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Hawaii Travel Tips?


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Initial post: May 8, 2012 8:12:32 PM PDT
I'll be going for two weeks in August. I'll be staying in Honolulu, Hilo, and Kahului.

What are your must sees? Any tips?

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 9:33:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2012 10:07:19 AM PDT
First, reserve a rental car for all three destinations - Hawaii isn't a theme park so you'll need transportation that YOU control. Then, starting on Oahu (home of the city and county of Honolulu) spend a day doing the circle island drive. Remember, smash and grab artists can spot a rental car clear across a parking lot so never leave anything in your vehicle - trunk included. Pearl Harbor, Chinatown and The Bishop Museum are must sees. Figure on a couple days to do it right.

Then, moving on to Kahului (Maui) take a mountain trek and see Upcountry. Drive up to Keokea for coffee at Grandma's before heading on to the summit of Haleakala. The views are only surpassed by the quality of the mountain air. On the way back down stop in Makawao and Paia for some alternative shopping.

Last comes Hilo on the Big Island and it's sleepy backwater ambiance. The primary attraction in these parts is Kilauea to see an active volcano. Make sure to take in the National Park and learn a few things along the way. You'll want to experiment with Hawaii's culinary assets as you go so pick-up copies of the latest Hawaii Restaurant Guides before hitting the trail. Print copies of the comprehensive guides are available in advance from Amazon or download Kindle smartphone eBooks on the road. Here's links to help you get what you'll need:

Comprehensive Print Books For Those Who Really Want To Be In The Know:

Oahu Restaurants And Dining With Honolulu And Waikiki

Maui Restaurants And Dining With Lanai And Molokai

Big Island of Hawaii Restaurants and Dining with Hilo and the Kona Coast

Snapshot Kindle eBooks Focusing On Budget/Value Dining Priced Accordingly:

Oahu Budget Restaurants And Value Dining With Honolulu And Waikiki

Maui Budget Restaurants And Value Dining With Lanai And Molokai

Big Island Of Hawaii Budget Restaurants And Value Dining With Hilo And The Kona Coast

Finally, a combination snapshot/print book covering all six Hawaiian Islands:

Hawaii Budget Restaurants And Value Dining 2011 With The Big Island Of Hawaii, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu And Kauai

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 5:50:36 PM PDT
K. Hyde says:
Oahu: I firmly believe everyone who visits Oahu should go minimally to the USS Arizona Memorial. But there are other parts of Pearl Harbor that a history lover will just go nuts over - the USS Missouri (where the Japanese surrendered to the US) and Pacific Aviation Museum. I highly recommend paying for the Missouri tour, though you can tour it yourself. Both of these are on Ford Island and a shuttle will take you there. The USS Oklahoma Memorial is right where the Missouri is and is a free outdoor memorial. I had military access so I was able to go to the USS Utah on Ford Island, which most people don't see because it's in an area not accessible to civilians. The USS Bowfin is next door to the USS Arizona visitor center and is a neat self guided tour if you're not fearful of very tight spaces. Again, for the history lover it's great and easily a 2 day experience. If you're not into history all that much it might bore you. If you wanted to top it off you could go to Punchbowl Cemetery (formally called the National Cemetery of the Pacific) where there are several notable plots and a great little walking tour to a fabulous overview of Honolulu and Diamondhead. On the other side of the island is the town of Kaneohe and the Byodo In Temple is there - built in 1968 with no nails and is a replica of one in Japan that's many centuries old. If you're lucky enough to not have a bunch of tourists around you can get a fabulous picture which will likely have a neat layer of haze over the hills in the background - I wish I could post my picture for you. The circle island drive, as suggested by another the other person posting, is a nice day to kill 4-5 hours on a lazy day. Waimea Bay on the North Shore is particularly nice for some nice shots and I got a killer sunset shot near there. Some people suggested I go to the Polynesian Cultural Center for a luau and all that stuff, but I'm not really into all of that. Those who go, however, seem to love it so that's also something to consider. On a Saturday I parked my rental car near the justice building in Honolulu and got a great shot of the King Kameahama (spelling?) statue - if you watch the new Hawaii Five-O that's their "headquarters" and they show the statue at least once on each episode.

Big Island: Hilo is the rainest location in the entire US so don't expect the nice sunny skies there - maybe you'll hit it during a good time, but for the most part it's quite overcast and/or raining. It's a good place to stay, however, if you plan on Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to be a big part of your trip - hotel prices are pretty reasonable in Hilo. I did a cycling tour of the park - it was about $125 in 2009 but SO worth it since you'll see parts of the park you wouldn't otherwise really access from driving through it. It's an easy ride since it's downhill and you coast 90% of it. They make several stops along the way and provide snacks, beverages, etc. If you get tired of riding the bike you can go in the van with them. I know I got much, much more out of my trip by seeing it that way and highly recommend it. The guides will tell you about the neat geologic features that you might not really get into otherwise. The Holei Sea Arch at the very end is great for a picture as the waves hit it (another picture I wish I could post for you). I did a Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tour over the park and I don't regret it, but I get motion sick easily and probably didn't get as much out of it as I could have because of that, but that's just me. You can purchase a DVD of your flight too which is kind of a nice feature. It gives you a very interesting perspective from above. For sunnier skies head over to Kona on the western side of the island. The National Park service runs a couple of interesting sites on that side (go to their website and get more info) that focus on traditional Hawaiian life before it became all touristy. If you like astronomy you can take a tour to the top of Mauna Kea (most rental car companies prohibit you from driving on the Saddle Road so you need to access a tour company).

I purchased an older copy of the Moon Hawaii tour book from Amazon before I went on my trip in Feb. 2009 that gave information on sites for all the islands, but I know there are some books that focus on each individual island. Personally, unless you're staying for 2 months I think the one big book is fine. I found it good for getting some ideas. I'm sure you can get a good used copy for next to nothing - I think I paid a whopping $6 and $4 of that was postage. Even if it's an older copy you can use it to at least gather some ideas and go online to check out prices and any new features a place may have.

If you thought that was a lot of information ask me about Colorado - I could go on and on and on. I hope you get some great tips and enjoy your trip!

I didn't visit Maui - I wanted to, but could only go to either the Big Island or Maui with the time frame I was working with.

Posted on Jun 1, 2012 3:37:37 PM PDT
Awazon travel site is a great site indeed, i use it really , you can also check out this new site that offers cheap hotels and car rental services worldwide; http://www.cheapertraveling.net/

i think worth trying

Posted on Jul 30, 2012 1:38:45 AM PDT
In Maui. Baked in Maui was very good. Great local place. Food was awesome. We stayed upcounty in a cottage in February.
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Discussion in:  Travel forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  5
Initial post:  May 8, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 30, 2012

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