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Archive for the ‘The Island of Kauai’ Category

As I mentioned in my post on the Island of Oahu, we found Oahu to be too busy and noisy for our liking.  So we decided to get away for a day to the Island of Kauai. We booked our inter-island flights  and a rental car from the Waikiki Beach hotel, where we were spending the second week of our wedding trip in 2008.

We got an early flight to Kauai, and a return flight after dark, so that we would have as much time as possible to explore the island. It is only a fifteen or twenty minute flight, so we were there quite early in the day.

When doing our initial research for where to stay during our honeymoon, we had considered staying at Kuhio Shores in Poipu, on the South Coast of Kauai. So after we got our rental car we figured we would head that way to check it out for a future trip.

It didn’t take long to be impressed by Kauai. We realized right away that this island was much more our style. There is a tree tunnel you drive through on the way to Poipu. It was definitely a big change from the concrete surroundings of Honolulu.
Tree tunnel, Kauai
Kuhio Shores was exactly as it appears on their website – right on the ocean with a small beach on either side. Definitely a place I would like to stay, and appeared to be a much better place for us than the busy Waikiki Beach. But we left all our bags at the hotel, so we carried on with our adventure as there was so much more to see.

By this time we were getting hungry, and hoped to find a place to eat breakfast. However unlike most of our trips, we had no plans, and no idea where to find a restaurant. We did know we wanted to check out the Waimea Canyon though, so we headed in that direction.

As we were passing through the small town of Kalaheo, we noticed the very busy Kalaheo Cafe and Coffee Co and decided it looked like a great place for breakfast. We both had their omelette – you can build your own from the list of choices. It was very good. My wife was very happy with the coffee as well. I got the apple juice – it was the best apple juice I have ever drank. Here is what they looked like in April 2008:
Kalaheo Cafe

After breakfast it was on to the Waimea Canyon. The road to the canyon winds back and forth as you go up and away from the ocean. It makes for some great views and we stopped a few times to enjoy it. Once we got to the canyon, we were amazed by the sheer size of it. It is still one of our favorite sights in all of Hawaii.
Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

We wanted to carry on to the second lookout as well, but figured we should carry on with our adventure. You can’t drive all the way around Kauai though, and we wanted to check out the North Coast, so we had to head back the way we came.

We headed back along the highway and ended up at Lydgate Beach Park. It was a nice sandy beach. It didn’t look good for swimming the day we were there though as it was quite rough. I am not sure if that is a normal thing or not, but I found a great website for checking the ocean conditions: http://hawaiibeachsafety.com/kauai

I have also come across another great site with information on the many great beaches and trails: http://www.kauaiexplorer.com/

After we had looked around there for a bit, we headed up the coast some more. As we were driving I noticed a sign for the Kiluea Lighthouse. As I turned in Shauna asked why I would want to go to a lighthouse, and said that we should keep going and never mind stopping. Once we got there however, we were both quite happy we stopped to have a look. This ended up being one of our favorite photos of the entire trip.

Kiluea LighthouseFrom there we continued our trip along the North Coast. We really enjoyed the drive along the north side of the island with the beaches, taro fields, mountains, and so much else to see. This is the wetter side of the island, so it was much greener than the dry south side.
There were so many great sandy beaches throughout Kauai, although I cannot remember the name of this one. I think it might be Anini Beach though, since you can just see the Kiluea Lighthouse in the distance at the top left of the photo.Kauai beach

As we looked at the map the rental car company gave us, we realized we had forgotten to stop at Wailua Falls, which along with the Waimea Canyon was one of the few places on Kauai we knew we wanted to see. So we made our way there next. It was very easy to get to and another place that should not be missed. This photo was taken from the lookout alongside the road:
Wailua Falls

By this time it was getting to be dinner time, so we went to Lihue to try and find something to eat. We drove around for a bit, but did not see anywhere we liked. On our drive through Kapa’a we saw a place called the Wahoo Seafood Grill. So we went back up there to check it out. The food was good, but a bit pricey. We sat out on the balcony area with a coconut grove next door:
Apr 24 2008 0384

By the time we were done dinner it was getting dark. So it was back to the airport and our hotel on Oahu. During the shuttle ride back to the hotel we found that there was some other people who had also taken a similar day trip to Kauai. They were also very happy with their day. We had a good time exchanging stories of where we went and what we saw. It also gave us something to talk about to distract us from the crazy driving the shuttle was doing. (watch out for those guys)

Overall we would recommend a trip to Kauai for anyone looking for a relaxing vacation. It seemed to be very laid back, much more like Maui than the busy island of Oahu. There was a lot to see and a lot to do. And we found ourselves wishing we had chosen Kauai over Oahu as our honeymoon location. We will likely visit Kauai during our next trip to Hawaii – along with Maui of course which is still our favorite.

Recently, we have been looking at potential places to stay during our next trip to Kauai. Kuhio Shores, mentioned above, is still a definite possibility. But now there are at least two other condominium complexes we are looking at: The Sealodge and Pali Ke Kua. They both have a number of websites, so I haven’t included any of their links. However there is a great link on the Kauai Revealed website where you can view aerial photos of any resort on the island, with reviews as well. It is a very good website, and they make really good guidebooks. If you have read my other posts you will know how much I like to recommend them.

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