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Kauai - Have you been there? Any suggestions?

MMD

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Headed to Kauai in a couple weeks and wondering what places to go and things to do that you'd recommend.

Thanks
 

OnlyMoney

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Just got back a week ago and it was my 7th time.

All the tours are expensive and most are worth it. It's a small island so get out and drive and see it all. There are signs that point the way to most waterfalls and cool places. We have ziplined and would do it again (there's NO shade, wear sunscreen) and we did the tubing this past trip for the second time. LOVE that one.

If you get to the North shore up in Hanalei is the Dolphin restaurant. We ALWAYS eat there the first and last night. It's tradition and you can't break tradition. :)

Keoki's down in Poipu is a must...it's in the Duke's family. Great location/property for either an afternoon cocktail/pupu's or a nice dinner.

The Princeville Hotel is going to reopen as a St. Regis VERY soon and has a great view from the hotel bar of Bali Hai.
 

linus3

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My wife is from Kapaa. All her family is from there. We go about three times a year. Take it from me, I have done it all on that rock. If I was to give advise, I would say a Heli-tour and the Capt. Zodiak "Na Pali" coast tour. You are on a Zodiak boat that is small enough to get into all the volcano vents. Lands on the beach where "six days, seven nights" was filmed. That is my favorite. If money is tight, take the rental car and just explore. I recommend a Jeep. The mustang just cant handle the rocks and mud. HEE HEE. At the airport, by baggage claim, is a stand of maps. grab one. You can not drive all the way around the island. Take a day and go right to the end. Take another day and go Left to the end. The south side is the dry end of the island. Find the "Little Grand Cyn". Very pretty. The north end of the island is the wet side. Alot more things to look at, waterfalls, wet and dry cave, wettest place in the world. The beach at the end of the road is real nice, pack a lunch. The horse tours at this end of the rock is fun also. ride down to a waterfall, swim, lunch, very cool. The other post was right on with the zip line. The inner tube is also very cool, little creepy though......Dukes and Keoki's has good food. For a great burger, ONO BURGERS. Hole in the wall local spot. very friendly staff. All the celeb's go. Tom Hanks was there about an hour before our last visit. It is about three miles north of Kappa, red barn looking building, post office and a little gen. store. Ask around youll find it. PM me if you have any more questions. :D
 

Enen

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Kauai is a great island. It is very mellow, and not much happens after dark. The Napali (I can't spell in Hawaiian) is breathtaking. Aninni Beach is great. That island gets over 400 inches of rain a year. It is beautiful.

If you get the late flight out, be careful, rental cars are due back at 3:00 p.m. It makes for a long stay at the airport if you have a 10:00 flight. :rolleyes:
 

linus3

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Contact Kauai Mtn Tours. They will hook you up with all of the tours. They are rated #1 for safety. Very nice staff, they always throw in extra exploring if time, weather permits.

Also, if you have "Haole Blood" start taking a garlic pill or a B vitamine. The mosquitoes will eat you alive. I take a daily garlic pill about a week before the trip. They hate that smell/ taste in your blood and will leave you alone.

:D
 

Mblaster

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All the above. Drive up the koke canyon to the top then hike around. Skin dive tunnels on the north shore. Zip lines in Princeville Ranch. Sit on the beach in Hanalei Bay and drink beer. Go see the lighthouse. These guys have good rhino tours. www.Kiputours.com
I have family over there and will be heading back next year. Annini beach is cool. Drive all the way to the end and park. Some good skin diving there, you can swim around the point.
Have a great time.:thumbsup:thumbsup
 
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MMD

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Great input - just what I was hoping to get. Thanks much!
 

pixrthis

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Try Redhot Mama's early in your trip, you'll want to go back.
 

Big Warlock

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The tube deal for sure. Drive to the tunnels beach. Awesome diving and snorkeling. You can hike the Napali coast from the end of the highway. Only one highway there. It is my favorite island. Slow but fun. Things to do, but no rush. Napali coast tour is a must. The person calling the zodiac trip is correct. Awesome. They also have the Hawaiian grand canyon worth the drive and much more to see up there. Observatory, etc. etc. Take a rental car as you are in charge of it. Past the Blue Dolphine resaurant is a little place that sells the best damn fish and chips. Has storm shutters. On the right hand side as you come into town. Blue Dolphine should be first and this is a couple blocks down.

