Kauai Journals

Kauai-The Garden Isle

A November 2003 trip to Kauai by azsunluvr

Kauai Photo, Kauai, Hawaii More Photos
Quote: The first thing that reminded me I was not at just any old airport was a rooster crowing. I thought it would be the smells of plumeria, pikake, and orchids that would make my heart beat faster, but it was that silly rooster.

Kauai-The Garden Isle

Overview

Kauai Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
As we taxied toward the terminal, I marveled at how far Hawaii had come. Thirty years ago when I moved away, airports had no jetways connecting the terminal to the airplane. To board a plane, we had to walk across the tarmac and climb up a portable staircase. Now, tiny little Lihue had an airport large enough to land our 757 at AND taxi right up to the terminal! The first thing that reminded me I was not at just any old airport was a rooster crowing. I thought it would be the smells of plumeria, pikake, and orchids that would make my heart beat faster. But it was that silly rooster. I’d forgotten that chickens run wild on Kauai. Here I was, finally, back in the islands of Hawaii. I spent five o...Read More

Kaui Coast Resort

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Hotel | "Kauai Coast Resort (a.k.a. The Beachboy)"

Kaui Coast Resort Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
After picking up our tourist-red Dodge Stratus at Dollar Rent-a-car, we headed north from Lihue to Kapaa and the Coconut Marketplace, right on the water's edge. The open-air lobby at the Kauai Coast Resort is everything you dream a Hawaiian resort should be. Huge, fresh flower arrangements, tropical plants, palm trees, and ti leaves glowing in the light of the tiki torches. Having spent two hours in a timeshare presentation in Phoenix, we earned this four-night stay. We weren't sure what to expect from this resort. The reviews had been quite positive, so we were hopeful. On the other hand, what can you expect for free? In this case, you can expect a beautiful resort, well-kept and in a great lo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Kaui Coast Resort

Kauai, Hawaii

TC's Island Grill

Restaurant

TC's Island Grill Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Our first night on Kauai, we walked the few steps from our resort to the Coconut Marketplace. TC’s Island Grill looked inviting. The menu was simple and somewhat affordable. Open-air with fans to help circulate the breeze, the restaurant looked like a typically touristy tropical eatery—and we were hungry! Unfortunately, the food was mediocre. At least the server was honest. When Steve asked if the mahi mahi fish and chips were any good, she hesitated before bluntly saying, "No." Since we asked, she couldn’t really recommend it and told us which restaurant she thought had better fish and chips. The server claimed the burgers were great, though, so Steve ordered the mushroom burger and I got the p...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

TC's Island Grill
Kuhio Highway
Kauai, Hawaii

Hanalei Mixed Plate

Restaurant

Hanalei Mixed Plate Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
After a morning of snorkeling at Anini Beach and stopping at every overlook and beach between Anini and Ha’ena State Park, we were ready for some lunch—local style! Hanalei Mixed Plate is right on the Kuhio Highway in Hanalei. My husband and I shared a plate of Kalua pork and cabbage with vegetables and rice. One plate was plenty for both of us. Hubby was a little tentative about trying this local dish. I have to admit, it doesn’t look all that appetizing, but the luscious smell will lure you into at least taking a bite. Memories of luaus at Kole Kole Park on the Big Island came flooding back as I ate. As kids, we always called it Kalua pig, but I guess that sounds even less appetizing than it l...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Hanalei Mixed Plate
5-5190 Kuhio Highway
Kauai, Hawaii
(808) 826-7888

The Bull Shed

Restaurant

Quote:
I’d read several positive reviews of this restaurant and had it near the top of my list of places to try. I’m sorry to say we give it a mixed review. It was a little difficult to find, as the door to the restaurant is not marked -- very strange. This was a Thursday night, but the place was full and we waited 10 minutes to be seated. My husband and I were led to an odd little triangular table next to a window. Unfortunately, the moon was not very bright and we couldn’t see much, but with the window cracked open, we could hear the surf and feel a wonderful breeze. The service was somewhat slow, but we were enjoying the experience and each other’s company, so no complaints. The salad bar...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

The Bull Shed
Highway 56
Kauai, Hawaii

Quote:
In the Poipu Shopping Village in Koloa, Poipu Tropical Burgers looked inviting with seating available on the patio and ceiling fans adding a little extra breeze. The waiter was very friendly, and highly recommended the mahi mahi tacos to Steve, who loves seafood. They arrived with several toppings to choose from including guacamole, tomato salsa, tropical fruit salsa, watercress and sour cream. He enjoyed them very much. Not a seafood eater myself, I opted for the teriyaki chicken sandwich with pineapple and tomato. The sandwich was okay, but the fries were the kind I love—skinny, hot, and salty! A somewhat upscale shopping center, the Poipu Shopping Village is a great place to spend ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Poipu Tropical Burgers
2360 Kiahuna Plantation Drive
Kauai, Hawaii

Pau Hana Bar & Grill

Restaurant | "Pau Hana Bar & Grill"

Quote:
In the Kauai Shopping Center in Kapaa is a small restaurant called Pau Hana Bar and Grill. In Hawaii, pau hana means "done with work." So this might be the type of place you’d stop off at for a drink or meal after leaving your place of employment for the day.

Steve enjoyed his fish and chips, a tender, flaky white fish deep-fried in batter. My "small" garden salad turned out to be a great deal at $4.95. It was more than I could eat with mixed greens, baby carrots, cucumber slices, diced tomatoes, half of a hard-boiled egg, real bacon pieces, and croutons.

