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READ ARTICLES – Kauai Adventure & Romance Magazine Contents
ACTIVITIES ARTICLES – Air
A Waterfall Landing Adventure (new article)
Only Island Helicopters offers you an exclusive tour to one of the most famous waterfalls in Hawaii and taking a helicopter there can be one of the top-10 bucket list items and an experience of a lifetime. Whether you’re a first-time passenger or a helicopter-enthusiast, there’s no better place to enjoy this type of exhilarating ride than Kauai. Over 80% of the island’s diverse terrain inaccessible by car, so much of the magnificent island can only be viewed from the air. A tour by helicopter is the best way to see the island’s spectacular waterfalls, canyons, mountains, valleys, rainforests and secluded beaches. With over 36 years in the tourism industry on the Garden Island, Island Helicopters Kauai offers unique tours around this tropical paradise; including one of the most elite tours in the State, the Jurassic Falls Landing Adventure. Leaving from the Lihue Airport 7 days a week, their Kauai Grand Deluxe Tour gives passengers a bird’s-eye-view of sites like the Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), the magical Nā Pali Coast, numerous waterfalls, and Mt. Waialeale Crater (the wettest spot on earth). For customers on Island Helicopters’ Jurassic Falls Landing Adventure, the tour also includes a 25-minute stop and short hike to Hawaii’s most famous waterfall, Manawaiopuna Falls. Island Helicopters Kauai is family owned and operated, specializing in providing personalized tours for independent travelers, families and groups of all sizes. Their highly skilled professional pilots have numerous years and thousands of hours of flight experience, as well as perfect safety records. They are FAA Part 135 Certified, which allows for lower and closer flight-seeing, and each helicopter is equipped with ceiling to floor glass windows that provide optimum viewing for all passengers, in a safe, and climate controlled environment. Jurassic Falls Landing Adventure is a permitted tour and only available with Island Helicopters. Some restrictions do apply and advance reservations are required for all tours. For more information on Kauai helicopter tours, call 808-245-8588 for personalized assistance.
God’s Eye View The Beauty Of Kauai From Above (new article)
There’s no better way to see The Garden Island of Kauai than aboard a high-tech helicopter. Nothing prepares you for the life changing experience of seeing the island’s lush green, remote interior and its incredible natural wonders. A majority of Kauai’s inland wilderness areas are only accessible by air, yet it’s a quick flight past the populated coastal areas to view these breathtaking sights. The Alaka’i Swamp, located at 5,000 plus feet, is one of the wettest places on the planet, with an average rainfall of 450-500 inches per year. Rain spills down
Mount Wai’ale’ale, the highest point on Kauai into the valley base known as the Blue Hole. Weather permitting, most flights will take you into the Blue Hole. Once inside, you will be treated to a nearly 360° view of the thousand-foot cascading waterfalls that descend from the mist-shrouded Alakai swamp. Due west of Mount Wai’ale’ale you’ll fly over the multi-colored Waimea Canyon that Mark Twain dubbed “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” You’ll witness more secluded waterfalls, ocean vistas, and the stunning, serrated ridges of the famous Na Pali coast.
Headphones silence aircraft noise while you listen to mesmerizing music, creating an otherworldly, almost spiritual experience. Your pilot will share the history and legends of Kauai’s incredible geology and history. Some helicopter companies allow for two-way communication with the pilot. Most helicopter companies operate out of Lihue Airport. Please let our advertisers know you saw them in Kauai Adventure and Romance magazine. Mahalo and enjoy your flight.
For reservations with Kauai’s finest helicopter companies please call:
Island Helicopters: (808) 245-8588
Jack Harter Helicopters: (808) 245-3774
Safari Helicopters: (808) 246-0136
Helicopter Land at a Secluded Botanical Preserve (new article)
Safari Helicopters offers a truly unique tour and landing at The Kauai Wildlife Refuge, which is located within the Robinson Ranch owned by Keith Robinson. Mr. Robinson is dedicated to the preservation of native Hawaiian plants endemic to the Islands. This remote inland site overlooks the Olokele Canyon, owned by the Robinson Family and is totally inaccessible to the general public. On this exciting tour you will view the vastness of this particular canyon and the beauty of possible rainbows and spectacular waterfalls. The canyon is on the East Fork of the Waimea Canyon and extends from Waimea to the west side of Mt. Waialeale Crater in the center of Kauai. There are no public roads or overlooks by land to view this remote site and a number of films were shot at this location including a scene from Jurassic Park. This Deluxe Waterfall Safari tour allows for an additional approx. 40-minute stop over at the Refuge. Your pilot will inform you on the Robinson Family history and future plans for a wildlife and native Hawaiian plants preserve. Mr. Keith Robinson may be available on site to discuss his botanical plans. Part of the tour proceeds go to the preservations of Kauai Wildlife Refuge. These tours are available Monday thru Friday and occasional on Saturday. For reservation call: (808) 246-0136
ACTIVITIES ARTICLES – Water
Beautiful Kona and Keauhou Boat Trips (new article)
Whether you are an avid kayaker or have never been in one, there are expert guided tours that will fit your needs and desires.
Kayaking on Kauai’s Incredible Rivers
Kauai boasts some long and exceptionally scenic rivers that are easily accessible for a kayak adventure. Whether you are an avid kayaker or have never been in one, there are expert guided tours that will fit your needs and desires. Kayaking will allow you to take a loved one on a double-kayak paddle up a flowing river. It’s also safe and fun for the entire family and a kayak adventure might include a jungle hike to a gushing waterfall, river, or beach-side picnic area. Guided river tours are the best way to go and can be very fulfilling, as your guides will inform you of all the history and ecological significance of the island’s flora and fauna. They will also be careful to instruct you about the best way to have fun and be safe. Single kayaks are also available for a solo nature photography session. The four uniquely different rivers listed below offer everything you’d expect on Tropical River outing from the Southeast to the North Shore of the island. Regardless of which river you chose, a kayak adventure will bring you into the heart of Kauai wilderness areas. Don’t forget the mosquito repellent and avoid all rivers and streams during times of heavy rains.
Wailua River-Valley of the Kings
Kauai’s Wailua River, is the only place for freshwater waterskiing in the state of Hawaii. The river line is dotted with the ruins of several Hawaiian heiaus (sacred sites). The river is flat and warm except when it floods. The river meanders from Mt.Wai’ale’ale and is fed by several tributaries. Professional water-skiers and wake boarders take advantage of the near perfect conditions and tournaments are held there. Wailua State Park is adjacent to the river and after a paddle you can enjoy hiking to Uluwehi Sacred Falls in the midst of a rain forest. This river is popular for many recreational activities. Visitors and locals use it as regular freshwater retreat. Large stones with ancient petroglyphs are located at the mouth of the river and may be viewed when water level allows. The right side heading upriver is designated for kayakers. Those wishing to go to the Falls can take the right fork in the river, which is about a 25-minute paddle from the launch area. Just before the hike you’ll paddle to a shallow, rocky area and beach your kayak there. It is about a 30 minute hike on the left side of the river trail.
The Falls are tall and narrow with a deep pool at the bottom and rocks to rest on nearby. This is a very scenic and romantic spot to enjoy lunch or snap some photos. The Fern Grotto (where Elvis was filmed in Blue Hawaii) is further up the main river, but is not open to kayakers. You may get to this natural wonder by booking a ride with Smith’s Fern Grotto Tours. Just past the Fern Grotto is an excellent pool for jumping and swimming in. Most tours launch from the Wailua Park near the junction of Highway 56 and 580. There are two landings areas just inland from the river mouth. They include picnic tables and bathrooms. Further upriver is Kamokila Hawaiian Village (across the road from Opaeka’a Falls), which offers kayak tours and a tour of their ancient village. You can easily spend a full day in the Wailua River area kayaking and having fun. For Wailua River Kayak Tour reservations call the following numbers and please mention Kauai Adventures & Romance Magazine.
Dukes Kayak Adventures (808) 639-2834
Kayak Wailua Tours (808) 822-3388
Outfitters Kauai (808) 742-9667
Princeville Ranch Adventures (808) 826-7669
Wailua Kayak Adventures (808) 639-6332
Wailua Kayak & Canoe (808) 821-1188
Wailua River Guides (808) 821-2800
Kamokila Hawaiian Village (808) 823-0559
Scuba Dive into Adventure (new article)
Scuba dive into the deep, warm, clear and pristine waters of Kauai and you’ll enter a fascinating world of colorful fish, reefs, marine life and geological formations. Below there are ancient lava tubes formations and you may catch a glimpse of Hawaiian green sea turtles, or have a personal encounter with an endangered Hawaiian monk seal! Popular dive spots include Sheraton Caverns in Poipu, known for its sea life-laden ledges starting at 30ft and going as deep as 60ft a lava tube, lots of large Hawaiian sea turtles and tropical fish. When the winds are slack, it’s Black Mountain, off Kipu Kai. Aquariums is located near Nawiliwili and has huge boulders that house lobsters and octopus. Brennecke’s Ledge has two large caves with rare black coral and a plethora of fish. Summer is the only season for north shore dive sites. Wherever you, be aware of powerful ocean currents. Always dive with a buddy and study the conditions before going in. If it doesn’t look safe, don’t enter.
