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Q: Things to do and places to stay in hawaii ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: Things to do and places to stay in hawaii
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: rasput1n-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 29 Dec 2003 13:37 PST
Expires: 28 Jan 2004 13:37 PST
Question ID: 291192
Choose three hawaiian islands.   For each island, write top 5 things
to do or visit. Please describe each thing with a couple of sentences.
 Also, choose the top 3 hotels for each island (for different budgets,
ie, high, medium, low).  Please write a short description for every

for three island
+ 5 things to do (short paragraph on each)
+ 3 hotels (short paragraph on each)

Request for Question Clarification by mother911-ga on 29 Dec 2003 16:52 PST
I have my first section of this question answered. Based on the amount
of research involved, I think the question might be underpriced. I
will include my first island's research to give you an idea of the

Please let me know if I am working more then neccessary, or if we are
right on track here.

Hi rasput1n-ga,

I just returned from my honeymoon in hawaii, and I had the greatest
time. I will try and present the best of the attractions we saw on
Oahu and Kona, as well as plan some things for you on the island of

1. Green and Black sand beaches

Black sand beach  (Punalu'u)

I can't imagine anyone would goto Hawaii, and not see the green and
black sand beaches. Neither beach is impressive or awe inspiring, and
its a nice short day trip with some scenic driving, but when else will
you ever see green and black sand beaches. The sand is black and the
beach is fairly quiet most of the time. The water is a little strong
so if you aren't a great swimmer you might want to pass. Keep an eye
out, don't step on the turtles basking in the sun. Please remember
that touching the turtles and taking the sand are prohibited by law,
however taking pictures is encouraged.

Punalu?u Beach is a few miles east of Na?alehu and west of Pahala and
the Volcano National Park, on Highway 11. At Mile Marker 56, take the
?Black Sand Beach Road? to Punalu?u Beach Park.

Green sand beach (Puu Mahana)

Now, the green sand beach is an adventure, where the black sand beach
is hard to find on 11 if you don't have keen eyes for that sign, the
green sand beach is a hike. I'm not exagerating either. Bring hiking
shoes, and water. It is hot and it is windy, and then terrain is
rough. It is a 2 mile hike from south point. Bring your snorkeling
gear too, the swimming is AMAZING!

Local directions would be better then anything I could remember. They
will be fairly simple, 9 mile drove down a deserted road, turn left,
enjoy scenic cliffs and views, hike down to the green sands beach.

2. Volcano
The volcano was one of the odd occurences on our trip, we had expected
that a volcano, like every model we made as children for science
projects, was a giant tranglular shaped mountain. We were wrong.
Second misconception, after spending some time in Kona and never
seeing more then 30 seconds of rain (3 inches of rain a year on the
Kona side of the island), which is considered a downpour by the
locals, we were totally unprepared for rain. It rains nearly
constantly on the Hilo side of the island. Hawaii is seperated
diagonally by a mountain which keeps weather on the north east coast
cool and damp, and on the southwest coasts, dry and warm. Bring some
warm clothes, and I reccomend some kind of light rain slicker/ rain
resistant light jacket. It wasn't as cold as it was wet. No downpours,
just a consistent drizzle. Which oddly enough isn't really bothersome,
if you have dry clothes. The volcano tour will take you most of the
day. You are able to drive your car through the entire park and see
all the craters and fissures and drove (Literally) over past lava
flows. Get out occasionally to see the interesting sights, and keep an
eye out for the rare hawaiian goose, called a Nene. We were lucky
enough to photgraph some of them sauntering around the streets of the
park. At the end of your day, drive down the entire side of the
mountain (WOW the views are beyond amazing as youhead down chain of
craters road). Be sure to stop and take pictures from the top of the
drive at a scenic overpass, the views are heartstopping. Finally at
the base of chain of craters road, you will come to a road block and
tons of parked vehicles. Find some parking and go for the 15 minute
hike to see today's current flowing lava. The guide's can tell you if
there is fresh flow, and where to go and look. We also videotaped some
lava flow on the side of the mountain as we walked towards the flow
meeting the ocean.

