Topic Wiki

Kauai Overview/DansMeals:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/39185

Trip Reports:
Dan 2014
Dan 2009, Auntiemus, Benarroc, Westman812, Hudi, Yellow, Lechaim2life, DanFan2010, Jmansour, Something Fishy, Rivky, chuchem, dealvr, Amusch,
Tzadik Nistar, an613, @Yehuda, @Ygygold, Wizmanison 2017

Dan's concierge packet.


Related DDF Threads:
-Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
-Kauai Master Thread
-Maui Master Thread
-Oahu Master Thread


Before you go:

How long should I go for?
You could spend 10 years on Kauai and not get your fill. That being said, the bare minimum to enjoy your stay is 4 days on the ground. A week is ideal.

It's possible to do a short trip by leaving early Sunday morning, getting there in the afternoon, and then leaving Thursday night and being back home for shabbos.

Do I need a guide book?
Very definitely. Sure you could find most info online, but nothing compares to a good, written-by-a-local, guide book. Kauai Revealed is by far the best option, and will possibly be the best $16 you spent on your trip.

What about Shabbos?
Some authorities hold that there's a dateline issue with Shabbos.
The local communities keep shabbos on Saturday.
Definitely ask your LOR before you go - some hold simply that Shabbos is on Saturday, some hold that you have to keep Shabbos on both Friday and Saturday, and some hold that you have to keep D'oreisas on Friday and full Shabbos on Saturday.

If you must keep 2 days, remember that there are many questions that could come up (such as when to light Shabbos candles, how to warm up food, etc.), so make sure to discuss it all with your LOR.

There have been books written about the Chabad opinion of keeping shabbos only on Saturday. Rabbi Aharon Dovid Gancz gives an absolutely fascinating pilpul on the topic, if you get a chance to attend one please record it (with permission) and upload the video online.


Getting there and getting around:

Air:
The main airport is in Lihue, and is designated LIH.
You could fly directly from the mainland to LIH from
DEN (UA)
LAX (AA, DL, HA, UA)
OAK (AS, HA)
SAN (AS)
SEA (AS)
SFO (UA)
SJC (AS)
PDX (AS)
PHX (US)
YVR (WestJet)

There are no direct flights from the East coast, so you will stop in one of these cities.
Alternately, you could fly directly to Honolulu (HNL) and continue to LIH from there.

Hawaiian, Go, and Island Air fly interisland to LIH from HNL and OGG. There are no direct flights between LIH and the Big Island (ITO/KOA).

You can also use 5K AA or, 6k UA, or 7.5k HA miles each way to fly interisland. United allows a free stopover on a round-trip, so for instance you can fly HNL-LIH-OGG-HNL for just 12K miles.

Car:
A car is necessary on Kauai. All major companies have branches, mostly at the airport. There are also some local companies.

National has Executive Aisle/Selection at the airport, but Hertz doesn't have Gold Choice. Avis also has a desk at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Check out www.discounthawaiicarrental.com - they book from the major brands, and are worth a try.

There's nothing like a convertible on Kauai, but a 4WD is better (sometimes even necessary) for certain places such as Polihale Beach or Milolii Ridge Road. Taking a convertible for most of your stay and a 4WD for a day or two is a good idea.


Where to stay:

There are 3 major areas where to stay. The South side is drier so good weather is more or less guaranteed. The North side is far prettier, with sheer cliffs and a backdrop of lovely green mountains. However, the weather in winter could be rainy and it can be buggy as well.
The rain typically doesn't last long, and is usually accompanied by numerous rainbows, so it's usually not too bad. However, it's something you should take into account. The East side has the cities of Lihue and Kapa'a, alone with countless hotels and resorts. This area isn't as beautiful and the North or South side.

When choosing an area also consider how far it is to your chosen activities, not just the weather, For example, it takes about an hour from the Grand Hyatt to Waimea Canyon, but over two hours from the St. Regis.  On the other hand the St. Regis is much closer to north shore activities.

