From towering mountains draped in lush jungles to secluded beaches with pristine white sand, Kaua‘i is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Hawaiian Islands. Part of the island’s charm is its relaxed atmosphere and laidback style, but during your stay here there are a few things you just can’t miss. So enjoy lazy afternoons by the surf’s edge, take in those calming sunsets from your covered lanai, but be sure you get out and explore all this picturesque island has to offer!
Rugged Mountain Splendor
Kaua‘i’s North Shore is famous for its steep sea cliffs and razor-sharp valleys. Towering above small secluded beaches, these cliffs are dazzling hues of vibrant reds, greens, and browns, completely inaccessible except by foot. Whether you enjoy them from an offshore boat tour, walk the first few miles of the serpentine path to a babbling stream and its magical waterfall, or hike the entire length of the Kalalau Trail to the hidden valleys at its end, the Na Pali Coast is one of Kaua‘i’s best treasures, not to be missed.
The towering walls of the Na Pali are spectacular in their own right, but they are merely the leading edge of one of the Pacific Rim’s most breathtaking Kaua’i attractions: the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Accessible only from the south, Waimea Canyon is a 12-mile long gorge that plunges over 3,000 feet and showcases the ancient geology of the island’s fiery past. A short drive up the spine of the canyon affords visitors with stunning vistas of the canyon, and numerous lookouts provide an entirely different perspective of the the Na Pali Coast below. The Canyon is laced with an elaborate network of hikes, perfect for short day trips or longer explorations. Below the rim lies a vast array of unique geology and environments, some unseen anywhere else on Earth.
Magical Kaua’i Attractions
While Kaua‘i’s interior is dominated by majestic mountains, the beaches that line her shores are well worth a visit as well. Hanalei Bay is the perfect spot to spend a day learning to surf or stand-up paddleboard, and the quaint village has plenty of shops, cafes, and delicious restaurants that are must-see spots. Life here is slower paced and peaceful, so don’t be surprised to find your troubles magically drifting away. In the south, Poipu Beach is one of the nation’s best, with idyllic half-moon inlets and coves, protected swimming areas, fantastic surf breaks, and excellent snorkeling. Enjoy the sunnier side of life here on Kaua‘i’s Leeward side.
With so many Kaua‘i attractions, you might feel hard-pressed to get it all in. Thankfully, with the incredible accommodations at Ahh! Aloha and our amazing value, a return trip is just the ticket.
Limahuli Garden and Preserve
Wondering what to do or see when visiting Kauai? Check back regularly for our weekly featured attraction. This week, we’re highlighting the north shore’s Limahuli Garden, selected as the best natural botanical garden in the U.S. by the American Horticultural Society. It’s a well-earned honor!
Limahuli Garden and Preserve was established to restore and preserve native plants and Hawaiian culture, while educating scientists and tourists alike. The garden area is open to the public, and showcases a variety of plants in different collections. These collections include many native plants which are rare and on the verge of extinction, as well as crops cultivated by the early Hawaiians, such as taro, sweet potatoes, and plantation-era flowers and fruits – like the pineapple! – that are widely associated with Hawaii.
The preserve area consists of almost 1000 acres of land. The Lower Preserve is rugged, only accessible by foot, and not open to the public. This area was severely impacted in the late 1800’s when cattle were introduced into the Limahuli valley. The aggressive restoration project implemented ten years ago has proven so successful that it garnered national attention and now serves as a model for newer projects.
The Upper Preserve is extremely remote and only accessible via helicopter. It is so inaccessible, that it remained a pristine ecosystem until powerful hurricanes Iwa in 1982 and Iniki in 1992 stripped the Upper Preserve of a great deal of vegetation, while also depositing non-native seeds throughout. To combat the effects of the hurricanes and pressure from a growing feral pig population, increased management and restoration efforts have been in place since 1992 in the hopes of returning the Upper Preserve to its original state.
The Limahuli Garden and Preserve is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday). You can see the visitor center and gift shop from the highway as you drive through the Haena area (about 7 miles past the town of Hanalei, and about a half a mile before the road ends at Ke’e Beach). Self-guided tours are available Tuesday-Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission for adults is $20, $10 for college students with a valid school ID, and children 18 and under are free. Guided tours are offered Tuesday-Saturday at 10:00 am. Admission for adults is $40, $20 for college students with a valid school ID, and $20 for children 10-17. Guided tours require advance reservations. The loop walking tour is about 3/4 of a mile over varied terrain-walking sticks are available for those who need them, and the trail is not suitable for strollers or wheel chairs. For more information, please visit http://ntbg.org/gardens/limahuli.php.
