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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Come Explore Kauai's North Shore

The North Shore of Kauai is home to distinguished historical sites, unique artistry, and relaxing beaches. The diversity of attractions and activities offered by this region provides entertainment for all ages.
View of Kilauea Point Lighthouse on Kauai's North Shore

Kauai’s shores offer ample opportunities for guests to tour spectacular sites and engage in diverse activities. When visiting Kauai’s North Shore, be sure to visit the charming town of Hanalei, check out the Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse, and relax on tranquil Anini Beach.

Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse

Standing 52 feet tall, the Daniel K. Inouye Kilauea Point Lighthouse was built in 1913 to light the way for traveling ships. Located on the rugged northern coastline, the deep blue Pacific Ocean is the perfect backdrop for commemorating your visit to this landmark with striking photos. The elevated, coastal location also offers the chance to see humpback whales breaking through the waves during the winter months. Guests who are feeling adventurous may tour the lighthouse by climbing up the stairs as far as the watch room.

This breathtaking spot is also home to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. As a sanctuary for seabirds, guests can see a huge variety of species soar in the skies above the refuge or land on the small island nearby. Signage found throughout the property helps visitors to identify the bird species commonly found in the refuge.

Hanalei Town

Located west of Princeville, Hanalei Town offers a variety of activities and sites for its guests. From historic places to contemporary art galleries to frequent ukulele concerts at the community center, there is a lot to see in Hanalei!

Waioli Mission House is one of the most famous sites in Hanalei Town and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Exploring guests experience a glimpse of missionary life from 1837, complete with historically accurate features such as lava rock chimneys and fine koa furniture. The Waioli Huiia Church, built in 1834, is located directly in front of the mission house. The church’s green shingles and luminous stained glass are well-known and picturesque symbols of Hanalei.
Hanalei’s beauty inspires many artists, artisans and craftsmen. Paintings, handmade ceramics, glassware and woodwork made of rare koa wood are displayed and available for purchase. Visitors are sure to find the perfect memento of their Kauai vacation while meandering through the streets of Hanalei.

Anini Beach

Anini Beach is known as one of the most protected beaches in Kauai, thanks in part to the two-mile-long fringed reef that runs the length of Anini Beach. Hawaii’s longest reef, it creates an ideal, calm spot for children to swim and play in the water. A sandbar extends deep into the ocean and makes for a great place to wade or fish. Shell collectors love this beach as an immense amount and variety of shells are found along the shoreline.

Come Explore the North Shore of Kauai

Are you ready to explore the diverse sites of Kauai’s North Shore? Call Kauai Vacation Rentals today and reserve your time on the Garden Island!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Top Lifeguarded Beaches in Kauai

The island of Kauai has much to offer its guests, including some of the best beaches in the world! Learn where to sit back, relax, and stay safe on Kauai’s top lifeguarded beaches in our latest article. 

Makua Beach

Known for the incredible mountain scenery featured in the movie South Pacific as well as its superior snorkeling opportunities, Makua Beach comes in as one of our top Kauai beaches with lifeguards. Also known to the locals as “Tunnels,” Makua beach is renowned as one of the premier diving sites in the world.

The shallow waters located within the inner reef at Makua are great for kids or novice swimmers, while the outer reef is better for experienced divers and snorkelers. Makua Beach is just a short distance from Haena Beach.

Hanalei Bay Pavilion

Located on the North Shore of Kauai, Hanalei Bay Pavilion is an ocean playground for guests of all ages. This two-mile-long, half-moon bay hypnotizes visitors with spectacular views of Makana Mountain and meandering walks on the soft white sand. The center area of the beach is beloved for swimming, boogie boarding and surfing, all under the watchful eyes of Hanalei’s lifeguards.

The Hanalei Bay Pavilion also offers plenty of land-based amenities, including designated barbeque areas, family-friendly restrooms and showers. During the summer, this beautiful spot is a favorite anchoring spot for sailboats from around the world. Hanalei Bay is often their last stop before heading back to the west coast from Mexico or the South Pacific. Loved by visitors and locals alike, this popular and active beach is definitely one to check out while vacationing in Kauai.

Poipu Beach Park

Named America’s Best Beach by The Travel Channel and the recipient of numerous top beach awards, there is no mistaking why Poipu Beach Park is the most popular beach on the South Shore of Kauai. The offshore surf break lures in experienced surfers and the protected areas are perfect for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Wildlife enthusiasts count Poipu Beach among their favorite spots for spotting humpback whales spouting off shore, Hawaiian green sea turtles swimming through the turquoise waters, and endangered Hawaiian monk seals sunbathing on the golden sand. Staffed with lifeguards seven days a week, Poipu Beach allows visitors to sit back, relax and Enjoy the Aloha spirit.

Haena Beach 

Directly across the street from the Dry Cave, Haena Beach is another top lifeguarded beach in Kauai with golden sands and panoramic views. Beach combing, shell collecting and beach camping are favorites among visitors to this beach. When surf conditions are calmer, guests experience wonderful swimming and snorkeling.

