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Dan 2009, Auntiemus, Benarroc, Westman812, Hudi, Yellow, Lechaim2life, DanFan2010, Jmansour, Something Fishy, Rivky, chuchem, dealvr, Amusch,
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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 470467 times)

Offline 3yummyboys

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2085 on: June 02, 2016, 10:19:38 AM »
If you don't get to the top of Waimea in the early morning it'll be crowded and cloudy.

What time would you suggest leaving poipu? Maybe we will skip snorkeling that morning.

Offline Buruch

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2086 on: June 02, 2016, 10:30:11 AM »
What time would you suggest leaving poipu? Maybe we will skip snorkeling that morning.
As almost always with Hawaii, the earlier the better. You can relax Thursday evening. Do you make kiddush Thursday night and Friday?

Offline 3yummyboys

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2087 on: June 02, 2016, 10:32:37 AM »
As almost always with Hawaii, the earlier the better. You can relax Thursday evening. Do you make kiddush Thursday night and Friday?

Just Friday night/shabbos. But I was told to light candles on Thursday without a Bracha.

Offline AJK

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2088 on: June 02, 2016, 10:50:11 AM »
If you don't get to the top of Waimea in the early morning it'll be crowded and cloudy.
Looked good to us around 12 or so, maybe later.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 11:11:48 AM by AJK »
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Offline Dan

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2089 on: June 02, 2016, 11:10:41 AM »
As usual, YMMV.
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.

Offline ushdadude

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2090 on: June 02, 2016, 11:41:11 AM »
i was there in the afternoon and it really clear. it's a huge ymmv according to the park ranger. not really time specific
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2091 on: June 02, 2016, 11:44:32 AM »
not really time specific
The blue LIH bible begs to differ.
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Offline ushdadude

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2092 on: June 02, 2016, 11:55:08 AM »
The blue LIH bible begs to differ.

lol. i guess it's a machlokes b'ksav (blue book) vs baal peh (ranger)
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2093 on: June 02, 2016, 12:15:58 PM »
lol. i guess it's a machlokes b'ksav (blue book) vs baal peh (ranger)
And we know how that's ruled..
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2094 on: June 02, 2016, 01:16:47 PM »
It comes down to normal weather patterns. At the ground warms up from the heat of the day, clouds begin to form. The earlier you go, the less chance of clouds, simple as that.

Now every so often there is a variation to the typical weather pattern (temperature and humidity fluctuations, mostly), that makes the clouds deviate from the normal schedule, leaving afternoon skies clear and blue. But that's the exception, not the rule.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2095 on: June 02, 2016, 01:20:13 PM »
It comes down to normal weather patterns. At the ground warms up from the heat of the day, clouds begin to form. The earlier you go, the less chance of clouds, simple as that.

Now every so often there is a variation to the typical weather pattern (temperature and humidity fluctuations, mostly), that makes the clouds deviate from the normal schedule, leaving afternoon skies clear and blue. But that's the exception, not the rule.


I'm thinking of driving up without stopping to get to the top earlier, then make our stops on the way down.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2096 on: June 02, 2016, 01:23:30 PM »
I was thinking of Lydgate bc they have a cool playground my kids would enjoy. I can definitely skip it.

Lydgate is a mediocre beach with mediocre snorkeling. Quite frankly it's a waste of time.

And there are nice playgrounds in Brooklyn...
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2097 on: June 02, 2016, 01:29:45 PM »
We keep de'oraisas on Friday, so that means that by shkia on Thursday we have to be settled in wherever we will be for shabbos.

Just Friday night/shabbos. But I was told to light candles on Thursday without a Bracha.

Ah, understood. Forgot about the 2 day Shabbos option, hehe. Can I ask what your Rav said to do for Tefillin for the men on Friday?

Very similar to the psak I got:

Once I got my psak that I need to keep two days, I compiled a list of many, many questions and took it into my Rov. Everything had a simple, black and white answer.

To address your tefillin question, he told me to wear it and daven like a regular weekday.

Shabbos candles was a more interesting issue - you can't light them on Friday afternoon, but at the same time you must light them for Shabbos! So he told me to light yartzeit candles on Thursday afternoon, and "Lekovod Shabbos Kodesh" over them. Then on Friday afternoon, my wife should cover her eyes and make the beracha. This way, no matter when Shabbos really was, we'd be covered :D.

I’ve done it twice already. Of course it raises some issues, but I got my psak from one of the most well-known and respected dayanim alive today (I don’t know if it’s a good idea to post his name here; feel free to PM if you want to know).
 
Here’s what he said (obviously for informational purposes only; everyone should ask their own LOR):
 
- Keep Shabbos on Saturday, plus keep d’oreisas on Friday (meaning from sundown Thursday). (This is also paskened in Shevet HaLevy as well as other sources)
- D’rabonons could be done, but only if there’s a “need” – not just for the heck of it (for example amira l’akum is fine, but touching muktza just because is not).
- Light >25-hour yartzeit candles at the zman on Thursday without a brocha, but say “l’kovod Shabbos kodesh” on them.
- By the zman Friday cover your eyes and then make the regular brocha on the candles.
- Tefillin, davening, bentching, Kiddush, havdala, etc. should all be done as on a normal Friday and Shabbos.
 
Based on this here are some more data points, all discussed and confirmed with a different (read: easier to access) dayan:
 
- Carrying on the grounds/yard on Friday is allowed, since it’s considered a karmelis.
- Amira l’akum is allowed.
- Dry food (chicken, kugel) could be put onto a blech or hotplate Friday afternoon, as long as the flame or hot plate was already on (either since Thursday or on a timer).
- Wet foods (soup) should be put up Thursday afternoon only.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2098 on: June 02, 2016, 01:34:29 PM »
Lydgate is a mediocre beach with mediocre snorkeling. Quite frankly it's a waste of time.

And there are nice playgrounds in Brooklyn...


Just trying to fit in a variety of activities. My 3 year old would enjoy a playground more that nice views :)

Like I said, I can skip it. But it might be nice for my kids first snorkel experience and then go to poipu beach, which will seem even nicer by comparison.

We are makpid that no one else is on the beach while we are there, so we try to go first thing in the morning.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2099 on: June 17, 2016, 12:20:52 PM »
Anyone do Wai Koa Loop trail?