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Jill_E's avatar

Which island should we go in Hawaii as a family?

Asked by Jill_E (885points) May 5th, 2010

We are planning a trip to Hawaii in two years. It is for two weeks (if we bring the kids) or one week if we decide without the kids.

We are thinking either…

Big Island, we haven’t been on this island before (thinking west side..snorkeling and son helicopter tour to the volcano, seahorse farm)

or Maui / Lanai (we loved it when we were there before) the towns of Wailea, Makena, the mountain at sunrise.

or Kauai where we have not been before.

We would love advice. Thanks in advance. Our kids will be 8 and 4 in two years.

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6 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

My sister rented a house on the Big Island when my nephew graduated from HS. It ended up being cheaper that way than doing motels and having to dine out all the time.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Since I live on the east side of the Big Island, I’m biased, but you’re right to think about coming to the west side of the island. It’s where the best beaches are and the biggest hotels offering the most amenities.

There’s a lot to do on the Big Island. There are the beaches, of course. There is the volcano. My absolute favorite thing to do is the Mauna Kea Observatories Visitor Information Center at the 9000 foot level on the side of the Mauna Kea where they bring out telescopes every evening around 6:30 to 7:00. The views of the planets and stars is amazing.

There are tons of good restaurants all over the island.

To me, choosing the Big Island is a no-brainer. Feel free to private message me with more questions.

marinelife's avatar

I would vote for Kuai if you have not been there. There is a lot to do there that would interest kids. There is Waimea Canyon, a state park. There are wild chickens that you can buy food for and feed. (They are the descendants of the chickens that the Pacific Islanders brought in the front of their canoes.)

Kilauea Lighthouse has birdwatching including seeing the Laysan albatross, which is so large it has to run down the cliffs and fall off to get airborne).

Salt Pond State Park is a great place to take the kids snorkeling. Very gentle.

lilikoi's avatar

Please stay away from Kaua’i. It is my home and there are way too many tourists there already. The island is overpopulated. There is not sufficient infrastructure to accommodate increasing numbers of people (traffic is BAD) and widening roadways (which is what is happening slowly) completely transforms the slow-paced, island-life sense of place. I realize it is basically futile to make this plea because even if you don’t go, thousands of other people will, but I still feel the need to make it clear. And please don’t feed the wild chickens! Read NatGeo’s take on Kaua’i’s problems here. This was written a couple years ago, and it has only gotten worse.

If you loved Maui and Lana’i, I suggest returning there. Many people make annual visits. There is no place quite like them in Hawaii. If you’d like to try something new, based on what you’ve said, I would recommend West Hawaii (Big Island) as they have the large white sand beaches with beach-front luxury mega resorts that West Maui has but perhaps with a relatively smaller crowd (at least for now). The Big Island is huge. You can easily fill out two weeks there.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@lilikoi : Where’s the aloha?

The west side of the Big Island has got very bad traffic congestion, too. In my opinion, traffic is bad on the east side, too.

The whole island has got environmental problems that are devastating. We’ve got invasive species like miconia plants and coqui frogs. Feral cats are decimating our native birds. The list goes on and on.

But we’re not telling people to stay away. We’re dealing with our problems in responsible ways.

@Jill_E : “E komo mai” (“Welcome”) to the Big Island.

Seek's avatar

I have to agree with @hawaii_jake. I live in a tourist-y area as well, and while we all make jokes about it (If it’s tourist season, why can’t we shoot them?) we wouldn’t possibly go out of our way to make them not come.

It’s kind of the expected trade-off of living in paradise, isn’t it? If you want to be there, you expect that other people are going to want to be there too. You’re just lucky enough to have paradise all the time. The tourists only get it for a week.

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