Volcano national park is located on the Northeast coast of Kona, take
11 around the southern tip and head towards Hilo.

This is a full day trip, expect to go in the morning and spend your day there.

3. Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory/Volcano Winery

Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts
In Hilo on the northeast coast of Hawaii's big island is the Mauna Loa
Mac nut farm. It's a fascinating trip through their factory to see how
they extract these little guys from their shells. Then watch as they
are packed, watch as their chocolate is made, or enjoy watching them
make chocolate candies. Of course there is also free samples, and a
wonderful store for purchasing and shipping nuts from their plant.

I split this one into two, since this is a nice two stop day. No
rushing, no hurrying. I also picked nuts first wine second for good

Volcano Winery

There isn't much of a tour of the wine facilities, which I think is a
shame, this winery clearly should be displaying its background.
Delicious fresh wines from interesting fruit compilations. One even
has no fruit, only honey and mac nuts. Go in and enjoy a nice sampling
of their wines, and take a few with you, inexpensive and delicious,
when else will you have wine from here. I highly reccomend the dessert
wine (honey mac nut) and the Jaboticaba fruit red wine. Jaboticaba is
a Brazilian grape which grows on the bark of the tree and not on it's
leaves. The guava wine is delicious, and I seem to remember two or
three bottles being purchased, however oddly none made it home.

4. Akaka falls

OH MY GOD, every day you will think to yourself, is there something
more beautiful and amazing on this island then this. Akaka falls are
truly awesome, from the original definition of the word. Once inside
and parked, it's approximately a half of a mile (according to the
park) around the loop of the two falls. I say it's more like a mile
with parking, but when you see the falls you won't care. The Kahuna
falls come into view first, and are truly a sight. I think they were
put there however to prepare your brain for Akaka falls. 420 foot
drop, through lush greenery, it is a scene from a movie. It's located
in Hilo, so again a nice drive around the south tip is in order. We
tried to plan these excursions in bunches. The park entrance is at the
end of Akaka Falls Road, Highway 220, 3.6 miles southwest of Honomu.

5. Snuba/Snorkeling

Two Step

I know I know...swim, I can swim anywhere. That's what everyone said.
I had made a small special purchase prior to going to hawaii, being a
video nutball I bought a waterproof bag for my sony handycam. Dirt
cheap on Ebay (I reccomend bringing at least an underwater camera if
not buying some kind of underwater bag for your video cam. I make
believers out of everyone when you see me jump into the water at two
step and swim in a salt water tropical fish tank. Tangs, and Unicorn
fish everywhere, sea turtles playing tag with you, no joke, they come
flying up and tap your legs. The water is a little rough, but you are
in a protected cove, so its like a giant rough swimming pool, and it's
deep. I brought my snorkel gear and my camera. If I had to make any
changes for the trip, I would have ditched the fins and purchased some
kind of swim shoe. Rough rocks and beaches make them mandatory. There
were eels and fish everywhere, getting them on camera wasn't the
issue, getting the new tape in quick enough, or figuring out which
ones to videotape was the hard part. There are a hundred great beaches
to swim at i'm sure, but I found this to be my favorite overall. It's
a little secluded, and there is an simple entry into the water. The
lava rock goes to the edge of the water. Where the rock meets the
water is like the edge of an in ground pool. The water is ten feet
deep right there. There is a notch cut into the rock there. Creating
two steps into the water. The first step brings you into about ankle
deep water, so if you sit on the lava rock and hang your feet over you
barely touch the top of the water. From there its a drop off into the
water. The waves come in nice and slow, and will gently roll you back
into the notch on your butt. Stand up and one step and you're out.

Find Honaunau town in District of Kona, turn makai (seaward) on only
large road leading off Hwy 11 (across from Merv's convenience store).
Turn left at Pu`uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park sign (It's
a big stone thing with carved wooden images in the top) and take the
first small road to the right. You're on the right track if you see a
boat ramp ahead.

