Kauai Must Do's

Old Jul 7th, 2007, 07:41 PM
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Kauai Must Do's

We will be visiting Kauai in Sept. for the first time. What things are a must to see and do? We are staying in Princeville. Also, we love to seek out local restaurants, we're not interested in upscale resort restaurants, but love to eat where the locals do. Any tips would be wonderful. Mahalo
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Old Jul 7th, 2007, 09:17 PM
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Kauai is my favorite place in the world!! IF you like activities you must do the zipline at princeville (check it out when you check in). The north shore is beautiful and my personal heaven. Do a boat ride around the napali coastline. Plan to get wet and if you like to snorkle you can see some very cool stuff. Find a tour company that goes into the caves because that is awesome. Both trips we left out of hanalei with a tour company that we found in the blue book...forget what its called but you hve to get that book . Just go to any big bookstore and get the fodors book and the blue book on Kauai.

Our favorite food was going to the hanalei dolphin (restaurant) and in the back they have a fresh seafood market. We got different fresh fish almost daily and cooked it in our house.

Lots of great places to snorkle..tunnels and the end of the road being my personal favorite. We brought our own equipment but you could buy it at walmart after you land and pick up your car. Walmart...the best place to get souveniers!!! Need any other ideas don't hesitate to email...I love that place!!!
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Old Jul 7th, 2007, 10:55 PM
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The things that are musts really depend on your travel style. Personally, my must-do list is mainly spending time at the beach--I love to walk on a beautiful beach, watch the surf. Since you are staying in Princeville, you will be very close to some wonderful beaches. I like to go up to Ke'e beach (the end of the road) early in the morning before most people get there. Depending on water conditions, you can snorkel there. Ke'e is starting point for the Kalalau trail.

Limahuli Garden is part of the Natl Botanical Garden, focusing on native species. We really enjoyed touring there. It is close to Ke'e, in a beautiful setting going up the valley. You get a different perspective on the distinctive peaks of Mt. Makana (often called Bali Hai) from the garden.

Hanalei is fun to walk around and window shop. There are several restaurants, but I can't recommend because, sadly, I have not been there for a few years.

Since you are staying on the north shore, personally I would spend most of my time up there, rather than driving around to the other parts of the island. The n. shore is my favorite part of the island.

If you do drive around to the other side of the island, try to go all the way to the Kalalau valley overlook--after you get to Waimea Canyon, continue on up to the end of the road. It is an amazing view. You may have to walk a bit to the best view point now...someone who has been there recently will have to update that.

I hope you have a great trip!
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 01:34 AM
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Our favorite "local" restaurants are Ono Burger (near Princeville, right on the highway in Anahola) for great burgers and seasoned fries, and Hamuro's in Lihue for their noodles and lilikoi chiffon pie. They are our two "must eats" when we go back in Oct.
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 01:50 AM
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Our favorite thing on Kauai was definitely the helicopter tour of the Na Pali coast - it really is the most gorgeous place I've ever seen, and seeing it from the air is amazing. We also did a sunset sail there that was pretty cool. We snorkelled at Ke'e and also went to Tunnels - both very pretty. Be careful of the swimming conditions. You might also want to check out the Spouting Horn if you get to that part of the island.

For good cheap eats, Hamura's (you may be the only tourist in there) and Bubba's Burgers.
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 01:53 AM
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 05:18 AM
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We just returned from that 7 day cruise. Although the cruise part was not my favorite, Kauai was my best island. I just fell in love with this island. It is just awesome. A must do is the helicopter ride. We used air Kauai. They were great and it was so amazing!!! I believe it may be the only way to see the napali coast line. You can also drive to the canyon. It is on the drier side of the island which is so totally different in terrain. We ate in Hanalei but I cannot remember the name. You can also do some kayaking. The beaches are great, but respect the water. Try and go where there is a lifeguard.
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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Less is more on Kaua'i. We don't like to spend a lot of time and $$ running here and there doing this and that. This will be our fourth trip to Kaua'i and we haven't done a heli trip, a zipline, or an ATV trip. It is possible to enjoy Kaua'i without doing all of those things. I enjoy time spent on the beach under a shade tree watching the clouds drift by.

