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Going to Kauai
We are going to Kauai in August and would like some suggestions for reasonably priced hotels in either Poipu or Kapaa/Lihue areas (at least three star). I really don't know much about Kapaa/Lihue but am only staying two days. Would like to be in a safe place and close to the beach. Would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks! Marjorie
We are looking for a great place to stay in Kauai (2 adults, one toddler) for 7-10 nights in October or November. A 1-bedroom condo would be ideal so that our son can sleep in his own room and we can cook meals. Close to a safe beach would be wonderful. (I'm assuming that the north shore is not safe around that time). Vacation rental by owner would be fine. Please share any positive (and negative!) experiences. Many thanks! Soo ready for a break
Kahili Mountain Park has the prettiest jacuzzi cave ever. It is big and you look out at flowers and the mountains. Also, when you go to the beach, you drive down through the Koloa Tree Tunnel and it is magic. The beach by there is Poipu so, lots of soft white sand...just a bit further is Brennekees for body surfing. I like that area. Plus, at KMP, they have housekeeping cabins...it is really nice. Your kids can be there with you, can run around outside with out bothering anyone or being in any danger.
Koke' Lodge is above Waimea Canyon and the housekeeping cabins are rustic with fireplaces and they have food and music at night in the restaurant. Trails, flowers pretty! You have to drive to the coast but it's nice. !!Aloha Nui Loa!!
We are headed to Kauai in a few weeks. We'd appreciate any easy hikes we could do with our toddler (2 years/8months) + our 3 month old in the ergo + my active 70 y.o. mom. We'll be staying at Anini Beach and expect to hang out at that beach and others nearby mostly but would like to try some easier, precious hikes we could all do together. We'd also love any recs for hikes (difficulty doesn't matter) for myself and my husband not far from Anini. We'd love to slip away for half a day and be back to relieve my mom from babysitting. Thanks!
Poipu Beach..Brennekes for lunch and there's a great beach, shallow for kids, as well as Lydgate Beach...T
We went to some beautiful gardens...great easy walk and beautiful.....Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens North from Kapaa.
If you have not been to a Luau, do so...There is one in Kapaa at Gaylord's and Smith's as well....Smith has a plantation you can all tour...
Hope this helps... karen
For an alternative to a hike (you'll find many in Ultimate Kauai Guide) by yourselves consider kayaking on the Hanalei river. Go to Kayak Kauai in Hanalei. They are right on the Hanalei river. susan
My husband and I would like to travel to Kauai this summer, our dates are flexible, preferably late July or early August. We would like to stay in a cottage on the north side of the island. Our daughter will be just over 2 years old. We are responsible, clean and don't need much but would like to stay out of the big hotels and somewhere where we can cook for ourselves. Can anyone recommend some places to stay? Thanks!
Aloha! We are planning a trip to Kaua'i in the spring/summer for 1-2 weeks and I was wondering if anyone has experience with good vacation rental they want to recommend. We need -space for 2 adults + 2 school aged kids -kitchenette to make at least breakfast & snacks -balcony, porch or similar -clean and reasonably priced We would also appreciate aesthetically pleasing surroundings (should be easy in beautiful Kaua'i). Thank you! Hula Girl
We are fortunate enough to be traveling to Poipu Beach in Kauai (The Makahuena condos) for a week in April--our first time in Kauai! I wanted to know if anyone has experience with a trusted babysitter there? We are bringing our toddler and were hoping to hire a babysitter to watch him a few afternoons (maybe even when he's sleeping) so we can snorkel. We are reluctant (my husband especially) to hire just any sitter without a recommendation. What are our chances that a BPN'r has been to Poipu and hired a great sitter? We also are wondering if there are recommendations of things to do, special beaches, places to go, restaurants, etc. We will have a toddler, two teenagers and a rental car. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you
We have points to use at a Marriott, one kid age 4, one 10 mths. I want warm air and a direct (not too long) flight. Any Marriott's stand out in particular? We love the beach and the pool but kid friendly a must. Arizona? Southern California? Mexico? Hawaii? Anyone been to Ko Olina on Hawaii? Feb or March travel. want to be warm!
