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  1. #1
    gymnbomb is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default Must See Places in Hawaii?

    I'm cruising around Hawaii next year with my Mom (69, can walk a long way on relatively even ground but doesn't do well with a lot of stairs, hiking, etc.). We'll have 1-2 days in each of the following places: Honolulu (flying from east coast, will be jet lagged here for sure!), Kahului, Hilo, Kona, and Nāwiliwili. Any can't miss destinations?
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  2. #2
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    I haven't been to Oahu since college (more than 20 years ago) so I can't comment on Honolulu and I haven't been to any other islands besides Oahu and Maui. Maui is our favorite. Kahului is the city where the airport is on Maui, but NOT a tourist destination (it's denser, it's where many locals live, not the best beaches). If you have time and a rental car, I'd stay in South Maui (Wailea is our favorite) or West Maui (Kapalua is quieter than Lahaina or Ka'anapali). Everyone's definition of "can't miss" will vary but we just enjoy relaxing on the beach and enjoying island fare (fantastic seafood!). Have fun!

  3. #3
    Zansu is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Each island/city has its own tourist-focused attractions. Do you prefer natural wonders, gardens, food & drink, history, or animals?

    If you're cruising, how much time do you actually have on land? Are you willing to rent a car?

  4. #4
    gymnbomb is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zansu View Post
    Each island/city has its own tourist-focused attractions. Do you prefer natural wonders, gardens, food & drink, history, or animals?

    If you're cruising, how much time do you actually have on land? Are you willing to rent a car?
    Probably more natural wonders and history. We have a decent day (8-6ish) in each place, with a day and a half or two full days in a couple of places. Willing to rent a car in one or two places, but prefer not to do it every day.


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  5. #5
    Zansu is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    You'll need a car on Maui. Lahaina, Maui is a very interesting little town. There's a great walking tour of the historic buildings, a whaling museum, historical society. I'o Valley is flat (with an easy incline). You can go upcountry for protea and lavender farms, and goat dairy farm, and there's also a vodka distillery. Walk through one of the big resorts in Kaanapali or Wailea and grab lunch. You don't have enough time to go up Haleakala

    Hilo has Pacific Tsunami Museum, Exposures Photo Gallery, Imiloa Astronomy Center, Akaka Falls, walking through Liliʻuokalani Park and over to Coco Island. There may be a play at the Palace Theater (very nice restoration). You can grab a tour up to Volcanoes NP if you don't want to rent a car.

    Kona is walkable. Maybe do a coffee plantation tour? Or a 1/2 day snorkel cruise to Captain Cook Monument?

    Honolulu: You'll be waking up at 3am on the first day. Pearl Harbor (they just re-started the tours to the memorial), Iolani Palace, Sea Life Park, Punchbowl (national cemetery)

    Kauai - Nāwiliwili: I can't think of any historical areas, but beautiful scenery is everywhere.

    If you don't want to go through the cruise line for shore excursions, contact Roberts Hawaii tours and book direct. They go everywhere.

  6. #6
    gymnbomb is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Thanks! Pearl Harbor is at the top of my list for Honolulu, and depending on jet lag may well be the only thing we do there. I need to look into volcano NP more, but that sounds like it might be very interesting too. That is as far as I have gotten. At the places we spend more than one day, I may do something low key with my mom the first day and something more adventurous on my own the second. We travel together most years and she always encourages me to go off and do my own thing for a day or two if I want to.


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