Amy Bertrand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 16, 2012
Every Monday we ask a few questions of a St. Louis travel professional. Today, Cynthia Friedenberg of Brentwood Travel talks about Hawaii.
If someone is visiting Hawaii for the first time, what are the don't-miss sites you recommend?
For first-time visitors to Hawaii, Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center are musts on Oahu; on Maui, go to Haleakala National Park and a pineapple plantation; on Kauai, visit Waimea Canyon and also take a helicopter tour of the Na Pali Coast. The Island of Hawaii is known for its active volcanoes, wonderful golf courses and Kona coffee plantations.
If someone has been more than once, what are some off-the-beaten path things you'd recommend?
Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay (get there early in the morning before the crowds), go to the North Shore of Oahu and (if you are very brave) surf the Bonzai Pipeline. On Maui, take the road to Hana and the Seven Pools. Kauai has the Fern Grotto which some say is the most romantic spot on the island.
What's your favorite thing to eat in Hawaii?
Love the Waikiki Beach Walk - there are lots of dining choices. Roy's serves regional cuisine. My favorite "snacks" are cream puffs at Beard Papa's at Ala Moana.
Which island is your favorite?
That's a tough one. Each one has a life and character all its own. I guess if I had to choose one it would be Oahu because there is so much diversity on the island - impossible to be bored there. If I wanted to relax and play golf, I would have to say the Big Island.
How long does it take to get there?
About 8 to 10 hours depending on the connecting airport.