I am getting married next summer and we want to have a small wedding in Hawaii, since this is our secong marriage. Any suggestions? we want to rent a house next to the beach where we will stay for a week, have the ceremony and the reception there. thanks elena
We are going Kauai with our 14 month old and my in-laws. Looking for a high quality house/condo rental or a suite. We are leaning towards a house b/c of the convenience, etc. Any recommendations of a specific place to stay would be awesome! Also, we'd love recommendations for restaurants, spa treatments, local hang-outs, etc. We hear there is alot of construction in Kauai right now. Does anyone know anything about that and how to stay away from it? Thanks!! Looking forward to a vacation! Miki
Poipu is great for small kids -- Poipu beach and Lydgate beach are both very protected, yet have rougher surf nearby if you want some wave action. That said, every year we have also ventured north for day trips and the beaches there, while not as kid friendly, are amazing. We can't go this summer but next time we may stay up north for a change. Luckily, wherever you stay, the island is small enough to get to both areas. We actually found the road-trips good for getting naps in.
I hope this is helpful. If you have any more questions, you can email directly. Beth
My husband and I have yet to fly with our twin boys but are working on getting over to Kauai in May when they will be about 23 months. We are hoping to find a 2 bdrm condo or a hotel suite in either Poipu Beach or Hanalei Bay (1 week stay). Does anyone have any recommendations as far as accommodations that are child friendly? In addition, any thoughts on airline seating arrangements for twins this age? Do you rent child seats once there with your rental car? What about pack'n'plays? Strollers? You must bring a double stroller along with you I assume? Any well earned advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much, erika
As far as the airline goes, I would get the parents aisle seats across from each other, so that the twins can be separate but parallel lap babies and traded if necessary. Hopefully one of your rows can be clear! We checked our car seat (and United lost it!), but car rental places do have car seats to meet your needs. We had a wonderful experience with Thrifty. (I was bumped from my flight out, and since I had prepaid gas they gave me my car back cheaply. Please rent from them!! They were great!!) Incidentally, I would fly ATA next time.
There is a baby service in Lihu'e where you can rent just about anything for babies. You may call ahead to see what items for twins are available. (Berkeley Public Library has a great family book that you can check out in the travel section but it doesn't pop up when I do a catalog search). Kauai Trailblazer and Kauai Trails if you plan to hike (like anywhere check the babies for tiny ticks) and Kauai Underground Guide (www.explorekauai.com) are good too. People use the Ultimate Guide, but I wasn't that thrilled with it. Some of the restaurants in the North that they recommended like Tropical Tacos were bad!
Food: Our favorite restaurants were the Barbeque Inn in Lihu'e, a great deal for lunch or dinner with salad, soup, homemade bread and homemade pie included, the Hanamaulu Tea Garden buffet on Sunday nights (a great family restaurant with nice service and lots of locals in the back tea rooms) and Kilauea Fish Market on the way to the lighthouse. We liked Papaya's for healthy food in Kapa'a and Hanalei, and Longs had the cheapest Kona Coffee.
Baby: Highlights for us were the baby beaches with fish Poipu and Lydgate State Park, where there are natural reefs for children with calmer water. Our 2 1/2 year old enjoyed the little girls' hula dancing at Coconut Marketplace Wednesday at 5pm and joined them on stage! It's also free to take children that age to the luau at Smith's Garden Paradise, which is quite a show. One thing I did was get a library card there for $10, so that I could check out kids' books to help my little girl understand the culture a little bit and check out cds for us to listen to and to check the internet. (Of course it's nice to have a break from the internet too!) Cute kids' clothes at Sandpeople (Hanalei and Poipu), and there's a new shop called Maile's Closet in Kapa'a that has very cute handmade things and great boys' clothes too. (Adorably packaged gifts). The giftshop at Koke'e Lodge was great too.
Mommy too: We have a family member who moved to Kilauea 3 years ago and does massage that really helped my mommy back... He's so awesome!
