Things to Do Blog

October 14, 2014 by, Lindsey

Coming up this weekend…

Princess Ka’iulani Keiki Festival is here! This is a celebration festival that honors a princess. Storybook Theatre of Hawaii is hosting the 9th annual festival in Hanapepe Town. Activities start on Friday night at 7pm with the feature film, “In the Footsteps of Our Princess” at the Hanapepe Hawaiian Congregational Church. That is the main event that day; then, on Saturday the 18th from 12noon to 4pm is the main festivities. There will be a hula, a costumed children’s parade down Main Street, Hawaiian music, and then following the parade the Princess will read a story at the Storybook Theatre before attending the rest of the party. By party, it is really a commemorative birthday party that will be held at Sparky’s Garden.

If this is something you would like to take part in, the Hanapepe Hawaiian Congregational Church is located at 3815 Hanapepe Road. The Storybook Theatre is located at 3814 Hanapepe Road, Hanapepe, Kauai… just next door over. If you have any questions or anything, I have looked up the contact info: office@storybook.org

October 10, 2014 by, Lindsey

I enjoy some good history from time to time. I like the hands-on, interactive type of history personally. I can watch the History Channel when a topic interesting comes on, but it doesn’t seem to hold my attention. What I like best are the live and in person history lessons. No, I am not talking about time travel to go back in time (lol) but I do like to in-person see the sights and places that are full of history. When there are stories and interesting facts about a place, I like to connect the dots, hear the stories and see the actual sites of the places in the stories.

The Grove Farm Museum near the airport in Lihue is a place where I (and you) can get your history fix! They have tours Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 2pm. Cost is $20. Please call ahead and ask to speak with Carol at 808-245-3202 to make your reservation. Yes, you do need a reservation for the days and times I listed above.

So what is this place you may ask? Well, it is a site preserved of one of Hawaii’s sugar plantation buildings. It is furnished and has one of a kind collections inside. It is surrounded with orchards and pasture; after all, it is a sugar plantation home! The tour I went on was about 2 hours long, and not rushed at all. It was nice pace but our tour guide was not flustered, rushed, or in a hurry to get the tour over with. I liked that a lot :)

Does the term “sea cave” excite you? It may strike an inner chord of your adventurous side! I thought it might! Let me tell you more…

There are a number of opportunities to kayak Kauai, from rivers to along the shoreline. The Na Pali coast is a great place for those eager to get out there and face the water. I highly suggest and recommend taking a guide with you, however. Here are a couple guides that I will help lead you to:

Kauai Kayak at http://kayakkauai.com/sea-kayak-tour-na-pali/

Na Pali Kayak at http://www.napalikayak.com/napali-day-trip/

I’ll reiterate in case I wasn’t clear; this is for adults or persons over the age of 16. Children under age will be considered per the guide’s recommendation. In general though, individual’s ages 16+ only. This is a rigorous adventure, and an all day trip. The guides are helpful and very knowledgeable. This is a neat way to see Kauai up close and personal. On outing like this, the sights and animals you come across are one of a kind. You will get to see a side of Kauai that you would have likely not seen like this–from the perspective of a kayak!

No, you do not have to be an “ironman” but you do need to be comfortable in the water, and in good physical condition/health. If you are nervous about this, I say contact the tour guides and ask them just by giving them some honest basics about your health and overall build. It is easy to get excited, nervous, anxious, etc about this kind of thing. What I suggest doing (and what I have recently been doing) is reading up reviews on the tours. I am reading about people’s experiences and how their preparedness helped or not. I like to learn from others experiences as much as I can.

I have heard so many good things about these tours. I have a few friends who have done this, and they tell me I should go! I want to, but I just haven’t… not yet. One of my friends said she would go with me, so I am going to take her up on it! I will blog about it afterwards, of course. Ok, I say “Part 1″ because there will be a Part 2 with my story! Ready…set…go!