Makahuena 2202 is a beautiful ocean view luxury condo on Kauai’s south shore, perfect for families or a small group. An update of the unit has just been completed, to include a new dryer, new televisions throughout (including a GIANT flat screen in the living room), all new living room furniture, a new entertainment center, new night stands, new bedding, new lanai furniture, and new artwork throughout. All of this is in addition to the already fantastic Bose stereo system in the living room, hooked in to both CD and DVD players, and a recent remodel that included hardwood floors, new cabinetry, and granite countertops. Enjoy fabulous sunset and sunrise views while relaxing on your private lanai, or head down to the pool to cool off after a long day of exploring the island (or enjoy a in the jacuzzi after a hard day of traveling). Both Brenneke’s Beach (which includes a protected area, perfect for snorkeling) and Poipu Beach State Park, where you may encounter a variety of marine life, are only a short walk away. Summer dates still available, click here to book now!
Water Restoration to the Waimea River
Finally, after a period of more than 100 years, the Waimea River will be restored to continuous flow. In a historic decision announced on April 18, 2017, the Hawaii Commission on Water Resource Management approved a settlement to restore year-round flow to the Waimea River with a focus on adequate water supply for sustainable agriculture and renewable energy, while establishing a framework for the balanced and sustainable use of water on the western side of Kauai. Provisions were also put in place for real-time monitoring of water flows, to be made available to the public.
Originally, the Waimea River was diverted in the early 1900s by the Kekaha Sugar Company to feed the Kekaha and Kōke’e ditch systems, which required approximately 50 million gallons of water every day, to satisfy the needs of a 7300 acre sugar cane plantation. Though the sugar mill ended operations in 2000, millions of gallons of water continued to be diverted through the plantation’s ditch systems daily, an action that prompted local taro farmer John A’ana to help found Po’ai Wai Ola, a group dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Waimea River. In conjunction with Earthjustice, Po’ai Wai Ola filed a legal petition to restore the Waimea River to continuous flow in July of 2013.
Contact us today to learn more and to book your next vacation rental!
Sealodge E10 is an ideal oceanfront retreat for couples to enjoy the magical splendor of North Shore Kauai. An interior remodel has just been completed and includes new tile flooring and countertops. This private top floor corner condo has vaulted ceilings, a furnished lanai, and spectacular panoramic sunrise views from all living areas. Enjoy the dynamic landscape, with majestic cliffs overlooking the sparkling ocean, along Anini Reef to the Kilauea lighthouse. The sunset views include distant mountains, waterfalls, and glimpses of Bali Hai and the Pacific. This beautifully decorated and well maintained unit features many examples of traditional Hawaiian art, furnishings and crafts. Amenities include a complete home entertainment system (HDTV with Cable TV and DVD, Stereo System with FM, CD, Bluetooth Connectivity), free Internet access, a fully equipped kitchen with modern appliances, washer/dryer, comfortable queen bed, complete linens and a variety of beach gear, board games, books, and CDs of Hawaiian music. The condo complex provides shared pool and barbecue facilities, as well as trail access to secluded Sealodge Beach below. Click here to book this fabulous unit today!
Kauai is renowned for breathtaking scenery, secluded beaches, and a hang loose vibe. Kauai vacations offer an immense variety of exotic scenery, and numerous activities – gifts of nature
March 30, 2017 — Kauai is nature’s playground, where myths and legends attempt to explain this stunning splendor. There are so many Kauai, Hawaii attractions and things for you to do that are totally free. You can decide on something different every day. Visit a waterfall, hike a jungle trail, snorkel a tranquil reef, float on your back and stare at the open sky, or sit on a beach and watch the sunset until the milky way appears. Build a fire and eat on the beach. Experience what aloha means. On Kauai, aloha is life and love. It is a laid back way of life shared by Kauai’s islanders.
To understand the lay of the land, Kauai has four regions – the north, east, south, and west shores.You will fly into the Lihue Airport which is located on the east shore.
