"Queen's Bath" ~ Nature's Own Pool
The Queen's Bath is located on the North Shore in the Princeville area. It is abslolutely beautiful. This is our favorite place to watch the Sunset's in Kauai. In the summer months we enjoy snorkeling in the Queen's Bath, which is a nature formed lava enclosed swimming hole that is fed from the ocean. In the winter though, this can be very dangerous! I would not attempt it in those rough waters! In fact, view from a distance during the winter, and do not get close to the ledges! It is a nice little hike down to the Queen's bath, can be slippery if it has rained, so be careful. From the Queen's Bath you can also see Bali Hai. Very beautiful!
These valls are really beautiful. If you get to view them after a rainy time period, but after the red mud run off, they are absolutely gorgeous! Around 10:00am to 10:30 am is the best time. Well worth the visit! For those that love to hike and can stand a strengent hike, you can hike to the bottom of them.
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No trip to the island of Kauai would be complete without a visit to the Waimea Canyon. In the 19th century Mark Twain called it the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." The reddish soil and lawers of the canyon are indeed reminiscent of the grander canyon in Arizona. Although much smaller, Waimea is still large enough to be a spectacular gorge, 10 miles long, 1 mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep.
As you drive up the up the Waimea Canyon Road yuou will pass several great vantage points from which to view the canyon. The most popular one, the Waimea Canyon Lookout, is just past the 10 mile marker. On a clear day the view across the canyon to Waipo'o falls is breathtaking. At the lookout you will find a large parking area and restrooms. On the day we were there vendors were also present offering refreshment, and we took advantage of the opportunity by adding some fresh pineapple to the picnic lunch we were carrying. Restrooms and splendid view are also available just three miles further up at the Pu'u Ka Pele Lookout. The Moa, or wild game chicken, was especially prevalent in the parking area of this lookout. Watch for baby chicks and try not to run over them.Related to:
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
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Guava Kai Plantation
Karen and I got a kick out of visiting this intriguing plantation known as the "Guava Capital of the World." It is the largest guava plantation in the United States, but then they don't grow much of this tropical fruit in North Dakota, or anywhere else on the mainland for that matter. Depending on the time of your visit you may watch grava being harvested, processed and made into james and jellies. Any time you come you will be able to get a free sample of guava juice and you may also purchase other tasty guava products and souvenirs. We bought a few jars of jam for gifts to take home to friends and family.
Guava, which originated in South America, was first brought to Hawaii in 1791 by the Spanish adventurer Don Francisco de Paula Marin. The conditions in Hawaii proved ideal for the tropical fruit and the grava quickly became the most common wild fruit in Hawaii. Here at they plantation they grow Beaumont guava, a superior hybrid. The beautiful pink of the juice is natural - no color added- and I love the unique tropical taste.Related to:
- Farm Stay
Wet Cave - aka Blue Room 1st of 2 wet caves
There are two caves on the north shore of Kauai that are filled with water. The one pictured is right on the road and the water is so blue. The Hawaiian name for this cave is Waikanaloa. Hawaiian legend says that Pele (goddess of the volcano) built this cave for her lover, but when they filled with water she abandoned them.
The caves are fed by fresh springs seeping throught the lava and is cold. When we were at the lower cave explorers were on their way to the upperc cave with swimsuits and snorkle gear, it is supposed to pretty awesome to see. We chickened out.
I must point out that swimming is not allowed here due to possible leptospirosis, a nasty bacteria often found in Hawaii's freshwater and may be present here.
Pali Ke Kua Beach (Hideaways)
This is a great beach for snorkeling! You will even occasionally see a sea turtles here, but please don't upset them. The path to this gem is a little hard to negotiate at times, especailly if it has been raining and it is muddy. Don't go here during really high surf.
Fern Grotto Cruise
This Hawaiian adventure begins with choosing a tour company. You'll find many choices, we chose Waialeale Boat Tours, Inc. It was one of the smaller, older boats cruising to the Grotto and also less crowded. We wanted to have plenty of space and enjoy our trip not spend time jockeying for a position on the boat.
This little adventure takes you up the Wailua River where you'll meet a lava rock grotto covered with tropical ferns. Along the way, you will be serenaded, with Hawaiin music and authentic Hula. We received historical facts and legends along the way as well.
The trip along the Wailua River takes 40 minutes to the grotto. Once you arrive, you are led through tropical gasslands, you will also notice beautiful and friendly birds and peacocks. (See my travelogues) Lots of photo ops along the way to the Grotto, however, stay with your tour group, you wouldn't want to get lost here!
