Does anyone have advice on visiting Hawaii with my spouse and two daughters age 5 and 7? We have never visited and don't know which island(s) to visit or where to stay. We'd want a villa or suite with a kitchenette and a separate master bedroom. Also, what time of year is best? Any advice would be appreciated.
No where better to take your family. Lots of options available for you. Time of the year will impact the costs. Weather is great any time of the year. First time visitors should start in Oahu and visit some of the traditional tourist spots. Yes you have to do Pearl Harbor. It is an experience everyone should have including the kids. After two or three nights head off to one of the out islands for 5 to 7 days. We are partial to Maui with great beaches, lots to do, fantastic restaurants and lots of Aloha spirit. Maui has a bit more to do than the others. For Maui info check out www.Kapalua-Dream.com or feel free to give us a shout. firstname.lastname@example.org. Always glad to help.
Yes, Hawaii is great for kids of all ages! Here are my favorites, in order:
1. Kauai - the most "tropical" and beautiful of the islands, plus less crowded and touristy than Oahu or Maui. The Marriott Resort there is great, with a huge pool for the kids, and I believe there is a "vacation" club property with the villas you desire.
2. Big Island (Hawaii) - plenty to do, not crowded, lots of diverse landscapes from tropical waterfalls to lava deserts to black sand beaches, & Volcanoes Nat'l Park. Requires a lot of driving though. Seems to be much less pricey here than the other islands. We loved the Waikaloa Marriott resort as well.
3. Maui - beautiful, lots to do. Great Marriott property in Wailea. But, it can get crowded during peak seasons. (Christmas, summer) If you do go, I highly recommend the Trilogy excursion to Lanai, especially during whale season in the winter!
4. Oahu - Honolulu is a big city, crowded and touristy. But, Waikiki and the area is worth a visit for a day, including Pearl Harbor. But, I would highly recommend getting a car and driving to the North Shore, which is beautiful and not crowded. Great beaches, shrimp trucks and watching surfers are some of the highlights.
Hope that helps! Whatever you decide to do, I guarantee a good time for all!