Kauai History and What to Do Information:
Polynesian sailors reached Kauai in large, double-hulled canoes as early as the 5th century. Kauai was later “discovered” by captain Cook in 1778. Many workers were imported for work in the sugar plantations and today the residents of Kauai are quite diverse. Residents are descendents of many nationalities. Europeans, Japanese, and Filipinos are in near-equal numbers, with a lesser proportion of Hawaiians, Chinese and others. Perhaps it's the natural beauty of Kauai that brings out the best in people or maybe it's the island tradition of gracious hospitality. Whatever the reason, you'll find that the people of Kauai offer a welcoming spirit of aloha that makes you feel right at home. We have fallen in love with the beauty of Kauai and Hawaii’s people.
You'll enjoy the melodic sounds of the Hawaiian language and you may even start using a few words during your Kauai Island Vacation. Most of us know the words aloha or mahalo, but you'll quickly add some new ones to your list.
Kauai is known as the "Garden Island" due to its lush green landscape. Even among the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai stands out for the natural beauty of its sculptured cliffs, cascading waterfalls, quiet lagoons and pristine beaches. The rivers and streams nourish a phenomenal abundance of trees, flowering plants and exotic birds, many species of which cannot be found anywhere else. Scenic wonders include Waimea Canyon, Hanalei Valley, Kilauea Lighthouse and wildlife refuge, Fern Grotto, many stunning beaches and, for the courageous, Kalalau Valley, a favorite Kauai camping spot.
You’ve probably seen more of Kauai than you realize, and an excursion from your condo toward the north shore might surprise you as you pass the scene where stampeding dinosaurs nearly stomped the humans in “Jurassic Park”. Kauai has been used as a location for movies set in Brazil, Korea, Vietnam, Africa, and even Mars. So many movies have been set here you can take a tour which visits many movie locations.
Much of the island is untouched by human development, and you can explore it by foot, boat, plane or helicopter. The Waimea Canyon, “the grand canyon of the pacific”, the rocky NaPali Coast, and the beautiful Hanalei Valley offer breathtaking vistas. Or, you can simply drive through whispering palm groves, rolling hills and quaint villages. Perhaps you'll take advantage of some of the world's finest beaches, golf courses and restaurants. Or you might go hiking, surfing, snorkeling, hiking, bicycling, kayaking, ziplining, horseback riding, or just driving among Kauai's unrivaled natural splendors. Possibilities for exploring the outdoor treasures on Kauai are unlimited. We keep a list of things we want to do and it keeps getting longer even though we try to do some of them whenever we can.
Or--You might kick back and let your stress melt away in the warm sun and gentle trade winds of Kauai. You may have difficulty realizing you don’t have to do anything! Catamaran cruises, world-class golf courses, surf, snorkeling, hiking, hula shows, luaus, and sight-seeing can easily use up your day. With weather that is moderate year around, it’s OK to lie for hours on the beach, or sit on one of your lanais and watch the surf. Also, while you can’t use this as an excuse every time you want to come, Kauai is a popular place for weddings as well as to spend a Hawaii honeymoon.
Kauai's East Side,The Royal Coconut Coast:
The Waipouli Beach Resort in Kapaa Hawaii is located on the "Coconut Coast". Kauai's East Side is a region filled with history and culture. The landscape includes large groves of coconut trees and Wailua is a sacred and significant place for the ancient Hawaiian “ali’i” (royalty). Take advantage of all its offerings -- the Wailua River State Park, Fern Grotto, Wailua Falls, and other gems. Opaekaa Falls is an unforgettable photo op. A historic restored Hawaiian village lies on the riverbanks.
Be sure to find time for a leisurely stroll through Historic Kapaa Town and its funky and fine items including some great Hawaiian crafts, aloha shirts and other Hawaiian clothes, jewelry and fine art objects.