At the Grotto, you will again be serenaded by Hawaiian musicians playing traditional local songs. The singing is fantastic and it really gives you goose bumps as you are sitting in the amphitheatre, overlooking the Fern Grotto. It is truly a nice adventure.
I would recommend Waialeale Boat Tours, Inc. (red boat) Tours are exactly 1 1/2 hours long. They leave every half hour, starting at 9:00am to 3:30pm.
Tip: Leave enough time for this activity - allow for alittle more time that 1 1/2 because once they load up the boats and then leave and then get to the grotto, each tour boat waits its turn at the dock before unloading, as a courtesy. It doesn't add too much time maybe 15 minutes or so. Then your little show, some pictures and back on the boat for another 40 minutes of Hawaiian melodies and beautiful scenery!!Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Sailing and Boating
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Kauai Coffee Plantation
Although it is a relatively new enterprise, the Kauai Coffee Company is the state's largest coffee estate at 3,400 acres, Sugar cane grew in these fields for more than a century, however Hawaii's first commercial coffee plantation was established near the same site about 150 years ago. I have never personally liked the taste of coffee, but Karen drinks a cup occasionally, and both of us enjoyed our visit to the plantation.
There is a visitors center where you can watch a film on coffee production, and also a small museum with interesting exhibits and a collection of coffee mills, tins, and other coffee paraphenalia. It was an educational experience. Did you know that it takes 4,000 coffee beans to make just one pound of coffee? Coffee tastings are free, and there is a gift shop and snack bar for those who want more than just a taste.
The visitor center is open daily from 9-5. There is no admission charge.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Farm Stay
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If the falls in this photo looks familiar it may be because it was used in the opening shot for the Television series Fantasy Island. Of the many spectacular waterfalls on the island of Kauai, this is one of the easiest to access. You can just drive up and take a look. The falls makes a dizzying leap from a rock ledge into a deep pool. I have read in one source that the falls is 80-feet, and in another that it is 173-feet. To me it seemed to be closer to the higher figure. Parking at the overlook is limited to just a wide place at the terminus of a dead-end road. A sign warns against hiking down to the base of the falls, but we could look down and see a couple who had ignored the warning, playing at the water's edge. Our daughter and her husband went down to the base of the falls when they were here on their honeymoon. They said the trail was muddy, steep and difficult.
In ancient times Hawaiian warriors would jump off the top of the falls to prove their manhood. Some didn't survive the test. A few testosterone-driven young men have also made the jump in more recent times. Those who lived to tell the tale only proved that they were idiots.Related to:
Wet Cave - aka Blue Room 2nd of 2 wet caves
The second wet cave, known by two names Upper Blue Room or Waikapalae Wet Cave. Apparently there is a small opening above the cave that lets the sunlight in and reflects on the water. The water is supposed to be very deep and the swimmers must tread water the whole time.
I only know this through guide books because we chickened out or forgot our reef shoes, which ever story you want to believe. Since I never actually saw the cave the picture here is from www.hawaiiweb.com.
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Helicopter Tour of Kauai
On our first morning in Kauai the weather was perfect so we took a 45 minute helicopter tour of the island. Much of the interior is very rugged, roadless and unhabited. This virtually inaccessible terrain also happens to contain some of the most spectacular scenery on earth, and the only practical way to see it is by helicopter. Several companies offer tours. We opted to go with Heli USA Airways out of the small but historic Princeville Airport.
Our knowledgeable pilot, who had been trained by the U.S. military, took us on one of the great rides of our lives. We climbed up the Hanalei Valley and escaped into a world of lush tropical rain forests, jagged mountains, sea cliffs and craters. We soared up the shear slopes of Mt. Wai'ale'ale, a dormant Volcano which just happens to be the wettest spot on earth.It would not be an exaggeration to say that the number of waterfalls we saw pouring off the mountainside were "countless." We entered the crater of the dormant volcano, then climbed upward and onward to Manawaiapuna Falls, seen in the movie "Jurassic Park." Next we dipped into awesome gorge of Waimea Canyon, the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," before soaring over the Alkalai Swamp and to the 4,000-foot cliffs of the Na Pali Coast. We entered the remote Kalalau Valley and saw the remains of home sites of ancient Hawaiian civilizations, then crossed over Bali Hai, made famous in the musical "South Pacific."
