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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen,

I'll be heading to Hawaii shortly (Oahu and Maui) for 9 days of travel and fun, and thought I should seek the wisdom and experience of this group before setting out. I'm travelling with a buddy of mine from school and work. We're both early 20's. We make good money, but with the economy and my med school future, I'm hoping to keep spending within reason. Besides, I've been lots of amazing places and found that, at my age at least, comfort should be sacrificed for adventure and relationships.

That said, any "must-do's" on these two islands?

Evan
 

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I lived in Hawaii (on Oahu) for four years when I was a teen. I know the place has changed quite drastically since we left in 1974, but I would recommend a trip up to the Nuuanu Pali Lookout. Absolutely stunning views up there and, if you go on a particularly windy day and wear a jacket, you may figure out how to get yourself airborne. For basic, fun snorkeling I'd recommend Hanauma Bay. Just stay away from the touristy areas and you're golden.
 

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Maui

The road to Hana is a wonderful drive. You can rush it in 3 hours, but best to take 10 and enjoy every view. Have lunch at the Hotel at Hana before you start back.

If you are going to do a luau (and this is Hawaii, why wouldn't you?), try the Feast at LeLe in Lahaina (https://www.feastatlele.com/). It's more expensive than the huge affairs put on by all the hotels, but definitetly worth the difference for the food alone. This one is small, and needs reservations, but you get your own table and authentic performances.

Snorkle and surf, even if you have never done either.

For an adreneline rush, you can bike down from the crater on the volcano Haleakala: https://www.bikemaui.com/

Watch the sunset every night!
 

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Some of my favourite things to do in Maui:

When my husband and I were in Maui, we found TONS of things to do....

My top 10 list:
1) Go snorkeling!
If you want to save some money, then go to places that are free, such as Black Rock (this spot was great for us, as we are pretty new to snorkeling, yet there were still TONS of fish etc. to see there!)
If you can afford it, then I'd also consider a day trip to Lanai for some snorkeling there as well... the company we went with took us to 2 spots on that island, and it made for a fantastic day!
Also, our snorkel trip to Molokini Marine Preserve was great!

2) Check out the Hana Lava Tube.
If you want something not too expensive, then the self-guided walking tour is the way to go.
If you can afford it, then I'd strongly recommend the Wild Cave Adventure. We went on this guided tour, and were able to see and do WAY more than we ever would have on our own.

3) Go on a hike through the East Side of Mt. Haleakala National Park (this would be near Hana.) This area will take you through jungle and bamboo forest... it was very cool!
To save money, you can research ahead of time, and hike the trails on your own.
If you can afford it, then you could go with a company like Hike Maui (that's who we used), and get the full guided hike.

4) Check out Iao Valley State Park
We went hiking here with a guide from the Nature Center... it was pretty inexpensive, and totally different from our hike in #3.

5) We haven't tried it yet, but I think scuba diving would be great in Maui!

6) Especially if you'll have a rental car, then a drive up to the summit of Mt. Haleakala will be cheap, yet totally worth the trip! There's also hiking you can do up there... the trails looked pretty well marked when we were there.

7) Drive the Road to Hana. This was a drive unlike any other we'd ever been on, and I think it's worth doing at least once!

8) Check out Skyline Eco Adventures... they offer zipline tours on Mt. Haleakala, and also in the Kaanapali area. We took the Mt. Haleakala one, and it was SO much fun!

9) If you're up for a big splurge, then I'd strongly consider a helicopter tour of the island. We did this, and it was a lot of fun.

10) We also went on an Atlantis submarine tour. This was also pretty neat.

If you're interested in more details about our thoughts and experiences with the above, feel free to check out this page on my website:
https://www.paradise-found-in-maui.com/things-to-do-in-maui.html

The links in that article go into more detail about each of the above.

Have a great trip!

Sheralyn
:icon_smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for the tips and advice. I ended up using a good bit of it. Here's a brief rundown of the activities:
3 nights in Waikiki, Oahu: One night would have been sufficient. Very touristy and commercialized. The best part was renting mopeds and buzzing around the outlying neighborhoods and hills for the afternoon.
6 days in Maui: Maui was awesome. I'd definitely recommend Maui over Oahu any day. Snorkeled, my buddy got scuba certified, hit great beaches, Halloween in Lahaina, drove up and down Haleakala (sweet!), Road to Hana with many stops and a night in Hana (best part of the trip by far!). If I ever go back to Hawaii, I'll take a girl and spend most of my time in Hana and camping in the Haneakala crater.
1 more day on Oahu: drove around the north shore, spent some time in Kailua (coolest place we found on Oahu), slept in the rental car, and headed back to Alaska that night on a redeye (and back to work the morning I got back).

I had a great time, but I learned:
1. Pick your travel partner wisely. My buddy and I have a lot in common, but we differed on a few key travel philosophies. Luckily I'm pretty laid back, and he is as well.
2. If I ever go back, I'm not going with a dude.
 

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Glad you enjoyed the trip. If you ever go back Oahu, consider staying outside of Waikiki. The North Shore is incredibly laid back and a great place to just bum around. And the East Coast (~Kailua) is just gorgeous. If and when I go back, I'll try to do a BnB or house/condo rental in one of those areas.

Don't overlook the Big Island. The Kona coast area has some gorgeous resorts.

Lastly, Priceline!! Saved hundreds of bucks on hotel and car rental for my recent trip to Hawaii. https://www.betterbidding.com is the best place to learn how to get the best deals on Priceline. I was always skeptical, but I'll never pay quoted rates again.
 
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