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4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

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Boulder, Colorado
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4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

My husband and I have spent several vacations in Kauai. We loved it and now want to expand our repertoire and experience one of the other islands. We enjoy outdoor activities including swimming, road biking, running, and hiking. My husband does photography and I enjoy learning about the local community. We have fun cooking in and we enjoy fine dining out. Night life is not particularly important. We tend to like to stay put without moving our home base, instead, making day trips from our hotel. Our travel is scheduled for mid-November to mid-December. Your suggestions are appreciated.

Seattle
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1. Re: 4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

I think you could find what you're seeking at any of the other islands... Oahu, Maui, Big Island for sure. 4 weeks is a long time. If you're looking for one island I think B.I. is the most diverse and largest so might take the most time to explore. -suze

California
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for Oahu
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2. Re: 4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

As Suze said -- you can spend 4 weeks on any of the major islands. Pick up a copy of Hawaii for Dummies (bad title, sorry!) and a good map. Have you gone to www.gohawaii.com? They can send you materials and maps as well.

Truly -- the BI, Maui ... Oahu ... wonderful, each of them. There are a zillion variables, so ... Good Luck!

Angleton, Texas
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3. Re: 4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

In 2006 we spent 4 weeks in a condo in Waikiki. One of the greatest times we've ever had, the first time we ever spent a month anywhere. This amount of time enables you to really kick back and relax and see the sights that most tourists won't enjoy. Going to the Farmer's Markets around the island, going to the local noodle shops, you really get a feel for the people and your surroundings, much more than just sitting on a beach every day for a week (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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4. Re: 4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

Gee - can I come with?? That sounds wonderful! I don't really have any suggestions, other than a week on each island, maybe 2 weeks on the Big Island - that will enable you to really explore. I would love to read a trip report when you finish this trip! :)

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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5. Re: 4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

Two thoughts.

One, if you stayed in one place, a condo on Oahu or Maui for a month you would feel like a local in two weeks. The people where you get your morning coffee and the grocery store will get to know your name and you will blend comfortably into the scene. You could then do an overnight to say the Big Island to visit Volcano National Park and maybe Kona.

Thought number two is, as others have said, split between three islands, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. With those three I would spend the most time on Maui and the least time on the Big Island. I can go to the Big Island for a week or ten days to relax, but when we do, it is usually the Kohala Coast and we barely leave the hotel or area because we've seen everything we want to see on the BI meaning the volcanoes, Mauna Kea, Kona, Hilo, etc. Yeah the Big Island is BIG, but there isn't that much there, lots of open space. It has the same population of Maui, more or less.

Oahu I would do to visit the historic sites, Pearl Harbor, Punchbowl, Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum, etc.

That leaves Maui for the bulk of your time and there you could split too between West & South Maui.

LA
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6. Re: 4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

I had two weeks on The Big Island and it was a wonderful trip I will never forget. It had the luxury of time to really explore wonderful places, like Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park, and the Hamakua coast.

Chicagoland
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7. Re: 4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

We've spent from two to four weeks on all four major islands for many years. When we decided to buy a condo we chose South Maui. (If we were summer visitors, rather then visiting in February, we might have selected Kapalua, Maui).

Maui appealed for its variety of natural beauty and the number of man-made attractions. You can be 'all alone' on Maui, or you can be in a busy town or resort area. Maui has the largest choice of lodgings and restaurants outside of Honolulu. (We always *mean* to get out to eat more, but that means leaving our own lanai. LOL)

Any of the major four would be interesting for you. I'd choose Big Island or Maui, but Oahu is great too! We aren't *helping* here, are we...?

Seattle
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8. Re: 4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

I think it also is important to consider what you want out of the trip. If it is a "vacation" and you want to see lots of different scenery, do actvities and typical tourist stuff, maybe 1 week on each of 4 islands.

If you want to "live like a local" than I'd pick any 1 island, and stay put for the month. Probably you can save money on accomodations if you rented a condo for an entire month somewhere. -suze

San Francisco
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9. Re: 4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

Personally, I really liked the Big Island, and with that kind of time you can really see a lot. It's large and can take you some time to get to the sites (volcanoes. green sand beaches, etc)

I'm in the minority, I guess, but I thought Maui was just OK. I was there for 4 days and that was enough--it's like Orange County with better beaches.

The big island (or Oahu) will give you a better feel for the "real Hawaii, IMHO.

Have fun!

wdl
Sunnyvale...
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10. Re: 4 weeks in Hawaii. Where to go?

Like MikeSF, I also tend to be minority. I loved Maui but not much as Big Island: BI has better beaches (though fewer) and more reliable snorkeling (year around). Maui has more nice beaches but BI has the nicest beaches, IMHO. We spent 10 days, but we thought it was short (for example, we thought we could explore a bit more of the Hilo side, do some more stuff at VNP, explore Hawi and Polulu, and even Puna county and the Island south. Not to mention that Mauna Kea wasn't even on our plans. Didn't have time for none of that.

I also think that Oahu tends to be a bit underrated because most people tend to equate it with Waikiki. Constructions have been going on on the Kapolei area, an area that is sunny, has not many visitors, but has some nice resorts and condos (I know there is a Marriott there). I would not mind spending a good time in the area (it's beyong Pearl Harbor), which is about a half hour drive from Waikiki (one hour with traffic). I also like the Kailua and N coast, though it can be a bit rainy there. By the way, the highway taking you from Kailua to H1 (I think is H3) is one of the most amazing dramatic highway views ever, IMHO. You can exercise most of your activities here with maybe some more infrastructure. And if fine dining is your thing, then you won't be able to beat Oahu in terms of options.

Don't get me wrong, I also loved Maui, but I think there will be more posting of Maui advocates, so I thought I would try to make a case for the other two islands as well.