I’ve never stayed there
The Kona side of the Big Island is pretty protected water, so you’re generally not going to get much in the way of surf. There should be good snorkeling close by, though. I’m not sure how the resort itself sits in relation to the water.

"Ignore the Rental Agreement"
I’ll second that. The drive along the NW shore of Maui was the best I’ve ever taken, period. Just give yourself at least a few hours (you will average no more that 15 mph), and have someone else drive if you’re really scared of heights.

Once you drive to Hana (East Maui) ignore the rental agreement again and continue around the south side of Haleakala. This drive is not as difficult as NW Maui, but is beautiful, remote, and almost completely deserted because of the rental car agreements. The park rangers at the Seven Sacred Pools should be able to tell you if the dirt road ahead is passable.

Lucky You

– Last Updated: Sep-11-06 5:03 AM EST –

I have been several times and absolutly The best place t to stay in Maui is ..... Napili. Napili Kai Beach Club is the best place I have ever stayed and I have stayed at a lot of Hotels, but other less expensive places there are fine too. There are just a few hotels on "Napili", the best beach in Maui. They have a hawaiian band that plays at the little pub that is located directly on the beach. You will hear them play every evening from any of the hotels on the beach. It makes for great memories of your trip to Hawaii. The old Lahaina luau is the best.

If you want to see Hawaii as it used to be before it got all touristy, go to Kauai , it is breathtaking. If your prone to motion sickness get some medication for it before the helicopter ride, I did the ride and it was awesome but I was about to lose it by the end, they do provide barf bags. If you do nothing else do the Captain Nemo? or Captain ??'s snorkel and rubber raft ride, it is awesome. They have it on both Maui and Kauai but do it in Kauai, Don't do the Train thing in Maui, it is boring.
and one more thing.. the grass huts you see in the pic is a little misleading it is actually motel rooms with pom froms throwed over them, I stayed there and thougt I would have a grass hut, I was disappointed it turned out to be a old motel with a room that did not impress, especially after staying at Napil Kai Beach Club. Research it well before you decide to stay there.
Have fun. Wish it was me going. I Love Hawaii.

Check out Waimanalo Beach (east side of island)…quirky, but beautiful, handful of houses on the beach to rent, just south of Kailua. Quiet, peaceful huge beach to yourself (parks @ each end, locals go there, sometimes to get married, doesn’t get crowded, a dozen people on the beach), it’s all about location!!!

Good info
Been to all the islands you can get to several times. Stayed at Kona Village (expensive, isolated, tourist shuck) and Napili Kai. Now when we go, we favor renting a home or condo. It’s nice to have a kitchen and some space. Just got back from eight days on Oahu. We were on the north shore, about 100 steps from Shark’s Cove, a great snorkeling destination with tons of sea life, lava tubes, the works. We were within 10 minutes walk of Waimea Bay. In the summer, it’s the postcard perfect Hawaiian beach, a golden crescent backed by a river and a tropical jungle. The west end of the beach has a lava outcrop that offers a platform for jumping 30 feet into the sea. We were less than a block from the only supermarket on the north shore. We had three bedrooms, two baths on an acre of private gardens. Cost was $200 a day.

The tips about Lanikai and Waimanolo are dead on. There are several small offshore islands to visit. That’s the place to kayak in the islands. You can also hook up and do it a few places in Kauai. There are rentals on the north shore and on the Waimea River there.

Each island is different. I’m not too taken with Maui because it’s so given over to tourism. The Haiku area there is nice in sort of a counterculture way, but it’ll be pretty windy and rough during your window.

If it was my first trip, I’d lean toward Oahu or Kauai. Molokai and Lanai are REALLY quiet, as in no stoplights, no night life.

Very much my opinion, but when you go to a resort, you’re at a resort. Might be Bermuda, might be Florida, might be Mexico. They’re relaxing, but they bear no relationship to the surroundings.

I like hitting the supermarket. You’ll see Spam varieties you never imagined. The meat case has poke – salted raw tuna with onion, chile and a little sesame oil and seaweed – delicious.

Outriggers are more popular than kayaks among locals, and races take place interisland. Paddle boards also have their fans.

The “Revealed” books are must-reads. They’ll put you into places that it takes locals years to find. On Kauai last time, we landed at a waterfall above an enormous pool. Rope swing from a banyan tree, cliff diving, and a locals-only party. The path in went through sugar cane, and you’d never know it was there. We jeeped around Waimea Canyon to a spot that was utterly deserted.

My brother and I used to sail around the islands. We took the Zodiac down the NaPali Coast, jetting into sea caves and exploring. We picked up a beachball sized glass fishing float and a scuba tank that day (no diver attached).

