12 days in Hawaii Itinerary

12 days in Hawaii Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Hawaii Itinerary

Start: New York City
bus + Fly:  14​h
1
Honolulu, Oahu
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
2
Waimea, Kauai
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
3
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
4
Lahaina, Maui
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Kipahulu, Maui
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  15​h
End: New York City

3
nights
Honolulu, Oahu

Honolulu ©
In many ways much more Asian than American, Honolulu is Hawaii's largest city and its center of government, transportation, commerce, and tourism.
Step out of Honolulu with an excursion to Kailua Beach Park in Kailua--about 32 minutes away. There's still lots to do: stroll the grounds of USS Arizona Memorial, take in the pleasant sights at Diamond Head State Monument, appreciate the history behind Queen Liliuokalani Statue, and examine the collection at USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park.

To find traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Honolulu journey planner .

New York City to Honolulu is an approximately 14-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also fly. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 5 hours traveling from New York City to Honolulu. In December, Honolulu is much hotter than New York City - with highs of 82°F and lows of 69°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can travel to Waimea.

Things to do in Honolulu

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Kailua Beach Park
Highlights from your plan
USS Arizona Memorial ©
USS Arizona Memorial
Diamond Head State Monument ©
Diamond Head State Monument
Waikiki Beach ©
Waikiki Beach

2
nights
Waimea, Kauai

Waimea ©
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Poipu Beach Park, then take in the dramatic natural features at Spouting Horn, then stop by Aunty Liliko'i, and finally take in breathtaking views at Waimea Canyon State Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: kick back and relax at Kalapaki Beach, take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, and then admire the sheer force of Opaekaa Falls.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Waimea trip itinerary builder site .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Honolulu to Waimea takes 3 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Waimea can reach 79°F, while at night they dip to 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to travel to Kailua-Kona.

Things to do in Waimea

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Poipu, Lihue, Opaekaa Falls
Highlights from your plan
Waimea Canyon State Park ©
Waimea Canyon State Park
Poipu Beach Park ©
Poipu Beach Park
Helicopter Tours

1
night
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii

Thanks to its favorable location near a mountain range blocking the northeasterly trade winds, Kailua-Kona gets little rainfall, allowing adventure seekers and nature lovers a chance to enjoy over 300 days of sunshine each year.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Wed): get close to the beloved marine mammals with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience, then stroll through Kahaluu Beach, and then buy something for everyone on your list at Kona Inn Shopping Village.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, use the Kailua-Kona day trip app .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Waimea to Kailua-Kona takes 3 hours. In December, daytime highs in Kailua-Kona are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 70°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) early enough to travel to Lahaina.

Things to do in Kailua-Kona

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Kahaluu Beach
Highlights from your plan
Swim with Dolphins
Kahaluu Beach ©
Kahaluu Beach
Kona Inn Shopping Village ©
Kona Inn Shopping Village

2
nights
Lahaina, Maui

Lahaina ©
Once the booming capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, the tropical paradise of Lahaina still remains one of Maui's top vacation attractions, providing both culture and recreation.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Thu): see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, meet the residents at Maui Ocean Center, and then make a trip to Lahaina Banyan Court. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Ka'anapali Beach and then kick back and relax at Black Rock.

To find maps, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read our Lahaina holiday planning site .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Kailua-Kona to Lahaina in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, taxi, and flight. December in Lahaina sees daily highs of 78°F and lows of 68°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Kipahulu.

Things to do in Lahaina

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Maui Ocean Center, The Spa at Black Rock
Highlights from your plan
Ka'anapali Beach ©
Ka'anapali Beach
Maui Ocean Center ©
Maui Ocean Center
Lahaina Banyan Court ©
Lahaina Banyan Court

2
nights
Kipahulu, Maui

Kipahulu ©
On the 29th (Sat), take a memorable drive along Hana Highway - Road to Hana. On your second day here, explore by horseback at Pipiwai Trail, then view the masterpieces at Laura Mango Art Gallery, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Haleakala Crater.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Kipahulu trip website .

You can drive from Lahaina to Kipahulu in 3 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Kipahulu can reach 82°F, while at night they dip to 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kipahulu

Outdoors Scenic Drive Parks

Side Trips

Haleakala National Park, Laura Mango Art Gallery, Hana Highway - Road to Hana
Highlights from your plan
Hana Highway - Road to Hana ©
Hana Highway - Road to Hana
Haleakala Crater ©
Haleakala Crater

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