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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
From the condos at Sealodge in Princeville, I wanted to mention that you have a view of a lighthouse, the Kilauea Point Lighthouse off of Kilauea Road, Kilauea. It is a lovely point where lighthouse meets history and it’s an animal sanctuary. There are informative signs that tell of its history, and the lighthouse and scenery seem to speak for themselves.
For some reason people do not think about lighthouses on the island of Kauai, but really, they are here! Lighthouses serve two basic purposes: to guide ships into the shore safely, and then to warn other ships that there is land here–do not crash into it! That is the basic way I think about lighthouses.
Kilauea Lighthouse is at a nice spot on the island. From people I have spoken with, they have said that they liked visiting it the day they arrived on Kauai. If you pay the five dollars you can walk out to the lighthouse itself. It makes for a nice walk, where you can stretch your legs and smell the ocean air after a long flight.
The views are breathtaking! The photo opportunities are fantastic. I love it there. Pull out the nice camera for this, if you have one. Photos will only attempt to do this scenic spot justice though. I do not have the best camera in the world, but still, the whole sensory landscape is just too much to fit into a camera’s photo! I still try to capture the moment though. If you have them, bring your binoculars. Depending on the time of day and the season, you may be able to see whales in the ocean and nesting birds in their sanctuary environment nearby.
Oh–also about the tickets for five dollars per person, if you are active duty military, I know with ID you can get in for free! That includes you and your guests. Why? Because it is a national park. “Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge” is its legal name. See this webpage for more information. Not to worry if you are not in the military… plan and call ahead (808-828-1413). On select weekends admission is free, so give them a call and see what is coming up.
Easter is in the air! It is that time of year again and I am getting excited! I just love the community here, the events, the activities… in other words everything. Let me tell you about the Easter Parade and Egg Hunt at Prince Albert Park this Saturday the 12th.
This is a family fun event hosted by the Princeville Community Association. It is a free event. Free and fun. I love it when those two words wind up in the same sentence!
Anyway, it is at Prince Albert Park in Princeville. The park by itself is designed for children ages one through eight, and it is a clean and well maintained park and play structure. (I was there recently–I know these things!) It is right across the street from the Princeville Library, too. Here is the address for those who wish to know the street address so they can better navigate there: 4304 Emmalani Drive, Princeville, Hawaii.
The event starts at 2pm and there will be a parade to kick it off. Bring a bike, wagon, stroller… something child friendly for the parade. Dress it up and dazzle it out before hand so the parade can sparkle and shine as the procession carries on. There will also be an opportunity for the children to meet the Easter Bunny. Now how perfect is that?! Furthermore, there will be an egg hunt at the park. Festivities are anticipated to end around 4pm. I got the flyer just the other day and thought I would pass along the info. You’re welcome.
Looking for things to do on Kauai’s north shore? How about kayaking? This is not the kind of kayaking that has rapids or something like that, this kind of kayaking is more like paddling around. If you are not a fitness buff, then this may feel like an upper body workout a bit… like it was for me.
Kayaking on Hanalei River is a fun thing to do, and it’s family friendly. There are kayaks for rent (that seat up to three people is the most I have seen). There are folks out there with children too, so you can bring them along if you think they are ready, good listeners, and who want to go out on the water. I have seen kids as young as about four years old, if that helps any.
There are multiple locations on the north shore to get out and on the water. Hanalei River is the one I like to kayak on. The water is easy and smooth. The landscape is breathtaking! You are bound to see wildlife such as turtles and birds. It is like an estuary out there.
With any kayaking adventure, I recommend going prepared. Sunscreen is a must, a water bottle, maybe a sunhat or other type of shade. Wear clothes that you would be okay getting wet in as far as shorts and shoes. You can bring your cell phone if you wish. There is a thing called a “dry bag” case that is available for rent at most all kayak rental shops. It is large enough to hold a few small possessions to keep dry, such as a phone, wallet, and a key ring. In case the inside of the boat gets wet, these items will be just fine. If you think this is a good investment for your lifestyle, go ahead a buy a dry bag, or bring the one you already own.
