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11 Nights - First timers - best sights and restaurants

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Fairfax, Virginia
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for Barbados
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11 Nights - First timers - best sights and restaurants

Just booked 11 nights at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Flying from DCA. Always go to Barbados - first trip to Hawaii. Should we spend all 11 nights in Oahu seeing the sights and enjoying the food (we love Hawaii 50 & want to see that gorgeous type of scenery), or should be go someplace else for a few nights. Also - should we spend 11 nights at the Hilton Hawaiian Village if we stay on Oahu or should we break that up?

Typically we enjoy condos too but don't want to spend more than $230/night for the 2 of us. We are going on September 15 for the 11 nights.

What are some "must see sights" - we love gorgeous scenery, flowers, waterfalls (not into big city).

Also what are some of the top restaurants to enjoy - we like gourmet most of the time, but also like to try the "local-flavor" type places. Just want a memorable trip.

Are any of the luaus better?

Any particular tour operator we should check with for the best value?

Thanks in advance for all of the advice.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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1. Re: 11 Nights - First timers - best sights and restaurants

I would spend 5 nights on Oahu and 6 nights on Kauai for the best samples of what Hawaii has to offer.

Oahu has some of the best known sights and Kauai has the tropical, uncrowded feel you want Hawaii to be.

Unless you have kids, I'd also consider the Outrigger Reef over the HHV. The HHV has its fans, but it is a huge, Las Vegas sized hotel, in fact it was the 16th largest hotel in the world last time I checked.

Even though Waikiki and Honolulu are "big city" technically, it isn't the feel of a big city in Waikiki like you might have in NY or Chicago and Waikiki is central to the sights you'd want to see and the best dining.

For ideas on dining, look at Amberloo and Food in the "Top Questions" section to the right of the screen. I had a nice rant the other day when someone asked about The Cheesecake Factory, but the thread has great ideas about dining, high end to local.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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2. Re: 11 Nights - First timers - best sights and restaurants

With 11 nights you have plenty of time to do two islands. Maui or Kauai would be good!! Or, you can spend your entire time here on Oahu and still not see or do everything possible. There is nothing wrong with the HHV but it is large and caters to families and conventioneers!!

Plan on renting a car. Whether you rent for the entire time or just a few days, it's nice to have transportation at your finger tips. Advice on tour companies will depend on what you want to do. It's easier for most folks just to do the touring on their own.

The best waterfalls will be seen on Maui but there are a few little one's that are accessible on Oahu. Foster Botanical Gardens is one of my favorite places to go to see the flora and fauna of Hawaii.

Plenty of great places for food. From local fast food to fine dining, you can find what you are looking for. Check out that link scott suggests for the best on Oahu!!

Dallas
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3. Re: 11 Nights - First timers - best sights and restaurants

I would say spend 7 nights on Oahu and 4 on Maui. Lots more to do and see on Oahu.

I too would locate away from the HHV unless you have kids. Much better hotels and locations in my opinion that HHV.

LA
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4. Re: 11 Nights - First timers - best sights and restaurants

11 Nights on Waikiki at the Hilton Hawaiian Village would be too much for me.

I'd spend 6 nights on another island.

Edited: 26 December 2011, 19:09
California
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5. Re: 11 Nights - First timers - best sights and restaurants

This could go back and forth on the amount of days to spend, but the bottom line is you should do Oahu and either Maui or Kauai. You can't go wrong with either.

Edited: 26 December 2011, 19:10
Gold Coast
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6. Re: 11 Nights - First timers - best sights and restaurants

You could just do Oahu and stay a few nights at Turtle Bay Resort. The North Shore is a world away from Waikiki, and heaps to see. Most of LOST was filmed around here and you will see the beautiful mountains so recognizable as Hawaii. You can also sit and watch turtles basking in the sun. Enjoy

Iowa City, Iowa
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7. Re: 11 Nights - First timers - best sights and restaurants

<,Also what are some of the top restaurants to enjoy - we like gourmet most of the time, but also like to try the "local-flavor" type places. Just want a memorable trip.>

I will address this question-our favorite top end restaurants are, Michel's,Lamer, Orchids, Hau Tree Lanai.

Hula Grill, Dukes, Tiki Grill, Top of Waikiki, A House Without a Key all have good food and nice combination of view, ambiance and service.

Beach House at the Moana and Azure at the Royal Hawaiian are a bit pretentious, over priced, and food is ok. We still visit the Beach House for its view, atmosphere.

8. Re: 11 Nights - First timers - best sights and restaurants

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