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We've hit every island in Hawaii, most of the large ones twice (it's our favorite vacation spot). DW is going to Honolulu for meetings in early December and we disagree on another island to visit. Where would YOU go? We'll be back for more info after we decide.

Hockeypop
Maui
Big Island (Hawaii)
Kauai
Lanai/Molokai
Just continue to Australia, China, Japan or parts unknown

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How many days will you have? What sort of activities would you want to do? Hangin' on beaches and in resorts is very different from driving around and hiking and snorkeling. For example.
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Good question.

We probably have four or five days outside of Honolulu. I'll visit favorites there.

We are ACTIVE. We'll at least take a snorkling trip, drive, and hike. We've explored the lava tubes, the "Grand Canyon of Kauai, driven the road to Hana, walked down and up to the Leper colony on Molakai, and gone virtually cross country on Jeeps in Lanai . But there is always more to discover.

What's YOUR favorite ACTIVE activities?

Hockeypop
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On the Big Island you can do a horseback ride down to Captain Cook Memorial, and then go snorkeling in the bay there. It's some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii (not the best I've ever seen, but the best in Hawaii that we've found). Big Island also offers numerous hikes (lava flow, when the park service allows it; waterfalls; etc).

Of course, if you want to surf (or learn to surf), Maui is good (Lahaina). Plus some nice little waterfall hikes. Snorkeling was OK, but not as good as Captain Cook, IMO. Whale watching at Maui was awesome! But not generally active in December.

Big Island probably has the most diversity. Lots to do. You might head to Barnes and Noble and check out the "revealed" series ("Big Island Revealed", "Maui Revealed", etc). They have everything in them. Everything. Great books.

We've done the Big Island several times. Maui only once. Pretty sure our next trip will be to Maui (didn't get to Hana last time...too many stops/hikes along the way from Kihei. But otherwise the Big Island (Kona area for lodging) is my favorite.

1poorguy
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I like botanical gardens, and there's a wonderful one on Kauai. I posed in front of a particularly interesting fig free for my husband to take a picture, and our guide told us that Spielberg stopped at that very tree to film a scene in Jurassic Park.

Not exactly active, but we loved our helicopter trip over Kauai and the catamaran trip around it (made a snorkel stop). Walking along the north coast of Kauai, we saw sea turtles swimming in tidal pools.

I've only been to Oahu and Kauai, but if I return to Hawaii, it will be hard not to return to Kauai--we loved it.
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I've been to Hawaii about 9 times (I think). Returning for a 10th time in October. All of these are business trips into Honolulu, and some (not all) have included 2-4 days stay on another island. Maui is my favorite.

This comment above bears repeating:
You might head to Barnes and Noble and check out the "revealed" series ("Big Island Revealed", "Maui Revealed", etc). They have everything in them. Everything. Great books.

I do not go to Hawaii without these books. Period. Best guide books out there!

Yoda
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What's YOUR favorite ACTIVE activities?

Hockeypop


I like a good, brisk nap.

Count Upp
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We've been to Kauai, the Big Island, and Honolulu. I much prefer the smaller islands. Hiking, snorkeling all day long.

And I also recommend the Revealed series. Went to several places because of reading about it that we would have never found otherwise. And that's a great thing! Things we don't have at home in the midwest, but aren't completely overrun with visitors. And many of them, as a bonus, were free/cheap activities. Also used them the choose a luau and companies for activities.

Kristi
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BTW, if you do go to Kaua'i, be sure to do the helicopter tour. It's really good. The best one (IMO) is the "doors off" trip done by Inter-Island Helicopters.

Used to be there was a time-share arranger near Brennecke's. A little hole-in-the-wall shop with a lady. One of the gifts she would give was a discount for that tour. We did the time-share, told them 'no', and got our gift. Great tour. Especially if you are a shutterbug.
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Check out how accessible any volcanic eruptions are. They may have tightened down the access but about 25 years ago I was able to get within feet of lava that was heading towards the sea.
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Thanks to you ALL. My vote is Kauai and DW's is Big Island -Hawaii. She gets back Saturday afternoon to we'll see who wins. Anyone betting against the Big Island probably should get good odds.

I LOVE the "Reveal" series and we have three of them. FWIW I've found it equally good for Oahu, despite having been there about 8 times.

We're also most probably following your other advice -- headed to Australia on business/pleasure in about May.

Again, thank you!

Hockeypop
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