cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Hawaii first timer

County Wise

Hawaii first timer

I was looking for advise from people who have been to Hawaii. We are wanting to go next year. It will be Don, me and our  3 boys ages 20, 7 and 5 years old.

What island is your favorite? What area of the island do you recommend? Hotels, favorite activities, that sort of thing. Any suggestions to point me in the right direction is appreciated.

Thanks for your time,

Kris

10 Replies
City Slicker

Re: Hawaii first timer

I have stayed on the the Big Island and did a day trip to Oahu. The Big Island has a lot of cool history & fun tourist options. I highly recommend taking the full day bus trip of the Pearl Harbor memorial. The bus takes you to several waterfalls and scenic points of interest prior to going to the memorial.
County Wise

Re: Hawaii first timer

Everyone is different but for a first timer, I strongly suggest staying on Oahu especially with kids. While it is the busiest it has just about everything a first timer would want. Historic sites: Pearl Harbor, The Arizona, Iolani Palace, Aliiolani Hale etc. Beaches-WAIKIKI, the North Shore, Waimanalo. Sites like Diamond Head, Moana Falls, dining, shopping and activities galore. 

 

I suggest staying in Waikiki as it is the hub of everything. Walk out to the beach, walk to most shopping, dining and its just a short bus ride to Diamond Head. 

 

You will get many opinions about hotels. It depends on your budget, type of accomodations, do you want to be on a beach and what activities you intend to do.

 

Take your time do your research and figure out what you want to do. Is it a "on the go vacation", a relaxing vacation with some sightseeing or ??  good luck!

County Wise

Re: Hawaii first timer

I have been to Oahu, the Big Island of Hawaii and Maui. We have family on Maui; my mother-in-law grew up there, so I have been there the most and am a bit partial to it. The 3 I have been to are all wonderful and have their own flair. The Waikiki area of Oahu is more of a city, similar to what you see on Hawaii 5-0. Pearl Harbor is amazing. The north side of the Island has a more laid back tropical feel. Kona, on the Big Island, seems more groomed to me. A visit to the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is a great hike and incredible if you get to see the lava flow - newest earth on the planet, and the black sand beach is lovely. Hilo has an old world hawaiin feel. Maui has the pristine resorts in the Ka'anapali and Wailea areas, but we prefer to rent a condo in the more local feel of Kihei. Trips to Hana (its not the destination but journey of the stops on the way), Kula, Haleakala Hikes, the Maui Ocian and lovely beaches provide a variety of relaxation and activity for those looking for a mix of beach, outdoor activity and sightseeing. Honestly, any island you choose will provide you with the magic of Hawai'i!
County Wise

Re: Hawaii first timer

I've been to Oahu twice and loved it. there is History and adventure and even nature if you can get away from the crowds. We like to Stay in Kailua because it is quiter and cheaper than Waikiki. Visit the north shore and maybe you will see turtle- so fun for kids!

Internationally Known

Re: Hawaii first timer

For first timers I would definitely recommend Oahu! Waikiki has a lot of choices for accomodations and the beach is not too far from the strip! You'd be close to many food places as well! North Shore is also a short drive from Waikiki which has nicer beaches! Check out a luau with your family (Paradise Cove is awesome!). There's plenty of activities to do there and all the companies offer rides to and from the hotels. Have fun! :)

Nationally Recognized

Re: Hawaii first timer

Oahu is a great place to start. There is plenty to do for all ages. 

RJean
City Slicker

Re: Hawaii first timer

I would agree - Oahu has a good variety for a first visit.  Definitely do Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head hike.  We enjoyed the Dole plantation as we'd never seen pineapple growing.  We took an early morning surfing lesson at Waikiki that was very memorable!  We've also been to Maui and enjoyed the road to Hana (although a bit harrowing in a larger rental car) and Waimea Canyon.  Kauai was more rural, beautiful but with fewer touristy/kid options.

City Slicker

Re: Hawaii first timer

Good to hear Oahu is a great island for kids. There should be lots of interesting and historical things to discover there. Hope to visit that island with my family soon.

Internationally Known

Re: Hawaii first timer

Kris,

 

For first time Hawaii visitors, especially with kids, Oahu is a great place to start.  I won’t remention the great suggestions already given.  While in Honolulu we stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  It’s a fantastic place but could run a little pricey for a family of 5.  Great beach and a private lagoon.  It is the home of the famous “Rainbow Tower.”  They have free fireworks on Friday nights and you don’t even have to stay there to watch.  I highly recommend the Atlantis Submarine that leaves from the beach at the Hilton.  It’s a beautiful ride.  We have never rented a car in Waikiki, we just use the Trolley.  Get multi day and all lines pass.  The trolley will take you to Hanauma Bay for fantastic snorkeling, to the crater of Diamond Head, hike to the top the view is amazing.  The trolley is hop-on hop-off be sure to get a route map.  You can even take the trolley to Pearl Harbor and Aloha Stadium. Hop off on the way or return trip at the iconic clock tower.  They have a huge outdoor flea market at Aloha Stadium on Saturday (don’t remember about Sunday).  You can find inexpensive souvenirs and gifts.  One of our trips we took a Circle the Island tour through Viator.  That was very nice but your limited on what you see.  I haven’t been since my high school days ( ancient history) but we are planning on going to the Polynesian Cultural Center on our visit the end of November beginning of December this year.  I also want to go to Wiamaia Canyon State Park and see the falls.  There is the Pali Lookout, I could keep going.  We have also been to Maui and loved it.  We enjoyed the Big Island also.  I still think Oahu is best for first timers with kids.  I’m sure I’ll think of more but these are a few more ideas.  There’s always Ala Moana shopping mall and about three to four blocks behind the mall there is a huge Walmart and Sam’s Club for inexpensive souvenirs/gifts.  There is a trolley stop at the mall.  I’ll let you soak in everything everyone gave you.  Oh, China Town is a bummer, no biggie if you miss it.  

 

Happy travel and Aloha,

 

Jeff