Hawaiian vacation to Maui

spierceisu

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Not to hijack the thread, but please keep the Kauai tips coming! Same for you @cowgirl836
For Kauai I really liked the restaurant Brenneke's on Poipu Beach. I also liked to go to Kauai Coffee. It is a small coffee plantation that is interesting. I liked going to Princevill on the north side of the island. It is very pretty.

For Maui, I really liked whale watching. I even saw a whale breach a ways out in front of our boat. It was really cool. I went to the Surfing Goats Dairy and Ocean Distillery as well.
 
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Frak

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Road to Hana is fun and we do that every time we go there, but it's a whole day thing. Especially if you're stopping at sites. Used to be you bought a CD to tell you what to look for and where to stop, now there's an app and it's well worth it. We like staying in Lahaina because there's a bunch of shops and restaurants and the waves aren't bad there. Kaanapali is a little rougher. Wailea is a little more ritzy.

If I had one suggestion, I'd say try the northern/western loop that is opposite of the Hana trip. Maui is kind of like a sideways figure 8, so this is the smaller loop. Road gets a little dicey, but the views are every bit as good as the Hana road. And less traffic. There's an awesome banana bread stand halfway around and a cool little art gallery. Just drive past Kaanapali and keep on the coast. It will eventually bring you back to Kahului, which is the biggest town with the airport.
 

cowgirl836

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If you don't take a tour boat from Port Allen around the Napali coast or a helicopter tour, or hike the Kalalau Trail, you haven't seen the best of the island. Trust me.

We wanted to do a boat tour but I was a couple weeks past their limit for pregnant riders. Kalalau trail was on the list too.....got washed out our first night there. Don't think it reopened for like 18 months. Polihale was closed too. Did do Awaawapuhi which was cool though cloudy at the end.
 
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StClone

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Not to hijack the thread, but please keep the Kauai tips coming! Same for you @cowgirl836


Kauai Tips:

Be ready to stand in long lines at most restaurants due to the low number of workers.

The most isolated place on the islands to stay we found to be Hanalei Colony Resorts on the "Golden" NW coast. Monk Seals on the Beach, a "rural" rustic drive to get there with one-lane bridges, and great food at the resort restaurant (Opakapaka Grill and Bar). Kauai is pretty special and comes closest to places like Fiji. Hanalei Colony Resorts is not new but decent and our rooms were fabulous (think of an updated version out of the movie Key West.)

Rain is often a problem if you go to Waimea Canyon. The Kilauea Lighthouse is great anytime: it is a wild place if get there around the end of March into April. You get a close approach then to nesting oceanic birds (inches away) among the Albatross, shearwaters, and Frigatebirds flying around.

Each island is different and the biggest shock may be the Big Island as it is different than what you'd expect but get to Mauna Loa.

 

cowgirl836

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Not to hijack the thread, but please keep the Kauai tips coming! Same for you @cowgirl836
I'll come back after bedtime. As mentioned, we missed much of the north side due to historic flash floods but I'll dig up my fave stuff. Helicopter tour was incredible and terrifying. Definitely glad I did it but never ever again. Person with the fear of heights on passenger side.......no door. o_O
 
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CYdTracked

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Went to Hawaii for our honeymoon 14 years ago and would love to go back at some point. Tentatively eying our 20th anniversary and maybe take the kids as they'd be 15 and 12 by then and could enjoy it too.

We spent all but 1 night in Maui and glad we did as it is way more relaxing and cultural than Honolulu was which is very touristy. We stayed at a resort in Kaanapali, can't remember the name of it but would not be surprised if it has a new name by now. Lahaina is just a very short drive down the road which has all kinds of places to eat and shop. We took a dinner cruise on a boat one night from Lahaina (the Maui Princess maybe?) which was pretty awesome to have a meal during the impressive sunsets. Do a luau one night too, ask around who has the best. I believe we went to the one at the Sheraton Resort and it was amazing. Probably some of the best food I have ever ate anywhere and the show with fire dancers was very entertaining.

Probably 2 of the best impromptu things we did. The 1st morning our resort had an orientation where they had some options of things you can do during your stay and we decided to do a helicopter tour of the south part of the island which took us over the Haleakala crater as well as the road to Hana, the rain forest and water falls, and sugar cane fields. Was a neat way to view a big chunk of the island all at once. The other was we had signed up to do some waterfall hike in the north part of the island but they had closed the areas we were to see but instead they took us all through the northern part of the island which you can't drive with your rental car. The road is very narrow and it takes you through some local villages where we got to see an outdoor sculpture garden, some poi farms, and other various local stuff we would never have been able to see otherwise.

When we go back again the road to Hana is definitely something we regret not doing in hindsight. Maui is probably the most favorite place I have ever been too.

*One thing for anyone who goes to Hawaii is try the POG juice. It's made of passion fruit, orange, and guava and is probably the best juice I have ever had. We had some for the first time at our resort orientation and immediately went to the store and bought some for our fridge and drank it every day. Can't get it anywhere on the mainland US as I have searched everywhere for it but I would buy it by the gallon here if I could it's sooooo good!
 