Here are some places that are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaMore InfoComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Grand Hyatt KauaiSouth sideWebsiteGenerally considered to be the top hotel on Kauai, and countless DDF'ers have stayed there. The weather is perfect year-round, it's right by Poipu beach, and you drive through an awesome tree tunnel to get there. There are countless pools and exotic birds all around.
St. Regis PrincevilleNorth sideWebsiteAnother beautiful hotel, this is an SPG category 7. The setting of the SRP is absolutely breathtaking, with the ocean crashing on the cliffs below and the waterfall-filled mountains in the background. The views from the rooms are unparalleled, but most rooms have no balconies.
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas North sideWebsiteSPG category 6.
Sheraton Kauai Resort South sideWebsiteSPG category 5.
"Get your own place"AnywhereWebsiteThere are countless condos, timeshares, or villas available to rent on the island. The advantages are that you get more for your money - a couple of bedrooms, living/dining rooms, and a full kitchen. There will usually be a pool, sometimes even a private one. Additionally, they're often cheaper than a hotel. There are many places to find them -
 HomeAway Kauai
VRBO Kauai
Airbnb Kauai, etc.


What to do:

Beaches:
There are countless beaches on Kauai, and all are public. Most offer amazing snorkeling. The East and South side beaches are safe for swimming / snorkeling year round, while some North and West beaches could be deadly in winter. Here are some popular ones, in no particular order:

NameAreaComments
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
PoipuSouth sideThis beach is right by the GHK. Full amenities (lifeguard, showers, etc.). Snorkeling is amazing here, especially in the morning. Sea turtles and the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal are commonly seen here. Gorgeous sunsets.
Ke'eNorth sideThis beach is the gateway to the famous Kalalau Trail. The view from here is amazing, looking out over the majestic Na Pali cliffs. Great snorkeling, with a large fringing reef. This beach could be deadly winter, when 20-foot waves crash onto shore. However, at times it's perfectly calm. Use common sense. The beach is part of Hāʻena State Park
TunnelsNorth sideBeautiful crescent beach, with a lovely view of "Puff the Magic Dragon" mountain. Great snorkeling, and beautiful sunrises. May be dangerous in winter.
LumahaiNorth sideVery pretty beach, where they filmed South Pacific. Extremely dangerous winter.
PolihaleWest side17 solid miles of uninterrupted sand. Fairly remote, and accessible only via dirt and sand road, so 4WD is preferred. Unswimmable most of the year, but the area called Queens Pond is safe all year round. Since it's so huge, you could easily find a secluded spot. Great view of the south side of Na Pali, with amazing sunsets.
Queen's BathNorth sideThis is a rocky beach by the cliffs under Princeville. Very cool during the summer, when you could swim in a rock pool with the fish, but absolutely deadly during the winter (people die there all the time).
KalalauNorth sideOne of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. Unfortunately, it's only accessible via one of the most difficult and most dangerous hikes in the world, the Kalalau Trail.
HonopūNorth sideAnother one of the top ten beaches in the world. The only way to get there is by swimming - from Kalalau beach :o!
Hanalei BayNorth sideA beautiful crescent beach with wonderful views. Mediocre snorkeling, but safe even in the winter. Very predictable waves, so this is the top spot for learning to surf or paddle. Breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
SecretNorth sideRelatively secluded beach, and needs a bit of a hike to get there.
LydgateEast sideA fully protected beach, with pretty good snorkeling. Great for little kids, but is usually very busy.
NawiliwiliEast sideBoring beach, but the park of the the side is a nice place to stop for lunch and watch the kitesurfers.
Kapa'aEast sideAnother relatively boring beach, but a nice place to have lunch if you're in Kapa'a.


Hiking:
There are a tremendous amount of great hikes on Kauai. Check the Kauai Revealed book for detailed info on all of them, with maps, difficulty ratings, etc. These are just a few which are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaComments
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hike 1Area 1Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Hike 2Area 2Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.


Other activities:

ActivityComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Helicopter toursEasily the most expensive activity on Kauai, and easily the most amazing. You get to see otherwise inaccessible places - among others, you fly into Waimea Canyon, along the stunning Na Pali coast, and into the crater of the extinct Mount Waiʻaleʻale, now the wettest place on earth. It's an experience that could simply not be matched. Blue Hawaiian is the most popular and usually recommended. Jack Harter also flies amazing doors-off tours, which are wet, windy, and exhilirating :D.
Powered hang glidingThis is a unique flight lesson (counts a flying time for a pilot's license) in what's basically a motorized tricycle with wings. Supposed to be tremendous fun. Offered by Birds in Paradise.
Waimea CanyonLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Kalalau Valley overlookLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Hanalei Valley overlook
Kayaking
Biking
ATVing
Horseback riding
Ziplining
Cruises
4 Wheel Driving


Shopping:
  • Costco in Lihue has some kosher food, as well as the cheapest gas on the island
  • Wal-Mart, also in Lihue, also has some kosher food


Author Topic: Kauai, HI Master Thread  (Read 531146 times)

Offline Yordai Dooma

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1140 on: August 29, 2014, 12:58:56 AM »
wow i cant believe someone actually read through the whole thing!  :P
I did as well. Very nice TR. Some good tips in there for the next time we make it back there.

