A January 2001 trip
to Kauai by slabeaume
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!
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 day trip going to the south for a day, and to the north on another day.
Take a Napali Coastline boat tour to have another fabulous view of the Napali cliffs sprouting out of the ocean.
There is also an abundance of opputunities to hike. Kauai's terrain is quite hilly or mountainous, so keep in mind that many of the trails can get slick and steep. Some trails will require you to register with rangers before hiking on them.
Hotel | "Pahio at Kauai Beach Villas"
The resort activities included, "A Nite of Broadway" -- musical excerpts from 3 Broadway shows, Les Miserables, South Pacific and Phantom of the Opera and full buffet dinner; Free Tennis Clinic; "Kauaian Punch" and the Torchlighting Ceremony at the Radisson Poolside; Tropical Stretch & Energizer Session; and, of course, an Orientation & Continental Breakfast.
The Pahio family was very friendly, even welcoming us to the other 3 Pahio resorts in Princeville. We stopped into one of them for info while taking our ride to the north.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 2, 2002
Kauai Beach Villas
4330 Kauai Beach Drive
Lihue, Hawaii 96766
The resort activities included, "A Nite of Broadway," musical excerpts from three Broadway shows, Les Miserables, South Pacific, and Phantom of the Opera, and a full buffet dinner; a free tennis clinic; "Kauaian" Punch and the Torchlighting Ceremony at the Radisson Poolside; Tropical Stretch & Energizer Session; and of course, an Orientation & Continental Breakfast.
The Pahio family was very friendly, even welcoming us to the other three Pahio resorts in Princeville. We stopped into one of them for info while taking our ride to the north.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2005
Restaurant | "Gaylord's Plantation"
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 horseradish sauce, served with red bliss basil potatoes, lilikoi baby carrots and garden vegetables. (10 OZ. REGULAR CUT $20.95)
My husband got the OLIVER SHAGNASTY'S BABY BACK RIBS--Danish baby back ribs rubbed with Oliver's secret blend of spices, slow cooked and basted with our tropical barbecue sauce, topped with large onion rings, served with light coleslaw.($19.95
The plantation house is sort of a museum. There are several period pieces throughout the house and visitors are allowed to see them. There is even a large diningroom in the house that is used for meetings. Also attached to one side of the building is a gift shop.
Gaylords also hosts a luau. We didn't go to it, but we could hear some of the laughter and music as we were dining. Sounded like a good time!
Gaylord's at Kilohana
3-2087 Kaumualii Hwy
Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii 96766
Attraction | "Poipu Beach Park"
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 though we were staying by Lihue. The ride was nice, and only about 25 minutes.
In the winter, daytime temperatures in Poipu range from the mid 70's to the lower 80's. Nighttime temperatures are in the low to mid 60's. In the summer, daytime temperatures go as high as the upper 80's, and during the night, down into the low 70's. But the water is a pretty constant temperature which makes it great for snorkeling in year around.
Poipu Beach was recently named America's #1 Beach by Dr. Steve Leatherman of Florida International University.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2002
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.) We weren't the only ones there; it wasn't crowded, but for it's size, there were a fair number of people there.
The entry into the water is a very gentle sandy slope and there is a reef barrier that protects the little bay. For heartier snorkellers and divers, there are several channels out to deeper waters.
Next to 5022 Lawai Road
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 a place of refuge for the ancient Hawaiians. Those who could reach the boundaries of the refuge before being caught were spared punishment or even death for breaking a kapu (law). The Wailua River begins near the north end of the park.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 7, 2002
Off Highway 56, about 10 minutes north of Kapa'a
Wailua, Hawaii 96746
Attraction | "Will Squyres Helicopter Tours"
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 wettest point in the USA, Mount Waialeale which gets up to 400 inches of rain per year. When we flew over it, it was raining lightly, just enough to make a beautiful rainbow! We also flew over Wailua Falls --- made popular in the show Fantasy Island. You'll also be able to see where parts of South Pacific, Jurassic Park, Outbreak, North, and other motion pictures were filmed.
We got a buy one, get one free helicopter ride from Pahio for touring the resort. Regular price is $165/person for just under an hour tour. Their phone number is 1-888-245-HELI (1-888-245-4354) .
Lihue, Hawaii 96766
+1 808 245 8881; +1
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 resort courses, there are also some excellent public courses. What puts all these golf courses in a class above those you might play elsewhere, is their location. Most come with an inspiring ocean view or spectacular mountain backdrop. The Makai Course at Princeville is actually three separate nines: the Ocean, the Woods and the Lake which branch out from the clubhouse. The Ocean/lake combination is the most popular because of the dramatic vistas but all three courses offer something for everyone. (Prince: 18 hole, par-72; Makai courses: 9 holes each, par-36 each)
HANALEI NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE--can be seen from the Hanalei Valley Overlook, just past the Princeville Turnoff on Highway 56 (Kuhio Hwy) across from the Princeville Shopping Center. Over 900 acres were set aside as a Wildlife Refuge in 1972 to provide habitat for native Hawaiian waterbirds, including the native Hawaiian duck, coot, moorhen, and stilt. Taro is grown on the refuge by local farmers, continuing a practice that stretches back over 1,000 years in the Valley. On July 30, 1998, the Hanalei River which starts high on the slopes of Mount Waialeale and flows over 16 miles through Hanalei Valley to Hanalei Bay, was designated as an American Heritage River, one of only 14 rivers nationwide selected to receive this classification.
Continuing on you'll pass several beautiful areas such as LUMAHAI BEACH where Mitzy Gaynor washed that man right out of her hair; MANINIHOLO DRY CAVE; TUNNELS BEACH great snorkeling and diving with many underwater caves (make sure the surf is down); LIMAHULI GARDEN AND PRESERVE - HAENA
NATIONAL TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN which in
In 1997, Limahuli Garden was selected by the American Horticultural Society as the best natural botanical garden in the U.S.; WAIKANALOA AND WAIKAPALAE WET CAVES a cool little retreat from the heat; HAENA BEACH perfect for beach combing; and KEE BEACH where the Kalalau Trail along the Na Pali cliffs begins.
Attraction | "Polihale"
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 and were rewarded with another beautiful sunset.
Polihale State Park encompasses nearly 140 acres of coastal lands in western Kauai. The beautiful 3-mile long sand beach is backed by tall dunes. The camping area of the park is in the dunes. Further north, Polihale Cliff has a traditional heiau which forms the boundary of the park. Hawaiians believed the souls of the dead departed the island from this point.
Polihale State Park
End of Highway 50, past Kekeha
Waimea, Hawaii 96796
+1 808 587 0400
Attraction | "Wiamea Canyon"
Waimea Canyon Drive starts in the town of Waimea and is one of 2 roads leading up the canyon---the other being Koke'e Road (but Waimea Canyon Drive follows the rim better). The canyon rises to about 3,600 feet and Waimea Canyon Drive is about 10 miles long and ends in Koke'e State Park. There are many pullouts with fantastic views of the Kalalau Valley on one side and the ocean on the other. If you have more time, there are plenty of hiking trails and even bike and four-wheel drive guided tours.
Another great way to see the canyon and it's many waterfalls is by helicopter. Most of the canyon is unaccessable by land.
Koke'e Road (highway 552)
Kauai, Hawaii 96752
St. Louis, Missouri