We’ve swum with manta rays, sea turtles and dolphins, along with more fish than you knew existed.

In short, just pick a spot and chill, brah. You can’t go wrong.

One thing I found out
when I was wandering around there. You find the best stuff away from where the tourists go.

Dress down. Don’t wear your finest resort wear and just get out there. The people will be more open to you and will give you all sorts of insights.

One thing I discovered was a chain of natural food stores on Maui. They have a big veggie food buffet and a place to eat as well as an Internet cafe.

A lot of surfers go there and you can fill a plate for about $5. Great place to get into the “real world” there.

Rather than eat at the upscale hotel where my husband’s meeting was, I prefererd to eat there.

Also put in a vote for renting a home on the island. We had a place that had three acres of Zen garden and a tropical fruit orchard. Overlooked the ocean from a cliff. Was like a yoga dream house inside and even had a steam room

Cost less than a lot of hotels.

And nope, I’m not telling you where it was. We might go back there next spring, and don’t want you guys in there when we try to go!

One very nice thing…
That exists in Hawaii that has not yet been mentioned (I think) in this thread:

ALL coastline is public. Not only that, but ACCESS to all beaches is public as well. Private development has to allow public access points.

I wish all states with coastlines did this.

I’ve been to Kona Village
I was in 6th grade at the time, so that’s, what, 18 years ago? It was a cool concept, cool grounds, but the hales were a little bit run down. I am sure they have been renovated at least once since then, but I get the idea that they get run down fast because of flimsier nature of the construction - check and see when the last renovation was, and make sure you get a hale that is one of the most recent renovations.

I thought the leper colony is on molokai

– Last Updated: Sep-11-06 5:42 PM EST –

I didn't think it was still in business, since hansen's disease can now be cured with MDT, and is less virulent than it was even 60 years ago.

I Wish!
It would be great to take along some company, but this is going to be a romantic trip!

Thanks to all the advice, and a couple emails I got as well.

Will be until the current patients pass

They are cured and are allowed to leave. They no longer post a person with a rifle on the cliffs as they used to do.

They are free to go. However, most now have been there since they were small children or very young people. Many were abandoned there by their families and were taken in by others who live there.

Many are disfigured and/or blind, as blindess was something caused by the disease.

They have medical care and are free to live as they choose in their community. However, it is difficult to get supplies in and they only get things, often donation, when a boat comes to the difficult coast and brings them.

Some left and then returned when they found it too difficult to live on the outside.

They are in the process of dying off now, as the last patients were brought there in the 1940’s, I believe.

Forgot…yes Molokai
I took a boat from Lahaina in Maui to get there, had a guide who took three of us down the cliff.

It was a wild ride on the way back in a double decker tour boat in 10 ft. waves. They sealed us downstairs and at one point water was coming in through the welds in the top of the boat.

The boat went into a trough in the thick of things and I saw this whale surface up at the side window of the boat across from where I was sitting. The whole boat was at a diagonal at this point.

He blew this spout of water and with a tremendous groan, sank back into the water.

We couldn’t get back into port, and for awhile just sat out there.

I finally couldn’t take it anymore and went out on the deck on the bow of the ship. I just had to have air. I hung onto a rope out there and was hit by waves and water until we at last got into the harbor at Lahaina.

At that point, I was covered with salt crystals after having been basted repeatedly by salt water.

We still couldn’t get into port since all other boats were trying to get in and the cruise ship tenders got priority.

They finally had to load us onto another incoming boat that had agree to take us in with them.

Go Kauai!
I lived in Kauai for 2 1/2 years in the late 80’s (surf, hike, fish, paddling, being a bum before college) and highly recommend the Garden Island. Kauai has it all, Surf all over the island, snorkling in Poipu on the south side or tunnels to the north, very little night life but the hotels have fun entertainment, and seculision if you want it (Try Polihale) Don’t waste yourt time with Honolulu as it is basically L.A. or NYC on the beach (has it’s fans though)

As far as paddling, the Wailua river is the longest navigatible river in all of the Hawaiian islands or the only one if I remember right. It is a great place to paddle a canoe or kayak. To be close to it, stay in Kapaa (not fancy but close)

Link to it below.


Trust me, you will have visited the best island by far and others will be jealous when you return and show them your pictures.

If you want to know more, respond to this and I will answer any questions you have or direct you to spots you will not find on the travelers guides.


Get the book…

– Last Updated: Sep-12-06 12:19 AM EST –

Hidden Kauai OR Hidden Hawaii

WAY better than the "Revealed" book!!!

Some people were killed there when
we were there. Same trip as when I went to Kaluapapa, only a few days later and my husband was with me by that point.