10-14 days recommended to get your bearings and really relax. We didn't see Na Pali (ugh) and could have spent more time in the canyon hiking. We felt that our week flew by but was still worth it of course! Have fun, and if you have more questions, I can do my best to answer. Tabatha
Hi there, My husband, myself (three months pregnant) and our two kids (4 and 2) want to go to hawaii after Christmas. We want somewhere kid friendly and easy-going, but with kitchens and dining choices. The Hanalei Bay Resort looks good on paper -- anyone know anything about it? Or have other suggestions? Thanks! Totally up for a week off
Hello - My husband and I and our 2 year old twins, along with my parents, are planning a trip to Kauai in May of next year. We're looking to rent a house or large condo which will accomodate all of us (4 adults plus 2 kids) comfortably. Highest priorities are proximity to a sandy beach (preferably Poipu) and laundry facilities. We're looking at the main house at Hale Pohaku in Poipu - does anyone have a recommendation on this or any other options? We would appreciate any help! kelle
Hi- My husband and I will be bringing our 2 year old son to Kauai in January. We are looking for recommendations for things to do with a toddler, mainly hiking or other outdoors activities. We were planning on bringing a baby backpack and/or our Bob jogging stroller since our son is almost 30 pounds and getting too heavy to carry. Does anyone know of any good trails, not too steep and narrow that we could navigate with a jogging stroller? Thanks! C.L
My husband and I are going to Kauai for 10 days in September, and are looking for a nice but reasonably priced condo rental. I will be 7 months pregnant, so something with a pool would be highly appreciated. We'd also like something near or on a beach, and we've heard the north shore is nicest that time of year. Any suggestions? Thanks!
My partner and I would like to take a week-long vacation to Hawaii sometime this fall with our baby, who will be 1 in October. We've never been, but we hear lots of good things about Kauai. We'd like to stay somewhere that's family-friendly in both senses of the word -- a place that would be cool with lesbian moms, has a kitchen where we can cook some meals, a pool and other places to walk to, and even child care. I've never booked a whole trip through a travel agent but would be happy to do so this time. So, I'm looking for recommendations either of travel agents that specialize in GLBT family travel, or locations that are particularly friendly. We feel so comfortable being a lesbian couple in the Bay Area, but realize not everywhere is like this -- I want to avoid getting stuck with a bunch of homophobic red-staters on vacation. Thanks in advance for any advice! anon
We stayed in Princeville in the North Shore of Kauai, although it is kind of an upscale community, we stayed in a condo called ''The Cliffs'' which was very kid friendly. It had a small pool (no beach access) and the condo was very open and had everything in terms of kitchen, laundry within the unit, nice Lanais. Apparently The Cliffs gets good recommendations on ''value''. Within Princeville, there is a great playground and walking paths. The best part of the north shore of Kauai (you will need a car) is the town of Hanneali Bay (this is a 10 min drive from Princeville)- where you could rent a cottage and walk to the cute town. Excellent coffee and breakfast places and they have a yoga studio right there. The Hannelai Bay Beach was the best we found for our little guy (in the north)although if you go in the winter Poipou is sunnier and it has the kids beach.
There are some advantages of staying in the south (Poipou) since the resorts will have everything (beach access, pool, cleaning service- our condo did), however, I think the landscape and ''Kauai'' local experience is richer up north. Kauai is a ''driving island'' and it does not seem most people stay at their resort but having toddlers, it might make it difficult for naps, etc. Our guy just napped in the car, etc. Be sure to check out a Kauai Guide Book which also helps.
We rented a one bedroom unit for a week and enjoyed being on the ground floor so our toddler could run around on the lanai just out the back door. A nice, swimable beach is on one side of the resort, and the pool is on the other, grounds are very nice w/ BBQs, etc. The pool was a bit of a hike from the unit we rented, but it was well worth the walk or drive. One side of the pool has a water slide and plenty of room to splash around, and a GREAT toddler kiddy pool lined with sand on the other end. We spent most days at the pool. It was nice to stay in a condo with a full kitchen. We ate out a few nights but mostly stayed in and cooked great fresh fish from the market in Koaloa.
Units at Kiahuna Plantation are managed and rented by two companies, but we read that Outrigger tends to have the best rates. Outrigger phone is 800-688-7444. Happy Vacationer
Has anyone stayed at the Hanalei Bay Resort? How was it? We have free airline tickets to Hawaii and are thinking of going back to Kauai. We usually stay in a vacation home, but now with a two year old, we would like to stay in a condo in order to have access to the pool and other amenities. We like the North Shore, so Hanalei Bay Resort (NOT Hanalei Colony Resort) is one option. I'm interested in finding out about particular condos within the resort as well. We'd like a two bedroom, and there seems to be no central agency or website where you can see what is available. Rather, each condo owner has their own rental arrangement and you just have to find them in a hit or miss fashion by searching the web and rental agencies. So, any help with finding a good condo would be greatly appreciated. Other suggestions also welcomed! Thanks.
