Unique Places in Kauai

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by kellinwood
  • The original St. Raphael’s Church.
    The original St. Raphael’s Church.
    by Etoile2B
  • The cemetery at St. Raphael’s.
    The cemetery at St. Raphael’s.
    by Etoile2B

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Kauai

  • agapotravel's Profile Photo

    Not for the Faint of Heart...Kalalau Trail

    by agapotravel Written Feb 25, 2007

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    The Kalalau Trail is an 11 mile roundtrip hike on Kauai. We wimped out and only hiked 4 miles to Hanakapiai Beach. It was a bit scary, with narrow paths, drop offs, and wet ground. The views were incredible and well worth it. Make sure you take lots of water!!

    See that drop off?!?!? Hanakapiai Beach Oh, what a view!!
    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Beaches

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    See Nâ Pali Coast By Boat

    by BlueCollar Updated Feb 9, 2007

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    Nâ Pali Coast is one of the most breath-taking sites on Kaua‘i. Whether you hike the Kalalau Trail to be on it, view it from a helicopter tour, or see it from boat, you'll certainly be mesmerized by the dark green, lush, spiring peaks jutting from the deep blue ocean and sprinkled with a few small, isolated, white-sand beaches below them. It seems to be screaming PARADISE at you.

    During our trip in 1997, we rode a hard-hulled, inflatable powerboat operated by Capt. Zodiac to tour this beautiful coast. We had launched from Hanalei in the morning and headed west. The highlight of the trip was when the guide took the boat into one of the seacaves. He had to time the ocean swells and then gunned it. Once inside, it was a huge cavern. On our return to Hanalei, we stopped at Tunnels Beach for some snorkelling.

    Most, if not all, of these tours were halted by the State of Hawai`i. The state was worried about pollution and erosion in Hanalei Bay. The tours then had to operate from a port on the south side of the island and riders had to endure a long trip to this side. All I can say is that you should hope they will resume these smaller tours.

    ***Update Nov. 2003*** It seems that they are back in business. Try these links: Capt. Zodiac or click here for another choice.


    Return to my Kaua‘i page.




    Return to my main Hawai‘i page.

    Boating along the Na Pali Coast
    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Whale Watching

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    Tradewinds Bar & Grill

    by AprilT Written Jan 27, 2007

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    This is located in the Coconut Marketplace in Kapa'a. They serve lunch during the day and it's a fun bar to hang out in at night, and one of the few in the area. There are several hotels around, so it's good entertainment for when everything's closed. There's karaoke, dancing, darts, and very strong Mai Tais :) Even though it's surrounded by hotels, there are a lot of locals that hang out there.

    Mai Tais at the bar Coconut Marketplace

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    Haena Beach Park, Kauai

    by aloha088 Updated Jan 21, 2007

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    the realy cool people live on Kauais north coast. You can camp on Haena Beach Park.
    a cool place to go...
    with great waves... yes, everybody was lol when I flew backwards out of my flip flops spotting the big wave approaching through my camera...

    never forger: HANG LOOSE

    Haena Beach Park, Kauai
    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Beaches

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    Hike on Na'pali Caost, Kauai

    by aloha088 Updated Jan 21, 2007

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    The Na'pali Caost is the beautiful coastline of north/west Kauai. Most part can be reached on hiking trails only, because the currents and waves are too strong for boats, and there is no space for a helicopter to land.
    You hike through green rainforest, with breathtaking views of the coast and the sea - make sure to bring good hiking boots and lots of films :-)

    Na pali Coast, Kauai
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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    Go Nude at Larsen's Beach

    by greentea1962 Written Jan 4, 2007

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    Just north of Kapaa before you get to Kilauea Lighthouse, there is a turnoff for Larsen's beach, which will bring you to a thin strip of sand that is isolated and beautiful. Also, surprise! it attractsenough to nude sunbathers. On the day that I was there, all the nudists were men and most were probably gay so if you're a straight guy like me don't go there to ogle women. But if you're European and tired of wearing those pesky swimsuits on Hawaii's beautiful beaches, this is the place for you!

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Polihale: A Wide Beach at the End of the Road

    by AKtravelers Written Dec 29, 2006

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    Polihale State Park has one of Kaua'i's best beaches and most dramatic locations (at the far western end of the Na Pali cliffs), but you have to do a little work to get there so it's not very populated. First, you have to take route 50 across the southern belly of Kaua'i past all the small towns until it ends just past Barking Sands. Then you have to ride rugged, washboard dirt roads for about 20 minutes (thank god you have a rental car!) until you finally reach a wide parking lot. At that point, jump out of your car and head towards the water. You'll be on one of the widest, vastes, longest stretches of beach in Hawaii, facing due west towards practically nothing. If you're lucky you'll have the beach to yourself, but mostly you'll be far away from everyone. In the distance, you may see people riding dune buggies or (I really saw this) dragging people around on blankets tied to pick-up truck hitches (there's not much nighlife here, after all). We were ableto take 5 whippets to the beach and they had plenty of room to run. And the Na Pali cliffs are beautiful!
    Just give yourselves 45 minutes from Waimea to get there. It doesn't look that far on the map but the dirt road driving is slow.