We were taking the road to Hana and I had wanted to swim at the Blue Pool north of Hana. We met a young Indian couple there who had come to Maui for their honeymoon.

There were several other people there, including a couple from Ohio that we had met further up the road at a beautiful garden we had stopped to see.

We stopped in Hana for a sandwich and missed the caravan of people we were traveling in tandem with.

During lunch it had started raining up at the volcano. While we were at the Blue Pool actually.

By the time we got to the 7 pools it had started pouring and the waterfalls had turned into raging, pounding torrents, the likes of which I’ve never seen before.

You could feel the ground rumbling as you drove past them, and God help you if you had to cross a bridge.

At the 7 pools we were in the parking lot getting ready to hike up when we noticed a woman and an 11 yr old boy come running up to the park ranger.

The woman was screaming for help and the boy was clinging to her like a small child.

They were both soaked and shivering and someone had thrown a blanket over them, but that was soaked as well.

She kept saying,“You have to help us they’re still up there. I could hear my little girl crying down in the water.”

When she said that, you could literally see the blood drain from the ranger’s face.

You could tell he’d seen this happen before, and that whatever happened wasn’t good.

Evidently, they had been climbing up the path at one point the path crosses the stream via some rocks.

They had gotten across when the current started picking up quickly.

They decided they’d better get back to the other side while they still could.

The first to get back was the young Indian couple, who had been just behind them when they turned around.

The couple, the mother and the boy got across and were climbing up on the rocks, when suddenly, they heard a tremendous rumbling begin.

As the young Indian man told me, crying and clutching his young bride, they had felt a gust of wind come over the falls, then at that instant, rocks began flying from the top of the waterfall.

The whole thing broke loose and a massive torrent of water broke lose.

At this point, the father had been trying to get across. Their small daughter was behind him.

As the water started to rise, the little girl slipped off the rocks and was carried off by the water.

The father went in to save her and was immediately carried away. The force of that water was incredibly strong.

As we were standing, listening to the story, I looked at that horrible raging water. It was water too strong for the riverbed that held it and I feel the earth shaking under my feet, even though I was about 20 feet away.

The banks there are very sharp, black lava rocks.

I looked at that and at the still falling face of the ranger and I understood the truth. There was no chance for those people.

I couldn’t imagine having to fly those long hours back to the States with those two empty seats beside me. How could anyone survive that?

The family had come to Maui on a sales award trip with an insurance company. How could they have foreseen it would end so tragically.

When we went to the airport, the story of the futile search for the missing man and his daughter was in the newspaper.

As a footnote to the story, I noticed a mention of a couple from Ohio who had to be airlifted from the Blue Pool.

I remembered the folks as the typical black socks with sandals, plaid shirt type tourists. Earlier in the day the husband had commented on how he hadn’t found the waterfalls up to that point particularly impressive.

“We have waterfalls bigger than this in Ohio!” he had complained.

It sank in to me what a Hawaiian woman had told us when we had described the misadventure to her the day before.

She simply said at the conclusion of our story, “Well, you know. Sometimes Pele (the goddess of the volcano Haleakela) must have her way.”

Especially with unlucky tourists, it seems, she seems to have little sympathy.

Outdoors is not a theme park
Hawaii is not a dangerous place, but when you get too many tourists leaving their common sense at home, mishaps happen every now and then. I don’t imagine it’s news to anyone here that fast-flowing streams can kill and that when you see heavy rainclouds hanging over the top of a steep drainage you might want to be careful crossing downstream. Likewise big surf: a little respect and common sense goes a long way.

So true and there was actually more

In the airport were some of the insurance award sales group people.

This wasn’t the only tragedy they had. A son of one the winners had taken a boogie board up to Honolua Bay to surf the big stuff.

He ended up breaking his neck.

He was in the hospital and they were afraid he would probably be paralyzed.

You do get the feeling that many people going over there DO think it is a theme park, where everything is safety tested by OSHA.

Not so. If you plan to venture out of the resort areas, you do need to take common sense and preparedness with you.

You quickly come to understand that Nature is very big out there and services are far and few between outside the popular areas. It can easily overwhelm anyone who is fool hardy or unprepared.

Despite what the tourist said who had to be airlifted, it’s nothing like Ohio.

Not just outside resort areas
A little common sense goes a long way everywhere. E.g. the ocean off Waikiki is very benign most of the time, but on a good south swell or a strong Kona (south) wind, not so much. You have to pay attention to what your eyes are telling you, not just what your guidebook says an area is usually like.

It Is The Pacific Ocean…
And the Pacific is capaable of doing some awesome stuff at any given time