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Hawaii (State of)

14 days in Hawaii

I'll be in Hawaii at the beginning of May for 14 days.

I have decided I would visit Honolulu plus 2 more islands only. My choice is Maui and Big Island.

I am just wondering how many days I should spend on each of the 3 (Oahu, Maui and Big).

I will rent a car on Maui and on Big Island, but not in Honolulu.

Would you please help me with the following:

1) Are 3 days enough in Honolulu? Think one day in the north on the beach, one day at Pearl Harbour and one day on Waikiki, although it seems that Waikiki is not necessarily worth it.

2) On Maui, I've been told it can be more rainy on the West Coast. I've planned to spend 5 days there, split my stay 3 days in the North West area (Kapalua? Kihei?) and 2 days in the East (including one day road to Hana).

3) On the Big Island, I would split my stay : 2 or 3 days around Kona, 2 days around Hilo including the national park). One day around Mauna Kea.

I'd like to spend 2 days at the beach each on the Big Island and Maui.

Should I spend more time on the Big Island? Do you believe that 3 days in Honolulu, 5 days on Maui and 6 days on the Big Island is a good split?


9 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Kailua

No car on Oahu? Getting to Pearl Harbor from Waikiki can be done via public transportation but getting to and from the north shore that way is out of the question in my opinion. Not only will it take forever, but you'll miss opportunities to do things such as stopping for shave ice at Matsumoto's.. [original VT link]

Be sure to reserve time for Volcanoes National Park while on the Big Island.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Bucharest

Sounds like a good split to me, provided that you're not coming from far away in which case you'll need to factor in the jetlag. In that case your plan may be a bit too filled with activities. In my opinion it's a good idea to rent a car in Honolulu, especially if you plan to go to Pearl Harbour or to the north of the island. As some activities that are worth doing on Oahu I would suggest the hike to Diamond Head Crater (excellent views of Honolulu and around) and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay. I enjoyed Waikiki but it depends a lot on your taste, as it is a crowded beach. Lovely nonetheless, with restaurants and bars right on the beach and plenty of activities at hand.

Maui West Coast is a lot more rainy than the East Coast (this is true for all Hawaiian islands, in fact Hilo, on Big Island, holds some kind of record as the rainiest place in the US - or close :) ) In Maui I would recommend checking out Lahaina, driving up Haleakala and if you enjoy snorkeling the Honolua Bay is an amazing spot for it.

The Volcanoes National Park on Big Island is absolutely amazing. For snorkeling I recommend Honaunau, you'll be sharing the ocean with lots of turtles.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member


I was in Hawaii 6 years ago and spent 6 days in Waikiki. i loved it there. if you love shopping there is a fab mall there. my favourite little restaurant was called dukes right on the beach. i think its at the outrigger hotel. and a couple of cool bars if they are around was Bobby G Spot and Tsunami. I also spent the day at the Hilton day spa for a fantasticmassage and facial and you get to utilise the facilities there. you will LOVE Hawaii !! hope this helps and everything is still open! Also do a luau. they are a fun nite out!

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Miami

Planning a similar trip as we speak.
Have been to Hawaii before splitting 3 weeks between 4 islands.
2-3 days Hana is perfect, Maui being my favorite island.
2-3 days in Hilo is perfect if you wish to visit Volcano National Park.
Just found and am in process of booking into Tara Firma Inn, Volcano National Park:

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Westlake Village

Aloha, I would spend more time seeing the culture of Hawaii on Oahu. The previous reply about needing a car on Oahu is for those that like to do things at their own time and where they want to go. Oahu has many interesting locations; On the road to the North Shore from Waikiki is the Dole Plantation, that offers everything pineapple, When you reach the North Shore you will arrive at the artists town of Haleiwa. Worth a walk around, maybe lunch at a tropical restaurant or save it for the Shrimp Trucks. Matsumoto' Shave Ice (North Shore) See my VT page: [original VT link] beaches on the North Shore are fabulous and snorkeling is great at Shark Cove. Surfing or just watching can take up hours, if you a sport minding beach going person. Waimea Park (North Shore) is across the road from the Waimea beach and surfers in the water, Shrimp Farms and Shrimp Food Trucks (North Shore near Turtle Bay Resort), Save room for the mile high pie at the Crouching Lion Inn near Laie and the Polynesian Cultural Center that is an all day experience where you learn and interact with all of Polynesia. See:
Peaceful and a view of the Koolau Mountain Range is found at Haiku Gardens in Kaneohe. See my VT page: [original VT link]
Laze around on the white powder sands of Kailua or windsurf. Over on the Waikiki side is Hanauma Bay, the perfect spot for spotting the beautiful variety of fish within a few feet of the shore. See my VT page: [original VT link]

