Hawaiian Holiday vacation plan

This Hawaiian Holiday is the first to be entered into our winter travel writing contest. Enjoy!

Day 1: Your bags are packed and you have been waiting for this trip all winter. It’s mid February and you are so glad to get out of the cold. Your flight lands in Honolulu at 3:15 pm. You have a surprise for your travel partner. Upon arrival you are greeted with fresh flower lei. They also offer to assist you with your luggage and provide shuttle service to your hotel. This service can be arranged ahead of time at www.leigreeting.com

For the next 3 nights you will be staying at the hotel of your choice in Waikiki. After checking in you can freshen up in your room and have dinner in anyone of the hotels restaurants. After dinner take a stroll on the beach and then go to one of the hotel lounges for some Hawaiian music.

Hotel suggestion: Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa – hilton.com

Day 2: You have pre arranged a tour with www.discoverhawaiitours.com. They have a large variety of tours available, and they pick up at most Waikiki hotels. I recommend the Circle Island Tour with Pearl Harbor. Along with seeing Pear Harbor and the Arizona Memorial, you will explore all the highlights of Oahu, including Diamond Head Crater, Dole Pineapple Plantation and many other interesting points. You will stop for lunch along the way. Your tour pick up time is early and you will return around 5:30 pm. Spend the evening at the hotel or take a cab to explore the surrounding area.

Tour cost is $69.99 pp

Day 3: Today you can spend at your leisure. A few suggestions are to skydive, jet ski, snorkel, or many other beach activities available. After all you are on the famous Waikiki beach. Oahu has 40 golf courses ranging from casual municipal links to elegant resort courses. While the men golf, women can have a relaxing spa treatment.

About an hours drive from Waikiki there is the Polynesian Cultural Center. You could rent a car and drive there for a day. Here you can interact with the people of Hawaii and learn about other South Pacific cultures. Their website is www.polynesia.com. They have different packages to purchase. There are countless things you could arrange for the day, depending on the activity level you choose. Prices vary according to package chosen: $50.00 to $200.00.

Day 4: You have pre arranged your inter island flights with Aloha Airlines. You arrive at the airport for your early flight to the Big Island of Hawaii. Upon landing you pick up your rental car that you pre reserved. Kona is on the west coast side of Hawaii, or the Kona Side. The east coast is the Hilo Side. Today your travels take you to Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. It is a 45 minute drive from the airport, on Highway 11. The park is open 24 hours a day year round, and the visitors center closes at 5:00 pm. Entrance fee is $10.00. Here you can explore lava fields, and hike among Hawaiian’s wilderness. Start your tour at the Kilauea Visitor Center to catch that day’s events. You can cruise the Kilauea peak by car on an 11 mile loop called Crater Rim Drive. You can find a wealth of info at their website, www.nps.gov./havo/. Spend as much time here as you wish and then head for your hotel in Kona. You can grab a bite to eat along the way back.

Hotel suggestion: Kona Village Resort – konavillage.com

Day 5: After a leisurely breakfast, you will be driving along the coast of the Big Island. Head north along Highway 19 You can stop at Hapuna Beach State Park and enjoy one of the most popular white sand beaches on the island. When finished there keep going north to Kawaihae Harbor, and then onward to Waipi’o Valley. There is a lookout at the end of the main road. Don’t miss Hi’ilawe Falls. You don’t want to spend too much time at these places because there is a lot to see along the next 40 miles along the Hamakua Coast. Make sure you have your camera ready for all the waterfalls you will see. Don’t miss Rainbow Falls.

Next is Hilo, the islands capital city. Spend as much time here as you wish. Now might be a time to grab something to eat. There are many shops and restaurants on Banyan Drive.

Keep going on Highway 11, headed west. Take the cut off in Wai’ohinu down to Ka Lae or South Point. This is the southernmost point of land in the United States. Back on Highway 11 to the Kona district, to your hotel and enjoy the evening as you wish. If you still feel like exploring, a few miles south of the airport lays the seaside town of Kailua-Kona. This is where you can enjoy this evenings dinner.

Day 6: Sleep in today and take a late morning flight to Maui. Pick up the rental car, check into the hotel and enjoy the beautiful white beaches. This evening you have pre arranged reservations for the Old Lahaina Luau. Lahaina is little port city that comes alive at night with a mix of residents and visitors. Stroll the streets after the luau and head back to the hotel.

Hotel Suggestion: Ka’anapali Beach Hotel – kbhmau.com

Day 7: Today we are off on another road trip. Go around the top of the island to just west of Wailuku. This is the entrance to Iao Valley State Park. Here you will find Iao Needle. There are many easy hiking trails, and look outs. When finished here continue on the road, stopping as you wish and head towards The Hana Highway. This road begins at the Hana Airport and is known for its hairpin turns and one lane bridges. It is known for one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Nine miles beyond Hana you will come to Haleakala National Park at Ohe’o Gulch. Don’t miss Haleakala Crater. Head back to the hotel at your leisure.

Day 8: This is your last day. Enjoy Kaanapali Beach. Check out Lahaina during the day time. Do a little shopping for those souvenirs you didn’t get. Pack up for the trip home. Enjoy your last Hawaiian meal at dinner.

Day 9: Drive to Maui’s airport in Kahului for your homebound flight.

Note: Hawaii can get very expensive. Meals can be costly, so I really left it up to each individual where to eat. Thought your day you may find some out of the way restaurant that might appeal to you instead of eating in the hotels restaurant. Also there are a wide range of hotels to choose from. If you choose a hotel one a block away from the ocean you could still have the view, but the price would be considerably less. One last thing, many people choose to use their frequent flyer miles for the flight. This needs to be done almost a year in advance.

Filed Under: 2006-2007 winter vacation plan contest entries

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  1. Nancy Crosby says:

    Oops! The drive from Kona to Volcanoes National Park is at least two hours -two and a half from the Kona Village Resort. Well worth the trip,however. Yout day trip around the Big Island is probably going to take longer than it seems. Better to make it a two day – one south, one north – unless you want a very long day and not much time in any one place. Lots of little less expensive places to eat – ask one of the friendly natives. Enjoy our favorite island

  2. Nancy Crosby says:

    Oops! The drive from Kona to Volcanoes National Park is at least two hours -two and a half from the Kona Village Resort. Well worth the trip,however. Yout day trip around the Big Island is probably going to take longer than it seems. Better to make it a two day – one south, one north – unless you want a very long day and not much time in any one place. Lots of little less expensive places to eat – ask one of the friendly natives. Enjoy our favorite island

  3. Kathy S. says:

    The Hana Highway is beautiful but takes most of a day to drive if you go completely around. There are several miles of one lane rough!! roads but the views are worth it. The drive around the other side of the island is almost as beautiful. I’m not sure what has happened to the roads since the rains last winter but when we were there they were passable but you did not drive fast.

  4. J B says:

    I meant from the Hilo airport. That drive time was printed in a guide book that I recieved.

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