If you feel like being more adventurous, and don't have scuba
certification, Kona offers snuba diving. A mix of scuba dn snorkeling.
A single air tank is floating on the surface, and you have a mask,
respirator and fins. You swim down as deep as 25ft exploring the reef
with an experienced diver. We enjoyed our snuba tour so much we are
now considering how to get scuba certified. The website is for the
actual company we used. We went on the shore dive, being a little
timid about how this might all go. The hardest part to get over is
breathing underwater naturally. They give an introductory class, and
were very patient and caring about everyones ability.

6. Swim with dolphins

I included a bonus one sorta, since both islands offer this. I will
describe the activities for both.
Swim with dolphins

The Hilton has several different packages for swimming with the
dolphins. We went on Oahu, which you will read about later. For now I
can describe the basics of the Hilton events. They offer some hands on
dolphin swimming sessions. Groups of 5 are brought into a pool with a
dolphin. The adult package is about an hour long split between a video
portion which explains their program, and some entertaining games.
Then the second portion you are brought out to their 2 million gallon
natural lagoon. You will touch, play and feed the dolphins, and of
course their will be plenty of photo opportunties.
The program is available only on certain days, and is about $165
dollars per adult. There is also a family session for children under

1. Kona Village Resort (~$2500 weekly for packages, see website for details)

The Kona Village is a pricey hotel, but if you take their Full
American Plan, their are tons of included goodies. This is an
expensive hotel, it feels like an expensive hotel, and it acts like an
expensive hotel. With everything that is included, it is worth it's

2.Kona Seaside Hotel($100 a night and up)
75-5646 Palani RD
Kailua Kona, HI 96740 US

The Kona Seaside is a standard hotel, what we normally expect when
someone says hotel. It is in the middle of the action on the Kona side
of the island, and has two fresh water pools. It also has a AAA 2
diamond rating.

3. Kona Reef Condos ($85 a night and up)
SunQuest Vacations
77-6435 Kuakini Hwy.
Kailua-Kona, HI  96740
Toll Free Mainland 1 800 367-5168
Toll Free Canada 1 800 800-KONA

We stayed in the Sunterra Sea Village condos. They were very clean,
and had a small kitchen and laundry which was extremely convenient.
This is a similar type condo, and comes with some nice reviews online.
I included it based on the pricing, and the kitchen and laundry
ability. Packing light and being able to do laundry at nite is a
wonderful help, and some nites or mornings it's nice to eat in.

Clarification of Question by rasput1n-ga on 29 Dec 2003 18:19 PST
Don't need such large amount of content.  Just a couple of sentences will do. 

I'll tip $10 for other two islands.
Subject: Re: Things to do and places to stay in hawaii
Answered By: mother911-ga on 29 Dec 2003 22:31 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
second island, Oahu, the gathering place.

1. Pearl Harbour/Duck tour

Schedule in advance to go to Pearl Harbor, you can't be in Oahu and
not go, it would be a horrible loss. It is a somewhat mood dropping
day. You are going essentially to a graveyard, and visit a memorial to
the people who lost their lives. At the same time it is a day of
understanding. We meet with survivors of the attack. A wonderful
couple married since Pearl Harbor, and a man who was left for dead
since he was so wounded, until an orderly assigned to move him noticed
a pulse. My personal favorite however was a clarinet player who
mistakenly joined the music division thinking he would be entertaining
troups. Instead he was handed a trumpet and told to learn. He
explained his humorous attempts to learn, his first miraculous
successes, and then the final attack on his ship. He then went on to
show us his photo album, and pictures of him shaking hands with the
Japanese pilot who actually bombed his ship. He told us how every year
the Japanese pilot sends him money to purchase a rose display to be
dedicated to those men who perished on that ship, and he plays taps
for them. Understanding now, that this man, like him, was just doing
his job.

