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Which island?

Minneapolis, MN
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76 posts
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Which island?

What is the nicest island to stay on? What are prices/weather like in mid-November? Do you need a car? Thanks.

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
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9,626 posts
53 reviews
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1. Re: Which island?

Depends on what you like to do.

Any island is wonderful.

Expensive.

One heck of a lot warmer than Minneapolis in November.

The car again, depends on what you like to do. Sit in the resort on the beach all day nope...get out and explore yep.

Keno, OR
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412 posts
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2. Re: Which island?

We have really enjoyed both Kauai and the Big Island. Some friends of ours only go to Maui, and others love the nightlife available on Oahu. You might try reading a guidebook or two--we recommend the Kauai Revealed and The Big Island Revealed books--they were invaluable to us on our travels.

Kauai is very tropical and green--gets more rain on that island up in the mountains than anywhere else on earth--but we had sunny days off and on while we were there too. Even light rains don't bother, because it's so warm. The Big Island has lava fields, active volcanoes, grassy plains, a green sand beach, black sand beaches, as well as tropical and rainforest areas. I don't know how we would have gotten around either island without a car, but some islands have extensive public transportation, so it may not be as necessary in other places. We learned to snorkel on Kauai, so that will always be special to us, and some of the beaches there are amazingly beautiful. However, we liked the wide open spaces on the Big Island and it's many microclimates, and the volcanoes, of course. I would go back to either island in a flash, but we are probably going to try Maui next--it sounds fabulous too. Have fun planning your trip--you aren't going during the high tourist season unless you're trying for the Thanksgiving holidays, but making reservations as soon as possible is recommended. We especially found that rental cars could be hard to come by on Kauai, if not reserved enough in advance. Enjoy!

Oakland, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
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6,325 posts
25 reviews
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3. Re: Which island?

I'd like to put in a good word for Oahu, only because many people overlook it as being too crowded or touristy. The outer islands each have their charms, as the previous post stated. But often when staying on Maui or Kauai, visitors have a tendency to stay on or near their individual resorts, and only venture out on planned tours. You can really miss the local flavor of Hawaii if you do that.

On Oahu, you can get the best of both Hawaiis- the relaxed, unhurried beaches on the windward or ewa sides of the islands, and the culture, shopping, restaurants, museums, etc. of Honolulu. People who stay in Waikiki do get that "pre-packaged" tourist kind of experience, although the advantage is that you are close to everything and can manage well without a car, thanks to various tours and the bus system. However, if you want to avoid that, rent a house in Kailua or Lanikai, rent a car, then you can have one of the world's most beautiful beaches at your doorstep, and are still a quick drive into Honolulu for sightseeing at Pearl Harbor, Bishop Museum, Diamond Head and the like.

You will have a wonderful time wherever you go -and you can visit more than one island!! Try reading some of the posts on this site about the different islands and you may get a better taste of what it is you want to experience.

If the Kailua/Oahu idea sounds good, there's a guy who posts here named Boeing Dad who often stays there and has some good advice about it.

st. louis
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34 posts
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4. Re: Which island?

the only island I would consider staying on without a car is Oahu, because it has great public transportation and is small enough to tour the whole island without a car. Prices are higher in the touristy areas such as waikiki. All other islands would really require a vehicle to see well enough, and at your own pace. Some (molokini, kauai) are better seen with 4X4, especially molokini.

st. louis
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34 posts
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5. Re: Which island?

I apologize, I meant molokai. Molokini would require a boat, I wouldn't advise traveling around molokini by car. LOL