Today was the grand opening of Fish Eye Kauai in Princeville! Fish Eye Kauai is an art gallery that has on display a variety of art mediums. The grand opening today was a big success. The atmosphere was great, the weather was just right (there were some light showers, but no big deal) and the live music was welcoming. I enjoyed touring through the gallery and snacking on some hors d’oeuvres (yes I had to spell check that one…). This is a family friendly art gallery that has pieces on display for purchase. I think it is a great tribute to Princeville to have a place like this nestled into the community.
At Fish Eye they specialize in photographic prints featuring underwater photographs of Kauai by Scuba Tom. Also known as Thomas Green, this is his first gallery! How exciting to be a part of such a great gallery at the grand opening. Tom shares the gallery with a few other local artists. There are a lot of photographs (my personal favorite) and also carvings and creations. Oh–and there is jewelry as well!
Princeville is one of the best places to come and stay on Kauai, in my opinion. Hmm perhaps that is why I am living on the north shore! Come check out this place if you are wanting to see some talented artists’ work. Fish Eye is on the Kuhio Highway in Princeville. Check out their webpage here for directions, hours of operation, the whole thing…
When most people think of Hawaii, they think of the beach. On Kauai there are many gorgeous beaches to go to! I want to shine the spotlight on Anini Beach today… it is a favorite of mine and of my friends. If you have children, this is a great beach for them too.
Anini Beach is located just southeast of Princeville, so if you are staying in Princeville or Hanalei, you should definitely go to this beach. It is located on Anini Road, on your right hand side of the road. If you are looking for it, you will not miss it. There is a home at the end of the road, but right on past it to get to the beach.
What To Expect
If you think a beach is just a beach–think again. Anini Beach has something for everyone, I think. It is very kid-friendly there. I have seen children as young as 4 years old learn how to snorkel there. The reef is only six or so feet deep, so it is easy to see turtles and fish! The beach is calm. It does not get big waves which makes it great for the little ones to have fun in the water. I have seen kids gain confidence in swimming and snorkeling there, and I have even seen some folks teaching their children how to get up on a long board out there (again, with no waves).
What I like about Anini Beach (add it to the list) is the ample shade trees. I like to lay out in the sun every now and then, but there are other times when I seek refuge from the sun’s ray. There are shade trees but also there are climbing trees! How fun is that?! One I know of hangs out over the water (it’s not high up) and it is fun to jump in off of it. Good times…
There are picnic tables in the area so people are able to enjoy a meal while on the beach. There are other facilities such as showers and bathrooms. Oh and there is a lifeguard on duty. By now I should have convinced you to go to this beach and see for yourself how great it is!
The island of Kauai is known as “The Garden Island.” I want to share my experience at the Limahuli Garden and Preserve which is recognized as one of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens in the United States.
Located at 5-8291 Kuhio Highway, Haena on Kauai’s north shore, this garden of living history is one of a kind. The garden is open for both self-guided and guided tours starting at fifteen dollars per person. I read a sign that this garden experience is only for people ages ten and over. Note that guided tours require reservations in advance using their online system. Look here for Limahuli Gardens tour information to select a date for your reservation and to find out more specific tour information.
I read-ahead and went prepared for this walking tour of the gardens. Please wear good walking shoes (your feet will thank you), and bring a water bottle. I went on a self-guided tour and I got to pause at the spots and checkpoints that I wanted to. They also provide a booklet on the self-guided tour, so that was interesting to read and learn about the stops along the way . It was neat to actually see the garden spots like the stepped irrigation section and then to look in the booklet and read about it. What a glance into the past! The time I spent touring was close to two hours worth. Just letting you know so you can plan accordingly.
It was so neat to learn about and to see plants that are native to Hawaii and to see others that are not native to Hawaii. Did you know that coconut palms are not native to Hawaii?! It is amazing what you can learn if you just step outside of your comfort bubble and immerse yourself in your surroundings. History is fascinating.
Also during my tour I learned that this garden has won national awards as the best natural botanical garden in the whole United States. They have the best appropriate environmental practices of soil, water, and rare plant conservation in their overall garden design. This is a sight to see, folks… a garden to experience.