September 26, 2014 by, Lindsey

Looking for something to do this coming weekend? Remember the Waioli Mission House and Church I blogged about earlier? If not, read about it here: http://www.kauai-vacation-rentals.com/waioli-mission-house-church/

Anyway, tomorrow, Saturday September 27th is Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, and admission to tour the 1836 Waioli Mission House is free! I just love the word free, for the most part. From 9am to 3pm admission and guided tours are free on the this one day only. If you are in Hanalei or on the Kauai’s North Shore in general, you won’t want to miss this opportunity.

Now that I mention it, I have not been in awhile! I think I will make the time to tour the mission house and get a mini history lesson while I’m at it. I love hearing stories, and the folks who used to live here sure have a lot of stories to tell. The guided tours are nice, and I like to hear the questions and answers as well. I can be a bit shy in crowds, so I usually do the listening. If I do have a question, I am the one to say it in my head over and over until I am satisfied with how I phrased it. I am a detailed person and I can get pretty specific in my questions and thoughts! If you happen to be on the tour when I am there, I’ll be the quiet and observant one! ;)

September 25, 2014 by, Lindsey

Want to go to the beach? Can’t seem to decide on which one? I want to give a shout-out to Lumahai Beach in Hanalei, on Kauai’s North Shore.

Lumahai brags of white sandy beaches. Oh that glorious sand is fantastic! I was there just the other day and I enjoyed falling in love with this beach again; the waves, the rocks, the sand. I usually see people just walking the shoreline at sunset. Very romantic spot!

This is not one of those overly populated beaches either, there is not too much influence of humans here, so it is picturesque and all natural in its element. I suggest other beaches for swimming and snorkeling. If you want to feel like you are one of the first people to step foot on a beach, this is the one for you!

If perhaps your or someone in your group is unable to get to the water’s edge for some beach walking, maybe the lookout point from the main road will suffice. It provides a great lookout and photography spot that I recommend. You can also find Lumahai Beach on numerous postcards on Kauai if that is something you prefer to do.

So get on out there and live a little! That is what I was up to this past weekend. I tend to do a lot of thinking during my beach walks, and the water’s rise and fall comforts me and soothes my soul. It is a way for me to think, to heal, to rejuvenate. I encourage my readers to do the same.

Looking for some things to do on Kauai’s north shore? Well, you don’t have to look too hard to find ‘em. Follow my blog and I will share with you things to do, activities, news of events going on, as well as some places to stay.

Today I thought it would be nice to highlight the Waioli Mission House and Church in Hanalei. Here is the trip advisor link to the Mission House. It is a famous Hanalei Town landmark, built in 1837. It is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. What is so special about this place? It is rich in history–let me tell you!

Abner and Lucy Wilcox were missionaries back in 1837 and this was their home. It has a lava rock chimney and is furnished with timely koa furniture. They couple had eight sons, all born in this house. Oh and what I find fascinating is the clock on the wall that was put up in1866 (my sources tell me) that keeps perfect time still! Also on the property is the Waioli Huiia Church, which started operations in 1834.

From a historical standpoint these two structures stand out to me as special. I love to see history alive. It has always been neat to walk through old places like that, to literally walk in other people’s footsteps from long ago. In another sense, it makes me all the more grateful for what amenities we have today! I’m just being honest. :)

September 16, 2014 by, Lindsey

Waterfalls are simply breath-taking (in a good sense of the phrase) and gorgeous. I can get lost in a waterfall oh so easily. And by lost, I mean one of those awe-striking moments where you are completely absorbed by it. If awesome means “awe inspiring” then Opaekaa is awesome to its core!

Opaekaa Falls is one of the major waterfalls on Kauai that is most easily accessible for viewing. It is literally a drive, park, view kind of access. There is even parking and restrooms for visitors of the falls.