Wherever you go, you'll quickly fall in love with our beautiful garden island of Kauai and will always have fond memories of your Hawaii vacation
Come “Live Aloha” on our Kauai Island—and pass it on!Back To The Top
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There are so many things to do on Kauai that it can seem overwhelming for first timers. Your condo is stocked with several Kauai guide books, with information and ideas for hiking, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and more. The following is a little get-started list for people who have never been to Kauai. These are mostly well-known attractions. If you want to go to more secluded beaches and hiking trails, the books in the condo can tell you how to get to them.
East Side Activities:
Ke Ala Hele Makalae - "The path that goes by the coast" For an amazing view of Kauai’s east side, bike, walk, skate or run Ke Ala Hele Makalae (the path that goes by the coast)! No matter how you choose to travel it, it is fun and great exercise. This one of a kind seashore promenade encompasses once hidden views of golden sand beaches, beautiful blue ocean views, and majestic cliff vistas. In addition to spectacular sunrises (or a full-moon rise) one can observe Monk Seals, Whales and Dolphins. This paved path is a new Kauai treasure that goes for miles along the historic Coconut Coastline. There are nice covered pavilions with picnic tables and rest areas, so if it starts to mist a little, or you just want to stop for a snack, there are plenty of places to find a little bench or table. There are also restrooms available and beach access along nearly every stretch. Stop along the way to further explore the beaches. The surfing at Kealia is awesome on most days, Kuna Bay is a secluded, pristine beach well away from the noise of traffic and the calm waters at Baby Beach make for perfect wading with no waves at all. The path has emerged as one of Kauai's prime attractions, something not found on any of the other Hawaiian Islands. You should not pass up this opportunity when you visit Kauai. Take your bikes, your strollers, your children, pack a light snack and you are ready for hours of leisurely quality time with family and friends, or you can do it by yourself. Ke Ala Hele Makalae is an easy to access, laid back, feel good destination that won't cost you a penny. You must experience it! Bikes are available for $10/day next door to the resort (to the south).
North Shore Activities:
Go as far north as you can on Kuhio Highway (the same highway that runs in front of the condo) to Ke'e Beach Go early because parking is an issue. This is one of the few crowded beaches on Kauai but so beautiful, it is worth it. It has a reef so kids can swim very safely and great snorkeling. (We have snorkeling gear in the condo for you to use.) There is a lifeguard and a public restroom, but no food available to buy. After that beach, you can start backtracking back south, hitting as many beaches as you can stand.
The next beach coming back south is Ha'ena, which has a snack wagon. A famous island snorkeling beach area, called Tunnels, is there, but involves a 10 minute walk along the shore to get there. (Again, it is worth it!) Just ask anyone to point you to Tunnels. Gorgeous! and beautiful fish. A tip: bring frozen peas to throw to the fish. Then they come to you and there is less work!
Hanalei Bay beach is an iconic image of Kauai and is the most scenic of the north shore Kauai beaches. From the highway, when you are in the town of Hanalei, take Aku Road to Weke Road and go right, until you get to the end. Park there. You can see the Hanalei River flowing into the ocean and watch the kayaks and outrigger canoes going out to sea. Then walk onto the Pier and enjoy the wonderful view. Take a swim there. In the summer it is usually very calm. Beautiful clear water. There are amazing sunsets at Hanalei if you happen to be there at that time. There are several restaurants in Hanalei, and many shops.
If it is earlier and you are not exhausted, go to Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge on the way back to the condo, to do some bird watching. (They close at 5 and charge $5 per person. It is a US National Park Service park, so if you have a pass, it will work there.) You can take pictures of the the lighthouse and birds from a view point above the park.
Go home and pass out.
On another day you can go way to the west side of Kauai to Waimea Canyon and Koke'e State Park, a must see, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”, according to Mark Twain. (It will take about 45 minutes to the town of Waimea, plus time to get up to the top.) There are several lookout points to see the canyon and a ranger station at the top to point you to hiking trails. There is a little restaurant there, or you can bring a picnic lunch (we have some coolers and blue ice in the condo) and you can have a picnic on a beautiful lawn, in front of the ranger station, with chickens and some geese hanging around for handouts. There are some Koke’e trail maps in the condo. Check with the Sierra Club for guided hikes. If you do some hikes, this will take up most of a day.