We are heading to Kauai for a week with our daughter, who will be 3 months old, and looking for some recommendations specifically for things to do with an infant. We'd like to do a sunset cruise and also a few hikes - would these activities be OK with her in the Baby Bjorn or carrier? Any recommendations for restaurants - in addition to those on the website - for really little ones that are also somewhat nice for the parents? We're staying at the Princeville and I understand they have babysitters available. We were thinking about trying to sneak down for a private dinner one night - any experiences with their babysitting services? Any luaus good for kids? She is a pretty mellow baby but as you can tell I am a bit nervous about what we will do with her all week! Any recommendations are appreciated.
We recently stayed at the Princeville Hotel for 9 nights with a 7 month old. The hotel is quite fantastic, especially the location overlooking Hanalei Bay. If youíre stuck in your room most of the day waiting for your baby to wake up from his nap, at least youíll have a world class view. They have a wonderful infinity pool and a small pool especially for babies. The beach right in front of the hotel is terrific; relatively calm (especially in the morning) and good for swimming and snorkeling. Dinners are a little difficult because if you donít want to eat at the hotel you need to get in your car and drive to a near-by town, which will most likely be Hanalei. Some of the restaurants we enjoyed in Hanalei were Neideís Salsa and Samba (quiet, with outdoor dining), Zeloís, and Postcards. For a quick bite to eat (lunch) Tropical Taco, Bubbaís Burgers, and Mixed Plate were all good. In the town of Kilauea thereís a bakery which has breakfast items, soup and salad, pizza, etc. and everything is REALLY good. Itís also a nice little area to walk around and browse in the shops. The lighthouse there is worth visiting. We ate in the hotel for buffet breakfasts, lunch at the pool, room service and had dinner at the piano bar a couple times. We didnít try any formal dining or get a sitter, we were always too tired. Thereís a luau at the hotel which seemed as good as any. We didnít go but you can see and hear it from most rooms in the hotel.
I donít know of any hikes you can do with an infant, most hiking in Kauai is pretty difficult (muddy, steep, dangerous). Youíll also have the heat and mosquitoes to cope with.
If you do go, just take it slow, relax and enjoy the scenery. Be prepared to spend lots of money, Kauai is not cheap. Anon
You'll be able to visit Kilauea lighthouse and see the nesting frigate birds with a newborn.
And limahuli gardens will be a great hike for you. The gardens are gorgeous and the hike is very easy. We never had mosquito trouble there, but they have bottles of Avon Skin so Soft on hand if you want to use some. It is on the north shore not far from Princeville.
Hanalei is a great little town to hang out in with shops and cafes on the north side of the island.
If you go to Tunnels Beach (access was a little dicey last time we were there, but two of you should be able to get a baby safely down the incline to the beach) one of you can stake out a spot in the shade while the other enjoys fabulous snorkeling. Skip Hideaways beach!! it is far too dangerous a climb down the rickety staircase and slippery muddy trail.
If your baby doesn't mind a long drive you can go all the way around the island and up to Kokee park where you can have a very reasonable and tasty lunch at the nature station and drive to lookouts over Waimea Canyon. Make sure to get gas before you go.
On that side is the National Botanical Gardens, very pretty, very different from LImahuli and very expensive, but entirely possible with a newborn.
ON the south shore in Poipu you can visit Spouting Horn with a newborn. A dinner at Beach House at sunset time is fun, but the food is just ok for the price.
Helicopter tours leave Lihue (on the east side) regularly. THey are quite spectacular. I imagine they'd let you take a newborn on your lap, but I can't be sure.
The boat trips all leave from the Southwest side of the island, so it is a long drive. The power catamarans are nice, not too bumpy, and offer shaded areas to sit. On a good day you'll make it to Na Pali Cliffs. The trips are long, though, because they start from the least scenic shore of the island.
There is a movie van tour. You ride in a van and they show clips from movies and take you to places on the island where the scense were filmed. I have never done this, but it should be possible with a newborn.
Have a great time! susan
We stayed for a few days at the Hyatt Resort in Poipu, which has an AMAZING pool/ garden/waterslide set up with a warm lagoon that was perfect for swimming with the baby. After that, we stayed for a week at the Embassy Vacation Resort (also Poipu) which was a condo w/ full kitchen, bbq pits, pools, etc. That was great because we could shop for groceries and make our own meals. We went out to dinner a few times and the baby just slept in his infant seat next to our table.