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ripvdub

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We did a 9 day trip to Oahu (2nights), and Kauai for (7 days) and loved it! This summer we are going to go to Maui. Anyone have any "hidden gems" kind of items that they discovered/enjoyed? Definitely on the itinerary will be snorkeling/snorkel sail and beaches (recommendations welcome). We are open to hotel or air B&B. We will definitely be renting a convertible. We also really enjoyed a mud buggy/ATV tour, so that will probably be happening. Last time we did the luau, and helicopter tour(fun, but been there and done that), so we will probably stay away from those. Things that I have been eyeing are the turtle town snorkel sail trip, the ATV tour, and possibly one of the horseback trips.
Ocean Vodka distillery was awesome. Their Kula rum was great.

Obviously a snorkle tour at the Molokini crater is a must. Lunch n drinks on the boat trip back made it even better.

Paia looked like a cool place on the way to Hana.

Road to Gana is OK. The app is neat to download as it talks to you as you drive it. But once you get past the black sand beach, it's meh.
 

JK4ISU

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Another vote for the sunrise and bike tour. It is probably my favorite thing I’ve done on any vacation. Wear an old pair of shoes. The dirt will stain them.
 

cowgirl836

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Not to hijack the thread, but please keep the Kauai tips coming! Same for you @cowgirl836

Again, the north of the island literally had like 30 inches of rain the night we landed (3am wakeup in the vrbo by the landline reporting evacuations ...not for our area) and I was 28 weeks pregnant so some things got washed off our schedule or were never options. Turn2 has a great list that includes things we missed. We went in April and Poipu was recommended to us by family who have gone a few times. If we'd gone later into the summer probably would stay in the north.

Fave things we did - knowing we like hiking, nature food, beach, not big on military stuff, shopping, big touristy things.

That scary AF helicopter ride that is actually kinda dangerous and def look into safety records. But it was amazing.
Hiked that long name hike to Napali. I'll link the view for a sunny day. It's gorgeous. Did a similar hike in Waimea Canyon.


Visited gardens in Poipu and Allerton. The former is much smaller and combined with seeing some kind of blowhole geyser thing.
Poipu beaches were really nice. Lots of time at Poipu Beach specifically I believe. Saw turtles and seals. Did a short hike above shipwreck Beach which is basically where we stayed. Beautiful sunsets.
Saw waterfalls over in Wailua, did a rum tour thing near there too. Dh got to drink for 2. We brought some home and it was pretty good...Koloa I think.
The chocolate tour was my fave more touristy thing and I don't like chocolate. Our guide was so good and the whole process is just nuts. Lydgate Farms. Highly recommend.

What else...probably lots of stuff in Hanalei we would have loved. Get all the Hawaiian ice and Gelato. Amazing acai bowl at this little store, Anake's Juice Bar. That and breakfast before that 7 mile Napali hike. Think it was in Kalaheo. Dont remember what I had but it was good, lol. Especially the coffee, fell in love with Kona coffee. Oh and this dessert that was basically ice cream cake. It's everywhere and so good (can you tell I was pregnant??)

Happy to give more deets but that covers the general stuff.
 

CaliCyfan

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Anyone have a recommendation as to where the best region to stay is (west, south, east, central, or highland)?

Currently I am thinking half of our stay on the west side, and half of our stay on the east side.

When we stayed on Kauai, we stayed on the south coast. it was alright but we spent most of our time enjoying the eastern side of the island with beaches and scenic drives. I recall not caring for the west side of the island because of how dry it was, with the exception of the Napali coast(absolutely breathtaking!), but not many raods.
 

SayMyName

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Again, the north of the island literally had like 30 inches of rain the night we landed (3am wakeup in the vrbo by the landline reporting evacuations ...not for our area) and I was 28 weeks pregnant so some things got washed off our schedule or were never options. Turn2 has a great list that includes things we missed. We went in April and Poipu was recommended to us by family who have gone a few times. If we'd gone later into the summer probably would stay in the north.

Fave things we did - knowing we like hiking, nature food, beach, not big on military stuff, shopping, big touristy things.

That scary AF helicopter ride that is actually kinda dangerous and def look into safety records. But it was amazing.
Hiked that long name hike to Napali. I'll link the view for a sunny day. It's gorgeous. Did a similar hike in Waimea Canyon.


Visited gardens in Poipu and Allerton. The former is much smaller and combined with seeing some kind of blowhole geyser thing.
Poipu beaches were really nice. Lots of time at Poipu Beach specifically I believe. Saw turtles and seals. Did a short hike above shipwreck Beach which is basically where we stayed. Beautiful sunsets.
Saw waterfalls over in Wailua, did a rum tour thing near there too. Dh got to drink for 2. We brought some home and it was pretty good...Koloa I think.
The chocolate tour was my fave more touristy thing and I don't like chocolate. Our guide was so good and the whole process is just nuts. Lydgate Farms. Highly recommend.

