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For those of you who want to visit Kauai and are coming from a big city on the mainland, our night sky is going to come as a bit of a shock. You see, our island is a wonderful tropical paradise, an island floating on the water in a crystal clear ocean underneath billions of stars. And, unlike in the big cities, you can actually see all of the stars you want.
I often find myself going outside at night when the breeze starts to blow across the warm landscape, sitting in my lounge chair on my lanai and watching the sky. The stars are brilliant points of distant light, clustered into shapes and sparkling in the night sky. I’ve often wondered if I should get a telescope and really be able to see them, but I never have. Somehow, I think it would take away the wonder of it all.
Of course, there are many stargazers on our island. In fact, there is a starwatch that happens on the Saturday closest to the New Moon every month. The Kauai Educational Association for Science & Astronomy conducts this starwatch on the softball field in Kaumakani. For those who want to join them, all you have to do is take the highway west past mile marker 18 and look for signs on the right that say “KEASA.” The signs will direct you to the meeting.
As for me, I watch from the comfort of my lanai, coffee in hand and blanket covering my legs, waiting for the heavens to amazing me. They usually do.
I’ve mentioned before that hotel rooms here cost a fortune, especially if you want a nice room or a room with a view. But condos and houses for rent cost a lot less and give you all of the freedom and privacy you crave. Today, I want to talk about Sealodge H4, a one-bedroom townhouse in Princeville.
With only one bedroom and one bathroom, this townhouse isn’t extremely large, but it is well worth it for the amenities and the price. For one thing, Sealodge H4 us located on the bluff, so you will have a great view of the ocean from every room of the house. And there is a lanai (patio) out back that faces the bluff’s edge, so you can sit outside by the hour and watch the waves play in the sunshine.
Of course, who would want to be that close to the beach and not be able to get there? Luckily, this property has a trail that leads to the beach, so you can go snorkeling or swimming at your leisure. If you don’t want to get salty but you still want to get wet, there is a pool nearby where you can spend the afternoon relaxing. Other amenities include a tv, dvd player, stereo system, washer/dryer unit, and a fully equipped kitchen for your private use.
It’s like having a home away from home, but you are close to glorious beaches, scrumptious restaurants, shopping centers, and everything else Princeville has to offer, including a championship golf course! And what is the price for this great vacation getaway? Well, it’s only $875 a week, the same price as staying for two nights in a nice Princeville hotel.
So when you come to Kauai, don’t waste your money on a tiny room next to a thousand other tiny rooms. Rent a vacation home and enjoy a relaxing vacation.
I’ve talked about farmer’s markets before, but this one is a bit different. The Kauai Culinary Market is a gourmet farmer’s market that meets every Wednesday in Koloa. Not only do you get the fresh fruits and vegetables you’ve come to expect from a Kauai farmer’s market, but you also get a culinary education.
Each Wednesday, live chef demonstrations are given by some of the island’s most talented chefs. So you get to learn to cook wonderful foods with the freshest ingredients possible. And, to go along with the cooking fun, there is a beer garden, food booths, workshops, and live music for shoppers. It’s like everything I love about Kauai in one place!
But don’t just take my word for it. If you love to cook, then visiting the Kauai Culinary Market would be a fantastic experience for you. Remember, the market is every Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm in Kukuiula Village in Koloa.
Grove Farm was once a thriving sugar plantation. Carved out of a large grove of kukui trees, this once small and struggling farm became home to George Wilcox during the American Civil War. During the next few years, he cultivated it and turned it into a large plantation, growing sugar amidst the trees.
This came at a wonderful time for the United States. The civil war was raging and must of the southern agricultural was being destroyed by armies and cannon fire. For this reason, the sugar plantations of the south were often times destroyed, giving George Wilcox the leg-up he needed to make his business venture a success.
