Aloha ahiahi kakou! (Good evening to all)Aloha e Komo Mai! (Hi and with welcome)
Aloha ahiahi kakou! (Good evening to all)
This is post 1 of 3General guidelines concerning ground travel:
In Honolulu, renting a car will cause you to enjoy the wondrous and frustrating adventure of seeking parking (if you can find it), and paying with cubic ounces of your flesh per 1/10's of an hour. Avoid these money mills and if you have to park a few blocks away, it's worth it. Another option is to only rent a car on the day(s) when you know you will be seeing other parts of the island. Also, tow zones MEAN tow zones. Read signs and obey then carefully. It's a total buzzkill to have to go to the two lot with $175 CASH, AND be responsible for anther ticket to the City and County of Honolulu. Bus passes are GREAT! Great bus service here in Honolulu. Honolulu cops are tough. Speed, honk, don't obey crosswalks, don't slow for yellow lights, park in the wrong place, JAYWALK (yes, JAYWALK), and they will nail you, shame you, and hold you for an unreasonable amount of time just to show you a lesson. There is little mercy for tourists let alone locals. It's a revenue stream!Where in Hawai are you planning/thinking visiting?
Hawai'i is an over 1500 mile long archipelago including 9 major destination islands: O'ahu, Maui, Hawai'i Island (Big Island), Kaua'i, Lanai, Moloka'i, Lana'i, Kaho'olawe, and Ni'ihau. So, when somebody says he's going to "Hawai'i" it's analogous to saying he's going to "British Columbia". More specificity in destination would be needed from the OP to help share specific recommendation.Have you decided which islands to visit and Exlore?
Each island is analogous to a child in a family. Each one is unique and beautiful in its own way. Each one has its own personality. At a minimum, I suggest a visit of no less than at lest 4 full days on each island hop and actually see the islands you chooseCaveat:
Don't just spend the whole two week trip in one place, like Waikiki Beach. That would be like spending a whole vacation in a place that is a sanitized and gleaning slice (and only one slice) of what Hawai'i encompasses. 4 to 7 days miniumum per island is a good amount of time to "taste" the richer and less known treasures of each island. Two week vacation? I would suggest attempting only three islands at most.
To help you to make up you mind which islands to see...
(Some general suggestions at the end)
As an FYI, the island of Ni'ihau
is private and visitors are by invitation only. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niihau
for more information.
The island of Kaho'olawe
is undeveloped, rural, and off limits and is generally uninhabited due to the amount of unexploded munitions that remain as island was used as a military targeting range. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahoolawe
for more informationh
The Island of Lana'i
is also rural, private but accessible, but there are two Four Seasons Resorts for tourists, food, beverage, fule, rental cars, hotels are expensive. Better bring a lot of money. And if you want some creature comfort from the mainland, either get a polite laugh accompanying a statement that they don't carry it. Or, be prepared to take out a mortgage. A jeep 4x4 is absolutely necessary. For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanai
The Island of Molokai
is very rural like all islands except O'ahu. If you do choose to go here to see the magnificent beaches and the former settlement of leppers at Kalauapapa where St. Damien of Molokai ministered to the outcasts of society, you will most likely go with a mule tour, and everything you do and buy will be very expensive (even by Hawai'i standards). A jeep 4x4 is absolutely necessary. Be prepared to pay dearly. This is one of the most unspoiled of the islands. For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molokai
The islands of Maui "The Valley Isle" and Kaua'i "The Garden Isle" have a phenomenal offering of land, people, culture, sports, and other interests and activities. Lots of fun and variety, lots of places to stay.Maui
is diverse. It has a "downtown" area called Kahului, a kind of fishing village turned craft village (ala Key West in the 1980's) called Lahaina. There are major tourist resorts, as well as pleathora of little villages accessible by cliff hugging one-lane dirt roads. And when I mean "one-lane" I don't mean "one-lane in each direction". That's and exciting Jeep 4x4 trip to make. There is also Haleakala, the volcano. Great to take the bike trip DOWN the volcano. But be prepared to get up really early in the morning for this one.
Still on Maui (West portion of island), it's worth it to drive around the island. Go clockwise from Kahului via Lahaina, even though going counterclockwise puts you on the outside lane. Oh, and don't forget to stop at Julia's Banana Bread in the village of Kahakuloa. http://www.juliasbananabread.com/
You'll want to buy extra for the room or trip home.
Maui island is a great island to circumnavigate in the 4x4. Careful, there may be some very narrow one-lane roads, but navigating them makes you feel alive! The views are spectacular.
Still on Maui: The Road to Hana is very beautiful and most unusual. Most folks (we locals call them "whizzers") attempt to get up early and rush to make the 68 mile drive from Kahului to Hana at the far east point of the island. It is one of the most scenic drives in the world. It is a drive that should be taken slow. Here's the rub, when you "Whizz" out with the herd, all you see are the taillights of the person in front of you. Guess what happens after lunch when people head back...same thing. Isn't part of why you went to Hawai'i to enjoy nature in a leisurely way?.
So, here's what I do. I know that there is a little state park in Maui called "Waianapanapa State Park". It sits on a beautiful black sand beach awash with some of the deepest blue water and amid green vegetation, and papaya groves you could imagine. There are cabins there (and these are really cabins, so if you're all into fancy, this is not for you). These cabins run about $40 a night and can sleep 8 people or more. There is limited electricity, and no internet or cell service. There is a little Hana Market where you can get good cheese, smoked Wahoo, good wine and other munchies. Getting a reservation here is hard, and takes considerable planning and prepayment with the State Park system. But if you can even snag a cabin for one night, it's worth it.
Here's why. The Whizzers are generally out of the way by about 10:00am. That's when I leave Kahului with clear road going my way, I can leisurely enjoy the views, make stops, and get to Waianapanapa State Park right around the time that the Whizzers have eaten lunch satisfied their curiosity with the black sand beach, and are now heading back to Kahului...sniffing each other's tail pipe exhaust. I've now got the park and the beach to myself and friends. We check into the cabin and enjoy the rest of the day. We either bring our feast, or go to the Hana Market and look around for some local grown caught delicacy to add to our dinner. We eat, spend a quiet