Archive for February, 2011

February 28, 2011 by, Emily

Recently I had a mom ask me if Kauai had any dolphins. Apparently her daughter LOVES dolphins and has always wanted to see one up close. Well, I have great news for this family: there are many dolphins in the waters surrounding Kauai.

Dolphins love our tropical, warm waters. In fact, we have four species of dolphin in the area: Pacific Bottlenose, Rough-toothed, Spotted, and Spinner Dolphins. The most common dolphin sightings have been with bottlenose and spinner dolphins, though the other species are just as prevalent.

So how do you see a dolphin close up when you visit Kauai? Well, that’s easy. You need to get out on the water. Dolphins won’t swim right up to the beach, so it is your job to get out into the deeper ocean currents and track them down. One way to do that is to take a dolphin tour. There are many companies that offer dolphin excursions, whether boat tours or snorkeling tours. These companies will charge you for equipment rentals and boat time, but they guarantee a dolphin spotting. So that is one way to go.

Another way would be to rent a boat yourself. If you know how to sail or how to operate a motorboat, you could take your chances on the sparkling blue, and you will likely run into a pod of dolphins or two. They are just that common. However, this is harder since you don’t know their migration patterns or their hideouts. Plus, you’ll have to pilot the boat, so you might miss out on some of the dolphin goodness yourself.

Either way, if you are going to look for dolphins, remember just a few tips. First of all, be at the front of the boat right near the breaking waves. That is where you’ll see the most sea life. Second, remember that dolphins are a treasure here on Kauai. Treat them well, don’t throw things or contaminate their waters, and they will keep coming back year after year.

I understand that Kauai can be expensive. After all, you use up some money flying to the island, only to have to afford housing once you arrive. However, don’t let that detour you for Spring Break this year. You could rent a four-bedroom house for yourself and several of your friends and save a fortune. And I have just the house for you: Nani Kai.

Nani Kai has lots of space and is perfect for a Spring Break getaway. There are several beds and lots of floor space, so you can house a whole bunch of your friends. Plus, Nani Kai is close to town and a short walk to the beach, the local bars, restaurants, shops, and everything else Hanalei has to offer. This way you don’t have to spend a fortune on transportation.

Renting a house is great for Spring Break because you can be as loud and as messy as you want, as long as you pick up before you leave. And you don’t have to eat out for every meal unless you want to do so. You could stock the house with food and even cook meals in your own kitchen. And for the guys who want to play with fire, there is even a BBQ on the property.

Nani Kai has a big back yard for running around with friends and playing touch football and other games. There is a romantic gazebo in back for privacy and a view of the mountains from the house. Other amenities include high speed internet, a washer and dryer, and air conditioning for those hot and humid days. So consider coming out to Nani Kai for Spring Break this year. If you split the cost, you could well afford a dream vacation.

How does a cruise at sunset with your beloved sound? What if it included dinner and drinks? Because here on Kauai, we can make all of that happen. ☺

One of our local tour lines, Holoholo Charters, offers the most beautiful sunset tour right off the Napali Coast. So you can wine and dine your loved one and enjoy a tropical sunset over the blue ocean waters.

Have you ever seen an ocean sunset before? It’s definitely a sight to see. The sky illuminates with the most breathtaking colors and the ocean itself seems to glow. The waters change hue several times, first reflecting the brilliant orange of the sun and then the secondary colors of the surrounding sky. That doesn’t even cover the shades of blue you will see as the sun slips below the horizon.

So what else, other than beauty, will you get out of this tour? Well, let’s take a look.

1. Gourmet buffet dinner

2. Your choice of Mai tais, beer, wine or soda

3. Champagne at sunset

4. Whale sightings (if you go in the next month or so)

5. 3½ hours of relaxing bliss with your loved one

I haven’t personally gone on this tour, so I don’t know what the boat staff is like. But my friends took this tour on their honeymoon and said it was well worth the cost. The food was exquisite and the company was exceptional. (The mai tais were great too!) So if you want a romantic getaway for two, call and make reservations today.

Did you all have a good President’s Day? I know that many on the mainland receive Presidents Day as a holiday from work, making the day more memorable and fun. Well, here on Kauai, we receive the same day off. After all, while we might have had a ruling family or two in our past, we are very much a part of the United States.