At that time, Hawaii had not yet joined with America. It was ruled by the Hawaiian monarchy and the monarchy loved Grove Farm, seeing the revenue that Mr. Wilcox was bringing to the island of Kauai. The Americans also loved the farm, needing more and more sugar as their own stores were burned and destroyed.
Today, visitors to Kauai can visit the Grove Farm and take a tour or the house, the gardens, and the grounds. Tours are given on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10am-1pm, and a $10 donation is requested. If this sounds like something you would be interested in seeing, then head to Lihue on the south side of the island. You can also visit their website and get more information about the farm and its history.
From the 23rd to the 25th of this month, we will be embracing our Native American side. The Kauai Pow Wow festival is coming and it is sure to be a family friendly, fun cultural event.
During this outdoor event, various tribes will be represented and will share their traditions, dances, speech styles, drum songs, and crafts. Over 200 Native Americans from across America will be joining us for this event in celebration of a cultural exchange with Kauai. And for the shoppers amongst us, there will be food, art, crafts, and clothing available for purchase.
The event is typically free and is located at the Kapaa Beach Park. Usually there is live music and a lot of dancing from early each morning through the evenings, and there are normally a few booths offering hands-on activities for kids and adults alike.
So, if you are a little bit Native American or you simply want to immerse yourself in culture, come to the Pow Wow. It should be an exciting weekend.
Did you know that Kauai had a Technology and Visitor Center? It’s true. It opened up in 1999 on the West side of the island and it is an interesting spot for anyone interested in the historical and present technologies represented in our community.
Kauai is a culturally diverse island with residents from all over the globe and visitors from just about everywhere else. The West Kauai Technology & Visitor Center in Waimea Town features exhibits, programs, and classes reflecting this multiethnic diversity. In other words, we show it all.
The center itself changes constantly, so I don’t know the exact displays and events that will be there when you visit. These changes reflect time of year, local celebrations, ancient Hawaiian traditions, and much more. But each time I have gone, I discovered something new. I love discovering new things.
There are computers with free internet access for those who chose to visit. (What else could you expect from a technology center?) And there are free lei-making workshops every Friday from 9:30am to 11am. The center is open every weekday from 9:30-5:00. If you are planning on visiting that side of the island, I highly recommend a visit to this location.
Would you like to visit Kauai and stay in a place where you have privacy and an amazing ocean view? Well, I recently visited Puu Poa 208, a vacation rental in Princeville, and I think it would be just perfect for you.
This specific vacation rental has two bedrooms (plus a queen-sized sofa bed in the living room), two bathrooms, and two lanais, so you could vacation with just your family or you could bring some friends along. The house itself is beautiful and comfortably furnished with granite counter tops, warm tones, and tasteful pieces that provide function as well as fashion. The kitchen is fully equipped with stainless steel appliances and warm wooden cabinets, not to mention the amount of counter-top space you can use to cook with. But wait – there’s more!
The amenities of this Puu Poe unit are top notch. From free high speed DSL to TV/DVD access in the living room, the tech side of your stay will be covered. But what if you want to go have some fun? Well, there are beach towels, snorkeling equipment, and beach chairs included with the house for your use. There are also tennis courts on-site and a pool if you want to avoid the salt water. And if you want a bit of the beach without all of the tourists, there is a private hide-a-way beach pathway for you to follow.
This is a luxury vacation rental only a short distance from the beach, a perfect spot for visitors and tourists. And considering the fact that a hotel room on the island can cost you upwards of $450 a night for one room, spending $1,050 for an entire week at this vacation rental is well worth it, especially when you consider it can sleep 6+ people!
I know this has been going on for a while, but some friends of mine just told me about the Hanapepe Art Night, an ongoing event that happens every Friday night at different venues. While I haven’t attended one of these art nights personally, my friends claim it was a fascinating evening that any art lover will enjoy.
You see, participating galleries take turns hosting this weekly get together, featuring original performances and demonstrations from local artists. Each Friday night there is a unique theme to follow and the artists apparently do not disappoint. According to my informants, the galleries are lit up and elaborately decorated, making each event seem more like a festival than an art performance. And each act is different – no two are alike.
