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Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-22-2007, 09:18 PM   #1
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Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

DW and I along with two other couples are leaving the east coast and heading to Hawaii next week. We'll spend several days at a small resort on Maui, then jump on a cruise ship to visit various islands, then back to Maui for a few more days of rest and relaxation before heading home. Everyone is looking forward to the trip, we should all have a great time.

We've reviewed the brochures and sales materials from the cruise line. I'm sure we're going to do some tourist things, but we would also like to do some things that are a little different, off the beaten path.

This is our first time traveling to Hawaii and I would appreciate any suggestions this group would have. I'm content to sit on the beach, watch the pretty girls, do some fishing, snorkling and throw back a couple cold ones.

Thanks for your help.

dwk


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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-22-2007, 09:28 PM   #2
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

Snorkeling is always a blast.

Most islands have some nice hikes. Kauai has this awesome Canyon - Waimea canyon accessible from the south of the island. On the north shore there is a pretty awesome hike along the napali (sp?) cliffs. Of course if you do go to the Kauai north shore, Kileaua lighthouse is really great for the birds, seals and rugged ocean scenery.

The best Hawaii trip I ever did was a bird watching trip. We hiked/4 wheeled into some of the really remote highland areas - some off limits without special permit. Saw a part of Hawaii that has almost disappeared. Saw some amazing birds. It was awesome.

Haleakala on Maui had a really nice bird area of old-growth flowering trees just before the drive to the summit. This was easily accessible and fantastic. Tons of bright native birds in bright trees. Sorry I don't remember the name of the "grove", but the visitor center should be able to tell you. In other words - Haleakala is not just the volcano summit or the bicycle coast downhill - there is lots of other cool stuff there worth seeing.

The Big Island has tons of awesome stuff. The volcano National Park area was my favorite.

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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-22-2007, 09:36 PM   #3
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

Strongly second Audrey's Volcano National Park suggestion. It is a place on earth like no other. My wife and I have made 5 trips to the islands in the 18 years we've been married and we ALWAYS make a visit there.
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-22-2007, 09:51 PM   #4
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

cousins of mine on maui run meditative retreats. private me if you would be interested in that.
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-24-2007, 12:48 PM   #5
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

Sorry I'm late. Everyone's tastes are different, so here's one website to jumpstart your choices: http://www.101thingstodo.com/hawaii/maui/index.php

The aquarium is well worth a visit. There's also upcountry wine (Kula) and the possibility of horseback riding around Thompson Ranch. I haven't been there since Oprah bought it so I don't know if the paniolo are still in that business.

JB showed me Saigon Café in Wailuku. Call them on the phone and consider taking a taxi-- they're not easy to find but well worth the effort for lunch or dinner pho or clay pot.

If you're looking for offbeat entertainment, it's fun to watch locals (me included) make their pilgrimage to the Krispy Kreme doughnut showroom. But your time is probably better spent surfing or windsurfing Ho'okipa or snorkeling a charter out of Maalaea Bay.

We enjoy Norwegian Cruise Lines for their lack of structure & formality but we've never taken a shore excursion because they're so expensive. NCL also guarantees the local businesses a full group, so if a shore excursion isn't absolutely jammed full of your shipmates then it won't happen. My spouse spent a lot of time at the art auctions but I think it was more free booze than free Breughels. The crafts are also fun. We avoided the restaurants that offered formal meals but we really enjoyed the buffets... especially the 3 PM cookies & coffee. But if you enjoy dressing up for a formal cruise they offer that as well. And of course you will rearrange everything in your schedule to be available for the Chocoholic's Buffet.

We also found a sweatshirt/jacket and earplugs very useful during the shows and at some of the lounges. If you're walking the promenade deck during the early morning you'll get rain squalls.

The ship's itinerary will probably arrange to be off the Kiluaea lava flow at sunset. Bring a camcorder or a good digital camera and a tripod-- the lava entering the ocean is spectacular but the lighting & distance is a challenge.

Wash your hands every chance you get, and use the sanitizers.
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-24-2007, 03:28 PM   #6
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

My wife and I had been going to Hawaii for many years, primarily to Maui and Kauii, maybe 15 or 16 times, 7 to 10 day trips. We absolutely love it.

We've taken the the sliding sands trail out to a promontory inside the crater and have absolutely gorgeous timer photos of ourselves, among the clouds surrounded by the erry pastels of Haleakala. We have also biked down Haleakala, primarily a 10,000 foot coast down. Neither of us is a strenuous hiker or a bicycler.

My wife did the downhill bicycle tour on her 50th birthday and I was 59. It was a cake walk for me, but my wife had not spent much time on a bike as a youngster and she was pretty much terrified on the way down. Since we all had to stay together, the tour guide in front, (who pretty much rode down the mountain sitting backwards on the handlebars,) made her come to the front of the group so he could coach her, primarily saying, "Take your foot off the brake now!"

I'm afraid I don't have much good to say about the Norwegian cruise around the islands that we took. Perhaps it was because of the time restraints getting off and returning to the boat. We really do like to explore the offbeat places and a cruise just limits that. You usually have less than an 8 hour window and you have to start at the port you are in. We did enjoy the hike/bike tour on the rim and floor of the active volcano on the Big Island. This time my wife was fairly comfortable, but the volcanic shards are as sharp as glass and one lady's cruise was pretty much ruined because of the fall she took on our tour. On Maui, during the same cruise, we took a snorkel/sail trip on a catamaran. The boat was almost empty, maybe ten people, with two full kegs of beer. Gorden Biersch and Coors. I think we had a good time :


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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-24-2007, 05:24 PM   #7
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

We preferred walking right up to the lava (apologies to those who already saw this):

[img width=750 height=562]http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49/laurencewill/HawaiiTrip1051.jpg[/img]

It's a rare thing to get to see the Earth in this form (at least safely). I love Hawaii, been there a total of 8.5 months now.
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-24-2007, 08:31 PM   #8
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwk


This is our first time traveling to Hawaii and I would appreciate any suggestions this group would have. I'm content to sit on the beach, watch the pretty girls, do some fishing, snorkling and throw back a couple cold ones.

