Question of the Week: Help us pick an island in Hawaii!
I am having a hard time trying to figure out which island in Hawaii to visit. My daughter and I want a relaxing vacation – mostly just hanging out near the ocean and pool. We don’t want an itinerary, and we would like to stay in a hotel that has everything around it. We do not want to rent a car either. It also has to be a nice hotel that has a lot of amenities. We like our weather on the warmer side. We would also like transportation to and from the airport.
Photo of Maui Makena Cove courtesy of IgoUgo member sepherd333.
I can tell that you’re a traveler who knows what she wants, and you really can’t go wrong with Hawaii! The beaches are pristine and the weather is phenomenal year round, so you can check those requirements off your list no matter where you choose to go.
I went to Travelocity’s Team Hawaii with your question. Based on your preferences, they narrowed the options down to the two islands they thought you and your daughter would enjoy the most: Maui and Oahu. You’ll be able to find a nice hotel with fantastic amenities on either of these beautiful islands, but you should choose based on how much of the island you want to explore – sans car!
Oahu’s Waikiki is literally a playground with tons of activities within walking distance of many resorts. There are also shuttles and public transportation that you can use to get around the area since you don’t want to rent a car. If you’re looking for a lively area with great beaches, this is your place. (Check out Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel.)
If lazy days on the beach are what you’re seeking, Maui would be a good choice for the two of you. Many travelers will tell you that Maui has the best beaches in the world! It’s the perfect place to take refuge, never leaving the resort, yet it’s still large enough to find plenty of entertainment. The public transportation options aren’t as plentiful as what you’ll find on Oahu, so expect a bit more seclusion if you choose to visit Maui without renting a car. (Check out Makena Beach and Golf Resort.)
Hope this helps you and your daughter choose the place that’s best for you!
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My name: Jennifer Gaines, but my friends call me Gaines, Jenni-Dallas or just plain Jenn.
(Find me on Twitter @jenngaines)
Travel ambitions: It's my mission to visit each of the New 7 Wonders and to step foot on every continent before my next milestone birthday.
Greatest travel lesson learned: Find the local hangouts to experience the real, true culture of a place. During a trip to Europe, my friends and I spent several days with a French family in the small town of Vichy. We had a private party in their family-run creperie, feasting on cheese-stuffed crepes and sampling wine that we picked up in the Bordeaux region a few days earlier. Their English wasn’t much better than my French, which is limited to a few well-known phrases from Moulin Rouge and the question: Parlez-vous anglais? (I'm proud to say that I can spout this question off in several different languages, and luckily most Europeans do indeed speak English!) After a few bottles of wine, the language barrier was hardly noticeable (slurring actually sounds the same in French!), and we managed to swap stories about life in other places. What a slice of local flavor!
My most beloved place in the whole world is: My grandparents place in Texas. It’s a 10-acre oasis in between two sprawling cities: Dallas and Fort Worth. A creek runs through their enormous backyard, where Granddad built a deck over the water. The entire place is shrouded with all types of trees (mainly pecan), blocking the Texas sun in the summer. Dusk is the best time to sit on the deck, drink a glass of ice tea and watch baby raccoons from the spring litter surround their back porch as Gram feeds them bread (no lie!). There will be dozens of raccoons eating on any given night. In the fall, my family gathers in the courtyard in front of their house for an annual “weenie roast.” Granddad lights the bonfire, and we roast dogs and s'mores. Yes, y’all, we’re from Texas!
Favorite way to get around: Well, I’m not much of a driver. I get lost easily and my tires have never come across a curb they didn’t want to get to know a little better. But, I do enjoy cruising around and listening to music. That said, I much rather explore a place by foot (with my iPod in tow) for a more intimate encounter.
View that took my breath away: Coming from Texas (where the view is wide but there’s not much to see), scenes from my new home of San Francisco never fail to amaze me. The city is a pedestrian’s dream, but don’t forget to turn around and look behind you as you meander through its neighborhoods. You won’t realize it, but you’ll be at the tip-top of a hill and the ocean will suddenly seem to be at eye level. Take a drive through the Presidio and over the Golden Gate Bridge where even more stunning views await!