If you are on Kauai’s east side, up Kuamoo Road, you will see signs indicating the Falls are coming up. It is technically in Wailua. If you are looking for it, you will find it. If you are not looking for it, but are paying attention to the roadways, signs, and natural beauty surrounding you, you will find it. Here is what Trip Advisor has to say about the falls…

For those history buffs who are wondering the meaning of or origin of the name Opaekaa, it means “rolling shrimp.” At one point in time, the stream that flows from the falls had a lot of shrimp in it.

From the lookout you will get a grand view of these falls. If you choose to, you can walk uphill a ways and on the other side of the road you will get a nice view of the Wailua River and the valley that it rest in.

Charge your camera battery! You will not want to miss out on capturing this kind of beauty. As a rule of thumb, I suggest charging your camera and cell phone battery each night so that the next day you have plenty of life in your devices to snap some great photos.

August 19, 2014 by, Lindsey

Do you recall my previous post about how Kauai vacationers can take a dog on a field trip while they are staying on the Garden Island? If you do not, check it out here, “A Doggie Vacation.” What can happen is the Kauai Humane Society will have dogs (and cats I believe) that are available to go on long-term field trips while tourists stay on Kauai. At the end of their trip, the dog (or cat) can then be adopted or returned to the shelter, no strings attached. If anything, it is a benefit for the dog (or cat) to live a little and for the vacationers to host a lovely pet while they are on staying on Kauai. It’s a real win-win situation.

What new information I wanted to blog about, is that there is a leash-free North Shore Dog Park! Like most dog parks, there is a section for large dogs and a section for small dogs. The North Shore Dog Park is located at 5445 Kahiliholo Road in Kilauea, just off of Kuhio Hwy 56. This is a very nice dog park I must say! It is ADA accessible I should also note. It is a dawn till dusk park, and is open year-round. This is a great way to get out, exercise your dog and talk with other dog-lovers in the community. I highly recommended it. See here for the Dog Park Rules. I reviewed them myself and they are typical of any dog park, really. Good to know nonetheless.

August 10, 2014 by, Lindsey

I saw this in my newsfeed this morning, and knew I had to blog about it. I think it is so neat and something that we could all learn from! Here’s the specs on this upcoming event…

What It’s a free class on Hawaiian Medicinal Plants (La’au Lapa’au). Here is the link to the facebook site.

Who This class is hosted and taught by Gabriel Monaghan. (I wonder how long he has been doing this, and what credential backing he has to prove his research and everything. Well, I guess I’ll find out!)

Where It is this Wednesday night at the Hanalei Community Center (also referred to as Hale Halawai ‘Ohana ‘OHanalei). 55299 Kuhio Hwy C, Hanalei, Hawaii 96714 is the address.

When The free first class is this Wednesday, August 13th from 5pm to about 6:30pm. The post I saw says there are 12 classes for a fee, but this first introductory class is free and open to the public.

Why Why is this news worthy? I know there are medicinal healing abilities in plants. I am oh so curious to know more about the plants around us and how I can use them. At the very minimum, my curiosity has peaked and I want to know what kind of info this guy has to say.

August 3, 2014 by, Lindsey

Here is a darling place I wanted to blog about and share with the world, the Banana Patch Studio at Kong Lung Center in Kilauea. This is the place to go if you are looking for something homemade or hand painted. You will find a souvenir (or two or three or four) for someone or perhaps for yourself. They have home décor as well and the style is all things Hawaiian.

One of my favorite items they have are the “Hawaiian Style” little placards that say something like, “Mahalo for removing your shoes” and then you place that in the entry way of your home so visitors can see it. It is a very kind way to let them know that you would like them to enter your home with no shoes. I have seen these in people’s homes, and I like the different styles I have seen, with the hand painted images on them. Check out the Banana Patch Studio website and you can see what I am talking about. :)

Did I mention? This company is a Kauai Made member, meaning that all that they sell is made here on Kauai. I love homemade. If you are coming to Kauai and looking for something authentic from Kauai, go to a shop like this and you will not be disappointed.

