Hawaiian Holiday
November 22, 2005 9:25 PM   Subscribe

Christmas in Hawaii?

I'm going to be on my own for Christmas this year and I've got a free trip on Southwest to burn. I'm thinking warm beaches. The biggest bang for my non-buck would seem to be Hawaii.

My questions:

1. Is the end of December a good time to go? My dates would be 12/22 through 12/28 or so.

2. Anything that I shouldn't miss?

3. Should I stay in Honolulu or should I hop around? If I should hop, where to? Bonus points for nice, yet inexpensive places or interesting places. I found the Isle of You, which appears to be a gay-owned clothing optional commune of sorts.

4. Any queer haunts I should hit?
posted by FlamingBore to Travel & Transportation around Hawaii (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's totally murder in Hawaii at xmas. I tried to go last year but everything was booked up, or cost $500+ a day. Surf around and see if you can find a hotel. A friend that went last year said his family made reservations a year in advance for their xmas in maui.
posted by mathowie at 9:47 PM on November 22, 2005

mathowie is correct about Hawaii being very crowded at Xmas. It is traditional in some families. Do be sure you have confirmed reservations.
It is quite expensive there because everything has to be shipped in, including gasoline for the small car you can rent if you are lucky.
It is lovely though. Some people go to luaus and fire dances and some people just lie on the beach and swim in the warm water or play golf if they can get on a course. Xmas is just not the best time to go there on the spur of the moment - you might consider making reservations for Xmas 2006.
posted by Cranberry at 10:23 PM on November 22, 2005

We went three years ago and *man* is it bloody expensive. They milk you for every damn penny. The whole island is like one giant tourist trap. We actually paid $7 for a smoothie, a smoothie by God. All that said however, it's probably the most beautiful place on earth. If you are turned off by really touristy places though, I'd advise against.
posted by JPowers at 10:25 PM on November 22, 2005

And as I found out last year, if you want to see hawaii 3 or 4 weeks after xmas, it's like half the cost and there are tons of hotel rooms available.
posted by mathowie at 10:40 PM on November 22, 2005

I live in Hawaii. JPowers is incorrect in calling "the whole island" is a tourist trap. Absolutely not true. Waikiki a tourist trap. Most of the locals ignore Waikiki.

That said, even on Oahu there are many opportunities for quiet getaway, including dozens of small beaches around the less-frequented sides of Oahu where you can just park a blanket and sit and swim or just watch the surf for hours. Just outside of Honolulu are fairly short hikes that follow ridges with panoramic island views or finish in the rain forest at a waterfall. The seafood and asian food is abundant and inexpensive. "Local style" food (think comfort food) is cheap. The other islands are relatively rural, ever more quiet, but equally beautiful.

Culturally Hawaii is rich and diverse, a fusion of Asian, Pacific, Hawaiian and mainland American. Everyone is a minority.

The scenery is of course spectacularly beautiful, and any time of year is fine for visiting. In the winter, though, the funky North Shore has awesome 25+ foot waves, and it's great to park yourself at Waimea just to watch the crazy surfers.

Accomodations can be difficult and expensive, especially if you want to stay in Waikiki. Winter is the high season. There is a Honolulu craigslist though, so I'd start there. I'd recommend a place not in Waikiki, maybe a B&B or vacation rental.
posted by ldenneau at 10:59 PM on November 22, 2005

I'm going to Hawaii for xmas! Yay!

We made our reservations in March or April, I believe. Cancun was already booked - we dodged a bullet there.
posted by mullacc at 10:59 PM on November 22, 2005

Dammit, I thought I moved that is to the right place. Waikiki is a tourist trap.
posted by ldenneau at 11:03 PM on November 22, 2005

Winter is also the rainy season. The beaches will still be warm, but they may be wet. Still, winter in Hawaii beats winter almost anywhere else.
posted by zanni at 11:31 PM on November 22, 2005

You may already know about this site, but GayHawaii.com might be worth a look.
posted by JPowers at 12:25 AM on November 23, 2005

Doood, go hiking. (junk notepad html photo repository)

Also, from what I can tell, Hawaii seems to be a gayven. Do enjoy, but outside of the clubs my advice is to spend as little time as possible in Waiks.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 2:57 AM on November 23, 2005

Okay, so maybe someplace less expensive for the actual holiday and then a trip to paradise in early 2006.

Keep the details and suggestions coming. Thanks!
posted by FlamingBore at 7:21 AM on November 23, 2005

Though I've never been there for Christmas, I did spend one Thanksgiving (and quite a few childhood vacations) in Hawaii. It was a great experience and very memorable.

My advice is to ignore all your mainland and touristy urges. Hawaii is expensive if you must have Turkey and mashed potatoes or a big cheesy luau. But if you stick with local fish and produce (and a hotel room with a kitchenette), you'll be a very happy camper.
posted by annaramma at 2:00 PM on November 23, 2005

I spent an xmas there & it was uneventful. BUT

I flew back to mainland on xmas night, redeye, and got totally lucky on the plane. Whoot!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:32 PM on November 23, 2005

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