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First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

NY
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89 posts
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First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

I'm planning a week long trip to Hawaii the week of 12/10, and have no idea where to even begin! I would love some advice on what island(s) are a must see, what the weather is like during that time, and anything else anyone can offer. We are a young couple (late 20's) looking for reasonable lodging, and beautiful scenery.

Thank you!

Wisconsin
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1. Re: First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

If its just a week, 7-8 nights I would do just one island. If its 10 nights you can do 5 and 5 and do 2 islands. I say go to Maui. Haven't been to Kauai but I am sure its beautiful also. That time of year it probably rains more in Kauai than Maui also.

Princeville, Hawaii
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2. Re: First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

I would reccomend Oahu so you can do the Waikiki thing, has to be seen to be believed, Pearl Harbor and then the beautiful North Shore, which may have big waves while you are there. In a week, it is good because you can fly fairly direct and don't need a rental car the whole time. Think it is a good first timer island.

Chicagoland
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3. Re: First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

Each of the Hawaiian islands is special. You can't miss by deciding to visit any ONE of them on a one-week trip.

If you are interested in the history of Hawaii and/or seeing Pearl Harbor, the Punchbowl, Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach -- stay Oahu. Get out of Honolulu and see the wild parts; winter is high surf on the North Shore.

If you want to see more rural Hawaii, visit Kauai -- stay south in Poipu, or on the West coast, as winters tend to be rainy, windy in the north. You can tour it by road in five days.

Big Island is truly unique, with its live volcano, snow-capped mountain observatory, moon-like lava landscapes and green pastures, sun-baked coastline. It has more micro-climates than any place on earth (that I know of, anyway). It's BIG, with more to see and all of it more spread out -- more driving.

Maui has the tropical beauty of the other islands, and a larger selection of "creature comforts" -- four major hotels in S. Maui; lots of nice condos; a bit of nightlife in W. Maui.

The islands of Lanai and Molokai are extremely laid back, but each has a plush hotel and some other less expensive lodgings.

DH and I have visited the four major islands many times, and bought in S. Kihei five years ago. We still love visiting the other islands, but for a stay of a month, there was no question we wanted S. Maui.

Value Season (at least in our area) continues up to Dec. 20, so you should get good rates.

Montgomery, Texas
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4. Re: First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

I know Shantybob recommended Oahu, but I wouldn't waste my time there--too many people and too touristy--Unless that's your thing. I would recommend Kauai--the north side if you want less population, south side (Poipu) if you want resorts & people; Maui--Kaanapali if you want touristy and resorts, Kihei for a less 'resorty' atmosphere, or Hana if you want to really get away from it all; the Big Island (Hawaii) is a diverse island and has some nice resorts on the west side (Kona coast), two active volcanos, and a rain-forest atmosphere on the east side. Haven't visited any of the other islands, so no input about them. Hope you can plan a fabulous week!

Sniffies

Saint Cloud...
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for Oahu
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5. Re: First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

More to see & do on Oahu than any other island.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29222-i37-k647862…

www.mauihawaii.org

www.visitmaui.com Free brochure

www.bigisland.org Free brochure

www.kauaidiscovery.com Free brochure

www.kauai-hawaii.com

Lubbock, Texas
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6. Re: First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

My wife and I are early thirties. Although Oahu offers more night life etc... we wanted something more relaxing. So, in '04 we spent a week on the Big Island. In '05 we spent a week in Maui. We loved them both. Like someone in a previous post stated you can't miss no matter which island you decide to visit. My suggestion is to decide what type of vacation you want and then go from there.

good luck!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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7. Re: First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

Aloha! Lots of folks mentioned the differences about the islands, so I won't redo that. However, you did mention that you wanted reasonable lodging. One of the best sites is www.vrbo,com - you can check out all different types of lodging on the islands - truly something for every budget. I love telling people that I stayed in a nice studio condo on Kauai for around $66 per night - when based on a weekly rental rate. It kind of depends on what you are looking for - some people prefer hotels, because they want more service. But condos/cottages really help the budget since you can do some minimal meal prep . . . and they are often roomier.

Also, I would highly recommend the "Revealed" book for whatever island you decide on - for example: Maui Revealed, Oahu Revealed. They are very detailed and can help immensely in your travel planning. Best of luck - you'll love Hawaii! :)

NY
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8. Re: First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

Thank you to all who answered- we found reasonable lodging at hte Marriott WAiohai Beach Club on the eastern side of Kauai. However, I've heard it can be rainy and windy there in December, and don't want to get stuck with bad weather. Can anyone shed some light on that? Haven't booked yet.

Thanks!!!

Chicagoland
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9. Re: First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

The only Waiohai I know is in Poipu -- south part of Kauai. That's the place to be in the winter months! You'll love it.

Vail,CO
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10. Re: First timer to Hawaii-Need all the help I can get!

Been to Hawaii 5 times...In my opinion, I like Maui & the big island best> Oahu is just too "big city" & busy for my taste! Kauai was too laid-back, Maui is a happy medium. The big island is just awesome on the Kona side, the Hilo side was wet & not as scenic, to me. We always pick a western-facing area for the reason you will discover below!

I agree with previous poster: if you are only going for a week, stay in one place! You will find plenty to do, and besides, you're going to Hawaii for romance & relaxation, right?!!!

The best advice I can give you on Hawaii is never, EVER, EVER miss a sunset!!!