Kauai Trip Report

Jun 25th, 2019, 08:11 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 35
Kauai Trip Report


I just returned from a wonderful last minute birthday trip to one of my favorite islands.
In the past I have stayed on either the North Shore OR Poipu but this time we spent a few days on each side.
I went with my grown daughter so it was extra spacial.

We stayed at Princeville Resort and Ko'a Kea Hotel.
Princeville Resort is still stunning but definitely in need of the remodel which is supposed to take place next year.
We had an amazing view of the ocean but unfortunately no terrace. Sunset from this hotel is definitely worthy of a top ten list.
The ocean this time of year was calm and clear and you could see colorful fish without even snorkeling.
They have beach food and drink service and a lovely pool as well.

Ko'a Kea was a pleasant surprise. From the island flip-flops in our room to my birthday champagne and lovely note, the staff were amazing.
Our view was gorgeous and the food was fantastic.
The only negative is that there is no beach directly in front of the hotel although there is an ocean front lawn with amazing views.
There is a small beach on either side of the hotel. The hotel is quiet and relaxing but still within walking distance of shops and restaurants.

In my opinion the Princeville area (North Shore) is much prettier and more dramatic. This side is typically gets more rain but we had sunshine every day.
The Poipu area (South Shore) is more user friendly - better restaurants, shopping etc.
Below are a few fun excursions and a restaurant list. We are not super adventurous, no zip-lining or strenuous hiking but there is plenty of that to be found on Kauai.

Take a boat ride out of Hanalei to see the Napali Coast. Most trips are four hours with snorkeling.
This company is very good and they also offer a two hour late afternoon boat trip that is wonderful - napalitours.com
If you are prone to seasickness, I suggest taking one Bonine the night before you go out and one an hour before you depart.

Helicopter tours over The Napali Coast are amazing as well - I have taken Jack Harter Helicopters and loved it. www.helicopters-kauai.com

Every Friday the art galleries in Hanapepe are open from 5:00 to 9:00 and it’s a fun event with a mix of locals and tourists. In addition to the galleries, make sure to visit Banana Patch Studio for local gifts, Talk Story Bookstore (Westernmost bookstore in the U.S.) and Aloha Spice Company. Walk across the swinging bridge while it’s still light out.

Kayaking on a local river can be fun. Go early in the morning, before it gets too hot. Kayakkauai.com has many options. Friends have kayaked the Napali Coast and loved it but it can get quite rough.

Make sure you drive to Wailua Falls. Also visit Kipu Falls which is a gorgeous waterfall that flows into a deep pool.

Shopping - The Shops at Kukui’ula in Poipu have fun boutiques and great restaurants. Koloa Town has a few local shops and Kapaa has a mix of stores.

Local Farmer’s Markets are a fun way to experience local flavors. The Saturday morning market at Kauai Community College is the largest and most diverse.
Make sure to buy a freshly cracked coconut.

Non-hotel restaurants close early so make sure you do not wait too late to eat dinner.

Allerton Gardens - Koloa - pretty gardens.

Shave Ice - Delicious with cream on the top and macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom! Jojo’s in Hanalei and Hee Fat General Store in Kapaa are great. The coconut shave snow at Uncles at The Shops at Kukui’ula is delicious.


Restaurants

I have not eaten at the restaurants with an * but have heard good things

North Shore

Princeville Resort - There are two restaurants but they are not both always open. Good food and stunning views. Sunset on the terrace off of the lobby is a special treat

Bistro Kilauea - Lunch or dinner - good salads, burgers and seafood

*Chicken in A Barrel - Hanalei - Barbecue chain that is very popular

Hanalei Dolphin - Great fish, fun local atmosphere

*Northsdide Grill - Hanalei - Open air seating. Good sushi bar + fish, ribs etc

Tahiti Nui - Hanalei - Fun local, kitschy bar. Live music

Bar Acuda - Hanalei. Tapas - Mostly very good

South Shore

Keoki’s - Poipu - Fun, tropical setting, good fish

Red Salt in Koa Kea Hotel - Poipu. Excellent food and great cocktails. Breakfast is good too, amazing potatoes

Merrimans Fish House - Poipu - Wonderful local fish

Beach House - Poipu - Amazing view, great sunsets depending on time of year. Can be very good but not always consistent

Plantation Gardens - Poipu - Lovely setting and everything is delicious

*Eating House 1849 - Seafood and fish with local influences

Brennecke’s Beach Broiler - Poipu - Fun atmosphere by the beach. Better for lunch than dinner

Puka Dog - Poipu Shopping Village - Unique and tasty hot dogs with local fruit relish

Makai Sushi - Poipu - Amazing poke bowls inside a market

East Shore

Coconut’s - Kapaa - Fantastic fish tacos and coconut shrimp. Super casual and quick

*Lava Lava Beach Club - Kapaa

Oasis - Kapaa - Pleasant simple restaurant with a lovely view

Hamura Saimin Stand - Lihue institution. Casual local noodle shop

Mark’s Place - Lihue - Very popular local food. I am not a fan but people love it

*South East Asia Cuisine - Lihue - Thai food that’s supposed to be very good

Aloha!
JBeth is offline  
Jun 25th, 2019, 12:47 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,637
What a great report!
I'm so glad you had such a wonderful trip -- and such great weather.
Songdoc is offline  

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