The sunscreen could be a bit of a problem, but talk to your pediatrician. We used Waterbabies and it was OK, even though our son has sensitive skin. His eyes would sometimes get a little red (maybe some of it washed off into his eyes??) But we used a floppy hat and long-sleeved t-shirt every time he went into the water (only 10-15 minute stints at a time.)
Feel free to contact me if you would like any more specific info. paula
Re: Trip to Hawaii with a 13 month old
My in laws have a large one bedroom condo on Poipu Beach in Kauai. The condo is nestled in a garden setting just minutes from Poipu Beach- which is the perfect beach for baby- it is a protected cove and so there are rarely any waves and it isn't deep at first. There's a concession stand for those moments when you just have to have some french fries. The condo has a beautiful pool area right next to the tennis court. Kauai is simply the most beautiful island with many good places to eat but not the nightlife scene like on Maui. The shelf is shallow so you can easily go snorkeling and see lots of good stuff. Poipu is conviently located to all the natural sights on the island including Waimea Canyon known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. There are so many good spots to go without the overcrowding of some of the other islands. Enjoy your trip. Juliette
Can anyone recommend a *specific* vacation rental in the Hanalei
Bay area of Kauai? We'd like something in the moderate price
range ($1000-$1500/week), 2 bedrooms minimum, and a hot tub
would be great (although not essential). It is for my husband,
my one year old son, and me :). Thank you!
[P.S. I have read the recent postings that recommend Waimea plantation cottages and rentals on other islands. We're specifically interested in Hanalei Bay on Kauai. Thanks!] --Mom needs a vacation
is anyone familiar with a company in kauai that rents children's toys while you visit the island? i'm not looking for water toys, but rather everyday toys to play with while staying in hotel rooms. pamela
Greetings - We're planning ahead to a vacation on the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Hawaii, and would like recommendations for (what we've heard are) fairly simple, plantation like accommodations that are old fashioned and very kid-friendly. We've looked at the recent posts and the archives but these don't quite offer what we're after. We'd like to avoid fancy condos/apartments/hotels and go for something more rustic (although still clean and comfortable). We'd also like to know about great activities with the kids (ages 8 and 10) on either of these islands, especially swimming and hiking. Any ideas welcome and appreciated. Thanks. Deborah
We are looking for some new recommendations for condos in Kauai, (I've already checked the archives) preferably on the North Shore. The condo we've rented before in Hanalei is no longer available, but we really enjoy that area of Kauai. We will be traveling with our toddler, so family friendly is a plus! bw
We are going to Kuaui for a week in February with three girls (ages 7 1/2, 9 1/2 and 12) and an 81-year old grandfather. Advice on activities, beaches, restaurants etc. would be welcome - especially regarding water sports and outings. Thanks. ellen
I'd like to get a gift certificate for a snorkeling day trip (out on a boat, with guide, etc.) on Kaui for my mother and stepfather. I believe they're staying near Poipu beach, but will have a car, so anywhere on the island is probably alright. Any good suggestions appreciated. Also looking for restaurant suggestions for gift certificate if snorkeling doesn't pan out. Thanks! Nina
They give some restaurant reviews, and if they say it is ONO (tasty) you can be sure it is. For ambience a good choice near Poipu is Beach House at sunset. The view is stunning, but I cannot say that the food is great, but it is pretty good --- if you have ever been to Bigwater Grill in Incline Village at Lake TAhoe, Beach House is run by the same folks, and the fare is about the same, maybe a smidgen worse.
I have been to Kauai 3 times since 1998 (twice last year), and haven't heard of any GREAT snorkel tours. If your parents are going during Whale Watching season (DEC-MAR) a WHale Watching Tour may be a better bet. I think we went with Na Pali Eco Adventures 826-6804 (sorry, don't know the area code!) on a power catamaran and it was terrific. If you book a Na Pali Coast tour at least you get to see the spectacular Na Pali Cliffs even if you don't get to see any whales (we saw lots including two humbacks breaching together --- Wow!). Helicopter tours are also FANTASTI 246-4666 Air Kauai, Jack Harter 245 3774, leave from Lihue airport. Expect to pay $200/person for 90 minutes or so.
Your parents will have a great time, not matter what you choose! susan
I don't know of a particular charter company, but I would just do a google search. There are plenty of companies out there.
For non-tour adventures, I love Tunnels and Ke'e beach (both on the north side). At Ke'e, swim out toward the left (as you're facing the water) and look for turtles!
