Flight 22 is off to honolulu
July 7, 2010 8:54 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to Kauai for a week at the end of the month. Looking for good suggestions of things to see/places to eat.

We're hoping to find the following some off the beaten path nature type stuff: waterfalls, nice hiking, beautiful views, places that are generally secluded and not full of other people.

We already have some ideas that we've gotten from tourbooks, et. al. but I am hoping that that mefites might have the inside dope on stuff that has managed to elude the tour books and tourists alike.

We will have a car on the island, and it will not be hard for us to get from place to place.

I know there have been Kauai travel questions before, but I just wanted to see if there was anything new that have been missed in those questions.

Thanks for your help.
posted by orville sash to Travel & Transportation around Kauai, HI (8 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
There are farmer's markets every day on different parts of the island. They are generally full of locals and have delicious, cheap produce. My family and I always enjoyed cooking together with the food and making smoothies.

Also, the Guava Plantation is amazing and definitely worth a visit.
posted by tyris33 at 9:11 AM on July 7, 2010

Hamura Saimin is one of my favorite restaurants on the island.

This is a great guidebook – a bunch of other folks have also used it and loved it.

Also make sure to eat some Kalua pig.

I strongly recommend taking a helicopter trip. I went with Jack Harter Helicopters.
posted by charlesv at 9:42 AM on July 7, 2010

Must-see on Kauai:
  • Anini Beach - get there before 7 am and it will be completely empty for miles
  • Waimea Canyon - this is Kauai's Grand Canyon and it is awesome
  • Kayak up the Wailua River and hike north from there

posted by doteatop at 10:18 AM on July 7, 2010

I'm not sure how much help I'll be, but when my wife & I went to kauai we did all the advertised things and they were all awesome.
  • Hamura Saimin
  • Na Pali Coast hike (you can go crazy here. If you want a long hike, then you'll need a permit)
  • Waimea Canyon hike
  • Fern Grotto
Although we did go to a coffee & juice farm/ranch and didn't find it worth the time. I would have spent that afternoon elsewhere if i were to do it again.
posted by escher at 10:41 AM on July 7, 2010

Gotta get the shave ice!
I think this is the place where we went - forgive me, it's been a few years - and it's fantastic.
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:43 PM on July 7, 2010

It's been a few years, but if Zelos is still there, great burgers and even better fish-n-chips.

And don't get caught on the side of Waimea canyon in the rain.
posted by umberto at 1:05 PM on July 7, 2010

As has been said, don't miss Hamura's.

Where are you staying?

What kinds of things do you like to do?

This is the most-used guide to Kauai:
it really is pretty good.

I've been to Kauai almost every year of my life, so I could go on for a while.

I'd skip the Fern Grotto tour, unless you want tourist hokum. If you're in good shape, you can paddle up the Wailua instead.

On the North Shore, there's the Kalau Trail, if you want to hike into the Na'Pali coast. Otherwise there are boat tours out of Hanalei (North Shore--zodiacs and sometimes small boats) and Port Allen (West Shore, larger boats.) Ke'e beach is at the end of the road, and very nice. A day spent up there can also include the Wet & Dry Caves, Tunnels, Haena & Lumahai Beach, Limahuli Gardens, and the village of Hanalei itself. (There's also Queen's Bath and Hideaways in Princeville, but they can be tough to find. ) It's probably best to spend a single day (at least) on everything north of Kilauea, or at least Kapaa.

There's not as much between Kilauea/Kapaa and the South Shore, but there are some things to see--the Kilauea Lighthouse, Lydgate (and other beaches), the Wailua River.

Lihue, where the airport is located, is the commercial center of Kauai. If you're staying in a condo, you'll probably want to stock up there (at least on everything but daily groceries.) There's a costco now, bring your card. There's also a Borders--keep that in mind when packing. If you're buying books to bring, you might consider having them special ordered to Lihue a few days before departing.

The South Shore consists primarily of the Koloa and Poipu areas. If you're not staying in Princeville/Hanalei you're probably staying there. The beaches here are more straightforward as they are essentially one long strip consisting of Brennecke's/Poipu State Beach Park and then the beaches associated with each hotel in the row running down the shoreline (the Waiohai, Koa Kea & Sheraton.) There are a few others--most notably Shipwreck (in front of the Hyatt) and the Beach House after the adjacent restaurant. There's also the Koloa Landing, which is an old abandoned rail transfer ramp now used for shore dives and snorkeling.

There's also Maha'ulepu, a protected heritage beach that must be access through minimally improved cane haul roads (you must sign a disclaimer for access etc.)

Let me know if you're planning on going to the West Shore and I'll pot add a few items about that--it's probably the least popular area. People tend to go to Waimea, and Barking Sands/Polihali and that's about it (maybe also the art galleries and shops in Hanapepe.)

If you're restaurant people, I can go on about eating on Kauai at great length. But I don't want to bore you. Same goes for activities.

Feel free to post a follow up here or memail me.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:46 PM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

i know i'm late to the game but the Kilauea Fish Market has some of the absolute BEST food on the island - in the shopping center near Princeville - definitely worth stopping in for lunch if your on the North Shore
posted by neoist at 8:15 AM on July 14, 2010

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