Kauai Journals

Vacation in Kauai Without Breaking the Bank

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An August 2004 trip to Kauai by ggflier

North Shore Divers Photo, Koloa, Hawaii More Photos
Quote: White-sand beaches, snorkeling, waterfalls, and the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific"... read what all the fuss is about for this Hawaiian "hot spot" by following along on our first visit to the Garden Isle. Discover how to explore Kauai’s lush tropical beauty and the North Shore without breaking the bank.

Vacation in Kauai Without Breaking the Bank

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Overview

Kauai Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Lush. Secluded. Tropical. Paradise. These are the words used repeatedly to describe the Garden Isle. Kauai is the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands, nestled at the northernmost of the chain. Of the main islands, it is most popular for those who want to experience a true tropical getaway without high-rise hotels, without an abundance of city lights, without traffic. Kauai is the picture-perfect setting for those who want to explore, experience adventure, or do nothing at all. Follow along in this trip report as we cover all of those and more during our summer vacation on the famed North Shore, known for its majestic green mountains, cascading waterfalls, and dramatic co...Read More

Sandpiper Village

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Hotel | "Princeville Studio"

Sandpiper Village Photo, Princeville, Hawaii
Quote:
Our rental, Tessie’s Place in the Sandpiper Village complex in Princeville, was a comfortable, cozy, and large studio. Starting at only $75 per night, it's a great option for those on a budget who don’t need an ocean view and the high price tag that goes along with it. On check-in, we were greeted by our helpful and friendly host Tessie, who actually lives next door to the studio. She immediately took time to give us an overview of the area and recommendations for dining and shopping. Later in our stay, she even took time to give us a quick tour to a few of the popular Princeville trails, like Queens Bath and Turtle Cove...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 3, 2005

Sandpiper Village
4770 Pepelani Loop
Princeville, Hawaii 96722

Bubba's Burgers

Restaurant

Bubba's Burgers Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Bubba's Burgers has been touted as a popular burger joint, but the motto hanging in the diner says it all, "we cheat tourist, drunks, and attorney’s." We stopped at the Kapa’a location for lunch on our way to our North Shore rental. The location is on the main highway in busy little Kapa’a, with a view across the road to Kapaa Beach Park. There are several tourists shops and galleries nearby. The servings were small considering the cost. Even with a coupon for a free soda, a corn dog and onion rings added up to $6. The hamburgers were your average, tasty burgers, but again, fairly small in size. The best deal was the frings, ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on May 3, 2005

Bubba's Burgers
4-1421 Kuhio Highway
Kapa'a, Hawaii 96746
+1 808 823 0069

Bali Hai

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Restaurant

Bali Hai Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
For a picture-perfect postcard view at sunset, the Bali Hai Restaurant at the Hanalei Bay Resort in Princeville is a great choice. The open-air dining room, with panoramic views stretching from the lush Kauai mountains and waterfalls to the beautiful Hanalei Bay and Bali Hai, offers memories you won’t forget. We heard the restaurant was popular for sunset dining, so we called for reservations earlier in the day. At that time, we were offered the opportunity to attend a 90-minute timeshare presentation in exchange for a $100 voucher towards our meal, and though it was a great offer to save on ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 3, 2005

Bali Hai
5380 Honoiki Road
Princeville, Hawaii 96722
+1 808 826 6522

Zelo's Beachhouse

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Restaurant | "Zelo's Beach House"

Zelo's Beachhouse Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
The large happy hour sign hanging outside Zelo’s Beach House was a temptation too hard to resist for us, so we decided to have a late lunch/early dinner here. It was a fun, casual restaurant located in the little town of Hanalei in the North Shore area of Kauai. There were several shops and other eateries in the area, so plenty of parking was available in the shopping center lot behind the restaurant. Once inside, a few TV sets were tuned to the sports channels, and the restaurant walls were lined with photos and memorabilia of Kauai beaches and surfers. This quickly set the mood for some casual beachtown fun. Our friendly server quickly came over to inform us of the spe...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 3, 2005

