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Suggestions for which Island; travelling with 14month old

Level Contributor
39 posts
15 reviews
Suggestions for which Island; travelling with 14month old

Hi Everyone

Wanting some suggestions on what island to stay on for majority of our trip. Travelling in 6 weeks (yes i know, last minute!!) yet haven't booked tickets from Australia as unsure what island to visit (other than Oahu as we fly into there).

Will have 17 days, it's hubby, myself and our 14 month old. We are looking at doing 12 days on one of the islands that can offer an amazing white sandy beach that our son will have a blast on (as well mummy and daddy!) and then 5 days in Oahu just to do some shopping and see Pearl Harbour etc.

The key is finding an island with a great beach and staying at a resort where my son can swim in kiddy pool and we can also eat at nice places. And would love to hire a car and drive around to different beaches and explore at our own pace. Is Maui what I'm after....??? Or Lanai? It seems when I google images of certain beaches to see what that look like they always seem to alter... So would love some advice on gorgeous beaches from people that have travelled there. Happy to also consider any hotels, no huge budget in place.

Thanks in advance :)

St. Paul, MN
Level Contributor
1,122 posts
20 reviews
1. Re: Suggestions for which Island; travelling with 14month old

If your budget can support it, Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club would be an excellent choice.


It is next to Poipu Beach Park, one of the best family beaches in the world. It has soft, white sand, a sheltered area for swimming with little ones, and a playground. If it's not in your budget, look for a deal on a condo within walking distance.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
53,002 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Suggestions for which Island; travelling with 14month old

One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make is just using Oahu as a stopping off point. Just a few days to see this or that. There is a whole gorgeous island to be explored!! Oahu has some of the most gorgeous beaches in the state. It is the only island that it is feasible to stay without renting a car the entire time. 6 weeks from now will put you in the middle of July. It's a very busy time to come to Hawaii. Get your flights and accommodations nailed down ASAP.

With the time you have, you can go to at least 2 different islands. Just add a couple of more days onto Oahu then I suggest going to either Kauai or Maui, both have very nice beaches.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
45,625 posts
44 reviews
3. Re: Suggestions for which Island; travelling with 14month old

I think some of the most beautiful beaches are on the northshore of Kauai in the summer . . . but you will need to hussle for lodging, as it is a busy time of year and many people book a year in advance.

I agree with fishdiva - I think I would do more of an equal split btw Oahu and one other island to maximize your enjoyment. :)

For your car hire needs:


Raleigh, North...
Level Contributor
8 posts
29 reviews
4. Re: Suggestions for which Island; travelling with 14month old

We just returned from a two week trip to three of the Hawaiian Islands (Oahu, Kauai, and Maui). Here what we found: Oahu - Honolulu is very commercialized and crowded. We included it as one of the islands so we could see Pearl Harbor. Waikiki Beach was not impressive. If you want to go to a “big” city with a beach and don’t care about Pearl Harbor, go to Chicago (in the summer). Kauai – Great island to visit especially if you are into outdoor adventures such as kayaking down a river into the rain forest and zip lining through the rain forest. There are three super botanical gardens to see. Maui – This was our favorite. On Maui, you have the best of both worlds… you can go shopping, have great meals in many restaurants, go hiking, scuba diving, zipping lining, etc. The “Road to Hana” was fun and educational. Maui is definitely worth a repeat trip!

Level Contributor
39 posts
15 reviews
5. Re: Suggestions for which Island; travelling with 14month old

Thanks everyone for your feedback!! Will look into all suggestions and am now thinking of adding a few extra days in Oahu so we can spend some time around kailua!! Much appreciated again :)

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
1,991 posts
12 reviews
6. Re: Suggestions for which Island; travelling with 14month old

I agree I'd spend at least a full week (8 nights) on Oahu, the North Shore beaches and Windward side beaches are incredibly beautiful, and if you are like most Aussies, you will want plenty of time to go shopping there as well.

I would spend the rest of your time on Kauai or Maui. From your description, Maui sounds more like what you are looking for. Maui has more beach front lodging options than Kauai. Maui also has more restaurant choices and more shopping than Kauai, and in general is more built up than Kauai.

Kauai is quieter/ less built up in general than Maui and has absolutely stunning and gorgeous scenery with the lush green Tahiti like mountains on the North Shore. It also has very pretty beaches (Hanalei on the North Shore is my favorite) but less choice for beach front accomodations. Many condos on the North Shore are in Princeville, which is on a bluff, that overlooks the ocean, but you have to drive 10-15 minutes to get to the beach and a small town with restaurants. Kauai has great hikes and is good for people who enjoy the outdoors/ nature and beautiful scenery, but also has plenty of beautiful beaches.

Are you set on staying in a hotel? Or are you open to staying in a condo where you would have a kitchen and possibly laundry in the unit too? A condo may be easier with the little one.

Level Contributor
23,126 posts
7. Re: Suggestions for which Island; travelling with 14month old

Looks like Dinnc never got out of Honolulu. (But thanks for the plug for Chicago!)

North Shore Oahu is beautiful. Oahu is a typically tropical island that has a small city on its' southern shore. Maybe the OP's family would enjoy Turtle Bay, Haleiwa, or the condos on the east shore at Ko Olina. (There's only one condo right on Waikiki Beach, The Shores.

July is VERY busy in Hawaii as mainland families enjoy their kids' summer vacations from school. Honolulu has a LOT of lodgings, so there should still be some availability. Maui also has many condos and hotels -- Kauai, not so much.

This site has aerials and reviews of almost every lodging in Hawaii: www.hawaiirevealed.com

You will need a rental car everywhere outside Honolulu proper.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
53,002 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: Suggestions for which Island; travelling with 14month old

Dinnc just proved my point!!

9. Re: Suggestions for which Island; travelling with 14month old

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