I know it seems like an unlikely combo, but we enjoyed thoroughly
going to and from Pearl in the DUKW of Duck Tours of Oahu. On the way
to Pearl, our driver pointed out scenic points, historic points, and
told us stories of the history of the island. We were shown great
places to eat and visit, as well as being driven door to door from
hotel to Pearl and back. On the return trip, the duck lives up to it's
name. You leave Pearl and take a quick run to a local boat ramp where
you drive into the ocean and out to sea. The short round trip water
ride provides fantastic views and photos of the island, as well as an
enjoyable time. It seems expensive at $35 a person, but to me between
not having to drive or park and getting the enjoyment of the ride and
the tour it was well worth it.

2. Don Ho

What trip to Hawaii would be complete without the Don Ho Show. Donis
quite the showman still, and we enjoyed the show tremendously. Dinner
is typical wedding food style service(chicken, fish or beef) your
first drink is on the house. Don was available for photos on the way
in, and autographs and photos on the way out. We laughed until we
thought we would fall over. He also brought out the most talented
young local street performer. She plays eukele versions of popular
songs and donates all the money she makes to the homeless. It's $42.00
a person for dinner and the show, and $27.00 for just cocktails. If
you choose just cocktails which is also nice, you sit at least half
way back in the room. The room holds about...200 people.

I don't know if it's a regular occurance, but when we were there, his
daughter (who has her own career) and his son came out and sang with

As long as we are discussing dinner theater shows we enjoyed. We also
went to see the Elvis show. Same hotel, same food, same building,
maybe seperated by 100 feet and an hour of showtime. I love Elvis, and
I enjoyed the show alot. He had us all laughing til it hurt. He also
does an amazing Elvis impersonation.

3. polynesian cultural center

The most gigantic place to discover everything you ever wanted to know
about anything to do with any of the islands. I can't begin to
describe everything here. It is the history of the islands and the
tribes from those islands, and their lifestyles and foods and culture.
Huge acres of beautiful plants and tons of activities, ending with a
sumptious meal and amazing show. We went for their top package, and
wwere shuttled around to everything. Shown too many things to even
describe and had perfect seats for the show. It was our honeymoon and
we were throwing money around because we knew we wouldn't be back for
awhile, but this is truly worth the money. An entire day in the
Cultural Center, a great meal, and a fantastic show for $175 a person.
Goto the website and see what price range is for you. They detail what
is included with all packages.
4. Free movies on the beach/waikiki strip/bum around the
beach/international marketplace
This is a great way to spend the day you goto see Don Ho or Elvis.
Walk the strips of stores in Waikiki beach and shop all the crazy
little stores. See the amazing window displays and be entertained by
the street performers. Wear something comfy, with your swimsuit
underneath. Walk across the street after your shopping and jump in the
ocean at the world famous Waikiki beach. There is a free movie one
night a week on the beach. We missed it unfortunately, but it looked
to be a fun nite. We opted instead to drink Mai Tai's in the Tiki
Lounge and listen to a live band..which also was great. Or you could
go see Don Ho or Elvis. Since their theater is in the hotel right near
the International Marketplace. Which is essentially an outdoor street
market, next to a mall. The street vendors are a fantastic place to
get souveneirs. Be extra careful to not fall for the first price.
Haggling is an art form with the merchants. We usually were able to
get first prices cut easily in half. Don't be shy, walk away if they
won't be fair. We heard things like I'll be fired, my boss will beat
me, i'm losing money at this price. Don't you believe it.

5. North Shore/Kuilima Cove/Ehukai Beach/Shark's Cove
Missing out on the North Shore would be a sad fact for a trip to Oahu.
Starting with ehukai beach, which is the best place to view the bonzai
pipeline. Watch as surfers disappear into a tube of water, and come
shooting back out, or not. This is not for you to swim out. This is
some crazy surf. These guys are pros, or nuts, or both. Watch, enjoy,
and then go somewhere else and swim. Like, Kuilima Cove, huge waves
roll in just outside this little placid cove, perfect for swimming and
snorkeling. Shark's cove is another amazing snorkeling location.
Everyone reccomends Hanauma Bay, skip it. Unless you like see other
people swim. It is far too crowded to enjoy. Hit all the local places
for food, have a traditional "plate lunch" and a shave ice at one of
the local stands. You never ate so good.

