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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 386841 times)

Offline sky121

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #285 on: April 28, 2012, 11:27:31 PM »
If the weather shows rain the week I'm supposed to be in Kauai, does that mean rain all day?

 
     
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #286 on: April 28, 2012, 11:29:39 PM »
If the weather shows rain the week I'm supposed to be in Kauai, does that mean rain all day?
Location, location, location.
Up north (Princeville/Hanalei), quite possibly all day.
In the east (Kapaa/Lihue), there may be periods of rain.
Down south (Poipu/Koloa), probably not for more than a few minutes.
In the west (Waimea/Polihale), probably not at all.
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 #287 on: April 28, 2012, 11:32:36 PM »
Location, location, location.
Up north (Princeville/Hanalei), quite possibly all day.
In the east (Kapaa/Lihue), there may be periods of rain.
Down south (Poipu/Koloa), probably not for more than a few minutes.
In the west (Waimea/Polihale), probably not at all.

Thanks. That makes me feel a little better.  It's quite gloomy looking at the calendar for Koloa and seeing sun for the next month EXCEPT for the days I'll be there. Murphy's law I guess.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #288 on: April 28, 2012, 11:33:50 PM »
I never found the forecasts to be very accurate for the city entered in Hawaii.  Don't pay any attention unless there's news of a big storm.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #289 on: April 28, 2012, 11:34:53 PM »
I never found the forecasts to be very accurate for the city entered in Hawaii.  Don't pay any attention unless there's news of a big storm.

I was hoping you'd say that.

 Thanks!
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #290 on: April 29, 2012, 11:52:05 AM »
Thanks. That makes me feel a little better.  It's quite gloomy looking at the calendar for Koloa and seeing sun for the next month EXCEPT for the days I'll be there. Murphy's law I guess.
We had the same forecast when we went in March. As Kauai Revealed indicates, there will likely be rain "in the forecast" for every day. The thing to remember is that unless its a big unusual storm, it won't last that long, and will often not affect the area right where the GHK is on the beach (even if it is raining in nearby Koloa Town)

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #291 on: April 30, 2012, 12:26:38 PM »
I've been trying my best to research different hikes in Kauai but it's hard to do without having actually been there yet.

        What are you the easiest (physically and to follow), yet most rewarding hikes there are in Kauai?

  It would be for a few 50+ year olds, some of them being on the heavier side who are in pretty good condition.

                          I don't want to direct anyone in the wrong direction!
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #292 on: April 30, 2012, 12:28:38 PM »
Have you read Kauai Revealed yet?
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #293 on: April 30, 2012, 12:33:14 PM »
Have you read Kauai Revealed yet?

Yes and I've been reading online reviews from people who have done the hikes. 
It's just a lot of information and I feel as though it's hard to get a good idea of the difficulty level since it depends who the actual guy climbing is.

          I may be over reading as well. One guy says something is difficult. Another says it was fine. The next guy almost dies.
                   Think I have research overload.  ;)

If any DDFers could recommend some easy hikes for the above mentioned that would be great!
 
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #294 on: April 30, 2012, 12:38:08 PM »
For overweight mid-50s folk? They'll do just fine with the activity required to walk to the sights on the Waimea Canyon drive.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #295 on: April 30, 2012, 04:41:23 PM »
For overweight mid-50s folk? They'll do just fine with the activity required to walk to the sights on the Waimea Canyon drive.
+1 some of the inclines to the lookouts can be pretty steep. At waimea, I'd focus on hitting up all the good lookouts, and less on finding a good hike. The lookouts will keep you busy for a few hours, and you can always do Miloli ridge road, which only requires an in shape suv, not an in shape driver ;)

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Re: Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #296 on: April 30, 2012, 04:48:07 PM »
+1 some of the inclines to the lookouts can be pretty steep. At waimea, I'd focus on hitting up all the good lookouts, and less on finding a good hike. The lookouts will keep you busy for a few hours, and you can always do Miloli ridge road, which only requires an in shape suv, not an in shape driver ;)

Lol. Thanks for the tips. I hope to get to Miloli Ridge road.  Though I may come back with a stuck in the mud story for y'all. :)

Any other activities you recommend that you particularly enjoyed?
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #297 on: May 01, 2012, 12:56:13 PM »
Just got a manager at the GH Kauai to override capacity and confirm a concierge client of mine into an oceanfront suite...I don't think there's any other place in the world that I'd rather be right now than there.

Dan, when you had a manger override capacity did you have to pay the premium rate or was he able to give it to you at the normal cost of a room?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #298 on: May 01, 2012, 12:59:24 PM »
Normal.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #299 on: May 02, 2012, 08:43:06 PM »
Are there any areas or beaches that have super clear water like Bahamas/Grand Cayman type?
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