Kauai: First Trip Help Please

Old Sep 19th, 2017, 04:20 PM
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Kauai: First Trip Help Please

Aloha! We are a couple in our late 60s visiting Kauai for the first time. We will be there for 6 days in mid-October and will be staying at a hotel in Lihue. In general, we want to see and do things that are unique to Kauai and things that we can't do in the northeastern U.S. From our research, that includes Waimea Canyon from the air and by car, the North Shore/ Napali Coast by car (and possibly from the water). We're not avid hikers, but would be fine with short hikes that are not too taxing. I will definitely want to play golf one day (9 holes would be fine) on a course with views of the Pacific. Don't need a fancy course; I play at a public course at home.

By way of further background, we definitely would like to swim, but I am a very poor swimmer. so we need a beach/beaches with calm water and no big drop-off depth-wise.Along those lines, we loved Kapalua beach on Maui. We also enjoy snorkeling in shallow, calm water, if possible. We'd also be interested in a tropical garden/wildlife refuge. One last water problem is that I am very susceptible to seasickness. This all probably sounds worse than it is. I love being on the water; I just have to literally choose my spots.

Any suggestions as to what we might be able to see/do in 6 days? Here are my more specific questions:

1. Can we comfortably fit in all 4 sections of Kauai in 6 days? If not, which section might we omit, given our must see places?

2. From Lihue, is there a sequence that makes sense as far as to when to go where?

3. With regard to an air tour, I had been thinking about helicopters, but saw some excellent reviews of airplane tours by Wings Over Hawaii or Air ventures. Has anyone done both types of air tours? If so, which did you prefer? If only helicopter, which company do you recommend?

4. Are there any boat tours of the Napoli Coast where I'm not likely to get seasick?

5. Can you recommend a calm water beach that also has decent snorkeling?

6. Are there good boat tours to other parts of the island where seasickness would not be an issue?

7. Can we go round-trip from Lihue to the North Shore in one day before it gets dark (assuming an 8:00 start)?

Thank you very much for your help.

rteach1 is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2017, 05:36 PM
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For a calm water beach with good snorkeling, go to Poipu Beach. You can snorkel right from the waters edge.

Yes, you can easily go round trip Lihue to Ke'e (the end of the road) on a day trip. We've done that all the way from Poipu, and included stops for breakfast in Kapaa, poking around in Hanalei, driving through Princeville, visits to several other beaches and a stop for a shave ice on the way back.
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Old Sep 20th, 2017, 05:46 AM
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Maha'ulepu Heritage Trail is a great hiking trail near the Hyatt in Poipu. Not strenuous and has outstanding views.

6 days or 6 nights? 6 nights is really only a little over 5 days. I think it depends on how busy you want to be. You have a lot on your list for such a short time but then we go to relax and swim and snorkel, hike. Poipu Beach is good for snorkeling and swimming.

1. Definitely the Waimea Canyon
2. Definitely Ke'e Beach and north shore (Hanalei for shave ice, and funky/ old Hawaii atmosphere) Ke'e good for snorkeling too but as you get into winter months it can be rough. Should still be good in October I think.

These two are pretty much full days - at least for me

3. Bike riding in Kapa'a along the paved walk/bike trail that runs along the water is fun and beautiful. YOu can stop and enjoy the beach or just keep riding. $5.00 per hour per Bike. 2 hours is good.For a great Fish Taco after go to Sleeping Giant Cafe.

4. A very calm beach is Kalapaki Beach although not the prettiest beach. That would be fairly close if you are staying in Lihue.

Helicopter ride is outstanding and snorkel trips (Capt'n Andy) are great but you can run into some rough water. Holo Holo Charters is out for the whole day (7+ hours)and you definitely will run into some rough water as you are way out on the open sea. Several people got sea sick

I think for that short amount of time you might want to prioritize so you can get some just down time in beautiful Kauai on beach, or lanai. But then that is how I would do it and I am not you. Either way you will love Kauai. Our favorite Island. Have been going for over 30 years.
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Old Sep 20th, 2017, 05:52 AM
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if you tend to get sea sick have you tried the "wrist bands". I have used them in the past and they work. Any drug store sells them. Some people also get a patch that goes behind the ear which they get from their doctor.