Have a great time. Relax and enjoy!!
 

C-2

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In addition to the above…

Start with a good map that lists all beaches.

North Shore is the tropical and wet side – very good chance you will get rained on (which we love).

Hanalei Bay/Valley and the Ching Young village is cool, down the hill from Princeville. Hanalei Bay is a flat beach, Kayaks there, small tour boats, paddle boards.

Ke’e beach at the end of the road on North Shore is one of our favorite beaches. There is an outer reef so it’s safe for the kiddies. You have to catch the sunset there at least once, very popular spot at sunset.

Canon’s is our favorite beach – lots of reefs, few people if you continue west away from the main lifeguard area/Haena state park/beach.

Hidden Beach was a new adventure last time…you gotta find it and hike about ½ mile down, but once you’re there – it’s yours, few people, mostly nekkid. It’s up by Kilauea.

Waimea Canyon and continue up the road to Koke state park/Pacific Missile Range – if you get lucky, you can see the Napali coastline from above it. It fogs/clouds in, but even then, you can still wait for the clouds to break and catch a glimpse a true paradise. The ride up is cool – pine trees and they have these cabins up there that sure look like a blast to rent. Who knew, trout fishing on Kauai.
 

2Driver

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We go quite a bit and just got back from a 10 day trip to Poipu. Get the book Hidden Kauai. Remember with the internet, nothing is secret or hidden anymore and lots has changed on the island from 10 years ago.

If you want the best snorkel trip hands down it's this:
http://www.kauaiseariders.com. You wont find her ad many places but she is a Marine Biologist and takes you outside the reef for some spectacular snorkeling. You spend 90% of the time snorkeling vs others that spend 90% driving in the boat.

Napli coast tours are cool, Take a fast cat as the trip can get old after a while and if you are on a slow boat back it sucks. Snorkeling is short and crowded.

There is Wal-Mart 5 min from the airport. They have the only decent prices. There are plenty of good water sports stuff there too. Boards, snorkel stuff even spear guns.

Get a bucket of fried chicken from the Star grocery store across from Costco. Best in the world.

End of the road parking at the Napli coast trail head and tunnels beach on is freaking packed everyday. If you are going get there by 8:30.

Hike the Napli coast trail even if you only go 2 miles to the next beach. Take bunch of water it gets hot, but the views are really cool.

There is a heli tour that now has permission to land at the Jurassic park movie spot where the water falls is. If you are going once and not going back, spend the $ it's the deal.



Best place to snorkel on your own is Tunnels. There are a few out of the way beaches you have to hoof to but they are worth it when you are the only ones there. Another cool place is the beach road that ends past the Poipu Hyatt. It's about 4 miles past on dirt past the riding stables. . Locals go to fish and camp and you can hike on past that along the sea cliffs. It is really cool

Restaurants we liked:
Keokes
Dukes
Blue Dolphin (out side by the river)
Koloa fish market (take out local Hawaiian)

could write tons. Have fun.

Here's the lady who owns kauai sea riders letting my son drive. Small operator and a personal touch vs the typical tourist tours.
 

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HavasuHank

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kauai is cool. we spent our honeymoon there.

be sure to get the book "kauai revealed"

it'll give you all the info you could need
 

UltraLucky

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Hanalei sunset Pull right up on the beach and enjoy.
 

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TPC

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3 types of Hawaii Hotels:

The Resorts with the Dolphins you can swim with, water slides, lazy rivers etc but ya pay dearly to stay there. Usually triple or more over an average island room rate.
They rape ya not only on the astronomical rates, but the food and the drinks too.

Then there's the resort on the beach with a nice pool, good bars with the tropical drinks mixed in a coconut, or hollowed out pineapple,, or shrunken head with a canoe paddle for a swizzle stick,, you can get some good rates on a nice place if ya sniff around.

