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Songdoc Jan 26th, 2013 03:52 PM

Songdoc’s perfect day on Kauai’s North Shore
My first stop heading north would be at Kealia Beach—but only if you have the time and inclination to walk north on the bike/walking path. I did five miles on that trail today and it was perfect.

If not … continue on and make a quick stop at Anahola Beach (by turning right on Anahola Rd.) You’ll get great photos of Sleeping Giant—and you’ll get to say that you were in the spot where, according to the Dalai Lama, all souls enter the Earth. Regardless of whether you stop, you’ll drive through a gorgeous tree tunnel—quite different from the one on the south side of the island. Magical!

Next stop: the lighthouse/wildlife refuge at Kilauea. This is usually a great spot for whale and bird watching. (Although the whales have been fantastic everywhere I’ve been this year.)

If you like glitz, make the right turn on Ka Haku Rd. into Princeville and continue a few minutes on to the St. Regis at the end. In front of the St. Regis is an interesting display about the Russian Fort that once stood there. But the better reason to stop is for the gorgeous Bali Hai views.

Next stop: the Hanalei Lookout (on your left—across from Foodland). Snap some gorgeous pix. Now ...back in the car … Hurry up! You’ve got more places to see. ☺.

Continue on a very short distance to the next turnout/lookout on your right for “WOW” views over Hanalei Bay. (It’s not marked as an official overlook, but it’s pretty obvious and there will likely be other cars there.)

You’ll cross your first one-lane bridge (and be stuck in traffic for a few minutes while you marvel at how they’re stabilizing the mountain to avoid rock slides) and enter Hanalei. If you’re so inclined, you might do some shopping or browsing. If not, turn right at Tiki Man/Tahiti Nui. Make a right at the dead end and either park at the first lot on the left—or continue on to the next lot. Congratulations. You’ve now found gorgeous Hanalei Bay! Stroll along the surf, walk out on the pier, and take lots of photos. Facing the ocean, to the right of the pier (that’s topless at the moment) walk to the river at the end for some pretty views. That’s technically “Black Pot” beach.

Tear yourself away from Hanalei Bay and continue north. There will be countless beautiful views and 6 more one-lane bridges.
Feel free to stop ;-). Just before the end of the road you’ll find Lumahai Botanic Gardens—but probably no time today for a tour today ☹. At the end of the road you’ll find Ke’e Beach. (Also the trailhead for the famous Kalalau Trail.) Unless you arrive late afternoon, parking will be terrible and you may have a long walk—but it’s worth it. When you enter the beach (at the lifeguard stand) be sure to walk around the bend to the right for OMG views of the Napali cliffs that will likely be shrouded in mystical mist. Sooo beautiful.

And this concludes your tour!

On your way back south stop at Hamura’s Samin in Lihue for wonton saimin or “special” saimin, chicken BBQ sticks, and lilikoi pie. It doesn’t get more authentic than that. (About $12 per person!) Or … maybe coconut shrimp at the Shrimp Station in Kapa’a.

Another day, back on the south side be sure to walk along the cliffs at Maha’ulepu Beach. It’s stunning in an unearthly way, and looks like nothing else on the island. To get there continue past the Grand Hyatt. The road has horrid potholes, but you can do it in a regular car. Just go very slowly. At the first parking area turn left and continue on—unless you want a longer walk to get to the cliffs.

Hope you have a wonderful trip!

I think in my next life I’ll be a Kauai tour guide ☺.

wekewoody Jan 26th, 2013 03:59 PM

My perfect day is to walk out the back door and across the lawn onto Hanalei Bay and stay there.

kona514 Jan 26th, 2013 04:00 PM

Thank you for posting.

This will help me for my first to to Kauai in 90 days!!!!

Songdoc Jan 26th, 2013 04:12 PM

You're welcome. FYI, the whales will be gone after winter -- but hopefully, everything else will still be there ;-). Hope you have a great trip.

wekewoody Jan 26th, 2013 04:19 PM

It is Lumahai Beach and Limahuli Gardens. Both are worth a stop.

