Kauai Journals

Hawaii Vacation - Week 1 - The Garden Isle of Kauai

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A February 2006 trip to Kauai by creekland

Kuhio Shores Photo, Kauai, Hawaii More Photos
Quote: The new adventure begins. We left PA in 30-degree weather and stepped out of the aircraft in Lihue to 75 degrees - absolutely perfect. We left brown, and found lush green. This... THIS is what we were waiting for!

Kuhio Shores

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Hotel

Kuhio Shores Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
We loved this place. We had a two-bedroom, two-bath condo, rented from a private owner and it was superb inside. You don't get any closer to the water… so if you don't want to hear it at night, you might want to select another place to stay. Bedrooms are to the back, but you still hear the water (a good thing for us).<</P>We ate several meals on the Lanai, especially breakfast, and watched several turtles down on the rocks, and whales a bit farther offshore. We were never out there when we couldn't see something. Higher floors have a better view, and no one walking between you and the sights.There's no pool in this place, so if that's one of your needs pick somewhere else. We get our w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 26, 2006

Kuhio Shores
Oceanfront - South Shore
Kauai, Hawaii
(808) 742-1391

Brick Oven Pizza

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Restaurant

Quote:
Pizza: a basic, just "want something" food, right? Most of the time. Brick Oven is different, and I never thought I'd say that about a pizza place. Oh sure, some pizza places are good (and we have plenty we'd recommend in various places), and some are less so (we'll tell you those too), but still, they're all pizza. Until now. We searched out Brick Oven on the advice of Wizard's "Ultimate Kauai," after a long day of hiking/sight-seeing at the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. We were tired, didn't want to cook, and felt pizza would be easy. This place is expensive, as is much of HI to be honest, so we were a little doubtful but chalked it up to vacation expense and let the boys each choose ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 26, 2006

Brick Oven Pizza
2-2555 Kaumualii Highway
Kalaheo, Hawaii 96741
+1 808 332 8561

Hamura's Saimin Stand

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Restaurant | "Hamura's Saimin "

Hamura's Saimin Stand Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
We're always up for local cuisine when we travel, and we saw several recommendations for this place; all of which noted this is a "diner," and perhaps too "lowly" of a setting for many (no problem for us). We set out to find it. Finding it IS tough because it's not on a main street. Take Rice Street, and look for Kress to the right. Turn down Kress, and look for the cars. You'll see the restaurant on the left. Parking is an issue; drive around a couple of times, we all do.Inside you'll see a couple of counters with short barstools. See empty ones? They're fair game, have a seat. If not, wait. I'll shorten your ordering problems. You want a "regular special" and a BBQ chicke...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 26, 2006

Hamura's Saimin Stand
2956 Kress Street
Kauai, Hawaii
(808) 245-3271

Jack Harter Helicopters

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Attraction | "Jack Harter Helicopter Tours"

Jack Harter Helicopters Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
If you love natural sites, this is a tour that simply NEEDS to be taken. Something like 80% of this island can't be seen except from above, and seeing the sheer cliffs and sharp pinnacles from above is simply spectacular. That said, there are different options for flying... We chose Jack Harter for one reason; when we went, they had the only 90-minute tour (most are 50 minutes). The shorter flights cover similar territory, but were quicker "look quick before you move on" trips. Our longer flight allowed us to linger and really take pics. We also could "customize" our trip—our kids love Jurassic Park—so we spent more time looking at film sites. Be prepared to see the beauty of nature. You...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 26, 2006

Jack Harter Helicopters
4231 Ahukini Road
Kauai, Hawaii 96766
(888) 245-2001

Alakai Swamp Trail

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Attraction

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
This is a long, meant for "hikers" hike, not for the average couch potato who wants a basic route. The elevation change (overall) is only 400 feet or so, but you do it SEVERAL times—sometimes on continuous steps (over 200), and sometimes on muddy slopes or rocks (where you CAN slip). Part of the swamp trail is boardwalked - to help you avoid the wetness and to protect the swamp. Much of getting to the swamp is NOT boardwalked - and still muddy in places. The reward is what is considered the "most unusual hike in Hawaii"—that would be hiking through the world's highest swamp and the diversity associated with it (and getting there)—and a gorgeous view of Northern Hawaii, including Hanalei Bay. The ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 26, 2006

Alakai Swamp Trail
Starts at the End of Waimea Canyon Drive
Kauai, Hawaii

Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge

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Attraction | "Kilauea Point Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge"

Kilauea Point Lighthouse  Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Kilauea Point is the northernmost point in the Hawaiian Islands, a good enough reason to visit, but it's also a REALLY pretty "this is Hawaii" picture spot. If you go in winter, and pick a time when there's a storm just off shore with a nice wind—as we lucked out to get—then you'll see some AWESOME waves crashing both in the sea and against the cliffs. All of us were mesmerized by these waves. It was hard to take our eyes off of them. It's impossible to tell how tall they were—there were no humans out there for comparison. I'd easily guess 30 to 40 feet though—much higher than the highest surfing waves we saw. When they hit the cliffs, the spray often went up well into the greenery and listening to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 26, 2006

Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge
Kilauea Lighthouse Road, one mile north of Kilauea P. O. Box 1128 (mailing address)
Kauai, Hawaii 96754
(808) 828-1413

Brennecke Beach

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Attraction | "Poipu and Brennecke Beaches"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
I put these two beaches together because they are right next to each other - separated only by a small patch of picnic grounds. Use the same parking for both - a lot across the road (free). Be cautious when joining others to park on the street, we saw the police issuing parking tickets... Poipu Beach is larger and offers a great place for even the youngest children to enjoy the water. Lava rocks offshore stop all wave action in places. In other places, the waves are mild. The water is shallow for a reasonable distance. One day a Monk Seal was making his appearance - as well as a Green Sea Turtle. Snorkeling here is a favorite with many folks. Smart ones bring wetsuits... as in Feb at lea...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 26, 2006

Brennecke Beach
Eastern end of Poipu Beach Park
Kauai, Hawaii

Waimea Canyon

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Attraction

Waimea Canyon Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
This is a NOT to be missed spectacular area of Kauai. This canyon was dubbed the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" by Mark Twain, and one look lets you know why. They definitely do look eerily similar. The layers, colors, and waterfalls are simply gorgeous.  To get there, the "book" (Ultimate Kauai) tells you to take Waimea Canyon Road (Rt 550) instead of following the signs to a later road. The book is right—the views ARE better from Waimea Canyon Rd—we tried both. Take the other road (Rt 552) on the way back if you're curious.  The road is paved and an easy drive. There are several lookouts along the way (once up) to pull over and gawk. Stop at more than one, the view changes—sometimes...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 26, 2006

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

Spouting Horn

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Attraction | "Spouting Horn - A Great Hawaiian Geyser"

Spouting Horn Photo, Kauai, Hawaii
Quote:
Did you know that Hawaii has geysers? Ok, ok, technically it doesn't, but in some places they have "Hawaiian Geysers" (or so we nicknamed them since they reminded us of their Wyoming cousins). Spouting Horn is one of those—and a gem of one at that.A Hawaiian Geyser is technically known as a "blowhole." What's a blowhole? Well, that's an area where erosion has carved out an opening in both the side and top of a lava shelf. Waves come in the side and the force of the water blows the water and air skyward out the top—kind of similar to a geyser, 'cept "real" geysers are heat/steam activated. Only the end result looks similar, but it's the end result that people see… hence our nickname for them.Spouting ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 28, 2006

Spouting Horn
Lawai Road, across from Allerton Visitor's Center
Koloa, Hawaii 96756
No phone available