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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Unwind with a Relaxing Kauai Vacation


Let Hawaii’s most stunning natural gardens and scenic views found on Kauai transport you far, far away from your hectic life. Take refuge in its tropical rainforests, deep gorges and unique plant life only found here. Plan your relaxing Kauai vacation today!

Reflect in Some of Hawaii’s Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens

Called “The Garden Isle” for its tropical rainforests, gorges and unique plant life, Kauai showcases three of the nation’s five National Tropical Botanical Gardens. Soak up these rare, stunning gardens where you will find havens for refuge and relaxation on your Kauai vacation.

Limahuli Garden and Preserve

LimahuliGarden offers 17 acres of endangered native plants, taro-filled agricultural terraces and beautiful views of Kauai’s north shore. The garden ranks as one of the most biodiverse valleys in the Hawaiian Islands. Its diversity includes dozens of endangered plants and birds. Often described as a place of refuge or “pu'uhonua,” indigenous traditions live on today in the conservation of this rare ecological wonder. 

Allerton Garden

Allerton Garden features amazing landscaping and the famous Moreton Fig Trees. These trees have long, curvy roots on top of the ground that resemble octopus arms. Its unique appearance earned a spot in the original “Jurassic Park” movie. As you tour this south shore garden you will witness the breathtaking, towering rainforest trees, glimpse a flower garden and tropical fruit trees and listen to the soothing sounds of a grove of golden bamboo swaying in gentle winds.

McBryde Garden

McBryde Garden showcases the largest collection of native Hawaiian flora in the world. Nestled within the picturesque and historic Lawa’i Valley, you will find a botanical ark of tropical plants in the garden. Its sweeping collection of palms, flowering trees, rubiaceae, heliconias and orchids creates a tranquil vibe.

Therapeutic Scenic Views

Take in peaceful, one-of-a kind scenic views during your Kauai vacation. Both Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast are great additions to your Kauai vacation.

Waimea Canyon

Often described as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, few sites match Waimea Canyon’s unique landscape. The canyon runs 14 miles long and plummets more than 3,600-feet deep. Visit this work of art by nature and take a panoramic look at the crested buttes, rugged crags and deep valley gorges.

Na Pali Coast

The famous NaPali Coast on the north shore of Kauai nourishes your soul. It features emerald green pinnacles towering along the shoreline for 17 miles. Take in the awe-inspiring views of the vast Pacific Ocean, velvet green cliffs and cascading waterfalls.

Call Kauai Vacation Rentals to Book Your Relaxing Kauai Vacation

Kauai’s stunning gardens and unique scenery provide a refuge where you can rejuvenate your soul. Book your next vacation with Kauai Vacation Rentals and relax in the island’s rare beauty!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Whales: Sacred Hawaiian Symbols

Just like human vacationers, whales travel thousands of miles with their families to the tropical coasts of Hawaii. Residents are overjoyed to greet the whales each year, and Hawaiian natives celebrate their arrival with a warm welcome. The deep connections between the culture and whales has transformed the animals into powerful Hawaiian symbols.
Whales: Sacred Hawaiian Symbols with rainbow

Cultural Connection

The strong spiritual connections native Hawaiians have with all forms of life can be seen in their traditions and cultural symbols. Hawaiian creation stories describe an undeniable bond between the people and the environment in which they live.

The phrase aumakua, formed from the words for traveling (au) and ancestors (makua), refers to the ancestral spirits who watch over families and protect villages. In the Hawaiian culture, it is believed that the ancestors' spirits take the form of animals such as whales and appear to their descendants to provide spiritual guidance. These appearances form a strong connection between the physical and spiritual worlds.

Hawaiian Name for Whales

Hawaiians have a special term for whales as sacred Hawaiian symbols, Kohola, which refers to both humpback whales and the flat reefs that resemble the profile of swimming whales. From a distance, the spray of the waves on the reef and the spray from the whale’s blowhole look very similar.

Indulge in Hawaiian Culture with Whale Watching

In Kauai, whale watching is an excellent way for visitors to share the deep connection Hawaiians feel with these magnificent animals. Observers have the option to stay dry on shore or take part in an offshore excursion. Both options offer an excellent chance to witness these massive marine mammals as they swim through the warm Hawaiian waters. Popular spots in Kauai to whale watch are Poipu Beach Park and the Kilauea Point Lighthouse, which is officially designated as a humpback whale marine sanctuary.

Call Kauai Vacation Rentals to Witness the Beauty of These Hawaiian Symbols!

At Kauai Vacation Rentals, we want all of our guests to experience the natural beauty and ancient cultures of Hawaii! We can’t wait to share our love of Hawaii’s traditional food, art, music and the natural wonder of our whales returning to the island waters each year. Contact us today to book your next vacation!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cultural Attractions on Kauai You Have to Visit!

Discover the many cultural attractions on Kauai on your next vacation! Immerse yourself in the culture and history of the island through unique attractions and historical towns found there.
A small coastal city on the coast, just one of the Cultural Attractions on Kauai.

