Need help with Kauai recommendations

Apr 9th, 2011, 01:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
Need help with Kauai recommendations

Kauai:  golf, restaurants, non-swimming activities, favorite beaches with best views, day-trips, boat trips, and general things to do. Help, please.

Sorry for the broad topic. A friend just asked my help.  She and DH are leaving in a week, to stay in a condo they rented via a benefit auction. They are staying near Poipu, at Lawai Beach Resort. 

They are not budget travelers.  They both are interested in golfing on Kauai.  They are moderately good golfers, in good health and mobility, not snorkelers, age 60.

They have never been to Kauai, and I have not been there in years to be of much help, except to ask here. Would love some recommendations from fodorites. Thank you!
PeaceOut is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 07:54 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 106
Have them get the book: The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed, it is the best - we use them for all out trips to Hawaii and they are excellent.

My opinion: Poipu area, Waimea, north shore beaches - it's been so long since we have been I forget names. It's a small island, get the book and explore!! Love that place!
oldmacdonald is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 10:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,414
Non-swimming: Zipline, Na Pali Cruise, Helicopter tour, Waimea Canyon, Ditch tubing.

Perhaps you could print out some trip reports for them.
MichelleY is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 10:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 128
For restaurants, check out my posting here:

For boat tours, I like HoloHolo Charters.

Love the Allerton Gardens tour.

Love the beach at Hanalei Bay.
MelissaMorgan is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 08:38 AM
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Posts: 10,556
Thank you! These are very dear friends, so I want to give them a concise list of recommendations. They are 'last-minute' people, who spend a great deal of time helping others, and not much time on themselves. They are not really inclined to buy a guidebook.

I plan to cut and paste some ideas for them. Thanks for your help!

More, please?
PeaceOut is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,007
I think Kauai is a great place for a helicopter ride. We really liked Safari Helicopters and specifically the Kauai Refuge Eco Tour. We were able to land in a botanical reserve in Olokele Canyon, and the views (and the conversation we had with Keith Robinson who owns the property) were well worth it.

Also have them check out the Kilauea Lighthouse on the North Shore. It's got gorgeous views and a nature preserve.
beanweb24 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,967
Been to Kauai over ten times, going back in Sep/Oct.

Good beach for snorkeling is Lawai Beach right near where they are staying but since you asked for non-water activities:

Trip to Waimea Canyon, and Kokee State Park just north of there (continue on main road). Leave early enough to get up there by 9am to see the Kalalau Lookout and avoid the tour buses, see the Canyon on the way back down. Stop for lunch in Waimea or stop on the way for breakfast at Kalaheo Coffee.

Trip to the North Shore, visiting Ke'e and Tunnels beaches, if they are up to it, hike the first two miles of the Kalalau Trail, otherwise, visit the beaches, stop in Halalei for lunch and shopping in some of the cute shops they have there, I like Hanalei Gourmet and Hanalei Dolphin restaurants. Visit to Hanalei Beach is also nice, calm beach with a nice pier, good to walk along.

Excursions: Definitely a Na Pali boat ride, I like Holo Holo over Captain Andy but both are good. There are also some boats going out of the North Shore but they are just starting up and it would be a LONG drive from Poipu for a 7am checkin, better to go with an outfit leaving from Port Allen. Stop on the way back to visit Kilauea Lighthouse and if after 2pm stop at Kilauea Video and Ice Cream for some Tropical Dreams ice cream (although the owner is getting ready to move the shop to Kapaa).

Helicopter or maybe fixed wing aircraft. Wings Over Kauai gets good reviews, hope to try it later this year. Been a few years since I did a helicopter ride, pricey but worth it once.

Golf, - do not play so cannot help much other than to advise that unfortunately the Prince course up at Princeville which is arguably one of the best on the island is closed for remodeling now. There used to be something called the Kauai Golf Challenge, maybe Google it. There are a couple of courses near where they are staying, one at Kiahuna, and there are one or two above the Marriott where I stay in Lihue.
jamie99 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 11:11 AM
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Merci beaucoup! Will copy your posts to print out for my friends.

Love the recs for specific tour companies to use, restaurants, day-trip itineraries.

Fodorites rock!
PeaceOut is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,798
I'm not a golfer, but the municipal course in Wailua is supposed to be a great course.

Google is wonderful thing.
iamq is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 226
I remember reading in a recent issue of Hawaii Magazine about some gardens in Kauai that can be toured (? Limahuli). Maybe you could look up some information in past issues online.
mouseRD is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 3,764
What we loved (also 60something):
HoloHolo Catamaran trip along the Na'Pali coast.
Jack Harter helicopter tour of the island (great orientation)
Kipu Ranch Jeep tours (Made me feel 20 years younger!)
rncheryl is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,489
Kukuilono Golf Course is an open to the public course and very inexpensive. They can take a back road to it from Poipu. Fanatastic views that rival the views on the Princeville Course but only a 9 holer. We just play it twice. Something like $10 with a cart. Very walkable but you don't want to get caught in a Kalaheo Downpour!

Stop in for a bite afterward at Kalaheo Cafe or Brick Oven Pizza.

We like to golf at the Puuakea Course near the Kukui Grove Shopping Ctr. Lovely course and not too expensive too. Over looks areas where they shot Jurrasic Park.

A cheap and beautiful excursion is renting a golf cart after 3pm and just touring the Princeville Golf Course.
Absa-toot-ly beautiful.

Stop by "Roy's" new resto The Tavern after the tour and grab a bite and a view.
Kal is offline  
Apr 11th, 2011, 12:34 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,051
Very good restaurants in Poipu area, so they don't have to drive the hour and half back from the north shore after dining and drinking:
Beach House, Roy's, Tidepool's, Plantation Gardens, Merriman's, Dondero's, Red Salt, Stevenson's Library Jazz and sushi at Hyatt

Casual: Keoki's Paradise Poipu and Dukes, Lihue

Best Sunset Catamaran sail is Captain Andy's from Port Allen.
Best golf: Poipu Bay Golf Course at the Grand Hyatt
Best Helo: Jack Harter from Lihue
Best Shave Ice: Jo Jo's or Wishing Well
MBnancy is offline  
Apr 17th, 2011, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Definitely get the revealed book. We are headed there in 3 weeks and my husband has already read it. We used it for Maui and the Big Island and it was spot on.
newbie39 is offline  
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