Thanks for your help.

dwk


If for some reason your Cruise ship doesn't offer a chance to take a snorkel trip to Molokini (off Maui) very worth while, probably the best snorkeling in the island.s Same thing if you don't see Whales on the cruise, take a 1/2 day whalewatching boat typically going to Lanai is also a lot of fun.

Still with a full itinerary on the cruise ship, my best advice is to not over structure your Hawaiian vacation.

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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-24-2007, 11:52 PM   #9
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

If you enjoy art, I have been to the following and can recommend it to others:

ART NIGHT
Front Street, Lahaina, HI

Fri: "ART NIGHT;" Friday night is Art Night, on going every Friday evening
from 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm. Visit the more than 15 galleries in Lahaina
for special gallery shows, demonstrating artists, art in action, refreshments.
FREE.

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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-25-2007, 08:13 AM   #10
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

We found the following guidebook very helpful:

Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook, Second Edition (Paperback)
by Andrew Doughty, Harriett Friedman

It describes the main attractions, but also does a great job detailing some of the lesser-known cool things to do - it was especially great for detailing various hikes (including a hike across a lava field which led to a secluded snorkel spot...we had the spot entirely to ourselves!).

I think they do books for the other islands as well.

Have fun!!!!


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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-25-2007, 01:35 PM   #11
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

The whale watching anywhere off Maui will be spectacular in February. Lots of spouting, many flukes, and an occasional family gathering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simple girl
We found the following guidebook very helpful:
Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook, Second Edition (Paperback)
by Andrew Doughty, Harriett Friedman
If you're gonna use that book then hide it. Locals are authorized to shoot these authors on sight for giving away all the secret spots, and not a state judge would convict...
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-25-2007, 03:46 PM   #12
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

The best thing I've ever done in Hawaii is to drive to Hana and stay overnight there. Absolutely gorgeous scenery on the way. Lots of waterfalls. And when you get there, it is spectacular!It's like having a tropical paradise all to yourself. Totally unlike all the resort areas.
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-25-2007, 04:03 PM   #13
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The whale watching anywhere off Maui will be spectacular in February. Lots of spouting, many flukes, and an occasional family gathering.
If you're gonna use that book then hide it. Locals are authorized to shoot these authors on sight for giving away all the secret spots, and not a state judge would convict...
It's so funny how when going around Maui in December literally every other person on the island is holding that book
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-25-2007, 06:21 PM   #14
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

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Originally Posted by saluki9
It's so funny how when going around Maui in December literally every other person on the island is holding that book
Well, people are starting to wander around the trails that are really too dangerous to be attempted by casual hikers, and swimming in places that still have leptospirosis or other runoff problems, or ending up having to be rescued. A few of the places mentioned in the book are also on private property or accessed through private property.

It's sad when you find the first copy of that book in some decedent's backpack or derelict rental car. When you find the second & third and so on it's also stupid.
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-25-2007, 06:34 PM   #15
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Well, people are starting to wander around the trails that are really too dangerous to be attempted by casual hikers, and swimming in places that still have leptospirosis or other runoff problems, or ending up having to be rescued. A few of the places mentioned in the book are also on private property or accessed through private property.

It's sad when you find the first copy of that book in some decedent's backpack or derelict rental car. When you find the second & third and so on it's also stupid.
Yikes. We didn't go anywhere that was private property - at least not to my knowledge! I like adventure, but nothing too crazy. I heard that the locals aren't too fond of the book...I kept it tucked away
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-25-2007, 09:12 PM   #16
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe
The best thing I've ever done in Hawaii is to drive to Hana and stay overnight there. Absolutely gorgeous scenery on the way. Lots of waterfalls. And when you get there, it is spectacular!It's like having a tropical paradise all to yourself. Totally unlike all the resort areas.
Interesting. We drove the road to Hana in '90 and the journey was spectacular. But, when we finally got there we couldn't figure out what all the hoopla was about.
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-25-2007, 11:50 PM   #17
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

Quote:
Originally Posted by simple girl
Yikes. We didn't go anywhere that was private property - at least not to my knowledge! I like adventure, but nothing too crazy. I heard that the locals aren't too fond of the book...I kept it tucked away
I use the "Ultimate" book as well. I just photocopy the pages I need and leave the book at home.

The latest version lists which hikes go across private property and require owner permission beforehand. Maybe they've gotten the hint?

My husband and I have been on several of the activities mentioned in the "Adventures" section. Some of those adventures were the best things we ever did together. My husband and I are excellent swimmers and seasoned hikers and many of those adventures should *not* be attempted by couch potato types. Full disclosure: my husband was injured on one of the Adventures in the book. We were reasonably prepared to deal with the consequences but it was still pretty stressful. Be prepared!!
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii
Old 01-26-2007, 09:11 PM   #18
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Re: Non tourist things to do in Hawaii

My two best memories of Maui are (1) listening to the silence at the edge of the series of craters forming Haleakala and (2) driving down the south coast of the island beyond Makena and past all the signs that said "Don't take rental cars past this point" to some very isolated beaches where the snorkeling was better than anything else we'd experienced on Maui or Molokini.
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