Google public golf courses on Kauai. Not a golfer so can't help there.

Definitely can do North shore in a day and be back b4 dark. October i would think would be dark around 7:30 pm. Traffic can get a bit hectic at certain times.
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Old Sep 20th, 2017, 10:15 AM
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My must do's are Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Park, boat tour of Na Pali coast (in mid October tours will be leaving from the west shore) and drive up to North Shore with stops at Kee Beach and Hanalei for lunch, and stop at the lighthouse either on the way up or the way back. Anini Beach may be calm enough to snorkel or go to Poipu.
Are you staying at the Marriott in Lihue? I've stayed there a number of times (but not recently) and enjoyed it a lot, be sure to eat at Duke's there.
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Old Sep 20th, 2017, 05:12 PM
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The Wailua Golf Course in Kauai is a great public course. There are ocean views on at least two of the holes, as I recall (about 10 years ago). It's pretty laid back and I had a great time. I rented clubs and my wife and I got around 18 easily. There are much nicer courses but judging by your description of what you are looking for, I think this is the one for you.
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 08:56 AM
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Wailua and Puakea Golf Courses are both very nice courses near you. Ocean views are better at Wailua while Puakea will give you some great mountain views and at one hole if you could hit a 500 yard drive your ball would land in an area where they filmed Jurassic Park.

One of the best view golf courses on the island where you don't pay and arm and a leg is the 9 holer up in Kalaheo, Kukuilono.

Poipu Golf Course very nice but $$$ If you do the Mahaulepu Hike, you'll skirt the course. I think they were redoing the Kiahuna Golf Course in Poipu but it's also a nice, inland course with some nice views.

There's a fairly new one there now, too but it's another "Bushwood CC". lol

Another nice snorkel spot in Poipu area is right next to The Beach Hut restaurant. On the road to Spouting Horn. Has a small reef that kind of protects it. Need to get there early to stake a beach spot.

Ditto Salt Pond out on the Westside and Lydgate near the Wailua GC.

As for your travels around the island, always be prepared for the delay thru Kapaa aka: "The Kapaa Krawl". Lotta traffic and stop lights too close to each other IMHO.

If the road to Polihale is in decent condition, I always say a must do is seeing a sunset over Niihau from there. If not we usually stop at McArthur Park in Kakaha or watch the sunset from across the street from St Theresa's in Kekaha.
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 03:41 PM
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Thank you for all of your helpful replies. We're going for 6 nights, so it really is only 5 full days. Will have to make some choices. probably will pass on the boat ride, as there is the risk of ruining a day with seasickness. I really don't want to rush around to the extent that we can't absorb the beauty of the Island. Not staying at the Marriott, but have The Duke on my restaurant list.
The suggestions for calm beaches,snorkeling, hikes, and golf are great.
Can't wait for the trip!

If there are any further replies, I'll write some more. Meanwhile, thanks again!
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 04:49 PM
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Re Napali coast boat tour: my husband gets sea sick so I emailed one of the co's that does that tour to ask about it (forgot name of co. but they have 20 ft catamaran). We'll be there in late Oct. They told me it does get choppy on the way back.

For easy snorkeling, the stuff I read about Lydgate Beach Park sounded good -- lifeguard, protected, and sand rather than rocks on the bottom. Looks like it's about 15 min. drive from Lihue.
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Old Sep 21st, 2017, 04:50 PM
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Visit Hanalei Bay. The mountains as a backdrop to that beautiful beach is beyond description. Do not miss the north shore. I've only been there once (two years ago) and if anyone tells me there's somewhere more beautiful on planet earth they will have to prove it.
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Old Dec 7th, 2017, 07:20 AM
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Great information for my upcoming trip!
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