A sunset sail off Waikiki Beach with all the Honolulu City Lights. See my VT page: [original VT link]

If you don't like sailing, then a must sunset spot is at the beach bar at the Surfrider Moana Hotel on the beach at Waikiki. See my VT page: [original VT link]
All in all, the idea of Oahu is that not only is there a lot to see, you can also can do as the locals do, be laid back and take it easy. Enjoy the many attractions of Honolulu, from Chinatown ( See the Nana's making the flower Leis) to the Queen's Palace, the seat of Hawaii and the only Royal Palace in the USA. Bishops Museum for the pure Hawaiian culture and the view from the Punchbowl, a memorial park with the most spectacular view from beyond Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor. Of course, Pearl Harbor is a memorial as well and the USS Arizona Memorial can be at least a half day excursion. See my VT page: [original VT link]
"The Mightly Mo", the Battleship USS Missouri, sits on the Pearl Harbor Island and can be boarded by tourists. See my VT page: [original VT link]
Just a trolley ride in Waikiki and shopping at the Ala Moana Center is a full day and the food court at the Center has a little bit of everything. \
All I can add is that if you really want to get the feel of the land, spend at least one more day on Oahu. I would shorten the stay on the Big Island. As one who has lived in Hawaii, on Oahu, I may be partial, but all the Islands have something different to offer. On Oahu, you can be on the go more than lazing around with a Mai Tai in your hand, but that isn't so bad either. Maui is no ka 'oi (the best) at relaxing, Ka'anapali is the tourist center only a few miles to Lahaina Town. See my VT pages for Maui: [original VT link]
The Big Island for the living volcano and deep sea sport fishing, See VT member RickinDutch VT Big Island page: [original VT link] Kauai has the rainiest spot in Hawaii and the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. See VT member GracesTrips VT Kauai Pages: [original VT link]

These are the major tourist Islands of Hawaii, my second home. Welcome. :-)

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Stockton

Travelgourmet has given great advice. My only suggestion would be to min my moves (pack/unpack). Even the "big island" can still be visited from one central location on day trips. Don't waste time moving hotel to hotel. We did the big island from not where I would consider "central" but still saw plenty in a reasonable amount of time. We have done the drive to Hana from Kaanapali in an easy day. Those scare tactics about what a awful drive it is aren't to be believed. Most of the drive even from Kaanapali is pretty easy. It's not until you get well past the airport does the road get a little narrow and twisty. But still an easy one day drive even from Kaanapali. Get a car on Oahu even if just for the day to make a drive around the island. We did that just for the day and then just walked to every thing else from the hotel.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Fairmont

A car on the Big Island is a must. Don't forget to drive to the Northern and Southern shores as well. On the Southern shore near the southern most point" is a green sand beach. Bring your backpack and some water for the walk. the drive along the Northern shore is absolutely amazing. There are stops all along the road for parks and even small trails which you can hike down to some secluded black sand beaches.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Calabasas

I would spend a day extra in Maui, and cut down a day on the BI. I enjoy them both, but I like the multitude of things to do on Maui. I wouldn't worry too much about rain except in Hilo. Even then how cares. Just go with the flow. Even on the West Coast of Maui it may rain 20 minutes and then be done. You only need to base yourself in one town on each Island. In Maui I prefer Makena, and then do day trips to Hana, or Paia, or Lahaina or Ioa Valley. Plus I think the beaches are the best around Makena. You may not need a car for everyday on Oahu, but if you explore the East and North sides you are going to want the flexibility. Plus rental cars are cheap in Hawaii. Enjoy and aloha to all my friends who answered this post. ;-)

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from London

if you adulation arcade there is a fab capital there. my admired little restaurant was alleged dukes appropriate on the beach. i anticipate its at the outrigger hotel. and a brace of air-conditioned confined if they are about was Bobby G Spot and Tsunami.

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