Written by MattF on 24 Feb, 2010
This was our third trip to Kauai, and each time we go we search out new things to do and try. On this trip we happened into a couple of treats; one we planned on trying, and another we stumbled into on our way from…Read More
This was our third trip to Kauai, and each time we go we search out new things to do and try. On this trip we happened into a couple of treats; one we planned on trying, and another we stumbled into on our way from Princeville to Kapa'a.The first delicacy was Manapua. I read about this little taste treat from an IgoUgo writer and decided I had to try it out. The writer said that the only place he could find the tasty morsel was at 7-11 stores, so the search was on. Well let me tell you about Manapua, then I'll tell you where we found it. Manapua is a doughly bread treat that can be stuffed with dollup of different ingredients inside. You can get Curry Chicken Manapua, Sweet Potatoe Manapua, Kalua Pig Manapua, and I'm sure others. The bread dough is "steam" cooked so it has an interesting "doughy" texture. These are a great snack for a quick bite and are definitely "island fare" for those that want to try a little local cuisine.Finding them was a challenge - and he was right! The only place I could find them already prepared and ready to eat was in a 7-11. There are two on Kauai, both in Lihue. So if you want to try this tasty treat, go to one of the 7-11s in Lihue and get them. They cost about $1.30 each - so it's a bargain!The other place we found them was at the Costco in Lihue. They are available in the refrigerated section, ready to be heated up. You can get them in the "steamed" dough version or a baked version. BTW: Costco carries quite a variety of local "island fare" if you want to enjoy back at the condo.The second treat we stumbled into at a Farmer's Market in Anahola, between Princeville and Kapa'a. On a Saturday, just off the road as we were driving to Kapa'a, we saw a sign for a Farmer's Market and stopped to get some locally grown tomatoes, onions, and whatever else suited our fancy. As we drove up you could smell this awesome BBQ being cooked. Of course we were hungry and the sweet smells of the grill caught our attention immediately. After a little conversation with the gentleman at the grill, we found out that he was grilling a Wild Boar that he had trapped on the island and he offered us a taste. Let me tell you it was the tastiest and smokiest mouthful of joy I have had in a long time. Even my Wife, who is not a fan of game animal meat enjoyed the Boar! He was selling a plate of BBQ, with grilled corn on the cob, and fried potatoes for $10.00. We couldn't pass that up, so we bought some and walked back to the car and ate it right there before we left. Based on the number of cars that pulled into the market and left with Wild Boar, I'd say they had a winner on their hands! We both think that was the best meal for the price we had during our two week stay! So I guess my advice would be; look into the local "island fare" and try something new that is only available in Hawaii on your next trip. You won't be sorry! Close
Written by LAFRAGIA on 28 Feb, 2009
I decided to write a little information on the Lihue Airport (Kauai) because when I went to do a search engine on the airport before our arrival, I could only find one article that was helpful, but it was a bit outdated. So I wanted…Read More
I decided to write a little information on the Lihue Airport (Kauai) because when I went to do a search engine on the airport before our arrival, I could only find one article that was helpful, but it was a bit outdated. So I wanted to add my observations of the establishment.So first let me say, if you havent already guessed, its quite small and its main carrier is HA airlines. (may I mention that you can also get some great fares for $27.00pp one way inter-island by booking on their website, but let me also warn you that that fare has the heaviest fees/penalties so if you want to stand-by for an earlier flight or change your flight, the change fee is $50.00 which is more than the price of the ticket you paid.) The Lihue Airport is older and a bit out of date. The carpets are worn and they still have panel wood decor from the 1970-80's on the walls. Like most of Hawaii, they dont have too many walls, so you are in constant contact with nature. Arrival:On arrival, when flying in, make sure you get on the left side of the plane to get the best pictures of the mountains. After you deplane, there are only 3 baggage carousels and it doesnt take that long for your bag to come. While waiting, look in the center of the floor, there are 3 cubed shelves of nothing but coupons, tours and activities to do on the island. After you gather your bags you will walk out and there is an area of waiting taxis and rental car shuttle vans to your left. To your far right there is a hotel shuttle pickup , pass there is a helicopter pad and pass that is the beach. If you are staying at the Marriott or the Hilton there is a courtsey phone to call for pick up. There is a traffic guard and the public parking lot is across the street.Returning:The ticketing counters are small and all outside. Please note that if your have a flight on a carrier that only departs one time a day, then more than likely that ticket counter WILL NOT be open until maybe 2.5-3hours before the departure flight and maybe 30 minutes to 1hour afterward. The