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 368138 times)

Offline yoohoo

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2940 on: January 09, 2019, 06:04:18 PM »

Offline jj1000

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2941 on: January 16, 2019, 08:40:09 AM »
Thoughts and critiques on a 1 week itin for first time in Kauai for a couple no kids:

Sunday: Land late afternoon, do Costco and Walmart shopping

Monday: secret falls morning, Helicopter afternoon

Tuesday: Waimea canyon (jeep is ideal 4WD Miloli Ridge Road)/Polihale State Park sunset/sunflower field

Wednesday: Awaawapuhi Trail/Nualolo Cliffs Trail/Nualolo Trail in Waimea, and other Waimea exploration

Thursday: general sightseeing around the island water falls, valley view, sugar tubes lazy river or zip line in afternoon

Friday: Snorkel Poipu Beach morning/get ready for Shabbos/Spa? Dinner in tidepools GHK.

Saturday:
Relax shabbos

Sunday: Fly Home early

kalalau trail is closed to I figure that part of the island isn't really necessary to visit. This is for 2 weeks from now.
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Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2942 on: January 16, 2019, 09:43:09 AM »
Thoughts and critiques on a 1 week itin for first time in Kauai for a couple no kids:

Sunday: Land late afternoon, do Costco and Walmart shopping

Monday: secret falls morning, Helicopter afternoon

Tuesday: Waimea canyon (jeep is ideal 4WD Miloli Ridge Road)/Polihale State Park sunset/sunflower field

Wednesday: Awaawapuhi Trail/Nualolo Cliffs Trail/Nualolo Trail in Waimea, and other Waimea exploration

Thursday: general sightseeing around the island water falls, valley view, sugar tubes lazy river or zip line in afternoon

Friday: Snorkel Poipu Beach morning/get ready for Shabbos/Spa? Dinner in tidepools GHK.

Saturday:
Relax shabbos

Sunday: Fly Home early

kalalau trail is closed to I figure that part of the island isn't really necessary to visit. This is for 2 weeks from now.

Heli is typically better in the morning, unless Na Pali is your main draw.

Hasn't Miloli Ridge Road been closed to vehicles for a while? I seem to remember something to that effect.

The north side of the island is a must do even with the KT closed - Ke'e Beach, Tunnels, Hanelei Valley, Queens Bath if you're willing to risk life and limb, Kilauea Point... this list goes on and on.

ETA: obviously some of the places I listed were impacted last year, so check how they're doing first. But sunset at Ke'e is reason enough to head up, IMO.

Offline jj1000

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2943 on: January 16, 2019, 12:37:29 PM »
Heli is typically better in the morning, unless Na Pali is your main draw.

Hasn't Miloli Ridge Road been closed to vehicles for a while? I seem to remember something to that effect.

The north side of the island is a must do even with the KT closed - Ke'e Beach, Tunnels, Hanelei Valley, Queens Bath if you're willing to risk life and limb, Kilauea Point... this list goes on and on.

ETA: obviously some of the places I listed were impacted last year, so check how they're doing first. But sunset at Ke'e is reason enough to head up, IMO.
The Book, says heli is best in afternoon actually.

How does someone fine out if the road is open or closed? That drive was one of my best memories in Hawaii, period. Nothing like driving through rivers:


and mini lakes:



Not to mention the secret black sand beach I found at the end of the drive/hike, maybe Dan has that pic somewhere.

And gotcha, I'll tell them to add north side to the general sightseeing on Thursday.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2944 on: January 16, 2019, 02:24:42 PM »
From dlnr.hawaii.gov:
11/2018 UPDATE: Repairs and upgrades to make Hāʻena State Park more resilient to future floods, as well as to address public safety and accessibility issues, have begun. A replacement parking lot will be installed with a revised entry to accommodate a long-envisioned shuttle stop. This is an integral part of a desired transportation scheme to alleviate north shore traffic.

