Kauai Journals

Incredible Kauai: Cliffs, Canyons & Sunsets

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A February 2003 trip to Kauai by JenLara

Kauai From the Sky Photo, Kauai, Hawaii More Photos
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.

Incredible Kauai: Cliffs, Canyons & Sunsets

Overview

Kauai From the Sky Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Highlights include a boat trip to see the cliffs of the Na Pali Coast, a drive through Waimea Canyon all the way to the very end of the road (with stops along the way to hike and gape at the scenery), visits to some of the more off-the-beaten-path towns along the north and east coasts, and a drive along the more rugged north coast with stunning beaches and great surf. Quick Tips: Spend at least 5 days in Kauai, no less--and you can easily fill at least a week if not more on this beautiful, laid-back island. While driving around, stop off in some of the small towns along the road; they're very charming and have an almost old-world kind of feel--sort of like Key West or the French Quarter of N...Read More
Garden Isle Cottages Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
The oceanfront Garden Isle Cottages are a perfect place to stay if you prefer autonomy and privacy to a bigger resort or hotel. Each of the four cottages has a full kitchen, big comfy living room, bedroom, and spacious lanai overlooking a pretty little cove and the ocean. 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 s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2003

Garden Isle Cottages
2660 Puuholo Road
Kauai, Hawaii
1-800-742-6711

Beach House Restaurant

Restaurant | "The Beach House"

Beach House Restaurant Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
The Beach House restaurant bills itself as the quintessential dining experience in Kauai. What it definitely has going for it is absolutely killer sunset views, and you must arrive early or right on time for your reservation to get one of the prime sunset-viewing tables. No doubt about it -- the sunset is the reason to come here, and not only are all the diners fixated on the view, but the huge grassy lawn out front fills with families, photographers, and romantic couples all angling for the best glimpse. 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 th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 3, 2003

Beach House Restaurant
5022 Lawai Rd
Kauai, Hawaii 96756
(808) 742-1424

Tidepools at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa

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Restaurant | "Tidepools Restaurant"

Quote:
Tidepools restuarant is one of the dining options at the Hyatt hotel, which was not where we stayed... but after an evening visit, we vowed we'd return one day and stay here in style! The hotel is unbelievable, but I'll get to that in a moment. 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 betwe...Read More

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
(808) 240-6456

Hanalei Pier

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Attraction | "Hanalei Bay & Hanalei Town"

Hanalei Pier Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
The crescent that forms Hanalei Bay contains a few different beaches on the north shore of Kauai, and is a beautiful place to spend a few hours. It's not all that secluded; there were probably a few hundred people in all spread out over a very long stretch of beach, but the backdrop of the charcoal and rust colored mountains fringed with mossy greenery, dropping right into the choppy blue water, made it a scenic and enjoyable stop. 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...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 3, 2003

Hanalei Pier
End of Weke Road
Hanalei, Hawaii 96714
No phone available

Anini Beach Park

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Attraction | "'Anini Beach"

Anini Beach Park Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
'Anini Beach is a small, off-the-beaten-path beach on Kauai's north shore, which apparently is a favorite among locals. How do I know this? I saw one of them, quite a famous one at that, hanging out with his family... and let's just say he likes his martinis shaken, not stirred! Pierce Brosnan himself, who owns a home nearby. Pretty funny to have a celeb sighting out in the middle of nowhere! 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 ...Read More

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

Salt Pond Beach Park

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Attraction | "South Coast Beaches: Poipu and Salt Pond"

Salt Pond Beach Park Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Poipu Beach is probably the most popular of all the Kauai beaches, by far. It''s a pretty beach, but was way too crowded for our taste -- we only went for one afternoon and I probably wouldn''t go back again. It''s a big family beach and while the water is clear and beautiful and the sand powdery and white, it was just too noisy. Still, one highlight was seeing a few cute seals sunning themselves on the sand in a specially roped-off area, just loving life! 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 spe...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 3, 2003

Salt Pond Beach Park
Lolokai Road to the end
Hanapepe, Hawaii 96716
+1 808 335 5871 (Haw

Waimea Canyon

Attraction

Waimea Canyon Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
We drove the 17-mile road up and through the canyon itself, and then into Kokee State Park. There are many, many dozens of lookout points to stop at along the way, and try to stop at them all--not just the "official" very touristy ones. Take Waimea Canyon Drive, NOT Kokee Road, as the latter is filled with slow tour buses and is not nearly as scenic. 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 ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2003

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

Na Pali Coast

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Attraction | "The Napali Coast"

Na Pali Coast Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
To see the Na Pali Coast, we took a Blue Dolphin charter boat, which departed from the southern coast town of Ele Ele, just 15 minutes' drive from Poipu. There are at least a dozen companies offering charters to the Na Pali Coast, and Blue Dolphin seemed to be reliable and one of the cheaper options. We took the Sunset Cruise, which departed at 2pm and returned just in time to watch a spectacular sunset! 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 th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 2, 2003

Na Pali Coast
Northwest Shore (end Of Highway 56)
Na Pali, Hawaii 96714
808 274 3444