What else...probably lots of stuff in Hanalei we would have loved. Get all the Hawaiian ice and Gelato. Amazing acai bowl at this little store, Anake's Juice Bar. That and breakfast before that 7 mile Napali hike. Think it was in Kalaheo. Dont remember what I had but it was good, lol. Especially the coffee, fell in love with Kona coffee. Oh and this dessert that was basically ice cream cake. It's everywhere and so good (can you tell I was pregnant??)

Happy to give more deets but that covers the general stuff.
This is fantastic - thank you!

Intention would be to visit over winter break, somewhere in the mid-Dec / pre-Xmas timeframe. Thinking a combination of light activities and sightseeing, but also want to prioritize relaxation and beach time. Along with plenty of wining and dining opportunities!
 
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VeloClone

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This is fantastic - thank you!

Intention would be to visit over winter break, somewhere in the mid-Dec / pre-Xmas timeframe. Thinking a combination of light activities and sightseeing, but also want to prioritize relaxation and beach time. Along with plenty of wining and dining opportunities!
Good timing for whale watching. Whale season starts mid- December but the first whales usually come a couple of months earlier.
 

spierceisu

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For Kauai I really liked the restaurant Brenneke's on Poipu Beach. I also liked to go to Kauai Coffee. It is a small coffee plantation that is interesting. I liked going to Princevill on the north side of the island. It is very pretty.

For Maui, I really liked whale watching. I even saw a whale breach a ways out in front of our boat. It was really cool. I went to the Surfing Goats Dairy and Ocean Distillery as well.
I also highly recommend getting a Puka dog. It is a Hawaiian style hot dog with mustard and a fruit type of relish. Really good. I believe we had some at a place by Poipu Beach. It is nothing fancy, but really good.
 
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cowgirl836

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Oh poke bowls too. This probably goes for all of Hawaii. Sushi and poke. DH loved it when we were there. Again, pregnant and that was my pre sushi love days so I can't directly say.
 

jsb

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I also highly recommend getting a Puka dog. It is a Hawaiian style hot dog with mustard and a fruit type of relish. Really good. I believe we had some at a place by Poipu Beach. It is nothing fancy, but really good.

Puka dogs were amazing! I'd go back just for those.
 

Cycsk

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I don't know if it's the same app you're talking about but we used this one on both the road to Hana in Maui as well as Yellowstone and it's really good.

Looks like they changed the name from Gypsy guide to Guide Along

Please don't underestimate the twists and turns of this road. When we went, my wife had to drive in order not to get car sick. And we had to stop, wait, and turn around about 1/3 of the way because even that was too much for her to handle.

But it was amazing. It seemed like there was an entirely different set of trees and plants around every corner. The rainbow trees were some of my favorites.

1684436776429.png
 

Cycsk

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Again, the north of the island literally had like 30 inches of rain the night we landed (3am wakeup in the vrbo by the landline reporting evacuations ...not for our area) and I was 28 weeks pregnant so some things got washed off our schedule or were never options. Turn2 has a great list that includes things we missed. We went in April and Poipu was recommended to us by family who have gone a few times. If we'd gone later into the summer probably would stay in the north.

Fave things we did - knowing we like hiking, nature food, beach, not big on military stuff, shopping, big touristy things.

That scary AF helicopter ride that is actually kinda dangerous and def look into safety records. But it was amazing.
Hiked that long name hike to Napali. I'll link the view for a sunny day. It's gorgeous. Did a similar hike in Waimea Canyon.


Visited gardens in Poipu and Allerton. The former is much smaller and combined with seeing some kind of blowhole geyser thing.
Poipu beaches were really nice. Lots of time at Poipu Beach specifically I believe. Saw turtles and seals. Did a short hike above shipwreck Beach which is basically where we stayed. Beautiful sunsets.
Saw waterfalls over in Wailua, did a rum tour thing near there too. Dh got to drink for 2. We brought some home and it was pretty good...Koloa I think.
The chocolate tour was my fave more touristy thing and I don't like chocolate. Our guide was so good and the whole process is just nuts. Lydgate Farms. Highly recommend.

What else...probably lots of stuff in Hanalei we would have loved. Get all the Hawaiian ice and Gelato. Amazing acai bowl at this little store, Anake's Juice Bar. That and breakfast before that 7 mile Napali hike. Think it was in Kalaheo. Dont remember what I had but it was good, lol. Especially the coffee, fell in love with Kona coffee. Oh and this dessert that was basically ice cream cake. It's everywhere and so good (can you tell I was pregnant??)

Happy to give more deets but that covers the general stuff.


If I'm not mistaken, the US location that has the least rain per year and the US location that has the most rain are just a few miles apart in Kauai!
 
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Cycsk

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Some of you ag folks might be interested in this. As I recall, there was a "plant introduction farm" on the southwest side of Kauai, not unlike the one in Ames near State Road and US 30.