I finally have my Kauai trip all planned!

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May 19th, 2014, 08:12 AM
  #1
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I finally have my Kauai trip all planned!

Thanks to all who helped me - Suze, Tomsd, Shar, ChiSue, etc. (sorry if I missed anyone). As you may remember from my other posts, I was having a heck of a time coming up with a plan between Oahu and Kauai. I finally planned and booked it, and now just need to rent a car and I'm done.

We were gifted the air miles and are flying USAirways - 3 flights, ugh, but worth it. Buffalo/Charlotte/Phoenix/Honolulu. At least we had enough miles to go first class - a first for us! Our inter-island flight is on Hawaiin Airlines. I called them about booking luggage all the way through on the way home. I was told that if my flight from Kauai to HNL was within 4 hours of my USAirways flight home, they would check it straight through. So I made sure our flights were within that tine frame. Yeah!

After much consideration, we are only spending two nights (one full day) on Oahu. I booked the Outrigger Reef on Suze's recommendation. There are cheaper places, but for just a little more money we can stay right on Waikiki. I was in Honolulu 30+ years ago and my husband has never been. Not sure we'll ever get back so decided to stay right on the beach there as we have so little time. Kauai is the main reason for the trip. I decided against any more time on Oahu because (although it's beautiful outside of Honolulu), we really wanted to spend as much time as possible enjoying the even more beautiful (so I'm told) island of Kauai.

With only one full day, I've decided on a 5-6 hour guided tour of Honolulu's highlights (palace, punchbowl, etc.) that includes a visit to Pearl Harbor and the navy boat ride to the Arizona memorial. I know we'll be exhausted from the flights and time difference, so we'll let someone else show us around. The next morning we are off to Kauai!

We are spending four nights in the Grand Hyatt in Poipu. We got a great deal - I have to share it. I opened a Hyatt credit card and received two free nights at ANY Hyatt, any level of hotel. No fee the first year. No resort fees during the free night stays. You have to spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. Not a problem - needed a new washer and dryer. I'll pay that off right away and the free nights have already been credited. Two free nights plus two more at the AAA rate of $379, which includes breakfast for two people on those two days. Normally the breakfast is $31 per person per day, so couldn't beat $10 per person. After a large breakfast, we probably won't eat a big lunch so we'll save a few more dollars that way..

When we check out of the Hyatt we'll stop to stock up on food as we head to our condo in Princeville. We found a place at the Hanalei Bay Resort for $135 per night. It's more of an efficiency with a murphy bed, living space, kitchen and a washer/dryer. Rented through the Parrish Collection. I was torn between Princeville and Hanalei but in the end decided we wanted a pool. For an extra $60, we got a late checkout, which about gives one extra day there.

That's basically it! Thanks, again, to all who responded to my many discombobulated posts. I hate to wish the summer away, but am totally excited thinking about the trip!
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May 19th, 2014, 08:57 AM
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Sounds great and can't wait to hear more.
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May 19th, 2014, 09:04 AM
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Yeah! So happy to hear this. I was only able to help a tiny bit since I've never been to Kauai. But your plan sounds perfect. Enjoy. And aloha!!!
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May 19th, 2014, 09:48 AM
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Have a great trip! (FWIW, we got TWO Hyatt cards and 4 consecutive nights free at the Grand Hyatt Kauai . We used them a couple of years ago. You'll love it.)
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May 19th, 2014, 10:35 AM
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Sounds like a wonderful trip, you picked two great places to stay. Hope you can fit in a boat trip of the Na Pali coast.
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May 19th, 2014, 01:16 PM
  #6
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Thanks Tomsd and suze - every tidbit of information is helpful!

sf7307....hmmmm....I didn't think that would fly (both of us signing up). However, they send me two cards - one with my name and another with my husbands. I didn't request one for him. It's a great deal though, isn't it?

jamie99......pictures of the Na Pali coast is what made me decide on Kauai. We are absolutely going on a boat trip. Thanks!
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May 19th, 2014, 01:38 PM
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If you can fit it into your budget, a helicopter tour of the island is a memorable experience. We did Jack Harter heli tour in the AM and then a Holo Holo catamaran trip that afternoon. Amazing to see sights from above and then zip along the coastline.
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May 19th, 2014, 10:56 PM
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sounds like you got a some really good deals. you will love the Grand Hyatt on Kauai. The lobby is so inviting and open and tropical. Dinner at Red Salt at the Koa Kea hotel is a treat - expensive but worth it. We always have a dinner at Brenecke's too. make reservations or you will have a long wait. have a wonderful time on this beautiful island. Hope you will be able to do some snorkeling (Snorkel Bob's for rentals)and hiking Maha'ulepu heritage trail just past the Hyatt is awesome and not strenuous with wonderful views also the Waimea canyon trail walk - beautiful...Aloha.....
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May 20th, 2014, 03:43 AM
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Oh how I love a good deal on a hotel! Yay! I hope you fall as madly in love with Hawaii as I am...
Enjoy!!
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May 20th, 2014, 05:17 AM
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rncheryl - I can only imagine what an experience it is to see the island from the sky. Unfortunately, I'm a chicken and it's doubtful I'll get in a helicopter.

Shar - I will be celebrating a birthday while there, so will keep your restaurant ideas in mind.