One of the nicest places to eat on Kauai is the Pacific Cafe in Kapa'a. It's not much to look at from the outside (in a strip mall) but it has excellent seafood and is one of the most highly rated places on the island.
If you can't tell already, I LOVE Kauai. Email me if you want more input. I hope they have a wonderful time! Bora
We'll be traveling to Kauai next month with our 21-month old daughter. Neither of us has ever been, so we're kinda going blindly (except for travel books' recommendations). We'll be staying on the North Shore -- does anyone have any ''must-sees'' they'd be willing to share? We're young, energetic and up for hikes - but with our little one, we'd appreciate pointers on where to go to just kick back, relax and fill a pail with sand, as well. Thanks! Nora
Limahuli gardens. You can take a lovely hike through this amazing garden on the North Shore. The circular route is perfect for a short hike with a 21-month-old in a backpack. Though your child is certain to want to get out and climb the little rock stairways that wind up through the woods! http://www.alohanui.com/limahuli.html
Best place to eat: A Pacific Cafe (shopping mall on the East Side of the Island --- in or near Kapaa). Pacific Rim Cuisine --- really WONDERFUL food. I have been there twice, and it was terrific. My husband went most recently without me and he was blown away by how good it was --- he said it was significantly better than an average dinner at Chez Panisse, Rivoli, or Lalimes. He did add, however that it may just be the novelty of Pacific Rim cuisine versus more continental California cuisine, but in any case, on par with those three.
Also in the eating department, in a completely different vein, is Hamura's Saiman in Lihue. This is a mostly-locals place with no ambiance whatsoever (unless you count kitsch --- low yellow formica countertops, red-cushioned stools) but the saiman is really good. OUr 3-year-old and 20-month-old gobbled up the noodles and egg, ham, etc. in the large, cheap, tasty bowls of soup.
We rented a boogie board with a little glass bottom and took our daughters floating to see the fish in the reef-protected waters of beaches like Anini. If your child likes to play at a playground Kamalani playground is fun, and Lydgate is a VERY protected and calm place to swim and play in the sand (also on the East side!). http://www.kamalani.coconutpalace.net/playground.htm Oh, and we found the Ultimate Kauai guide to be the best guide book. Have fun! susan
Re: Hawaii with Grandma & the kids
Every year for many many years we've taken our family to Kauai to Kiahuna Plantation on Poipu Beach. It's often the scene of family reunions. The beach is beautiful and it's far less rainy (especially in November) than the North Shore- although that's an easy day trip. If you book with Kiahuna Beachside http://www.kiahuna.com/ (there are different property managers for the resort) you can specify a unit on the ground floor and avoid stairs. I work as a travel agent and this would be my top choice. Another possibility on Maui is Napili Kai. Also very low key and pretty but a little more prone to rain at the time of year you're going. I've never had a client unhappy with either property. Kauai especially has wonderful old Hawaiian towns- it's the quintessential Hawaiian Island! Barbara
We will be travelling to Kauaii this summer for the first time in many years. We want a condo that has a nice pool, since we will be travelling with an extremely social 11-yr old and her much older sister (who does not want to be the sole "kid" entertainment for her sister)and the pool seems to be where she always hooks up with other kids. There is a place we are considering called Poipu Kai that is managed by an organization called Suite Paradise. We like the Poipu area for the weather (and no mosquitos). Has anyone had any experience with either the place or the organization? Anyone got any other ideas of places to stay that might have kids around to satisfy my young girl? Anyone know of an owner who rents out a Kauaii condo privately? Obviously, we need two bedrooms, four beds. Thanks. (2001)