For President’s Day this year, some friends and I kept with our usual tradition: going to the beach. On Kauai, most days off include the beach. From surfing to sunbathing, there is always something to do on the sand. And since most of the population of Kauai is out on the beach, there is always a party atmosphere and someone to time with.

We stuck to the Princeville area this year, spending our day relaxing under the warmth of the sun and imagining what our lives would be like if we got to hang out on the beach everyday. Then we went to lunch at Foodland. Now for those of you not from Kauai, that is a grocery store. But they have the best deli. When you want something you can take to the beach and enjoy, plus a selection of chips and drinks, Foodland is a great option.

After getting all of the food we could carry, we wandered back to the beach and enjoyed the rest of the day. We ate, played volleyball, I watched my friends surf, I read a book, we played tag, and we soaked up the sun. It was a fun and relaxing day, just like many of the other days on this beautiful island.

Can you say Spring Break? It’s fast approaching and there is no better place to spend a week of vacation than Hawaii!

First of all, the weather is going to be beautiful. While Hawaii is always warm, it does have a rainy season. However, starting in the spring, the rainy season is over! So the weather will not only be warm, it will be sunny and cloud free!

Secondly, because of the rainy season, the flowers and tropical plants will be blooming and fragrant. What does this mean? Well, the beaches and hiking trails will be surrounded by vibrant colors and exotic scents. What could be better?

I’ll tell you what could be better: FUN! Every year, we have spring breakers coming to our beaches and having a good time. From beach volleyball to snorkeling, from party luaus to sunbathing, there is always something to do on Kauai.

So why not come to Kauai this spring?! We’re planning on having a great time. It just wouldn’t be the same without you.

February 17, 2011 by, Emily

Okay, I need to be honest. You know how in the movies, tourists always get off of the plane and get covered in leis by smiling Hawaiian natives? Well… that doesn’t really happen. No, let me revise that statement: that doesn’t really happen unless you pay for it.

Yes, that sounds bad. But what if you were bringing your new bride to the island for a dream honeymoon. Wouldn’t she love it if you had an island team meet her at the gate and provide her with a lei that is just as lovely as she is? Well, almost as lovely anyway.

How about if you had children and you wanted to introduce them to Hawaii and all of its splendor for the first time? Wouldn’t you want them to have the royal treatment when they stepped off the plane and into the wonderland that is a tropical island?

So I’m here to tell you how to get the 4-star treatment at the Lihue airport!

First of all, you can shop around and find a good company to greet you. I know of at least one, Lihue Kauai Lei Greetings, but there are probably many more. The leis themselves are going to run you between $15 and $40 per person. Yes, I did say $40 a person. Actually, there are several packages that will run you a lot more money, with some leis costing up to $130 a person! So shop well and figure out what you can afford and how nice you want the lei to be. You can create your own designer lei if you want something really special, so don’t limit yourself if you don’t have to.

February 14, 2011 by, Emily

While I don’t have much to post today, I did want to wish everyone a happy Valentines Day. I know that this is a day of wonder, romance, and excitement for many couples out there, and I also know that relationships are hard work that must be done all year round. In my opinion, Valentines Day is the one day a year that couples can celebrate a year of trials, tribulations, and triumphs. It’s a day to celebrate life together.

Here on Kauai, Valentines Day is just as big as on the mainland, and this year I have someone that I truly care about to celebrate with. I plan on being spoiled rotten today, especially since he has already left me two dozen roses and an invitation to a nice dinner. Seriously, can it get better than this?

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you all to enjoy the day. Take your significant other somewhere nice and buy them presents and more presents. It’s important to spend this day celebrating love and everything that comes with it. Happy Valentines Day everyone!!

February 13, 2011 by, Emily

Here is a great spot for tourists who want a taste of true aloha and a fun day out: the Coconut Marketplace. You can start with a bit of shopping! There are several stores to choose from in this open-air market from art and jewelry stores to clothing shops. And then there are those stores just for tourists. Yeah, you know the ones. They sell gifts and special items so you can bring souvenirs home to the whole family.

