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Old 07-21-2011, 11:35 AM
 
21 posts, read 103,568 times
Reputation: 15

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Aloha again,
I booked my husband and I in Oahu for our 10 day vacation next month, but now I'm wondering after reading so many negative things on here about Oahu(it can be changed since we have to fly in to HNL anyway) should we be staying in Oahu, Kauai, Big Island, or Maui? I want a relaxing vacation, but I am not able to do uphill, long hikes with my health condition. I want to snorkel, I want to relax, but I don't want to be bored either? I do want to get that 'paradise feel' for sure, but don't want to have to sit around all day on a beach.
Some of the activities we are interested in:

Snorkeling
Eating, eating and more eating LOL
scenery
wildlife (ie; dolphins, turtles, fish, whales, whatever is offered) However I am rediculously scared of sharks. I never in my life thought I'd be snorkeling, but if it's shallow enough water, I doubt there will be sharks (hopefully, LOL)
luau
blue water beaches
IF we stayed on another island, I'd have to say volcanoes would be a huge interest and black sand beaches. (which I know are not on Oahu)

When my mom went to visit Hawaii, she did island hopping and had a lot more time than we will. I think they stayed 2.5 weeks. They saw an island with lots of roosters. It looked very cool.

I don't think I'd be interested in a helicopter ride. I'm afraid of small planes and helicopters and well, even heights a bit LOL. Yeah, I'm a big wuss I know I have Fibromyalgia and while I have pain medication, hiking up steep hills is not going to be something I can do much of.

The traffic in Oahu sounds rediculous. We did want to check out jobs out there and what life might be like living there . Although I am pretty sure it's just a dream and won't happen. But my health is so much better in the warmer weather. My husband works at a bank here and health coverage and full time work is VERY important.

OK I am rambling..sorry, I do love to chat.
Where to vacation? My husband and I have never been to Hawaii. Very excited!!

Mahola in advance for the responses.

Andi
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Woodbridge
263 posts, read 842,145 times
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My husband and I are heading to Oahu for a vacation as well. We have plans to go kayaking, visit the USS Arizona and have already booked a day trip to The Big Island to see the volcanoes. We also want to relax.
11 years ago we went to Maui and Kauai for our Honeymoon and had a fabulous time. Maui had some great snorkeling at Molokini and the bike ride down Haleakala was fabulous. You can do as much or as little as you want.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Hilo, HI
219 posts, read 453,200 times
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Well I can tell you, Kauai is the island with all the chickens. It is very relaxed and beautiful. There are scenic drives and boat tours, you don't have to take an all day hike to see nature's beauty there. Since your mom did all this island hopping, have you spoken to her about it?
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,644 posts, read 20,385,234 times
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Oahu is a good island to start your Hawaiian experience on. It has lots to do, is fun, and has a good bus system. If you are staying in a hotel in Waikiki, you could probably not even need to rent a car except for a day or two if you wanted to drive around the island. Many of the hotels will have a shuttle bus to take you to the hotel from the airport if not, there are shuttle busses which aren't related to any of the hotels which will do that for you. There are loads of bus tours which will take you to all the different island sights and then you don't have to navigate through traffic or do anything more than sit in air conditioned comfort and listen to the narration. Oh, if you do rent a car, expect the parking fees to be an additional $30 or so per day. Parking is usually not included in a room rental fee.

Waikiki is set up as a tourist mecca. A lot of folks have spent a lot of time and more money than any of us will ever see in making it that way so you may as well enjoy it. At least for starters. It's flat, level, has sidewalks everywhere and isn't actually all that big. There is beach all along one side of it and is anchored by Ala Moana Shopping center at one end and the zoo/aquarium/Kapiolani Park and Diamond Head at the other end. The backside of it is bordered by the Ala Wai canal (originally dug as a drainage ditch but now they've made it more decorative). It's maybe a mile and a half by half a mile wide and is one of the major economic drivers for the entire state. Pretty bizarre, huh? But lovely, fun and lively with bus tours venturing out over the rest of the island.