On the home stretch of our tour we saw the tallest waterfall on the island, plunging 3,400-feet, over 26 cascades. We then looked down on Hanalie Bay, of which Peter, Paul and Mary sang in their 1960s hit, "Puff the Magic Dragon." It was a great overview of the island, and left us eager to get out and explore on our own, returning to those areas which were accessible either by automobile or by hiking trail.
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Old Town of Koloa and Poipu
The day we drove to the south of Kauai we passed through a Tunnel of Trees. From Lihue we took Kaumuli’i Highway(hw 50) and then turned left on highway 520(maluhia road) which is actually a highway covered with trees from both sides (pic 1). The double row of eucalyptus trees were planted by Alexander McBryde in 1911 and they cover about 1,5km along the road! It was great to see from helicopter too but I missed the photo from up there.
This road leads to Koloa (tall sugar cane) town, which had one of the first sugar plantations in the island, founded in 1835 and shut down only a few years before, in 1996. At Koloa’s main intersection is a brick chimney (pic 2), we parked to check it and read the sign that says that it is the Old Koloa Sugar Mill, a national historic landmark. It was built in 1841 and it was the the plantation’s third sugar mill. There is a monument (pic 3) in front of the park where the mill is. The bronze sculpture shows the life of the workers, from many different races that were there (japanase, filipinos, latins etc). Koloa town has not much for the visitor although its tourist oriented with several souvenir shores. The main road looks like it comes from the Old West with the wooden buildings and their falsefronts!
From Koloa you can continue south to Poipu, which is the main base for the majority of the visitors in Kauai. Here, we saw more hotels than anywhere else in the island. Buildings like the ones of Marriott or Sheraton hotels aren’t my piece of cake but there are some nice beaches like the ones at Mahaulepu coastline (you have to take the dirt road after Hyatt Regency). Further west at Lawai Road you can visit the Prince Kuhio Park where a moinument of Prince Kuhio stands or see the Spouting Horn blowhole, where the waves surge under a flat lava shelf though a lava tube, they can go up to 10meters but we didnt see them that high (they say during summer is more impressive.Related to:
- Historical Travel
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Ha’ena beach and some dry and wet Caves
As you keep driving up north the 560 highway you will notice many locals relaxing at the noumerous big or small beaches along the way. We prefered to stop at Ha’ena Beach Park(pics 1-2) that has many facilities like bathroooms, picnic tables, huge parking area etc We enjoyed some shaved ice from the lunch wagon(pic 3) that also serves beverages, chips and sandwiches. Some prices are: one flavor shaved ice costs $3, 2 flavors $3.50), sandwiches ($4.50-7), water ($1.5), coconut juices ($5). For us it was more interesting to taste the banana bread of the lady near by. For $5 it was one of best I ever tried. I regret we didnt buy more.
Of course the reason we came up here was the Dry Cave that is located opposite the beach. It is called Manihiholo (the head fisherman of Menehune people) cave with a wide entrance (pic 4) but nothing really interesting to see here. Less than a mile north are located the two wet caves, Waikapala’e and Waikanaloa. We found them very dark and the water cold, very cold...
In case you dont have a map with you have in mind that you are just a few meters away from the end of the road! :)Related to:
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Since 1913 this beautiful 52-foot-tall lighthouse has stood as a sentinel, perched on a high bluff at Kauai's rugged Kileuea Point, which is the northernmost point of the main Hawaiian Islands. The light once had the largest clamshell lens in existence, until it was replaced by a beacon in the mid 1970s.
It will cost you $3.00 to visit the lighthouse, although it may be seen an photographed from a nearby vantage point for free. There is a very small museum and a visitor center near the light, and the magnificent views are well worth the nominal admission charge.
Monday - Friday: 10 am - 4 pm
Closed Saturday, Sunday and Federal HolidaysRelated to:
- Historical Travel
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This was quite the adventure on Kauai. We kayaked (for the first time) on the Wailua River. Then we hiked for several miles to Secret Falls. It was fun, but we were exhausted by the time we were finished. We wore water shoes because we knew that we would be walking through streams. Water shoes are super slippery on rocks when they are wet......Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
2373 Ho'ohu Rd, Poipu, Hawaii, 96756, United States
Good for: Business
5300 Ka Haku Rd, Suite C, Princeville, Hawaii, 96722, United States
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
It was a great place, good location. However, Kauai Coast Resort business practice is desired to be...more
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