Seasport Divers (located on the south and east sides), owner is Marvin Otsuji, who will help to see the underwater wonders he has enjoyed since 1975. Marvin was born on Molokai, Kauai his home and enjoys training and sharing his passion for the ocean with thousands of visitors and locals alike. He is strong and active in the community and has served on several Hawaiian councils, including windsurfing, outrigger paddling, scuba, surfing, tennis, golf, and ocean mooring buoys. Whether you are an avid scuba diver or just a beginner thinking of getting certified, you should check out Seasport Divers, Kauai’s premier PADI 5 Star IDC Training Center. Seasport Divers offers an array of diving programs from the beginning Discover Scuba to the world class waters off of the forbidden island of Niihau. They have been featured in Scuba Diving, Scuba Diver and Dive Training magazines and have been in operation since 1985. The PADI 5 Star IDC Training Centers offers snorkeling, boogie boards, dive equipment, lessons, and tours. There are no better equipped boats than the Pro 48 ft. Anela Kai (Sea Angel), or the custom built 34 ft. catamaran the Anuhea (gentle breeze). Both boats have freshwater showers, swim steps, spacious marine heads, and boarding ladders. Daily diving tours range from Kauai’s south shore to the seasonal forbidden island of Niihau. Diving tours are customized for any ability. For the seasoned diving enthusiast, 3 tank, twilight, night and whale watching tours have been added for the winter and spring. New equipment is available for rentals and tours featuring Scuba Pro, Aqua Lung, Oceanic, and Sherwood. All tours are videotaped or photographed and are available on request after the tour. Custom or private charters are also featured and are a must for families or large groups. The signature yellow submarines clearly mark the shop locations. For more information, call (808) 742-9303 or (808) 823-9222.
Surfing and Wind Directions (new article)
On Kauai, dialing in the wave and wind conditions is important to finding good waves to surf. The most consistent and large swells hit in the winter season (October-April), when storms are generated in the north and west Pacific. Be forewarned though. Big waves here are powerful and can be dangerous for surfers and beachgoers. The predominate wind direction is east/northeast. In the winter, the tradewinds die-off and can be replaced by cool north winds, warm south/west, variable or no winds. For surf and weather forecast go to NOAA.com/hawaii. NOAA can help you plan which shore is the best for surfing, with what type of wind condition. For example — in winter, the West Side can’t handle strong trade winds, but with light, variable, or north winds it can be good if there is a decent north or west swell. With west and south winds, parts of the north shore and north east side can be good and with trade winds the north shore surf is ideal. Tradewinds are most prevalent in the summer season from May-September. In the summer season, Kauai gets infrequent hurricane swells from the east and south, but mostly the island experiences ground swells from the south/southwest or east. The summer waves are typically smaller than winter waves as they travel farther from their storm sources in the South Pacific. On Kauai, finding good surf depends on the swell and wind direction. Use good judgment, be safe, and have fun.
For Surf lessons call:
Hoku Water Sports at (808) 639-9333
Nukumoi Surf (808) 742-8019
Waterski and Wakeboard On Wailua River (new article)
Experience the thrill and glassy conditions of the fresh water Wailua River while being pulled by a top-of-the-line Malibu ski boat. The Wailua river mouth area is a quarter mile wide, is the only navigable river in the State and draws professional skiers from around the world. The ski route is approximately two miles long up-river, surrounded by lush vegetation and beautiful landscape. The guests can choose from an exciting hydro-foil, inner tube, kneeboard, wakeboard, wake skateboard and of course top-of-the-line single and double water-skis. It’s a scenic river trip and great for friends and family, even if they just want to have smooth and comfortable boat ride. The boat can hold up to 5 people and the rates are based on hourly rides for the entire boat, not by person. All boat guests can try any water activity they offer onboard at no extra charge. They even offer rates, if you want to stay out longer than an hour. Call Kauai Waterski & Wakeboard; (808) 822-3574, who also gives lessons through beginners and experts
ACTIVITIES ARTICLES – Land
A Golfer’s Review (new article)
I knew before my arrival I knew that The Makai had been named “Top 5 great golf settings” by National Geographic Traveler. What I didn’t expect was the absolute elation that I felt after playing. I’m no pro, I play for fun and because I love the memories of playing with my father, so after reading the reviews I felt a bit intimidated. I decided however, that the views were too good to give into my self-depreciated golf game. As I walked up to the shop I could already smell the light scent of the gardenia and feel the sun wash over me, the ukulele playing softly in the distance. The perfect setting for the beautiful North Shore of Kauai. As I walked out to pick up my cart the stunning mountainview took my breath away. Multiple waterfalls cascaded down the mountain side and I could feel my inner Indiana Jones dying to swing though the jungle in search of eternal youth. With every tee box came a new view, a new experience, each more captivating than the last. The Robert Trent Jones design mocked the ocean waves at the 3rd hole. The real splendor came at Hole 7, this is the epitome of golf on vacation. I barely noticed that I failed to make this 160 ft ravine. The plumeria scented ocean breeze calmed my frazzled, over worked nerves as large endangered albatross soared overhead, and the best view of Mt. Makana you could ever imagine is carved in the distant sky.. Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better they told me that I could rent a golf cart for the evening to watch the sun set over this amazing view.
Happy Horses, Tropical Trails Silver Falls Ranch (new article)
Silver Falls Ranch is perfect for those seeking a unique Hawaiian riding experience on Kauai. Guests of all levels of horseback riding experience are treated to leisurely and expertly guided tours through 300 acres of pristine Hawaiian wilderness. Their 80-acre botanical garden has streams, orchids, native plants, wildlife and breathtaking up-close views of the Makaleha mountain range. Ride, swim and picnic tours offer a Hawaiian-style picnic and refreshing dip in the pool below the falls. At Silver Falls Ranch, horses are family. From gentle and patient to spirited and responsive, these trail experts provide an enjoyable experience for riders of all experience levels. For reservations call: (808) 828-6718. Please tell them you read about them in Adventure & Romance Magazine.
Hike To A Waterfall (new article)
Accessible from Anaina Hou Community Park Mini Golf and Gardens, you’ll find the beautiful Wai Koa Loop Trail and the must-see, historic Stone Dam. The Trail offers a great nature excursion for hikers and mountain bikers through the beautiful scenery of North Shore Kauai. Access is free, but the trail through Wai Koa Plantation is on private land. So just stop in at Anaina Hou Mini Golf and Gardens to sign a waiver. Once on the Trail, you’ll be mesmerized by a pristine canopy of Albizia trees and the towering Cook Pines that mark the beginning of the journey. Then, the trail opens up to an expanse of grassy open fields. You’ll pass through the largest Mahogany plantation in the U.S., a working organic vegetable farm, Kalihiwai Lagoon (home of fresh water fish and endangered birds), up to Kalihiwai Stream and on to the Stone Dam. The slight downhill grade return trip will bring you back to Anaina Hou where you can complete your experience with a round of miniature golf, including a journey through Hawaii’s lush botanical history, a leisurely meal at their Café and a visit to their Gift Shop. For information about hiking, mini golf, the gardens or the café, call 808-828-2118 or drop by 5-2723 Kuhio Highway, in Kilauea. Open from 8am to dusk daily.
Horseback Riding on Kauai’s Pristine Coast (new article)
Scenic Trail Rides from the Mountains to the Sea Come Join CJM Stables (CJM) for a horseback trail ride back in time. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and stories of the historic and legendary Poipu area, known as Maha’ulepu. CJM Country Stables invites you to saddle-up and join them on Kauai’s sunny south shore to experience nature’s raw beauty and panoramic vistas. Indulge yourself into the amazing colors of lush green mountains, rich red soil, the aqua-blue Pacific Ocean, to its golden sand beaches. Listen to birds sing, the ocean surf crash and smell the cool upcountry fragrances, while feeling the fresh trade-wind breezes. Choose from their adventurous ‘Maha’ulepu Beach Ride – 2 hr’ or ‘Secret Beach Picnic Ride – 3 hr’ tours. Their experienced guides will lead you in small, personalized groups through this varied and diverse coastline region. Top quality horses and equipment help to assure you a safe, fun and relaxing trail ride. Refreshments are supplied, as well as rest stops and photo opportunities. Open daily, except Sunday when the horses enjoy a day of rest. Trail ride adventures are for all ages (8 yrs +) and levels of horsemanship experience. Please call for weight restrictions. They also offer a monthly rodeo series, free to the public and feature two Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) events. For 20 plus years CJM has shared this remote, rugged, historical and beautiful expanse and invite you to join them for a very memorable experience. Prices are subject to changes. Open daily except Sunday and for all ages from 8 years up. Call CJM Stables (808) 742-6096 for an unforgettable experience.