TSA check point area is VERY tiny, so if you are going on a large mainland flight, make sure to allow yourself enough time to get through security. They have a flower store and a regular store to buy souveniers, keychains, dried fruits, etc. There is a Starbucks, a sitdown restaurant that makes burgers and fries, deli sandwhiches and you have a soup of the day, etc(stay AWAY from the fried chicken, I think they still cook it in lard...geesh!. ) Then there is a pub like area if you want a beer or wine and they have wings, upscale burgers and appetizers. We happen to be in the airport for a while. (that stand-by change fee on our $27.00 ticket resulted in us being in the airport majority of the day until our original booked flight came...lol) The airport also had live entertainment. In the commons areas, there is a place were you can stretch out if you wanted to take a nap, If you are in the boarding area, the seats are divided so no relaxing there. Plus it gets very crowded when its time to board the flights, there is not enough room in the small area. It is February 2009, and we just got back. The temperature was quite cool outside, maybe in the low sixties.(The driver said unusually cooler for the season.) The enclosed boarding area inside the airport was even colder, maybe in the 50's. As the sun went down the outside temperature caught up with the inside and all we can say is we are glad we had brung our jackets/coats with us. Oh...and if you get a chance, and want to catch a nice view of the mountains, if you go to the far end of the airport for mainland flights, there is a terrific view of the scenery. Lets see... the bathrooms were clean, There were a few vending machine, were you can buy a can soda for $1.25...I think thats all I can remember. I hope this helps out Close
Written by tamtbell on 03 Jan, 2004
I first visited Kauai with my husband during a small weekend away. I had never heard that much about Kauai other than prepare to be stunned and amazed by its lush tropical beauty and by of course Waimea Canyon, commonly referred to as "The…Read More
I first visited Kauai with my husband during a small weekend away. I had never heard that much about Kauai other than prepare to be stunned and amazed by its lush tropical beauty and by of course Waimea Canyon, commonly referred to as "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific" by writer Mark Twain.
My husband and I arrived at the airport on a cloudy Saturday morning, picked up our luggage, which by the way was waiting on us at the luggage claim area, signed our agreement with Avis Rental Car, which is located right across the street from the luggage claim area and we were then on our way to see a bit of the local area.
As we drove from the airport towards our hotel in Poipu we were truly stunned by the lush vegetation, the magnificent and awe-inspiring mountains, the smell of tropical flowers and the serenade of local birds, yet something, somehow seemed to be different.
It took us both about half a day to figure out what was so out of the ordinary. Unlike Oahu with its hustle and bustle, The Big Island with its truly Aloha spirit, or Maui with its kind of party atmosphere, Kauai was very quiet and reserved. There were vehicles here or there that we passed, yet we couldn’t shake the feeling that we had just arrived on a remote paradise island inhabited by quiet and watchful natives.
As we neared Poipu there were definite signs that we were getting more and more into the "touristy" area. Here and there we saw shave ice stands, small bars, pubs, local restaurants and clothing stores all advertising in bright colors to those passing by, however our interest at that time was to get straight to the hotel and get settled and then check out the local highlights.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency, a resort off a supposedly superb golf course but also located right off a rather rocky beach. Once being greeted with lei’s made of plumerias and checking in we got right back into the car to take in a bit of the scenery.
I have to advise anyone planning to visit Kauai for a short trip to have an agreed upon travel plan already in mind. This is a somewhat small island but it is also a very mountainous one. The roads are a lot of ups and downs and lefts and rights. It’s best to sit down with a map prior to even visiting because otherwise you spend too much needless time figuring out "what do we do next?"
We first came upon a small shopping center that we had passed earlier on our way from the airport to our hotel and decided to make a quick stop. It seemed like there really was very little demand in this area as there were only about 5 to 10 stores out of approximately 30 that were actually open. We spoke with a few locals at a gift shop selling locally made products, such as delicious pina colada fudge, chocolate macadamia nut fudge and wind chimes and picture frames made out of Koa wood and while they were friendly they also seemed somewhat reserved and quiet.
My advice to anyone who is looking to relax, meet some of the more friendly locals as well as being reasonably close to local tourist attractions is to stay in the Lihue vicinity. During my second weekend trip to Kauai with my husband and our friends we stayed at a two-bedroom timeshare condo by Outrigger right outside of Lihue and we all found that there was an abundance of shops, scenic areas, and restaurants.
