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Trumbull...
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Best way to divide nights on 2 islands

We were originally planning on 12 nights, but are now thinking we will add a couple of nights, in total, to our trip to Hawaii. We will spend 14 nights, to be divided between the Big Island and Maui. We've been to Maui, once, 7 years ago, but only for 5 days. We've never been to the Big Island. What would be the best way to divide our nights...7 and 7? Do I need more time on the BI because it is so large?

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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1. Re: Best way to divide nights on 2 islands

Could you tell us what you enjoy and what you hope to see and do? Are you divers, snorkelers, hikers, shoppers, foodies, volcano fans, astronomy buffs? The more specific you are, the better the advice from the TripAdvisors.

Trumbull...
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2. Re: Best way to divide nights on 2 islands

We're NOT divers or shoppers (other than small souvenirs) and were not very particular about our food. Only 1 out of 4 of us even eat seafood! We enjoy moderate hiking, beginner snorkeling, all things volcano related (really loved hiking in Haleakala), and would definitely enjoy stargazing. We enjoy just relaxing on the beach, or at the pool. Other than taking in a hula show perhaps, nightlife is unimportant to us. We thought it would be fun to tour the coffee plantation, and the kids will definitly want to go the the southern most point. Anything related to Hawaiian culture (except museums...sadly, my teens don't have the patience for museums) would be of interest. Any drive that may have fabulous overlooks/views. Seeing/swimming at a black sand beach would be cool.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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3. Re: Best way to divide nights on 2 islands

You sound like good prospects for the Big Island. If you want to relax and sightsee the volcano both, more than seven days would be good. OTOH, the car rental and lodgings prices could be less for 7-7. I think you need to futz around with dates and check the pricing, airfare, everything -- if price matters.

Maybe 7 days west side, 2 days Volcano vicinity, 5 days Maui.

The southernmost point is more of a do it to say we did it thing. It's a long drive in, not all rental agencies allow it (so check), and it's almost always windy.

The black sand beaches are to look at. Punalu'u currents are dangerous, and Kaimu's currents are outright deadly. An experienced surfer recently died there. Be very careful of currents when it comes to the ocean along the Ka'u and southern Puna coast.

You could stay in either Kona or Kohala, whichever you think will be right for you. If you want a lot of beach time with less driving, then Kohala.

Your teens may enjoy the hei'au of South and North Kohala as well as the Place of Refuge.

There is also Imiloa astronomy center in Hilo, which relates astronomy to canoe voyaging.

Trumbull...
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4. Re: Best way to divide nights on 2 islands

I will definitely price things out to see what is best. That's a bummer about rental cars maybe not allowing the drive to the southernmost point. We had the same issue on Maui. We did the road to Hana on our own, and weren't allowed to take the rental car all the way around. My parents took a guided tour which did go all the way around, but we're generally the type of people who prefer to do things on our own. Thanks for the advice!

Denver, Colorado
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5. Re: Best way to divide nights on 2 islands

I like KK's mix maybe 7 nights condo w/ pool in Waikoloa for best beach access, 2 in Volcano or Hilo, 5 on Maui. Start here for a good sample of the islands. Click on drive guides to help you pick oiut the places you want to go.

http://www.alternative-hawaii.com/

Get the teens involved in the planning so they can blame being bored on themselves, ha and have internet available (worse case free at Starbucks).

The most scenic drive will be from Hilo north along the Hamakua coast thru Waimea where as the drive from South point north to Captain Cook can be really desolate looking. Also the drive from Waimea to Hawi and Pololu Valley overlook is really pretty (a nice day trip from Waikoloa).

cmd
Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Best way to divide nights on 2 islands

What KK said.

Although, you might also consider 6 nts Maui (so you don't short yourself) - fly to Hilo - 2 nts Hilo or Volcano - 6 nts S. Kohala or Kona.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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7. Re: Best way to divide nights on 2 islands

Hershey,

you can call the local offices of the rental car agencies and get info on their restricted roads. They aren't the same across the board. That road is narrower than two lanes, maybe that's why they restrict it, not sure.

Keep in mind that guidebooks and blogs like to play up things they think are unique to the island, Sourthernmost point is one ...

With only seven days, you have little time to enjoy the island. Ka Lae, like most sights here, has its interesting points, but for everything you see, you are trading off something else.

In terms of sights that are enjoyable, pleasurable activities, I would put it way down the list. YMMV.

6-2-6 is also a good mix. Whatever works out in terms of costs and possible discounts -- like some condos discount seven nights.

As a reference point, my first trip here was 15 days, and there were whole districts I never got to ... I found it more interesting to explore in a bit more depth and even repeat the places that I thought really cool.

You can approach the island as a list of things to do and a tour in which you check mark off your list, or you can approach it as an experience in which you get to know the island and don't overly structure your itinerary.

To do the less structured approach, the more days the better.

8. Re: Best way to divide nights on 2 islands

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