Then the off-the-beach hotels that can sometimes be had for really cheap.
A pool, nice quiet rooms, no bar but plenty of local watering holes and family food places.

Always try and book room, flite and car.

Understand from the neighborhood surfers the amt of flites have been reduced drastically and are jammed packed.
 

C-2

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Don't forget to pick up some IZ

[video=youtube;k_YfyKahP-0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_YfyKahP-0[/video]

[video=youtube;0ltAGuuru7Q]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ltAGuuru7Q[/video]

[video=youtube;7cAbHGZ6F8M]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cAbHGZ6F8M[/video]
 

C-2

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Pic 1 is Haena state park/beach, Tunnels would be at the top of the pic to the left; Canon's would be lower in the pic.

Pic 2 is "Secret Beach" from the top (not "hidden beach" as I said earlier).

Pics 3/4 are Ke'E beach at Sunset, with the Napali coast in the background
 

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C-2

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Great pics C-2!!!

Thanks Rob. My inlaws have a place down the road from Hanalei and we try to make it over every year - but no cashflow this time around damnit!

We love it over there :)
 

OnlyMoney

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The tube deal for sure. Drive to the tunnels beach. Awesome diving and snorkeling. You can hike the Napali coast from the end of the highway. Only one highway there. It is my favorite island. Slow but fun. Things to do, but no rush. Napali coast tour is a must. The person calling the zodiac trip is correct. Awesome. They also have the Hawaiian grand canyon worth the drive and much more to see up there. Observatory, etc. etc. Take a rental car as you are in charge of it. Past the Blue Dolphine resaurant is a little place that sells the best damn fish and chips. Has storm shutters. On the right hand side as you come into town. Blue Dolphine should be first and this is a couple blocks down.

Have a great time. Relax and enjoy!!

Is it Kalypso?? :)
 

Big Warlock

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Thanks Rob. My inlaws have a place down the road from Hanalei and we try to make it over every year - but no cashflow this time around damnit!

We love it over there :)

If I had everything I wanted, I would have a place somewhere close to Tunnels Beach. I just love that place. Again, thanks for the pics.
 

TPC

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Or you can find the same thing in Vegas??? :cool:

Hard Rock hotel on a weekday.
$69 rooms, cheap flights if ya book it right,, ohoompah bands and a Beer garden across the street,,, beautiful girls in Bikinis,,,

But,, Hawaii is hard to beat.
 

MMD

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Aloha and mahalo everyone - your suggestions were quite helpful.

We stayed on the South Shore at the Grand Hyatt Resort at Po'ipu Beach.

We rented a car and drove as far as possible in both directions.

We took Captain Andy's 50' sail cat out of Port Allen and motored up past Barking Sands missile base to the Na Pali coast where we did some snorkeling off the boat.

Our daughter got married on Pakala Beach (at the Robinson property).

We drove up 550 (the 550 for those of us in SoCal) into Kokee State Park to capture the views of Waimea Canyon and the ocean past the valleys.

Drove up to the end of the road on the North Shore and spent some time at Haena Beach.

Stopped by at Red Hot Mama's (literally a hole-in-the-wall place). Didn't eat there (we get plenty of Mexican food at home).

Drove out to Kilauea Lighthouse.

We did eat at Keoki's Paradise on Po'ipu Road (best restaurant we went to - great atmosphere! great food, waitstaff and hot rolls, drinks, desert, etc.) a couple of times. Also ate at their sister restaurant Duke's (there are Dukes restaurants in Malibu and Huntington Beach). Went to Brennecke's for lunch (excellent fish and chips). Did dinner at Plantation Gardens (nice place but go to the others instead). Didn't do Roy's. We love Roy's but go here in SoCal (Woodland Hills and Pasadena).

Did the Sunshine Helicopter flight out of Lihue airport - great flight with a terrific pilot.

Next time we'll look into renting a house on the beach and making our own food (local fish) and drinks.

Thanks again for all your suggestions! :thumbsup
 
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