We were amazed by beautiful waterfalls, stunned by the cliffs, mountains, and excellent views of Waimea Canyon, got quite a few good deals on the roadsides as we drove along, and even managed to stop for an ice cream in the afternoon at a local TCBY.
I feel that this island, while relaxed, and quiet is also a good place for anyone wishing to get away from it all. Its scenic beauty, historic towns, and remoteness make this tropical island a great travel destination.
Written by mlmeredith on 16 Sep, 2005
Kauai is almost akin to a theme park in that you can see some of the most different and spectacular scenery in such a short time, and the best way to see it is by helicopter. From the almost arid beauty of Waimeia Canyon…Read More
Kauai is almost akin to a theme park in that you can see some of the most different and spectacular scenery in such a short time, and the best way to see it is by helicopter. From the almost arid beauty of Waimeia Canyon to the lush vegetation just below the cloud covered summit of Mount Wai ele ele (one of the wettest places on Earth), 45 minutes in the air will make you feel like you've been jetting from one continent to another. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but you will see natural beauty that truly leaves you in awe. It's pricey, although you can sometimes reduce the cost by attending a timeshare presentation (hey, that's what lured me to the island in the first place), but it's worth every penny, whether you do it once or every time you visit the island.
Most of the helicopter services take great pains to enhance the visibility for all passengers. Some offer a videotape (with your own narration) of each trip. There are packages of all kinds, from straight flyovers of the island to multi-hour trips that feature a landing and meal by a remote waterfall. Enjoy!
Written by mlmeredith on 24 Oct, 2005
Do you have repressed artistic desires? Do you like to send oddball gifts to the folks back home? Or do you want to get even with the mailman that you suspect is reading your magazines? If the answer to any of those questions is yes,…Read More
Do you have repressed artistic desires? Do you like to send oddball gifts to the folks back home? Or do you want to get even with the mailman that you suspect is reading your magazines?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, you might be interested to know that you can mail a coconut anywhere in the world by simply affixing the appropriate postage on it, no special packing required.
One of the many activity opportunities available through the concierge at Kauai Beach Villas is a coconut painting session. For $5, the Pahio folks provide the coconut, the paint, and the supervision (it's not babysitting, but it's probably adequate for 10 and over). Assuming that a parent is present, it's great for the little ones as well.
The idea is that you paint whatever design you'd like (okay... perhaps a tiny bit of discretion should be observed) on the coconut, then spray it with a clear protectant. You can then tape an address label on it, take it to the post office (there's one just a mile or so from the resort), have them weigh it, and pay the postage.
And that revenge on the mailman? On your last day on Kauai, mail a coconut to each of your neighbors back home. Then wait for the day that they get delivered. Now that's mean!
Written by mlmeredith on 20 Sep, 2005
If you're an itinerant golfer like me, one who doesn't normally travel with his clubs, you might be surprised to learn that in addition to having a number of pricey, world class courses, the island also boasts perhaps the best golfing bargain I've ever encountered.…Read More
If you're an itinerant golfer like me, one who doesn't normally travel with his clubs, you might be surprised to learn that in addition to having a number of pricey, world class courses, the island also boasts perhaps the best golfing bargain I've ever encountered.
Kukuiolono Golf Course was originally the personal golf course of plantation owner Walter McBryde. After his death, the course was willed to the people of the island, contingent upon it being economical for all. At the time we were there in September 2004, the greens fees were only $8 for the entire day! It's a 9-hole course that you can play as many times as you have daylight for. With club rental, the two of us played for $28. That's less than the greens fees for the courses back home.
For the casual golfer, it's a great course. The fairways are wide and relatively forgiving. One might speculate that Mr. McBryde was not the most proficient duffer. In any case, were it not for his generosity you might have to pay over $100 for the privilege of leaving a few golf balls behind in an island rough!
The pictures below don't do the course justice as the day was a little overcast, but it's still a very scenic place to play, an exceptional value.
One final thing to note, if you're suitably impressed with the layout and the scenery, you can offer a heartfelt thank you to Mr. McBryde. Near the 8th tee, in the middle of a Japanese garden, sits his grave. Mahalo!
Do you think you're too old? Too uncoordinated? Too whatever, to try surfing? Forget it!
