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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!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Most Romantic Places on Kauai

There are many romantic places on Kauai perfect for couples planning a vacation or honeymoon.

There’s nothing quite like Enjoying the scenic locations and breathtaking views on Kauai with your loved one. Our beautiful island is perfect for an exotic getaway or an island honeymoon for two. The following list contains  a few of our favorite romantic places and activities on Kauai.

The Kalalau Valley Overlook

The scenic overlook near Waimea Canyon on Highway 50 is one of the best spots to admire the spectacular views of our island. Taking in the amazing scenery of the Kalalau Valley on the Na Pali Coast is sure to become a cherished shared memory with your loved one. At 4,000 feet above sea level, the lookout is one of the top romantic places on Kauai to capture portraits with a stunning backdrop.

Secluded Walk on Kauai’s Beaches

A favorite pastime for many couples, walking hand-in-hand along the beaches of Kauai is one of Hawaii’s simple pleasures. You and your significant other can spend the day together surrounded by lush tropical scenery as the waves lap at the sand. No matter where you are on the island, there are plenty of romantic places on Kauai to take part in this easy and intimate tropical pastime. 

Sunset Sailing Trips

For those who love being out on the water, there is nothing like sailing along the legendary Na Pali Coast on the northwestern shore of Kauai. See the evening sun light up the gorgeous cliffs and valleys surrounded by the deep blue Pacific waters. Couples are sure to feel inspired by the Aloha spirit as you Enjoy the sights together.

Call Kauai Vacation Rentals to Book Your Romantic Getaway Today!

Whether you are just starting your relationship or celebrating many happy years together, the romantic places on Kauai are some of the best on the planet. If you are looking for a vacation for just the two of you to get away from it all, give us a call!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Best Kauai Beaches

A vacation on Kauai provides many opportunities to indulge in that most Hawaiian of luxuries: Enjoying the beach! To decide which ones to visit on your vacation, we put together this list of the best Kauai beaches.

Kauai offers our visitors more beaches than any of the other Hawaiian Islands, and each one has something different to offer. Some feature calm sanctuaries with crystal-clear water, while others are exciting spots for surfers to catch large waves. Some are remote and isolated, others have adjacent parking lots and public restrooms.

Traveler’s Tip: While planning your vacation, please keep in mind that many of these beaches will have totally different personalities depending on the season and current weather. For example, a location that is clear and perfect for snorkeling in the summer may be rough and cloudy in the winter. And beaches that are known for awesome surfing in the winter may be calm and flat in the summer. Be sure to check surf and weather reports before heading to the beach!

Best Kauai Beaches: North Shore

Hanalei Bay Beach 

Hanalei Bay Beach by Frank Kovalchek
This is one of our favorite beaches on Kauai for many reasons. Stretching over two miles, Hanalei Bay Beach can accommodate many visitors without feeling crowded. Sun bathers on the sandy shore are surrounded by beautiful scenery set against a backdrop of tropical mountains. Hanalei Bay is flanked at either end by two coral reefs where the Hanalei and Waipa rivers meet the ocean. In most weather the bay is calm enough for young families in the central portions. When the wind is right, the right side of the bay can develop larger waves that will satisfy those looking to get in some surfing.

Tunnels Beach

For visitors looking to see the sights under the waves, visit Tunnels beach on the North Shore. During the typically calmer summer months this beach offers some of the best walk-in snorkeling in Hawaii. The shore is protected from larger waves by the huge reef, so surfers may have to paddle out a bit farther than at other locations. Parking can be a bit of a challenge as well, as there is only room to pull off on the roadside. However, these small issues are more than offset by the clear waters and spectacular underwater scenery. 

Best Kauai Beaches: South Kauai 

Poipu Beach 

One of the smaller beaches on our list, Poipu Beach is a great choice for families with small children and first-time snorkelers. Encompassing two bays, this popular beach has lots of amenities including lifeguards, rest rooms, picnic areas and showers. The waves in the central area are usually gentle enough for young children and inexperienced swimmers. More adventurous visitors can travel to the outside edges of the bays when the surf is up.

Have Fun and Be Safe!

No matter which beaches you choose to visit, please remember to always keep safety in mind. Make sure that there is an active lifeguard on duty before entering the water. Never swim alone or let children out of your direct sight – even the most tranquil looking waters can hide dangers. There may be sharp corals, swift currents or dangerous wildlife anywhere among the islands. When in doubt, it is much better to err on the side of caution.

Book Your Kauai Vacation Today!

If you have any questions about our favorite beaches here on Kauai, get in touch! We are happy to help you plan out a fun and safe Hawaiian vacation. See you on the sand!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Few Favorite Activities in Kauai

When vacationing on our beautiful island, there are lots of fantastic places to visit. How do you know which ones are best for you? To help you with this challenge, here are a few of our favorite locations and activities in Kauai.

Hanapepe Art Walk 

Hanapepe is a charming small town located on the southwestern side of the island. One of the most popular events there is the Friday Night Festival and Art Walk. During this weekly Kauai activity, artisans show off a variety of crafts and original art work. Local shops and restaurants tend to stay open late, and vendors set up booths along the main street.

