12 days in Hawaii Itinerary

12 days in Hawaii Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Hawaii Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly:  8​h 30​min
1
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Hilo, Island of Hawaii
— 1 night
Fly + bus:  3​h 15​min
3
Lahaina, Maui
— 4 nights
Fly:  3​h 15​min
4
Honolulu, Oahu
— 5 nights
Fly:  7​h 30​min
End: San Francisco

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.
On the 1st (Mon), look for gifts at Big Island Bees and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kahaluu Beach.

To find photos, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Kailua-Kona trip planning website .

San Francisco to Kailua-Kona is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from San Francisco to Kailua-Kona. Traveling from San Francisco in July, expect Kailua-Kona to be a bit warmer, temps between 86°F and 76°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) so you can drive to Hilo.

Things to do in Kailua-Kona

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Big Island Bees, Kahaluu Beach
Highlights from your plan
Swim with Dolphins
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Kahaluu Beach ©
Kahaluu Beach

1
night
Hilo, Island of Hawaii

Hilo ©
One of the island of Hawaii's major towns, Hilo contains a mix of Asian and Polynesian cultures and is known for its proximity to a national park encompassing two active volcanoes.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Wed): take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls, see the world from above with a helicopter tour, take in nature's colorful creations at Liliuokalani Gardens, then take in nature's colorful creations at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, and finally immerse yourself in nature at Akaka Falls State Park.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Hilo online vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Kailua-Kona to Hilo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Kailua-Kona in July, expect slightly colder with lows of 71°F in Hilo. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Wed) so you can travel to Lahaina.

Things to do in Hilo

Parks Tours Nature

Side Trip

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden
Highlights from your plan
Akaka Falls State Park ©
Akaka Falls State Park
Liliuokalani Gardens ©
Liliuokalani Gardens
Helicopter Tours

4
nights
Lahaina, Maui

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Lahaina: Haleakala Crater (in Haleakala National Park) and Wailuku (Maui Tropical Plantation & Iao Valley). Spend the 4th (Thu) exploring the striking scenery along Hana Highway - Road to Hana. And it doesn't end there: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Maui Ocean Center, pause for some serene contemplation at Maria Lanakila Catholic Church, don't miss a visit to Lahaina Banyan Court, and get interesting insight from Tours.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Lahaina trip website .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Hilo to Lahaina in 3.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of bus and flight. In July, plan for daily highs up to 86°F, and evening lows to 73°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sun) so you can travel to Honolulu.

Things to do in Lahaina

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Wailuku, Hana Highway - Road to Hana, Haleakala Crater
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Haleakala Crater ©
Haleakala Crater
Maui Ocean Center ©
Maui Ocean Center

5
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Honolulu side-trips: Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Monument (in Pupukea), Kailua Beach Park (in Kailua) and Haleiwa (Sunset Beach Park & Waimea Bay). Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Waikiki Beach, take in the dramatic scenery at Manoa Falls, explore the activities along Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and stroll the grounds of USS Arizona Memorial.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Honolulu trip planner.

You can fly from Lahaina to Honolulu in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. July in Honolulu sees daily highs of 88°F and lows of 75°F at night. On the 12th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Honolulu

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Haleiwa, Kailua Beach Park, Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Monument
Highlights from your plan
USS Arizona Memorial ©
USS Arizona Memorial
Waikiki Beach ©
Waikiki Beach
Diamond Head State Monument ©
Diamond Head State Monument

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