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Best split of days between four islands over 4 weeks

Ottawa, Canada
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Best split of days between four islands over 4 weeks


I have posted a number of questions already on the other islands' forums, about my itinerary. My 3 weeks vacation now has the real possibility of being 4 weeks. I am therefore considering adding Kauai to our itinerary, but wondering what the best split between the four islands is. This will be our first trip to Hawaii, and we love beaches, clear waters, beautiful nature, and some bussling city activity (like Wakiki). Here is what we are now thinking for our itinerary, with the added time:

Big Island - 6 nights in South Kohala area + 1 night in Volcano + 1 night in Hilo. Fly out of Hilo to get to Maui.

Maui - 6 nights in Kanaapali area + 2 nights in Hana. Fly to Kauai.

Kauai - 6 nights in North shore area. Fly to Oahu.

Oahu - 5 nights in Wakiki area. Fly back home from Honolulu.

Thoughts, recommendations, and advice most welcomed! We hope to book tonight, for a departure around April 23rd ish!


PS. I am putting this post on the other island forums as well.

Corona del Mar, CA
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1. Re: Best split of days between four islands over 4 weeks

In May I would lean to the South over the North on Kauai. It also depends on what your budget is what your wants are.

The largest groupings of accommodations in the North are in Princeville and most of Princeville is up on cliffs, there is only one beach there.

Poipu in the South will have more accommodations at or very near the beach and also more options for dining and shopping.

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2. Re: Best split of days between four islands over 4 weeks

You will not find "bussling city activity unless you stay in Lihue or Kapaa during rush hour.

I totally disagree with Scott that in May you should concentrate on the South Shore. It looks like you will be in Kauai the end of May. That is the perfect time to enjoy the North Shore and all it has to offer. You will already be staying in busy Kanapaali, and Waikiki will give you the craziness you are seeking, so why not change it up and stay on the North Shore of Kauai. The ocean will be calm, the beaches are unreal and there is a lot to do like zipline, SUP, hiking, hanging out at Tahiti Nui at night, snorkeling etc. Even if you choose to stay in Princeville which has a very expensive hotel (St Regis) and many condo options, you are a 10-25 minute drive away from the beaches those staying on other sides of the island are flocking to and have to drive an hour and a half to get to. Under top questions is which side of the island to stay, but I can tell you from years of experience coming in May every year, its a fabulous time of the year on the North Shore. If you want to stay where there are maybe 10 more restaurants total, then sure Poipu is the place to stay. Poipu has a few nice hotels and condos right on a beach. Sheraton and Kiahuna Plantation are some to consider.

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for Poipu
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3. Re: Best split of days between four islands over 4 weeks

I agree with Jebett - I think the North Shore would be a great antidote to all the running around you'll be doing on BI and Maui. I would look at renting a house in Hanalei or even Haena, just to get that remote jungle-y experience.

I personally would also swap your last two weeks and do Oahu before Kauai - then you'll end your trip on an utterly mellow note (but probably have a harder time returning to the "real world"!).

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4. Re: Best split of days between four islands over 4 weeks

While Poipu isn't at all like Waikiki or even Kaanapali I'd still recommend the north shore as a way to round out your experiences of Hawaii as a whole. While you should be fine weatherwise there in May, let's not forget that May isn't quite the more consistent July and August weather there. But swimming and snorkeling will be great no matter what the skies are saying.

My other comments......

Why one night in Hilo? Just to position yourself for an early flight out to Maui? Everyone is different of course but I personally wouldn't give up 5 nights to Waikiki, especially at the end of 4 weeks in the islands. You might be wondering why are we here, I'd rather be back in (fill in the blanks). If it's for that "bustling" factor you're going to see that to some degree at Kaanapali / Lahaina. If you give 5 nights to Oahu you might want to consider splitting it with some time on the windward coast or north shore.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Best split of days between four islands over 4 weeks

As always, the North Shore fans say north and the south shore fans say south. Best to look at the Top Questions thread on "which side of the island to stay on" to get a sense of the various areas and decide for yourself.

Both are great. I'm not a princeville fan though.

Your splits look ok, but there's a lot of moving around. I'd skip Hilo and just drive down from Volcano to fly out. Half a day in Hilo looking at the town is plenty for me. 5 days in Waikiki is more that I could deal with too but there are a lot of things to see and do on Oahu so why not.

Kauai, Hawaii
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6. Re: Best split of days between four islands over 4 weeks

Anyplace on Kaua`i should be lovely in May. I'd look for something other than the Princeville community, though. It's a bit manicured for my tastes, although Hanalei Bay Resort is quite nice.

On the Big Island, just stay in Volcano. You may find that the B&B's there require a 2-night minimum anyway.

7. Re: Best split of days between four islands over 4 weeks

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