Another day you can explore the South shore: Poipu and Koloa.
Poipu has snorkeling beaches, a cute restaurant that overlooks the beach Brennecke's, a blowhole called the Spouting Horn (it can be very dramatic, but varies) and a shopping center with restaurants of many price levels (the famous and expensive Roy's at one end of the spectrum and a Hawaiian hot dog stand at the other). Koloa is an old colonial town with cute shops including one owned by some friends, The Wine Shop, which has wines and liquors of all varieties as well as gourmet specialty items. (We don't get a kickback; we just like the place!)
There is a lot more, including hanging out at the Resort. We have some ideas in a manual in the condo and several books that we leave available. One book people love is "The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook" which is well-organized and full of tips, including how to get to the many "hidden" beaches of Kauai.
Kauai Island Activities:
Sightseeing/snorkling boats: These leave from Port Allen, on the Westside. A typical trip gets as far as the Napali Coast, one of the few ways to see this fantastic piece of geography). I have gone on Napali Coast tours with Blue Dolphin and Holo Holo Charters(no kickback and no endorsement) that were professional, well-run and safety-conscious. (Holo Holo has some smaller catamarans that seem to skim the water and are less likely to result in sea-sickness. The smaller size of their boats allowed them to poke into some of the many caves along the way, so that was an added benefit.) I am sure many others are good, too.
Fishing boats:Some boat excursions are dedicated to fishing, not sightseeing. Some of these leave from Port Allen Many leave from the Nawiliwili Harbor in Lihue, more conveniently located to the condo. The Campbell family went out with Breakaway Fishing Charters firstname.lastname@example.org
and caught their own weight in fish, it looks like. And these were mostly mahi-mahi! The crew filleted the fish for them and they grilled their catch (what they didn't give away) at the barbecues by the pool at the condo complex. This is the only company I have some knowledge of. (See the Campbells' comments on our Guest Book page.)
Restaurants: There is a lot of good eating on Kauai! We have a section in our Guest Manual with some of the nearby restaurants and some that we think are especially good. The Concierge in the lobby has a big book with the menus of all the restaurants on the Island. One place I love is Duke's, an old-time restaurant in Lihue, in the Nawiliwili Harbor area, about 15 minutes away. It has an amazing view, good food, and is kid-tolerant. You will think you are in Honolulu in the 1930s. For a splurge and an amazing sunset view, go to The Beach House in Poipu. Find out what time the sun sets and make a reservation for a half hour before that. If you are up north in the Kilauea Lighthouse area, there is a simple restaurant, Kilauea Fish Market, which is not expensive and very delicious. You can bring your own wine or beer (they don't have a liquor license) and sit on the patio. Across the road, in the little shopping center, is the Lighthouse Bakery, for wonderful soup, sandwiches, salads, and, oh, yeah, pastries!
Botanical Garden: There are several botanical gardens on Kauai. My favorite is Limahuli Garden (http://www.ntbg.org/gardens/limahuli.php), in Ha’ena (almost as far north as you can go, just before Ke’e Beach.) It is located in a lush valley, and run by people who are passionate about retaining and restoring the flora of Kauai. The tour winds around and up a hill and ends up at an elevation with gorgeous views. You can picnic up there if you want and you will want to spend time and take pictures.
I am sure you will find many other wonderful places to go and things to do. Another person you could check with if you want advice is our On-Island Manager, Larry Fudge, (808) 635-1111. He will be available to you for any condo-related emergencies and also for general information on Kauai. Golf is a specialty.Back To The Top
Things to do with children
www.KauaiResortCondo.com Waipouli Beach Resort Unit F 402
You can fill up every day with activities, or you can choose to slow down and enjoy the Resort. (True story: we try to take our own family and friends to see everything when they visit us and more than once our guests have begged us, “Can’t we just stay here and hang out at the pool?”)