nice list of directions and comments on some north shore beaches here:

6. Swim with dolphins at Sea Life Park
Ah yes...the dolphins again. My wife had told me prior to going on our
honeymoon that this was a huge dream of hers. I should point out now,
that she is deathly afraid of animals. Doesn't like to go near dogs,
and once screamed it's eating me when licked by a baby doe at a
feeding zone in a zoo. The day we spent at Sea Life Park baffles me in
thinking of her performance. We found a nice package online which gave
us many different activities at Sea Life Park. First we swam with the
sea rays in their pond. We were given footware and masks and snorkels,
and we were taught about their eating habits and given tons of
information about them. We fed them, and then were invited to "dive
in" and swim with them. In the ray pond is also a variety of tropical
fish. It was truly amazing. They seem to fly effortlessly through the
water. Next we went into the main tank and fed the fish and took
pictures of us in their main aquarium tank. If the rays were
interesting, this was amazing. Five foot reef sharks swimming nearby
seemed to take no notice, but the sea turtle liked my light blue
plumeria covered shorts. Thankfully a professional diver was with us
as well as two instructors. Then we were off to swim with the
dolphins. Truly life changing to touch them, and watch them swim past
you. I was a bit uncomfortable with the posed pictures, but i'm
normally a bit camera shy. One of you next to the dolphin, like a two
person head shot, and one of you being fin dragged across the pool.
The final picture is the dolphin 15 or 20 feet over your heads. We
were then show how they are taught training commands, and feed.
Overall a nice interesting learning experience, and a fearful
realization we might not be the most intelligent creatures. From there
we went on a back stage tour, showing us some older and sick dolphins
being cared for, and a wholphin. Two male dolphins, a female dolphin
and a whale all shared a tank. One day the female turned up pregnant.
They were taking bets on which dolphin got her pregnant, I guess they
all lost. It was the whale, creating the world's only wholphin. The
site below was the best pricing for this, even better then sea life
park on most packages.'s the hard part. Oahu has diverse differences from end to
end. Turtle Cove resorts is a quiet fancy wonderful laid back resort
on the North Shore, And Waikiki beach (home of most of the rest of the
hotels on the south shore)is more like NYC. We preferred the North
Shore, and had thought we would stay there next time, despite the
increased amount of driving. We actually had a horrible problem with
our first accomodations. The entrance was in an alley behind a jack's
restaurant, and next door to a show skin to win nightclub. When we
returned from dinner (when I chose to change hotels) we took a nice
slow walk through a group of transvestite prostitutes, all asking if
we wanted a date. I'm no prude, but the place was a rundown cheapo
hotel to begin with, and my wife didn't deserve this as a honeymoon
adventure. Although she found the Murphy bed interesting. We moved to
the Waikiki Beach Marriot. It was like being released from jail and
going straight to the taj mahal. Big soft comfy king sized beds, and
two pools. Right on waikiki beach...and the view...PHENOMENAL! My wife
cried she was so happy. The front desk arranged everything for us, and
upon hearing of our plight added breakfast every day in their
beautiful and i might add delicious restaurant.

1. Waikiki Beach Marriot Resort ($200-400 a nite)
2552 Kalakaua Avenue 
Honolulu, HI 96815 USA
Phone: 1 808-922-6611 
Fax: 1 808-921-5255
Paradise on earth, across the street from waikiki beach. Maybe 100
feet at most from the back door to the water. Excellent rooms,
wonderful staff delicious food and treated us like royalty after
hearing what had happened, so of course...I highly reccomend them. The
"Romance Package" is about 300 a nite, with corner deluxe ocean view,
some romantic amenities and breakfast included.

2500 Kuhio Avenue , 
Honolulu Hawaii 96815-3696 
Reservations: (800) 333-3333 
Telephone: (808) 922-0811 
Fax: (808) 921-5507

A nice hotel in a nice area of Honolulu, about one block from Waikiki
beach. It has nice amenities, and is affordable considering who it's
neighbors are. Nice surroundings, well maintained.

