Kauai – 8 Great Things to See and Do

Hubs and I just returned from eight days on the lovely island of Kauai, Hawaii.  Our visit towards the end of February gave us temperatures in the mid-70’s with a couple of warm, rainy days.  Kauai is known as the “garden island,” so travelers should be prepared for a little rain.

First, just for fun…It was pointed out to me that the east side of Kauai, when viewed from above, looks a bit like Chewbacca!

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Now on to the important stuff.  We stayed up on the north shore, in a condo (VRBO) in Princeville.  While there, be sure to visit:

The Kilauea Lighthouse

This landmark represents the northernmost point of the main Hawaiian Islands.  The unbelievable turquoise waters below the lighthouse point are worth the trip.

 

 

 

The Dolphin Restaurant, Fish Market and Sushi Lounge

Before I went to Kauai, I wasn’t a big fan of fish.  Well, if there is any place on earth to change that opinion, it was at the Dolphin.  The Dolphin boasts the freshest fish in Hawaii, and the servers were well versed in the characteristics of each type of fish.  These folks are also pros at impeccable preparation.  The Dolphin operates on a first come, first served basis, but there is a lovely garden where you can enjoy a cocktail and appetizers.  The menu has non-fish entrees, but trust me…try the fish!

Dolphin restaurant interior

 

Sunshine Helicopters

If you are staying on the north side of the Island, Sunshine Helicopters offers tours which take off from the Princeville airport.  Of all the places to take a helicopter tour, Kauai is the place.  Because much of this rugged island is inaccessible by road, a helicopter tour gives a unique perspective, along with fun narration from the pilot.

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Waimea Canyon by helicopter

A word of caution:  We allowed the concierge at the resort to book our flight, and found out upon returning that we’d have saved $200 had we booked it online ourselves.  (But wait…we’d have saved $190.00 if we’d attended the Wyndham timeshare spiel….hmm – learn from our mistake!)

Blue Dolphin Kauai Snorkel Tour

We took a tour over to the Na Pali coast on the island, via Blue Dolphin Tours.  Not only was the coast absolutely stunning, but the captain and crew aboard this large catamaran were over the top hospitable, offering breakfast, juices, sodas, lunch, and after snorkeling, the bar opened.  A wonderful day!

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Poipu, Koloa and the Spouting Horn

Be certain to follow highway 520 to the southernmost part of island. En route, you will pass through the Tree Tunnel, made of eucalyptus trees.  Old Koloa Town, the island’s first sugar plantation town, is charming and worth the stop.  Continuing on to Po’ipu, you will find Po’pu Beach Park and Brennecke’s Beach Broiler.  Enjoy one of the best Mai Tais ever built and some ridiculously yummy food!

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The Spouting Horn Beach Park is worth a visit.  The horn is made from a lava shelf, where water from waves is forced through an opening, squirting water out a blowhole.  This particular blowhole is different from others, because air rushes through another hole, making a moaning sound.  Some say it’s a dragon…

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What Kauai trip would be complete without a beautiful, beach sunset.  The stunning Kekaha Beach Park is part of a 15 mile stretch of white sand beach.  While this is not a beach for swimming because it is unprotected from the ocean and has strong rip-tides, it is a lovely spot for sunbathing or beach combing – or in our case, watching the sunset:

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We’re home now, and our Kauai trip did just what was intended.  Get us out of the snowy north until spring was at least visible.  My forsythia is starting to bloom outside my window.  Guess it worked.

Lynn

32 thoughts on “Kauai – 8 Great Things to See and Do

  1. patwdoyle11

    We didn’t make it to Kauai on our visit to Hawaii years ago…. I might have to put Hawaii back on the to-visit list – I’ve never flow in a helicopter! sounds like you had fabulous time.

