Most bed & breakfast places. ...
Most bed & breakfast places. Also, if you like hiking, go up to Kokee and rent a cabin at the State Park. Very inexpensive and they have fireplaces and very quiet surroundings. It's to get away from it all. Rustic, comfortable, serenely quiet.,
View Napali below your feet...
Hike the Nualolo and Awapuhi Trails, part of the Kokee State Park on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. I hiked the Awapuhi trail with my daughter Lauren before she deployed to Iraq in April 2007. June of 2008 my girlfirend Sue, and I hiked the Nualolo and Awapuhi Trails. Two days before we paddled the Napali coast by kayak. So it was very satisfying for us to hike a trail, thousands of feet above the coastal route we just navigated. Please see my tip on paddling Napali coast. The trail is in very good condition. We parked our rental car and started at the end of Awapuhi about 10 AM and walked to the trailhead of Nualolo along the park road. Start early to avoid cars on the road to Kalalau Valley Lookout. The views are magnificent from various vista points along Nualolo and Awapuhi. Allow yourself plenty of time to explore, view Napali, and to see this beautiful island landscape. Napali is the result of millions of years of wind and rain erosion, tsunami, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Maui: Road to Hana
The Road to Hana was one of those things I wasn't too keen on doing. Sounded like a lot of sitting in the car and not doing much. Well, I'm here to say, I was 100% wrong! Armed with a Lonely Planet guide book and a visitors' guide, we stopped at lots of points of interest and even got some hiking in. Highlights were the Keanae Arboretum, which was a nice stroll with some lovely plantings of trees and flowers; Kokee Beach and a swim in the Blue Pool, which is an absolute must-do in my opinion. The Blue Pool is on private land and is considered sacred by Hawaiians, but access is allowed as long as you treat the land with respect. Parking costs a nominal fee as well. Note, we found the closest parking was actually the cheapest.
We started out early (for us) at around 9:30 AM from Kihei on the northern route and made it to Hana probably at around 4:00-4:30. Once at Hana, there wasn't actually much to see or do and it was getting late anyway. So we grabbed some burgers at the only restaurant we could find with cheap eats and then headed back. We'd heard dire warnings about taking the southern route back but we decided to chance it. The road was a little scary in spots with hairpin turns and a few rough spots on the narrow, dirt road, but having grown up in the sticks, I've spent some time on scary dirt roads before and it didn't faze me all that much. It was totally worth it and I only wish we'd been a little earlier since we didn't have much daylight left for the ride back and it was even prettier than the ride out. After a while the road became paved and wider and it was dark so we pretty much hi-tailed it back to Kihei and got in at around 9:30 PM.
J_lynch's new Hawaii Page
Hawaii was a great vacation. It's not just a honeymoon/couple's place like I originally assumed. I had a great time on my own and visited Oahu, Kawai, and the Big Island. I skipped Maui because of the honeymoon/commercial aspect. However, Kawai was a fantastic place. It has a dry canyon like a smaller Grand Canyon, and just ten miles away, is the wettest place on Earth! I stayed in Kokee national park which has awesome views over the Nepali Cliffs. Some of the snorkeling spost had water so clear, I felt like I was flying. It's unbelieveable how the most ordinary beach has thousands of colorful fish right below the surface.
This picture is of me at the southern most point in the USA on the Big Island
Kauai - "The Garden Isle"
Kauai is known as The Garden Isle... and a garden it is! Pink sand beaches and tropical rain forests are the backdrop for a "postcard perfect" tropical escape. Kauai's splendor has been the setting for Hollywood productions such as South Pacific, Jurrasic Park, and Fantasy Island.
Kauai lies 100 miles northwest of Oahu, and is not only the most northern island, but also the oldest. Kauai is the greenest and most scenic of the islands.
"Kauai's North Shore"
The Princeville area is the most tropical and scenic area of Kauai. It offers beautiful beaches, fantastic golf courses, lush countryside and the spectacular Princeville Hotel.
Here I am outside the Princeville hotel. This is a lovely spot to watch the sunset or to just enjoy the beautiful grounds of the hotel.
The lobby area of the Princeville hotel is beautiful and well worth seeing. You can sit and relax in a lovely setting or play chess on one of the chess boards provided. My boys love chess so they played a game while Chuck and I had a drink in the bar.
Try to catch one of the free hula shows. The one we saw was excellent.
"Kee Beach - Kauai's North Shore"
This beach is located at the foot of the Kalalau Trail to the Na Pali Coast, and the views are spectacular. I think that this is the nicest beach in the Princeville area.
During the summertime, when there are no ocean swells, the reef-enclosed waters offer fantastic swimming and snorkeling. Like Hanauma Bay on Ohau this is a great place for beginners to learn to snorkel. We saw huge sea turtles and lots of brightly colored fish. The pictures in the Underwater shots earlier in this travelogue were taken here.
While this is a great place to swim in the summer months it is necessary to stay out of the water during the winter. The whole north shore of Kuaui has storms and rough surf during the winter months.
There are restrooms and parking.
"Maninihole Dry Cave"
Huge cave near Kee Beach.
The short lighthouse was built near the beginning of the century, but in the 1970's it had to be shut down and a new light beacon was built. Soon after, the Department of the Interior acquired the land for use as a national wildlife refuge. Many sea birds, including Laysan albatross, boobies, and shearwaters nest on or above the cliffs near the lighthouse.
Lihue is the county seat and location of the Kauai Airport. Total area is 549 sq. miles - 33 miles long and 25 miles wide with 90 miles of coastline. Population is almost 51,000 residents and the highest point is Kawaikiki Peak at 5,243 ft above sea level.
Driving Times from Lihue:
Kalalau Valley Lookout - 1 hour 40 minutes
Kilauea - 45 minutes
Kokee - 90 minutes
Koloa / Poipu - 30 minutes
Princeville / Hanalei - 60 minutes
Waimea Canyon - 75 minutes
Snorkeling is fabulous on all of the Hawaiian Islands. On Kauai we found the best snorkeling in the Princeville area. The snorkeling was easy and beautiful tropical fish could be viewed in gentle, shallow water. We even saw huge sea turtles close enough to touch.
Take a Helicopter Ride for an adventure of a lifetime. From the air you get a close up view of specatacular waterfalls, lush tropical terrain and canyons and beautiful beaches. Most of these would be impossible to see in any other way.
Mark Twain called Waimea Canyon "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific". This is a very beautiful place and not to be missed on a visit to Kauai.
Wailua Falls, is one of the many waterfalls on the island.. This beautiful location was regularly featured in the late 1970 TV series “Fantasy Island.”
Take a riverboat journey to see the famous Fern Grotto! Tucked away in this tropical paradise is a natural amphitheater that provides excellent acoustics, famous for the site where the Hawaiian wedding song was sung by Elvis Presley in the movie, Blue Hawaii.