Kauai ATV’s South Shore Adventure (new article)
Kauai ATV’s guided off-road tours will take you through 22,000 acres of private rugged terrain from makai (ocean) to mauka (uplands). Experience the road less traveled on old plantation cane haul roads, swim in refreshing mountain pools and splash through riverbeds. Explore the Wilcox tunnel, Waita Reservoir, and WWII bunkers all while taking in the beautiful flora and fauna of Kauai’s south shore. Do Something Dirty on a 2-seater Mud Bug or ride as a family on a 4-seater Ohana Bug. Call: (808) 742-2734
Just Live! Zipline Tours & Outdoor Gear Store
Kauai’s Only treetop, canopy Zipline Tours (new article)
Want a unique Kauai Zipline experience? Choose Just Live! They have been operating since 2003 and hold an impeccable safety record. You’ll soar into their majestic Norfolk Pine Forest swinging like Tarzan from tree to tree. Zipline high above the forest canopy, cross adventure canopy bridges and take in the beautiful and abounding mountain scenery from multiple viewing platforms. Take your aerial adventure to the next thrill level! Scale a 90’ high plank and swing out on 75’ high air chairs. Spend quality adventure time with your loved ones as they take you through a zipline ‘experience’ like no other. Just Live! Offers multiple Zipline options, Rock Wall Climbing, a heart pounding Monster Swing, and full service Team Building Ropes Challenge Course. Restrictions apply. Want to go camping on Kauai? They rent out quality camping gear a great prices . Awarded the Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor seven years in a row. A portion of every tour helps support their community youth adventure programs. Ask them about Corporate Events. For tour information and reservations call : 808 482-1295
Kipu Zipline & Bike Kokee (new article)
If you’re looking for great eco-adventures, Outfitters Kauai makes your dreams come true. They have several unique adventures, such as “Kipu Falls Zipline Safari” and “Waimea Canyon Bicycle Downhill”, exclusive to their company.
The Safari includes kayaking, rope swings, a covered wagon ride, ziplining over jungle valleys and a motorized canoe ride. Cruise 12 miles downhill from the rim of Waimea Canyon to the coastline on the Bicycle Downhill. Outfitters Kauai has been a leader in adventure tourism on Kauai since 1988. Their exciting and diverse tour menu also includes several other kayak excursions and zipline adventures.
Try their “South Shore Sea Kayak” trip landing on inaccessible beaches where you’ll find bodysurfing and snorkeling in solitude while whale watching at sea level (in-winter). Or paddle the Wailua River and hike to Secret Falls.
The extremely popular “Outfitters Kauai Zipline Trek” is an adrenaline soar through the rainforest canopy over rivers and waterfalls. For reservations and the thrill of a lifetime call 742-9667.
Koloa Zipline Tour (new article)
Discover the panoramic views offered by Koloa Zipline on eight lines of adventure. This eco-friendly tour offers a “Ground School” for beginners and “Zipline Aerobatics” for the more experienced. The “Flyin’ Kauai’an” harness lets you fly head first like a super hero, go upside down, or sit traditional. Come feel the exhilaration of Kauai’s longest zipline tour with lines up to ½ mile long as you glide across the water of the Waita reservoir. Bring a camera to capture the essence, history, and vistas of the south shore on this 3-4 hr tour. Call: (808) 742-2734
The East Side’s Coastal Bike Path (new article)
Known as the Ke Ala Hele Makalae, “the path that goes by the coast,” the East Side Coastal Bike path, is a five mile stretch that runs along the scenic Coconut Coast. It is accessible for joggers, bicyclists, skate-boarders, roller-bladers, etc. From Lydgate Park, it goes along the Highway. At Kapaa Boat Ramp/Baby Beach area it winds north to Kealia Beach along a smooth wide paved path. On the path there are educational displays about history, marine life, and the environment. You will also find restaurants, food truck eateries, and retail stores. It’s a one-of-a-kind, family friendly path, with beautiful vistas of rocky points and white sand beaches including Kuna (Donkey’s) Bay. At Kealia there are bathrooms, showers, and covered benches, with a swimming area at the north end (The Landing). Kealia has surfing and body boarding options and there is a County lifeguard station there. About a mile north of Kealia is picturesque Kuna Bay, an undeveloped hideaway, with a deep sand beach. There can be strong riptides here, so beware. There are no lifeguards at Kuna Bay. Above the coast are sheltered vantage points where you may see Dolphins, Monk Seals, and Humpback Whales (Dec.Apr.). The path runs close to tide pool areas (perfect for exploration) and there is an old pier that offers panoramic ocean views. For bicycle rentals call Coconut Coasters (808) 822-7368. For a special rate, mention this article.
The Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail Hike (new article)
At the east end of Poipu, adjacent to the Grand Hyatt Resort is a fantastic coastal preserve that offers a hike along a limestone/sandstone coastline. The area is rich in ancient Hawaiian and archeological sites. The entire distance to Maha’ulepu Beach is about two miles. The path winds along a rugged shoreline, offering great panoramic views of the ocean. It’s the perfect place to watch the sunset or observe sea turtles, dolphins, and whales in season. Stay back from the cliff edges as they can crumble and you can slip. There are no long steep inclines, but wear good shoes, as there are many rocks along the path. You may want to remove your shoes when you walk across the long deep sand beaches. You’ll also cross the river mouth of the Waiopili Stream, which is about 2/3 the way to the trail end. On the westside of the stream, you’ll find the large, Makau’wahi Sinkhole. It is estimated to be 10,000 years in age, the home for some 45 species of birds, including many now extinct species. Notably, the sinkhole has shown geologists how the first humans inhabited Kauai. You cannot go inside the cave, but you can view it from above. Arriving at Maha’ulepu Beach, you’ll find a sheltered, wilderness bay and beach. Most times, it is safe to swim there, but if the surf is up do not attempt swimming or snorkeling. For a more detailed account of this area go to www.hikemahaulepu.org
Zipline, Horseback and Off Road Adventure in Paradise (new article)
It’s no surprise that Kaua’i is one of the most beautiful islands on Earth — Being the oldest of all the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai’s North Shore will invoke your imagination, of a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Situated on the North Shore of Kauai, Princeville Ranch is a spectacular 2,500 acre, adventure playground that offers a wide variety of mind-blowing activities. You’ll be surrounded by dazzling mountain peaks, lush rainforests, and romantic waterfall’s that will melt away the worries of the world. Princeville Ranch has a long history on Kauai, they are among the oldest working cattle ranches in the United States, established in 1831. They are a family owned and operated company that have been providing eco-adventure tours for over 40 years and boast one of the most beautiful Zipline courses in Hawaii. Further world class adventures they offer are horseback riding, off-road excursions, waterfall hikes, jungle kayaking and many other adventure combinations. Princeville Ranch has over 2,000 Five-Star reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor . Don’t miss out on your greatest opportunity to experience the most magical parts of Kaua’i. Make your holiday an experience you and your family will never forget. Kauai Pro Tip: Princeville Ranch has limited availability and is in high demand. Book early to ensure you and your family secure this incredible experience. For reservation’s call :808 826-7669
ACTIVITIES ARTICLES – Land Tours
A Garden Paradise (new article)
Kauai is home to three outstanding gardens which use the breathtaking topography of the island to showcase tropical plants. These are part of the nonprofit National Tropical Botanical Garden. Two are tucked into a valley on the south shore; tours include a ride along a spectacular coast from the South Shore Visitors Center in Poipu. McBryde Garden is NTBG’s flagship garden, with 50 acres of open expanses and niches of thematic plantings. Visitors can stroll under towering palms, by vibrant ornamentals and plants that have gone extinct in the wild. Self-guided tours are available daily. Allerton Garden, adjacent to McBryde, is a contrast with intimate outdoor “rooms” created from plants, enclosing statuary and fascinating water features. Next to the stream which runs from McBryde into Allerton are the famous “Jurassic trees”. Guided tours available daily. Combination tours are available five days a week. Sunset tours offered nightly. Limahuli Garden is NTBG’s garden on the north shore. Limahuli tells the story of past and present Hawaiian culture. Upon entering the garden, the first sight is the ancient taro terraces, created by some of the earliest settlers on Kauai. Popular areas include a recreated native forest and the overlook dubbed “The Whale Trail”. Both guided and self-guided tours of this garden Tues-Sat. For tour information and reservations call: (808) 742-2623 in Poipu and (808) 826-1053 for North Shore.
