Kauai Journals

Kauai--the Garden isle

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A January 2001 trip to Kauai by slabeaume

Waimea Canyon overlook Photo, Kauai, Hawaii More Photos
Quote: Kauai is the northernmost and geologically the oldest island in the Hawaiian islands. It is also the fourth largest island. It is almost circular in shape (25 miles long and 33 miles wide)and has a land area of about 533 square miles. Only 3% of this area has been developed for commercial and residential. The remaining 97% are divided between agriculture and conservation. The island's population is roughly 52,000 and most of the residents live and work in the coastal areas. The interior of the island is quite untamed, but very beautiful. Kauai's weather is near perfect year round with daytime temperatures ranging from the mid 70's to the mid 80's, slightly warmer in the summer. The northeast trade winds provide refreshing breezes. Rain showers usually fall in the evening and early morning hours, usually over the mountain ranges. The temperature of the ocean ranges from 68 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. With 143 miles of coastline, Kaua'i has more beaches per mile than any other Hawaiian island. With over 40 beaches on the island, you can always find an uncrowded one. We visited Kauai for the first time 2 years ago. We already have reservations to go back in 2003. This time we're going for 2 weeks instead of 1. This is a place I'll never grow tired of visiting!

Kauai--the Garden isle

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Overview

Waimea Canyon overlook Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Kauai is a place you can go to really relax. It's quiet, low keyed, none touristy for the most part, and very tranquil. But there are plenty of things you can do if when you want a little excitement. Although it is very expensive, I highly recommend taking the helicopter tour. It's a great way to see the beauty of the island which is unaccessible by car or foot. I also recommend getting in the water. It's like another world underwater and a very beautiful one. Even if you don't dive, snorkeling is a great way to see what lies beneath. Drive all over the island. It's small enough that it's pretty easy to do. We stay on the east side of the island and find it an easy d...Read More

Kauai Beach Villas

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Hotel | "Pahio at Kauai Beach Villas"

Kauai Beach Villas Photo, Lihue, Hawaii
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:Close to the airport and grocery store and lots of restaurants. There's also a newly remodeled Radisson Hotel on site, so there are added benefits with that--restuarant, 3 pools, lounge, etc - all which Pahio guests are welcomed at.Best Things About the Resort:Centrally located on the island. Easy access to both the north and south sides of the island. Resort Experience:It is a Gold Crown Resort and deservedly so. The grounds are beautifully kept. The condos are beautifully decorated. This time we stayed in a one bedroom/2 bath condo. It had a roomy open lay out where the kitchen, living room and dining room flowed into each other. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 2, 2002

Kauai Beach Villas
4330 Kauai Beach Drive
Lihue, Hawaii 96766
(808) 245-7711

Kauai Beach Villas

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Hotel | "Pahio at Kauai Beach Villas"

Quote:
Best Things Nearby:It is close to the airport, grocery store, and lots of restaurants. There's also a newly remodeled Radisson Hotel on-site, so there are added benefits with that--restaurant, three pools, lounge, etc - all of which Pahio guests are welcomed at.Best Things About the Resort:It is centrally located on the island, and there is easy access to both the north and south sides of the island. Resort Experience:It is a Gold Crown resort, and deservedly so. The grounds are beautifully kept. The condos are beautifully decorated. This time we stayed in a one-bedroom/two-bath condo. It had a roomy, open layout where the kitchen, living room, and dining...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2005

Kauai Beach Villas
4330 Kauai Beach Drive
Lihue, Hawaii 96766
(808) 245-7711

Gaylord's at Kilohana

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Restaurant | "Gaylord's Plantation"

Gaylord's at Kilohana Photo, Lihue, Hawaii
Quote:
Gaylord's Restaurant is named after Gaylord Parke Wilcox, who built the house in 1935. THe restaurant was established in 1986 when the Wilcox home was restored to a historic site accessible to the public for the first time. In 1986, the restaurant opened serving lunch and dinner. Gaylord's is well known for venison, lamb, seafood, pastas and desserts. The tables are set up outside under a patio that goes the length of back of the plantation house. With the gentle cool Kauai breeze and candlelight, it was a very pleasant. The waiters were very friendly and conscientous. Our meals were excellent! I got the BLACKENED PRIME RIB---prime rib pan seared Cajun style, drizzled with wasabi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 2, 2002

Gaylord's at Kilohana
3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy
Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii 96766
(808) 245-9593

Poipu Beach

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Attraction | "Poipu Beach Park"

Poipu Beach Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Being on the southern coast (where the high winter waves don't occur as much as on the north shore), this beach is great all year! The snorkeling is great here and the water is quiet and gentle because of a protective reef across the entrance to a small cove. There are actually 2 bay areas. One is more shallow and a favorite spot for families with smaller kids. That is also where the lifeguard station is set up. Close in on the other side, the fish are use to being fed, so they'll come check you out to see if you have food. Watch out that you don't accidentally get caught up in the shallow reef like I did---I ended up with one nasty cut on my hand! We came back to this beach many times, even ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

