Suggestions needed for Hawaii Islands !!!

mumu

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I would stay in the Manago Hotel in Captain Cook which is an old, inexpensive, and somewhat rustic place that serves a delicious fried fresh opelu or akule (fish when in season) or pork chops if you go early for dinner or lunch (they close the restaurant at 7:30). The rooms don't even have television, which is fine with me. A real locals place. If you reserve early, you might be able to get the Japanese room with the ofuro (the precursor to the hot tub).
Wow, I've driven past that hotel but it never occurred to me to stay there. I just assumed it was a run down place but I looked it up based on your recommendation and it looks quite nice. I'd definitely consider if I ever get to the Big Island again.
 
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Just to add to your studies :)
We're not into cities etc, prefer countryside so temper any comments by that.

Koko Crater Railway Trailhead
Steep climb, not very comfortable. On old rail tracks.
take water and sun protection!
Beautiful views, but Diamond Head more accessible and still excellent views.
Water again, and mind your head in tunnel! Diamond Head ie.
Quite safe place

Lanai Lookout along south coast

Nu‘uanu Pali Lookout
Beautiful scenery. Sad history

Ko Olina Beach Park
Private area but tourists welcome when we were there.
Great safe place for swimming with kids. Turtles. Wow!

Up north
Waimea Valley
Beautiful garden area to stroll about.
I'd go again.

Haleiwa
I loved it. Older style of buildings, streetscape, shops, very casual

Pearl harbour. Some sad places, but I found plenty of interesting things.
There's some beautiful old planes.

Polynesian cultural centre
This was awesome IMO.
Not overdone, definitely for the tourists but didn't feel you were just there for a spectacle
https://www.polynesia.com/

I forgot about Waimea Valley Park. There is admission but well worth it. You can walk all the way up to the waterfall, and people are allowed to swim (at least the last time I looked).
https://www.waimeavalley.net
 
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Wow, I've driven past that hotel but it never occurred to me to stay there. I just assumed it was a run down place but I looked it up based on your recommendation and it looks quite nice. I'd definitely consider if I ever get to the Big Island again.
Nothing fancy. No swimming pool. Not much in the way of amenities, but inexpensive, very friendly, and I love the local style restaurant. I would stay there when I was on work trips to Kona, except that my meetings were usually in the evening, and I'd miss dinner. :-(
 
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I forgot about Waimea Valley Park. There is admission but well worth it. You can walk all the way up to the waterfall, and people are allowed to swim (at least the last time I looked).
https://www.waimeavalley.net
The waterfall was dry as a bone when we were there.
I got a photo of the large billboard about with the creek in full flow.
Really odd to see such dryness.
I'd never envisaged that.
 
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The waterfall was dry as a bone when we were there.
I got a photo of the large billboard about with the creek in full flow.
Really odd to see such dryness.
I'd never envisaged that.

Well, it depends on when you go. I've been there several times and the waterfall was flowing. It will dry up when it's been dry for a while. You would think Hawaii rains all the time. Sure seems that way sometimes, but we have actually had droughts. :-O

https://www.flickr.com/gp/92624968@N02/a45W77
 
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The Big Island and Kauai would be my choices. Plus a fish market or two.

The tour of the Honolulu fish auction would be fantastic, but the tours and public access are currently closed because of COVID-19 concerns. Obviously, because they're dealing with fresh fish going to wholesalers and restaurants, contamination is a big risk. However, if the tours are back in operation by the time the OP makes his trip, this is something worth considering if you are curious about how fresh fish comes in and is graded and auctioned. I think it's fair to say that Hawaii gets and chooses the highest quality fresh fish for the market and restaurants. Hawaii people are picky about their fish. My friend, Dr. John Kaneko, gives the tours, and he's extremely knowledgeable. Check back at https://www.hawaii-seafood.org/

Otherwise, there are fish markets scattered around town that you can visit. I'd recommend walking through Chinatown in downtown Honolulu. Oahu Market on N. King St. and Kekaulike St. is a good start, and also the building across the street. If you go inside and down the ramp in the building across the street, there's a fish market on the lower floor. Also, there are fish vendors inside the buildings between Maunakea Marketplace and N. King St. You can also go to Chinatown Marketplace at City Square on Dillingham Blvd. and Kohou St. Actually, Tamashiro Market on N. King St. and Palama St. is a great fish market to check out.
 