Hi, Momddtravel2!
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May 20th, 2014, 05:31 AM
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Buffalo Girl - do you like horseback riding? I went on a great ride on the north shore of Kauai...will find information if you are interested.
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May 20th, 2014, 05:45 AM
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Sigh.....thanks Momddtravel2. Unfortunately, horseback riding is right behind flying in a helicopter. Had a bad experience once and never got back on. Maybe I should put on my big girl pants and give it another try!!!
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May 20th, 2014, 05:52 AM
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Buffalo - Jack Harter is one of the best heli pilots there is. Actually - he was so safe I wanted him to zoom down a little lower and go deeper into a canyon.

He even took his daughter and wedding party to a top of a mountain peak to get married.

And we loved Captain Andy's trimaran out of Pt. Allen (www.napili.com, or close) - over by Waimea - which goes up the magnificent Napili Coast - and heard he has some new boats - but here are other good outfits too.

Be sure to drive all the way along the North Shore at LEAST once - all the way to the end of the road (over seven one lane bridges) and swim/snorkel at Ke Beach - assuming it's the surf is not really kicking up - which is rare in the summer. They have a lifeguard there also - or should have - there or at nearby Tunnels - which also good for snorkeling, but with a some undertow at times as you get further out. Ke beach has a reef protecting it.

And our favorite fresh fish place is the Hanalei (called "Blue" in the old Days?) Dolphin - which also has a branch now in Poipu. And the little shopping center in Hanalei town has a number of cute little places to eat/pick up an island style sandwich, whatever, plus a Foodland as I recall. Kauai cookies (brand)are very good too.

You might also stop by Tahiti Nui (on the main road as you come into Hanalei - just past the Dolphin which is on the Hanalei River) - for a beverage and see if some locals are playing Hawaiian songs. Hey - George Clooney hung out there a few times when they were filming The Descendants.

And close to where you are staying - is the Princeville Shopping center which has a number of cute places to dine - plus a big market - where you can stock up on stuff for your condo room/kitchen.

Forgot to mention - love the Hanalei Bay Resort and their swim around an island pool - and you can also walk down to the essentially private beach below the St. Regis.

Anini Beach is also a fun place - heading back toward Poipu a little bit for the turnoff - and has a grassy area where you can set up for a picnic if you want. Nice homes along there too - where Bette Milder used to have a place, Kareem Abdul Jabbar too at one time, and Sly (Sylvester Stalone/Rambo) used to play polo there also.

And I believe you have checked out Songdoc's blogs righto? IMO - he is the reigning guru for all things Kauai - especially the North Shore.

That reminds me - a classic old movie - South Pacific (1958) - a WWII Musical/Love story - by the great Rogers and Hammerstein (won some Oscars) - was filmed in large part on the north shore and you can see the Hanalei pier in it- that is still standing/in use. No better movie ever made to show the magnificent Bali Hai of the North Shore.

Check out Lumahai Beach (a magnificent crescent - even if you have to hike down a bit to get to it - but which can have some serious undertow but I/we have not noticed it - yet I always have my fins on when snorkeling around there) - the "Nurses Beach" in the movie where Mitzi Gaynor "washes that man right out of her hair".

Have a blast on our favorite - the Garden Isle.
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May 20th, 2014, 05:53 AM
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My bad - typo/mis-spelling. Napili is on Maui - www.napali.com is for Captain Andy on Kauai.
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May 20th, 2014, 05:54 AM
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And it might be a catamaran - v. a trimaran - but still smoother sailing/cruising than a single hull boat.
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May 20th, 2014, 08:02 AM
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Awesome deal! the Grand Hyatt Kauai is our favorite place... Ahhhhh.....

You are going to have a fabulous time.

Despite not staying in Hanalei, do visit. And take a boat trip along the Na Pali coast! And do one of the numerous gorgeous hikes around the island. And Ke'e Beach. And...

Okay, I'm going to go check into that Hyatt deal and get myself back ASAP!

Have fun!
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May 20th, 2014, 08:53 AM
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You gotta suck it up and do the copter tour on Kauai ... It's a once in a lifetime and you will always regret not doing it... Life is short and it's much more exciting than sitting in your garage with the neighbors!
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May 20th, 2014, 09:26 AM
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Agree with garyt. My wife has severe problems with heights: edges of cliffs, roads along hillsides, even hotel rooms above the 3rd floor. She's had problems with motion sickness too. But she went with me on a helicopter tour of Kaua'i and it remains one of her all-time favorite vacation memories.

If you do a NaPali Coast trip, take a sailing vessel. They can't get into the sea caves, but they're not as confining and restricting as smaller boats. Not much better than seeing the NaPali Coast from the water (except for seeing it from a helicopter ;-)).

Tomsd - I think you've got your beaches confused. The one you walk down to from the road is Kahalahala. Lumahai is about a mile west of there, at the mouth of the Lumahai River.
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May 20th, 2014, 09:45 AM
  #19
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WOW! Thanks for all the info. Tomsd (and Pijeta and FaceInTheCrowd).

I'll think about the helicopter ride. I'm feeling anxiety from just saying I'll think about it!!!

garyt22 - you know I gave up my beautiful city front porch for that suburban garage!!!!
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May 20th, 2014, 10:24 AM
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I've been out with both Captain Andy's and Holo Holo, both are good boats with good crews and food. Haven't taken a boat tour from the North Shore, they do not go out year around.
Yes Captain Andy has two newer boats, Southern Star and his new Northern Star which serve hot food instead of make your own sandwich. The morning tour is usually much calmer than the afternoon tour. Have fun.
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