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1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

Colorado
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1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

Looking for activities for all ages. Concerned about the surf in July, staying on the south-west side. Should we be snorkeling equipment or rental? Want to avoid the resort communities and just enjoy the beauty of kauai. I want to do a helicopter ride, no else does...are they worth the money or should we do a boat ride?

California
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1. Re: 1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

Suggested activities for teens (I had 3 teens):

1. ATV (Kipu Ranch)

2. Zipline (Princeville Rnch)

3. Surf lessons (Kalapaki Bay or Hanalei Bay)

4. hiking (Waimea Canyon)

5. boogie boarding (Poipu Beach)

6. eating (this really should be #1)

7.kayaking (Wailua River or Hanalei River)

8. snorkeling at Ke'e

As far a helicopter ride they are very expensive and for the entire family it can break the vacation budget so why not just you go while the others beach it for the afternoon. It is pretty unreal. I think the kids would enjoy a boat tour too.

The surf will be gentle on the North Shore and rougher in July on the South side. You will probably be spending a lot of time up North for the beach activities.

California
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2. Re: 1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

I agree with everything with everything suggested by jebett. Here are a few other suggestions:

1. Tubing with Kauai Back Country (my grandkids still talk about this)

2. Horseback riding in Princeville

3. Allerton Garden tour--Yes, the kids loved it and so will you.

Louisville
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3. Re: 1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

So everyone is flying across the Pacific in an airplane, but some don't want to get on a helicopter ?????

We have been twice and did the helicopter ride both times. This past year our friends went with us. He flew in the navy so he was ready to do it, she wasn't. But she did and she said it was the best thing she has ever done on a vacation. And if she went back she would do it again. She is 60 years old.

It is one of the most awesome experiences I have ever had. Seeing Kauai by air is breath taking. The helicopter ride is like you floating on a cloud. Lift off is like sitting in a chair and a few people pick you up as slow as they can.

Next question .......Is it worth it ? Well you can get a good rate if you shop around and check brochures for discounts. We flew Island Helicopters. Be in business for right at 30 years, got great reviews and they were $25 - $60 less expensive than the others. All the helicopters fly basiclally the same route, just make sure you get at least a 50 minute ride. We spent $164 pp in Sept 09.

What else to do.............Kayak the River, and visit Wailua Falls (Fantasy Island Waterfall) and Opeakaa Falls, then drive to Kilauea Lighthouse and Refuge. Stop at Kilauea Video and Candy Store and get their ice craem. The best I have EVER had.

Another trip ......... Drive from Princeville to Ke'e Beach. Take your snorkeling gear to snorkel, or swim at one on the many beaches along the way. Ke'e Beach is a great place for a "Picnic" lunch and the snorkeling is great. Hanalei Bay is a great place to view the sunset. Queens Bath in Princeville is worth the hike to it. Just wear tennis shoes because flip flops won' t cut it.

One more thing to do........Drive to Wailea Canyon.

Don' t know if you have picked a condo but here is a site to help you out. We stayed on the North Shore both times. It is what you expect Hawaii to be. I would suggest Puu Poa, Alli Kai, Sealodge or Hanalei Bay Resort on the North Shore.

www.wizardpub.com/kauai/kauaerials.html

Click on a resort of interest, scroll down to "Take Me There" and view available units and prices.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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4. Re: 1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

Do the helo ride by yourself. When you get off and start talking about how awesome it was the others will be jealous. ;D It's like nothing you've ever seen before.

Another option, less expensive, would be Wings Over Kaua`i, which is an airplane tour. Excellent reports about this. Still, for 5 people it will be expensive.

I can understand how someone would be nervous about a helicopter even if they're not nervous about the plane flight. I was, my first time. I actually did a 10-minute helo ride at a fair to see if I would be OK. Flying in a plane has never bothered me at all, even in a small, light plane. Turned out the helo was great.

Santa Rosa...
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5. Re: 1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

"So everyone is flying across the Pacific in an airplane, but some don't want to get on a helicopter ?????"

Cancun Crew, I think you're presuming their issue is a safety issue. It sounded to me like it's an issue of cost and if they would prefer a boat ride for the same or less money. Not everyone feels that they get the most bang for the big bucks with a helicopter ride. Lastly, some do not like the idea of a helicopter ride even though they flew across the Pacific on a jumbo jet. Quite a different experience.

Seattle Washington
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6. Re: 1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

You have been given many great activities to discuss with your family. Also keep in mind that there are also many gorgeous beaches, hikes, snorkeling, along with other beautiful areas to explore that are free and can make for wonderful family excursions.

Whatever you choose I am sure you will have a wonderful vacation!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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7. Re: 1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

Welcome to the forum!

July is the perfect time to stay on the northshore, where the water/beaches will be perfect for snorkeling & swimming. We have always bought our snorkel gear, but I guess that depends on your family. You could easily rent something or buy it when you get here. If you don't want like a hotel resort, there are many condos in the Princeville area. And if you want something more unique, there are houses/cottages available - Haena, Hanalei, Anini would all over a non-resort experience for you.

If you haven't been to Hawaii yet, I would recommend going to Smith's Luau sometime during your stay - they are great fun! Go early so you can enjoy their gardens, see the emu ceremony and all that. http://www.smithskauai.com/

Lots of hiking on Kauai if you are interested - I usually couldn't pry my kids (teens included) out of the water/off the beach. You can also rent kayaks for a few of the rivers as well.

I would recommend reading some trip reports here on this forum as well as getting a copy of the Ultimate Kauai Revealed guidebook - excellent maps and reviews - good overview of the island, just use caution with some of their ideas of private property access and such.

You can easily do your heli tour while the rest of the family does something else - plenty of things to do on Kauai.

Have a wonderful trip! :)

Chicagoland
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8. Re: 1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

Have you already booked? I'd *much* prefer to stay north on Kauai in summer. (Legend has it the ali`i lived north in summer and south in winter.)

Kauai is THE island for a helicopter tour. So much of the island is vertical that the only way to see it is from the sky! Most tours will tape the ride; you can go and then show your family the tape.

California
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9. Re: 1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

A couple of other fun excursions I forgot to mention:

Biking down Waimea Canyon with Outfitters Kauai and the Kipu Ranch tour with Outfitters which we have done many times. However, if you do the Kipu Ranch tour I would not recommend jumping off Kipu Falls. There have been many accidents.

California
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10. Re: 1st time to hawaii, family of 5(3 teenagers) what to do?

Whoops! I should have said biking down Waimea Canyon Rd. Biking down Waimea Canyou would be quite an adventure!