Banana Patch Studio has two locations. One is a studio and gallery in Hanapepe, and the other is on Kauai’s north shore at 2474 Kaneke Street, Kilauea, Kauai. HI 96754. I looked up their store hours, too: Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and then Sunday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

If you are anything like me, you simply love the beach. The ocean, the waves, the sand, the sun, the whole package! I am pleased to share that one of my favorite events is back this year, back on the beach. The Sand Castle Contest in Hanalei is coming up on Saturday, August 2nd from 11am to 4pm.

I am excited to watch these artists at work. I do not compete myself, no, I am one to observe and appreciate the skill and effort put into these pieces of art. This is a free contest and all artists are welcome. Yes, that means kids through adults, all are welcome to compete. Years past have been very easy going where it comes not feel like a competition at all, more like groups coming out and ‘playing’ in the sand. Individuals are welcome, as well as teams of any size and age range. I love that about this friendly competition. Note that there are prizes, but really I think the experience is the gemstone here.

This is a family friendly event in Hanalei Bay. Schedule it into your plans that Saturday and enjoy some good times out by the water’s edge with some great sand art. I am adding this to my planner, that’s for sure.

Want to volunteer? There are many jobs to do to help prepare for this event before, during and after. Click here if you want to know more about this neat opportunity, or to know more about the event in general. Also see some pictures from past years contests. :)

July 18, 2014 by, Lindsey

Well, I am still on cloud 9 a little bit for our Island rankings on Travel + Leisure Magazine’s Best of 2014 List. On that note, I thought I might share about another great beach on Kauai, Kee Beach!

Kee Beach is in Haena, on Kauai’s north shore. The beach starts the beginning of the Napali Coast, and Kee has a reef that keeps it inclusive, if you will. The reef makes for great snorkeling and swimming adventures. The water is clear, clean, and shallow for most of it. More good news: this beach is great for children and families. There is a lifeguard on duty, and there are restrooms and showers.

Where is this beautiful beach? It’s at the end of Highway 560. There is parking available, but know that this parking lot is also used by Kalalau trail hikers. If you prefer to hike, this is a great base camp; if you prefer to go in the water, go out and have a good time in the water or simply soaking in the sun and the view. Let me tell you though, the sand on this beach is divine! It is extra fine, which I love.

Summertime is always full of so many wonderful activities. There is bound to be something going on, on Kauai’s north shore. This coming Saturday, July 12th there is a “Super Summer Event” at the Princeville Golf Course. If you golf, this is the perfect excuse to come on out! If you do not golf, or your family or friends do not golf, not to worry. There is a craft fair, live music, a wine and beer garden, and food trucks. I hear the Princeville Golf Shop will be having a sale there as well…

All of these activities have windows throughout the day of when they will be going on:

– The craft fair will begin at 9am and end at 4pm.

– The Princeville Golf Club Shop will have their sale from 8am to 5pm.

– The events on the lawn with the food vendors and live music commences at 11am and goes until 4pm.

– Then there is one more added event from 10am to 2pm that I want to tell you about. There will be professional golf club fitters on the greens to help participants get fitted for a club. They are calling it “Demo Day.” I, myself do not golf, but I can appreciate something like this where professionals are out helping those new to the game or testing the waters on a new set of clubs. I like it when people help other people. :)

I say come one, come all, come beginners, come seasoned pros. Come residents of Kauai, come travelers alike. The more the merrier. Call the Princeville Golf Shop for more information (808) 826-5001.

June 26, 2014 by, Lindsey

Here we are nearing the end of the month of June, and I am already thinking about July! What are your plans come this Independence Day? At Vidinha Stadium there will be the 25th Annual Kauai Hospice Concert in the Sky. How neat does that sound? Live music, fireworks, dancers, and more. This show is sure to be jaw-dropping. This is a great family-friendly environment if you are looking to take your youngsters out for maybe their first ever 4th of July. For those who have been in years past, it is sure to please as well.

