Visiting Kauai...NEXT week!!


Sep 25th, 2017, 11:05 AM
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Visiting Kauai...NEXT week!!

Posting again, because I forgot to tag Hawaii...oops!
Hello all! It's been a long time since I've frequented the Fodor's forums, but since they have been such a huge help to me in the past, I figured I would return to this wonderful world of travelers.
A little bit of background:
My parents go to Kauai in October every year, and have started taking one child+spouse on these yearly trips! This year, my husband and I are their guests. Lucky us!
My parents have their "must-see" spots, but go to the same places every year, and they turned to me...the avid researcher of the family to get some info on new sites.
We are staying at the Westin resort in Princeville (on the North shore) and have the following activities already planned:
1. Waimea Canyon
2. Wailua Kayaking
3. Mountain tubing at the Lihue Plantation
Other than these activities, we're pretty open. My dad is an avid hiker, and has his favorite hikes, but are there any hidden "gems" that are a must see? My husband loves anything off-roading or thrill-inducing. I am a history lover, so my favorite outings usually include beautiful scenery with ample historical points of interest. What is a "must see" for someone like me? Where should we snorkel? Also, my mom and I are pretty much out of commission for really physical activities (she just had foot surgery six weeks ago, and I'm almost 7 months pregnant), so what are some relaxing activities that we can do while the "boys" are out being adventurous? Thanks in advance!
whitneyd86 is offline  
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Sep 25th, 2017, 11:39 AM
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History....You might enjoy the Kauai Museum in Lihue. Good back ground on the island

Botanical gardens are lovely and peaceful.But not sure there is a path for wheel chair if your mom needs one.

I believe there are some off-road adventures as well. Be sure to pick up the great brochures at the airport which gives all kinds of coupons and ideas.

Easy snorkeling right at Poipu Beach and in north shore at Ke'e beach.
Shar is offline  
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Sep 25th, 2017, 11:49 AM
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Thanks, Shar!
Mom is NOT in a wheelchair, and is walking around fine...she just can't do anything strenuous. Any botanical garden you recommend over the others? I was looking at Allerton, but I don't know if there's one that reigns supreme over the others.
whitneyd86 is offline  
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Sep 25th, 2017, 11:57 AM
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What about a visit to the Kauai Humane Society where you can "adopt" a dog for the day and take them for a walk. Down by Kalapaki Beach near the Marriott is a popular place and the walk is on nice flat grounds.
I like the Limahuli Gardens but would not recommend it for someone recovering from foot surgery since about half of it is walking on hills.
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Sep 25th, 2017, 02:57 PM
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I think the Allerton Gardens reign supreme over all of the other gardens on Kauai. (Of course, every has their fave) Also, you'll enjoy some of the history of the gardens.
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Sep 25th, 2017, 07:41 PM
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My favorite hikes:

The Kuilau Trail (NOT to be confused with the Kalalau Trail) -- moderate difficulty (easy for an avid hiker) and absolutely gorgeous.

The Canyon Trail at Koke'e Park/Waimea Canyon.

Maha'ulepu Trail (easy for an avid hiker)

Tunnels, Anini, or Ke'e for snorkeling on the North Shore. But bear in mind that Kauai is not known for great snorkeling. Friends saw only a few fish at Anini, but were thrilled to swim with a couple of turtles.

For history, check out the sacred site above the Wailua River, across the street from Opaekaa Falls.

(But for sheer beauty I love Wailua Falls, more.)
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Sep 25th, 2017, 11:27 PM
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We've been snorkeling at Poipu over 3 holidays and have always seen turtles, monk seals and lots of fish - our group ranged in age from 6 to 75 and we all participated.
We stay at Villas at Poipu Kai - party of 8- love the convenience and the facilities
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Sep 26th, 2017, 10:26 AM
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Thanks for the recommendations, everyone! I'll look into all of them. I appreciate the feedback!
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Sep 26th, 2017, 04:58 PM
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Someone mentioned on another thread Hamura Samin in Lihue.

It is a classic place, full of locals and the day we were there people had flown in from as far as Australia. The samin is very good, but it is old school Hawaii for sure. If you have GPS you'll need it as it is difficult to find.

Tunnels is a great beach and even though snorkeling is not as great as Hanauma Bay lets say in Oahu is is interesting. As I recall it is a lava rock reef and we saw a lot of interesting fish including one of the biggest eels I've ever seen. Scared the daylights out of my young daughter.
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Sep 27th, 2017, 08:46 AM
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Has your Dad hiked the Nounou Mountain range? Aka: The Sleeping Giant?
you can take the long way from the regular trail head or drive behind him and take the short cut.
Great hike...tuff enough for the enthusiast yet if you take your time not too strenuous for a beginner. Don't try and hike it in flip flops, tho...esp if it has just rained.

360 degree views from his noggin. Picnic grounds on his chest (tables and some shade. No facilities like water or rest rooms tho)

LOVE Hamura's but go during off lunch hours if you want a seat. Too many darn tourists. And nananbee's GPS comment was funny because we were cussing up a storm our first trip over in '89 when we couldn't find it. Located basically in an alley.

ATV Tours out of Koloa are cool esp the one that goes thru one of the mountains and comes out where they filmed Jurassic Park.

We also like to do the Railroad Ride at Kilohana Plantation. We try to do it every 5 yrs or so to see if any changes. Then maybe do some rum tasting when the ride is over. ;-)

You might still be able to go out to Pt Allen/Eleele to the Kauai Chocolate Co and watch the nice people make the chocolate items. Love the macadamia nut turtles!

Sunsets from the Westside are awesome. We try and watch them from Polihale if we have a decent rental car, dry road and wear extra strength Polident.

If not we watch from McArthur Park or Kekaha by St Theresa's Church.
Kal is offline  
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Sep 27th, 2017, 03:24 PM
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If you are an adrenaline junkie, look at this.

I white knuckled it, but DH thought he was in heaven.

Easy to see garden tour, you have your choice of a guided tram tour!2i294!4f13.1
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Sep 28th, 2017, 02:58 PM
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Loving all of these suggestions. I will look into all of them. Thanks, everybody!
whitneyd86 is offline  
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Oct 4th, 2017, 09:11 AM
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@rncheryl....did any of the Kipu Tours take you thru that long tunnel thru the mountain? Took a peek and couldn't see it with my tired eyes.
We may do another one this trip over.
Kal is offline  
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Oct 4th, 2017, 11:39 AM
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Looks like Kipu Ranch changed their whole fleet. We all drove singles back in the day. It is very special land. They were very safety conscieous.
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