Archive for August, 2011

August 30, 2011 by, Emily

The end of August usually signals the end of tourist season. Summer vacation is over, family trips and vacations must be put on hold until next year, and the beaches thin out to only a few tourists and locals.

In other words, it’s the perfect time to visit!

Okay, this might sound harsh, especially since I love watching the tourists and their families having a great time here on Kauai. It’s a joy, plus they behave so differently from families here that they are fun to watch. BUT if you don’t have kids and you don’t have to stick to the typical school year schedule, this is your time.

September is a lovely time of year on Kauai. In fact, some of the best weather the island has is in September and October. The water temperature is a constant 74 degrees, surfing starts to pick up during September, and the rainy season doesn’t start for two more months! It’s great. And since it is no longer the summer season, you can find some great deals here on the island.

So come and visit. Don’t leave me all alone here with the beautiful, tropical weather. Make good use of your vacation time and see our wonderful island.

August 28, 2011 by, Emily

Happy Birthday to me! Today is my birthday and I’m one more year older. For some, this might be a cause of depression. But for me, I am so excited about this new year of adventure.

This last year, I’ve done more than ever before. In writing this blog, I’ve visited places I hadn’t seen in years, tried foods that I wouldn’t normally try, gone on tours with the tourists (some of which have become good friends), and have done just about anything I could to give good information. I’ve loved it.

This year, I plan to do the same. In addition to personal goals and work goals I have for myself, I want to continue to try new things, attempt the impossible, and write about it all. I will continue answering questions asked of my on this site and through my email, will continue to give as much information as possible to those visiting the island, and will probably continue to throw in some personal information about myself. After all, it’s my blog, right?

So yea for birthdays and new opportunities. I’m so excited to see what this year is going to bring!

While we’re talking about Hanalei, you might also need a place to stay. I mean, why come all the way here to visit the bay, see the sights, learn to surf, and eat at Tahiti Nui when you’ll just have to travel a long way back to your home or hotel? No, the better idea is to stay in a nice rental on the island that is just 5 minutes walking distance from Hanalei Bay, a place like Blue Nui.

Blue Nui is a two-bedroom vacation rental just a short walk from everything Hanalei has to offer. The house itself has a full kitchen, cathedral ceilings, high speed Internet, a plasma TV, a bbq out back, and a washer/dryer unit. In other words, it has all of the comforts of home, plus some. The floors are made of bamboo, giving the entire house a comfy Hawaiian feel. And, for those who want to go take a dip in the bay, there is an outdoor shower so you don’t get your home all salty and sandy.

Looking out the windows or sitting out on the lanai, you’ll see lush vegetation, sprawling mountain ranges, and waterfalls. The yard even boasts its own tropical garden, so you can experience the jungles of Kauai without the hiking tour. And since the house sleeps five people, you can bring your friends with you to supplement the costs. Now doesn’t that sound like a much better way to visit Hanalei?

August 23, 2011 by, Emily

Hanalei is one of the most popular places on the island, probably due to the fact that Hanalei Bay is the most beautiful place on the island. Usually, when tourists come to visit, they want to see the famous half-moon bay in all of its glory. That brings them to Hanalei.

However, once they’re here, they get hungry. So, I’m going to write quickly about Tahiti Nui, a bar restaurant here in Hanalei.

The food here is good, or else I wouldn’t recommend it. I usually go for dinner though because I love live music. Each night starting at 6:30, a live musician or band gets up to play. (The schedule is on their website, so you’ll know what you’re getting into beforehand.) I love listening to the sounds of the Slack Key guitar and humming along to familiar songs. It’s a great time of delicious food and good entertainment.

So if you want to visit Hanalei, see the shops, sunbath on the beach of the half-moon bay, and generally have a good time, remember to stop by Tahiti Nui for dinner one night. I think you’ll really enjoy it.

Every town usually has one, a fair with Ferris wheels, rides, food, 4-H displays, circus acts and more. And here on Kauai, ours is fast approaching!

On Thursday (the 25th) and Friday (the 26th), the Kauai County Farm Bureau Fair will be in town. Admission is free, though rides and things like that will cost tickets and games often cost money to play. The fair will be at Vidinha Stadium in Lihue, and I can’t wait to see if my boyfriend can win me a cute little stuffed animal or two.

Every year, I go with a group of my friends to at least one night of the fair. There is always something to see and to do, so we never get bored. Last year, there were the typical craft stalls, games, rides, food booths, and cultural displays, along with 4-H animals and a petting zoo. This year appears to be no different, with auctions, shopping, workshops and classes to attend, hulas, circus acts, live music, and entertaining shows. It will be a day of fun and family-friendly excitement.

Of course, I need to be careful this year. Last year I went into a full-fledged food coma after consuming popcorn, slushies, cotton candy, hot dogs, and anything that appeared to be “on a stick.” My friends practically had to carry my bloated self to the car that evening… but boy was it fun!

