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Where to stay in Kauai in December?

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I'll be in Kauai for 9 days right after Thanksgiving and the first week of December. I'll be staying on the South Shore at the Grand Hyatt for 1 week for conference. But where to stay (which part of the island and any recommended lodgings) the weekend before and after my conference?

We've been to Kauai once before, and this time would like to do the following:
* Sail the Na Pali Coast and possibly snorkel there.
Do boats leave from the West Side of the island? Should we stay somewhere over there on Friday night and catch the boat the next morning? Which town? Any recommended hotels that are under $130 a nite?

* Do hiking on the West Side. Besides Waimea Canyon, anything else very scenic and doable as a day hike on that side of the island? Read about some hike where you can look down the valley at the end of Na Pali coast trail. Is it difficult to get there?

* We like the North Shore too, but afraid it will be too rainy in early December? Should we spend a night or 2 up there? To hike Na Pali coast trail (just the short portion), and check out the beaches up north? Possible to snorkel there in December?

* How about staying on the East Side? We're thinking of doing a zipline. Which company? We want something adventurous with great scenery.

* Possible to hike or go near the center of Kauai? We already did the helicopter tour last time.

Appreciate your advice and any recommendations for activities (preferably less known since I think we've done the highlights on our last trip) and definitely food!

Thank you!

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