Authentic Hawaiian Luau
Experience an Island Style Luau (new article)
A trip to Kauai would not be complete without sampling a traditional island Hawaiian luau. These high-quality productions are run by locals, who employ their talented friends and family to entertain you. A lively MC (who usually doubles as the lead guitarist) narrates the luau and treats the audience to loads of laughs. Musicians perform contemporary Hawaiian tunes and traditional favorites. Beautiful wahine (woman) hula and handsome kane (man) hula dancers accompany the music with a combination of slow, heartfelt dances and hip-shaking, Tahitian-style numbers that will get your blood pumping. Another upbeat crowd-pleaser is the fire dancers. These guys in malos (loincloths) perform incredible feats with fiery torches to a furious drumbeat. You’ll be mesmerized by the show. The kalua pig is pulled from the imu (underground oven), unwrapped from its protective burlap covering and shredded for serving. This centuries-old baking technique tenderizes the pork and gives it a slightly smoky flavor. Favorite luau foods include poi (a purple paste made from taro root), laulau (steamed pork or chicken wrapped in taro leaves) lomilomi salmon (a zesty marinated concoction), and poke (raw ahi with spices). Guests devour fresh fish, meats, and salads, along with an array of desserts. If you’re one of the lucky few, you may be picked by a lovely hula maiden to accompany her on stage for a rhythmic hula dance, so don’t forget your cameras to capture that moment.
Now, if you think, you’ve been to a luau before and they are all the same, you are definitely mistaken. Kauai offers much more elaborate productions that promise a true Hawaiian performance. In beautiful Hanalei, the famous Tahiti Nui Restaurant and bar is offering the North Shore’s Original Luau Show, with talented Hawaiian Tahitian dancers and musicians. It’s a unique and super fun, local-style event happening on Wed. 5-8pm. Ticket price includes complimentary World Famous Mai Tais for one hour, traditional “imu ceremony” unearthing of the Luau pig, full Hawaiian dinner buffet and closes with a Polynesian dance review. For reservations call (808) 482-4829 for an awesome night of fun & entertainment. A local favorite, the Smith Family Garden Lu’au is a remarkable island style luau and hula production at a location surrounded by private gardens and colorful fish ponds, next to the Wailua River Marina. Arrive early to stroll their extraordinary tropical gardens, where you’ll see peacocks, varieties of fruit and island trees, freshwater ponds, exotic flowers and much more. Keikis (children) love it and the outdoor photo opportunities are priceless. The lu’au show is held in their unique amphitheater on Mon, Wed. and Fri. evenings. Reservations are required. Call (808) 821-6895.
The Warm Westside and Kokee (new article)
Kauai’s Westside is known for its pristine coastline, picturesque landscapes and laid back lifestyle. The “Old Hawaii” feel still exists on the Westside. It’s a historic region with many stories to tell, so don’t rush through it on your way to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Your first must-stop, when heading west (just past Kalaheo), is Kauai Coffee Estate, 870 Haleweli Rd., Kalaheo 96741, Ph. (808) 335-0813. Kauai Coffee is the largest producer of coffee in the Hawaiian Islands and it offers self-guided walking tours from 9-5pm daily. There is a live coffee tree maze to walk through and a Visitor Center Gift Shop, Snack Bar, with coffee drinks, smoothies and sandwiches, plus a Museum, where you can view a video about the growing and processing of coffee. The estate has five varietals of coffee beans produced on their 3,100 acre plantation. Naturally washing their over-ripened beans adds body, acidity and creates a flavor profile not typical of 100% pure Hawaiian coffee. Unlike most Kona coffees, Kauai Coffee only uses 100% pure Kauai coffee with no blends. They roast coffee daily and use a natural, non-chemical decaffeination process.
Past the Part Allen Boat Harbor is the rustic and historic town of Hanapepe, which is filled with art & galleries and offers a weekly Friday night Art Walk. You’ll see why filmmakers used this storybook town in movies such as “The Thornbirds” and “Flight of the Intruder.” Nearby Port Allen Marina is where you’ll find most Westside Na Pali Boat companies departing from. Next stop is Waimea Town, named as one of a Dozen Distinct Destinations by the National Trust for Historical Preservation. This historical town is full of history and was once a center for commerce and government for the Hawaiian people. It is also the site of Captain Cook’s discovery landing in 1778. The town boasts a unique preservation from the plantation era. Stop at the Visitor Center, on the west end of town for a map that includes stories of kings, the legendary menehunes, missionaries and explorers. The Kokee State Park and Waimea Canyon are one of Kauai’s most striking and scenic regions. The Canyon is a geological wonderland, unique throughout the state and all Pacific Islands. About ten miles long the Canyon is about 3,500 feet deep, with many lookout spots along the way. On top is Kokee State Park; made up of 4,345 scenic acres with 45 trails, nature at its best. Some short hikes afford lookouts of the scenic Na Pali and Waimea Canyon. Bring a camera, hiking shoes and a light jacket; it can be 20 degrees cooler there.
Kaua’i’s Historic Hanalei Rice Mill & Taro Farm Tour (new article)
Visit Hawai`i’s only remaining historic rice mill, the Ho`opulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill, and see how the past meets the present. The Mill is a nonprofit, agrarian museum within the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tucked away on a working wetland taro farm, the Mill offers exclusive, guided tours (reservations only). You’ll learn about Hawaii’s agriculture and cultural history, view endangered native water birds, learn about the cultivation and uses of taro, a traditional Polynesian food source, as well as Hawai`i’s agriculture and the cultural history of the Haraguchi family, who has been keeping it alive. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a lunch featuring unique farm fresh items, including taro. The Wildlife Refuge surrounding the farm has no public access. Exclusive tours are available: Ph 808-651-3399 or www. HaraguchiRiceMill.org. Your visit, donations, and gift shop purchases help support the nonprofit’s free school tours, education programs, and restoration efforts. If you’re not able to book an exclusive tour, you can visit Hanalei Taro & Juice Company and try their farm fresh dishes served there.
Kauai’s Hidden Garden Sanctuary (new article)
Since opening in August 2010, Princeville Botanical Gardens has already become a destination for visitors to Kauai’s North Shore. After touring this intimate garden sanctuary nestled in a lush inland valley, such success comes as no surprise. Private, guided tours are the only way to view these exclusive gardens. Family owned and operated, the 9-acre garden thrives in valleys that were once covered with invasive jungle. Visitors learn about the ethnobotany of unusual plants with industrial and medicinal uses, stunning flowers, native culture, and the labor of love that went into creating one of the most diverse private gardens on the island. Princeville Botanical Gardens is also the only garden on the island where visitors can sample exotic chocolates, honey, tropical fruits, and view a magnificent collection of botanical specimens all in one place. The Robertson family grows cacao (chocolate) right on the property. Every tour includes a lesson in chocolate processing, as well as samples of gourmet chocolates from around the world. Visitors find they want to linger in the gardens even after a 3-hour tour. Come see for yourself what people are calling, “the best garden tour on Kauai,” and “an experience not to be missed.” To read more reviews, find them at TripAdvisor.com. Call 808-634-5505 for information and tour reservations.
Take A Garden Tour at Na `Āina Kai (new article)
Garden founders Joyce and Ed Doty retired to Kaua`i in 1982. What began as a landscape project has become 240 acres of diverse gardens, complete with one of the largest collections of bronze sculpture in the United States. In 1999 the Dotys created a Not-for-Profit Foundation, to which they donated all of the gardens. At that time Na `Āina Kai was opened to the public for tours and events. The Foundation’s mission supports and promotes tropical horticulture, agriculture, and forestry, in addition to providing a constantly evolving garden and art experience for Kaua`i’s residents and visitors. Na `Āina Kai’s gardens include a hedge maze, a waterfall, a koi-filled lagoon, a forest of 60,000 hardwood trees, and miles of trails. The hardwood plantation was established as an educational experiment in tropical forestry, and will sustain the future of the gardens financially at harvest. The “Under the Rainbow” Children’s Garden features a one-of-a-kind 16 foot tall bronze sculpture/fountain depicting “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Adjacent to the Children’s Garden is the “Navajo Compound.” The hogans, plantings and bronze inhabitants depict daily life in a Navajo Compound. Na `Āina Kai’s award-winning miniature Ahupua’a depicts a pie-slice-shaped land division from the mountains to the ocean. The mountain waterfall forms a stream that flows downhill past huts, taro loi, sweet potato fields and other plantings into the fish-filled ocean. Numerous bronze sculptures depict traditional daily activities including kapa-making, basket weaving, fishing, canoe-making, planting and hunting. Another area is the “Horticultural Amusement Garden.” This area has many fruit trees, unusual ornamental plants and amusing bronze sculptures. No trip to Na `Āina Kai would be complete without a stroll through the Gift Shop/Gallery which offers a variety of island and garden-oriented gifts. Na `Āina Kai is also available for special events and weddings. Phone (808) 828-0525 or e-mail: reservations@NaAinaKai.org for more information.