Offline sky121

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1141 on: August 29, 2014, 01:12:32 AM »
You already took the time to write it the least we can do is read it. :)
And I think it's great. I'm sure there are others here as well you will appreciate such a detailed report before their next trip.
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1142 on: August 29, 2014, 02:30:26 AM »
Great report, and pretty darn good pictures too (especially for "not a good photographer" ;D).
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Offline efflpetzel

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1143 on: August 29, 2014, 02:54:15 AM »

wow i cant believe someone actually read through the whole thing!  :P
+1, I like your writing style

#refreshing

Offline arid

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1144 on: August 29, 2014, 09:38:12 AM »
Great report, and pretty darn good pictures too (especially for "not a good photographer" ;D).
wow im blushing. if the great photographer can say that, maybe there is hope for me.......

Offline moe3615

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1145 on: August 29, 2014, 05:21:32 PM »
Some might say this trip report is long winded, but I prefer to call it very detailed, something I personally was looking for when reading othersí trip reports. I think this trip had a great balance of chilling and activities. There really is so much more to do than this but I think I really hit up the main one's.

Love your comprehensive report... However I was just there and inmho you missed a must see: Queens Bath! That was my favorite place on the island. Great report though! For all other readers I highly recommend Queens Bath, just caution that it takes a seven minute slippery hike to get there, I promise its worth it! Look it up on youtube. I believe its good to be a good person just for the chance that Paradise looks like Kauai, pictures will never do justice to this incredible place.

Offline arid

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1146 on: August 29, 2014, 05:40:55 PM »
Love your comprehensive report... However I was just there and inmho you missed a must see: Queens Bath! That was my favorite place on the island. Great report though! For all other readers I highly recommend Queens Bath, just caution that it takes a seven minute slippery hike to get there, I promise its worth it! Look it up on youtube. I believe its good to be a good person just for the chance that Paradise looks like Kauai, pictures will never do justice to this incredible place.
I'm glad ppl are enjoying it  8)
that's one of the places i wish i saw. There is a queens bath and a queens pond. one up north by the secret beach and one near polihale in the south. the queens bath (app says its a great place to use your go pro, which i ended up using at tunnels), spouting horn and a hanalei bay to take pics by that pier, are the 3 things i would do if i had another day. maybe a zipline course.
I would love to have done more but if we did, we wouldn't have amount of time to chill at the hotel that we wanted. what from my itinerary would you axe in favor of queens bath? bec based on what i read, all these other are must do's.....

Offline sam28

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1147 on: August 31, 2014, 12:03:05 AM »
I love u report and the pictures its clear and to the point not long at all . Thanks

Offline MC

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1148 on: September 01, 2014, 02:26:36 AM »
No TR or pics could ever do Kauai justice, but here goes my feeble attempt:

Sunday: We took an early flight LAX-SAN-LIH. Rented a car, but they didnít have a decent convertible available so we opted for a Jeep Wranger instead. I was pretty disappointed but it ended up being a great choice. Got to the GHK and just spent the afternoon taking in the breathtaking grounds. Thankfully, we had free spa access (the spa has the only separate men/women Jacuzzi). We packed a lovely dinner (pringles and cookies Ė yum!) and took it down to the beach directly in front of the hotel to watch sunset. Exhausted after a full day of traveling, we crashed really early.

Monday: Having gone to sleep so early, and being slightly jetlagged, we woke up at the crack of dawn. This actually ended up happening every day of our vacation! We did the helicopter ride. I know itís redundant to even say it, but it was absolutely incredible and the top highlight of our trip! We got the GCís from Costco and used them for the rides and the video, which I still have yet to watch. We then went back to the hotel to pick up a toaster oven (thanks again!). In the afternoon we went snorkeling on Poipu Beach (my second favorite activity after the helicopter) and stayed through sunset. We visited some family friends Ė yep, they exist even in LIH! Ė and then went back to the hotel for our Oahu Kosher catered meal. I was expecting it to be a disaster after reading a report that day on DDF, but it was actually pretty decent. Definitely overpriced, and nothing close to LA restaurants, but maybe because my expectations were so low I was pleasantly surprised.