3. Outrigger Reef Hotel ($250-510 a nite)
2169 Kalia Road
Honolulu, HI

The price ranges on these three hotels are quite similar, as are the
qualities of all three hotels. I am reluctant to offer any hotel below
this standard based on my own poor experience with the local
inexpensive locations. I had booked through a time share company which
made this transaction even more upsetting, trading a two bedroom
diamond class apartment for a murphy bed and professional street
walkers. None of these hotels will bring you to that situation. All
three are located near Waikiki beach. This one in particular is
actually on Waikiki beach, as opposed to the Marriot which is across
the street, and the Radisson which is one block away. Room rates, like
the area are NYC styled. Closer to the attractions, more money, better
view, more money.

4. The Royal Grove Hotel ($60-150 a nite)
151 Uluniu Avenue, 
Honolulu, Hawai`i  96815
Phone: (808) 923-7691  
Fax: (808) 922-7508
Email Address:

I included an extra hotel here, basically to give you an idea of the
lower priced hotels in the area. This is THE BEST of the lower priced
hotels. You will find a clean and well maintained hotel where the
friendly staff looks forward to helping you. Several online sites give
it high reviews, as do guests of the hotel. A note here, they offer a
lower rate room as well, but no air conditioner. This isn't an issue
in Kona, we never used ours there. But on Oahu, the AC was on full
time. The first (scarey) hotel we stayed in had an room air
conditioner, and the room was still 95 degrees. I can't imagine no air
conditioner in Oahu.

here's a map of the Honolulu shopping and hotels for your convenience:

Clarification of Answer by mother911-ga on 30 Dec 2003 00:28 PST
and of course...the third island:

1. Helicopter ride

I'm not normally one of the everyone else does it kind of guys, but
this is the exception. The views of Kauai from the air are one of a
kind. You will never
experience this sensation again. Seeing the vast differences in
landscape in Hawaii, and Kauai in particular is mind boggling. It
truly identifies this place
as paradise. The helicopter ride allows you to see parts of the island
you can't reach by land, and alot of it will be recognizable to the
movie goers among you. Jurassic Park is just one of the famous scenes
filmed here.

2. waimea canyon (Grand Canyon of the Pacific)

Over ten miles long, and 3600 feet deep, it is beautiful. Nature
carved a sculpture for us all to see. Mark Twain dubbed it the "Grand
Canyon of the
Pacific". He couldn't have been more accurate. After having probably
seen it from the air if you take the helicopter ride, you will be
amazed by the
difference looking at it from ground level makes. Watch the colors
shift as the sun moves across the sky. It's something that can't be
caught on video or in
pictures, this must be seen in person.

3. Golf (Golf Digest has three of the eight courses in their top ten
list Kauai Lagoons, Prince, Poipu Bay)

With courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, and played
by true professionals world wide, you can just sit back and choose
your greens. Greens
fees can be steep, but when will you ever get to play another course
like this one. There's a nice package for three of the courses here:

This site also offers a few packages and discounts for golfers.

I would imagine playing golf in a tropical paradise is some level of
Nirvana for some people. The courses look hand manicured, and the
bunkers are sugar
white sand, I'm betting there are some nasty water traps near the
edges of the island.

4. Whale watching (december 15th thru may 15th actually more like
January thru March)

If you go during whale season, every island will be offering this
excursions. The whales come to give birth in the waters around Hawaii.
The boats go out and
wait for the songs of the whales (most boats have headphones, and
underwater microphones). Most trips are part of another cruise, Na
Pali coast tour, or
snorkeling. Worth the trip to snorkel or see the coast, and imagine
the payback if you see a whale.

5. Ke'e Beach Sunset

Ke'e beach isn't just a fabulous place to go snorkel, it marks the
beginning of the Na Pali coast line, and features some of the world's
most beautiful sunsets. The beaches sport beautiful pure ivory sand,
and pristine crystal clear water. It's surreal to view, and a dream to
actually be there.

