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Which Island, which town?

Chicago, Illinois
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Which Island, which town?

We are travelling end of March 2013 with teenagers 13 and 15. We usually rent a condo or house on Grand Cayman or other tropical location. We don't do hotels because we need to wind down, read a book and occasionally explore a new town (require a bit more privacy).

We love walking to towns and exploring. We are travellers more than tourists and see most places we visit by foot, bike, care (in that order). Can you recommend an island (and location within that island) that fits this description?

I must add that we went to Maui without the kids eight years ago and stayed at a very nice resort. We found it unusual that most people we met, on or off of the resort, were from California and met few people who were of polynesian descent. We found locals at that time to be not very friendly. It was the most beautiful island though.

Chicagoland
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1. Re: Which Island, which town?

You might like Kauai, Big Island or little Lanai or Molokai.

March is within Whale Season; the greatest numbers are in the channel between Maui and Lanai.

You are going to find a lot of mainlandersthroughout Hawaii -- especially if you stay at a big resort. More people come from the West Coast because it's *closer*. (We don't know where you hail from.) You *might* have more contact with locals staying at a condo, but as you probably know, Tourism is Hawaii's 'industry'. Local people are not about to make fast friends with the visitor who is here today, gone tomorrow -- but I've not known Hawaiians to be 'rude' to anyone! (I can think of some East Coasters who barely tolerate 'the summer people'.)

Healy, Alaska
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2. Re: Which Island, which town?

I think Sue is right on in advice - how much time do you have? Keep calm waters or like to surf? On Kauai, I think you would like the town of Hanalei, though most people stay further south during the winter months. Big Island would be a great island for your family to explore, but you would need to stay in a few locations to really see/explore that island. :)

Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: Which Island, which town?

I don't actually think the Big Island would suit you all that well unless you are focused on ocean sports (snorkeling, diving, paddle boarding, swimming). Kauai sounds like it would fit better. Length of stay, accommodation budget would help.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Which Island, which town?

We would be staying for seven nights and eight days. We are from midwest. No budget in mind. Last year went to Barbados and rented a condo in Speitztown. 3 minute walk from heart of town. Bought fresh groceries and streetside food each day. We prefer super-calm waters, which is why most of our vacations have been to caribbean (Jamiaica, St. Lucia, Barbados, BVI's, USVI's, Nevis, Grand Cayman).

Thank you for your replies. If you have anything to add, we will "listen".

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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5. Re: Which Island, which town?

I think you'd like Hanalei on Kaua`i. Things are a little different here than in the Caribbean. Fresh produce is mostly available at the farmers markets, which happen every day except Sunday in different places on the island. There are several places to eat in Hanalei, and during the summer Hanalei Bay will be nice and calm.

BTW, you've posted on the subforum for the Big Island of Hawai`i. You might want to post on the overall Hawai`i forum.

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Which Island, which town?

Hmmmm. Maybe someone else will correct me or have a creative idea but I've been sitting here thinking about it and nothing really matches up to your wish list/vision for me in Hawaii in March. If it was summer, the north shore of Kauai would be a good fit because it has tons of cute vacation rental homes, and Hanalei is a really nice town, and the water is generally calm. But in March it can be really unpredictable and I wouldn't ever call it "super calm". The Big Island doesn't really have the charming small beach towns and the vacation home rental scene like Kauai, and while the waters are some of the calmest in the state in March again it's unpredictable. Maui might work although it is more touristy and overbuilt unless you look at the Hana area, but then you have the problem of no really calm ocean/beach. Hawaii really is a different animal than the Caribbean, but it has a lot to offer. With only a week you really only have time for one island. I still think Kauai would work but less for the ocean and more for the great hiking, dramatic beaches and mountains, Waimea Canyon, cute towns, laid back vibe.

I'll be interested to see other answers to see what I'm maybe not thinking of, but do repost on the general Hawaii forum so you get more replies.

Midwest
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7. Re: Which Island, which town?

Hanalei on Kauai can have very rough surf in March, so I dont feel that meets your requirements for 'calm waters.' Since I never found other parts there as charming, consider something like Napili Bay in Maui or Wailea Maui.

Edited: 20 April 2012, 22:00
Canada
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8. Re: Which Island, which town?

Yeah ...agree... a tough one...but leaning definitely to Kauai overall. The Northshore is a better match for your laid back feel locale.

The time of your visit can really dictate the weather in Hawaii and location on Island.....

http://www.hawaiigaga.com/WeatherGuide.aspx

Speightstown in Barbados is a place not soon replicated in Hawaii...but parts of Kauai can definitely come close.

9. Re: Which Island, which town?

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