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Trip Report Songdoc’s perfect day on Kauai’s North Shore

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My first stop heading north would be at Kealia Beach—but only if you have the time and inclination to walk north on the bike/walking path. I did five miles on that trail today and it was perfect.

If not … continue on and make a quick stop at Anahola Beach (by turning right on Anahola Rd.) You’ll get great photos of Sleeping Giant—and you’ll get to say that you were in the spot where, according to the Dalai Lama, all souls enter the Earth. Regardless of whether you stop, you’ll drive through a gorgeous tree tunnel—quite different from the one on the south side of the island. Magical!

Next stop: the lighthouse/wildlife refuge at Kilauea. This is usually a great spot for whale and bird watching. (Although the whales have been fantastic everywhere I’ve been this year.)

If you like glitz, make the right turn on Ka Haku Rd. into Princeville and continue a few minutes on to the St. Regis at the end. In front of the St. Regis is an interesting display about the Russian Fort that once stood there. But the better reason to stop is for the gorgeous Bali Hai views.

Next stop: the Hanalei Lookout (on your left—across from Foodland). Snap some gorgeous pix. Now ...back in the car … Hurry up! You’ve got more places to see. ☺.

Continue on a very short distance to the next turnout/lookout on your right for “WOW” views over Hanalei Bay. (It’s not marked as an official overlook, but it’s pretty obvious and there will likely be other cars there.)

You’ll cross your first one-lane bridge (and be stuck in traffic for a few minutes while you marvel at how they’re stabilizing the mountain to avoid rock slides) and enter Hanalei. If you’re so inclined, you might do some shopping or browsing. If not, turn right at Tiki Man/Tahiti Nui. Make a right at the dead end and either park at the first lot on the left—or continue on to the next lot. Congratulations. You’ve now found gorgeous Hanalei Bay! Stroll along the surf, walk out on the pier, and take lots of photos. Facing the ocean, to the right of the pier (that’s topless at the moment) walk to the river at the end for some pretty views. That’s technically “Black Pot” beach.

Tear yourself away from Hanalei Bay and continue north. There will be countless beautiful views and 6 more one-lane bridges.
Feel free to stop ;-). Just before the end of the road you’ll find Lumahai Botanic Gardens—but probably no time today for a tour today ☹. At the end of the road you’ll find Ke’e Beach. (Also the trailhead for the famous Kalalau Trail.) Unless you arrive late afternoon, parking will be terrible and you may have a long walk—but it’s worth it. When you enter the beach (at the lifeguard stand) be sure to walk around the bend to the right for OMG views of the Napali cliffs that will likely be shrouded in mystical mist. Sooo beautiful.

And this concludes your tour!

On your way back south stop at Hamura’s Samin in Lihue for wonton saimin or “special” saimin, chicken BBQ sticks, and lilikoi pie. It doesn’t get more authentic than that. (About $12 per person!) Or … maybe coconut shrimp at the Shrimp Station in Kapa’a.

Another day, back on the south side be sure to walk along the cliffs at Maha’ulepu Beach. It’s stunning in an unearthly way, and looks like nothing else on the island. To get there continue past the Grand Hyatt. The road has horrid potholes, but you can do it in a regular car. Just go very slowly. At the first parking area turn left and continue on—unless you want a longer walk to get to the cliffs.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!

I think in my next life I’ll be a Kauai tour guide ☺.

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