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Itinerary feedback?

Cincinnati
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Itinerary feedback?

I'm looking for feedback if I'm on the right page for a general outline of a 2 1/2 week trip to Hawaii at the beginning of November. I don't need to nail down specific days quite yet, but I'm trying to fly and stay on miles & points and I need to get the general outline of flying in, hotels, inter-island flights, and flying out so I can book these ASAP. I laid out my whole itinerary in the general forum and got some good feedback, but one recommendation was to post the specific pieces in the different island forums. Please note when you look at this below: I was told I didn't have enough time in the Big Island and to take a day out of Oahu & Kuaui, so I've robbed Peter to pay Paul! Don't blame me!

Day 1: Arrive Honolulu. Rent car, check into hotel in Waikiki area, head to Waikiki Beach.

Day 2: Pearl Harbor/Chinatown/Honolulu sights (e.g. select from Academy of Arts, Contemporary Museum, Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace)

Day 3: Hanauma Bay snorkeling or snorkel boat ride/Diamond Head Hike

Day 4: Hiking OR North Shore surf beaches (to watch, not to surf!) or both

Day 5: Fly to Kauai.

(The rest of the trip is 5 days in Kauai, and 7 or 8 days on the Big Island. We're going for more beauty/outdoor/nature things rather than city things.) I'd welcome any feedback. Thanks.

Indy
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1. Re: Itinerary feedback?

book your Pearl Harbor Arizona tour in advance for $1.5. Then plan tour around that. Usually people are there from 8-2ish, touring Missouri and Bowfin also, so maybe do other sight seeing after morning snorkeling/hike on day 3.

I haven't been yet so I'm sure others will chime in. We are visiting Oahu, Kauai and Maui this June.

Philadelphia, PA
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2. Re: Itinerary feedback?

That sounds about like my first 3 night visit to Oahu before going to Kauai, except we didn't see the North Shore until my second visit. Just a thought, since you mention hiking twice, you could hike the Makapuu Lighthouse trail on the Windward Coast and visit Hanauma Bay both in one day, and save Diamond Head and some Waikiki Beach time for a separate day. There's lots of fun stuff to do from the beach; catamaran sails, surf lessons, outrigger canoe rides. You won't find so much in one place like that on Kauai. If you're coming from Cincinnati, you most likely won't get in early enough on Day 1 to really have beach time then.

Saint Cloud...
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3. Re: Itinerary feedback?

There is more to see & do on Oahu than any other island. Don't cut any time off Oahu.

Santa Monica, CA
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4. Re: Itinerary feedback?

<Day 2: Pearl Harbor/Chinatown/Honolulu sights (e.g. select from Academy of Arts, Contemporary Museum, Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace)> Get to the USS Arizona first thing so you can enjoy the late morning/afternoon downtown. For a nice respite, visit pretty Foster Botanical Garden. Have a meal in Chinatown after your museum visits.

<Day 3: Hanauma Bay snorkeling or snorkel boat ride/Diamond Head Hike> I would try to enjoy more of the beauty of Oahu this day by starting at Hanauma Bay (first thing in the AM), then do one of the circle island tours found on the right side of this page under Top questions. If you can, include one of Oahu's gorgeous botanical gardens on the windward side - Lyon Arboretum or Ho'omoluhia Botanical Garden. There are nice, easy hikes there in gorgeous, lush surroundings.

<Day 4: Hiking OR North Shore surf beaches (to watch, not to surf!) or both> For a way to do both, check out this hike:

oahuhiking.com/Kaena%20Point%20Trail.htm

I think you will be amazed at Oahu's beauty. I love both the city and the country and Oahu has both.

Northern California...
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5. Re: Itinerary feedback?

If you are definitely doing 2 islands, consider breaking up your flights purchased with miles/points into 3 segments: home airport to 1st island > hop to 2nd island > fly home from 2nd island. Even if your flight home gets routed through the 1st island, the price in miles/points is usually the same as going from the 1st island to home. You essentially save by not purchasing the segment going from the 2nd island to the 1st island on the way back.

In other words, don't buy two round trip tickets - buy 3 one way tickets.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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6. Re: Itinerary feedback?

By booking in advance, on line for the USS Arizona Memorial, you can decide on what time to do the tour. The earliest is 8:00am and you have to be at the Visitor's Center an hour in advance to pick up the tickets. If you want to go to the other memorials you can buy your tickets when you get there. The USS Arizona Memorial tickets are free but when you book them on line there is a 1.50 processing charge per ticket.

www.recreation.gov

I would do Bishop Museum and/or Iolani Palace after lunch in Chinatown.

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Itinerary feedback?

So the OP is actually doing three islands, and one of them is the BI. This might change some of your suggestions and recommendations, for instance, I would skip Hanauma Bay. You will enjoy much better snorkeling on the Big Island.

I disagree that there's "more to see and do" on Oahu that any other island, the main issue is simply one of logistics...the BI is almost nine times the size. Even with the added time the OP doesn't have enough time on the BI for her itinerary :-)

Edited: 15 May 2014, 20:19
Kapaa, Hawaii
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8. Re: Itinerary feedback?

Although we know the snorkeling on Oahu isn't near as good as on the island of Hawaii, Hanauma Bay is definitely worthy of a visit if just to see the bay. Op, you can drive up there after hiking Diamond Head, there is an overlook. Only costs a dollar for parking.

Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Itinerary feedback?

I agree with fishdiva re the overlook, I just wouldn't bother to get in the water there or do a snorkel boat tour. After the Diamond Head hike and the overlook, you could spend some downtime on Waikiki Beach. A surf lesson here would be fun as is the people watching. And on Day 4, I would just enjoy the north shore beaches. Given all the hiking you're doing on all the islands and overall busyness of the itinerary, I think you'll want some more downtime. Not necessarily laying around on a beach (although you might surprise yourself and find you are slipping into "island time"...which is a good thing!), you can walk them and Haleiwa is fun to explore. Also November is a transition month and I've been there when it is flat so you might want to get into the water. You can play that by ear.

10. Re: Itinerary feedback?

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