aloha listed some of my favorites. I'll add to that Makua Beach (dubbed Tunnels). Parking can be a bit a pain. You may have to park at the Haena Beach Park lot. If you do that walk to the right towards the point for about 10 minutes. You will pass a beach right of way that many use to access the beach (right by house with a blue tile roof). At that place, turn around and look and you will be treated to one the classic Hawaiian views. Makana Peak (Bali Hai)appears to rise right out of the sea. It is my favorite spot to sit and appreciate the beauty of Kaua'i.

Another favorite is morning walks along Hanalei Bay followed by a swim. Amazing.

The Kilauea Lighthouse is another gem that ought to be visited.

For eats in Hanalei, try the Hanalei Gourmet, the plate lunch place in the back of Ching Young Center, the little breakfast place right on the road next to Tahiti Nui (Hmmm...the name of the place escapes me...), the fish market behind the Dolphin, and if you want a more special place, try Postcards. No views and a vegetarian/fish menu, but very good food. Service a bit spotty, but get a table outside.

Other local eateries that I would try are Hamura's Saimin in Lihue, Pono Market in Kapa'a (plate lunches), and Lihue BBQ Inn.

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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 04:08 PM
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Hey iamq, your vacations in Kauai sound like ours. We always stay on the northshore and love going to the beaches and just watching the waves come in. The lighthouse is another favorite place for watching the waves hit the cliffs.
We like going to Jave Kai in Hanalei and people watch.
We stayed for a month and left the northshore only 3 times and never had a boring moment.

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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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"We stayed for a month and left the northshore only 3 times..."

Ahhh..my deam scenario.
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 04:57 PM
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nancy, my favorite place on the island is the lighthouse. I love it!

As soon as we can get to Hamura's for saimen, we are off like jack rabbits. Be sure to get the lilikoi pie. If you get a whole pie, then that's a great fruit to have for breakfast!!!!

Have a great time on Kauai.

Old Jul 8th, 2007, 05:27 PM
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deam should be dream.
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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If you hike, I'd say the Kalalau Trail (from Ke'e Beach) is a definite "must." I also think Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Lookout are "musts."

For my return trip I've booked a Na Pali boat ride. Otherwise, just plan to revisit the favorite places mentioned above and simply enjoy being in that beautiful North Shore setting.

PS. I loved Neide's (Brazilian/Mexican) restaurant. Relaxed, casual outdoor eating and reasonable prices. Had the most amazing stuffed vegetable pancake entree. I'll definitely be going back.

You'll love Kauai!
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Old Jul 8th, 2007, 06:17 PM
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We love Kauai!!! Love Brennecke's down in Poipu--right across from Poipu Beach. Also enjoyed Zelo's Beach House in Hanalei. We stayed at Hanalei Bay Resort and they have a great restaurant with a spectacular view. Also have live entertainment during Happy Hour (at least when we were there they did).

Our favorite things were boat ride up Napali Coast, snorkeling off any beach, hiking to waterfalls, Waimea Canyon, the zipline wasn't there when we were there last time but we would definitely do that. Fav. beaches were Kei, Tunnels, Poipu.
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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 11:35 AM
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nancy, here is your first posting with quite a few thoughtful answers. You don't need to repost your question. If you can't find it, click on your name and it will bring up a list of threads that you have posted on. Just click on that post.
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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 04:26 PM
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If you want an elegant dinner with one of the most spectacular settings... go to the Princeville Hotel. $58 for 3 course meal and coffee/tea. Service was wonderful!
at least go to their bar for a sunset view (Dining Room doesn't seem to have sunset view). Probably need to arrive early to get good table. Many folks run out from the lobby and up from DR. So, don't expect to sit in lobby and see view... even though you might have the perfect seat early on... once people pour outside... you'll need to be standing too!

I think it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been and I will always recommend it to anyone as a Kauai must do!

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