If you are going to be in Lihue or anywhere on the island on the 25th or 26th, you simply have to come and enjoy the fair. Visitors and tourists are welcome, and just about every resident of the island will be there. So don’t miss out! It’s going to be a blast.

If you are on Kauai for a family vacation, chances are that you worry about your kids and their proximity to the water. While I don’t have children myself, I know from growing up on the island that the ocean is a beautiful and dangerous thing. While we enjoy its refreshing waters, the beautiful view, and the golden sand, we must also keep watch for undertow, large waves, and wandering out further than we can swim.

I’ve talked with several parents who know the dangers of the ocean and let those dangers overpower them while visiting the beach, especially when they have children under 5 years old. They fear their child getting lost in the crowd of tourists, of undertow snatching them away, of accidental drowning and other terrible things. Their minds conjure up scary ideas and their common sense tells them that small children should be kept away from the water.

Well, I’m not here to argue that. I know that parents have a responsibility to protect their children and keep them safe. And I applaud parents who think these things through. However, I also know that the beach can be perfectly safe with a few precautions. I also know that there are beaches where parents can feel completely comfortable letting their children play in the water.

If you have never been to Baby Beach, this is a site I would recommend for any family with small children. It isn’t a large beach, only a few hundred yards across at best, but it has great features. For instance, there is a natural breakwater stretching from one end of the beach to the other. This means that, no matter the time of year, the waves don’t get large. In fact, the ocean stays calm and peaceful here, giving your children the perfect opportunity to play in the water safely.

Since the beach is small, larger families, typical tourists, and those who want to experience the adventure of water sports avoid it. On a typical day, only a few families can be found here in this remote spot. So you are guaranteed not to lose your child in a crowd. You are also more likely to experience privacy and a quiet place to enjoy your family. You can bring a picnic lunch to eat up on the sand, teach your children about the ocean and let them play in the water, and then head back to your vacation rental feeling good about the day.

When I have children, this is going to be the first beaches we enjoy together. I hope that this beach serves as a good experience for your family as well.

August 14, 2011 by, Emily

Let’s face it girls; we like to shop. Now, it might not be this way for everyone, but I can’t resist looking into store windows, finding unique items, and buying gifts for friends and family. And when you’re on vacation, everyone back home expects a trinket or small gift from the island, right?

Boy, do I have the place for you.

The Kukui Grove shopping center is actually the biggest shopping center on the island. There are over 60 shops and restaurants there to enjoy, and I have truly enjoyed most of them. As a girl, I have spent hours walking through the stores, eating lunch with my girlfriends, and buying little things for any given occasion. When I want a place to go and write where I can watch interesting people and drink a cappuccino or two, this is where I end up. (The shopping center has free Wifi after all.) And every Friday, there is a live band playing. What more could you want?

Now, while I know women will enjoy this place, men will find their own interests here too. As well as department stores like Sears, I’ve noticed a majority of men hanging around the Sunglass Hut, Radio Shack, and GameStop. There is also a Borders for the readers amongst us, and a Blockbuster video store for those who want to rent something to watch in their hotel rooms or vacation rentals that evening.

Want the best place to stay on Kauai? A place that offers pristine views, luxury furnishings, a fully equipped kitchen, private suites, and access to a world famous golf course? Well, Villas of Kamalii 11 is the perfect place for you to stay then.

Out of all of the Villas of Kamalii, this one is considered the best, especially if you enjoy your privacy. This luxury townhouse is tucked away on the most beautiful golf course on Kauai, away from all other condos or homes. Every morning, you can wake up to the sounds of song birds, the rush of the distant ocean, and the smells of the greenbelt along with the scents of a thousand wild flowers. Plus, with three bedrooms (two of which are master suites) and three bathrooms, you won’t run out of space any time soon.

The house comes fully furnished and equipped with several amenities like beach toys in the garage, a washer/dryer unit, internet access, and a barbeque. And, of course, there are also flat screen televisions throughout the house, a DVD player in the living room, and a nearby community pool/hot tub. So if you want to stay at home and relax all day, you can. But with downtown Princeville so close by, why stay in?

Princeville is home to an excellent shopping center, a library, several wonderful restaurants, a few great clubs, and much more. The Princeville Resort is nearby and is a fun place to spend some time, and the beach is a short trip down the road. From Princeville, you can go hiking, biking, horseback riding, surfing, sunbathing, snorkeling, and just about anything else you want to do. And this townhouse is right in the middle of the action, though far enough away to give you the privacy you deserve.

If you like art, save this date on your calendar: Saturday, August 13, 2011. On this day, we are having an Artisan Fair on Poipu Beach. Now, I’ve probably mentioned this fair before, since artisan fairs are not uncommon on Kauai. But not everyone can attend each fair, so every one of these crafting events is unique.