Now add in tons of beautiful tropical fish, and the scenery looking
down the Na Pali coast, and imagine what this place must be like to
lounge around for a day, snorkeling and sunning and sharing a bottle
of wine as the sun sets.

1. Kapaa Sands ($100-150 a nite)
380 Papaloa Rd. 
Kapaa, HI 96746 
Toll free: 1-800-222-4901 
Direct: (808) 822-4901 
Fax: (808) 822-1556

As is common with most of the more cost effective resorts on any of
the islands, I don't see any mention of Air Conditioning. Which is
odd, since almost
every other resorts comments point out living without the air
conditioner would be difficult. Full function condos, complete with
kitchens, most with a nice
ocean view are found on the serene grounds here at the Kapaa sands.
Right on the beach and walking distance to the coconut marketplace,
the Kappa is a great
start place for your day. Perhaps the serene settings are a left over
from being a former shinto temples, which are always built near unusal
concentrations of nature. Most common comment found about these
condos, "the pathway to your relaxation".

2. Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy ($120-300 a nite)
520 Aleka Loop
Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii 96746
United States

Picturesque paradise island hotel living can come true for a decent
price apparently. Gorgeous grounds and a fantastic pool, right on the
water, but the
water might be too rough for swimming. Giant playground on the beach
for the kids, and walking distance to the coconut marketplace.
Fully featured fitness center, and humorously, one of the most often
remarked about traits, is the fact that the images on the internet of
the hotel and its
surroundings are just as beautiful in real life. Appearently people
were worried, but no need to be here.

3. Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort & Spa ($265-875 a nite)
1571 Poipu Road
Koloa, Hawaii, USA. 96756
Telephone: +1 808 742 1234
Fax: +1 808 742 1557

This is a top scale Hyatt resort, their own waterfalls, beautiful
views, any amenity you can think of. It is all here. Tidepools
restaurant, where you dine
in small open air huts nestled amongst koi filled ponds and
waterfalls, seems to be the most romantic resataurant I can think of.
Sunday and Thursday are lu'au nite at the hotel with flower lei
greetings and all you can eat lu'au buffet. Hula and hawaiian craft
lessons, and an open bar make for a mai tai happy evening.This place
defies description, it is beautiful and expensive and clearly it is
worth it. It is on the most beautiful restful island of your trip, and
would make a nice place to sleep, eat, relax, swim, nap, and plan your
next hammock excursion.
rasput1n-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Looks good.

Subject: Re: Things to do and places to stay in hawaii
From: hlabadie-ga on 29 Dec 2003 21:13 PST
On the Big Island, it's worth noting that Waikoloa has excellent
hotels, and that Volcano House is an historic place to stay right on
the rim of Kilauea.

A trip to the top of Mauna Kea, site of the greatest collection of
astronomical observatories in the world, is also recommended.

Subject: Re: Things to do and places to stay in hawaii
From: mother911-ga on 29 Dec 2003 22:35 PST
Good Point hlbadie, 

I was going to wait until I typed out all three islands to point out
that they may now want to ask this question again, and I won't answer.
Point specifically back to this question and ask, where else? what
else? Everyone has a different idea about Hawaii, I am just posting
what I think are some great places and things, sorta blindly since I
don't know budget, or time. I would think posting again would add a
second alternate list. Perhaps you don't wish to swim with dolphins,
or maybe snorkel bores you.

Hotels and lodging on the islands is the other difficulty, there are
alot of great hidden places, and alot of bad hidden places. I didn't
get the chance to goto Mauna Kea, but it is on our list for our next
trip. After Alaska...LOL


p.s. do you have rates for the Volcano House?
Subject: Re: Things to do and places to stay in hawaii
From: hlabadie-ga on 30 Dec 2003 05:29 PST
Volcano House Hotel

Rooms starting at $75, which is very reasonable.

Having mentioned Mauna Kea, one should visit Haleakala on Maui (a bike
trip on a much more gentle slope, if you prefer).

