Hawaii Honeymoon - please help!

Lots of great advice from folks here so far. With 10 days you might be able to do 2 islands. Thought I hesitate to even recommend that for a honeymoon trip. You won't want to over plan/schedule your daily activities. I'd also recommend that you pick up a copy of "Hawaii for Dummies." Don't be put off by the title. It's full of great information and does a great job of helping first time visitors sort out what island(s) to focus on based on their preferences.

Hawaii is a very special place, so you're going to love whichever island you choose. Hope you have a blast!