The timeline for park repairs and construction is presently estimated to extend into 2019. Repairs of the damaged Kalalau Trail, consisting of washed-out trail sections, debris accumulation, and dense vegetation growth obscuring the route, will be initiated soon and itís hoped to do this work in the same timeframe as the Hāʻena park repairs.

Both Parks remain closed, as does the highway providing access to them.
AK,AZ,CA,CT,(DE),FL,HI,(IL),ME,MD,(MA),(MN),MT,NV,NH,NJ,NY,OR,PA,(RI),TX,UT,VT,VA,WA,WY

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2945 on: January 21, 2019, 12:57:14 AM »
Thoughts and critiques on a 1 week itin for first time in Kauai for a couple no kids:

Sunday: Land late afternoon, do Costco and Walmart shopping

Monday: secret falls morning, Helicopter afternoon

Tuesday: Waimea canyon (jeep is ideal 4WD Miloli Ridge Road)/Polihale State Park sunset/sunflower field

Wednesday: Awaawapuhi Trail/Nualolo Cliffs Trail/Nualolo Trail in Waimea, and other Waimea exploration

Thursday: general sightseeing around the island water falls, valley view, sugar tubes lazy river or zip line in afternoon

Friday: Snorkel Poipu Beach morning/get ready for Shabbos/Spa? Dinner in tidepools GHK.

Saturday:
Relax shabbos

Sunday: Fly Home early

kalalau trail is closed to I figure that part of the island isn't really necessary to visit. This is for 2 weeks from now.
If milolli is open a jeep isn't a option, it's a MUST.

Btw if you continue down the road past the GHK until you can no longer drive further, park & hike to the right for 10 mins to the most incredibly beautiful secluded beach,
iirc it's written somewhere in the kauai revealed book

Offline yoohoo

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2946 on: February 10, 2019, 12:00:34 AM »
Has  Miloli Rodge road been open lately?
Also can someone point out on a map exactly where it is? Seeing conflicting info

Offline Dan

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2947 on: February 10, 2019, 12:07:09 AM »
It's open.
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 #2948 on: February 10, 2019, 04:13:38 AM »
Jusr because it's open, doesn't mean it's safe. Make sure it's dry - I'm speaking from experience.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2949 on: February 10, 2019, 08:59:31 AM »
It's open.
have a google maps links ?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2950 on: February 10, 2019, 09:52:08 AM »
Kauia revelaed app is amazing for locations giving you exact coordinates for locations.

Someone should post all the popular ones in the wiki.

Has anyone else seen the black sand beach at the end of that drive when you hike the top of the mountain ridge.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2951 on: March 10, 2019, 12:13:52 PM »
Just finished a weeks stay at the GHK.
Overall an incredible place.
Few cons I have about the resort is the size of it. By the time i figured out my way around the resort it was time to check out.
I was given an upgrade but to a room thatís a 8 min walk to the lobby. (My choice, otherwise wouldnít of been an ocean view)
Being that itís the largest hotel on Kauai, when busy the grounds seemed a bit claustrophobic.
With the north shore dealing with closures it was an easy decision but my previous stay at the Princeville Resort (St. Regis) I felt was more of a pleasure.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2952 on: March 13, 2019, 09:25:57 AM »
The Book, says heli is best in afternoon actually.

How does someone fine out if the road is open or closed? That drive was one of my best memories in Hawaii, period. Nothing like driving through rivers:


and mini lakes:



Not to mention the secret black sand beach I found at the end of the drive/hike, maybe Dan has that pic somewhere.

And gotcha, I'll tell them to add north side to the general sightseeing on Thursday.

I did Heli in the morning and there wasn't a cloud in the sky which made for a fantastic ride...

The beach by where the trail starts, pretty sure it's Ke'e, is quite nice, so might be worth the trek

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2953 on: March 13, 2019, 12:41:52 PM »
north shore is closed, beginning at Hanalei

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2954 on: March 20, 2019, 02:01:25 PM »
Does the Costco in kauai still sell hyatt gc at 20 percent off?