Friday, October 22, 2010

Kauai Guide - Princeville and Surroundings

Although we only had a opportunity to sample a few of his many activities, we greatly enjoyed the ones we selected and would recommend them to any future north shore vacationers. 

Here is his list, in full. 

  • Tea, sandwiches, and the pool at the St. Regis (formerly the Princeville Hotel). It's $$$$. [Sonja here: that was first on our list! We stayed our first few nights at the nearby Westin and took advantage of their free shuttle to the St. Regis beach. Beautiful. I tried to pretend that I really belonged there as a guest and was not some random interloper from a nearby hotel...]
The beach at the St. Regis. Life is pretty darn fine, at the moment.

Time for a dip. A little rocky, with some hidden coral. Poor visibility, to boot. 

  • Princeville is a boring touristy town... but you can also check out Hanalei.  There are shops downtown that are neat... the Hanalei Gourmet is a great place for lunch [Yes, excellent food! The rehearsal dinner was catered from Hanalei Gourmet].  I would definitely have a "locals" breakfast one day at the little restaurant in the Ching Young Village Shopping Center - grab some Haupia Cake there too [We didn't make it to the restaurant but the Haupia Cake was good - very hawaiian].  
Haupia Cake (and some shaved ice from across the street)


  • Tunnels [We went snorkeling here - saw lots of turtles and a few fish...definitely a spectacular beach as it's nestled at the base of those dramatic mountains]

  • Ke'e (start of the Na Pali Trail - turtles in the afternoon)
  • Secret
  • Larsen's (for shelling)

Hikes [Sonja here: didn't make it out to any hikes, unfortunately. I'm not one for long distances or steep inclines at the moment. This is definitely on our list for next time]
  • Na Pali Coast - might be too much for preggers ;-)
  • I would actually park at Hanalei Colony Resort and walk from their beach all the way up to Tunnels Beach.  It's a REALLY nice walk along the beach.
  • Limahuli Gardens
  • Queen's Bath (it's over the hill from Princeville)
  • Larsen's Beach is actually a "hike" - don't leave valuables in the car...
  • Ka Ulu A Paoa Heiau - above Ke'e Beach 
Farmers Markets
  •  Best fruit and produce that you'll get on the island.  Bring cash. They are held in Hanalei and Kiluaea. [We went to the Hanalei one and both Cherie and I were in produce heaven. Papaya! 2 for $1!! What.a.smokin'.deal.]
Dragon fruit. Didn't have the guts to try one...

Other Activities: 
  • Catamaran tours of the Na Pali Coast that leave from Hanalei - not sure how rough it will be in October though.  
  • There are also Sunday polo matches at near Anini Beach you can look into.  [We made it to the beach at Anini but missed out on the polo matches. Next time.]

The farther "north" you go beyond Hanalei, the more beautiful it gets... and the more "non-touristy" too. [Yes, I would whole-heartedly agree! Thanks for the recommendations Pete!!!]

Here are a few additional random photos from the trip:
I discovered this guy in the swimming pool, along with a few of his buddies.
One later showed up dead at the bottom of the pool....I'm really hoping it wasn't this guy. 

I don't want to be a frog killer.

Eh, I can't help myself.  I like amphibians. 
We'll switch to geckos, just to mix things up a big. Reptiles are good too. 
And back to frogs. That was the last one, I promise. 
Random vine thing.
Check out the eye shadow on this guy:

 We also spent a day down near the south end of the island, driving through Hanapepe and Waimea Canyon with Bob and Cherie.
There is a very faint rainbow, mid-canyon. 
Whoa. Lookin' pregnant.
With Bob and Cherie. 

 And, of course, no photo montage of Kauai would be complete without photos of the chickens. They are pervasive on this island. 

I've come to the conclusions that I don't much care for roosters. I think our girls are lucky to be roo-free. Of course, they may not feel the same way...
 Remember when our girls were this little?! They were so cute and sweet back then.

We also did a bit of snorkeling down near Breneke Beach:

No diving this time around. Bad for baby.

Frankly though, I've never been a big fan of the diving in Hawaii, anyway. Dead coral, poor visibility, and so-so sea life. We've had a few interesting encounters with sharks and turtles but beyond that...not much. At least in our limited experience. 
Lots o' fish. 

And that, my dears, was the end of our trip to Hawaii. We were bummed to leave but coming home was nice too.