Blogs about kauai
From a recent vacation to the Poipu area on Hawaii's island of Kauai, I have a few tips for casual dining:
- Keoki's Paradise is always delicious. If you don't have have the time or budget for the main dining room, you can ask for bar / cafe seating where they have a simpler menu in the $15 range. If you bring your receipt back on a second visit, you'll get a free Hula Pie dessert - yum!
- Merriman's Fishhouse, in the Kukui'ula shopping and dining plaza, has a Downstairs Cafe which is a more casual and cheaper version of the upstairs restaurant. The Downstairs Cafe has a happy hour with $5 mai tais and $3 draft beer.
- Brennecke's Beach Broiler has fabulous open air seating right across from Poipu Beach park. The full menu is rather expensive for what you get, but you can use the happy hour (3-5pm) menu for some relaxation after an afternoon at the beach.
This day was our last full day in Hawaii. In the morning we toured Steelgrass Chocolate farm. The tour was mediocre. We did get to see live cacao trees with chocolate pods, as well as a vanilla orchid and some other exotic plants. But the farm was hot and humid, and the area we toured was rather small. We ended the tour with a tasting of a variety of dark chocolates. I enjoyed eating the chocolates, but I do not like tastings. It seems to me that a "tasting" is a lot of sitting around sharing adjectives. Given the cost of the tour - $60 - I wouldn't recommend it to other visitors.
In the afternoon, we went to Kapa'a and Hanalei and did a little more shopping. Kapa'a had a beautiful glass art gallery and a very unimpressive glass blowing shop; no glory hole - only a blowtorch and an oven! Finally, we capped our trip with one more round of snorkeling in the best spot on the island.
Hawaii, and Kauai in particular, were wonderful. We are scheming to go back as soon as we can. I shall have to start buying Powerball tickets.
We spent much of the following day in the Waimea Canyon area of Koke'e State Park. We saw some astonishing views, and bought some fresh mango and coconut from a parking lot vendor. We hiked the the Pihea trail from Pu'u o Kila lookout to Pihea vista. The view was worth it - we could see the ocean straight down Napali, clouds surrounding the base of Wai'ale'ale, and the highest swamp in the world. The trail was a deceptively tough 1.8 miles out and back. If you're ever considering a hike in Hawaii, your "difficult" is Hawaii's "moderate". There was a lot of climbing; I used tree roots and branches as rungs on a ladder in some places.
The next day we took our sunset snorkel dinner cruise; a delightful combination of concepts. As mentioned before, it was a ton of fun. Our only complaints are that the catamaran took us to Makole instead of Nu'alolo (the superior spot); and that the post snorkel beverages couldn't really be classified as beer. It was a great, tantalizing introduction to snorkeling. I'd rather be snorkeling than doing pretty much anything else.
The following day (I was finally forgetting what day it was), we drove around to some of Kauai's famed waterfalls. Alas, we weren't terribly impressed by the waterfalls. Perhaps it was the recent drought on Kauai, or perhaps we northwesterners were already spoiled by the close access to excellent waterfalls such as Silver Falls and Ohanepecosh Falls. Later in the day we took a helicopter tour of Kauai, and that was beautiful. This picture doesn't do it justice, but there is a waterfall.
On July 4th, we did some early morning snorkeling at Poipu beach. It was beautiful - the husband took this photo of a Moorish Idol. For most of the afternoon, we did some hard core relaxing. In the evening, we went to a local fireworks show. The husband was very pleased - even giddy - with the fireworks photos he took - I'm sure he'll post them soon.
The condo we stayed at is right against an idyllic beach in Poipu. It had great amenities - a hut near the beach to rent gear from, community grills, an on-site bar and restaurant, and even an orchid and cactus garden. My only complaint is that the furniture was not very comfortable. But this is easily avoided by spending more time sitting on the giant lanai or, better yet, snorkeling.
Near Poipu is old Koloa town, where we did a bit of exploring and shopping. Actually, it would be more correct to say I did a bit of shopping, and the husband did a bit of photography. Anyway, an astonishing variety of fruit bearing trees grow all over Hawaii - such as coconut, pineapple, avocado, and papaya. Here are some avocados growing in old Koloa town square near Poipu.
Just a quick drive from Poipu is a water fountain created by waves rushing through a lava tube called Spouting Horn. This shot a good 20 feet into the
air. I'm told that in the sugar plantation days, there was an even more fabulous water fountain, but a plantation manager had it destroyed because the spray was damaging the crops. Boo!
More blogs about kauai: