Hawaii Honeymoon Advice

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Good Morning Boneyard!

I'm getting married this October and recently cancelled mine and my Fiancée's Paris honeymoon plans. I'm now pivoting to booking a 2 week stay in Hawaii during the second half of October and am finding the task more daunting than first expected. Can any of you guys share any advice as to which island would be best suited for a romantic getaway? Any tips or lived experiences would be much appreciated as I scramble to get this organized. Thanks!

Shak up in the hotel room! Romantic dinner and drinks and nightlife. Don't do any sightseeing. LOL. Honeymoon is about celebrating you two. Congrats!
 
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True enough...but the beaches on Maui are to die for. At least come out of the room for the sunsets.

If there is one island I would choose, it would be Maui. I am going back next year. I am convinced that if I moved to Maui I would add 10 years to my life. The place is so chill,
 
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My wife I did two weeks in Hawaii six years ago. We started in Vegas for two nights to breakup the flight and help adjust to the time difference. Think this is fairly common as Vegas is referred to as the ninth hawaiian island. Flew into Oahu for two nights primarily to visit Pearl Harbor. Spent three nights on the big Island. We drove across the island (west to east) and enjoyed stopping at the beaches/trails/restaurants at our leisure. While there we also hiked the national parks and took a helicopter tour of the volcanoes. Spent the final six nights in Maui relaxing for the most part. We did scuba dive at Molokini which is supposed to be one of the best spots in the world. Overall fantastic trip and would highly recommend.
 
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Stayed at Maui for a week two years ago. Have recently read horror stories about locals vs tourists (linky), 'post' COVID. Loved the island when I was there with the Mrs. At the time it wasn't as touristy as Honolulu and had some nice low volume areas where we could chill by the beach. Also I rented a convertible and traffic was very light. The scenery was science fiction beauty.

However, based on the recent news I might suggest you try and find one of the less traveled islands, if you want some peace and alone time. Of course it also dependent on what you plan on doing, but Maui had it all (hiking, scuba diving, island shows, nice food, etc..).
 
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nomar

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My wife and I went for my 40th a few years back. We had less than a week so we decided to only do one island. After canvassing all of our friends who had honeymooned/vacationed, we decided on Kauai. We spent half the time down in Poipu and half the time up near Hanalei Bay.

For 2 islands, the advice we got was Maui and Kauai.
 
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If you go to Maui, a pro-tip (or 2).
1) Definitely see the sunrise atop Haleakala. For a post-sunrise bonus, hit Grandma's Coffee House for a delicious breakfast. (I used to go there all the time when I lived in Kula)
2) Get up stupid early to hit the Road to Hana to avoid the crowds (this should be easy if you are still on East Coast time) and go to the Red Sand beach. If you are lucky, at an early morning hour, you may have it all to yourselves. This would be a 10 out of 10 on the romantic-ness scale.
 
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I'll add my .02

Second the opinions above that if you only want to do one island, do Maui and to rent convertible/jeep. I would suggest the first few days to just decompress....before you start exploring, if that is your pref. Since I didn't know when we would be back, we chose to island hop.

A lot depends on your interests...we like to explore and be active...even on the honeymoon. We started on the big island, as its quiet and only major tourist site is the volcano...on the other side of the island. Island is easily driveable in one day. We spent one night in the rain forest near volcano which was fun. If you want to limit your stops, I would skip the big island..especially since there hasn't been any surface volcanic activity recently.

Maui has the most variety. As someone told me, it's a microcosm of all the other islands. It was a while ago but we stayed at the 4 Seasons and really enjoyed it as it was a bit more isolated, but a short drive to Lahina and things to do

From Icculus' pro tip...1) Definitely see the sunrise atop Haleakala. For a post-sunrise bonus, hit Grandma's Coffee House for a delicious breakfast. (I used to go there all the time when I lived in Kula).. Our modifed tourist tip...we didn't want to get up stupid early so we did the sunset on the mountain...still awesome.

I think Kauai is the prettiest/most natural...we did lots of hikes and snorkeling and really enjoyed it.

For us, Oahu was strictly Arizona Memorial and flight home. Not a fan of Waikiki at all...nothing but shopping when we were there. I think the North Shore big surf season starts in Nov, so you might see some big surfers in Oct.

Although it's some may think a Hawaiian honeymoon is pedestrian, we REALLY enjoyed it (even though it wasn't our first choice)...and will go back for some milestone anniversary

Congrats and enjoy your trip!
 

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I will second Maui. Take the Road to Hana but DO NOT drive it yourself! Get one of the tours to take you. I second Mama too
 

SubbaBub

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Honeymooned in Hawaii and been back 3 times. Short version if you plan to spend the entire trip on 1 island, make it Maui. If you want to island hop plan on spending at least 3-4 nights at each stop, except Honolulu. 2 nights is plenty there.

I'll go in order visited:
Molokai, We loved the now closed Molokai Ranch. We loved the drive and beach in Halawa and the other "secret" beaches ariund the island. The hike down (and back up) to Kalaupapa was tough but the scenery was outstanding. Papohaku Beach Park is about the largest, sparsely populated public beach I've ever seen. We laughed at the Phallic Rock and generally enjoyed the friendly chilled vibe, though I hear the locals may not be as welcoming these days.

Hawaii, the big island, there are four main parts to the island. Volcanoes NP, Kona, Waikoloa, and Hilo. Skip Hilo unless it is geographically convenient.

On our first visit we did a 12 hr circumnavigation, that included stops at the black sand beach at Pohoiki, VNP/Kilauea Crater, the Southernmost Point, (skipped the hike to the green sand beach for time purposes) and stopped in Kona for dinner before completing the loop back to Waikoloa. Other activiites included a helicopter tour, snorkeling at Captain Cooks monument, a lava hike, and visits to other area beaches.

Oahu, Honolulu is a major city so if you are not going here for city stuff, skip it. Unless you have your heart set on a sunset picture in front of Diamond Head. There are plenty of attractions though. Pearl Harbor is a must see if you are here, go as early as possible. I recommend adding a guided tour of the Missouri. Sunset dinner at Duke's with Hula Pie for dessert doesn't suck either. Outside the city, Lanikai Beach is gorgeous and the North Shore is fun to watch if the surf is up.

Kauai, very quiet but more variety and amenities that Molokai but far less than Maui. We like Poipu Beach, a good spot for a surf lesson, better than Waikiki or just about anywhere else. Some prefer Princeville, Poipu is more central. The scenery is unique and beautiful. Very lush, even the interior has a lot of scenic overlooks, including ea Canyon, the drive to Kee Beach at the end of the road for sunset is also a highlight.

Maui, this has everything. Lots of beaches, most all are good, just pick one closer to where you think you'll be. Kaanapapli has the most resorts and is the most developed, Kehai is bit less crowded but further from everything else. The north shore is less touristy and rougher surf but closer to the Road to Hana, (great scenery but start early or get caught in traffic) Shopping in Lahinia, plenty of water sports and boat tours out of here too. I recommend the sunrise bike tour of Haleakala if you're physically up for it, it's all downhill. Buy the book Maui Revealed, has more info/tips than anyone could want.

Whatever you do eat a lot of Shave Ice and try a plate lunch.
 
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Thank you everyone for taking the time to advise, I am overwhelmed by how helpful you all are! I shared the thread with my lady and while we are still wading through all of the responses I can happily report that she's starting to get why I tune in daily to the 'yard. We are still trying to decide between Maui and Kauai, but thanks to your responses a convertible is now firmly on the list of demands.

Cheers Everyone!
 
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Might want to consider splitting the 2 weeks between the 2 places. But if you’re content with the beach and pool then you should be OK either place. I can’t sit still so we needed things to do to alternate with the pool and beach. They’re both beautiful places.
 

storrsroars

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Got married on Maui in 2001 at tail end of a business trip to a conference in Honolulu. Honeymooned on Lana'i instead of Maii. Stayed at Manele Bay resort. Was peaceful & beautiful. Not a ton to do but golf and Jeep thru pineapple fields and dirt roads. Not sure what the island is like after Ellison bought it.

After Lana'i, spent a week on Big Island. Snorkeling was fantastic. Golfed, did the helo tour over lava flow, visited Merriman's ranch and steakhouse, golfed. Really enjoyed it.

We are not "lay on a beach" people so Maui held less appeal to us than others on thls thread. We would like to visit Kauai if we go back. But if you've been to one resort luau, you've been to them all. And neither wife nor I has had macadamia crusted anything olin 20 years after ODing on it there.

And congrats on your wedding!
 
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Stay away from small tiki idols. They are considered taboo by the islanders.
Bad things will happen to you and those around you if you touch or wear these.
 
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Feel free to message me if you need help at all and you choose Maui. Sorry I did not offer that on my last post. I have a word document I have given many people with different recommendations for Maui as well as specific mild markers for the road to Hana. I agree with previous posters about Mama’s Fish House but if it’s booked is recommend Merriman’s in Kapalua as an alternative if you choose to stay west side on Maui. I actually would pass on the sunrise at Haleakala…. I never did this even when I lived here but it’s also not my thing. I think it involved too much of a time commitment. I also agree with previous poster about red sand beach on road to Hana…. Red sand beach or Venus pools are likely going to be your only chance at any kind of seclusion on the road to Hana but have to be careful with Venus pools bc it may be private land and locals are definitely getting upset how much to Road to Hana has become an amusement park. People have been parking wherever they want including people’s lawns and leaving trash behind
 

WestHartHusk

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My wife I did two weeks in Hawaii six years ago. We started in Vegas for two nights to breakup the flight and help adjust to the time difference. Think this is fairly common as Vegas is referred to as the ninth hawaiian island. Flew into Oahu for two nights primarily to visit Pearl Harbor. Spent three nights on the big Island. We drove across the island (west to east) and enjoyed stopping at the beaches/trails/restaurants at our leisure. While there we also hiked the national parks and took a helicopter tour of the volcanoes. Spent the final six nights in Maui relaxing for the most part. We did scuba dive at Molokini which is supposed to be one of the best spots in the world. Overall fantastic trip and would highly recommend.
Only on the Boneyard would someone refer to Vegas as the 9th Hawaiian island.

Aside from the obvious, there are also like 130 islands that are part of Hawaii.
 
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One island that didn't seem to be mentioned in this thread was Lanai. We loved the Four Seasons there. There are various activities you can enjoy during your stay. Rent a jeep and drive around the island. Go on a sunset catamaran trip. Snorkel - lots of boats come over from Maui to do just that. Horseback ride. But you'll also be happy just chilling at the resort. Larry Ellison has created a wonderful location - may have opened his 2nd Four Seasons by now, more geared to spa and healthy living. Great restaurants on site, including a Nobu that does wonders with fresh fish caught daily.

Another option - roughly same travel time - would be Bora Bora. Prime honeymoon destination. Over the water bungalows will make for life-long memories.
 
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Got married on Maui in 2001 at tail end of a business trip to a conference in Honolulu. Honeymooned on Lana'i instead of Maii. Stayed at Manele Bay resort. Was peaceful & beautiful. Not a ton to do but golf and Jeep thru pineapple fields and dirt roads. Not sure what the island is like after Ellison bought it.

After Lana'i, spent a week on Big Island. Snorkeling was fantastic. Golfed, did the helo tour over lava flow, visited Merriman's ranch and steakhouse, golfed. Really enjoyed it.

We are not "lay on a beach" people so Maui held less appeal to us than others on thls thread. We would like to visit Kauai if we go back. But if you've been to one resort luau, you've been to them all. And neither wife nor I has had macadamia crusted anything olin 20 years after ODing on it there.

And congrats on your wedding!
Ellison is doing wonders on the island. He completely re-modeled Manele and was in the middle of massive renovations on a second Four Seasons. He's doing wonders trying to return the island to its natural state, after pineapple cultivation left tons of black plastic embedded in the soil. He's been great for the island - has kept 100% of staff on, even when the properties were closed, and encouraged them to do environmental projects.
 
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Hopefully you clicked the links that @huskymedic posted - tons of information in there.

We went to Kauai for our honeymoon and it was great for just hanging out with some cool day trips - definitely take the raft/boat trip to the Na Pali Coast (can recommend Capt Andy's) and the helicopter tour is great (get a polarizing filter and bring long sleeve dark shirts). Probably best in my book for the romantic getaway.

Maui is our favorite place to go at this point - we'll be spending three weeks in October in Kaanapali. As mentioned above, tons to do there. @CL82 mentioned Big Mama's which is a great suggestion, but I tried to book dinner there a month ago for an October date and all I could get was 3pm, so it's unlikely you'll find that sunset dinner.

I avoid Oahu at all costs. Honolulu is like a big city with terrible traffic, crowded and just kind of unfun. Other than going to Pearl, it's not worth the expense in my book.

Big Island is interesting, but the resorts and options are not nearly as good as Maui or Kauai. You have to get lucky to see any cool lava and if it's too active, you really can't get very close the volcano. It got pretty boring there after a week for me.
Captain Andy was great. But when we visited in April, giant storms kept his boats in harbor or only able to do sunset cruises. I do like Kauai, but the traffic then (spring break) was brutal.
 
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Captain Andy was great. But when we visited in April, giant storms kept his boats in harbor or only able to do sunset cruises. I do like Kauai, but the traffic then (spring break) was brutal.
Captain Andy’s on Kauai is next level amazing. Breathtaking views watching the sunset with bottomless drinks and an awesome surf and turf. Jurrasic falls helicopter tour was awesome as well. Kauai is the laid back place to relax. Stayed at the Grand Hyatt which is probably the nicest hotel I will ever stay at but worth it. Only downside is you can’t swim at their beach or atleast they don’t recommend it because of the current. Locals love to surf the beach and it’s fun to just watch. I would look into the old sugar plantation raft tour as they book up months in advance if you do go to Kauai.

