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

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Dan 2014
Dan 2009, Auntiemus, Benarroc, Westman812, Hudi, Yellow, Lechaim2life, DanFan2010, Jmansour, Something Fishy, Rivky, chuchem, dealvr, Amusch,
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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 386839 times)

Offline Dan

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #120 on: December 28, 2011, 11:29:42 AM »
Splurge for a 4WD for the day and do that and maybe another 4wd road into Waimea Canyon (that road goes out of Waimea and onto one of Na Pali's sheer cliffs) and end the day with sunset at Polihale.
Pure heaven.

Read the books warnings on the road though and beware that it can be a very intimidating drive and you'll be out of cell phone range if you get stuck, although it's walkable back to the main road.  Learn how to use 4WD beforehand.
You've been warned!
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 #121 on: December 28, 2011, 11:34:37 AM »
Splurge for a 4WD for the day and do that and maybe another 4wd road into Waimea Canyon (that road goes out of Waimea and onto one of Na Pali's sheer cliffs) and end the day with sunset at Polihale.
Pure heaven.

Read the books warnings on the road though and beware that it can be a very intimidating drive and you'll be out of cell phone range if you get stuck, although it's walkable back to the main road.  Learn how to use 4WD beforehand.
You've been warned!

Ok. Thanks for the advice and the warning! I hope I survive to post the tale :)

Anything on snorkeling/whale watching?


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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #122 on: December 28, 2011, 11:36:19 AM »
You don't need a snorkeling tour, just buy good gear from Walmart (Nat'l Geographic was great) and some diving gloves, and vaseline if you have a mustache and go into the ocean at a place like the right side of poipu beach or other recommended spot in kauai revealed.

Maui is the island with the best whale watching boats.
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 #123 on: December 28, 2011, 11:40:13 AM »
You don't need a snorkeling tour, just buy good gear from Walmart (Nat'l Geographic was great) and some diving gloves, and vaseline if you have a mustache and go into the ocean at a place like the right side of poipu beach or other recommended spot in kauai revealed.

Maui is the island with the best whale watching boats.

Ok cool. Again, thanks for the help. Really looking forward to the trip and I will of course post a trip report when I get back.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #124 on: December 28, 2011, 12:39:34 PM »
Does anyone know where we can get kosher bread on kauaii? Last time i was there we had a hard time finding any until the last day when we walked into a supermarket and they had a decent selection of bagels and pita,but i do not recall where it was. Does anyone know? Also if i am a diamond member and i book 2 nights using my 2 free suite nights and someone else who is no longer a diamond books 2 more free suite nights. will i (1)  be able  to conjoin the nights into 1 reservation so that i do not have to check out and recheck in.(2) be able to access the club and spa using my diamond status?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #125 on: December 28, 2011, 01:41:44 PM »
Learn how to use 4WD beforehand.
You've been warned!

Isn't 4WD drive a gear change like switching on an automatic to first or second gear on somethink like a Grand Cherokee (that Alamo says they're giving me next month over there)? Book says to be careful about stopping in sand and not going beyond certain point. But besides books warnings, can you be more specific on your warnings?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #126 on: December 28, 2011, 01:47:15 PM »
Well there's low and high 4WD for example.  If you just have AWD you don't have the low 4 option and I don't recommend this road without it.

If the road is wet and slippery for example then forget about it...you don't want to risk losing control of your car.  The road also starts off easy and lulls you in before getting much steeper.
I'm just saying to be prepared for a bumpy and possibly scary drive depending on the condition of the road.  The end of the road of awesome though.  Not as awesome as the Na Pali end of the hike we took, but good enough given that it's an hour drive instead of an all day hike.
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 #127 on: December 28, 2011, 01:56:22 PM »
Should i get a jeep wrangler or chevy equinox? those are the suv that hertz offers

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #128 on: December 28, 2011, 02:02:21 PM »
Thanks. So If road conditions are good (I assume that means dry), and you go slow on low 4, would you say Milolii ridge road is responsible or not responsible for someone who has only drivern 4WD a couple of times?


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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #129 on: December 28, 2011, 02:04:17 PM »
Should i get a jeep wrangler or chevy equinox? those are the suv that hertz offers
Does the equinox have 4WD?

Thanks. So If road conditions are good (I assume that means dry), and you go slow on low 4, would you say Milolii ridge road is responsible or not responsible for someone who has only drivern 4WD a couple of times?
My father would say responsible.  My wife would say irresponsible.
So I guess YMMV but likely somewhere in between :D
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #130 on: December 28, 2011, 02:11:58 PM »

4WD/AWD 5 Passenger Standard SUV, SFAR
Chevrolet Equinox or similar   
5 Passengers
3 Large Suitcases, 2 Small Suitcases
Automatic Transmission
Air Conditioning
Dual Airbags
ABS

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #131 on: December 28, 2011, 02:12:25 PM »
4WD/AWD
Big difference, call to see which is it.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #132 on: December 28, 2011, 02:13:34 PM »
ok will do assuming its a 4 wheel drive you think its better then the wrangler?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #133 on: December 28, 2011, 02:15:14 PM »
Anything is better than a Wrangler.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #134 on: December 28, 2011, 02:31:30 PM »
Anything is better than a Wrangler.
We were deciding between a convertable and a wrangler, but ended up reserving the convertable because taking off the top of the wranger manually seems like a hassle