I am not set on my plans for Friday the 4th just yet, but this one is in the running. Let me tell you a bit more about the event… the price range is between $7-15 dollars as it varies per age. Proceeds go towards the Kauai Hospice and their goodwill efforts they are doing here. Events start at 4pm in the evening, and the show ends at 9:30pm. There will be local musicians, hula dancers, and what I am told is the largest aerial fireworks show on Kauai. Oh, and there are drawings for prizes as well!

For more information about the event itself and tickets, go here: http://kauaihospice.org/kauai-concert-in-the-sky/. Have a great 4th of July this year, everyone!

Looking for something last minute to do today? Check out the 10th Annual Just for Dads Auto Show today. Not to worry, it starts at 10am and goes until about 2:30pm today. Come and go as you please. This show will feature cars, trucks, and bikes I hear!

This would be a great thing to do with your dad with father’s day. It would be great for any car enthusiast, actually. It will be held at the Kukui Grove Shopping Center parking lot in Lihue. Are you leaving today? Not to worry, this is right on your way out, near the airport in Lihue. Make one more fun last stop before your visit comes to an end.

On a budget? I get it, I totally understand. It is a good thing this event is free! If you have been staying at a vacation rental, most likely on Kauai’s north shore, why not bring your extra canned goods and unopened food to donate? The Kauai Independent Food Bank will be there collecting donations, which will be greatly appreciated.

See how this is turning out to be a perfect set-up? It’s on the way, and you donate the food you did not use to a good cause. The auto show will be fun in itself too, I am confident. There will be prizes, give always, and live entertainment. This sounds like the perfect thing to do with the dad in your life who loves some autos! ;)

One thing I love is a good book. Kauai has a handful of public libraries across the island, but the one I regularly visit is the one in Princeville. It’s located at 4343 Emmalani Drive, Princeville, HI 96722. The Princeville Public Library always has something going on it seems! And I love it!

This summer has kicked off with their summer reading program for all ages, from toddler to adult. I signed up and have begun my reading log. ;)

For those who are staying on Kauai’s north shore, stop by the library most Friday’s from 10:30am-11am for Toddler Story Time. This is perfect (and free) for those who are looking for ways to stay active with a toddler while staying on the island. I have been in the library during a story time and they sing songs, do finger-play type of games, and books are read. I think it is a great way to promote early literacy and social skills.

Mark your calendars for the library’s encore performance of “Peter Rabbit and the Garden.” Saturday, June 14th at 10:30am there will be a special encore presentation. I need to check with my family, but I want to take my niece to it.

Since I was a kid I always loved the library, from the books to the special events that were held there. Good times and good memories! While you are visiting Princeville this summer, why not check out the public library? I highly suggest it, no matter what age you are.

Don’t blink– it’s June already! Most schools are out for the summer, and here we are at the tail end of spring with summer just on the horizon. Now is the perfect time to come to beautiful Kauai and to make the most of your summer vacation. I myself, was looking up some things to do this summer, and thought I might highlight some to share during this month.

The one I want to highlight for today, is the Princeville Ranch Zip Express Tour. Yes, I did say “zip” as in “zip-lining!” This is a three hour zip lining tour that is part hiking to get to the zip-lining site, and part zip-lining. The hike is just over one mile long and rated moderate difficulty.

Tour is at Princeville Ranch, a private ranch that has a series of beautiful zip line tours. Nine in total. That is certainly enough to make it a tour to my standards. ;) The view I am reading about (and pictures I am seeing) are of the Kauai rainforest and mountainous landscapes. There is also a suspension bridge I am reading about.

This is a summer tour highlight! They have daily tours starting and multiple, staggered start times. The tour starts at the Princeville Rancho Office. Here is their address on Google Maps. They suggest arriving 30 minutes prior to your departure time… so okay, make the whole outing 3.5 hours…

Bring your camera, water, and voucher ticket. Wear sunscreen, other sun protective attire, and shorts or pants to ensure comfort when in the zip-lining harness. Oh, and this activity costs $125 per person. It looks like an unforgettable experience! I’m adding it to my summer to do list!

