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5 days on the big island and last day in Kauai

Teddie2

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We are going to be on Kauai for two weeks and in between two timeshare rentals we have 4days so I am leaving one place early to get 5 days on the big Island. I feel by doing that we will have at least 4 full days to see a bit. My plan is to leave early on Tues (our check in for our first timeshare week is on a Weds and its in Princeville) We would arrive BI Hilo at about 10:30--I plan to stay at Volcano Rainforest retreat which really looks unique Tues and Weds nights -- leaving Thurs for the other side of the island to stay at the Rainbow Plantation in Kona for Thurs and Friday nights and then return to Kauai on Sat on a flight about 2PM which gives us part of the day on Sat as well and we will be leaving from the other airport near to Kona.
When we return to Kauai, we will be staying at Lawai Beach till the following Sat and then need to find a place for one night before we leave on SUnday and I am still in process of figuring that out.
We got airfare with FF miles and will be flying in and out from Mainland to Kauai.
Because of that I had limits on when to go ect also to line up my timeshares two weeks in a row to have the other five days at the end would have been best but was not possible. So all that said I have a bunch of questions.

1 because of how this is broken up, we will have to rent a car for the first 6 days and then drop it off --rent on BI and drop off then rent again on Kauai and then drop off.. may need to pay for an extra day the second week in Kauai because of the fact that we will have that extra night. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this easier or cheaper I am all ears.. but I am guessing I may get stuck with extra costs

2. on that last day.. since our flight is not out till 8:30 PM we really don't need to be at the airport till about 6:30 --it is my birthday and so I would like to spend the last day doing something fun but we will have to check out of our place wherever that is in the morning and so will have all our luggage with us and no place to really change even if we wanted to just spend the day on the beach which I would be fine with... I did inquire with the resort we are staying at if they would let us stay for one extra night and they said it was a possibility so that may be an option. Still we would need to be out of the room by 10 I think.

3. FOr the few days on the BI.. we know we want to spend the first two days in Volcano park exploring... hiking but then the other two days what might one suggest not missing.. and on that Sat when we have to check out of our place and then don't need to be to the airport till about noon (flight out around 2:30 (not booked yet) what to do that morning? Also we might try to do the star gazing --but don't want to spend to go with a group and I am not sure I want to go all the way up anyway because I am not sure about medical issues that they mention if people have high blood pressure ect which my H does. I think we woudl be fine going to the visitors center as they have microscopes there as well but any thoughts on that woudl be helpful as we also read the rental car companies do not want people driving on Saddle road and you need to do that to get there from what I understand.

4.ANy other not to be missed ideas for either island. We are trying to make the most of this trip as not sure if we will ever be back. We are hikers and like to snorkel (heard about the best snorkel beach and plan to do that on BI) but are not good swimmers so would not go far out.

THanks in advance for any advice.
 

DeniseM

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We are hikers and like to snorkel (heard about the best snorkel beach and plan to do that on BI) but are not good swimmers so would not go far out.
We found Two-step by The Place of Refuge to be the best snorkeling and turtle area on the BI - plus we really like picnicking at the picnic area in the park, after snorkeling. We arrived by 9:00 am and paid to get into the park - it's just a few dollars and one admission is good for at least a week. Then we parked right next to the ranger shack so we didn't have to worry about the stuff in our car. Then we took just our snorkel gear and went snorkeling. After snorkeling we went back to our car and drove back to the picnic area for the rest of the afternoon. The park displays are well worth a walk-through, too.
 

moonlightgraham

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Nothing against Saddle Road but I recommend from Hilo taking the main highway north and around the top end of the island making sure to see Akaka Falls and Waipio Valley. That northeastern to north part of the island is very lush and tropical (catch the Botanical Garden if you have a couple extra hours). From Waipio Valley travel to Waimea and see the Parker Cattle Ranch area which is quite different from the lush topography you just left behind and it gets even more stark as you make your way into Kona.

Saddle Road is paved and fairly easy to travel, but the weather conditions at higher altitude can be iffy. Usually by late morning the higher elevations are obscured by clouds so you don't get to see much.
 

DeniseM

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Nothing against Saddle Road but I recommend from Hilo taking the main highway north and around the top end of the island making sure to see Akaka Falls and Waipio Valley. That northeastern to north part of the island is very lush and tropical (catch the Botanical Garden if you have a couple extra hours). From Waipio Valley travel to Waimea and see the Parker Cattle Ranch area which is quite different from the lush topography you just left behind and it gets even more stark as you make your way into Kona.
That's exactly what we did and it was a great day! The Botanical Garden is a must-see! Unfortunately, it was pouring cats and dogs when we arrived at Waipio Valley.
 

jlr10

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You might want to consider the Marriott Kauai Beach. It is on the beach, has a nice restaurant on site (Duke's) and has a shuttle that goes to the airport, so you wouldn't need a car once you checked in and would not have to spend time returning the car before your flight. You can keep your luggage with the concierge until you are ready to depart for the airport, which is only minutes away. The other Marriotts in Hawaii have for your to change if you spend the day on the beach after you check out. I would think Kauai Beach would too.
 

Teddie2

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Thanks for all those suggestions...Question re: Marriott..are you suggesting then that we return the car the day or night before we check in to Marriott and then take the shuttle from the airport to the hotel and then back there the next day? If so interesting thought.. I will look into that. THe question will be if it is cheaper to get one night at the Marriott or two nights at a reasonable B&B because one tugger suggested that we pay for an extra day somewhere so we would have the room and a place to shower.. both are interesting options. If I can find a place for around 100 a night then for two nights we are talking 200-250 one night in the Marriott might be the same so again both interesting options.. thanks
Will check out the snorkel place on BI.. great suggestion and the route north.sounds interesting. We were curious about the Green beach south of volcano and had thought to go that way to Kona but perhaps north is more intersting.
 

moonlightgraham

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North or South from Volcanoes Nat. Park

I've gone in both directions from the Park and think the northern route is more interesting, but you won't be disappointed either way. If you go the northern route also try to veer off the highway at Laupahoehoe Point (mile marker 27). It is very beautiful but with a tragic history as it is where a tsunami hit years ago killing many schoolchildren and some adults. It is worth a stop for both the incredible scenary and the history.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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Check Hotwire. I they offer you a 3-star in Kapa'a it almost certainly will be ResortQuest Islander on the Beach, right behind Coconut Marketplace.

A very fine facility, and the prices via Hotwire are quite good ($100/night)

We've been in almost the same situation as you our last two trips, and we done the Hotwire deal both times.
 

Teddie2

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ResortQuest Islander looks great for the money.. Seems like a real find. Any chance they have an airport shuttle? How long does it take to get to the airport from there?
 
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