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The tour of the Honolulu fish auction would be fantastic, but the tours and public access are currently closed because of COVID-19 concerns. Obviously, because they're dealing with fresh fish going to wholesalers and restaurants, contamination is a big risk. However, if the tours are back in operation by the time the OP makes his trip, this is something worth considering if you are curious about how fresh fish comes in and is graded and auctioned. I think it's fair to say that Hawaii gets and chooses the highest quality fresh fish for the market and restaurants. Hawaii people are picky about their fish. My friend, Dr. John Kaneko, gives the tours, and he's extremely knowledgeable. Check back at https://www.hawaii-seafood.org/

Otherwise, there are fish markets scattered around town that you can visit. I'd recommend walking through Chinatown in downtown Honolulu. Oahu Market on N. King St. and Kekaulike St. is a good start, and also the building across the street. If you go inside and down the ramp in the building across the street, there's a fish market on the lower floor. Also, there are fish vendors inside the buildings between Maunakea Marketplace and N. King St. You can also go to Chinatown Marketplace at City Square on Dillingham Blvd. and Kohou St. Actually, Tamashiro Market on N. King St. and Palama St. is a great fish market to check out.

BTW, when you come to Hawaii, you can get a REAL poke bowl. Not the salad bar types you get on the mainland. The real kine with pre-seasoned and marinated seafood and other ingredients served over hot rice, or a poke salad over greens. :)
 
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Awesome thread! I hope to make a visit to the Hawaiian Islands with extended family at some point in the next 3-5 years. So I definitely plan to watch this thread over time. Thanks to everyone who has shared their ideas! And you better be sure my Panasonic Lumix (G, GX, & S) gear will be documenting it all :thumbsup:
 
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Don't want to prolong this thread, but seeing it's a photographic forum...
Consider your gear.
First trip was a Canon G12.
I waded it into the water to photograph the turtles swimming about.
Harsh light and not a proper viewfinder, the moment I landed back home I went straight to camera shop and bought my first EM5.
Second trip it was much appreciated. I was caught in several tropical moments when it bucketed down.
Water isn't something to tangle with and yet these water resistant models give a security not afforded by those not sealed against dust and moisture.
Same with the lenses.
My 2 bobs worth
 

dipan000

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Don't want to prolong this thread, but seeing it's a photographic forum...
Consider your gear.
First trip was a Canon G12.
I waded it into the water to photograph the turtles swimming about.
Harsh light and not a proper viewfinder, the moment I landed back home I went straight to camera shop and bought my first EM5.
Second trip it was much appreciated. I was caught in several tropical moments when it bucketed down.
Water isn't something to tangle with and yet these water resistant models give a security not afforded by those not sealed against dust and moisture.
Same with the lenses.
My 2 bobs worth
We are not water sports lover, so will not go inside water to shoot.
But I have Z6 (24-70mm f/4 & 50/85mm & 300mm PF) and E-M1 (+12-40 & 45mm).
Probably I would take Z6 and 24-70mm. Other primes may not be used, I guess. (or maybe I can take one :) )
 

ac12

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We are not water sports lover, so will not go inside water to shoot.
But I have Z6 (24-70mm f/4 & 50/85mm & 300mm PF) and E-M1 (+12-40 & 45mm).
Probably I would take Z6 and 24-70mm. Other primes may not be used, I guess. (or maybe I can take one :) )

On a trip, I generally bring a small fast prime (moderate wide or normal) for indoor low-light stuff.
  • In my film days, I did not have a fast prime. My primary lens was the 43-80/3.5, and I struggled in dim light cuz I did not have a fast prime.
    • And I was too dense to learn, so I never got a 50/1.4 or 35/2.
  • For APS-C, my travel kit is a 18-140 + 35/1.8.
  • For m4/3, my travel lens kit is the P-Lumix 12-60 + Olympus 17/1.8.
    • The 17/1.8 went as a "just in case" it is too dark lens. And I did use the 17 a few times, where it was too dark for the 12-60.
 
