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2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

Toronto, Canada
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2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

Hi all,

My husband and I are planning a two week vacation in Hawaii for our five year anniversary. It would be for late June / early July of this year. We are first timers to Hawaii and in our early 30s. We would definitely like to check out Waikiki and Oahu for a few days, but are torn between doing Maui or the Big Island thereafter. Maui seems more romantic, but the Big Island seems to have more to do and see (active volcano, etc). Previously our vacations have always centered on trips to places with a lot of sightseeing and history, as we're both history buffs... obviously we're not planning on getting too much of that in Hawaii!

Any advice on what would be best? Perhaps doing all three islands (Oahu, Maui & the Big Island)? Or is that too much for 2 weeks? It would work out to just under 4 days per island when you consider days lost to travel. Would one week in Oahu and one week in Maui be the most we should squeeze in?

Also, in Maui, would it be better to stay in one location all week, or move around the island, from West Maui to South Maui and possibly a couple of days in Hana?

Thanks so much for your advice, I want this to be a trip of a lifetime!

washington
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for Maui
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1. Re: 2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

You could easily spend 2 weeks on any one of the islands and not "see it all". Stick to 2 islands...I'd split between Oahu and Maui and stay in one spot on each island.

Lots of history to found too! Don't miss the Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace, Pearl Harbor and the Punchbowl on Oahu.

California
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for Oahu
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2. Re: 2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

1) Count your nights, not your weeks.

2) Understand that July 4th is a major American holiday and a VERY busy, popular time to visit Hawaii. You are planning very late.

3) You need more than a "few days" to see Oahu. You could spend weeks there. Either give it at least 5 or 6 nights ...

4) Between Maui and the Big Island - I personally would choose Maui. For first-timers, Maui and Oahu are a great pairing. Know that you will need a car on either. On Oahu, you can do OK without a car within Honolulu - but to really explore the Island, you will need a car there as well. And *** note this ... you need to reserve your cars pronto! Hawaii can, and does run out of rental cars.

5) Both the Big Island and Maui have more than enough to see and do! The Big Island does have the active volcano ... Maui's volcano is dormant. Both are incredible.

6) <<we're both history buffs... obviously we're not planning on getting too much of that in Hawaii!>> Good news! You are wrong... Lots of history ... and some things that will surprise you. For history, Oahu is #1.

7) Stick to two Islands. Split your nights in half ... 6/6 or 6/7. You will easily lose at least a 1/2 day transitioning between the Islands, and the cost of the interisland flights gets expensive!

8) There is no reason to switch accomodations on Maui. If you want to spend a night in Hana ... that's OK.

9) Do you have your flights yet? Try to fly in to your first Island and home from you last Island.

Edited: 25 April 2013, 16:24
Dallas
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3. Re: 2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

I'm not sure what "more romantic" means, but I would say the romance factor is probably the same on all the islands. Kind of what you make of it to me.

That said, I think if you want to just see volcano things, then you have to go to the big island. Other than that, I'm not sure that the BI offers any more than Maui. Maui has probably got more places to go and things to do than the BI, but is not nearly as big.

Oahu has lots of things to see and do, and you can easily spend your entire time there. I guess if you just want to say you have seen a volcano (btw no eruptions happening right now) then maybe the BI is for you. Otherwise I would suggest that Oahu and Maui, or Oahu and Kauai would be better for a first trip.

Have a great time.

Aloha

Toronto, Canada
4 posts
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4. Re: 2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

Thanks so much everyone! your advice is extremely helpful!! :)

I will be booking a hotel on Waikiki beach today and will book for a full week. I am a bit confused as to where to stay on Maui. I am thinking west Maui, but will it be a more difficult drive to get around to all the recommended spots in Maui from the west side? Also, would you recommend a condo or hotel? Any place in particular?

Lastly, is the drive to Hana truly as spectacular as the guide books say? I have been told otherwise by a friend, but can be swayed either way!

Thanks!

Healy, Alaska
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5. Re: 2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

There are lots of posts about the Road to Hana - for me, I wouldn't miss that if I were going to Maui. I thought it was very beautiful and well worth the drive. :)

California
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for Oahu
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6. Re: 2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

I far prefer West Maui ... but folks have their favorites. Condos are fine, but with just the two of you, so are resorts.

Yes, West Maui (and it depended on WHERE in W Maui) is maybe 15 minutes farther to the Road to Hana and Haleakala (that area). This of course, is all relative ... because South Maui is closer depending on where in South Maui you are. And the difference is not a deal-breaker.

We can't effectively recommend a hotel/condo for you without your nightly accomodations budget. That goes for Maui and Waikiki.

Actually, if you want to chat about Maui and Maui hotels, it's time to repost those questions on the Island of Maui Forum. You'll get more responses.

Run your Waikiki hotel options (and budget) by us if you want.

Road to Hana ... lovely. But very busy in the high season summer months. It's the kind of thing that you can decide once you arrive. And you can drive part of it and turn around if you like. You don't have to go all the way. Hana is not the attraction, the Road is. Do some more reading.

c w
se reg.
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7. Re: 2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

2 weeks equals 14 night, doesn't it?

OP, you could squeeze in three if you really wanted.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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8. Re: 2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

Two islands. There's plenty to keep you occupied on Maui for a week, but just a week on the Big Island is very tight. The main attractions are on opposite sides of the island with a lot of driving in between. It pretty much has to be considered 2 islands by itself. That said, You could do a couple of days in Volcano if that's what you really want to see, and the rest on Maui. I'd stay in one place on Maui. The island just isn't that big.

Overland Park...
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9. Re: 2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

Road to Hana...if you plan to drive it yourself, check with your car rental agency first. Some prohibit it.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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10. Re: 2 Weeks in Hawaii - suggestions on islands, itinerary?

The Road to Hana is NOT prohibited by any rental car agency. A PORTION of the road is prohibited by all major rental car companies. You can't drive any further than Kipahulu where Lindbergh's grave is. That is where you turn around and go back the same way you came. And yes, it's as gorgeous as any guide book says, better when you experience it yourself!!