Hanapepe Town

Flourishing as one of Kauai’s largest communities, Hanapepe Town sits on the south shore. From World War I to the early 1950s, the west side of Hanapepe was known as one of Kauai’s busiest towns and filled with soldiers.

Today, the preservation of the historical buildings and authentic feel that the town oozes resulted in inspiration for films. Disney used Hanapepe as a model for “Lilo & Stitch.”  The plantation-style buildings are home to charming shops, local eateries and more art galleries than any other spot on Kauai. In addition to spending the day in Hanapepe Town, you can satisfy your craving for Hawaiian culture with other attractions there and on Kauai. 

Celebrate the Artists of Kauai 

One well-known cultural attraction in Hanapepe Town is the Art Walk that takes place every Friday evening. During the event, guests can immerse themselves in Kauai’s artistic culture. As you roam the streets and meander through the shops, meet and have fun with local artists, musicians, photographers, painters, sculptors and craftsmen. Include this on your list of cultural attractions to experience on Kauai!

Hanapepe Swinging Bridge

This historic town includes the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge, one of its most popular attractions. Built in the early 1900s, the bridge originally became a way for residents to cross the river. Hurricane Iniki damaged the bridge requiring restoration and reinforcement. Today, this swinging bridge welcomes frequent visitors who love the adrenaline rush when it rocks. It’s especially popular with children.

Waimea Canyon

The historic seaport town of Waimea Canyon sits near where Captain James Cook, a British explorer first landed in Hawaii in 1776. Today, this local community features a variety of small shops and businesses. While visiting be sure to stop by the West Kauai Technology and Visitors Center! Its featured exhibits, programs and weekly activities reflect the diversity of Kauai’s agricultural community.

Get Ready to Experience these Cultural Attractions on Kauai!

Kauai residents treasure their island’s rich culture and history every day. When you visit you’ll discover what makes Kauai so special by visiting these attractions and learning more about our magnificent Garden Island! Book your next vacation with Kauai Vacation Rentals!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Packing Restrictions for a Trip to Hawaii

Hawaii possesses some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, including sprawling beaches, active volcanoes and mesmerizing trails. The need to protect the islands’ unique plants and animals have led to packing restrictions designed to preserve Hawaii’s fragile beauty. Before you travel to the Aloha State, make sure you review these regulations!

Hawaiian soil and agricultural management practices differ from those found on the mainland. These differences require travelers to take precautionary measures and abide by strict packing rules for a trip to Hawaii. In general, these restrictions cover fresh fruits and vegetables, specific types of flowers or plants, and animals.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Packing Restrictions for a Trip to Hawaii

Hawaiian Department of Agriculture agents must inspect all plant material when you arrive and depart the island. All fresh fruit and vegetables must be declared on a form, which is collected by flight attendants who then present it to the Agricultural Inspection counter. To protect the unique aspects of Hawaii, material must be free of soil, insects, pests and any signs of disease.

The island’s ecology maintains a delicate balance, and the introduction of a new pest or disease could be devastating. To prevent this, many plants and plant materials are restricted in the packing rules for a trip to Hawaii. Some examples include pineapples, radishes, turnips, coconuts, several plants in the grass family and coffee trees.

Animal Restrictions

Thanks to its strict rules, Hawaii is the only state that is rabies-free. The islands’ quarantine laws work to protect the citizens and their pets from serious health problems. Owners who want to bring their dogs and cats to the island, regardless of the animal’s age or purpose, must comply with the state’s regulations.

The law states that dogs and cats must meet specific pre- and post-arrival qualifications and usually spend up to five days in quarantine. However, visitors are encouraged to read the specific qualifications carefully, as dogs and cats could be placed in quarantine for as many as 120 days. So, make sure you understand the requirements and prepare those furry family members for the trip, too!

Book Your Visit with Kauai Vacation Rentals!

Go ahead and pack your sunscreen, sandals and swimsuits, and leave any restricted items at home! Properly preparing for your trip will allow you to say, “Aloha!” to a fun time. Call us today and book your travel with Kauai Vacation Rentals!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Lei: Hawaii’s Iconic Symbol

The symbolic lei continues to provide a warm welcome to the visitors of Hawaii! As one of the most iconic symbols for all of the Hawaiian Islands, we love to share the lei’s historical significance to our culture. Whether worn for a special occasion or simply used to say Aloha, the beauty of the lei is something to be Enjoyed.

The lei is an iconic symbol of Hawaii.

History of the Lei

The lei was first introduced to Hawaii by the early Polynesian voyagers who made the islands their home. These travelers brought the ancient tradition of wearing these floral garlands with them when they set sail from Tahiti and navigated the Pacific by the sun and stars. Traditionally, leis were gifted among ancient Hawaiians as a sign of honor and respect, given as a peace offering between opposing chiefs, and used as an adornment to express love and appreciation for nature’s beauty. 
Most often, leis are constructed of bright tropical flowers found on the islands such as plumeria, ginger and various orchids. However, it is commonplace to see leis made from a variety of other materials. Vines, shells, seeds, nuts, and feathers may all be seen in everyday leis as well as those used in formal ceremonies.

