A February 2003 trip
to Kauai by JenLara
Quote: We spent five days in Kauai, driving around and exploring every corner of the island. Short on bars and nightlife, but very long on gorgeous scenery, spectacular sunsets, and beautiful, relaxing beaches.
Location-wise, it's a few minutes' drive from Poipu Beach, but off the main drag enough that it's peaceful and private. Being situated on the southern coast of Kauai gave us close access to Waimea Canyon and boat departures for the Na Pali Coast, and it was only about an hour's drive all the way to the north coast.
Very highly recommended--I would definitely stay here again!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2003
Garden Isle Cottages
2660 Puuholo Road
Restaurant | "The Beach House"
The decor of the Beach House is frankly a bit generic, kind of like a mid-range hotel restaurant -- pretty, but bland. The food is good -- I had the famous macadamia-crusted mahimahi, which was fabulous, and the cocktails of the very-colorful-multi-layered-little-paper-umbrella variety. Our waiter was sweet and attentive, and helpful with suggestions on where to go out for a drink and some live music later that night.
All in all, worth a splurge on a special night . . . but very touristy and not at all off the beaten path!
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 3, 2003
Beach House Restaurant
5022 Lawai Rd
Kauai, Hawaii 96756
Restaurant | "Tidepools Restaurant"
The restaurant is really unique and beautiful, built around a complex of--you guessed it--pools of ocean water that are filled with koi, those huge goldfish you always see swimming around Buddhist temples. These fish do a never-ending circuit around the perimeter of the restaurant, and it's fun to watch them go by as you enjoy your meal.
The atmosphere is very romantic, with thatched roofs and secluded, semi-private tables with lots of space between them, dim lighting, and lots of candles and tiki torches. The food was phenomenal and there was lots of it--we had some kind of crab appetizer called something like "slipper crabs"--I can't recall the name exactly, but they were absolutely delicious! I had some sort of local fresh fish for a main dish, which was flavorful, interesting, and perfect. No complaints about Tidepools; the ambience, service and the food are terrific! The price is pretty high, but you do get what you pay for.
We walked through the grounds of the Hyatt hotel after dinner, and it's just ridiculously impressive. The main swimming pool is more like a water ride at a theme park--it has one of those "rivers" that snakes and twists under bridges and past trees and waterfalls. There are, of course, a few more pools, both fresh and sea water, and a long tiki torch-lit walking path that winds past all of them. The hotel lobby is suitably posh--all marble and polished wood with a very luxurious, tropical Hawaiian theme to it.
If you can afford it, try to stay here for a few nights--if the rooms are anything as nice as the grounds and lobby, you won't be disappointed!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 4, 2003
Tidepools at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
1571 Poipu Road
Koloa, Hawaii 96756
Attraction | "Hanalei Bay & Hanalei Town"
There was a group surfing lesson going on while we were there, and while I myself was not brave enough to try, it seemed like even a beginner would have felt comfortable in the group. Some surfers were riding the waves further out at sea, away from the protection of the relatively calm bay. And there was a really cool section of water where we were able to walk out to sea maybe about 50-100 yards and still be knee-deep in water! Although the tide started coming in pretty quickly, so we had to scramble to get out!
Hanalei town is small and hippy-ish and charming. We ate at a restaurant called Tahiti Nui which had a limited menu of fresh mahi mahi and burgers and fries, that kind of thing. A perfect, pretty cheap place to grab a bite and be on our way!
End of Weke Road
Hanalei, Hawaii 96714
No phone available
Attraction | "'Anini Beach"
The beach is really pretty - the water is *extremely* calm and crystal clear, but the sand, while white and clean, is a little hard and unforgiving. Not powdery like the other beaches, more like tiny little rocks. I did some snorkeling in the water at Anini Beach (with my own gear, you can't rent any there) and there wasn't all that much to see, but it got me geared up for a few days later at Hanauma Bay in Oahu! There was a guy windsailing and a group of people taking a painting class, trying to capture the millions of blue-green hues of the water and sky.
Overall, this is a highly recommended secluded beach for a few hours' stop on a sunny day!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2003
Anini Beach Park
At the end of Anini Road
Hanalei, Hawaii 96714
+1 808 822 5065
Attraction | "South Coast Beaches: Poipu and Salt Pond"
Salt Pond Beach, on the other hand, a few miles west of Poipu (driving along the southern shore of the island), was more to our liking. A secluded, crescent-shaped beach with calm water and fringed with coconut trees was a perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon reading and playing scrabble. Plus, I got to take one of my top three favorite photos of the whole trip -- the lifeguard and surfboard shot below.
Salt Pond Beach Park
Lolokai Road to the end
Hanapepe, Hawaii 96716
+1 808 335 5871 (Haw
We stopped off at the entrance to the Black Pipe Trail and took about a 5-mile round-trip hike to another lookout point. Honestly, what we saw was not that much more spectacular than all the other scenery we'd already seen until then! But it was a nice, easygoing hike--a bit steep at times, but never very difficult or at all dangerous. Definitely worth the trip!
Koke'e Road (highway 552)
Kauai, Hawaii 96752
Attraction | "The Napali Coast"
It's about a 4-hour ride altogether, starting out along the southern coast, then turning north up the western edge of the island, which is dominated by these unbelievably beautiful green and red cliffs rippling and soaring into the blue sky. On the way there and back, we must have seen a few dozen whales jumping and playing in the water--it was amazing! They were usually far away, but you could make out their huge backs and massive tails disappearing into the ocean as they dove under.
The crew on the boat were great--really personable and funny, telling stories about Kauai's history and quirks. The one major drawback for me was that I got extremely seasick about 30 minutes in, and never recovered until we returned to dry land--stupid me! I forgot I was seasick-prone and didn't bring along any meds. The crew took good care of me, basically just bringing me water and consoling me, which was about all they could do. I admit that by 6pm, every single minute of the &%@$! sunset felt like an hour, and I was in no mood to admire the dazzling colors in front of me. But everyone else on the boat enjoyed the free drinks and buffet of snacks.
All in all, a great experience-but I will remember the Dramamine next time!
Na Pali Coast
Northwest Shore (end Of Highway 56)
Na Pali, Hawaii 96714
808 274 3444
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