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Thread: Kauai Questions

  1. #1
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    Kauai Questions

    Hey all. I had another thread asking for advice regarding generally where to go (Kauai vs Belize vs ??) but I'll let that thread die, as it hasn't been bumped in a week.

    We (family of four...two kids 10 & 13) are going to Kauai from 4/19-4/28. My 40th birthday is on 4/20 so I'm pretty stoked.

    What to do? We rented a westfalia camper van for 4/19-4/23 and then are looking at airbnb options for the last 4 nights. We are sending in our County of Kauai camper registration...and otherwise have a backup plan of a private campground (Kumu amp in Anahola).

    We know about Napali Coast...but currently backpacking permits are full...but we are hoping to pick up cancellations.

    Aside from that...does anyone have any other info? Hikes, beaches, campgrounds or vacation rentals that cant be missed?

    We'd like some place with decent (doesn't have to be amazing) snorkeling, maybe a day or two of renting a surfboard...but we are totally haloes and surfing isn't super high on our list. Really looking forward to hikes to waterfalls and secluded beaches.

    Generally speaking, what side of the island do we want to be on?

    Of course...if anyone IN Kauai wants to come to Durango, CO for the same time frame...we'd love to house swap with you!

    Let me know your thoughts please!


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  2. #2
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    As far as sides if the island, do both. The poipu side is generally drier and hotter than Hanalei. There is a really empty beach park out past Poipu.

    Hiking kalaulau trail without a permit is fin too. Head into where the permit starts and head up to the waterfalls.

    Overall a very relaxed island....ill be there the week before

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    When we did the whole trail, I think we might have been the only people with a permit out of the 30 or so that we saw.

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    If you camp on the Napali Coast, be sure your tent has no holes, and be in it at sunset. The number of bugs crawling the jungle floor at night will boggle your mind. Your wife and kids should have pee bottles, they won't be leaving the tent until dawn.

    It's like a scene out of a movie, "hey, wonder what all these small holes in the ground are from?" And then at dusk, the ground starts moving.

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    I'd recommend spending most of your time on the north shore, but definitely do at least a day or two down around Waimea Canyon / Kokee State Park. The hiking there is spectacular.



    In terms of a rental, there are some really cool condos that are relatively affordable in Princeville. I think one of the complexes is the Sea Cliffs, or something similar. Additionally, the town of Kiluaea has a great restaurant and an amazing bakery, definitely worth checking out.

    Secret Beach was our favorite when we were there. And you can SUP the Hanalei River, which is super cool.

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    Kauai Questions

    Great beta folks! Keep it coming n shit.

    Stoked!

    Also, is there any place that's bike-friendly? Mountain biking to beaches or waterfalls would be cool, or even just cruisers down a beach path or whatever.

  7. #7
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    Been 10 yrs now, but I found this book very useful if you haven’t seen it yet: https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Kaua.../dp/0983888760

  8. #8
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    The place to be on Kauai is where the weather is good. NE is wet, SW is dry. If it's raining where you are find someplace that isn't.
    Otherwise NW is much more lush. West of Waimea it gets almost desert like.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Tonics View Post
    Great beta folks! Keep it coming n shit.

    Stoked!

    Also, is there any place that's bike-friendly? Mountain biking to beaches or waterfalls would be cool, or even just cruisers down a beach path or whatever.
    From Kapaa, you can rent a bike and go down a bike path a couple miles to Kealia Beach. Short but nice. Good waves there

  10. #10
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    Kauai Questions

    Oh I love Kauai. Here is some random thoughts from me, take it or leave it.


    We did a boat ride that toured the NaPali coast and went out to Niihau for snorkeling. We also saw a bunch of dolphins and an endangered Hawaiian monk seal while snorkeling. It was super touristy and pretty expensive but I thought it was definitely worth it. I believe it was called holo holo.

    Wailua falls and opaekaa falls are both super easily accessible and cool to see if you are near Kapaa. They are both pretty touristy but take about 20 mins driving to see. Worth it if you have a few extra minutes near Kapaa.

    North side is much wetter than the south side. Definitely worth driving around the whole island one day and seeing everything.

    Since you asked about biking there is a bike path in Kapaa. It is paved and runs along the coast with some elevation changes. It goes to a few different beaches. There were a few different places along the path that rented bikes. It looked like it could have been fun to do but there is so much else to do in Kauai that I didn’t get the chance to do it. I have no idea if there is any mountain biking in Kauai.

    Kountry Style Kitchen restaurant in Kapaa is great for breakfast and reasonably affordable.

    For affordable dinner check out Hamura Saimin. Cool old school Hawaii feel and awesome noodles at reasonable (by Hawaiian standards) prices.

    Also there is a Costco on the island. Use it. They have good deals on some of the activities you might want to do on the island as well.

    Also merrimans fish house in Poipu for a more upscale dinner.



    I can not stress the importance of trying to go to the north side / Waimea canyon on a clear day. It is much more beautiful if it is clear.

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    Careful in Anahola. There's a strong enclave of the Hawaiian homelands crowd there and they're the eptiome of 'haole go home'. The rest of the island is amazing. Just common sense and you'll be fine. Don't lock cars or leave stuff in them. Don't travel with more cash than you can lose, etc.

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    Just checked where that campground was. In 2012 my family rented the big 10 bedroom house right next to that place. We were warned not to leave any window open unless we were in that room by the rental caretaker. First day there and my father in law didn't listen to that and lost 700 bucks and his Parkinson's meds. Talking to other people on the island about what happened and they were shocked, until they heard we were staying in Anahola. Then they were like, oh yeah, that makes sense, so sorry. We're not like those guys.