I have traveled into Hanapepe before to stroll down the historic streets and visit with friends, but I can just imagine the excitement of doing so on a Friday night, lights all around and artists milling through the crowds. Apparently, my friends got to meet several of the performers and even grabbed some food with them!
So, if you are a performance art lover and you want to experience something new while you are on Kauai, visit Hanapepe on Friday nights.
I’ve mentioned before that I love live music, and I used to go and see concerts all the time. Recently, though, I’ve had less time to visit the local haunts and see the local musicians. That changed yesterday.
I realized that it had been some time since I had gone out with the goal of listening to great music, so last night I did. Of course, I drug a few people with me as well. What’s the fun of listening to live music without a few friends, right?
Anyway, we went to the Hanalei Community Center (mostly because it was free) and listened to the guitarists. Slack Key guitar was invented in Hawaii and is a musical staple here. I love the sound of the open tunings and the fingerstyling of the players. It’s like a piece of aloha offered up to anyone listening. Wonderful. And every Friday and Saturday afternoon, the community center gives concerts for anyone who wants to visit.
After the community center, we went out to eat at Tahiti Nui and listened to even more live music. It was an evening of musical enjoyment, one that I very much needed.
Time to make your vacation plans if you want to be here for the 27th annual Kauai Mokihana Festival this year. From September 18-24th, we will be celebrating Hawaiian culture and arts all across the island, and you could join us! Let me tell you more.
Back in the day, this festival started as a hula competition for men. But in the 1990’s the festival added hula groups, women hula dancers, and hula schools to its excitement. What it created was a seven-day festival filled with culture, hula, live music, and fun.
This festival is has lots to offer for your entire family, including hula competitions, stringed instrument competitions, and a large party for the whole island. There will be music, food, crafts stations, hula lessons, history talks, performances, and much more. And all of the proceeds go toward the Malie Foundation.
So, if you want something fun and exciting to do for your vacation this year, come to Kauai and experience the art of hula.
Okay fishermen, trout fishing season is in full force. And for those who think Kauai is just one big sandy island surrounded by ocean, have I got news for you!
Kauai has beautiful streams and rivers that feed the lush tropical forest and mountain ranges. There is also a reservoir in Kokee State Park that allows fishing on weekends and holidays through the end of September. So what does this mean for you? Well, if you like to fish, then its time to get a license!
For visitors to Kauai, fishing isn’t going to work as well for you if you stay in a hotel. I’m just being honest here. You can’t exactly take dead fish with you on the plane as checked luggage, and hotels don’t let you cook in their kitchens. So, if you are coming to the island to fish, you should probably stay in a vacation rental.
I’ve given lots of information on vacation rentals before, so a nice rental with a fully equipped kitchen shouldn’t be hard for you to find. Just skim my previous blogs and you’ll find one in your price range. Then all you have to do is get a fishing license (not very expensive), and go to the park!
There are several shops where you can buy supplies and many locals around to ask for fishing advice. Heck, I might even try fishing this year! Why not – it sounds like it could be fun. So come and join me, all of you fishermen out there, and make this a fun vacation to remember.
Marathon lovers – this Sunday is your day to be in Poipu. The Kauai Marathon 2011 is starting at 6am and I am actually planning on being there. I have participated in a few other races before now, and I am terrible! But the idea is to work out and support a good cause, right?
This year, I will run/walk alongside the real athletes as we make our way around the island, visiting beaches and rainforest trails. And proceeds will go toward local charities who work hard to preserve the natural beauty of the island. It should be a great time.
For those who don’t like to run but who want to watch the event, you can come too. The Beer Garden will be set up and live music will be playing all day. There will also be hulas and other games.
So come to our island and run with us (or watch us with a beer in your hand). You can register now on the Kauai Marathon website and enjoy the tropical air of Kauai as it brushes your face on your way to victory.