I have visited Kauai for a dozen years, just lived there for two with a 9-11 yo. You don't say where you're staying, which might affect what you do. The North Shore will be beautiful in the summer, the south shore is central to the whole island; the West will be dry, but the undertow will be calmer than in winter and nights in Koke'e will be warmer. * local markets are on different days in different towns. Poipu is Monday at noon, I think Hanalei is Thursday at 3, Lihue Friday at 2. Some line everyone up and blow a whistle at which the crowd charges. Great place to buy flowers for cheap, local fruit & veg (don't think you find raw edamame in Berkeley, but you can on Kauai - boil in lots of salted water) - bring bags and dollar bills. The vendors near the entrance are often the most expensive and don't necessarily have the best stuff. * Poli'hale beach and state park at the west tip of the island. Keep driving after the road ends and follow the signs. You can swim there in summer, but use care until you know if there's much undertow. You can camp there. for state park permits contact the Division of State Parks at 3060 Eiwa St., Room 306 in Lihu'e. Or call (808) 274-3444 (8 am to 4 pm weekdays). There is no fee for the permit. County sites which include Lucy Wright, Salt Pond, Niumalu, Hanama'ulu, Anini and Ha'ena Beach Parks also require permits. They are $3.00 per person, per night. Write to the Division of Parks and Recreation at 4193A Hardy St., Bldg. #5, Lihu'e, HI 96766. Or Call (808) 241-6670 for more details. * Can be combined with a night in a cabin in Koke'e state park. There's a charming museum there that has trail maps. The cafe food isn't much to speak of, so bring food if it's convenient. (There's a supermarket in Waimea.) Don't do the Pihea-Alakai swamp walk, it's not worth the work. The Nounou Mt. Trail (Sleeping Giant) isn't worth it either. * On the other hand, hike the Kalalau trail on the Na'Pali coast on the opposite end, it is worth the work. With a 10 yo, you can make Hanakapi'ai Beauch (2 mi), and the falls (5 mi) if you make it a very long day - which tells you how hard the trail is. Try to team up with another kid, it makes hiking much easier. Bring walking sticks if you can, and wear clothes that can get red-dirt wrecked. Bring lots of water - a couple of litres per person if you can carry it, because the streams sometimes carry leptospirosis from the wild pigs and goats at the top. There is fresh water at the beach and falls. We ate our lunch in a little cave at the beach that my kid enjoyed. * Anini Beach, which someone on the recommendations page mentioned, has a tree to climb on that my kid thought was swell at 10; there's also bit of a view of the lighthouse. There are other beaches on the North Shore that are a bit of a hike in - eg, Secret, Lumahai, with fabulous views of the Na'Pali coast. * For a splurge on the south shore, there is guided horseback riding in Poipu on the road past the Hyatt at CJM Country Stables. I gave this to my son for his 10th birthday. We had a great time. * Another splurge that we enjoyed was kayaking up the Wailua River. There was a rope swing at the end, great swimming, and a pass by Fern Grotto. Rent the kayak closer to the site, rather than at an activities place somewhere else on the island. We got from the place right at the river so we wouldn't have to deal with getting it on the car. Dana:=
We took our 16 month old to Kauai this summer and it is a great place for babies. We did have to take more than one plane but a few airlines have started offering direct flights. We rented a condo on the beach -- at the moderately priced Kiahuna. You can rent much cheaper by going directly to an owner. Ads are in the Sunday Examiner travel section. If we were to go again though, we'd stay on the north shore--the most beautiful part of the island and you can find cheaper accomodations.Have a great trip!
This past summer, we had a fantastic experience on the North Shore of Kauai, which is the greatest place in the world. We have two children, ages four and one. After a lot of research, we rented a house on Anini Beach, which is great for kids. It's sheltered by an extensive reef, so there is no surf, and it's quite shallow. For grown-ups, it offers decent snorkeling and is a good place to learn wind-surfing. It's quite uncrowded, but near Hanalei for grocery-shopping, restaurants for take-out, and the like. The house we rented was reasonable -- between $800 and $900 for a week in a 3-BR, with fully-equipped kitchen, oodles of beach toys, the works. Agencies offering home rentals are easy to find in guidebooks and on the web. The family in the home next to ours (2 young children and an infant) was staying there for their fourth year in a row, and we could sure see why. Have fun!
We stayed at Kiahuna Plantation in Poipu on Kauai in October with our 6 mo old. It was great for families! 40 acres of beautiful grounds with lovely lawns & shade (palm trees) right at the beach; gentle swimming in natural black lava pool at the beach (warm water & no surf); pleasant condos w/ kitchens; very little traffic (you just park your car near your condo & walk); *many* families. A 5 year old could run endlessly & without worry. Aso, United has a new Sat. flight direct from SFO to Kauai -- no plane change in Honolulu! Sandy Hayashi at Point of Departure in Berkeley booked us & is great -- very sensitive to what works for families. Have a wonderful time -- wish we were going back in Jan.!