Haena Beach is a short walk away from Makua Beach, and many backpackers use Haena Beach before they start their journey when heading to the Kalalau Valley.

Call Kauai Vacation Rentals to Book Your Hawaiian Beach Vacation!

Whether you would like to collect shells on Haena Beach, snorkel off Makua Beach, observe Hawaiian monk seals sunbathing on Poipu Beach, or watch sailboats from around the world anchor at Hanalei Bay, we can help you Enjoy your time in Kauai. Give us a call today!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Kid-Friendly Activities in Kauai

A trip to Kauai is an incredible experience, so be sure to make it super fun for the whole family! Here a few of our top picks for things to do with kids in Kauai and what you need to know before you embark on each adventure.

Go Whale Watching 

We recently posted about whale watching in Kauai, and this is such a great experience for kids we had to include it on our list. Humpback whales travel to Kauai each year after spending the summer in Alaskan waters getting their fill of fish and krill. They then head south to our waters to give birth to their calves. The best time to catch a glimpse of these amazing and majestic creatures is during the winter.

You’ll find it easy to locate a tour company to take you out into the waters off the bays of Kauai, several of which specifically note they are kid-friendly. These tours cater to families and include activities to make sure your kids have as much fun as you do!

When heading out on a whale watching tour, be sure to wear clothes you’re OK with getting wet. If you prefer to stay on land, kids can also watch these gentle giants from land via the Poipu Beach Park, Kealia Overlook, or Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.

Explore Botanical Gardens 

Botanical gardens are one of the most loved Kauai attractions on the islands. Kauai is a gorgeous jewel in the middle of a vast ocean, and our botanical gardens are some of the best on the planet. The Na Ania Kai Botanical Garden is a garden specifically designed for kids.

Let the kiddos Enjoy fun mazes, a tree house and rain forest jungle, and a shallow wading pool while you kick back and take in the fragrances and sights of this breathtaking garden. The children can also explore two log cabins, a swinging bridge, and a full sized wooden train. This is hands down one of the best Kauai kid-friendly activities on the island and is guaranteed to keep your children busy for hours.

Go Hiking at Waimea Canyon

If you’d like to wear your kids out and take in the gorgeous sights of Kauai, then head over to Waimea Canyon and take a hike on one of their tamer hiking trails. The canyon spans some 10 miles and is one-mile-wide and 3500 feet deep. Hiking trails are available for experienced hikers as well as moms and dads who have a couple of little ones in tow. Pack a lunch and put this on your list of things to do in Kauai with kids.

Spend Some Time on The Surf at Poipu Beach Park 

Nearly every vacation to Hawaii includes visiting our beautiful beaches. For families with young children, safety is a major factor to consider. Fortunately, Poipu Beach Park is one of the most kid-friendly beaches on the island and offers snorkeling and clean bathrooms for beachgoers. The views from the shore are striking, it truly is a must see beach.

Visit Makauwahi Cave Reserve

Who knew there were tons of caves on Kauai? The Makauwahi Cave Reserve comes with a short half-mile hike which is perfect for the little ones. It is one of the most popular nature attractions on Kauai and provides you with all the adventure you need while on the island.

Call Kauai Vacation Rentals to Book Your Family Vacation!

There you have it, a brief taste of some of the best things to do in Kauai with kids. What are some things you’ve done on Kauai that you Enjoyed doing with your children? Let us know in the comments below. And when you’re ready to book your Kauai vacation, give us a call! Our team will make sure your accommodations are just right for you and the kids.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Whale Watching on Kauai

Enjoying a day of whale watching on Kauai is one of the highlights of visiting our beautiful island from November through April. Congregating by the thousands in the waters just off our shores, you can see humpback whales as they surface, slap their tails and fins, and blow giant spouts of vapor into the air. 

As autumn begins and temperatures begin to fall, thousands of visitors travel to Hawaii to Enjoy our mild weather and beautiful coastlines. When you book your Kauai vacation during this time, you are likely to catch a glimpse of a different type of visitor to Hawaii: the majestic kohola, or humpback whale.

Why Do Whales Travel to Kauai?

Like other migratory animals that visit Hawaii, humpback whales travel great distances to reach the protected waters of Kauai. After spending the summer in Alaskan waters feeding on krill and small fish, large groups of humpback whales, known as pods, cross nearly 3000 miles of open ocean to breed and give birth in our tropical paradise.

Whale watching on Kauai is an annual favorite in part because of the huge numbers of individuals that winter here. It is estimated that over 10,000 humpback whales migrate from the frigid and food-rich waters of Alaska to Hawaii each year. With so many kohola in the water, successful winter whale watching sessions are the norm.

What to Expect When Whale Watching on Kauai

Humpback whales tend to be very active when they visit Hawaii, so be prepared to see more than just the occasional spout. These acrobatic giants can literally launch themselves out of the water, a behavior known as breaching. They also will swim on their backs holding one or both flippers high in the air.

Whale watchers may also be rewarded with displays of tail or flipper slapping by these behemoths. Kohola are often seen raising their huge tail flukes and pectoral fins out of the water and then bringing them down with great force, “slapping” them on the surface of the water.