Zelo's Beachhouse
5-5190 Kuhio Ave.
Kauai, Hawaii 96714
(808) 828-1435

Shack

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Restaurant | "The Shack"

Shack Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Passing through Kapa'a when hunger begins to strike? Stop at The Shack, located on Highway 56, for some large, tasty burgers!As luck would have it for our appetites and budget, we happened upon The Shack while sifting through the few entertainment coupon books on our way back to the airport. Once inside, the large restaurant had your usual sports-bar feel and was decorated with a mix of sports, Hawaiiana, and tropical memorabilia. There was also another room with two levels and a few pinball and pool tables, so a good guess is that this is one of the few places to hit for some nightlife on the island. The place was casual (as was the slow pace of the servers), and we sat ourselves at a tab...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 3, 2005

Shack
Highway 56
Kauai, Hawaii

North Shore Divers

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Attraction | "Snorkeling on the North Shore"

North Shore Divers Photo, Koloa, Hawaii
Quote:
Ever wish you could go swimming in the aquarium at SeaWorld? Well, just go for a dip in one of Kauai’s popular North Shore snorkeling spots! The waters of Ke’e Beach and Tunnels offer an abundance of colorful tropical fish and coral reefs that will hold your interest for hours, so pack your swimsuit, snorkel gear, and lunch for some fun water play. Both beaches are reachable from Highway 560. Tunnels (Makua) Beach is in Ha’ena, about a 15- to 20-minute drive past Hanalei and Princeville. It’s a beautiful stretch that runs about 2 miles long, keeping it from feeling too crowded, and there are lots of trees and shady spots that offer a nice break from the beating heat of the summ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 3, 2005

North Shore Divers
P.O. Box 853
Koloa, Hawaii 96756
(808) 828 1223

Queen's Bath

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Attraction

Queen's Bath Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
For a little adventure off the beaten path, why not take a plunge into Queen’s Bath? Tucked away on Kauai’s North Shore coastline, this natural, large ocean water "pool" is only accessible from a short hike in the neighborhood of Princeville. The pool is made of lava rock and at the right time of year, is a wonderful retreat where you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing while viewing the gorgeous coastline. The trail to Queen’s Bath is slightly muddy and leads from the cliffside down 120 feet to the shoreline. It may look intimidating at first glance, and when we were there, a few travelers turned around and decided against the trek. Don’t be steered away becau...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 9, 2005

Queen's Bath
North Shore, near Kapiolani Road
Kauai, Hawaii

Helicopter Tour

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Story/Tip

Helicopter Tour Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
As you’ll hear, a helicopter tour on Kauai is not to be missed, and we definitely agree. Much of Kauai can only be seen by air, and the views of the abundant, cascading waterfalls, green mountains of the Na Pali, and red cliffs of Waimea Canyon were the highlight of our trip. After all, THIS is the tropical Hawaiian beauty that visitors to the islands expect to see. There are many heli tour companies to choose from, and all offer different tour choices, ranging from a 30-minute teaser to a 2-hour tour, with a stop for lunch at a waterfall. The prices also vary from $100 to over $250, and you can book with a helicopter company directly or at an activity center. Because of the hig...Read More
Wailua Falls Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
In the summer time, the North Shore offers plenty of activities and relaxation to keep you busy during a week long trip, but be sure to spend at least a day touring the Southern and Western parts of the island. We took this day trip from the North Shore to Waimea and Poipu, with stops at a few of the notable sights of the island. Get an early start from Princeville on Hwy. 56 (Kuhio Highway) for a scenic (approximately 40-minute) drive towards Kapa’a to Ma’alo Road. Fantasy Island. Go back to the highway, continuing on as it turns into Hwy. 50 and on to the West Shore and Hanapepe. Those who enjoy small shops and galleries might like a stop in this little town. If you get the m...Read More