We stayed at Glo Manor at Anini Beach with our 2 year old and really liked it. You can find it on the web at http://www.homexchange.com/vac/anini.html or e-mail email@example.com or phone 808/828-0328. It was quiet, pretty and had some good dirt road walking out to catch the baby chickens in the bushes or to the beach. This beach was best for sand and shallow water play...swimming here was so-so so we drove to snorkel and play in waves elsewhere. There aren't a lot of other kids around the way there are at the Poipu Beaches ( in case you want to find lots of families with kids) but that was OK with our daughter at that age. Have fun!!
We camped on Kawai in March of '98 with our two-year-old son. It was very easy to do and nice. Camping is not strictly prohibited per a previous post, its just that you have to have a permit. You can get a permit from only one place, an government office in the town where the airport is. They are not open on weekends. You need to know what beach you want to camp at and what nights you will be at what place. It costs $3/night. No one ever asked us to show our permits. We camped up in the mountains on the NE side of the park (Waimea Canyon?) which was beautiful, but a little cool at night because of the altitude. Also at two beach parks where you just pitch your tent on the sand. It was mostly locals at some places, others we had almost to ourselves. Most of the parks have an open building which usually has picnic tables inside (good in case of rain) and sinks and bathrooms. Some have showers. They also have electricity. We thought it was a great place to camp. You just have to pick the places you plan to be and then get your permits.
Hawaii Wedding/HoneymoonMy sister is getting married in May and is planning a honeymoon in Hawaii, 5 days in Maui and 5 in Kauai. Since they're travelling on a shoestring budget, my husband and I would like to give them a gift certificate for some activity to do there -- like a snorkeling/sailing package or biking down the volcano in Maui. Does anyone have any good suggestions for activities on either island that are fun, adventurous and memorable and cost under $200? They're both active, outdoorsy types who would be willing to try pretty much anything. We also thought of treating them to dinner at a romantic restaurant so if anyone has a recommendation for a nice place for honeymooners, I'd appreciate it. Thanks for your help. Claudia
A great romantic restaurant on Kauai with amazing food is The Beach House near Poipu. It has a wonderful view (go near sunset), and the food is wonderful (but not cheap). It is a sister restaurant to A Pacific Cafe on the east side of the island, which has great food too but no view. We really enjoyed the boat/snorkeling tours we took. We did one on Kauai around the Na Pali coast (only accessible by boat or foot). On Maui, we did a snorkeling tour to Molikini, a tiny island crater. There were boats packed in the little crater, but despite the crowds the snorkeling was great (tons of fish). We booked these trips through our hotels, and I don't remember the costs.
My husband and I honeymooned on Kauai and our favorite beach on the island was Polihale State Beach. It's the most south-westerly beach on the island that's accessible by car, and a great place to watch the sun set. It's a long stretch of beach, and at one end the Na Pali coastline begins with it's dramatic lush green steep cliffs. Also there aren't many people there, since it is a bit of a drive (5 minutes off the highway on a dirt road). Would be most convenient if you are staying in Poipu or west of Poipu. Congratulations!
Have a great time. We went to Kauai when our daughter was 2 and Maui when she was 4ish. One thing I discovered both times (for different reasons) is that our family does better when the place we sleep is delightful enough to spend a good portion of the day in. We really needed a place that was exotic, Hawaii, versitile enough to be satisfying without driving. When our daughter was 2, if we spent a moderate time driving to the beautiful beach or hike (and home again), there was lots of fussing, sleeping in the car and then not at naps or nights. When our daughter was 4ish, she loved being in charge of her environment - playing games in the cabin, drawing in the cabin, exploring outside the cabin etc. Our ideas of driving to the beach or the state park were met with much protest! (I was very surprised!) Luckily, we ended up in a couple of places that satisfied her age-related needs and our needs to feel like we really were away from home. On Kauaii we stayed at Glo Manor on the north coast. We found them on the internet. We also rented a cabin at Waimea Canyon State Park. I was less content here because the ocean was not walkable. But the hiking is great. It is that tropical forest surrounding. On Maui, in Hana, we rented a cabin at the Waianapanapa State Park. Cabin are very sparsely equipped. Cabins 1-7 have nice views. Our best choice for the 4 year old was the 1st floor condo a Maalea Bay in Maui. We had a relatively calm beach, great views, lots of grandparent aged people that would chat with my daughter, some families with kids. I can get phone #'s for you if you have trouble finding them. The next place we want to try is camping on Lanai. I haven't investigated it much. It could be hard if there were no other kids there Karen
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