    Great sunrises there on Anahola beach.

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  13. #13
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    Kauai Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DJSapp View Post
    Careful in Anahola. There's a strong enclave of the Hawaiian homelands crowd there and they're the eptiome of 'haole go home'. The rest of the island is amazing. Just common sense and you'll be fine. Don't lock cars or leave stuff in them. Don't travel with more cash than you can lose, etc.

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    That’s funny you mention that. I remember getting mean mugged by a bunch of locals. while I stopped to check out Anahola Beach.

    Spoke with a woman who had camped there that night and apparently in the middle of the night some people came by the campsite yelling and kicked the tent.


    I didn’t realize Anahola was like that. There are better options on the island and I would hate to be around negative vibes like that.

  14. #14
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    Lots of great advice here. Second the book. Pakala (infinities)has a nice mellow break, i proposed on that beach. We stayed near Moloaa beach, not very swimmable but a very chill amazingly beautiful area. Concentrations of rainbows up Waimea are other worldly. The island has so many micro climates, it's fun to take each day exploring a section of the island. Finding quiet, off the beaten path beaches is part of the many reasons Kauai is about as good as it gets.

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    We are booking all 4 camper-nights at Haena Campround (northwest ish). Looks awesome...and at $6/night it's not a huge risk if we book it, but then something else opens up that we'd rather do. It looks like it has great access to beaches (Tunnels and Haena) as well as hiking (TH for NaPali coast). so...we'll have a lot of options of stuff to do. I can believe Im gonna turn 40 in Kauai with my family in a westfalia. that's good livin' right there.

    I presume it's not impossible to find weed? any tips? just like anywhere else?

    and someone up there mentioned NOT being an asshole from Colorado. I get that. We've traveled enough, (and lived in N. New Mexico) for long enough, that we know how to keep our heads down and shut the fuck up, or when and who to ask for advice. I *almost* learned that the hard-way when I moved from teton valley to santa fe!

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    If it's dry and the rental van is capable of the climb and descent, the walk in the highland rainforest at the end of the road above Waimea canyon is pretty cool.

    Haena is a fun campground. Epic sunsets and swimming (if there's no swell) at the beach at the end of the road. We have plenty of friends that enjoy camping or renting at anini beach. There's a cool cultural site above the TH for the NaPali coast that's well advertised in that popular book. And there is another well maintained cultural site that's part of the national botanical garden system near haena.

  17. #17
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    Kauai is such a diverse place you really have to see it all. Hanalei bay is awesome but it can be rainy. Kayak up the river. Or snorkel off the Princeville resort below the cliff. Used to be stair and good spear fishing. Take a helicopter ride or dive Robinson island.


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    We took chocolate covered espresso beans a year ago, along with Pax Era vape pen. I keep a medical card in CA, so it never really crossed my mind. I left everything in the rental car shuttle for the next person when we left. In all the years flying, I've never been searched upon landing in a US state or territory. Don't forget that the battery has to go with you in the cabin, but the cart can go your toiletries bag pretty nondescript.
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  19. #19
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    Lots of good tips here. As I said in the other thread, Hideaways Beach by Princeville was one of our favorite snorkel spots. It's a steep trail to get down there, but doable and worth it. Wear clothes you don't mind getting a little red mud on. Parking is at the tennis courts on the right just before you get to the St. Regis hotel entrance gates. Get there early (that advice pretty much applies to anything you do or any trailhead/beach you want to visit on the north end--a lot of the parking is tight so be prepared for a bit of a shitshow if you don't get there early).

    Also, there is a trail that goes down to the water below The Cliffs condos in Princeville. Just park in the lot and walk out to the bluff past the BBQ's and you will find it. We saw a dozen sea turtles down there. Great place to sit on rocky benches above the water and contemplate the ocean. Queen's Bath is also in this area, although we never made it there. If you are looking for adventure snorkeling the area around Queen's Bath fits the bill, from what I heard.

    Hotel tip: If you are flying into Lihue late at night and need a hotel near the airport, the Garden Island Inn is pretty close and it's a quaint, colorful little family run place, with reasonable prices. They will leave your key in an envelope on the office door for you. We liked that place.

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    Two words. Queen’s Bath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deepsouthmafia View Post
    Two words. Queen’s Bath.
    Three words: crowded as fuck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Three words: crowded as fuck.
    four words: ignore d s m

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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    Three words: crowded as fuck.
    Queen’s Bath usually isn’t crowded if you go before 10. My 11 y/o likes it.

    After you leave, stop at Hanalei Dolphin fish market, grill up some fish for lunch, and paddle Hanalei River/Bay in PM. Good times...


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    Queens bath is crowded from 930 am to 30 min prior to sundown. Rented a house right there on the 5th fairway once and walked down every day. Beautiful and a 10 min walk. Just don't be there mid-day.

    Stay the hell out if the sea is angry (10'+ swell) or if there was a heavy rain in the last 12-36 hours. Big waves can come all the way up on the high rocks and sweep you out. If it has rained, runoff from the neighborhood makes the water... gross. Wait for the sea to douche it out.
    Fat fuck bubbas are not erosion.

  25. #25
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    We usually hit the Poipu side for 2 days before heading to the North Shore. Brennecke’s Beach has some decent body boarding for the 10-13 crowd. You can just rent a board/fins from Nukumoi, just across the street.

    Also recommend hiking Mahaulepu with kids your kids’ age: http://www.kauai.com/mahaulepu-beach-trail

    Need to walk out there and sit for a few minutes to appreciate it.

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