Calling Kauai Experts

Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 02:05 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Calling Kauai Experts

I dont know what shore is best for us. We want a quiet area that has apartments,cottages, or houses for rent on the beach. Either in a small town or near one that has nice little shops to browse around. We will have a rental car to drive to other parts of the island. We are laid back and dont like anything fancy. We just want a clean place right on the beach.

Has anyone stayed at PMRF Beach Cottages at Barking Sands? Has anyone stayed in this area? Please tell me if you liked this side of the island.

Please tell me your experiences on the north shore. Is there any quiet places with scenic cliffs and beaches that are easy access with a car?

Where are there great sunsets on the island? Is one shore better than another?

We are in our 40-50's and love nature, beaches, waterfalls, and little towns for shopping. We love food markets and local culture. No highrise downtown areas for us.

Thank you all. I really need to figure out who loves where and why.
JandaO is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 07:03 PM
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I think the first step should be to review several guidebooks. The Ultimate Kaua'i Guidebook is readily available and has lots of photos. I also like Frommer's.

My favorite area is the North shore. Hanalei is a very small town and has several shops and galleries. The North shore is very scenic and accessible. One good choice might be a rental cottage in Hanalei or the Ha'ena area. Many will recommend the
Princeville area but personally I do not like it as it seems too manicured and not very Hawaiian to me.

On the east shore is Kapa'a which has many shops, restaurants, and hotels. We were very happy with the Islander on the Beach, a moderate hotel right on the beach.

If you go in the autumn, you may find fewer other vacationers, and so more quiet places.
aloha is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 08:03 PM
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I travel to Kauai each year, always stya on the North shore. I have some personal favorites info, if you would like. Just drop me an email and I can get it to you.
RichinPA is offline  
Old Nov 23rd, 2003, 10:42 PM
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We too love the north shore. We always stay in Princeville and truly don't mind driving to the beach or stores. We like the Cliffs Club. Its not on the beach but has a dramatic view from the cliffs. Barking Sands, in my opinion, is really off the beaten path. Its a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to stay there. Hanalei and Princeville are truly majestic. Its gets commercial on the Eastern shore. Nice to visit for the day but its great to return to the North Shore!
carbogilligan is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2003, 05:50 AM
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We did the same thing, with basically the same list of requirements, last year. With the help of those on this board, and the Ultimate Kauai guidebook that Aloha mentioned, we picked Anini Beach on the north shore - we rented a beautiful waterfront home. It was a 10-15 min drive to Hanalei/Princeville area, it had a beautiful view, was in a quiet neighborhood, and snorkelling out the front door (surfing too!). Here's the URL for the house (there were many others in the same area, in all price ranges):

If you do decide on Anini Beach, be sure the place you rent is not next door to the public campground...for obvious reasons. Anini is several miles long, so it shouldn't be hard to find a place! Have fun planning!

Another option is right in the village of Hanalei, but it was a little busy for us. Adorable surfer town though!
joan is offline  
Old Nov 24th, 2003, 09:42 AM
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We just returned from a week on the North Shore. We were in Kauai 9 years ago and remembered that we liked the North Shore the best...and we weren't disappointed. We rented a cottage in Ha'ena. It was just across the road from the beach and tucked away in beautiful foliage - making it very private. You could hear the surf. I recommend it as it was nice, clean, and affordable. The web site is We stayed in the Garden Cottage. I saw the other facilities, and although fine, the Garden Cottage seemed nicest. Ha'ena has no shops/restaurants, but is close to Hanalei which is very quaint. Hanalei has some good restaurants - most notably Zelo's and a Brazilian place I think it's called Neide's - and funky shops. Hanalei is not upscale - which we loved about it! If you stay in Ha'ena or Hanalei you are near the start of the Kalalau trail on the north shore. Even if you just hike 2 miles into the beach, it's worth it - very beautiful! We enjoyed snorkeling at Ke'e Beach as well as Tunnels. If you go in the summer the snorkeling there is even better.
We also really liked the town of Kilauea. I'm not sure about beach access there, but the views were tremendous. Great pizza place and bakery there. The west side is where the sunsets are - Waimea area. I'm not a huge fan of this area, although Polihale State Park had a great beach - might be too hot in the summer. We have gone to Poipu twice and, again, I'm not a huge fan of the area. There were a lot of families and it was busy there. Beaches were more crowded. The most crowded beach on the North Shore had about 25 people on it.
Anyway, Kauai is beautiful and small enough that you can explore the entire island quite easily. Have fun!
kameha is offline  
Old Nov 25th, 2003, 08:39 AM
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JandaO is offline  
Old Nov 25th, 2003, 08:50 AM
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I would check out Hanelei and Anini. We rented a great cottage there. Although not on the water, it was beautiful and very private. We rented through Anini Beach Cottages.
PamSF is offline  
Old Nov 25th, 2003, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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As a resident of the north shore, I will of course suggest you come this way!

The PMRF Beach Cottages are for military only (active or retired) -- and I've heard that they book up about a year in advance. That particular beach is located on the dry side of our island; more desert, than tropical, but that beach is perfect if you want to avoid crowds.

As for the north shore, if you want to be within walking distance of shops & restaurants & beach, then Hanalei would be just what you want. Lots of little cottages for rent right on Hanalei Bay, like these (pricey, but...):

Or if you want a bit more seclusion, there are cottages like this one -- just 15 minutes or so beyond Hanalei:

An excellent vacation rental company (oldest one on Kaua`i) is:

If you want more info, feel free to email me direct anytime.
auntiemaria is offline  
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