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We are not water sports lover, so will not go inside water to shoot.
But I have Z6 (24-70mm f/4 & 50/85mm & 300mm PF) and E-M1 (+12-40 & 45mm).
Probably I would take Z6 and 24-70mm. Other primes may not be used, I guess. (or maybe I can take one :) )
Probably mixed my message.
This is Hawaii, and sudden downpours were the order of the day when we were there second half of the year.
Can leave the car in sun only to be greeted with wet 15 minutes later.
That's the times I appreciated my weatherproofing in landscapes etc, not standing in water bodies
 
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Probably mixed my message.
This is Hawaii, and sudden downpours were the order of the day when we were there second half of the year.
Can leave the car in sun only to be greeted with wet 15 minutes later.
That's the times I appreciated my weatherproofing in landscapes etc, not standing in water bodies
I concur that having weather sealed gear can make the difference between enjoying yourselves and getting photos, or leaving the camera behind in the hotel or in the bag. I'd recommend thinking about the EM1+12-40 as your standard kit. I'd even bring a Tough camera along to get pix of the kids at the pool or at the beach.

I bought my first OMD, an EM5 w/12-50 kit lens in early 2013, and later that year, we went to Japan and Okinawa. We had checked out the forecast before we left and prepared for wet weather, as it was near the end of the typhoon season. We weren't quite expecting it to be as wet as it turned out to be, but I'm sure glad I had the Olympus because I was able to take it with me even if we were out in the rain. I could still take photos instead of leaving it behind in the hotel room. Weather-sealing made a huge difference. I also had a 17 f1.8 and 40-150 R, but they stayed in the hotel when it rained. I took my EM1 w/12-40 Pro on a Christmas trip to Washington state, and was able to shoot in a steady snowfall and survive being hit by a snowball and dropped in the snow. Brushed off the snow and kept on shooting.

From the Japan trip. EM5 w/12-50 in the rain.
EM225055.JPG

EM235111.JPG

BTW, my advice for Hawaii as well as most oft-visited places, is to take your gear and valuables with you. Don't leave anything valuable in the car. Locking the car is no safeguard, and anything visible is fair game. Even unseen in the trunk is no guarantee of security. Thieves watch what people take out or put in the trunk. Sorry to say, but theft is too frequent. Pack light and keep it with you. Don't leave it unattended. Even when my friends and I go on a photowalk, and we park someplace to eat, we take our stuff with us. I don't leave it in the car. So far, knock on wood, so good. :)
 
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dipan000

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Probably mixed my message.
This is Hawaii, and sudden downpours were the order of the day when we were there second half of the year.
Can leave the car in sun only to be greeted with wet 15 minutes later.
That's the times I appreciated my weatherproofing in landscapes etc, not standing in water bodies
Understood :)
Thanks
 
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My suggestion for Hawaii:
Don't let in so many tourists.

Other than that it's a pretty nice state.

Many Hawaii residents are thinking the same thing. These are the stats from the year before the pandemic hit and shut down a lot of the tourism industry (and our economy).

From a Hawaii Tourism Authority news release:
"A total of 10,424,995 visitors came to Hawaii in 2019, an increase of 5.4 percent from the 9,888,845 visitors in 2018. Total visitor days rose 3.0 percent in 2019. On average, there were 249,021 visitors in the Hawaiian Islands on any given day in 2019, up 3.0 percent from 2018."

