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Old 08-27-2016, 07:50 PM   #21
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Thanks for the input!
Would one night in Hana be enough and then 5 nights at resort by Lahaina?
Last time we were in Hana, there was just one hotel there. And it didin't have televisions or telephones in the rooms. I wouldn't consider staying out there.

The drive to Hana is so crooked that those sitting in the back seat will probably get car sick. It happened to me, and I never get car sick.

We stayed in a condo on our honeymoon for almost 2 weeks at Kapalua Bay Resort--north of Lahaina.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:48 AM   #22
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Never have stayed in Hana so this is only google "knowledge"....there might be 2 hotels and a variety B&Bs and other rental places. It is certainly possible to make a day trip to/from Hana tho it would be a long day with limited time there to explore but depending on what OP wants to do, may or may not be worth it staying there.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:51 AM   #23
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We started in Oahu. then flew to and stayed in Hilo for a couple nights, using it as a base to explore the south eastern side of the Island, including a whole day at Volcano National Park. One night we drove west out of town to get away from the lights and look up at the stars. Wow!

Then we drove counter clockwise across the northern end of the island stopping off at waterfalls along the way to break up the trip. Then we stayed in Hilton Waikoloa Village. (We got a good deal. It is an amazing property, with pools, gardens, animals including very very loud early rising birds!). Restaurants were absolutely outrageously priced. If doing it over, I would look at VRBO or some other condo rental nearby and shop for groceries (as a mainlander it will still be sticker shock, but better than restaurants) and eat more meals at the condo, especially breakfast.

We visited beaches on the north west side including the nearly perfect Hapuna Beach just north of the Hilton. Also the black sand beach and hike at the northwestern most tip. From Kona, we took a snorkeling boat ride to Captain Cook's grave marker. Great snorkeling! Highly recommended.

We missed - the green sand beach on the southwest side and did not go up to Mauna Kea, the big mountain in the middle, but both could be day trips from Kona.



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Hawaii Trip Planning Questions
Old 08-28-2016, 09:09 AM   #24
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Hawaii Trip Planning Questions

Some Big Island info - Hilo is very tropical (leeward side) with lots of history. Ken's House of Pancakes in Hilo has the best breakfast in Hawaii, hands down!

We did a day-long guided hike on the lava field of Kilauea - it was well worth the time, effort & $$. Same with a guided trip to the top of Mauna Kea (think twice before taking your rental car up the mountain road)

We stayed at Arnott's Lodge in Hilo and booked the lava hike & Mauna Kea trips with them. Their guides were outstanding.

https://www.arnottslodge.com/

Kona tends to be drier (windward side) and a better location for snorkeling. We are scuba divers and the manta ray night dive off the coast near the Kona airport is incredible. The beaches on the Hilo side are beautiful.

Consider booking accommodations in Hilo through VRBO as many locals have built small Ohanas (guest houses) on their properties. When DW & I have visited Hawaii, we look to find the best value $$-wise in accommodations (it need only be clean, safe & quiet - most have kitchenettes & wi-fi) as the entirety of our day from early morning to dusk is spent outdoors going places and doing things.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:49 AM   #25
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.................- Hilo is very tropical (leeward side) ..................................................
Kona tends to be drier (windward side) .............................
sorry for the nitpicking here.....waiting for 3 y.o. granddaughter to get up so we can go to restaurant and have nothing else better to do.........this might be backwards?

Prevailing winds are NE trades so Hilo gets them (winds) and the associated rain.
Kona is on the opposite side in the lee (wind and rain shadow created by the high mountains in the middle of island).
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:56 AM   #26
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+1

I sometimes get my right & left mixed up, starboard & port, fore & aft, along with my leeward & windward... quite often depends on the direction that I'm facing.

But I've never made the mistake of pi$$ing into the wind!
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:05 AM   #27
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+1

........................................

But I've never made the mistake of pi$$ing into the wind!
At least you've got your priorities right
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:27 PM   #28
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I'll be making the same trip next June for the 6th time. Stay in a condo; VRBO is great. If you want to split locations, you'll pay a little more for a 2-3 day stay than a 7 day. But you will spend more time and money in travel time.

If you get a condo, stop at local farmers markets for fresh cheap produce. Check out local seafood shops. DW and I love to cook; can make a cheap delicious seafood dinner that would've cost you an arm and leg. We can grill fresh ahi tuna with a tropical fruit salsa and rice just as good as the next guy. But I won't have the "tiny bubbles " magic.

Get out and see the islands, hike and swim, snorkle them. Every beach is accessible by law. Every beach is a different ecosystem, coral, sand, surf and fish. If you are going to lay on the beach and get a tan, save your money and go to Florida.