Hanalei Bay is a gorgeous place to come and stay… and to play and learn too! Why not learn about Kauai’s history and indulge yourself into some knowledge? The Hoopulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill and Taro Farm has a tour that is just what you were asking for when you asked for an informative, historical indulgence into Kauai’s past.

The tours are by appointment only, so follow the link to get connected and set your tour date with the good people at the Haraguchi Rice Mill (www.haraguchiricemill.org). Or you can call them at (808) 651-3399. While I’m at it and looking up their exact information, here is their address too: 5-5070 Kuhio Hwy, Hanalei, HI 96714.

So this facility is part rice mill, part taro farm. There used to be acreage that supported rice, but that has since turned into an active taro farm. What is taro you may ask? Taro (or kalo) is a plant that produces what is called “poi.” Poi is a common staple food on Hawaii. From what I know about it, it is very nutritious, hypo-allergenic, and gentle on sensitive tummies. I know some who have used it as a milk substitute even. Ok, perhaps you know a bit more about taro now. :)

I do not want to give away all of the neat and interesting facts about this family owned farm, but I will tell you that you will not regret going! For the tour, dress accordingly and be prepared to get your shoes wet or maybe even muddy. This is a hands-on, interactive, and very informative tour. I was able to appreciate the Haraguchi’s dedication and work ethic to this historical place as they continue to farm this precious land.

May 10, 2014 by, Lindsey

Have you ever been out ballroom dancing? Or dancing Latin style dances? I have. I love it. I love it all. I love to dance and I love the social interactions that go along with it.

If you are looking for something fun to do–perhaps something new to you–consider going to a beginner level salsa dance class! Trust me, salsa dancing is something social to do, something fun and exciting. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and to have some fun while learning.

What you need to know:

I just found out that at the Golden Lotus Studio in Kapaa, there is a beginning level salsa dance class that will take place on Thursdays starting May 22nd. It will be at 7:00pm and last an hour.

What you need to bring:

It is ten dollars per person, per class, as a drop-in basis. The flyer I got says to wear dance shoes or to bring thick socks. Yes, some people prefer to dance in their socks as opposed to wearing shoes. As for the shoes. What I know about dance shoes is this: wear dress shoes that have a rubber heal, and a leather or slippery type of bottom sole. This general rule applies for men’s and women’s shoes. The rubber helps the dancer to stop when he or she wants to stop, and the leather or other smooth material helps for turning and pivots–things like that.

You are welcome to bring a dance partner if you want, but it is not necessary. The flyer I got notates that there will be dance partner rotations in class, so do not use that “I don’t have a dance partner” excuse. This makes for a great social environment while also exercising! I know that when I dance, I look back and realize that I have been on my feet and moving for an hour or more–and that my friends, is exercise! At this price, you know it is affordable and fun :D

Well, here it is, Wednesday, and I am already thinking about what I am going to be doing this weekend…

Did you know that the first Saturday of each month is Ohana Day at Kauai’s Museum? Admission is free, free, free! The museum is open for some good family fun, demonstrations, and lectures on these Ohana Days. Saturday, May 3rd is the next Ohana Day. That is why I am sharing this info with you now!

The Kauai Museum is located at 4428 Rice St, Lihue, HI 96766. Doors open at 10:30am.

On this special day, the museum is special host for the 3rd Annual Keiki La Lei Contest. This too, starts at 10:30am and will go until about 12noon. If you are in the area, will be visiting, or will be flying into or out of Kauai on this Saturday, I would suggest stopping by the museum and immersing yourself in some history, tradition, and community here on Kauai. This is a very family friendly event! Come one, come all, come old and young. The museum is handicapped accessible as well.