17 days in Kauai, Maui & Big Island Itinerary

17 days in Kauai, Maui & Big Island Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Hawaii holiday planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Lihue
— 3 nights
Fly
2
Lahaina
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Haleakala National Park
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Hilo
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Kailua-Kona
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
13
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Lihue

— 3 nights
Lihue or Līhue is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) and the county seat of Kauai County, Hawaii. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Lihue: Allerton Garden (in Poipu) and Waimea Canyon State Park (in Waimea). There's still lots to do: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, kick back and relax at Poipu Beach Park, get engrossed in the history at Kauai Museum, and hike along Nu'alolo Trail.

To find photos, reviews, and tourist information, read Lihue trip itinerary maker tool.

Detroit to Lihue is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HST) is minus 5 hours. Traveling from Detroit in December, things will get much hotter in Lihue: highs are around 79°F and lows about 67°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Lahaina.

Things to do in Lihue

Tours · Parks · Outdoors · Adventure

Side Trips

Lahaina

— 3 nights

Crown Jewel of 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.
Explore Lahaina's surroundings by going to Wailuku (Hale Ho'ike'ike at the Bailey House & Iao Valley). There's lots more to do: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, test your problem-solving skills at Maui Escape Rooms, view the masterpieces at Lahaina Galleries, and relax in the rural setting at Punakea Palms.

To find other places to visit, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Lahaina trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Lihue to Lahaina takes 4 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 78°F, and evening lows to 68°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to travel to Haleakala National Park.

Things to do in Lahaina

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Haleakala National Park

— 2 nights

A Rare and Sacred Landscape

Haleakala National Park offers visitors the rare opportunity to walk down into the intact crater of a volcano.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Sun): take a memorable drive along Hana Highway - Road to Hana. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the geological forces at Haleakala Crater, then don't miss a visit to Charles Lindbergh's Grave, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Pipiwai Trail.

To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Haleakala National Park journey maker site.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Lahaina to Haleakala National Park. In December, daytime highs in Haleakala National Park are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 66°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Mon) so you can travel to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Things to do in Haleakala National Park

Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

— 4 nights
Volcanoes have played an important role in shaping the Earth, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park shows visitors the process in action.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is known for nature, trails, and scenic drive. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Kilauea Iki Trailhead, contemplate the geological forces at Kīlauea, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and don't miss a visit to Pu'u Loa Petroglyphs.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Hawaii Volcanoes National Park vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from Haleakala National Park to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In December, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 65°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Hilo.

Things to do in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Wildlife

Hilo

— 2 nights

America's Wettest City

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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Sat): take in the dramatic scenery at Rainbow Falls, observe the fascinating underwater world at Mokupapapa Discovery Center, take in nature's colorful creations at Liliuokalani Gardens, then get a taste of the local shopping with Hilo Farmers Market, and finally see the world from above with a helicopter tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the natural beauty at Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, then admire the sheer force of Akaka Falls State Park, and then get interesting insight from The Umauma Experience.

Plan a Hilo trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to Hilo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In December, daytime highs in Hilo are 80°F, while nighttime lows are 65°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Kailua-Kona.

Things to do in Hilo

Parks · Tours · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

Kailua-Kona

— 2 nights

Heart of the Kona Coast

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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Mon): relax in the rural setting at Heavenly Hawaiian Kona Coffee Farm, then fulfill a lifelong dream with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience, and then whizz through the canopy at Hawaii Forest and Trail.

To find photos, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Kailua-Kona trip maker site.

Traveling by car from Hilo to Kailua-Kona takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. December in Kailua-Kona sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 70°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Kailua-Kona

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

Side Trip

Kauai travel guide

4.5
Scuba & Snorkeling · Zipline · Beaches
The Garden Isle
The northernmost of Hawaii's major islands, Kauai earned the nickname "Garden Island" because of its abundance of lush greenery and tropical plants, watered frequently with plentiful rainfall. Kauai's landscape continues to suffer from powerful erosion, resulting in natural attractions that include plunging canyons, tall mountain peaks, and the longest sandy coastline of all the Hawaiian islands. Offering a mild tropical climate and pristine wilderness areas largely unspoiled by mass tourism, Kauai is a great vacation destination for visitors eager to escape Hawaii's more crowded tourist resorts. For a genuine Kauai experience, join the locals for one of their famous traditional meat and vegetable feasts, prepared in underground pits lined with hot rocks.

Maui travel guide

4.5
Scuba & Snorkeling · Beaches · Luaus
The Valley Isle
The second largest of the eight major Hawaiian Islands, Maui features a rugged landscape ranging from high mountain peaks to deep valleys. Half of Maui lies within 8 km (5 mi) of the coastline, and most tourists come for the sandy beaches, many of them backed by fashionable resorts offering every modern convenience. Diversity of tourist attractions is Maui's major allure, with each of the island's shores offering a different set of vacation ideas. You can swim with dolphins, snorkel with sea turtles, or hike over the otherworldly landscapes of the world's biggest dormant volcano. A foodie paradise, the island also features dozens of small farms and gourmet restaurants.