The north shore is the most verdant area and for many defines what a tropical paradise should be. Start your day driving north to Kilauea Town. Kilauea was a plantation town and maintains it’s quaint demeanor. Visit the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge and Lighthouse. Then drive the short distance to Princeville and take the short hike to Queen’s Bath. Queen’s Bath is a large, deep, tidal pool. People call it the “Queen’s Bath,” named for Queen Emma, who did visit Princeville in the 1800s. However, there is no evidence that she ever visited this tidepool. Only visit Queen’s Bath when surf is calm in summer. It can be deceptively calm!
Next hike the short path is to Hideaways Beach between Puu Poa and the St. Regis Hotel. Another spectacular short jungle hike is to the Sealodge Beach. Then head on over to the Princeville Foodland grocery. You’ll hear island music just outside the door. Wild island chckens roam the parking lot and every other open space on Kauai. Upon entering you’ll be greeted by the yummy aroma of Huli Huli Chicken and musubi. Musubi is a fried slice of spam on rice pressed together to form a small block, then wrapped with a strip of seaweed. The Spam musubi is eaten as a sandwich, and it is perhaps the Island’s favorite “to go” or snack food. Next door you’ll find huge specialty Hawaiian Shave Ice. You’ll also smell the toasting of the cones in the famous Lapperts ice cream shop. Scrumptious!
Leaving Princeville, stop at the Hanalei Valley Overlook to photograph the taro fields and Na Pali mountains. Drive the 2.5 miles to Hanalei Town and step back into Kauai’s history. Be sure to go to Hanalei Bay, named one of the top ten beaches in the world. You can boogie board, surf, stand up paddle board, or take a long beach stroll. Hanalei Bay is the largest bay on the north shore of Kauaʻi island. Hanalei Bay consists of nearly two miles of beach, surrounded by mountains. The wetlands of Hanalei Bay were used to grow taro by ancient Hawaiians and taro is still grown near Hanalei.
Back on the Kuhio Hwy. continue as the road twists through jungle dotted with secluded white sand beaches and sky blue water to Tunnels Beach, or Makua. Makua is known for its incredible mountain scenery featured in the movie, “South Pacific.” A great snorkeling beach, Tunnels has something for everyone. The shallow inner reef is great for the novice and children, while the outer reefs are exhilarating for the more advanced divers and snorkelers. Tunnels gets its name from the surfers who have seen the tube and divers who have found the caverns. Drive the 1.4 miles on to Ke’e Beach and the trail head to the Na Pali trail. You’ll find public parking, bathrooms and showers at Haena Beach Park located west of Ke’e Beach. Ke’e is also a wonderful snorkeling spot. Many varieties of tropical fish swim around the shallow reef. If you are staying in a Kauai vacation rental , you probably have access to boogie boards and snorkel gear.
Definitely save a day to explore the east and south shores. Take the hike to Ho’opi’i Falls in the morning before driving up for a look at Opaeka’a Falls. Cascading down into a hidden pool, this waterfall is easily one of the island’s most accessible major waterfalls. It is located bout 2 miles up Kuamoo Road (Route 580) from Highway 56. Signs clearly point to the roadside lookout on the right. This convenient stop makes for a memorable photo opportunity. “Opaekaa” means “rolling shrimp,” which were once abundant in the stream. Walk uphill from the Opaekaa lookout and across the road for another great view of the Wailua River valley. Then take a swim or snorkel at Lydgate Beach Park . Rock enclosed ponds create a safe haven from the open ocean waves, while still allowing the small reef fish to move into the pond through the crevices. This spot will almost guarantee that you will see a variety of tropical fish. The protected calm waters, posted lifeguard, and a variety of fish make this the perfect beginner beach for snorkeling. The next amazing site is Wailua Falls. Located at the south end of the Wailua River, it cascades into two streams, dropping 80-feet below. Like other spectacular spots on Kaua, Wailua Falls was used as film locations, Wailua Falls is most recognized in the opening credits of the long-running television show “Fantasy Island.” Easily accessible, Wailua Falls can be seen from the roadside, so you can visit in your flip flops. To get there, head north from Lihue and follow Maalo Road in Hanamaulu. Travel uphill for about three miles. If you visit in the mornings, you may be treated to a rainbow, making for an amazing photo of Wailua Falls.