Get the books " Maui Revisited" and "Hawaii Revisited". Great info; tells you all the secrets. Like I mentioned, been there 5 times and had a blast with and without the kids.
Spent more money staying 7 days at Disney than 10 days in Hawaii. (no rental car in Disney either.)

And "ocean view" may mean you can see the ocean....looking through trees, between 2 other buildings, and may be just an ocean "glimpse".
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Hawaii trip planning questions
Old 08-28-2016, 08:31 PM   #29
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Hawaii trip planning questions

Check out priceline.com as well, I booked a hotel with them just last week and got a pretty good deal. I was then able to bundle a rental car for only $17 a day.

Stayed the whole time near Kona, if I had to do it again I would split it up to Hilo or elsewhere to cut down on driving time.


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Old 08-28-2016, 11:18 PM   #30
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We didn't make the Hana drive in our recent Maui visit. So much to do!

Honestly - I think we were too busy running around and gathering fresh papayas and other glorious tropical fruits to take to our condo in Kaanapali. Fortunately our first B&B was up at 3000 feet (towards Haleakala) and surrounded by fruit farms with roadside stands. It was good that we stocked up, because the local supply in the Kaanapali area wasn't nearly as good quality.

What we did on Maui was spend three nights in a B&B near Kula, for easier access to the top of the volcano (Haleakala), and then we relocated to Kaanapali area for a longer period. At Kaanapali most of what we wanted to do was in walking distance, although we did drive to Lahaina one afternoon (and lord was it hot!!!). We really enjoyed our trip.
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Old 08-29-2016, 03:19 AM   #31
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I go to Maui often. I sometimes stay in Kehei and sometimes near Lahania.

My favorite spot on Maui is the Ka'anahali Beach Resort. It's very old Hawaiian. The beach is right there, snorkeling at Black Rock right there. Nice restaurant, bar, every night there's live music, walking distance to Whaler's Village. It's not fancy but you will leave very relaxed. They give you a welcome breakfast where you can sign up for all the fun stuff; snorkeling boat trips, dinner cruises, etc. all at the best prices. If you go there, pay for the valet parking. So easy to just walk out and they fetch your car and it's only about $2 a day more than regular parking. There are a few golf courses right there too. Even if you don't golf, you will find them nice to walk on in the evenings.

There are lots of hidden beaches on Maui. Get a book to tell you where. Mostly on dead end streets in neighborhoods. There will be a gate between two houses. Signs will say Beach Access but are small, you have to look.

Hana is o.k. if you've never been, but I have a friend who has a house there. I hire a helicopter to take us. Lands on their back yard and picks us up in a few days for about $200. Cheaper than a hotel! Ha!

Make dinner reservations at Mama's Fish House if you've never been. You'll feel like royalty. Pricey though; dinner for two, with drinks, dessert was about $300. A special treat for us, but we are so glad we did it.

Upcountry is Cowboy Town and lots of little shops and businesses. Drive around the North end all the way. Beautiful turnouts and views. Takes all day.

The volcano is also pretty neat to see at least once.

We book our trips through Costco. Air, hotel, car for around $2500 for two for 10 days.
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Old 08-29-2016, 03:38 AM   #32
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What a timely thread! We're spending a week on the big island and a week on Maui next Jan/Feb. I booked one night at Volcano House; otherwise we're staying at timeshares in Kona and Kihei. Maybe we should spend more time in Volcanoes national park.

I last went to Maui in 1995. When the government shutdown closed the national parks. So this time we'll get to Haleakala. I'm also looking forward to seeing humpback whales in Maui.

The highlight of our last Maui trip was a helicopter ride over Molokai and the west Maui mountains. The waterfalls on Molokai were amazing.

The many suggestions on where to eat are helpful. I won't be spending $300 on a meal though.


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Old 08-29-2016, 01:40 PM   #33
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Went to Maui two years ago. Went the twisty road to Hana like everyone else, but then continued to circle the island clockwise. It was very passible with just a few sections of dirt/gravel road. It was a much different (much straighter) road but no roadside stands. If we go back to Hana I would not hesitate to return from Hana going clockwise. We missed it but Charles Lindburg is buried somewhere on this return road and there are some other attractions to see also, other than the mgnificent scenery. For both Maui and the big island we use the blue books "Maui Revealed" and "Big Island Revealed" to point out landmarks, places to go, and things to do, with detailed directions based on roadside mile markers.

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Old 08-29-2016, 04:07 PM   #34
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Wow, some terrific ideas! Thanks to everyone! Have the Revealed books and will ponder all the advise you've provided and figure out how to move forward. Thanks again!



There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.
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