You could look into a day trip with the volcanoes. Then you'd not have the hassle of transferring hotels. With only ten days, you'd not want to use up a day in transferring to another island and then having to get back to Honolulu to fly out again. Most flights go through Oahu, which is kinda annoying to the rest of us, but that's part of living in the middle of nowhere.

Maui might be a nice choice if you wanted a slower pace. Kauai is the one with all the chickens, about half of which are roosters. After Hurricane Iwa, a lot of chickens had been blown into the jungle and they became happy there and multiplied and stayed. At least, that's the story I've heard. The Big Island has the volcano and wildly different terrain depending on where on the island you are.

Oh, just as a small side note, it's "mahalo" (mah-ha-low) or "mahalo nui loa" for a "very big thanks".

A hui hou! (which is "see you later")
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:52 PM
 
1,046 posts, read 4,586,659 times
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We live on Maui and are just back from an Oahu visit. If you're okay with NJ traffic, you should be fine on Oahu. There just aren't as many alternate routes, so when there's trouble, everything stacks up quickly.

We're always encouraging people to come to Maui, but there are plenty of areas of Oahu that offer the kinds of activities and scenery you want. If you are looking to live on Oahu for your work areas of interest and for medical care (sadly lacking on Maui), it seems your time would be better spent getting a feel for what's there.

Definitely snorkel! It's amazing! Because the islands are all volcanic, many hikes involve a fair amount of up-and-down. A friend of ours over there who has chronic health problems was able to do the Diamond Head hike recently. There are coastal hikes, too, though. Oahu offers lots of great guided tours (by bus or taxi) that will keep you off the roads and move you toward the front of activities with waits. Beautiful beaches, too!

Best of luck.
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:38 PM
 
591 posts, read 781,121 times
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Well, you've already made your bookings, but my take, having been to all the islands barring Niihau (for natives only) and Kaho'olawe (military):

Honolulu (Oahu) is touristy, but it does have Hickam AFB and The USS Arizona memorial, which is a "must-see".

Kauai is very laid back, they roll the streets up at 9 PM, but it's "jungly" so very interesting from a topological/botanical standpoint. I saw a house there that was built via helicopter dropping the materials for the house, no roads in at that time.

Big Island: too young geologically to have sandy beaches, but Huggos is a nice rock lounge, and the Kona coffee (pure 100% there, will only cost about $25 a pound there, the stuff in the Mainland is so watered down you are really getting ripped off) is the best in the world next to Jamaican Blue Mountain. It takes a LONG time to get to places, it's so big. Lots of volcanic activity.

IMHO, Maui Noka Oi (Maui's the best) - it has a combo of the "vegetation"/terrain like Kauai plus it has the night-life of Oahu. They have some scary mountain roads where you can go around the island, in fact, some are one-lane and the cliff dropping off is over 500 feet below, so it's not for the squeamish. Up country is great for food (Mama's Fishhouse), jewelry and blown glass. Lahaina has Sansei and Girard's, both fine. Try the local haupia ice cream (baby coconut) and visit the Maui Tropical Plantation, they will have an exhibition of opening a coconut, and they grow coffee and other tropical plants there.

If you're going to stay a long time, also get over to Lanai, it's a little different from the others; it has the former Leper Colony run by Father Damien; and the land is owned by natives, with much macadamia grown (they have tours for that).

Hang Loose,

Doctor Blues
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:08 PM
 
21 posts, read 103,568 times
Reputation: 15
Maholo to each of you for your time and thoughtful replies. I guess I am leaning towards Kuai and Maui if we do more than just Oahu. My concerns with just staying on Oahu are:

-that I won't get as nice scenery and beaches as the other islands
-that I will be missing out big time from seeing the volcanoes and scenery on the other islands.

However, I really don't want to have to do the whole check in/check out, unpack/repack, board flight, etc thing a lot. I'm just concerned with how much I'd be missing out if I didn't see the other islands. I really want that "Hawaii tropical paradise" feel if you know what I mean.