Now explore the south shore. The south shore is more arid and has lots of sunshine, beautiful beaches, and restaurants. The gateway to the Koloa/Poipu area is called the Tree Tunnel, a stretch of Maluhia Road lined with eucalyptus trees first planted a century ago. Visit historic Old Koloa Town which has retained it’s historic charm with shops now occupying the plantation buildings along Koloa Road. Stroll by old-fashioned storefronts and discover special local gifts. Stop by the Koloa History Center to learn about the town’s sugar heritage. Drive to the resort area of Poipu. Poipu Beach State Park is great for families. Nearby Spouting Horn features a blowhole that releases a spout of water 20 feet high. Visit McBryde Garden and see the largest collection of Hawaiian plants and Allerton Garden. Allerton Garden lies between the Pacific Ocean and the McBryde Garden in the Lāwa`i Valley. It is a garden paradise. The endless possibilities found in this dramatic topography led to the creation of this masterpiece of garden art. A series of garden rooms unfold between the Lāwa`i Stream and the cliffs of the Valley. The sound of water is in abundance in pools, miniature waterfalls, and fountains. Statues grace this former estate and resonate with a European influence. The contrasts of the sculpted gardens and the natural surroundings is awesome.
The West Side is home to a few of Kauai’s most historic places and scenic wonders, the most famous of which is the breathtaking Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Head north beyond the gorges and cliffs of Waimea Canyon and visit Kokee State Park. Waimae Canyon Stretches 14 miles long, one mile wide and more than 3,600 feet deep. The lookout provides panoramic views of crested buttes, rugged crags and deep valley gorges. The grand inland vistas go on for miles. The main road, Waimea Canyon Drive, leads you to the main Waimea Canyon Overlook, offering views of Kauai’s dramatic interior. The road continues into the mountains and ends at Kokee State Park. There are numerous trails to traverse for beginners and avid hikers.
Stop and walk through the two quaint small towns of Waimea and Hanapepe.
If you are staying in a Kauai vacation rental, you will want to visit a local Farmers Market or Sunshine Market. You’ll find locals offering tastings.
- Monday. 12:00 p.m. Koloa. Koloa Knudsen Ball Park on Maluhia Road. …
- Tuesday. 10:00 a.m. Lihue. …
- Wednesday. 3:00 p.m. Kapaa. …
- Thursday. 3:00 p.m. Hanapepe Town Park. …
- Friday. 3:00 p.m. Lihue. …
- Saturday. 9:00 a.m. Kekaha Neighborhood Center. …
- Sunday. 10:00 a.m. Kalalea Anahola Farmers Market.
Cupid has flung his arrow and it’s official, we’re in love with Kauai.
Lovebirds’ strolling hand-in-hand along our gorgeous beaches is just one of the many things here that can make the heart go pitter-patter here on the island of Kauai. With that in mind, it seemed only suiting that we let you in on a few romantic excursions and locales that are sure to put the spark into your heartfelt Kauai getaway (or any other time the mood strikes for that matter).
Sweet Secluded Sands
Poipu Beach is notably the most well know beach in Kauai, attracting visitors of all ages from all around the world, however it may not be the best location for a secluded date night with your significant other.
As an alternative, why not visit Kauapea Beach. Only a half mile long with no road access, you are sure to find a bit of privacy to whisper sweet nothings and enjoy each other’s company.
A (Love)Bird’s View
If you are looking for a little more heart-pumping action for you and your sweetheart, don’t worry – there’s plenty of options around the island up for offer.
How about a plane or helicopter tour over one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world – Done!
Departing from the Lihue Airport, you can find a number of providers such as Blue Hawaiian Helicopters and Wings Over Kauai who would love to take you an aerial tour.
Cuisine for Your Cutie
In the restaurant world, Valentine’s Day is the biggest night of the year. Food providers united worldwide to provide the best of the best for every couple celebrating their love on this day, and Kauai cuisine is no different.
Whether it is a dinner cruise out of Port Allen with Captain Andy or Holo Holo Charters, a festive luau with Luau Kalmaku or Smith Family Garden Luau, or a quiet dinner for two at any number of our local restaurants, there are plenty of options to satiate your romantic appetite. If you haven’t already, due to the popularity of this restaurant holiday, just to be safe call ahead for reservations to ensure you have a table with you and your Valentine’s name on it.
Contact us today if you have any questions and to book your next vacation rental!
