I feel like going to Hawai'i for Christmas

Yup, the missus and I have decided to screw flying back to Montreal and snow and relatives this year. Instead, we’ll go somewhere warm, sunny, and exotic. Or at least with volcanos :slight_smile:

My inclination (since I live in Vancouver) is to jaunt out to the middle of the Pacific and check out Hawaii.

I was considering Mexico, but since one Canadian just survived having his throat slit by pirates, and 2 students from Toronto were shot in a drive-by this week, it’s starting to look not so nice for us Canucks, eh?

Or I suppose I could impose on some relatives in Australia and fly down there, but that puts me back in the boat that I wanted to avoid.

So, do any Dopers have recommendations about Hawaii (or Mexico, maybe} or somewhere else nice.

What’s the weather like in Hawaii in December, anyway?

Where do Hawaiians go for vacation??

Detroit? Philly? Pittsburgh?

I was just in Maui two months ago. We stayed in Wailea, which is very quiet. Very good for golf and relaxing on the beach. If you want nightlife, I recommend staying in Lahaina.

I also understand December is perfect for whale watching.

I remember that in front of Honolulu City Hall (Honolulu Hale) there was a big statute of Santa sitting down with his boots off, flashing the shaka sign. You gotta love it. I have no recommendations, but if you’re interested in volcanos they got 'em on the Big Island.

Aloha

Well, I spent last Thanksgiving in Kailua. Fantastic. The weather is a lot milder than in the summer, there was only a fraction of the tourists there, and I got to see most of my family in one place for the first time in a while. (Not all of the preceding may apply to you.) Oddly enough, I spent the three Christmases before that in Vancouver. The circle keeps a turning.

Vegas. Seriously.

And the weather here is beatiful, if humid. Not Florida humid, mind you, but around 50-60%, iirc, with temperatures of about 80[sup]o[/sup] or so.

I was born and raised on Oahu, so I’m biased in my opinion of the islands, but I’ve heard that Kauai is the most beautiful while Hawaii (aka, “The Big Island”) is almost as much so, and you have the whole volcano thing going on. Of course Oahu is where all the cool stuff is. :smiley:

Hawaii is a big place Barbarian…its got a lot of islands, you need to choose one.

I went to Maui twice this year. Try Suntrips, aka Ryan Air, only $299 rountrip from LA or SFO if you stay 7 days. Flew 1 hour faster than United.

What they dont tell you about hawaii:

  1. there are major winds blowing all the time
  2. the humidity is major hi & so its major hot
  3. the pictures of palm trees, tropical foliage, deep blue seas, white sand, etc, you only see when you are staying at a hotel on the beach cause about 80% of the island is a volcanic barren drought stricken area.

Yes, Hawaiians vacation in Vegas, I’ve heard that too.

If you go there for X-mas (which I have done 10 times), keep these in mind (and some have been said before):

  1. Pick one island. If it isn’t Oahu, all the better. If you can get a direct flight, even better.

  2. Maui’s got a volcano, the Big Isle has a few, Lanai’s expensive, Kauai’s lush and green, Molokai is “small-town Hawaii” and VERY sleepy.

  3. You can get places 50 feet from the ocean with great sunset views in Poipu, Kauai; Lahaina, Maui; and Kona, Big Isle (among other places). Although it may be too late for this year.

  4. The Big Isle is very rocky, consult a book or a local for the fine sandy beaches. And rent a jeep to get to them.

  5. Maui is bustling/crowded unlike any other place in Hawaii besides Honolulu. That may or may not be a good thing, depending on your preferences.

I personally prefer the Big Isle, there’s a lot to see there, Kona is a nifty little town and you can get out to the rest of the island if you get stir-crazy on the beach.

Like KKB, born and raised on Oahu. My 2¢:

Kauai is beautiful in a Jurassic Park way. :slight_smile: However, outside the whole scenic beauty/nature thing, there’s not a whole lot to do there. Then again, I was underage and with my parents when I went there, so…

Hawaii’s a very sleepy island. We drove halfway around the island and I think we went through no more than a dozen stoplights. Hilo’s a charming little town, and it has a very old-Hawai’i feel to it.

If you like a nightlife, or anything that feels modern, you’re better of sticking with Oahu.

“Oooh! Ahhh! That’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming…”

On another note, if you come here during what the rest of the US refers to as Winter, don’t be surprised if it’s rainy. Not stormy, but with occasional showers. It’s a warm rain though (making out on the beach in the rain, mm…), so it’s still comfortable. Just wanted to warn you it may or may not be all sunshiny days.

Sunshiny days? Hey man, I live in Vancouver, aka a frickin rainforest. It rains more in Seattle, though.

Hmm. Renting a jeep sounds cool, as does making out in warm rain.

True true true. It can rain for like a week. But it can also be beautiful.

Kauai is absolutely green. If you’re lucky you wont stay in a hotel but a B&B. We always stay ina nice one in Kapa`a which is relatively near where my sister lives. This is the best island for kicking back and relaxing. Some good hikes.

Oahu has some HUGE surf in the winter. You may be lucky enough to see some 30 foot waves. We do have the Santa, and Mrs. Claus. Inside that building they always have a large Christmas tree showing and a parade, if you know when that is. And all the buildings downtown are done up with lights and stuff. And Ala Moana will be utterly packed! But this island will have the most activities to do.

Hawaii sometimes gets snow on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Although ALL rental cars are not allowed on the Chain of Craters road from what I understand. You’d have to get a 4X4. And they just rebuilt the road out to where the lava enters the ocean so you can get pretty close. This island also gets the most rain. I was born and raised on Kilauea and there were times when the sky was grey everyway you look for days on end. Thick enough that you don’t know where the sun is. Of course this is on the east side. The west side is much dryer.

Maui this year I think is suffereing from some problems. They are working on the road to Hana, or maybe they’re finished, and for periods you can’t get out there. Plus for some reason that I can’t recall they had closed the Seven Sacred Pools, although it may have reopened. I know when it did there were a lot of disappointed tourists.

Lanai is just for the really rich who don’t want to do anything. That’s where Bill Gates got married because it’s all privately owned and they managed to arrest a journalist for trespassing, although I think they later showed that to be wrong. I’ve never been here.

Molokai is the most local of all the islands, and has the very interesting old Kalaupapa Leper Colony which still is home to about 50 patients. Most people who go here stay at the Molokai ranch, but there’s no way you’ll end up here unless you travel to Hawaii all the time. Very beautiful though. 1 traffic light when I went. And theyre main library had 1 room.