After you do a bit of spending, its time to find some food. There are several restaurants to choose from, including a pizza place, barbecue, ice cream, a fish hut, and a grill or two. And whenever I visit, I always hit Zack’s Famous Frozen Yogurt & Café. It really is a tasty treat, especially after a long day of shopping and beach combing.

And, of course, after dinner there must be some entertainment. Did you know that there are free hula shows in the marketplace? Well, there are! The students of Halau Hula O Leilani and their teacher (Leilani Rivera Bond) put on a great show every Wednesday evening at 5pm and every Saturday afternoon at 1pm. It gives them great practice and it also provides one entertaining and culturally relevant show.

The Coconut Coast is one of the most beautiful parts of Kauai, and it’s located right down the coast from Princeville on the East Side of the island. It’s not hard to find and it’s wonderful to visit. So if you are coming out to Kauai, you should definitely plan to visit this great little spot on the coast: the Coconut Marketplace.

There is a great condo in Princeville that I think any visitor will love. Plus, it is priced amazingly well at only $900 a week, which is far less than a hotel in the area! So, here is some information about Emmalani Court 322 that will make you want to pack a bag and come straight to Kauai.

First of all, the price should convince you. Where else could you get an entire house with a fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms and a roll-away bed, two bathrooms, a beautiful living room, and a lanai with a view of the ocean for only $900 a week? That’s a great deal anywhere you go.

Secondly, privacy is worth its weight in gold. When you stay in a hotel or a resort, there are dozens if not hundreds of other guests surrounding you at all times. There are people in the hallways, in the restaurants, and in the public areas. There are even hundreds if not thousands of people on the beaches! So if you want a bit of privacy and a place where you can enjoy a family dinner or a romantic dinner in peace, then a condo is your best bet.

Lastly, this condo has some wonderful amenities. First of all, there are the basics from a washer/dryer to a ton of kitchen equipment. But then there is also Internet access, a community pool and barbeque, a jetted tub in the master bathroom, two televisions with DVD players and VCRs, an amazing stereo system, and air conditioning for those humid days. Who wouldn’t want to stay in this house?

Have I convinced you yet? Well, then come to Kauai and see the condo for yourself. It’s just waiting for a few good visitors.

February 10, 2011 by, Emily

ATVS! Seriously, who doesn’t love an ATV? They are fun and allow you to gain a whole new perspective on your surroundings. And when those surroundings are lush tropical forests, hidden waterfalls, and mountain passes, the perspective will be amazing.

So when you come to Kauai, check out Kipu Ranch Adventures and sign up for an ATV tour. When you join a tour, you will get to see places you never dreamed of visiting and you will view sites that you can’t even imagine. Riding through the tropical forests and river valleys will give you a sense of adventure, but there is more to it than that.

The Kipu Ranch itself is a great place to visit. It is a real working ranch with hundreds of cattle, pigs, geese, pheasants, and other ranch animals. On the ATV tour, you will get a history of the ranch as well as a guided tour. You will get to explore the pastures, travel up the mountain trails, and see the watering holes… which are also great places to swim by the way.

So here is what you need to bring:

1. A swimsuit for those pools of water

2. Comfortable hiking shoes for the short hikes up the trail to locations the ATVs can’t reach

3. A camera for those scenic views

4. A towel for after the swimming

5. And an extra sweatshirt just in case the weather gets wet along the trails (though on Kauai it never gets too cold)

What you do not need to bring is a helmet, food, safety goggles, or instructions for how to work an ATV. All of those things are provided by the tour guide. So sit back, relax, and get your motor running!

February 8, 2011 by, Emily

I love Kauai and everything this island has to offer. But I’m also very proud of the surrounding islands as well, including Oahu. And one of the largest tourist areas of Oahu is the site of Pearl Harbor, a site of both sorrow and triumph. So, if you are planning to visit Hawaii and want to see Pearl Harbor, you should! But keep in mind that you don’t have to stay on Oahu to see it.

There is a great tour that runs from Kauai to Oahu so that you can have the best of both worlds. When you stay on Kauai, you have excellent housing, beautiful beaches, scenic mountain views, fun water sports, zipline adventures, hiking trails, horseback riding, and much more. Plus, you can get on a tour boat and sail the majestically blue and warm tropical waters to Pearl Harbor, the site of the sunken Arizona and site of the memorial wall.