Take a Photo Tour of Kauai (new article)
You can’t beat the beauty of Kauai for photographic opportunities. Kauai Photo Tours will take you to all the best, most beautifulphoto locations. Local, professional photographer, Vincent K. Tylor has personally designed several incredible tours to choose from. The tours will take you to off the beaten path to gorgeous, hidden settings. Kauai Photo Tours has several tours to choose from (EZ, Hiking, Portrait or Private), and they offer Nikon digital SLR camera rentals with polarizers. All of their tours are in small groups, designed for photographers and sightseers alike. They also offer a great way to capture photos of yourself with your loved ones at scenic spots on Kauai, with professional photographer-guides on the Private Portrait Tours. You’ll have an experienced Professional Kauai Portrait Photographer take professional “Hawaiiana” photos of you and your family or group amidst Kauai scenery. They have two Hawaiian Professional Portrait packages to choose from; a 2.5 hour tour (Portrait Photos Only), which includes up to three beautiful Kauai locations or their 5.5 hour tour (Portraits and Sightseeing Photo Tour Combination), where you can visit up to nine beautiful locations while having your portraits taken along the way. Amazing Kauai scenery along plus the talents of professional portrait photographers can create truly incredible memories. For reservations call: (808) 823-1263.
Tour A Chocolate Farm (new article)
Gourmet, local, organic, amazing, decadent, and truly satisfying are all words to describe Garden Island Chocolate, arguably the best chocolate in the world. Garden Island Chocolate offers all you can eat chocolate tastings and tours on the north shore of Kauai. 15 years ago Garden Island Chocolate began growing cacao on Kauai and gave away free plants to his neighbors to buy back all the cacao pods they produced. Now managing five thousand trees and for the past nine years, producing handcrafted chocolate from their cacao harvests. Part Willy Wonka and part Jonny Appleseed, owner Koa Kahili, patiently creates chocolate and leads their tours and tastings. The tours start with an extensive exotic fruit tasting, sampling jackfruit, soursop, durian, mamey sapote, mangoes, etc…come hungry. From there the group meanders through the mixed orchard, stopping to snack on coconuts, Cuban bananas, avocados, lychee and egg fruit. The fruit trees serve as supporting cast for the star of the show: cacao. Cacao trees are slender, with scarlet or yellow pods that poke straight out from their trunks. Inside the hard pods, clusters of beans are ensconced in feathery pulp. The pulp is sweet, but the beans, the raw ingredients of chocolate, are bitter. Before becoming the confection beloved around the world, they’re fermented, dried, roasted then ground into liquid. After illuminating chocolate’s origins, the guests enjoy the end products, tasting Garden Island Chocolate’s most popular bars: coconut milk, sea salt and macadamia nut. It progresses to small-batch specialties: gleaming dark rectangles studded with crystallized ginger or spiced with chipotle. One exceptional sample is aged fifteen months: Its complex flavors light up the tongue—a sharp nuttiness gives way to hints of rose and caramel. Another employs nutmeg, kava and turmeric to increase the chocolate’s natural effects on serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain. Koa credits the Kauai’s environment for his chocolate’s fine quality. Processing plays a role, too. They ferment the cacao in small batches, producing only enough for the local market, which allows a high level of quality control. During the tasting everyone samples their fresh-made hot chocolate. A stone grinder transforms roasted beans into dark, silky liquid, that is mixed with fresh coconut milk, homegrown vanilla, allspice, cinnamon and honey—and no one refuses a shot glass of this ambrosial nectar. To read reviews find them on TripAdvisor. Call 808-634-6812 for information and tour reservations.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
The Ultimate Hawaiian Relaxation (new article)
Why visit a spa? Spas are excellent places to relax and unwind but they offer so much more. Providing a relaxing place to be nurtured in serene surroundings is a start. Finding calm externally and internally reinvigorates the mind which in turn energizes the body too. We’re surrounded with so many inputs on a daily basis, removing yourself from it is a good way to reboot mind and body, release the day-to-day stresses of life and simply be. Spas offer a variety of ways to enhance your wellbeing, whether through treatments like facials or massage, fitness activities or simply offering a calming environment. Spas have experts who can guide you to the treatment or fitness program that is just right for you. Some spas, like Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt, present the opportunity to benefit from the inherent healing of nature as well. The open design means fresh air and the sounds of tradewind breezes and bird songs are real, not on a playlist. From a muscle kneading massage that releases tension from muscles to a body treatment that cleanses and purifies, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and renewed. Summer favorites at Anara include treating sun-kissed skin to what it deserves with a luxurious facial to revitalize, brighten and plump skin. Or, the Lilikoi Lemongrass Treatment exfoliates and nourishes with a body polish made of Hawaiian Sea Salt infused with lemongrass and ginger essential oils to buff and brighten dull skin. Next indulge in a full-body massage where a rich blend of mango butter is smoothed on to moisturize your newly revitalized skin. Lastly, your skin is invigorated with a spritzing tonic of distilled lilikoi, also known for its calming effect, and lemongrass hydrosols, leaving you feeling enlivened with skin as soft as butter. Anara’s extensive menu of services also includes treatments designed for couples as well as mom’s-to-be. From a lavish clay body treatment and massage where couples can apply the clay themselves to massages designed to keep mom and baby safe and comfortable, Anara is able to assist all to find full relaxation. Anara Spa also offers a state-of-the-art fitness facility includes an open-air yoga/fitness classroom as well as cardio and weight machines and a personal trainer to help find or maintain a healthy physique. For reservations or more info call: (808) 240-0440
REAL ESTATE & VACATION RENTALS
Buy a Piece of Paradise (new article)
Owning Real Estate is an asset and an investment, but on Kauai, it can be a dream come true. T his is the land of dreams, history and a way of life so relaxed, one can still feel the spirit of “Aloha.” Yes, Kauai is a place you can call home, whether it is your primary residence, second home, or just a place to escape for rejuvenation. Kauai has something for everyone, from luxurious oceanfront estates to the small “grass shack” or cottages on the beach, to a farm or ranch on the Garden Island. Much of the land here is zoned agricultural, but there are also numerous residential subdivisions, towns, and resorts in developed areas. Princeville, on the North Shore provides a mixture of single family homes, condominiums, timeshares, and resorts, with two top-rated golf courses. In Hanalei and beyond there is an abundance of natural beauty and rural as well as oceanfront homes. Poipu/Koloa, located on the sunny South Shore is another popular resort area offering many new developments for both condominiums and residential homes, along with properties and homes along the coast and inland. The East Side, also known as the “Coconut Coast.” In Kapaa and Wailua one can find oceanfront condominium complexes that enjoy spectacular sunrises over the ocean, in close proximity to many restaurants, boutique shops, art galleries and parks. Just minutes from the coast are quaint subdivisions and acreage tucked inland. On the West Side, in the towns of Eleele, Hanapepe, Waimea and you’ll find a residential homes, mostly inland and a laid back lifestyle with sunny, dryer weather. Each side of Kauai is unique. The many “micro climates” here will take you from the arid dryness of Kekeha and Poipu, to the tropical lushness of the upper, inland east side and north shore. Finding a knowledgeable Real Estate Agent is key. They can help you learn more about ordinances and technicalities that may affect where you purchase a property, especially if you want to vacation rent your property.
For a professional Real Estate agent call on of these fine companies:
Na Pali Properties (808) 826-7272 Oceanfront Realty, Suzi Gillette (808) 651-3456
Buy a Piece of Paradise (new article)
When you’re deciding on your vacation accommodations for your next trip back to Kauai, you might be surprised by the different options available to you. Any one of the beautiful resort properties on Kauai is an obvious choice. Most will offer luxurious rooms, world-class locations, and amenities such as on site restaurant(s), pool(s) and daily maid service. But what if you wanted something different? What other choices are there? Poipu, Kapaa and Princeville are vacation destinations that offer not only resort hotels, but also a variety of condominiums, usually with complete kitchens and laundry. Some condominium projects include on site restaurants, and many include pools and tennis courts. Some are located right on the shoreline and some are truly beachfront. Still others are located on our well-known golf courses. These different kinds of vacation rental properties will range from modest to elegant, and include studios with mountain views and waterfront estates. While it’s clear that many visitors are comfortable with the structured offerings of a hotel, more and more visitors prefer to have access to a kitchen and perhaps a private yard. Most of the condominiums and homes used as vacation rentals are individually owned. They may each have the individual touch of the owners. It’s not uncommon for the homes to have music, movies, games and books for their guests to enjoy. The personal touches can make your visit more comfortable and relaxed.
For great selections of vacation rentals call:
Na Pali Properties (808) 826-7272 or (800) 715-7273
Oceanfront Realty (808) 826-6585 or (800) 222-5541
RE/MAX Kauai (877) 838-8149
Kauai Vacation Rentals/Lihue (808) 245-8841 or (800) 367-5025
RESTAURANTS & NIGHT LIFE REVIEWS
Kilohana Plantation (new article)
Celebrates Over 30 Years of Tradition In 1935 Gaylord Parke Wilcox, one of Kauai’s sugar pioneers, and his wife Ethel built their dream home Kilohana.