Maui is great as well. I most definitely don’t recommend the sunrise at Haleakala. You wake up at 3 am to stand in 40 degree temps to watch a fogged up crater. Take you’re own ride up there to see it during the day if you want but the sunrise isn’t worth it at all in my opinion as it will wreck your entire rest of the day. Mama’s fish house is as advertised. Stayed at grand Wailea which was another amazing hotel and has everything you could possibly need. Spent 3 nights in Waikiki as well and it was a super fun city tons of shopping and just a great vibe with a beach right downtown in a major metropolitan area. The puddle jumpers between islands can be a bit uncomfortable. Small planes bumpy rides but it’s normal.

Word of caution however. I have a friend who recently did Maui and Kauai honeymoon as well and did warn that rentals (especially on kauai) and ubers are hard to come by right now as the government loves to pay everyone to not work still. I would look for dinner reservations now too. Good luck it was the best trip of my life and wouldn’t change a thing about it.
 
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Thank you everyone for taking the time to advise, I am overwhelmed by how helpful you all are! I shared the thread with my lady and while we are still wading through all of the responses I can happily report that she's starting to get why I tune in daily to the 'yard. We are still trying to decide between Maui and Kauai, but thanks to your responses a convertible is now firmly on the list of demands.

Cheers Everyone!
I forgot to add, that on one day it rained like hell all morning. Being that it was forecasted we scheduled one of those time share presentations. Boredom alternative.

No intention to buy (at least me), we just felt like making a lil extra money instead of being stuck indoors. Got paid $200 plus dinner coupon for a 2 hours sales pitch. Had it not rained we wouldn't have considered. Not for everyone, but our kids will always be in college, our mortgage is perpetually renewed and we already own multiple.

Just an idea for a rainy moment that you hopefully won't need.
 
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Captain Andy’s on Kauai is next level amazing. Breathtaking views watching the sunset with bottomless drinks and an awesome surf and turf. Jurrasic falls helicopter tour was awesome as well. Kauai is the laid back place to relax. Stayed at the Grand Hyatt which is probably the nicest hotel I will ever stay at but worth it. Only downside is you can’t swim at their beach or atleast they don’t recommend it because of the current. Locals love to surf the beach and it’s fun to just watch. I would look into the old sugar plantation raft tour as they book up months in advance if you do go to Kauai.

Maui is great as well. I most definitely don’t recommend the sunrise at Haleakala. You wake up at 3 am to stand in 40 degree temps to watch a fogged up crater. Take you’re own ride up there to see it during the day if you want but the sunrise isn’t worth it at all in my opinion as it will wreck your entire rest of the day. Mama’s fish house is as advertised. Stayed at grand Wailea which was another amazing hotel and has everything you could possibly need. Spent 3 nights in Waikiki as well and it was a super fun city tons of shopping and just a great vibe with a beach right downtown in a major metropolitan area. The puddle jumpers between islands can be a bit uncomfortable. Small planes bumpy rides but it’s normal.

Word of caution however. I have a friend who recently did Maui and Kauai honeymoon as well and did warn that rentals (especially on kauai) and ubers are hard to come by right now as the government loves to pay everyone to not work still. I would look for dinner reservations now too. Good luck it was the best trip of my life and wouldn’t change a thing about it.

2 nights at Grand Hyatt costs more than I spent on everything for 6 weeks in Italy summer before last. Holy crap.

I am jealous!
 
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Great tips from all. I’ve been to the islands near a dozen times. Always look forward to going back.
2 cautions…. Sorry to be Debbie Downer but…
1- bike ride down Haleakala can be dangerous. If you or fiance are not overly coordinated. Although it is a rush, road can be slippery, you go in and out of clouds, you share it with vehicles and it is windy. One trip a newlywed couple was in our group and within 5 min she crashed and rolled into the lava rock shoulder- lots of blood. she was taken to hospital. Her new and soon to be ex husband decided to continue on and meet her at hospital. Ouch!
2- be careful at some of the locals only beaches. We rented boards and headed to Hana. Found a local beach and surfed for hours. When we returned the boards in Lahaina we told them where we went. They responded that end of Hana has high tiger shark sightings and also had a recent attack.

princeville Kauai is our favorite we are headed back next June.
ENJOY
 
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Only on the Boneyard would someone refer to Vegas as the 9th Hawaiian island.

Aside from the obvious, there are also like 130 islands that are part of Hawaii.
Thanks for the fact check and snarky reply. Clearly "only on the Boneyard". Its ok to take a break from the Boneyard, give it a shot sometime.

 
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Honeymooned at Grand Wailea for 5 nights 25 years ago. Back then was able to use some American Airlines points/vouchers to cut rate by 50%. Nicest hotel I've ever been to in my life. Highly recommend Wailea area even if you can't swing the Grand Wailea.
 
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