Help Us Choose an Island

[Reproduction of a vintage map of Hawaii from Etsy seller StoriesDivination]

We never did get to take that weekend getaway.

I actually don't think we need a weekend getaway, I think we need a month getaway. Since that isn't in the cards, I'll settle for the 4-5 days I can afford.  It's funny how a vacation, the kind where you don't just sit at home on the couch, was not something I felt like I needed before. But there's just something about the way people laugh every time you inform them how long your husband has in school that just makes the need for a vacation so much more...urgent. That, and the rapidly increasing countdown to The Year We Try To Have Kids. I feel like whenever someone asks "so, are you going to try to have kids soon?" and I reply, "no, not for a while" that person calmly nods but is holding back something else, almost as if he/she wants to tell me, good, because your life is going to be OVER.

So *ahem* where was I? Oh yeah, vacations!

Our latest fantasy is taking a trip to Hawaii in late summer or early fall. Aside from a couple days I spent in Kauai, I have not spent any time there, and the boy has never been.  We have limited Hawaii knowledge. We do know

1. we need a place with a lot of activities because the boy does not know how to relax. I'm not joking.
2. we like food, animals, nature hikes, and learning about the local culture.

Does anyone have recommendations? Do you feel like you need more vacations?



Larie said...

I grew up on Oahu :)

But most people like to take vacations on Kauai, Maui, or the Big Island (Hawaii). Oahu is more of shopper's paradise, but the outer islands have a lot more to offer in terms of hikes, activities (ziplining, hiking up the craters, etc) and cultural immersion. If you go to Maui, you must see the sunrise on Haleakala. Kauai has a huge canyon and lots of beautiful greenery. If you do the Big Island, there are volcano national parks, black sand beaches, old temples and sanctuaries, rain forests...

sorry for the essay! :) have fun picking a place!

Lillian Chang said...

Ooh, I love Hawaii! :) I go every year with my boyfriend & his family for a surfing vacation. And my sis studied/worked there for a summer...so Hawaii feels kind of like a home-away-from-home for me :)
I've only been to Oahu...but I can safely recommend the Big Island for you & the hubby! :) My sis and sooo many people I know rave about it, because well, there's just a little bit of everything - you can hike to volcanoes or through forests, lots of water activities (and if you do go, there's a place in Hilo called the Two Ladies Kitchen where they sell a-ma-zing strawberry mochi!). I hear amazing things about this place. I'm dying to go myself.

P.S. Wherever you do decide to go in Hawaii, email me & I can help gather as much info as I can from locals/family/friends who all know the place so well :)

Petite Cabbage Press said...

I've been to Oahu for four days (It was a good size to do in that time span) but we're hoping to go back to the Big Island next time. Oahu was a nice introduction to Hawaii... stayed on Waikiki Beach, half day trip to snorkel, half day trip to hike up Diamond Head crater, day trip renting a car and circling nearly the whole island. A bit touristy but I felt okay being a tourist (usually I like to blend in)... it's Waikiki, pretty much everyone is a tourist.

ruthy ann said...

I also grew up on oahu...and pretty much agree with everything Larie said!

Davanie said...

I spent a week on the Big Island during the last week of September. We did it super low budget (it cost me $600 including airfare from Oakland, car rental, food, etc). We split the cost of a car rental/lodging between three of us. We stayed in a screened in cabin (around $20-40/night) within walking distance to Hapuna beach. We bought cheap snorkel stuff for each of us, snorkeled every chance we got, saw lots of turtles, hiked to secluded beaches. We rented kayaks and saw spinner dolphins at Kealakekua Bay. Ate THE BEST THAI FOOD EVER in Pahoa. Drove across Saddle Road and up to Mauna Loa in the fog. Tried to see Mauna Kea lava but the rangers said it was too dangerous for us to get close. Went to Waipi'o valley, saw amazing water falls....We also drank an over priced Mai Tai and saw a luau at a nearby hotel. We stayed a night in a hostel in Oahu and hung out at Waikiki beach. Feel free to email me if you want: palershade [at] gmail.com

It will be so fun to hear about your trip and where you decide to go!

honey my heart said...

i've never been to hawaii, but surfing is on my list when i eventually get there!! hope you find great activities and beaches :)

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Oahu is definitely a good first stop but you have to go to another island (likely Maui or Big Island!)

MayLove said...

I've been to Hawaii twice; once on a cruise to all the main islands, and once just to Maui. In all honestly (I know people will freak over this) I wouldn't stay in Maui again. If you do go there I recommend visiting the Maui tropical plantation, whale watching and the Iao Valley. I don't recommend bike riding down the Haleakala crater; my family did it in a van and one of the bikers got hit by a car on the way down - they were told that is a frequent occurrence. The road to Hana is pretty, but also kind of treacherous now that you can only go up and down one way. Plus Maui was *really* expensive - all the islands are, but Maui seemed even more so. My favorite island was the big island (Hawaii). The opposite sides of the island are so different. Kona was gorgeous and we did a really fun tour there. Hilo was also really nice - we went to the rainforest zoo, the hot springs, mauna loa factory (my cousin hiked the volcano). This may sound silly, but check out www.ncl.com and look up their excursions for their Hawaiian cruises. Even if you're not going on a cruise it will give you an idea of some of the things you can do on each island.

Kristin - Mrs. Glasses said...

I've only ever been to Honolulu :( A Hawaiian vacation sounds great right about now!

BigAppleNosh said...

I've been to Maui, Oahu and the Big Island and I've loved them all! Maui is a good balance or relaxing and activities. Whichever island you choose I highly recommend the "Revealed" blue books - they are great!

Moosette said...

I have been to most of the islands and my two favs by far are Kauai and Maui. Kauai is beautiful and untouched... can definitely get many hikes in :-)

Glo said...

Our favorites were Kauai and Maui.

On Maui, I second going to Haleakala. We did a bike trip from the top of the crater and that was awesome. We also did a snuba trip at Molokini and that was one of the best things we've ever done. I also second the Revealed blue books!

My memory fails me on Kauai other than the fact that I know I loved it. =)

If you choose to go to Oahu, make sure you go to the Dole Pineapple Plantation, grab yourself a Dole Whip cone and do the maze. I don't care if it's a tourist trap, it was so much fun!


Gaynor said...

I always feel like I need more vacations! We were spoiled last year with loads so after new year we felt we had to get something booked to look forward too! So we are going to Bratislava & Vienna for our 1st anniversary in April, I CANT WAIT!

Ive never been to Hawaii but it sounds fab, hope you enjoy when you get to go!

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