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Hawaii/california? Anyone any tips?

(17 Posts)
Totp Sun 10-Jul-11 23:52:27

don't know where to start really.
We have a wedding next year in California so thinking of doing trip of a lifetime and taking in California and Hawaii.
Kind of want to avoid the real tourist places, and find somewhere off the beaten track

feedthegoat Mon 11-Jul-11 22:58:03

I know you say you want to avoid the obvious but the drive down highway one through Big Sur is utterly fantastic and I could not recommend it highly enough. I remember stopping at a viewing point and just bursting into tears at how beautiful it was. I cried again in Las Vegas as couldn't believe we'd left all that wild beauty behind for that!

I also enjoyed Santa Cruz just for abit of fun!

bellavita Mon 11-Jul-11 23:03:24

We are going to Hawaii in August

Stopping on Maui which is less touristy than Ohau. Although we will visit there to go and see Pearl Harbour etc. Also some English friends who moved out to the US about 13 years ago are staying on Ohau at the same time so we are meeting up with them too.

Enraha Mon 11-Jul-11 23:21:25

Yosemite NP is incredibly beautiful and majestic enough to not be overwhelmed by big tour groups - doable as a longish day-trip from a San Francisco base, but probably nice to stay overnight at one of the camps, with a booking. We did a day-trip with a small group and found quiet spots in August. Sonoma Valley (parallel to Napa Valley) very nice and chilled, was quite taken with Santa Rosa due to the lovely Charles Schultz museum.

San Francisco can be surprisingly chilly/foggy in summer months.

flagging Sat 30-Jul-11 21:27:58

Oh do go to Hawaii - it is FABULOUS.

The island of Kauai is wonderful too - a very tranquil, beautiful place.

On Maui I really recommend going up Haleakala at sunrise (highest peak/extinct volcano) and taking the road to Hana. The latter is an amazing drive along a twisting coast road, past beaches, waterfalls, tropical jungle, fab road side cafes. It is really unforgettable.

bellavita Sat 30-Jul-11 21:29:59

Thanks for that Flagging. We will be there two weeks today! We also have now got our internal flights booked to Oahu to see our friends.

<<mucho excited>>

ihatethecold Sun 31-Jul-11 12:15:20

bellavita, that sounds lovely, you lucky thing.

drowninginlaundry Sun 31-Jul-11 12:27:58

yes you lucky thing! Hawaii is my all time favourite dream amazing place
Oahu is very crowded but the North Shore of Oahu (Haleiwa) is lovely, and Honolulu has great shopping and restaurants. Maui is heaven. Do you surf at all? if not do try when you are there, small summer waves and very easy to learn on them.

bellavita Sun 31-Jul-11 15:55:25

Drowning, our friends are renting a house on North Shore - we have hired a car and will drive over to them.

We have never surfed, but the boys (14 and 12) are already up for it.

By the time we get back, we will have been on six planes.... But I am really really looking forward to the whole thing. As usual, DH will get start looking forward to it on the drive down to Heathrow!

DH has been looking a prices of iMacs over there (DS1 getting one for Xmas - studying music and the iMac will be a big help), they are soooo much cheaper but there is no way we could get it home.

mumblechum1 Tue 02-Aug-11 08:40:08

We're off to California in two days and I've done q a bit of research, only hope I got it right!

We're having 8 days in Sonoma county, in a house right on the river with boats etc, planning hiring fishing rods to catch supper from the jetty, a zip wire excursion through the canopy of the redwoods, trips to Santa Rosa, maybe airsofting, then Highway 1 stopping at Carmel, through Big Sur to Santa Barbara for 8 nights then 4 nights in San Francisco.

Can't wait! DH has booked business class which is great as it's an 11 hour trip.

bellavita Tue 02-Aug-11 08:45:23

Mumble, your holiday sounds fabulous. San Fransisco is one of my favourite places.

And business class.... envy

mumblechum1 Tue 02-Aug-11 08:50:16

I'm bouncing with excitement!

IslandIsla Tue 16-Aug-11 14:49:37

I LOVE Hawaii. Amazing place, went there once and have returned 3 times (including honeymoon). Am currently plotting my fifth visit :-)

For off the beaten track...

try Hana in Maui. Hotel Hana Maui looks incredible - have not stayed there but would have loved to pre-kids. We stayed at the Bamboo Inn which was cheaper but still special.

Hanalei in Kauai - lovely beach town - no hotels. We stayed at the Moon Beach Cottage - google it.

As much as I love off the beaten track in Hawaii - I also love Waikiki. On honeymoon we stayed at the Moana Surfrider and it was A-MA-ZING!

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 16-Aug-11 15:33:05


There are surfing lessons available on Waikiki beach.

North shore won't ahve big waves this time of year (the big waves usually appear during the winter months).

Do drive to the Dole Plantation if you can; they do fab soft serve pineapple flavoured ice cream!.

let us know how you get on.

MadamDeathstare Tue 16-Aug-11 15:45:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadamDeathstare Tue 16-Aug-11 16:36:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bambiandthumper Fri 02-Sep-11 19:59:13

Hanalei in Kauai is beautiful, as is the whole of the north shore there tbh, generally all the hotels there are on the south shore, a completely different experience.

One thing to note though, is that in the summer, the North shore of Kauai has v v calm still water, whilst the South shore has the big surfers waves (reverses in winter), so in terms of swimming, and your DC's the north shore might be a better bet.

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