Durham (North Carolina)
Okay folks, we'll be on Kauai starting this Friday, May 29, for a week. We're staying on the island's south side, but want to see and eat some good stuff and will have a car. Just two of us retired folk looking for a good time and no, we do not swing! Looking for your favorites. We are planning a helicopter tour, but other than that, we're open.
Hi, Ken, my husband and I spent a month on Kauai last year. Here are our favorites: for wonderful food and an amazing view of the sunset, we LOVED the The Beach House on the south shore. It gets busy, and if you want a great table to view the sunset, I'd make reservations. The salads, everything is fabulous. It was by far our favorite. We'd often go for late afternoon drinks just to watch for whales. The drinks are the best.
Our favorite beach was Lydgate Beach in Kapaa. It is miles long, rather deserted, and amazingly beautiful.
Seeing the Napali Coast is a must. We took a dinner sunset sail with Captain Andy's outfit. The food was great. The view of the coast is not to be missed. I can't tell you how amazing it is.
The Passion Bakery in Kapaa was a morning ritual for us. It's a bit of a drive from the South Shore, but if you go to Hanalei, it's on the way and worth the trip. If you get there before 9, you can try the Mac Nut Sticky Buns. My goodness, they are so tasty. They also have sandwiches. Their cookies are wonderful. I think I'd go back to Kauai just to go there again. YUM.
If you are interested in a simple cafe, I strongly urge you to try Kountry Kitchen on the strip in Kapaa. In the mornings, there often is a waiting line because the food is so good. It is nothing fancy, just a local eatery with fantastic food.
The Waimea Canyon is nice, but I've been to the Grand Canyon. So if time was a factor, it would not be at the top of my list.
My husband and I both very much enjoyed the National Tropical Botanical Garden which are on the south shore.
Hope you have a great time.
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Near the Wailua River there is a "Secret Waterfall" that you have to kayak to, then do a short hike to reach. It's a leisurely paddle, and the hike was not difficult either. There should be several tour companies that will have this package available. Bring a waterproof camera!
Kauai is my favorite island-- you are going to have a blast!!
The Beach House is a must! Reservations are highly recommended. Go on their website and get one. Or get there at 5:30pm when it opens and grab a seat in the bar area, and have pupus and drinks-- it's first come, first serve. You could also go for lunch - no reservations at that time.
2.Postcards Cafe - cute little restaurant. Lots of fresh fish options and lots of polenta.
3. Ke'e Beach - This is the end of the road, literally. The last beach accessible by car on the north shore. There are two cool caves that you pass on the way to Ke'e Beach that are pretty neat photo ops. Also, this is the entrance to the famous Kalalau Trail
4. Kalalau Trail - this is an unbelievable 11 mile hike from Ke'e Beach to Kalalau Beach along the Napali Coast. It is for experienced hikers. The first two miles of the trail are moderately strenuous and open to the public. It is one mile uphill and one mile downhill. The rest of the hike is pretty hardcore and you camp at a beach at the end of 11 miles. Unless you do the 22 mile roundtrip in one day.
5. The St. Regis Princeville Resort - even if you don't stay here, you should go into the hotel bar for a bloody mary or lava flow. They have a 180 degree view of Hanalei Bay and at night, they have a grand piano and entertainment. Also, since a bartender at the NY St Regis created the bloodly mary, the Kauai St Regis has their "Aloha Mary", that has sriracha and guava-smoked sea salt in it!
6. Lumahai Beach - this is a deserted, huge, white sand beach that is not safe to swim at but is STUNNING! When we were there a few years ago, Laird Hamilton drove by on his ATV -- no big deal. Just Laird and us -- checking out the waves together.
Waimea Canyon State Park - I would do a helicopter tour of the island and buzz through these red rocks! It's so beautiful!
8. Manawaiopuna Falls - this is the Jurassic Park waterfall -- where the helicopter lands right in front of it. You can't actually do that because this waterfall is on private land...but most helicopter tours fly by it!9. Queens Bath - forgot to add this! Queen's Bath is one of the most unique and cool swimming areas on the island. The "pool" is carved into a lava shelf and is the size of several large swimming pools.
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The must see in Kauai is the Na'Pali Coast State Park. If you are a beginner hiker (I am) you can reach in 2 hours Hanakāpīʻai Beach. Some parts of the hike are rocky and slippery but overall it's not so hard and it's totally worth it. Hanalei is the best place to stay if you like a more local atmosphere, Bouchons Hanalei is a great place to eat, the chef is amazing but the service is slow so my advice is to get a cocktail while waiting (the wait is worthy and drinks are good).
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