Tuesday: We went to see the Spouting Horn (it had been raining that morning and the waves were pretty choppy, so I think the spout was particularly high, at least thatís what I overheard people saying). Then we drove to Waimea Canyon, which there simply are no words to describe. From there we went on to Polihale Beach, which basically felt like driving to the end of the earth . . . Even with the Jeep, I got stuck in the sand a couple of times (hey, Iím used to a Civic back at home!) and was doubly thankful that we hadnít ended up with the convertible. Again, we had dinner from the hotel.

Wednesday: I woke up super early to catch a sunrise from the South Shore. We then basically spent the day driving up to the North Shore. Started off with Opaekaía Falls Lookout and Wailua Falls, then up to Kailuea Lighthouse (I have a soft spot for lighthouses, so this is a close runner up for my favorite spot on the island) and then to the Hanalei Lookout. It rained pretty much all morning, but started clearing up just as we got to the lookout, so we got a great view with the clouds just beginning to part. We arrived at the St. Regis and checked in (got upgraded to a beautiful ocean view room) and then headed down to Puíu Poa Beach, directly outside the hotel, to snorkel again. Luckily, we encountered a marine biologist who offered to take us out with her, so we ended up much further than we ever would have ventured on our own and really saw a kaleidoscope of sea life down there! We then grabbed some snacks and headed to Keíe Beach. Unfortunately my hiking plans were thwarted by my sisterís minor foot injury on the beach (which involved a toe, a sharp branch, and more blood than my stomach could handle), so we just hung out on the beach, watched a wedding take place there, and then watched our last magical sunset.

Thursday: We headed out of the hotel, gifted the toaster oven to some happy locals, bought some delicious fresh mango and coconut, went to Walmart to pick up some Hawaii themed souvenirs for the poor people we left back in LA, filled up our gas tank at Costco and then sadly made our way back to the airport.

A few notes:
-Four days wasn't nearly enough. Then again, I could have had a month and still not had enough.
-I still canít decide which hotel I preferred. The actual accommodations at the St. Regis were much nicer, but the grounds at the Hyatt are just incomparable.
-Donít underestimate the jetlag! Even coming from the west coast was difficult!


Sunset at Poipu


Spouting Horn


A lone flower atop Waimea


Polihale Beach


Sunrise from the GHK


Kailuea Lighthouse


Hanelei Lookout


Ke'e Beach


Ke'e Beach


Sunrise view from our room at the St. Regis

Offline Buruch

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1149 on: September 01, 2014, 01:48:04 PM »
Great pictures! how did you free yourself when you got stuck in the sand?

Offline Dan

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1150 on: September 01, 2014, 01:52:12 PM »
Great TR and pics!

Was already in LIH earlier this year, but boy do I miss it.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1151 on: September 01, 2014, 03:36:16 PM »
Great pictures! how did you free yourself when you got stuck in the sand?
Thanks! At first I made the mistake of trying to accelerate out of it, but then I just put the car in drive and let it slowly roll forward.
Great TR and pics!
Was already in LIH earlier this year, but boy do I miss it.
Thanks! I miss it already too :)

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1152 on: September 01, 2014, 10:29:36 PM »
Great TR and pics!

Was already in LIH earlier this year, but boy do I miss it.

thanks dan!!


yes i know you werent talking to me     :-\


but MC, great TR

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1153 on: September 01, 2014, 10:57:56 PM »

thanks dan!!


yes i know you werent talking to me     :-\


but MC, great TR
Lol, you too :D

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1154 on: September 04, 2014, 09:02:46 PM »

Offline Dan

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1155 on: September 04, 2014, 09:12:09 PM »
Scary.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1157 on: October 15, 2014, 11:11:53 AM »
Despite what the article implies, all beaches are public in Kauai and can't be purchased.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1158 on: October 15, 2014, 11:15:46 AM »
Despite what the article implies, all beaches are public in Kauai and can't be purchased.

Someone could however own all land access points (as seems to be the case here), essentially creating a "private" beach.
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Offline myb821

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1159 on: October 15, 2014, 11:18:19 AM »
Someone could however own all land access points (as seems to be the case here), essentially creating a "private" beach.
no u can walk along the beach to get to it.