Different Types of Leis

There are many different types leis worn for a variety of occasions. Although you can Enjoy the beauty of a lei whenever you like, there are specific variations that are used throughout Hawaii.

Maile and Ilima Leis

Maile is one of the earliest materials used in leis. This long, pleasantly-scented vine is typically intertwined in an open-ended style. Oahu’s official island flower, the ilima, is often woven into the vines to enhance the lei with bright colors.

Hala Lei

The Hala lei is made of orange and yellow fruits from the Hala tree. This lei traditionally appears at funerals to honor the deceased’s passing from one world to another.

Royal Lei

The royal lei is often crafted from more long-lasting materials and is a symbol of privilege and power. Comprised of shells and feathers, this lei has its roots in the early traditions and culture of Hawaii.

Customs

During the “Boat Days” in the early 1900s, vendors lined up at piers to welcome visitors and locals. To this day, a warm welcome with a handmade lei draped around your neck is an iconic greeting in Hawaii. This symbol of Hawaii’s welcoming culture fills visitors and returning locals alike with the true spirit of Aloha. As visitors depart the islands, it is customary to throw the lei back into the water. This act symbolizes the hope of returning to the islands one day.

Etiquette

Receiving a lei is a warm and welcoming gesture with customary rules for showing respect for the Hawaiian people and culture. To ensure you are displaying the proper respect for the tradition, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Always accept a lei when it is offered
  • Drape the lei gently over the shoulders, hanging down in both the front and the back
  • Removing a lei from yourself while in the presence of the person that gave it to you is considered disrespectful

Call Kauai Vacation Rentals

We want you to Enjoy the warm welcome embodied by the Hawaiian tradition of giving and receiving leis. Contact Kauai Vacation Rentals to book your next vacation and let the Aloha spirit fill you, too!


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Favorite Foods in Kauai

Residents of the Garden Island love to indulge in and share their favorite foods whenever they can. While visiting Kauai, be sure to try out a few local favorites including poke, sashimi and shave ice. These delicious offerings display the best of Hawaii’s natural bounty as well as giving you a taste of Kauai’s multi-cultural history. 
bowl of poke, one of Kauai's favorite foods

Poke

This amazing dish put Hawaiian cuisine in the spotlight! Poke is considered a light food that is usually eaten as an appetizer. The fish of choice used in authentic poke is yellowfin tuna, known locally as ahi. However, it is common to find poke made with tako (octopus) or other species of tuna, as well as other locally caught, firm-fleshed fish. Poke is typically made with chopped onion, soy sauce, sea salt, seaweed and garlic. These seasonings add flavor to the dish while keeping it light, making poke a perfect before-meal snack!

While in Kauai, be sure to try an interesting variation of poke at The Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant. The Dolphin’s famous Tahitian Poke features a creamy coconut-lemongrass sauce and is finished with a spiced grape seed oil. Served over organic greens, this dish is sure to set your taste buds on vacation mode. After tasting this poke, it’s easy to see why it’s one of Kauai’s favorite foods!

Sashimi

Sashimi, another of Kauai’s favorite foods, is a very simple yet flavorful Hawaiian favorite of Japanese origin. Made from raw fish that is sliced and served with minimal seasoning, sashimi allows the incredible flavor of Hawaii’s bountiful seafood to shine through.

While many types of fish are served this way, salmon and tuna are the most popular. Sashimi is typically served with simple accompaniments such as daikon and shiso. Daikon, a mild member of the radish family, has a tangy taste and crisp, juicy texture that contrasts nicely with the sliced fish. Shiso, also known as Japanese basil, has a spicier and sweeter taste than its European counterpart. In Kauai cuisine, this vibrant member of the mint family is often used to accompany fish, meat and vegetables. 

Shave Ice

Many first-time visitors to Kauai confuse shave ice with its close cousin, the snow cone. However, as any shave ice aficionado can tell you, their textures are very different. Shave ice has a fluffy texture, like real snow, contrasting to snow cones that have a crunchy, coarser texture.
Once the shave ice is piled high, customers choose from a huge variety of syrups in tropical flavors which are drizzled over the top. Many combinations of flavors are finished with a splash of sweetened condensed milk as well. This sweet, creamy and frosty mix creates a frozen treat that is perfect for Enjoying on a warm, sunny day at the beach on Kauai.

Come Taste Kauai’s Favorite Foods!

Enjoying Kauai’s unique and flavorful foods is a major component of immersing yourself in Hawaiian culture! Contact Kauai Vacation Rentals today to book your next vacation. We can direct you to the best poke, sashimi and shave ice on the Garden Island!