22tango Jan 26th, 2013 04:37 PM

My perfect day on the north shore would involve Tunnels and Haena Beach Park. Views of Bal Hai from Tunnels are some of my fave on the planet. Agree that Limahuli Gardens is worth a stop, but only if you've got a couple hours. Hard to do it justice in any less time.

Not to be picky, but if you count the double-bridge as two, there are seven one lane bridges between Hanalei town and the Hanalei Colony Resort. :-) And then another, I think, before you get to Ke'e.

iceeu2 Jan 26th, 2013 04:44 PM


wekewoody Jan 26th, 2013 04:46 PM


wekewoody Jan 26th, 2013 04:52 PM

Or did you really mean o?

I agree tango about Limahuli Gardens. We did the self-guided tour in August and it took us about an hour and half. We didn't stop at all the markers though. The view of Makana Peak (Bali Hai) from there is spectacular.

Lookin_Glass Jan 26th, 2013 05:27 PM

Lou Reed is a master song writer.

iceeu2 Jan 26th, 2013 06:58 PM

o, I meant O!! Sorry, I haven't been able to post all day and it was just a test!!!!

Songdoc Jan 26th, 2013 08:27 PM

<My perfect day on the north shore would involve Tunnels and Haena Beach Park. Views of Bal Hai from Tunnels are some of my fave on the planet.>

I agree. I love that view--and I love walking from Tunnels to Ke'e and taking photos all the way. But the OP only has one day. Still ... if they have the time, I'd include that, too.

And yes, of course, it's "Limahuli" Gardens. It's on my T-shirt!

Um, er ... Lou Reed??? Huh???

tekwriter Jan 26th, 2013 09:23 PM

Oh, thank you for this detailed itinerary, which has just been copied and pasted into my Kauai "manifesto." We'll be there in a little over a month! From Poipu, how long a drive to your first stop? And where to stop for breakfast if we're good little tourists and get up early?

Melissa5 Jan 27th, 2013 02:01 AM

Songdoc: Thanks a million for sharing your perfect day-trip to the North Shore! We are taking this with us and will attempt to follow your recipe! Also making note of the eating stops you mentioned. Any other good local spots to eat that are your special favorites? You know, the kind of place that you sit at home and dream of?

We still talk about the amazing Ono sandwiches we loved on the north side of Maui. Forget the name of that place.

I wish I was smarter on the computer, as I'm trying to figure out the best way to save this so I can see it on my Iphone in Hawaii. I guess I could email it to myself. Does the Fodors work on an Iphone ap?

iceeu2 Jan 27th, 2013 05:24 AM

Songdoc, isn't that King Kong's profile you see from Anahola? Sleeping Giant is out from Kapa'a

sf7307 Jan 27th, 2013 09:31 AM

A)a little under an hour
b) Kountry Kitchen In Kapa'a

iceeu2 Jan 27th, 2013 11:22 AM

tekwriter, yes it will take under an hour, probably 45-50 mins to get to Kealia.

I'm in the minority about Kountry Kitchen. We like The Ono Family Restaurant or The Olympic Cafe. All of the three are in Kapa'a.

kauaistyle Jan 27th, 2013 05:45 PM

nice Songdoc...good overall with soul

Lookin_Glass Jan 27th, 2013 06:02 PM

"Um, er ... Lou Reed??? Huh???"

maybe Bowie can explain.

Songdoc Jan 27th, 2013 08:12 PM

OHHHH! The Lou Reed connection: "Perfect Day!" Thanks for sharing that link. That was fun. Not that it has anything to do with this thread ... but I actually know the "Holly" that Lou Reed sang about in "Walk On the Wild Side."

"Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A. ..."

It's Warhol "superstar" Holly Woodlawn, and I worked with her many years ago.

And now .... back to the thread. The only other family/hole in the wall restaurant I can think of is Waipouli Family Restaurant (in Waipouli Center). Their beef with broccoli is amazing--but people who I've brought there and ordered other things thought it was "good" -- but not "great." I do like Shrimp Station and Kauai Pasta, too--and Neide's on the North Shore--as much for the outside views as the Brazilian food. I love their panquecas -- stuffed full of chicken, veggies, & cheese.

I've heard people rave about the fish tacos at Monico's -- but I haven't eaten there.

Now it's time for my Foodland huli-huli chicken!

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