As for snorkeling, I was reading online (Remember I said I was rediculously scared of sharks) and I see there are white tip reef sharks that reside in Hanauma Bay. This scares the beejeezus out of me! Should I be concerned at all? I am not the type that would be calm if I came across a shark. Also, I have never been snorkeling before, so how far out do you have to go to see pretty fish?
I also read that there are boxfish jellyfish 10 days after the full moon They are supposidely one of the most dangerous creatures in the sea. AHHHH! We arriving around the 16 of August and leaving around the 26...It looks as if there is a threat of Jellyfish around that time. I definitely don't want to get in the water with these little buggers. Especially because they are clear

Any tips you can give me regarding my fears would be soooo appreciated and welcomed. I am the biggest scardey cat there ever was

So those are the questions/concerns I still have. Would I be happy just being on Oahu for 10 days or do I definitely need to see another island? Sharks/Jellyfish with snorkeling?

I sound like a real PITA I know..Ok, maybe I am. LOL

Maholo!
Andi
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:41 PM
 
682 posts, read 2,623,472 times
Reputation: 515
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlohaAndi View Post
I guess I am leaning towards Kuai and Maui if we do more than just Oahu. My concerns with just staying on Oahu are:

-that I won't get as nice scenery and beaches as the other islands
-that I will be missing out big time from seeing the volcanoes and scenery on the other islands.
Oahu has some beautiful areas. It's not all Waikiki, and it's not all high rises. There is stunning nature here, just like on all the islands. The big difference is really that Oahu has *both*: the city life and the nature / beauty. There isn't a city on any other island, so if you want nightlife then Oahu is the place to be. If you hate cities and don't want to be in crowds, then you should skip Oahu and go elsewhere.

That said: there are no volcanoes (active) on any island except the Big Island. So by going to Kauai or Maui, you'd still miss the volcano. (But you can't do everything in one trip!) But on the Big Island, there are fewer of the beaches you're probably picturing... it's a newer island, so the beaches tend to be rockier, not the beautiful white-sand-and-palm-tree beach that most people associate with Hawaii.

Quote:
As for snorkeling, I was reading online (Remember I said I was rediculously scared of sharks) and I see there are white tip reef sharks that reside in Hanauma Bay. This scares the beejeezus out of me! Should I be concerned at all? I am not the type that would be calm if I came across a shark. Also, I have never been snorkeling before, so how far out do you have to go to see pretty fish?
I've been to Hanauma Bay lots of times, include frequent swims out past the reef. I've never seen a shark. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some out past the reef. But in the interior, where most people hang out, it's never more than a few feet deep. No room for sharks. If you don't go out past the reef (and it's *impossible* to go out accidentally), there will be no problems. And you'll see tons of fish the second you get into the water.

Quote:
I also read that there are boxfish jellyfish 10 days after the full moon They are supposidely one of the most dangerous creatures in the sea. AHHHH! We arriving around the 16 of August and leaving around the 26...It looks as if there is a threat of Jellyfish around that time. I definitely don't want to get in the water with these little buggers. Especially because they are clear
I've been out lots of times (Hanauma Bay and elsewhere) when there were jellyfish warnings, and though I've sometimes seen them in the water or washed up on the beach, I've never been stung. I certainly have seen people who got stung, but never anything serious. I carry "Jellyfish Squish" (Amazon.com: Jellyfish Squish Sting Treatment Relief, 4oz: Sports & Outdoors) along with sunscreen in our beach bag, just in case. I've offered it to strangers (they say it helps a lot) but never had to use it myself.

I have to say that you are coming across as someone with no interest in the ocean. Let's be clear: there are animals in the ocean. All kinds of them. There are no guarantees about what you will & won't meet when you go into *their* house. If you are seriously this freaked out about it, I have two questions: (1) why are you coming to Hawaii? and (2) why are planning to snorkel in the ocean?