The Valley of the Temples on Oahu is worthwhile, as is Bishop Museum,
for some quiet moments. Honolulu is very noisy. Public transportation
will take you anywhere, by the way.

Subject: Re: Things to do and places to stay in hawaii
From: pinkfreud-ga on 30 Dec 2003 09:43 PST
Wow, what a splendid answer!

My sister lives in Honolulu. If I am ever able to afford to go visit
her, now I have some ideas for turning the trip into a real vacation!
Thanks, mother911!

Subject: Re: Things to do and places to stay in hawaii
From: mother911-ga on 30 Dec 2003 10:46 PST
I forgot to add a list of important things.

1. GAS especially on the Big Island of Hawaii itself, and on Oahu,
where I personally think you should rent a car by the day only when
you need it. Bring your Costco membership card with you, and when its
time to fill up, goto Costco. When we were there gas was over 2
dollars a gallon, $1.80 at Costco.

2. Kona is wamer, but not uncomfortable, bring a jacket if you tend to
get cool in the evening. I wore short sleeves and shorts every day and
nite with no problems. Hawaiian shirts and shirts are considered
dressed in most restaurants as well. A little life saver were these
neckbands we bought at a local fair. They look like bandannas made
from hawaiian shirts. When soaked in water crystals in the neckband
absorb the water and inflate, you tie this around your neck and it
keeps you so cool, great for those beach hikes, and volcano days. You
do look like a geek, but you feel cool. Keep an eye out for the local
fair, it was on ali'i and had some nice sales on clothes and fruit.

3. Hilo is cooler only because it tends to be drizzling most of the
time. Be sure to bring a light jacket as you get into the higher
elevations, it gets cold, not cool, snow on the ground cold and i'm
not exaggerating.

4. Clothes, almost all men wear some kind of t-shirt or hawaiian shirt
and cargo shorts or pants as formal wear, ladies look fantastic in a
sarong. Don't overpack. Most of your time is spent sight seeing and
swimming. Pack light do laundry while you're there. Not so true in
Oahu, but the other islands tend to truly close up shop early. Night
time is a good time to make drinks at your room and do laundry and
watch the submarine races.

5. Hilo Hattie's, take advantage of their sales and offers great for
souveniers, and good prices on hawaiian shirts and that type of item.
Buy your kona coffee and mac nuts at Walmart or the supermarket, it
was cheaper then getting them direct from Mauna Loa, and they had the
same selection.

6. Kona airport. Kona airport isn't really an airport,
doesn't have a terminal. When you land you exit onto black top in the
middle of a lava field, and there are a few hut style structures, best
bet for easiest movements, go straight for your luggage, it's easy to
find, it's the only electrical device you will see. Don't wait for the
car company shuttles. Have one person stay with the luggage and just
walk the one block to the car rentals. Loop back and pick up your
luggage and family. GET MAPS. On every island they will offer you maps
TAKE THEM. Plot out where you are going, and on your trips to Hilo
from Kona, make sure you have gas, there are large chunks of driving
with no service stations.

7. I actually auctioned a water proof camera bag from ebay by a
company named Ewa Marine, they work fantastic and yeilded some
hysterical and breath taking footage. Go to pick your video
camera out and get the model number of the proper bag, and then search
ebay for it. They go for several hundred dollars new, I got a used one
which was still in the box never used for 45 dollars. If not, be sure
to buy underwater disposable cameras, you won't regret it.

8. Have fun and come back and tell us all about it.
Subject: Re: Things to do and places to stay in hawaii
From: mother911-ga on 30 Dec 2003 10:56 PST
Snow in Hawaii
Subject: Re: Things to do and places to stay in hawaii
From: hlabadie-ga on 30 Dec 2003 15:10 PST
It isn't rare to see snow on Mauna Kea, even in June, typically after
a big rain storm at the lower elevations. A friend used to drive up
there as part of his job, and a four wheel drive was always necessary,
just in case. Most of the time, however, the clouds are few at the
summit: thus the observatories.


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