Decorated with richly crafted woods, fine custom furniture and art of Hawaii, the Orient and Pacific. Kilohana in Hawaiian means unsurpassed and today, it is surrounded by expansive lawns, gardens and a 67 acre agricultural park. Explore the 16,000-square-foot Tudor mansion which contains many of the original furnishings, along with six unique shops which are tucked into the original bedrooms. As you walk the grounds, you will also discover additional shops, all promoting Kauai products. The courtyard is the centerpiece of the home and it is here that Gaylord’s has been serving lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch for over 30 years. The chef takes advantage of the property’s fruit, vegetable and herb gardens as well as partnering with the island’s local farmers, fishermen and ranchers to create an island inspired menu. The newest addition is The MahiKo Lounge which is located in the living room. This unique bar exudes a historic feel with a contemporary vibe.
MahiKo proudly serves acclaimed Koloa Rum in their signature Mai Tai. Happy Hour selections offer five pupus for $5.00 each and a schedule of live music in the lounge. Live music happens at Sunday Brunch too. The best way to explore the entire 104 acres, is to take a ride on the Kauai Plantation Railway. Climb aboard and enjoy a 40-minute conductor narrated, authentic train tour. The agricultural tour showcases what local farmers are now producing on former sugar fields, along with a history of the estate. The tour takes you through orchards of exotic fruits, pineapple, papaya, taro and a variety of hardwoods. After the train ride, treat yourself to a rum tasting experience at Koloa Rum. One of their best selling rums is a combination of Koloa Rum and Kauai Coffee. A trip to Kilohana would not be complete without taking in Luau Kalamaku. One of the most unique Luaus in the State.
Follow one family’s extraordinary journey from the lands of Tahiti to the shores of Hawaii abd experience a deeper understanding of Polynesia. For a unique blend of history, shopping, dining and tours and a staff that conveys the true meaning of Aloha, visit Kilohana Plantation. For more information, call 808-245-5608.
Live Music & Night Life Reviews (new article)
Sensational Restaurants with Live Entertainment
Kauai has many venues and restaurants with talented musicians performing. Relax and enjoy some live music or dancing at the following locations:
At the Waipouli Resort, The Oasis on the Beach has live Modern Ukulele music Wed. at 5-7pm. Happy Hour is from 4-6pm at their beachfront bar. Lemongrass Grill located at 4-871 Kuhio Hwy. has live Contemporary Hawaiian dinner music nightly. In Kapaa town, Sam’s Ocean View has live music nightly. Big Wave Dave’s has karaoke 4 nights a week from 8pm-2am & live music on some Fri. & Sat. nights. Sushi Bushido at the Dragon Building in Kapaa has live music on varying nights and 40% Off sushi rolls from 9:30pm-11:30pm on Thurs., Fri. & Sat. Paniolo Santa Maria BBQ has live Jazz, Blues & Pop music Fri., Sat. & Mon., with open mic on Wed. from 6:30- 8:30pm. The first Sat. of each month, Old Kapaa Town (6pm-9pm), features live music, with food & craft booths. The Bull Shed Restaurant, has Happy Hour from 4:30-5:30 pm, dinner from 5:30-9:30pm and live music 7 nights a week. Trees Lounge, has live music 6 nights a week, Happy Hour 5pm-8pm, dancing to Island bands and DJs. The Hukilau Lanai, at Kauai Coast Resort features live Hawaiian, jazz and easy-listening music 6-9pm, Tues-Sun in their Wally’s Lobby Bar. Visit the Coconut Marketplace in Kapaa every Wed., at 5pm and Sat. at 1pm for a Hula Show. Also, on Fri. at 5pm they have live Hawaiian Music with Larry Rivera. On Tues. & Thrus. 11am-12pm there’s a free Hawaiian story time for the keiki.. On the last Sat. of the month there’s a free family movie night. Lava Lava Beach Club has live music with local rtists from 6-8pm every night.
Princeville Center Federico’s has live Hawaiian, Jazz and Contemporary music 6-8pm nightly. Down in Hanalei Town; there’s live music at the Hanalei Gourmet live music on selected nights 8-10pm. Tahiti Nui, a classic Polynesian Bar, offering live Hawaiian music every night 6-9pm and live music Thurs. – Sat. 9:30pm-12:30am accompanied by tasty pizza and flavorful foods. Kalypso Bar & Grille also in Hanalei has live music 6-9pm every Friday. Flat screen TV’s show surf and sporting events including Sunday NFL Ticket. In Kilauea, the Lighthouse Bistro has live Jazz and Hawaiian Slack Key 6:30-9pm Thurs. & Sat. The Happy Talk Lounge at Hanalei Bay Resort has live music 7 nights a week.
The Kauai Beach Resort Shutters Lounge, offers Happy Hour from 5-7pm, live Hawaiian acoustic music nightly. For dinner, Gaylord’s & Mahiko Lounge at Kilohana Happy Hour 4-5:30pm, live piano music on Tue & Fri. 6:30-9:00pm & live Hawaiian music on Wed. & Sat. nights, Sunday brunch. At the Kauai Marriott at Kalapaki,. Duke’s Barefoot Bar features live Hawaiian Wed.- Fri. 4-6pm & Fri. 8:30-10:30pm. Cafe Portofino above Duke’s, has romantic harp music nightly except Tues. & Wed. with dance music Thurs. 10pm-2am. Hawaiian musicians entertain Wed. 7-9pm. Rob’s Good Time Grill is a popular local bar, with dancing Tues-Sat., live bands Mon.-Fri. & mostly a DJ Fri. & Sat. Kukui Grove Center celebrates Aloha Fridays with Island-style music every Friday 7-8pm.
SOUTH & WESTSIDE
In Poipu, Merriman’s Fish House at Kukui’ula Shops has live acoustic music every night 6-8pm. At Poipu Shopping Village, a well-renowned Hawaiian musician Keola Worthington, sings and shares stories, accompanied by award winning Hula maidens of a school of Hula, Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina`ala. Mon & Thurs 5pm. The Seaview Terrace, at The Grand Hyatt Resort, has Hawaiian music nightly from 6-9pm and at the resort, the Stevenson’s Library has live Contemporary, Jazz & Indie music nightly from 8:30-11pm. The Grand Hyatt has a torch lighting ceremony at sunset on Tues., Fri., Sat. nights at 6pm. Brennecke’s, across from the Poipu Beach Park has live music Thurs., Fri. & Sat. starting at 8:30pm and a late night Happy Hour. The Garden Island Grille, in Koloa offers live music nightly from 6-8pm. Port Allen Sunset Bar & Grill has Karaoke Fri. & Sat. nights at 8pm. Kalaheo Steak & Ribs in the saloon enjoy live entertainment Thurs. thru Sun. starting at 7pm. Wranglers Steakhouse in Waimea has a happy hour in the Saddle room: Thurs.- Sat. 4-6pm and live music: Fri. & Sat. 5:30-7:30pm. The Kauai Island Brewery in Port Allen has Open Mic night every other Sat.
Hawaii’s only Meadery and Tasting Room (new article)
Tucked away, in a sleepy corner of Kapaa, lies Nani Moon Meadery. Mead is one of Hawaii’s truly local beverages. Unlike beer and wine, mead can be made exclusively from honey and fruits grown and produced on Kauai and Hawaii. Nani Moon Meadery creator and Owner, Stephanie Krieger, has been making mead on Kauai for over 15 years. Sourcing raw golden honey from their own apiaries – located on both the east and south shores of Kauai, Stephanie creates the magic that turns honey into mead. Her passion for using only local ingredients shines through in each and every bottle produced. The chain effect of sustainable sourcing is exceptional – from the bottle, to the brewer, to the farmer, all the way down to the health of the watershed. Mead, honey wine, is a drink that has held a mystical allure dating back over 10,000 years in history. It can be directly tied to the land and air of the place in which it was made. Much like the terroir found in wine, one can trace the roots of mead back to a direct place where the honeybees live and produce their magical honey. That honey has an intimate connection to the area in which the bees live and feed, which is reflected in the flavor and aroma. Hawaii’s incredibly diverse natural ecosystem provides bees a unique environment to feed and pollinate, creating an array of different types of honeys. When you taste honey made in Hawai’i, you are tasting the land and flora of that particular area. It’s only natural that someone would take advantage of this natural resource for mead. The core mead varieties featured at Nani Moon Mead are designed to offer a profile for everyone. Just as wine connoisseurs prefer various types of wines, Nani Moon Meads offers a range from dry fruit forward to semi-sweet and spiced, which all fall into the 12-14% ABV range and are gluten and sulfite free. Most popular in the collection are Pineapple Lime and Cacao Moon. Craft beer drinkers love the Ginger Spice. Some locals love Deviant Beehavior, made from Hawaiian chili pepper and pineapple. Nani Moon Meadery boasts a relaxed, family friendly atmosphere where guests can enjoy a tasting flight of the ‘usual suspects’ and small batch meadery ‘exclusives’. In addition to tasting meads, honey tastings are offered up from their seasonal harvests. Tasting room hours: Noon – 5pm, Tues. thru Sat. Located on the mountain side of Kuhio Hwy, just north of the Safeway Shopping Center in Kapaa. Ph: 808-651-2453
Kauai’s Only South Pacific Museum (new article)
Havaiki Oceanic Tribal Art at Hanalei Center, is an extensive gallery, museum and boutique. The owners have sailed their 84-foot ketch; the Firebird, 40,000 nautical miles meeting artists and collecting hand-crafted works around the Pacific and Oceania. They ended their trip landing on the shores of Kauai in 2007 and opened their museum and gallery. As soon as visitors step into their courtyard, curiosity and adventure collide, where 10-foot high, tiki sentries and maps of Polynesian voyages intrigue visitors. Stepping up to their front lanai (deck), you’ll see ebony spires of writhing sea life, tattooed skulls and shark tooth weaponry. Havaiki’s mission is two-fold: to educate and inspire through the craftsmanship of artists around Oceania and to grow the global movement toward a more sustainable world. This amazing shop, offers a large cache of Hawaii-made fine jewelry, which include black pearls woven into coconut fiber; hula tributes and tribal interpretations of sterling silver, loads of amazing, ancient Polynesian weaponry and fishing hooks carved from bone, antler and jade. Havaiki is named for the mythical birthplace of all Polynesians and is considered both a physical and spiritual location. Drop by the shop at Hanalei Center, you won’t be disappointed. Phone 826 – 7606 Open 11-5 everyday.
