Big Island, with a family of non-divers. where should we stay? and more...

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Scubagolf

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If your goal is a good week for non-diving spouse and kids, stay on Kaanapali Beach on the west side of Maui.
 

Chocoholic

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I dive in a long 3mm and that works for me. The water temp is around 77 - 80 '. Look in to the Manta Night dive, it's an excellent dive that is in my personal top 5. The Manta dive is in Kona. Good snorkeling is at Kahaluu in Kona (for your kids) or Two-step in South Kona.
Waikoloa is also a good place to stay, it is 45 mins north of Kona. There are several beautiful beaches up there and some good diving and snorkeling in Puako.
Where ever you end up staying consider doing a whale watching tour. We went last week and five whales were repeatedly going under the boat and showing off for us.
 
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TzTz

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Thank you all for all the tips!
Looks like will try to divert the vacation to either the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, trying to stay within the US, due to covid.
Besides not finding flights and hotels (except for really expensive ones), it is mostly the idea of traveling about 24 hours door to door that broke us.
We will definitely go to Hawaii, but in a few years when kids are lower maintenance and can appreciate the trip better...

So once we'll have a final new destination I will seek for more info in the right forum :)
 

-JD-

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( Well, my timing stinks. ^^ For posterity, anyway ... )

We took our then almost 8yr old son to the big Island 10 years ago over Christmas.

We stayed at:
  • West side: Marriott King Kamehameha on Kailua Bay in Kona. - Convenient and did some snorkling right out front. It is a
  • Hilo area: The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls (Kulaniapia Falls) Quiet and unique. Recommended for something different.
Interesting snorkling:

Hiking of note:
 

MaxBottomtime

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I've stayed at Uncle Billy's in Kailua-Kona. It's a budget hotel, but I was there for the diving, not for the luxury. It's located close to the water and within walking distance of the dive shops. I rented tanks and weights and made beach dives. Most of my dives were in board shorts and a T-shirt.

We also went horseback riding in Waipi'o Valley, explored the waterfalls on the east coast, Thurston Lava Tube, and Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.

Hapuna State Beach is great for snorkeling, diving, or relaxing on the beach. Alula Beach, just north of town is my favorite shore dive. Lots of eels, turtles, and sometimes mantas and other large fish. You have to walk over lava to get to the beach, but it's easy diving and free.

 

Hoag

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Thank you all for all the tips!
Looks like will try to divert the vacation to either the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, trying to stay within the US, due to covid.
I know that I'm Canadian, but I thought that Hawaii was "within the US".
 
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TzTz

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I know that I'm Canadian, but I thought that Hawaii was "within the US".
What I meant was, we will divert to another US location, hence not looking at other amazing Caribbean islands, etc.
 

jonhall

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Looks like will try to divert the vacation to either the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, trying to stay within the US, due to covid.
I was ready to give you my 2 cents about the Big Island as I've been in the month of February, but will save that for later.

Good choices on the other 2 locations. The water temps will be warmer if you choose to dive/snorkel. A couple of things to think about, as you're traveling with young children:

St. Croix and St. Thomas are smaller islands and may be easier to get around to see the sights, go places that have activities your kids would enjoy, or go to snorkeling beaches than in Puerto Rico. Of course, if you rent a car to drive, you would be driving on the left side of the road in the Virgin Islands.

If you are trying to stay on a beach, know the calm water side of the island (for example in St. Croix, it's the west side) or if you are near a protected bay (again as an example, St. Croix has Cane Bay) where you can enjoy the water.

Since a day of diving or shore diving was in your original Hawaii plans, a stay in St. Croix would give you some easy but great shore dives, the Frederiksted Pier being one of the better ones where you could probably find someone to dive with or go with a DM from one of the nearby dive shops.

Although Puerto Rico has Old San Juan to explore (probably not too exciting for young kids) and El Yunque National Forest, other things to see are pretty far apart. Depending on where you stay could lead to long drive times to get to a location where there is scuba diving. The USVI's (not including St. John) have a little more to do, IMO, than PR.
 
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TzTz

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I was ready to give you my 2 cents about the Big Island as I've been in the month of February, but will save that for later.

Good choices on the other 2 locations. The water temps will be warmer if you choose to dive/snorkel. A couple of things to think about, as you're traveling with young children:

St. Croix and St. Thomas are smaller islands and may be easier to get around to see the sights, go places that have activities your kids would enjoy, or go to snorkeling beaches than in Puerto Rico. Of course, if you rent a car to drive, you would be driving on the left side of the road in the Virgin Islands.

If you are trying to stay on a beach, know the calm water side of the island (for example in St. Croix, it's the west side) or if you are near a protected bay (again as an example, St. Croix has Cane Bay) where you can enjoy the water.

Since a day of diving or shore diving was in your original Hawaii plans, a stay in St. Croix would give you some easy but great shore dives, the Frederiksted Pier being one of the better ones where you could probably find someone to dive with or go with a DM from one of the nearby dive shops.

Although Puerto Rico has Old San Juan to explore (probably not too exciting for young kids) and El Yunque National Forest, other things to see are pretty far apart. Depending on where you stay could lead to long drive times to get to a location where there is scuba diving. The USVI's (not including St. John) have a little more to do, IMO, than PR.
Thanks!
We really wanted to go with St. Thomas, but booked a place in San Juan PR due to all other factors we had to weigh in.

We will probably rent a car for most of the days there, and living in Vermont, we're use to driving over 40 minutes when we need something we can't get in town :)
They will also appreciate wearing t shirt and not heavy winter gear.

I also, sadly, might skip the dives and will focus on snorkeling and other activities with my family.

In the coming days I will look into dives in PR.

Cheers!
 

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