While nobody knows for sure why they perform these behaviors, it is thought that it may be a form of communication between humpbacks. Whatever the reason, it makes for great whale watching on Kauai each year.

Where to Enjoy Whale Watching on Kauai 

There are many ways to engage in whale watching on Kauai. Because humpbacks tend to stay close to shore, visitors to Kauai can opt to watch from any of several popular locations on land. If you want to get up close and personal, choose from one of the many whale watching boat trips offered around the island. 

Whale Watching on Kauai from Land

While they may be seen from just about anywhere on the coast of the island, here are a few of our favorite whale watching spots along the shores of Kauai.

·      Poipu Beach Park – Located at the southern end of Kauai, Poipu Beach Park is a favorite destination for shopping, dining, golf and, of course, whale watching.
·      Kealia Overlook – Right between mile markers 9 and 10 on Route 56, the Kealia Overlook provides a panoramic view of the ocean that is perfect for whale watching on Kauai.
·      Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge  Home of the Kilauea Lighthouse, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best spots in Hawaii to see whales during the season. The high vantage point also frequently rewards visitors with sightings of spinner dolphins and many native and migratory seabirds. Be sure to bring your US National Park Pass to cover the entrance fee!

Whale Watching on Kauai from the Water

There are many charters offering day trips for whale watching in Kauai. One of the main benefits of these tours is the knowledgeable people that run them. The best captains know the hot spots where humpbacks typically gather, and where they have been spotted in recent days.

One of our favorite outfits for whale watching excursions is Capt. Andy’s. Plying the waters surrounding Kauai since 1980, Capt. Andy’s offers several options for trips and is dedicated to sharing their Aloha spirit.

Please keep in mind that while it can be tempting to try and get close to kohola in their own environment, it is forbidden to touch a whale or attempt to feed them. It is also illegal for any vessel to purposefully approach humpback whales within 500 feet. However, whales are inquisitive by nature and may approach a drifting boat out of their own curiosity.

Book Your Kauai Vacation Today!

To see these incredible marine mammals in one of the most beautiful locations in the world is a true treat. Call Kauai Vacation Rentals today to reserve your time on the Garden Island, and remember to pack your binoculars!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Movies Filmed on Kauai

Over the years, many directors have chosen to shoot key scenes or even have entire movies filmed on Kauai, the tropical paradise we are fortunate to call home. This makes a lot of sense, as our beautiful island is known world-wide for our beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets and breathtaking valleys.

Movies filmed on Kauai take advantage of beautiful scenery like this
Kauai is a fantastic destination for your vacation, with plenty of options for exploring lush canyons, relaxing on gorgeous beaches or simply taking in the tropical sites on a drive around the island. Directors of films and TV shows know this, and have used the visual impact of Kauai’s natural beauty to set the stage for a number of motion pictures.

Beginning in the 1930s and continuing through recent blockbusters, scores of directors have chosen to have their movies filmed on Kauai. When scripts call for a tropical paradise, a beautifully remote location or a romantic rendezvous on a sandy beach, Kauai has been the obvious choice over and over again.

Movies Filmed on Kauai

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

In the fourth edition of Disney’s swashbuckling series, Captain Jack Sparrow and friends used the beautiful tropical background of Kauai to great effect. To see one of the locations used in the film on your visit to Kauai, check out the Allerton Garden on the South Shore. Part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, the park offers views of the river on which Captain Jack himself sailed.

Jurassic Park I, II, III & IV

While you won’t find any actual velociraptors or other dinosaurs stomping around the island, Steven Spielberg and the producers of the Jurassic Park picked Kauai for many of the key scenes in this popular series. The dramatic shots of helicopters approaching “Isla Nublar,” the fictional island home of the titular amusement park, are actually of our very own Na Pali Coast. The jagged peaks and deep green valleys lent just the right combination of tropical jungle and remote isolation for the iconic sequence. Other locations on Kauai featured in the Jurassic Park movies include Wailua, Limahuli Garden and Preserve, and Olokele Canyon.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Another of Steven Spielberg’s huge hits, the famous opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark features Indiana Jones in a “Peruvian” jungle that is actually ­– you guessed it ­–  a location on our very own Kauai. The temple set was constructed on Kipu Ranch, located along the Huleia River, just south of Lihue. 

King Kong

The 1976 remake of King Kong was originally slated to include only a few scenes of the lush jungles of Kauai to portray a setting in the South Pacific. However, producer Dino De Laurentiis was so enchanted with the Hawaiian island that he chose to capture all of the jungle and beach scenes there as well. 

Get Ready for Your Vacation with Movies Filmed on Kauai 

The well-known favorites listed above are are just a small sampling of the movies filmed on Kauai. We suggest watching one or more of them to help build anticipation for your vacation on Kauai. While you’re unlikely to be stalked by dinosaurs or kidnapped by giant apes on Kauai, we can promise that you’ll be treated to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. When you’re ready to book your own time in paradise, call Kauai VacationRentals!