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cookbound Feb 3rd, 2006 08:36 AM

Kauai Must do's....please suggestions
Hi All,

I always have such luck with my Fodorite friends when planning my trips I'm calling for aid again. March 06 will be my first time to Kauai (been to Hawaii,but first time here), and we will be staying 4 nights 5 days at the Grand Hyatt.

I've been searching and haven't seen any info. on excursions, tours, etc. We are active 40 yr olds and typically snorkel, and do the most exciting things we can find. We are not big hikers (we do some, but not major) and this is all I'm finding, except for the zip line tour (which sounds like fun...done it in Costa Rica & Puerto Vallarta).

Any suggestions????

I've read on websites to do helicopter tour of Waimea Canyon, and kayak tours and catamaran trips....anyone done these? Recommend tour companies?



cherie1 Feb 3rd, 2006 09:19 AM

For horseback riding, Princeville Ranch is a nice way to see a bit of the North Shore. We did the waterfall ride and enjoyed it a lot. It did involve a little hiking to the waterfall, which was surprisingly strenuous. ( Princeville Ranch is only a few minutes away from the Princeville Hotel, also worth checking out.

CJM Stables ( is close to the Hyatt if you want to stay in the area.

We also did an ATV excursion with Kipu Tours, and loved it. It is privately owned property--our tour went through a working cattle ranch and rain forest.
It was really fun. We prefered the rhino ATV, which seats two and is a little more stable than the traditional ATV since they have conventional steering wheels and a frame to the vehicle (still open though).(

A major highlight of our trip was hiking Waimea Canyon. The Kauai Revealed book gives details of several different hikes.

We snorkled in the area a little ways down from the Beach House restaurant. A lot of the waters were pretty rough during our stay, including Poipu Beach, but this area was manageable.

The Hyatt is lovely. Don't forget to visit the spa too. Dining at Tidepools and Donderos is nice, and the Stevenson Library Bar gets quite lively at night, has great drinks, and excellent sushi Thurs-Sunday.

Have fun!!!!!!!!

Kaymit Feb 3rd, 2006 09:56 AM


My husband and I went to Kauai for the first time last year. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt as well. It was beautiful and the service and staff were great for us. Everyone we talked to there was very friendly and helpful. The winding river pool, slide and lagoon are such fun and romantic (we found a few caves :-)

The highlight of our trip was the helicopter ride with Inter-island Helicopters that included a waterfall landing swim and picnic!!! and the helicopter only holds 4 passengers and has NO doors. WOW oh WOW that was the coolest thing we had ever done. It so cool to swim in our private waterfall :-)

We also had a car and drove up WAimea Canyon that was really a cool place as well.

You of course have to see the Napali Coast line and try and at least hike the first 2 miles of the trail that starts at Kee Beach. Belive you me I am no hiker but did do the first two miles as the views are killer from the trail.

There are lots more things to do you can read my full trip report and look at my Kauai pictures if you email me at [email protected] so I can give you the link.

cookbound Feb 3rd, 2006 01:03 PM

Kay & Cherie,

Thank you both for the info.! I'm so excited and can't wait to get there. My husband travels a lot and this is the first time he is going to a decent destionation for work. So, he'll be on Oahu for two weeks and I'll join him at the end of his trip. We'll be in Oahu together for 3 days then we'll continue over to Kauai.

Kay, I'll be emailing you and Cherie, I appreciate all the info. the ATV's, waterfall ride and everything else sounds like so much fun! I'll check out those sites.


MBnancy Feb 3rd, 2006 02:25 PM


If you haven't already booked, do you know about the Sunshine on Sale package, stay 5 nights, get one free and huge breakfast buffet included, or the Stay Certificates from the Hyatt website for $249 a night.

Everything suggested above is right on too, especially the Inter-Island Helicopters.

kimr Feb 3rd, 2006 02:39 PM

Here's a link to my trip report from last April

I'll echo the recommendation to get the Ultimat Kauai (Kauai Revealed) guide book. It is by far the best!


kimr Feb 3rd, 2006 02:42 PM

Sorry, that link doesn't seem to get you right to the report but it does get you to a list of my posts. Scroll down and you'll find it.


FainaAgain Feb 3rd, 2006 03:14 PM

To post a link you need to open the post, then click on the header. When you see the URL with lots of numbers at the end of it, then you can copy.

acaigirl Feb 3rd, 2006 03:27 PM

Another vote for the heli-tour with inter-island! We didn't do the waterfall lunch (though that sounds nice!) but we were the only ones on the tour, and um...there were no doors. It was amazing, exhilerating, and awe-inspiring...especially when we went to the the top of Mt. Waileleale (sp?) which was just the greenest green you have ever seen and dripping with tons of waterfalls. It was one of the best things we did on Kauai.

We did a lot of hiking, Na Pali should not be missed. You could possibly do a kayak tour down the coast of Na Pali, depending on the time of year and how much of a workout you want. ;-)

Aloha! Enjoy Kauai.

tmt Feb 3rd, 2006 06:43 PM

I'm headed for the Hyatt Kauai in August, so thanks for the great information. I called the Hyatt 800 number and was told that the Kauai hotel takes the Elite Stay Certificates and as of right now there was no availability to use the certificates for the entire summer. :(

The Elite certificates are 35,000 Amex points and the Amex site also says that Kauai certificates are 50,000 points. \


trippinkpj Feb 3rd, 2006 07:00 PM

We really enjoyed the Hanalei area, Ke'e beach and the Na Pali Trail (just hiked in to the 2 mile mark and back. Liked the Kilaea lighthouse. Also enjoyed the Waimea canyon and the small towns of Waimea, Hanapepe and Koloa. I'm envious as I want to go back! :-)

cookbound Feb 6th, 2006 05:31 AM

Excellent suggestions, thank you all for posting! I'm afraid I already booked and paid for my Hyatt stay, didn't even think of using Amex points...darn it!!!! Oh well, it was a last minute booking they probably wouldn't have taken them........that's what I'll keep telling myself! :)

I'll get the Kauai revealed book, I've already told DH that he better take his hiking boots, can't wait for some gorgeous vistas! Now, I get motion sickness, and have always wanted to do a helicopter terrible will the ride be, will dramamine do the trick?! I'm gonna do it cuz the thought of landing near a waterfall is just too awesome to not do!

Thanks again everyone for your help, I'll keep watching for more suggestions.


cookbound Feb 6th, 2006 05:42 AM


Excellent trip report, very thorough and informative! Sounds like you all had a great time in Kauai, I can't wait!!!! :)


kamahinaohoku Feb 6th, 2006 08:21 AM

cookbound - definitely take the dramamine...before you get on the flight. The last time I was on a helicopter in 25th ride :)), the man behind me didn't take his and I got barfed on halfway through the trip. Definitely NOT my best ride. But don't let it stop you from going. I get horrible motion sickness, and I just take the medicine at the right time and GO. You'll love it.

cookbound Feb 8th, 2006 05:52 AM


Thanks for the tip!! Ugh, that couldn't have been pleasant at all!!! :( I'm happy to hear that the dramamine will do the trick, I'm so vulnerable to motion sickness and hate the feeling!

Thanks again!

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