In Your Condo: We have provided a DVD/VCR player in the living room. The Kauai movies collection includes every movie made on Kauai, and there are many! Every Jurassic Park movie, South Pacific, Tropic Thunder, many Vietnam-themed movies, Elvis’ Blue Hawaii and so many others were set in Kauai. Kids love to try to identify where the scenes were filmed! The CDs are of island music, and many guests have told us they like to play them in the car while driving around. (Just be sure to pop the CD out of the rental car before returning it!) The books include tour books about Kauai with information about beaches, hikes and other activities. There are also some board games, puzzles, and DVDs for children. The condo also has boogie boards, beach chairs, umbrellas, and other beach gear, ice chests, and snorkel gear (including kid sizes), and sand toys
At Waipouli Resort: Your kids will want to spend many hours at the pool! It’s a two-acre lazy river through lush tropical landscaping complete with waterfalls, a “secret” grotto, flumed water slides, and a shallow sandy bottom area for small children. Just north of the resort is an area that is wonderful for tide-pooling at low tide. On the south side of the resort is a fresh-water canal that kids love to play in. It has small waves from the ocean, tiny fish and small crabs. A short distance from the ocean, the canal becomes a fishing spot where small perch can be caught by fishing from above the canal. (The Long’s Drugstore, across the road, has fishing sets for $15.) From the beach, you may spot a whale or dolphin or even the endangered Monk Seal. A McDonalds is across the road.
Within A Short Stroll: Kauai’s east side is home to “the path that goes by the coast”, an unforgettable bicycling path. Bike rentals are available a short distance from the resort or you can take a leisurely family stroll. This one of a kind multi-use path is best known for its countless panoramic views and miles of spectacular Kauai beaches as well as the unique local marine and bird species that make Kauai their home. We also recommend taking the Kauai Movie Tour located nearby.
Within A Five-Minute Drive: Catch the hula show at the Smith Family Garden Luau, Rent Kayaks and explore the Wailua River with its waterfalls, the Fern Grotto and restored Hawaiian Village. Kealia Beach is perfect for boogie boarding.
Lydgate Park is just south of the Wailua River on the ocean side of the highway. Lydgate Beach is calm and clear - perfect for young swimmers and beginner snorkelers. This park is popular with locals and visitors for its range of activities. Swimming and snorkeling are safe here with the protection of a nearby reef and an even more protected area with a man-made boulder enclosure. The pool is one of the best year-round snorkeling spots on Kauai. Families of brightly colored fish feed along the rocky perimeter, so tame they almost swim into your hands. There are showers for rinsing off sand and salt before going home and a lifeguard. Two amazing play areas make Lydgate a favorite for children. Adjacent to the swimming areas is a large award-winning Playground. Constructed of natural materials incorporating Hawaiian themes, this playground is large and complex enough for young and older children. At the far southern end of the Park is a Play Bridge, also made of natural materials. This is a multi-storied structure featuring mazes and tunnels and a play chute. It has been designed to be very safe (railings are high and narrow enough to prevent falls). Children and adults can be seen running to enter this play space once they have glimpsed it from afar. It is fun for all! At Lydgate park you can also fly a kite, play frisbee on the wide sandy beach, and collect shells and driftwood.
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The Rest Of Kauai Attractions: Take your kids on easy to moderate hikes, where they can count some of the lesser known Kauai waterfalls and spot wild birds. Little ones enjoy walking to the end of the pier at Hanalei Bay, where they can look out into the ocean and see the fish. Enjoy some of Kauai’s numerous “Activities”. Go tubing in an old plantation irrigation system. Take a helicopter ride. See Waimea Canyon and learn about Kauai's environment at Kokee Natural History Museum. Go ziplining. Island horseback riding is also a popular family activity.