Travel presents a unique opportunity to share memories of your visit with others who traveled there.
All of the Hawaiian Islands have beauty in abundance. Personally, I’ve yet to explore them all. I’ve been to Maui and Kauai.
Each has features that should not be missed by anyone who visits for the first time. Usually when traveling to new places there is at least one thing that stands out, like a metaphor for the place. The roosters are it in Kauai. They’re everywhere you go. They crow at all the time, anytime day or night! At our resort, there were hens, chicks and roosters making themselves at home. We spent time on our balcony just watching the roosters fight for their space, hen and chicks! You’d think that a lot of the chickens might get eaten, but they aren’t a variety that’s any good to eat! So their population keeps on growing.
What does get hunted and eaten by natives are the wild boars, or the big fat piggys as our helicopter pilot says. There’s also black-tailed deer and wild goats. As far as farming livestock, cattle are raised on Kauai. One we heard about was the Rice family, who has a four thousand acre cattle ranch. Their beef can be purchased at Kojima’s market in Kapa’a on the east side. That sounds like a big ranch (for Kauai) until you hear about the Robinson’s family land. They came to the island in 1868 and purchased sixty thousand acres. They grow sugar cane and process it at the G&R Sugar plant on the west shore. Both of these estates can be seen on a helicopter tour of the island.
Something that should not be missed is an island helicopter tour. We flew with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. Their equipment is top-notch and our pilot made it a fun, informative and safe trip. Each of their helicopters have a 4-camera DVD system that records outside and inside with all of the talk over the microphones and headsets, plus the pilot’s own soundtrack of music. We’ve honestly enjoyed watching our copy of the flight many times! The picture to the right is of a beach and the Honopu Arch that was used for the filming of Six Days and Seven Nights with Anne Heche and Harrison Ford. Our pilot actually brought Harrison Ford to and from this beach!
We stayed at the Kauai Marriott Resort in Lihue. It’s a large and beautiful resort. There are several restaurants within walking distance. There are plenty of other choices for places to stay on Kauai. The cities are spread out a bit except for Lihue, Wailua & Kapa’a. The commercial airport is in Lihue about the farthest to stay is in Princeville. It’s on the north shore and has a small airport, as celebrities are known to vacation in Princeville. Poipu is another town to consider that’s southwest of Lihue.
Activities and Eats
Our favorite for breakfast and lunch was the Kalapaki Beach Hut, next to the Marriott just off the beach. Our best dinner was at the Beach House. Watch the sunset at Beach House restaurant in Koloa. If you want to eat there around sunset, make reservations well in advance. All of the places we went out to for food or drinks were all local. There are very few of the US chain restaurants and stores. Earlier in our visit we enjoyed snorkeling at the beach here and just down the street, out around the point, we saw green sea turtles! Scuba diving, sport fishing, and water tours of the Na Pali coast are only some of the other water activities possible here.
Since I told you about the wild and tame animals earlier, I’ll share the best places for flora now. The Allerton Garden at the National Tropical Botanical Garden is not to be missed. The tour takes you through what used to be a private property belonging to the Allerton’s. They were botanical enthusiasts and the gardens they created are incredible. The guide takes the group on an open trolley style ride back into the property. Once down at the main gardens, the tour is on foot. From that moment on you’ll appreciate how much the Allertons were into gardening. There are ponds, statues, and a water canal (pictured) that flows from end to end not powered; special baffles are all that keeps it going.
Kauai, called the Garden Isle, is incredibly lush. At the highest point on the island, Mount Wai’aleale is the wettest place on earth; annual rainfall is 450-500 inches. Rain is always a possibility on Kauai and even though we experienced our share it never dampened our enthusiasm for this great island. It can’t be helped here, so go with it, be flexible and opt for other activities that won’t be ruined by a little rain. ALOHA!