It sounds like you would be a lot happier at a resort somewhere, swimming in a pretty pool. There are many such resorts in Waikiki, though that will be more touristy and less "tropical paradise". On Oahu, you could think about Turtle Bay or Ko'olina resorts, and there are very nice ones in Kaanapali on Maui or the North Shore of Kauai. You'll look at the ocean, and then dive into a clean, pristine, chlorinated, critter-free pool.
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:53 PM
 
21 posts, read 103,568 times
Reputation: 15
Oahu has some beautiful areas. It's not all Waikiki, and it's not all high rises. There is stunning nature here, just like on all the islands. The big difference is really that Oahu has *both*: the city life and the nature / beauty. There isn't a city on any other island, so if you want nightlife then Oahu is the place to be. If you hate cities and don't want to be in crowds, then you should skip Oahu and go elsewhere.

That said: there are no volcanoes (active) on any island except the Big Island. So by going to Kauai or Maui, you'd still miss the volcano. (But you can't do everything in one trip!) But on the Big Island, there are fewer of the beaches you're probably picturing... it's a newer island, so the beaches tend to be rockier, not the beautiful white-sand-and-palm-tree beach that most people associate with Hawaii.

I'll have to put some thinking in to what I want from a vacation to be honest. I want to see what what the culture, job industry, etc is while I'm there, so Oahu seems most realistic. We have crowds here in NJ and NYC. I'm not typically fond of big crowds at all to be honest, but I deal with it on a daily basis. Are there spots away from Waikiki that are more quiet and isolated? That way with a rental car, we have the ability to be away from the hustle and bustle if wanted.


I've been to Hanauma Bay lots of times, include frequent swims out past the reef. I've never seen a shark. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some out past the reef. But in the interior, where most people hang out, it's never more than a few feet deep. No room for sharks. If you don't go out past the reef (and it's *impossible* to go out accidentally), there will be no problems. And you'll see tons of fish the second you get into the water.
Awesome! At least there is a spot away from the deep water where the sharks can't get me, but I can see the pretty fish. . I love the look, I LOVE colorful fish, but sharks and jellyfish are very scary to me. Sorry, I wish I weren't like that, but I am. I do LOVE the ocean, but I am afraid also.


I've been out lots of times (Hanauma Bay and elsewhere) when there were jellyfish warnings, and though I've sometimes seen them in the water or washed up on the beach, I've never been stung. I certainly have seen people who got stung, but never anything serious. I carry "Jellyfish Squish" (Amazon.com: Jellyfish Squish Sting Treatment Relief, 4oz: Sports & Outdoors) along with sunscreen in our beach bag, just in case. I've offered it to strangers (they say it helps a lot) but never had to use it myself.

I have to say that you are coming across as someone with no interest in the ocean. Let's be clear: there are animals in the ocean. All kinds of them. There are no guarantees about what you will & won't meet when you go into *their* house. If you are seriously this freaked out about it, I have two questions: (1) why are you coming to Hawaii? and (2) why are planning to snorkel in the ocean?

It sounds like you would be a lot happier at a resort somewhere, swimming in a pretty pool. There are many such resorts in Waikiki, though that will be more touristy and less "tropical paradise". On Oahu, you could think about Turtle Bay or Ko'olina resorts, and there are very nice ones in Kaanapali on Maui or the North Shore of Kauai. You'll look at the ocean, and then dive into a clean, pristine, chlorinated, critter-free pool. If I wanted just a resort and no beach, I wouldn't come to Hawaii. I would just stay on the Mainland. I do want the beautiful ocean and to see blue water for the first time and go somewhere I have never been. Hawaii seems so beautiful. I am very excited. I can't help that I am afraid of the ocean a little. Honestly, it's very alien and foreign to me. I didn't grow up around it and I'm not familiar with it.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I do appreciate it. I hope I don't come across the wrong way. I'm just a little insecure since I have no idea what to expect. I appreciate the answers and comments you all have taken the time to give me. Maholo.
[/quote]
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:35 AM
 
Location: NY
292 posts, read 883,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Blues View Post

If you're going to stay a long time, also get over to Lanai, it's a little different from the others; it has the former Leper Colony run by Father Damien; and the land is owned by natives, with much macadamia grown (they have tours for that).

Molokai has the former leper colony.
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