In the same year, the resident population of Hawaii was about 1.4 million. So, more than 7x our population came as visitors in 2019. No wonder it seems that Hawaii is just swamped with tourists. :-O

Don't get me wrong. Tourism really drives our economy. But, it also takes a toll on all of us. And, the pandemic really showed us how dependent we are on it.
 
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Many Hawaii residents are thinking the same thing. These are the stats from the year before the pandemic hit and shut down a lot of the tourism industry (and our economy).

From a Hawaii Tourism Authority news release:
"A total of 10,424,995 visitors came to Hawaii in 2019, an increase of 5.4 percent from the 9,888,845 visitors in 2018. Total visitor days rose 3.0 percent in 2019. On average, there were 249,021 visitors in the Hawaiian Islands on any given day in 2019, up 3.0 percent from 2018."

In the same year, the resident population of Hawaii was about 1.4 million. So, more than 7x our population came as visitors in 2019. No wonder it seems that Hawaii is just swamped with tourists. :-O

Don't get me wrong. Tourism really drives our economy. But, it also takes a toll on all of us. And, the pandemic really showed us how dependent we are on it.
Same here, but not in those figures.
1,324,100 in 2019, 500000 population
I'm always concious of being "a ruddy tourist" when outside my territory.
Home town is swamped by them here!

One of the things I liked about Kauai was it seemed so quiet when out and about.
Hardly saw many people which was very nice. That was 10 years ago
 
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I grew up on Oahu, so I tend to take Oahu for granted.
I prefer visiting Kauai and Hawaii.

Roads:
  • On Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii, the road does NOT go all the way around the island, so you will have to back-track. Check the maps when you plan your trip.
  • Some of the roads are "off limits" to rental cars, due to the BAD condition of "road." Check the rental car maps.
    Some of them are barely jeep trails, and some are worse. When I was in school, parts of the Kaena Point road, had eroded/collapsed down to barely a hiking path.
  • In Hawaii, when they say "narrow bridge," is it a NARROW bridge. Some bridges narrow down to a single lane. So you MUST watch for traffic coming the other way. And you always yield to BIG trucks. Big heavy trucks can't stop fast, nor back up easily.
    Here in Calif, at least where I live, "narrow bridge" just means no sidewalk, the road is the same width.
  • When I grew up, the cops TOLD us, don't even think of running a red. Whereas in Calif running a red and stop sign, the California stop, is too common.
  • On Oahu, watch out and plan for commute traffic, it can be BAD. You want to travel before or after the commute traffic.
Kauai
  • Fern Grotto. Nice boat ride up the river to the grotto.
  • Waimea Canyon. The drive up is is a LONG drive, plan accordingly.
Maui
  • Hana Highway
    • While nice, will take a whole day going to Hana and back.
    • I think it is better now, but when I was in college, "highway" was a joke; narrow, very winding, unpaved in many places, rutted, etc. etc. If you get car sick, like I do, it may not be a pleasant drive.
  • Haleakala sunrise.
    • You need to get up about 2am, for the LONG SLOW drive up the mountain.
    • At 10,000 feet elevation, It is COLD up there before the sun comes up. You NEED cold weather gear and gloves. The hotels do not like you taking their blankets.
    • If the clouds are THICK, you may never break out above clouds, and the trip up the mountain becomes a waste of time (been there, done that :( ). But, you have to stick it out, cuz you never know if the clouds will break, as the sun rises.
Hawaii
  • I second Walter's recommendation.
  • Staying at the Volcano House hotel is a favorite of mine.
  • Sunrise over the crater. At the Volcano Observatory. Really nice, but at 4,000 feet elevation and exposed to the wind it can be COLD.
  • Mauna Kea observatory. Another mountain drive. Up to see the astronomical observatories. If the wind is BLOWING, it can be dangerous. The summit is almost 14,000 feet in elevation, so altitude sickness is a concern. Some cars can't make the drive up, because of the thin air. My car never made it up. This is another all-day trip.
One correction. The road does go all around Maui and Big Island. Kauai and Oahu, no.
 
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