There are any number of opportunities on Kauai to learn how, or at least get a taste of the experience of surfing. We paid $50 a head (for the four…Read More
Do you think you're too old? Too uncoordinated? Too whatever, to try surfing? Forget it!
There are any number of opportunities on Kauai to learn how, or at least get a taste of the experience of surfing. We paid $50 a head (for the four of us) for a 2+ hour lesson (actually, it went almost 3 hours). That included use of the boards, a rash guard (kind of like a wet shirt) and plenty of instruction and encouragement from our instructor Freddie.
We basically stumbled across him and his boss, Mitch, at Hawaiian Surfing Adventures in a park by Hanalei Bay, and it was one of the highlights of a multi-highlighted trip. You might want to check out their web site at www.hawaiiansurfingadventures.com.
We spent about thirty minutes on the beach, learning how to transition from laying on the board to standing and surfing. Then we went out in the water. Freddie handled the most difficult part, that would be picking out the wave and giving each of a push start. It would have been fun just playing around in the surf, but Freddie made it a true learning experience.
And as if we needed validation from unbiased strangers, when we finished and were bringing the boards out of the water, a number of people came up to compliment us on our enthusiasm and style! I don't care if they were sincere or not, it made my day.
I'll gladly take another lesson the next time we return!
Written by Tami and Mike on 27 Dec, 2002
As we left the airport on our first visit to Kauai, we marveled at how beautiful and lush everything was. Every view is scenic, with tall green mountains, gorgeous beaches, and colorful plants and trees. We drove by 40 foot long hedges of poinsettias planted…Read More
As we left the airport on our first visit to Kauai, we marveled at how beautiful and lush everything was. Every view is scenic, with tall green mountains, gorgeous beaches, and colorful plants and trees. We drove by 40 foot long hedges of poinsettias planted in peoples yards. They were over four feet tall and very thick with bright red leaves. I had never seen poinsettias anywhere except in pots at Christmas time.
The tree tunnel of Eucalyptus trees on the road down to Koloa was spectacular. The hanging vines are amazing (I used to think they were just a Hollywood/Tarzan thing, but they are real!). We were able to drive from Lihue north as far as the road goes in about an hour. Driving South and West as far as the road goes also takes about an hour from Lihue.
The island is small, but we found plenty to keep us busy for a week. Our favorite activities were scuba diving and snorkeling. We identified over 50 kinds of fish in five days of diving and snorkeling.
Written by rthlncln on 07 Aug, 2003
I had heard about Lydgate Beach before, but never tried it. This visit, I needed something special for my little 2-year-old granddaughter. Well, did I find the perfect place for her! This beach has sand as fine as silk, super safe and…Read More
I had heard about Lydgate Beach before, but never tried it. This visit, I needed something special for my little 2-year-old granddaughter. Well, did I find the perfect place for her! This beach has sand as fine as silk, super safe and smooth waves. Although hesitant at first, by the second day Mia was running into the water and splashing up a storm.
This actually is the only safe swimming and snorkeling spot on the east side, due to two breakwaters. Find it just 10 minutes north of the Lihue Airport on the way to Kapaa, just before the Wailua bridge.
Saw at least ten different brightly colored tropical fish, parasailing, surfers, and the views of crashing waves outside the breakwater were fantastic--even saw a rainbow there. Saw lots of local folks, a hula troupe practicing in the huge covered pavilion, an AA meeting, walkers, runners, dogs, barbecues, fishermen--you name it, we saw it at Lydgate Park.
The community has built one of the fanciest, most artistic playground jungle gyms I've ever seen, with hundreds of different levels, slides, wheels, steps, ladders, swings, and children-pleasing sculptures. At the far end of the beach walk is an unbelievable "Playbridge"--part sculpture, part playground structure. Nearby, a company picnic was being held under a tent, while the waves washed up shells and pretty stones nearby.
What a great place to stroll or meditate, swim or bask! I wished I would never have to leave this piece of paradise.
Written by mlmeredith on 14 Sep, 2005
Within a short stretch of road in Kapaa are a number of shops and galleries that are great for just browsing or buying seascape prints, sculptured glass, wood carvings, and such. There are also a few clothing stores that have great bargains on pareos…Read More
Within a short stretch of road in Kapaa are a number of shops and galleries that are great for just browsing or buying seascape prints, sculptured glass, wood carvings, and such. There are also a few clothing stores that have great bargains on pareos and other tropical dresses. Close