If you are planning on visiting Kauai this month, the Garden Isle Artisan Fair is a great place to stop and look around. There will be over 40 artists there, showcasing their work from handcrafted items to photography. In fact, if you are looking for the perfect gift for someone special, this might be just the place you need.

Exhibits will include jewelry, clothing, wood carvings, photographs, oil paintings, palm bark baskets, and much more. Normally, the artists have their products for sale and you can feel free to wander the beach, looking for something that really catches your eye. Plus, on top of the myriad art forms, there will be music playing, lunch stalls serving delicious items, and even shaved ice sellers.

Each time I’ve attended one of these events, I’ve felt uplifted and excited. I almost always find something I love and want to buy, though sometimes I have to be careful not to spoil my household budget. And its always a nice time to wander around with my friends, enjoying the beach and the people, not to mention the good food.

So if any of these things sound appealing to you, be sure to come by. You can stay as long as you’d like and you don’t have to buy a thing. And you might even see me there! Just check for me near one of the food stalls. ☺

PS. If you can’t make it this month, there is one more scheduled in September on Saturday the 12th. Hope to see you then!

August 5, 2011 by, Emily

I like to stress safety, especially for those who are new to the island. Why? Well, I want you coming back! And I know that a bad experience just once can ruin a person’s entire vacation and outlook on a place. So here are a few tips for those of you who want to enjoy a peaceful vacation on Kauai.

Your stuff – Just like in any city or town, we occasionally get a bit of crime. So, please don’t leave anything unattended. If you want to keep something in your car, place it in your trunk. Remove parking passes when you’re out for the day and don’t leave itineraries or hotel room keys exposed.

Your Safety – Just like you need to protect your possessions, you should protect your person. This means locking doors and closing first-floor windows at night, not diving into unknown water, taking care while driving on one-way bridges (and we have a few of those here), and keeping extra water and sunscreen on hand. It’s also a good idea to swim at beaches where lifeguards are posted and to never swim in the ocean alone.

For more safety information, you can contact the Kauai Visitors Bureau.

August 4, 2011 by, Emily

Those who have read my blog before know that I play golf. Honestly, I don’t know how you can grow up on Kauai surrounded by so many beautiful golf courses and not know how to play. The draw is overwhelming for those who love the game, and the courses here are championship level.

However, I realize that not everyone plays golf. In fact, some people hate it. I also realize that there are some men and women who play when their families (including their spouses) do not. So for those of you who don’t golf, I have a secondary option for you, especially if you have children. And for those of you who have a spouse or parent who really wants to play while they’re here, let them go! You can have fun without them if you simply take my advice.

Go mini golfing!

Mini golf, unlike real golf, is a fun way to spend a day as a family and an easygoing way to spend the day with friends. And if you are planning on being anywhere near Poipu on your vacation, there is a great miniature golf place that you can visit. With 18 holes of mini greens and tricky holes, everyone will love it. Plus, if your spouse is off playing golf that day, you can all compare scores when you get back to your vacation rental.

The golf course itself is on the roof of the Lawai Beach Resort’s Coral parking structure. So, not only do you get to golf, but you also get to enjoy a view of the ocean! Golfing fees are only $5 per person and the course is open from 10am until 6pm. Kids absolutely love this place and it isn’t uncommon to see a birthday party playing through, especially on the weekends.

Have I convinced you yet? Well, I’ll let you decide what you want to do when you visit. But this really is a fun place to spend some time, and even the great golf players amongst us will enjoy it.

Did you know that we have a lot of fun festivals on Kauai each year, especially in the summers when the rainy season is over and the tourists come in full force? Each festival is a celebration of culture, Aloha, artistic expression, and family, and each festival usually includes food, which is why I’m such a big fan!

This month, Heiva I Kauai Ia Orana Tahiti will be taking place on the 6th and 7th, and I hope you can come. This is a two day celebration of Tahitian dance and drumming, and a unique experience for any visitor to the island. Let me explain more.

Each day of the festival starting at 10am, Kapaa Beach Park will open their gates and, for only $5, you can experience a day of fun, food, entertainment, drumming, dancing, and culture. From gift and craft stalls to food booths, there is always something to do and see during breaks from performances. But, when the performers come on, look out!

There will be cultural displays, dancers, drumming concerts, and live music in other forms. If you want to participate, there will be workshops and classes to take, including drumming workshops, dancing lessons, and hands-on Polynesian cultural craft demonstrations. Every event is designed to be family friendly, so you won’t have to worry about bringing your kids. In fact, you’ll want them to experience the fun and excitement of this wonderful outdoor festival.

Kapaa Beach Park isn’t hard to find. You can simply take Kuhio Hwy to Kapaa and get off on Niu Street. Then take Inia Street to Kukui Street. The park will be at the end.