    We got back from our 60-70 degree day’s in FL to 30 and snowing…. my hope that spring would have started now that it is actually spring — dashed.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Think of riding in a helicopter as feeling like riding a motorcycle in 3-D. It’s a blast! If I was going to Kauai again, I might go in the summer; perhaps it wouldn’t be quite so damp…but it beats snow hands down! ~ Lynn

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  2. footloosefogeys

    Beautiful photos of your adventure! You are very wise to avoid the sales pitch from the resort chain. Those sales people are brutal and the deals are never as good as they seem during the pitch. My wife and I will tell them that our time is worth $100 / hour while we are vacationing. If they want to give us that much, we will listen for exactly one hour. Then we stand up and demand our payoff, NO SALE!!
    A helicopter ride is a costly extravagance, but what the hell? When are you ever going to get a chance to have that kind of adventure again? Shop for the best deal, but go for it!

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. snakesinthegrass2014

    It’s been over 20 years since I’ve been to Kauai. I did enjoy it so much, and it’s a wonderful contrast to the other islands. I never took the helicopter tours– back in the nineties they had this practice of offering occasional “thrills” to passengers by going up/down at certain junctures for added giggles I’m not sure why they did that, but I suspect that practice has (hopefully) been abandoned by now. Your pictures are beautiful! – Marty

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  4. Joanne Sisco

    The only time I’ve ever been in a helicopter was in Hawaii on the Big Island. I would recommend it anyone. Although pricey, it was one of those never-regretted things we’ve done.
    This island looks like a great reason to return to Hawaii some day …. not that I needed much coaxing 🙂

    If your forsythia is blooming, you are far ahead of us in spring weather!! We are still weeks away from that!

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  5. RetirementallyChallenged.com

    I’ve been to Hawaii many times (the Big Island is my favorite… currently) and never get tired of the scenery – all that green! I haven’t splurged for a helicopter ride, though. After seeing your pictures, I think I just might do that next time. I’ve been to South Point – the southernmost tip of the US – on the Big Island, but never to the lighthouse on the northern tip of the Hawaiian islands. One of these days…

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Went to the Big Island last year, and loved it! We rode bikes out to the end of the highway to see the lava hose flowing into the ocean. It was a once in a lifetime experience. But I’ll take almost any of the islands, anytime! ~ Lynn

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  6. karen@profoundjourney.com

    I’ve only ever been to the Big Island, but I loved it and would return to it or to any of the islands in a heartbeat. I love the photo of the turquoise water. If only your blog could also include that heavenly smell of eucalyptus.
    I’ve been in a helicopter, although it was in northern Ontario so nowhere near as scenic. Great experience though, with the best possible views.

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. jasonlikestotravel

    Great read, I’d love to go to Hawaii! I’m glad you enjoyed it, sad to see your concierge charged so much extra but as you say – lesson learned! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. Liesbet @ Roaming About

    What a wonderful trip, Lynn. Your photos are stunning. I can imagine how that catamaran tour went… 🙂 I’ve never been to Hawaii, but it reminds me of parts of French Polynesia and some rocky Caribbean islands, where waterfalls blowholes are prominent. I’m glad you returned home with your batteries charged, and right in time for spring!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      Oh, I don’t know, Liesbet…my batteries are charged, but my wanderlust has been supercharged! We even went to an RV dealer last weekend to look at Class B’s! We’re in the information gathering phase, but I’m having a hard time containing my excitement! ~ Lynn

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Array

        I’d double-like that one, if I could. Vans (Class B’s) are relatively small, but they park and drive easily. Not sure whether you are planning/dreaming of going full-time, part-time or during the weekends, but this is, indeed, all very exciting!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Encore Voyage Post author

        We don’t ever really plan on full time RVing. I really just want sort of a “tent on wheels” – oh, and have a potty and a place to keep the wine and cheese chilled, ;)…and maybe pop some popcorn!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wandering Dawgs

    Thank you for this post. Your beautiful photos took me back ten year to when we spent a week on Kauai. We also stayed in a condo in Princeville and had the best meal of our trip at the Hanalei Dolphin. It looks like you enjoyed Kauai as much as we did.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Encore Voyage Post author

      We certainly did enjoy beautiful Kauai – especially since it was snowy and ugly here in Idaho! We hope to be “wandering Voyagers” like you in the not too distant future! I’ve been checking out your adventures! ~ Lynn

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