Shopping Kauai Style (new article)
Shopping options range from small locally-owned businesses with Kauai-made products to upscale resort shops.
In Lihue, Kukui Grove Center is Kauai’s largest which offers shops and restaurants including Starbucks, Macy’s, and more. A Farmer’s Market offers fresh local produce and products located behind K-Mart, Mon. 3pm. Wal-Mart & Hilo Hattie in Lihue, are next to Wilcox Hospital. Nawiliwili has two shopping areas near the Marriott Resort, Anchor Cove Center and Harbor Mall. Both are filled with specialty shops and restaurants. Heading north past Lihue, just past Wailua River is Kinipopo Center with great eats, custom jewelry and shops. The Coconut Marketplace features restaurants and shops and has a free hula show on Wed., Fri. at 5pm and Sat. 1pm. Farmers Market Tues./Thurs. 9-1pm. Past here, Kauai Village Shopping Center has Safeway, eateries and Starbucks. Old Kapaa Town has darling boutiques, art, jewelry shops and eateries. Up north on the way to the Kilauea Lighthouse you will see the Kong Lung Center with galleries, shops, restaurant and bakery. Across the street is the Kilauea Plantation Center. Princeville Shopping Center offers Foodland, shops and restaurants. In Hanalei, you’ll spot three shopping areas from the highway: Meander through shops at Ching Young Village and Hanalei Center, a renovated grammar school. Across the street, the Kauhale Center offers unique shops. Heading south past Lihue, check out the Kilohana Plantation with its shops, restaurant, rum tasting, a Train Ride and Luau. On the south side, Old Koloa Town’s plantation-era charm has unique shops, restaurants and an open-air history museum. Shops at Kukui‘ula, in Poipu is relaxed island style center, with the newest shops and restaurants. Poipu Shopping Village has shops and fine restaurants, with a Tahitian hula show on Mon. & Thurs. at 4:30pm. In Hanapepe Town has cool shops, galleries and pottery, near the famous swinging bridge with each Friday offering a Festival Night. Port Allen Marina Center in Elelele, is home to most tour boat charters.
The Singing Bowls Of Kauai (new article)
Kauai is known by some as a destination for healing. The Crystal Harmonics in Koloa is a great place to, heal, relax and listen. They offer an intriguing blend of art gallery, retail shop and interactive center for healing that offers visitors a chance to learn about and play some truly amazing crystal singing bowls which are made of the highest grade pure crystal quartz blended with crystals, precious gemstones or other mineral elements. These “alchemy” bowls are beautiful, but their real value is the amazing sounds and healing energy they produce when played. The sine waves of their sound are clear, sustained and amplify the essence of the minerals as well as expressing their note. Each bowl is unique and every bowl decides its own voice. Every note and alchemy works with each person in a unique way balancing, clearing and grounding them. They’re intention is to bring these healing sounds to the visitors, allowing them to experience these sound bowls in a peaceful, welcoming atmosphere. The high ceiling of their showroom has ample volume for great acoustics and is spacious enough for demonstrations and workshops. They will teach you about the bowls and you play a wide selection of bowls. Most Wednesday evenings (check their Facebook page for schedule), they host a free guided meditation playing 25-30 bowls in harmony. Visit Crystal Harmonics, Sound Art Kauai in the courtyard of the Old Koloa Town Shops, 5330 Koloa Road, Koloa, Kauai.
Open Daily 11am-5pm. Call (808) 651-9954.
The Most Awesome Island In The World (new article)
Kauai is a peaceful place, drawing nature lovers from around the world to visit and sometimes live here. In this hectic world, it can be a slow-paced paradise. It’s the oldest major Hawaiian Island, with amazing geographic diversity. Comprising an area of 552 square miles and has 90 miles of varying coastline and white sand beaches make it a beachgoers heaven. The name Kauai means “season of abundance” due to its rich soil and abundant rainfall. Mt. Wai’ale’ale reaches 5,148 ft. and Alaka’i Swamp, known as the wettest spot on the planet, has a rainfall of 37.5 ft. per yr. Just a few miles away on west side, the island receives only 20 inches of rain per yr. The Alaka’i, in Kokee, has miles of boardwalks for high-altitude hikes through it, but it is often cold and rainy. Most of the interior is comprised of State and Federal lands, blanketed with lush valleys and jutting, mountain peaks. Hawaii’s largest reef is on the north shore at Anini Beach. The Wailua River is Hawaii’s only navigable river, which offers water-skiing. The Waita Reservoir in Koloa is Hawaii’s largest freshwater body of water and covers 452 acres. Kauai’s longest river, Waimea, snakes 20 miles through the bottom of the multi-colored “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” offering fantastic views on the way to Kokee. The Hanalei River, sends 140 million gallons daily into Hanalei Bay, one of the biggest bays in the state. But the gem of this incredible island, is the awe-inspiring Na Pali Coast. Na Pali’s 25 miles of nearly-inaccessible coastline and cathedral cliffs compromise the northwest coast. A strenuous 12-mile hike or summer kayak trip is required to reach the prized and spectacular Kalalau Valley – well worth the effort. Na Pali tour boat trips operate all year long, from the west side and for aerial views you can’t beat helicopter tours. Please let our advertisers know you saw them in Adventure and Romance. And please pick up trash and marine litter, which will help keep this island beautiful. Mahalo (Thank you).
Baby Beaches can be Shallow Safe Lagoons; Perfect for your Child (Keiki) (new article)
Crescent Hanalei Bay, with its mountainous backdrop, qualifies as a painter’s dream. In the summer, the shallow water makes this a terrific swimming beach for young children. Where the Hanalei River meets the ocean is Black Pot Park. Take a stroll down Hanalei Pier. Families, beginning surfers, and kayakers enjoy this area. The Park features a grassy area, picnic tables, showers, and bathrooms. There is treacherous surf during winter swells. Ke’e Beach is another sheltered lagoon at the end of the road, in Haena.
Lydgate Beach Park is a family beach. Travel north from Lihue on Kuhio Hwy. Take the turnoff for the Aloha Beach Resort, and follow the signs. There are lifeguards, bathrooms, showers, picnic pavilions, and tables. There are two protected, sand-bottom pools. The baby pool area is ideal for toddlers. The large pool is great for snorkeling and seeing schools of small, friendly fish. There is an artistic wooden playground in the park, with a jungle gym and mosaic sea animals that adorn it. A paved path leads to Kamalani Bridge, another great playground area. There is also a baby beach in front of Lae Nani Hotel on the Lihue side of Coconut Marketplace. In Kapaa town, there is a baby beach at the end of the Bike Path near the Shell Gas Station.
Poipu Beach Park is great for kids. Poipu Beach is a chain of small beaches linked by a long stretch of sand. Near the lifeguard station, a reef provides protection to the shoreline so your children can frolic in the calm waters. The park has a playground and lawns, which provide a soft place to play, watch the sunset and picnic. Smooth sidewalks make it easy to push strollers. Restaurants are also nearby. This is a good beach to snorkel, body board, swim, and surf. There are bathrooms, showers, pavilions and picnic tables. Poipu also has another small baby beach between Whalers Resort and Prince Kuhio Resort.
Salt Pond Beach Park is next to the salt flats, on the sunny west side in Hanapepe. The swimming area is protected by a ridge of boulders between two rocky points and is a fun place for swimming and snorkeling. It’s fun for children to play under the coconut trees. Restrooms, picnic tables, and rinse-off showers are available. A lifeguard is on duty. It is also a camping area.