Friendly and not too crowded, Pau Hana is a great place for lunch if you’re in the Kapaa area.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Pau Hana Bar & Grill
831 Kuhio Highway
Kauai, Hawaii
(808) 821.2900

Anini Beach Park

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Attraction | "Anini Beach"

Anini Beach Park Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
It was our first full day in Hawaii and we were ready to explore! High on our list of places to see was Anini Beach. We tossed our snorkel gear and beach towels into the rental car and headed north. Anini can be a little difficult to find, but with help from a guidebook we arrived after only one pleasant and uneventful detour. I’d read a journal that mentioned this was a favorite spot of Pierce Brosnan. Alas, no Bond today. After a short walk on the beach, we couldn’t wait any longer to get into that inviting, calm, clear water. We donned our snorkel gear and began our first venture into the underwater world of Kauai. Hawaii’s famous triggerfish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa, was very ple...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Anini Beach Park
At the end of Anini Road
Hanalei, Hawaii 96714
+1 808 822 5065

Kilauea Lighthouse

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Attraction | "Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge"

Kilauea Lighthouse Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Next on our list of must-sees on Kauai’s north shore was the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge. After depositing our $3 per person into the wooden box at the entrance, we headed up the hilly path toward the lighthouse. Looking over the cliff and across to crater hill, we could see evidence that this was indeed a bird sanctuary. With our binoculars, we could specifically see white egrets roosting in branches on the steep cliffs. The view from the lighthouse is stunning. The grass and other vegetation is so green, and then there’s the backdrop of deep blue. We hoped we might see monk seals lounging on Moku’ae’ae Islet, but no such luck. It was fascinating, however, to watch the sea foam roll...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Kilauea Lighthouse
Kilauea Road
Kilauea, Hawaii 96754
+1 808 828 1413

Seasport Divers

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Attraction | "Seasport Divers (part 1)"

Seasport Divers Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
We arrived at Seasport Divers’ Poipu location, easily spotted with the bright yellow submarine in front, right on schedule. After signing the waivers and gathering our gear, we loaded into their shuttle van with four other divers and two snorkelers. A short ride to Kukuiula Harbor took us to the Anela Kai, our dive boat for the day. After brief instructions, we boarded for the short ride to Sheraton Caverns, so named because it lies near the beachfront Sheraton Resort in Poipu. Sheraton Caverns is a very popular dive site, with depths ranging from 30-65 feet. The water was a little rough and I was glad I had taken my Bonine a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Seasport Divers
2827 Poipu Road
Koloa, Hawaii 96756
+1 808 742 9303

Seasport Divers

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Attraction | "Seasport Divers (part 2)"

Seasport Divers Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
After leaving two snorkelers and two divers at the dock, we headed north of the harbor, past the Spouting Horn blowhole, to Turtle Bluff. The sea was even rougher, and though I’d taken another Bonine, it wasn’t working! I knew once I got underwater, I’d be fine. I quickly donned my gear, did the check with my buddy, and jumped in (much more successfully this time), with a different regulator. This was a harder dive; Turtle Bluff is deeper than Sheraton Caverns, and there is a current. We descended to about 45 feet and began swimming against the current, following a dive instructor. I knew pretty quickly that this was going to be a short dive for me. I was already tired and having a hard time swi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Seasport Divers
2827 Poipu Road
Koloa, Hawaii 96756
+1 808 742 9303

Kapaa Outdoor Adventures

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Attraction | "Exploring the Kapaa area"

Kapaa Outdoor Adventures Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Opeakaa Falls is a short drive west on Highway 580, north of the Wailua River. It’s one of the many spectacular falls that can be seen just off the road on all of the Hawaiian Islands. Some falls don’t even merit markers, but this particular one has been given a parking area and a path along which visitors can pause and enjoy the view of the falls and the incredible foliage. Across the highway from the falls, a small winding road leads into the valley of Kamokila Hawaiian Village . The ancient village is privately owned and in the p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Kapaa Outdoor Adventures
Throughout Kapaa
Kauai, Hawaii

Snorkling

Attraction | "Spur of the moment snorkeling"

Snorkling Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
We felt the itch to snorkel coming on after our return from the grotto, so we set out to find a spot. We pulled into Lydgate Park just across the Kuhio Highway from the Fern Grotto turn-off. It was very crowded and looked too shallow. Maybe it would a good place for kids just learning to snorkel, but not what we were looking for. We then drove south to Ahukini Recreational State Park. Lots of fisherman and limited visibility made us decide to drive on. Poipu Beach Park seemed like a good place to try, and we found a shady spot for our towels (it was about 85 degrees that day) and waded into the water. It ended up being a great place to snorkel, despite being a somewhat crowded Saturday. We saw a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Snorkling
Kauai Harbor
Kauai, Hawaii

Lazy Sunday on Kauai/Waimea Canyon

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Story/Tip

Hanapepe Overlook Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
We began Sunday morning, our last day on Kauai, by attending a church service. We were greeted with much aloha and yarn leis. We were not the only visitors and each received leis, hugs and kisses on the cheek from several parishioners. The church building has three sets of double glass doors and louvered windows on both the north and south sides of the building, allowing a wonderful tropical breeze through. We felt so welcome and nourished by the spirit of Aloha. Following the church service, we began the drive to Waimea Canyon, the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." This was the last thing we felt we really wanted to see before we left for Maui. From Kapaa, we drove south, skirting Lihue airport an...Read More