Happy Valentine’s Day from Kauai Vacation Services!
Winter or Spring, it’s Always Paradise in Kauai!
While Punxsutawney Phil may or may not be seeing his shadow bright and early this morning, rest assured that in Kauai, spring is right around the corner!
But then again, here in paradise the weather is pretty much always picture perfect. February has a habit of bringing a decent amount of rain to the island, however it’s these warm showers that make Kauai the “Garden Isle.”
A perfect time of year for whale watching, fantastic surf, and numerous events, festivals and fairs up ahead, we certainly won’t let six more weeks of winter get us down!
Here’s a couple upcoming Kauai events to hold you over until it’s Cupid’s turn to dance across the holiday stage:
- 2/2: Kauai Food Tour – North Shore
Coined a “culinary romp through paradise,” this four hour tour is a tasting adventure through Kauai’s North Shore, highlighting traditional Hawaiian food, Tiki cocktail culture, local farmers and food artisans, and so much more. Read More ➤
- 2/10: Kauai Food Tour – South Shore
Like its North Shore counterpart, this four hour tour takes you on a culinary adventure, this one celebrating street food inspired by Hawaii’s diverse cultures including Japanese food, exotic ingredients and so much more. Read More ➤
- 2/6: Kauai Island Crafters Fair
Whether you are looking for the perfect gift or souvenir, the Kauai Island Crafters Fair is the place to find it. With countless local artisans displaying their quality craftsmanship through fine products such as jewelry, carvings, paintings, prints and more, you’re sure to find the perfect item here. Proceeds benefit the Kauai Veteran’s Club. Read More ➤
- 2/5 & 2/6: Kauai Steel Guitar Festival
Workshops, jam sessions, performances and featuring a number of steel guitar masters, the Kauai Steel Guitar Festival is one of the largest – can’t miss – gatherings of Hawaiian steel guitar players. Read More ➤
Sun, sand and surf year round – who could ask for better?
As it should be in paradise, the weather is ideal. In Kauai during the winter months daytime temperatures rarely dip below a comfortable 70 degrees, plenty warm enough to still lounge on the beach with your toes in the sand.
The surf this time of year is impressive, calling those who live for adventure from around the world. Unforgettable waves claim the Kauai coast as their own winter wonderland that even Santa can get on board with (err… surfboard that is) and it’s a favorite time of year for both visitors and locals.
Festivities During Your Christmas in Kauai
While palm trees may always outnumber Christmas trees in Kauai, we are far from being short on festivities for Christmas in Kauai. We’ve scoured the web looking for events that just may tickle your fancy this holiday season and compiled a list of those there’s still time for.
- Kauai Festival of Lights at the Historic County Building in Lihue
12/18-20, 12/24 & 12/26 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – FREE!
See www.KauaiFestivalOfLights.com for more details.
- 20th Annual Waimea Lighted Christmas Parade
12/19 – 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. – FREE!
See www.WKBPA.com for more details.
- A Christmas Luau in Wailua at Kamokila Village
12/19 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Keiki $5 (3-12yrs); Adults $15
- Kauai Chorale Presents “Christmas Wishes”
12/20 – 5 p.m. at St. Regis Hotel Ballroom in Princeville – $12-$15
See www.KauaiChorale.com for more details.
- Island Grown Artisan Fair at the Princeville Community Center
12/20 – 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – FREE!
- Live Nativity in Kalaheo at Kalaheo Missionary Church
12/22 & 12/23 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – FREE!
For more information on these events and more, visit the great resource of www.KauaiFestivals.com.
Celebrating the Kauai Way
We’ll never have a white Christmas in Kauai, but that has never stopped Santa and his reindeer from finding their way here for a little well deserved fun in the sun.
In conclusion lovely vacationers, celebrating a Kauai Christmas is a special experience that we’re proud to share with you during your holiday visit.
Just the Beginning
Welcome and thank you for visiting the Kauai Vacation Update from Ahh Aloha Kauai Vacations. This is our first post (the first of many), and we look forward to being your go-to destination for your Kauai vacation needs. Whether it be information about upcoming events, exciting attractions, island news or just to shoot the breeze (and what a wonderful breeze it is), the Kauai Vacation Update is here and ready to bring you to this amazing vacation paradise right to your screen.
Stay tuned for more as we collect topics and compile some useful posts for your reading pleasure!