    Kevin and Carmen enjoy all the sand
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    • Beaches

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  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    A Facinating Russian Fort -- Who Knew?

    by AKtravelers Updated Dec 26, 2006

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    Just outside of Waimea on Kaua'i's south shore are the ruins of an old Russian fort. While this place doesn't attract many tourists and there's not really much to see except lots of lava rocks laid out in a star pattern, the grounds would have a fascinating story to tell if they could only talk.
    In 1810, the king of Kaua'i, Kaumualii, consented to a treaty of fealty with Kamehameha I, technically uniting the Hawaiian Islands for the first time under one ruler. But Kaumualii chafed under this fuedal bond and really longed for de jure independence (though he was practically autonomous anyway). In 1815, a egomaniacal German working for the Russia America company, Georg Shaeffer, landed in Kaua'i and saw a chance to use his ties to the Russian government to and Kaumualii's desires to meet his ambitions of power. The needs of the two men coincided and Shaeffer (without real authority) promised the protection of the Russian Czar in exchange for power and influence. Eventually, Schaeffer was hoping for Russian annexation of Hawaii, which would (he hoped) put him in prime contention for ruling all the islands.
    As part of this scheme, Shaeffer oversaw the construction of a large fort at Waimea Bay, but before he was finished rumors of a Russian-American war started by American traders caused him to flee to Honolulu where he was captured and shipped off to Alaska. The fort remained unfinished behind him, though its still-substantial walls were knocked down in 1864 to prevent further rebellions on Kaua'i. Russia, busy with European affairs andbarely able to hang on to Alaska, never seriously considered conquering Hawaii, despite Shaeffer's schemes.
    Kaumuali was eventually kidnapped by Kamehameha's successor and forced to marry the regent, ending and his chances for a realm of his own.

    Carmen and I check out the Russian ruins
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Art Night in Hanapepe

    by AKtravelers Written Dec 26, 2006

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    Every Friday is Art Night in Hanapepe, the "historic" town on Kaua'i's south shore. Formerly a sugar cane town, Hanapepe has reinvented itself as an artist colony and it seems that over half of the buildings on its small downtown strip are galleries. You can wander the galleries by day but every Friday from 6:00-9:00 p.m. the galleries stay open late so that people who work or tourists who don't want to lose beach time can browse and possibly buy. While some of the work is very expensive, there are other items (like painted coconuts) that are both beautiful and reasonable. But even if you're not planning a purchase, the quiet south shore has very few other diversions for after sundown, so it's worth a stop.

    Historic Hanapepe in the daylight
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Plenty of photo opportunities....

    by GlobalMatt Updated Oct 3, 2006

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    I thought this was a great shot. I was driving to Princeville from Lihue when I saw this on the southeast coast. This is the steep coastline leading to Kilauea Lighthouse in the background. Unfortuneately, I couldn't get any closer in 2001. But, the shot turned out really nice. Check my other pages for more in depth info & photos of Kilauea Lighthouse & bird sanctuary from my 2006 trip.

    Kaua'i coastline
    Related to:
    • Beaches

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    Get a great view of the "Forbidden Isle"

    by GlobalMatt Written Oct 3, 2006

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    Here's a fantastic view from one of the newer lookout points in Waimea Canyon. This is a shot of Ni'ihau, also known as the "Forbidden Isle." You must be of 100% Hawaiian origin to live here. The other island on the right is Lahua. This was shot from about 3000 feet in elevation near sunset. What a view!!!

    Ni'ihau on the left and Lahua on the right - 2006 Beauty in front of beauty - 2006
    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • National/State Park

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    Driving off the beaten path is well worth it

    by GlobalMatt Written Sep 29, 2006

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    After visiting Opaeka'a Falls, we decided to drive along this road north of the falls. It was beautiful with many displays of tree canopies shading the road. These types of drives are typical throughout the island. We actually passed a couple of housing areas that had to be for the multi-gazillionaire. The location was like heaven.

    Driving along 580 W/SW of Kapa'a past waterfall
    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Adventure Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • Best Shave Ice!

    by alohalewi Written Jun 9, 2006

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    In a word:

    JoJo's.

    This shave ice is out of this World good! They have so many flavors to choose from & one can get some macadamia ice cream on the bottom of the shave ice if one so desires.....(I recommend you desire!)

    Don't miss JoJo's.
    It's in Waimea.
    And--don't be in a hurry.
    :)

    Aloha!
    Leslie

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  • keida84's Profile Photo

    Hawai'ian Salt Pads

    by keida84 Written Jun 7, 2006

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    For many many years the Hawai'ians have used Pa 'akai (salt from the seas) to flavor their foods. Today the tradition of salt drying is handed down through the Kau'ai generations. The art is slowly dying out but there are still some who cultivate this savory seasoning and make it available for purchase in the local markets. The Sea Salt is produced from the Hawaiian waters. A natural mineral called "Alaea" (a red clay from Kauai rich in iron oxide) is added to the salt to add beneficial trace elements to the product. This natural additive is what gives the salt it's distinctive pink hue.

    Many locals Hawai'ians like to say, "it 'broke da mouf" translated to mean the taste is truly "ono" or delicious!

    When in Kaua'i you can visit these salt farms up on the Western shores of the islands, but take heed not to step in or disturb any of the pans that are drying out, in other words "look but don't touch!"

    Waimea Canyon
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Family Travel

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  • keida84's Profile Photo

    The oldest Catholic Church

    by keida84 Updated Jun 5, 2006

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    If you take a little drive down a dirt road about a mile from Koloa Towns shoppng center, you will come upon a quaint whitewashed church. This small structure is St Rafael's Catholic church, the oldest catholic church on the island. Father Arsenius RoberT Walsh named the church in honor of the Archangel, Raphael.

    Though the first mass was said on consecrated grounds on Christmas Day 1841, the main sanctuary was not built until 1856 and renovated in 1936. This very plain style of architecture is seen in many churches settled throughout the Hawai'ian Island chain during that period of time when many missionaries came to the islands to bring the "word of God" to the islanders.

    The main sanctuary A sign at the crossroad
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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Kauai Hotels

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Kauai Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Kauai off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Kauai sightseeing.
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