Poipu Beach
Poipu Road
Kauai, Hawaii

Lawai Beach

Attraction

Lawai Beach Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Lawai beach is just a little narrow beach off to the side of the Beach House Restaurant and across the street from the Lawai Resort. This beach was on the list given to us from our resort as a good place to snorkel, so we decided to give it a try. When we first drove by the beach, we almost decided to continue on. The beach is quite small and doesn't look like much, but we really enjoyed the snorkeling here! From the road (Lawai Rd) to the water was probably only about 30 feet. This is also the only area we even saw sea turtles for the whole week we snorkeled in Kauai (unlike the Big Island where they were everywhere). This was perhaps our favorite spot to snorkel on this trip (in Jan.) W...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

Lawai Beach
Next to 5022 Lawai Road
Kauai, Hawaii

Lydgate Park

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Attraction

Lydgate Park Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
The east coast is usually too rough to swim in, but here at Lydgate, they built a protected swimming area with lots of huge boulder to hold out the ocean. It's great for families and beginning snorkellers since the pond is usually smooth. Snorkeling isn't bad there, either! Fish get trapped in there during high surf. THe water did seem a bit murkier there than on the south shores, but it still wasn't bad for a quick place to go to snorkel on the East side. There is also a great playground and picnic area for families to enjoy. Being in Kapaa, it's also close to several resorts, restaurants, and shops. Including a big Safeway grocery. The coconut grove here once served as ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

Lydgate Park
Off Highway 56, about 10 minutes north of Kapa'a
Wailua, Hawaii 96746
none

Will Squyres

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Attraction | "Will Squyres Helicopter Tours"

Will Squyres Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
There are several helicopter tour outfits. We chose to go with Will Squyres. We enjoyed their tour very much. The American Eurocopter ASTAR 350 BA 6 seater helicopter is Will's aircraft of choice. Headphones are provided to block out engine noise and make it possible to hear the guide and music. It also has bubble windows for better vision. If you've never ridden in a helicopter, you'll probably be surprised at how smooth the ride is. This is the best way to see all of Kauai! The colors are unbelievable! The Napali Coast is awesome from the helicopter---as well as the canyon and east side. This is also the only way you'll be able to see the many waterfalls throughout the canyon and the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

Will Squyres
Lihue Airport
Lihue, Hawaii 96766
+1 808 245 8881; +1

ride to the north side

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Story/Tip

Lighthouse Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
More beautiful kauai awaits you here. Make a little side trip on your way and see: KILAUEA POINT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE---built in 1913 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. There you'll see the beautiful lighthouse and a variety of birds, including Hawaii's state bird, the "nene". You may also see whales and dolphins from the viewing area. To help protect the whales, the waters off Kilauea Point were designated a National Marine Sanctuary in 1992. Then continue up through Princeville. This is a high class resort town big on golf. Some of Hawaii's best golf -- and most challenging golf courses -- are found on Kauai. In addition to several outstanding re...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

Polihale State Park

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Attraction | "Polihale"

Polihale State Park Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Getting there is quite a trip in itself! Once the main highway ends, it'll turn into a dirt road. Follow this road about 10 -15 miles through old sugar cane fields. You'll think you're going nowhere and that nothing is worth the jostling of the ride. (By the way, some rental places tell you not to go here. We had a 4 wheel drive Forrester and we weren't told to stay off that road). Finally you come to a dirt parking lot. The view of the Napali is breathtaking from there. This is where you reach the west end of the Na Pali Coast and the end of the road. The surf is usually high here. The day we went was no exception. It was hypnotising to watch. We also got there right before sunset...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

Polihale State Park
End of Highway 50, past Kekeha
Waimea, Hawaii 96796
+1 808 587 0400

Waimea Canyon

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Attraction | "Wiamea Canyon"

Waimea Canyon Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
This is a must! This colorful canyon is the largest canyon in the Pacific and is quite beautiful. Stop at the many viewing areas and take a few pictures. Even the drive up the canyon is interesting---the road makes several interesting curves. Along the side of the road, you'll see lots of interesting looking twisted bleached out trees and lots of red soil. Even the road is reddish. The soil in Kauai contains a lot of red clay that stains everything! At the top of this canyon you're even bound to see lots of colorful wild chickens. They're everywhere in kauai! Try to drive there around mid day so the shadows aren't so harsh. Waimea Canyon Drive starts in the town of Waimea and is one of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2002

Waimea Canyon
Koke'e Road (highway 552)
Kauai, Hawaii 96752
(808) 274-3433