Beautiful Beaches of Hanalei Beyond (new article)
With its fine white sand and incredible views, the crescent-shaped Hanalei Bay is ideal for summer swims and winter surfing. The beach is a mile long with reefs and surf breaks at either end and beginner beach breaks in between. Black Pot Park, on the east-end, is surrounded by the Hanalei River, the pier, and camping grounds. Pine Trees Beach is located near the middle bay. Leaving Hanalei is Middle’s surf break, a deep-water section on the west-end of the Bay. Also on the west end of the Bay is Waikokos, a secluded cove and surf spot in front of a rock cliff. This beach is narrow and inside the lagoon is a shallow reef. On calm days it’s safe for children and offers good snorkeling, but watch out for Vana, the purple, spiny urchins. Rounding the bend at the top of the hill is Lumahai Beach. The trail to Lumahai is down a steep jungle path that opens up to a dazzling lagoon. It’s protected from the wind by a cliff, with tide pools and an ocean jumping spot. Trees provide shade. The west-end of the beach connects to the Lumahai river and can be a good place to swim. Beware of strong currents in the ocean and waves. Stay away from the ocean when the winter surf is up or wind is strong. In Haena, you can walk the beach for miles, to Tunnels Beach, all the way to Haena Beach Park. Tunnels, is one of the most picturesque beaches on Kauai with great snorkeling, but parking is tight. Maniniholo Dry Cave is an ancient lava tube across the road from Haena Beach Park. Past the Park is Cannons Beach. From Cannons, you can walk about a mile to the end of the road at Ke’e at the start of the Na Pali Coast Trail. Ke’e offers a fine sand beach, a lagoon that is excellent for snorkeling, and trees for shade. If you walk out to the point, you’ll view the Na Pali Coast, a perfect place to watch a romantic sunset, then go back to Hanalei Town for a delicious dinner.
Divine Inspiration (new article)
It was ten days before my California wedding, a fancy sitdown dinner for 300 guests, when I realized I was not in love with my fiancé. It was an emotional blow like no other and I had to call off the wedding. How does one move on after that? I found myself sitting in my living room, staring at a beautiful photo poster of a rainbow and wave, with a man (back turned) walking on a pristine Hawaiian beach near Banzai Pipeline. The photo was taken by Jeff Divine. At that exact moment, I realized I had to move to Hawaii. I sold almost everything I owned at a swap meet and bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii where I landed my first job airbrushing surf boards on the north shore of Oahu. Being Asian and growing up as a minority in California, Hawaii felt more like home.
Coincidentally (or not?), I lived right next to the beach in my rainbow poster. I was living the dream – surfing every day and enjoying the sunshine and aloha spirit. One day, when I was riding my bike to work, I met a handsome surfer named Richard. It was love at first sight for both of us. We started dating and about one month later he asked me if I would like to go on a trip to Kauai for our honeymoon… “Are we getting married?” I asked. He said, “Yeah, if you want to.” Six months later we married and soon after, our first son was born. One day, when we were looking through a surf magazine, I saw the Jeff Divine photo, just like the poster I had in my living room. I told Richard, “This is the reason I chose to move to Hawaii. I fell in love with this beautiful scene.” He looked back at me, incredulous. “I’m the guy in the photo,” he said. I couldn’t believe him at first, but he said “Yes, that’s me.” We were both blown away. It was serendipity, divinely inspired. Thirty-two years later, we are still together and very much in love.
Kauai’s Gentle Giant Visitors Winter Whale Season (new article)
Winter is Whale Season on Na Pali Coast
There is no place on earth like Kauai’s Na Pali Coast. The beauty of this coast is indescribable and seeing Humpback Whales breach and frolic in these surroundings is spectacular. Stretching from the dry west side of Polihale to Haena on the lush north shore, the Na Pali State Park wilderness encompasses about a quarter of Kauai’s coastline. Towering thousands of feet above, the Na Pali (cliffs) are fluted and multi-hued. Jagged mountain peaks give way to verdant green valleys. Due to large winter surf, the Na Pali coastal waters are only accessible by boat, which is the best way to view the whales that visit here.
When the surf allows you to approach a cave, the water seems to change to electric blue, contrasting with the black lava rock ledges that look like beaten metal. Sunbeams may pierce into a cave, penetrating through the crystal-clear water and reflecting off the white sand or coral bottom. Ceilings drip with mineral deposits that also reflect into the ocean, making the water look florescent blue-green. On the cliff edge, you’ll see black lava rocks contrasting with the surf line, causing colors to change from white and pink to blood red. You’ll also see schools of small fish among rock outcroppings.
When the surf allows you to approach a cave, the water seems to change to electric blue, contrasting with the black lava rock ledges that look like beaten metal. Sunbeams may pierce into a cave, penetrating through the crystal-clear water and reflecting off the white sand or coral bottom. Ceilings drip with mineral deposits that also reflect into the ocean, making the water look florescent blue-green. On the cliff edge, you’ll see black lava rocks contrasting with the surf line, causing colors to change from white and pink to blood red. You’ll also see schools of small fish among rock outcroppings.
Just past Kalalau Valley is the immense Honopu Sea Arch. Many movies have been filmed there, including (most recently) “Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides.” During filming of “King Kong” in the 1980’s, a helicopter flew through the gigantic cave arch. The arch has a stream flowing through that separates Honopu’s beaches. The cave arch fronts the mysterious, upper Honopu or “Valley of the Lost Tribe.” The valley has a waterfall just above the beach, while rock walls and fluted ridges tower thousands of feet above. There is an air of natural power and majesty at Honopu. Kauai’s tour boat companies have informative and friendly crews, who’ll provide food and beverages for your trip. Boat tours offer powered sailing catamarans, twin-hulled power cats, and rigged hulled, high-powered Zodiac rafts (which can get closer to sea caves). The larger vessels offer tasty meals and cocktails and have on-board restrooms. Surf permitting, morning trips drop anchor down the coast for a snorkeling adventure.
Love Under A Waterfall (new article)
Whether you’re living out a honeymoon fantasy, enjoying a nature day with the kids, or relaxing in well-deserved retirement, Kauai has a waterfall for you to enjoy. Watching the water dance down the mountain from a look- out point will have you both falling in love again Listed below are some wonderful waterfalls that you can see. Opaeka‘a Falls located on the east side of Kauai in Wailua off the north branch of the Wailua River about 1.3 miles from the start of Route 580. Take Highway 56 north from Lihue toward Wailua. After crossing the Wailua Bridge, turn left on Kuamo’o Road at mile marker 6. Follow the road approximately 1.5 miles to the Opaeka’a Falls Lookout on the right side of the road. The best view is from the path along the highway. The best time to view these lacy falls is mid-morning when the sun is in the proper position for taking pictures. On the opposite side of the road is a view of Kamokila ancient Hawaiian village. To visit the village, drive down the one-lane road next to the over-look. On the opposite side of the road is a view of Kamokila ancient Hawaiian village. To visit the village, drive down the one-lane road next to the over-look. Wailua Falls located on Highway 56 north of Lihue. Between Wilcox Hospital and Hanamalu, this short drive from Lihue takes you to one of the most beautiful and accessible waterfalls in Hawaii. You’ll see the waterfall on the right side at the end of the road. This majestic, 80-foot waterfall is located close to the roadside lookout. The popular TV show “Fantasy Island” used Wailua Falls in its opening scenes. The falls can appear different depending on rain and the river’s flow. Rainbows often appear around the falls creating a photographers delight. There are other lesser falls on island, but please use caution when going near them or a river. Rivers or streams can flood and sweep the strongest swimmers away. Never dive head-first and use caution jumping into and water, there may be submerged rocks or hidden debris in the water.
It’s Alive!!! Pests In Paradise (new article)
Once upon a time these isolated islands lacked any bugs. But since the first voyagers arrived here, along came some pesky hitchhikers – mosquitoes, centipedes, ants, cockroaches and much more. Thankfully, Kauai does not have mosquito borne viruses or poisonous snakes. In dryer areas, scorpions can be rarely found, but the worst is centipedes which are on all sides of the island. Centipedes are active at night, hiding under wood or dry areas during the day and can grow up to a foot long. They pack a mean bite, injecting venom, which causes the skin to swells in one area, itching as it heals. The bite can cause infection. To kill a centipede, use a long handle knife or scissors. Common outdoor insects aare bees and wasps. If you are allergic, be aware. The Cane Spider, which can be found indoors, grows up to four inches in diameter, with long legs and a hairy, brown body. It does not spin webs and is not poisonous. Signature and Crab Spiders are the most common web spinning spider species. All spiders, except for the Brown Recluse Spider are non-poisonous. Ants, roaches, and chirping geckos can be found indoors. They are harmless, but will find food quite easily. Keep all food items in sealed containers or in the fridge. Wild chickens are Kauai’s natural bug hunters, always scratching for their next tasty morsel. Birds, geckos, and lizards also keep the insect population under control.