There are some great condos and rental houses on Kauai that you can choose to be your home away from home. So check out some housing options and enjoy your visit to Kauai and your tour of Oahu.

I’ve noticed lately that I write a lot about family-friendly places, and there is a good reason for that. Usually the tourists we get are parents with young kids who want a fun family vacation in a relaxing place. But a lot of young men and women come here too, and they just want to have some fun. So this blog is for you.

There is a 21-and-older club and restaurant that is a must-visit for any young adult who wants some fun and a whole lot of dancing. It’s called Keoki’s Paradise, and tourists and natives alike love it.

Located on Poipu Road in the Poipu Shopping Village, this is a great place for lunch or dinner. From prime rib to freshly caught fish, you will find just about any taste experience for your palette here in Poipu. But keep in mind that you’ll likely have to make reservations. This is an extremely popular place and everyone seems to want a table.

Then, after dinner, the experience truly begins. The bar serves great drinks and there is live music on Thursdays and Fridays, both traditional Hawaiian and popular club mixes. The rest of the time, there is a great mix playing through the sound system. And do you want to know the best part? There is absolutely no cover charge! So you can come in with your friends, get a few drinks, and party all night without paying a dime to enter.

February 4, 2011 by, Emily

It’s never too late to plan a trip to a beautiful place. And I just happen to live in a beautiful place. So, really it is never too late to come and visit Kauai!

Now I realize that I might be a bit biased, but its not because I haven’t been to some other beautiful places. I traveled a lot, especially in college. I wanted to see the world, though I couldn’t really afford to see more than the states and a bit of Europe. What I did see was wonderful.

Tahoe is a great place to visit, with ski slopes and mountain views. But it gets quite cold, especially in the winter months. And Yosemite is beautiful as well, though it has the same problem and is a lot wetter. Yellowstone is quite lovely and Mount Rushmore is just cool. New York is awesome in its own way and so are the sunny beaches of San Diego. All throughout the United States, there are great places to visit and things to see. But none of them compare to Kauai.

On Kauai, we have both gorgeous mountains and sunny beaches. We never have weather that is too cold or too hot, and there is always something to do and to see. We literally have the best of everything the US has to offer, and it’s all in one place!

So visit Kauai. It doesn’t matter if you are 16 or 60, there is something for you here.

February 1, 2011 by, Emily

Recently I was asked for information on a vacation rental here on Kauai. A couple I know with three children wanted to come out, but they had specific tastes. Their exact words were “unique and modern,” and I had the perfect place in mind: Hale Oli.

After one look at this recently completed home, you’ll know why I chose it for them. The architecture is like nothing else you will find, and its uniqueness gives it strength. The inside has been newly furnished with the perfect blend of modern and old school furnishings. And the hot tub is a big draw for any crowd. But there is much more to this house than meets the eye. Here is why I chose it for this family.

Families with small children love having multiple things to do during the day. Children, I have noticed, run on two settings: lightspeed and sleeping. So I wanted something for them that had the uniqueness they were searching for and entertainment for the kids. This house had it all: a hot tub, cable television, DVD player (and VCR for old school parents), CD player, high speed internet access, and an easy 5 minute walk to the nearest beach. There was so much for this family to do, I was sure they would enjoy their vacation without worrying about anyone getting bored.

And for the parents, there had to be a little something special. Hale Oli is the perfect romantic getaway, even with kids. There are three lanais to choose from, so there is always a place of solitude, and the views from this house are some of the best on the island. The house is located in Haena, a gorgeous spot at the end of the road on the north side of the island. From the house, you can see Mount Makana and the rest of the majestic Haena mountains. Plus, there is an incredible ocean view from the east lanai. On the back lanai, the couple could take late night trips to the hot tub to watch the stars and dream about their lives together. It seemed absolutely perfect.

Of course, they aren’t the only family who needs a place to stay on Kauai. If this house sounds like something you would be interested in renting for a while, then make that call. I can think of no better place for relaxation, comfort, fun, enjoyment, romance, and uniqueness.