Questions Visitors Ask About Hawaii

As a regular feature at Beat of Hawaii, I enjoy sharing comments I’ve made elsewhere on the web:

Day trips from Honolulu.

A Frommers’ forum visitor asked about taking day-trips from Oahu to the outer islands.

An inter-island day trip is definitely doable, albeit exhausting. If it were me, I’d just pack a tour guide, shop for and book flights and a car rental, and go.

Getting to and from airports, waiting, flying, and car rental and return will eat up a good chunk of your day. On the other hand, the flights now start early in the morning and return late at night, which they didn’t before Aloha’s demise. So it can work if you aren’t adverse to a long day.

First time Kauai snorkeling.

A Fodors’ forum visitor asked about snorkeling for first time, non-swimmers on Kauai.

A favorite of mine is Tunnels beach on the north shore. Depending obviously on the surf conditions, I’ve often been able to stand or sit in shallow calm water and just stick my head in. Another choice is Ke’e beach, also on the north shore.

I’d pass on the snorkel rentals and buy inexpensive equipment from Walmart or Long’s. For that matter, I just use my swim goggles, and no snorkel, hold my breath, and that works just fine.

Predicting VOG (volcanic smog).

Regarding VOG, a reader asked about how to predict air quality on the Big Island and whether or not to expect Volcanoes park to remain open.

There is no predicting VOG. It continues to spew forth at an unprecedented rate. It is all about wind direction, and that isn’t very predictable.

Here’s the National Park Service site that gives current condition updates, if you haven’t seen it already:

Kona (Big Island) activities.

On Frommers, a visitor asked about suggested activities in the Kona area of the Big Island for an upcoming trip. Pauline Frommer suggested visiting the Kona area coffee plantations, and the Place of Refuge, as well as taking advantage of the wonderful snorkeling opportunities.

If you have time, don’t forget to check out the areas from Kona north to Waimea. While the Kona area itself has a great deal to offer, as Pauline said, I also find it to be congested and touristy. 45 minutes north, you have Hapuna Beach, which is unequaled, and beyond that the north-west coast. Do visit Hawi and its art galleries, and the lovely upcountry town of Waimea, at 2500 feet. For a great adventure side-trip, I suggest Mookini Heiau.

What about Kauai’s Waipouli Beach Resort?

A Frommers’ reader asked about this new, large, relatively high rise vacation ownership hotel managed by Outrigger.

The resort interior looks lovely. Keep in mind, however, that Waipouli is smack in the middle of congested, downtown Kapa’a, which to me is just not the best Kaua’i location. It is right on the highway at its busiest point, and directly facing Safeway and Long’s.

A Frommers’ reader asked about legislation which could affect condo rentals on Kauai.

Pending legal issues pertain to rentals outside of designated vacation rental areas. Poipu, Kapaa and Princeville have always been specifically approved for vacation rentals, so this does not apply to them. As for the rest of the Island, this will take years to completely sort out, so I wouldn’t worry about it at this time.

Photo: Looking towards Ala Moana and Downtown Honolulu from the Hawaii Prince Hotel.

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