Kauai sight seeing

Old Jul 31st, 2010, 01:48 AM
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Kauai sight seeing

We'll be at a Poipu Sands condo on the south side of Kauai in September and would like some suggestions about the various ways to see the island. I've found web sites for helicopter rides, ultra light 2 man/woman seater rides and then personal hiking guides. Also would like some good restaurant suggestions. My husband and I only get to spend 3 days so want to maximize our hours.
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Old Jul 31st, 2010, 07:46 AM
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All the good restaurants and activities are described and reviewed in the essential Kauai guidebook called "The Ultimate Guide to Kauai" by Doughty.
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Old Jul 31st, 2010, 12:32 PM
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you can see a lot by just driving and stopping at various beaches. do you particularly want to see the island from the air?
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Old Jul 31st, 2010, 12:53 PM
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In Poipu, I like Roy's and Puka Dog. Also the happy hour at Brenneke's. A pitcher of mango margarita is great and very reasonable. I love Allerton Garden tour, but it's a little pricey. I also loved the hikes out of Kokee. Oh and visiting the Grand Hyatt is very interesting.
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Old Jul 31st, 2010, 01:56 PM
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You definitely have to drive up to the North Shore ande check out the beautiful beaches there especially Kee's and Tunnels. Should be good snorkeling that time of year. On the way back stop at Kiluea light house and in the town stop at the video store for some of the best ice cream ever (they do not open until 2pm).

Another day drive up to Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park, go to Kokee first and get an early start so you can see the Kalalau lookout before the fog rolls in.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 02:40 AM
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Thanks all for the tips. I am so looking forward to this trip and that "life altering experience" the NaPali trail might bring!!
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 08:41 AM
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We will also be in the Poipu area, in a few weeks time. How far a drive is it to Waimea Canyon? If we head there is there an "easy" drive where we can see a bunch of the area or, it really needs a full morning or afternoon voyage? Plus getting out of the car and hiking around a bit?

Likewise, for the N'Apali coast, is the best or only way to fully see that from the water? On a cruise, or similar? Thanks.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 02:42 PM
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The Canyon should be about 45 minutes to an hour from Poipu, there are two roads up there, one departs from Waimea and the other a bit further south, from Kekaha, take one up and the other one down. There are two lookouts past Kokee State Park (above the Canyon, go there first) where you can see the Kalalau Valley if you get there before the fog rolls in. There is a nice small museum (donations appreciated) and a lodge which serves breakfast and lunch, good stop for a Coke or a beer.

I personally love the Na Pali coast boat tours and have done several over the years.
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Old Aug 1st, 2010, 02:50 PM
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Have seen Na Pali from the sea and from the air (on the same day, if you can believe it!). It is a mind altering experience. Jack Harter's helicopter tour, and HoloHolo catamaran sea trip.

Also in you area is Kipu Ranch ATV tours.

We stayed in Princeville but toured the whole island.

Have a great trip!

Get started early on your canyon trip, the fog comes in and tends to obscure the view.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 04:08 AM
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Perfect, thank you. You can read summaries of the areas and it would take pages and pages to get that succint information.

For the canyon trip and starting early, do you mean 8 a.m. early, or anytime before the afternoon early? Thanks.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 06:54 AM
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We've done both the helicopter tour and the sunset sail. The helicopter tour is one of our best vacation memories ever. You cannot believe how beautiful the Na Pali coast is.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 03:09 PM
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Ditto on Na Pali coast. One of the most beautiful places on Earth.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 03:13 PM
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It is - and you can get a great view of it FROM Waimea Canyon lookouts (obviously, a different vantage point than seeing it from the water side)
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 03:24 PM
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We have been to the Waimea Canyon lookout a couple of times. Once, when you couldn't see 100 feet, and another time when the view was fleeting, shall we say, with the clouds rolling in. But still very impressive. I suggest that "get there early" means an 8:00 A.M. start time (or earlier), and not just "before noon". You'll want to maximize your chances of the best visibility, and that generally comes in the early part of the morning, in my experience.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 04:37 PM
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I've been to Waimea Canyon many times and I believe the Kalalau lookout is probably the most beautiful view in the world. I have never arrived early and have never been fogged in. I've never arrived before 10 AM; once arrived around noon; and saw some stunning views before heading back out at 4 pr 5 PM.

Several times it poured just as I arrived at the Kalalau lookout--but fifteen minutes later that magnificent view was dressed in a rainbow -- and once, a double rainbow! I've also been there when it was foggy--but again, it was temporary.

That's just my experience.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 05:36 PM
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There was a rainbow when we did our helicopter tour too; it was a big wow moment for us.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 05:58 PM
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Thank you. We will be there. The hour will depend on how early I can raise the troops. Thanks.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 08:30 PM
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My experience was the same as Songdoc's -- we never get up that early on vacation, and in fact, the last time we went, we had headed toward the north first, but traffic was so bad, we turned around and went to Waimea Canyon instead. And we had lunch at Kokee before we actually went to the lookout. So it wasn't early, and the view was sensational! Lucky, I guess.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 09:01 PM
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Love the Hyatt. We were having drink at the bar on our last evening there 4 years ago and saw a double rainbow. Stopped to enjoy the atmosphere while visiting family last year--just love that place. Nice lunch at Ilima Terrace too.
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Old Aug 14th, 2010, 05:11 AM
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We enjoyed Hawaii last March. Waimea Canyon really impressive. As is Na Pali seen from a cruise ship. Hidden rain forest of Kokee park is a gem. Also check out "Hidden Kauai" for a guidebook. One lunch and drink spot is Dukes at Marriott overlooking the beach.

Bill now in Boston [email protected]
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