While in Hanapepe, be sure to visit the popular Hanapepe Swinging Bridge. First built in the early 1900s for local residents, this narrow suspension bridge provides spectacular river views. Hanapepe is also home to the Talk Story Bookstore, which holds the title of the western-most bookstore in the United States.

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Situated along the northwestern shore of Kauai, the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge is a favorite spot for watching wildlife. Established as a refuge in 1985, Kilauea Point protects the nesting sites of both migratory and local seabirds. A large number of species are found here, including the nēnē, or Hawaiian goose. Bird watchers can also expect to see frigatebirds, albatrosses, shearwaters and plovers.

In addition to bird watching, visitors to Kilauea Point often see monk seals and spinner dolphins in the Pacific waters below the steep cliffs. The refuge is also home to the Kilauea Lighthouse, originally built in 1913 and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wailua Falls
Wailua Falls on the Island of Kauai in Hawaii
Wailua Falls by Brian Snelson

One of the most breath-taking waterfalls in Hawaii, Wailua Falls can be found on the eastern side of Kauai, just north of Lihue. The twin falls plunge over 80 feet to a beautiful pool before splitting into the North and South forks of the Wailua River.

The falls may look familiar to those who remember them from the opening credits of Fantasy Island. The best views are easily seen from the roadside overlook above the falls. Morning visitors are often treated to rainbows when the sun is at the right angle.

Kauai Vacations Made Simple

No matter what is on your vacation wish list, we can help you plan the trip of a lifetime on the island of Kauai. Give us a call today to get started!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Common Hawaiian Phrases

Knowing the meanings behind these common Hawaiian phrases will help you to understand and use them properly while Enjoying your Kauai vacation. 

Hawaiian is a beautiful and very expressive language. By taking the time to learn a few Hawaiian phrases, you can ensure that you understand what is being said and the deeper meanings behind the words.

Common Hawaiian Phrases

Aloha written in the sand of Kauai


One of the most well-known Hawaiian phrases is Aloha. Most visitors from the mainland are familiar with this term before they arrive in Kauai. However, you may want to know more about the full meaning that the word conveys.

In its simplest terms, Aloha is a phrase that is used as both a greeting and a goodbye, though it is not a literal translation of either word. At its core, Aloha is a phrase that embodies the entire way of life on the islands. To live with love in your heart, in a peaceful state with compassion for all – that is Aloha.

When you embrace the feeling of Aloha, you may be moved to spread the spirit of the islands to everyone around you. Hawaiians believe that when you have the Aloha Spirit in you and share it with the world, that love and acceptance will be returned to you over and over again.


Along with Aloha, Mahalo is one of the most powerful words in the Hawaiian language. In everyday conversation it is used similar to the English phrase “thank you,” yet again it has a much deeper meaning than that simple definition implies.

In Hawaiian, Mahalo is a blessing and should be used when you are truly thankful in your heart for what you have received. To feel Mahalo towards someone is to feel a deep respect for them and what they have done for you. Mahalo is to recognize that every day is a gift, and that the people and places we share them with are what makes living in Hawaii so special.

Makai and Mauka

If you ask someone for directions in Kauai, you may hear them use the terms Makai or Mauka to indicate on which side of the road a place is located. Makai means on the mountain side of the road, and Mauka means on the ocean side of the road.

You will find that these terms are much more useful than “right side” or “left side” when navigating Kauai’s winding roads. No matter which direction you are facing, Makai will always be towards the mountain, and Mauka will always be toward the ocean. Easy!

Pau Hana

Pau Hana is a phrase that literally translates to “finished work.” It is used to describe the end of the work day, especially on Aloha Friday when Hawaiians typically leave work a little early. It is a time to gather with friends and family to eat, drink and celebrate while Enjoying the beautiful sunsets for which we are known.

Kane, Wahine and Keiki

These are the Hawaiian words for man, woman and child, respectively. In many establishments you may see the restrooms labeled with Kane (Men) and Wahine (Women). Likewise, you may see playgrounds, kid’s menus and activities geared towards children labeled with the word Keiki.


If you come across a sign reading Kapu on your adventures in Kauai, treat it as you would a “no trespassing” notice. Meaning taboo, forbidden or sacred, Kapu originally referred to the strict set of ancient rules that governed all aspects of life in Hawaii.

There are many types of sites on Kauai that are Kapu: ancestral burial grounds, sites reserved for religious ceremonies, and private property not open to the public. Please be sure to respect these areas with the reverence they deserve.

Monday, June 13, 2016

What to Pack for your Kauai Vacation

Here are our suggestions for what to pack for your Kauai vacation to make sure you bring everything you need, and nothing you don’t!

Most of us have been guilty of packing too much for a vacation at one time or another. We get it, nobody wants to be the most under-dressed at an event. And ever since your scouting days you have prided yourself on being prepared for whatever comes your way.

However, your back and your wallet both will thank you if you bring only what you are likely to actually use. Having a lighter suitcase will not only be easier to carry, it can avoid the costly overweight luggage fees charged by most airlines. 
Kauai Vacation Rentals Pro Tip: Weigh your suitcases on your bathroom scale before leaving for the airport! The weight limit is 50 pounds per bag for most airlines today. Check with your airline to get the exact details, then make sure you are at or under that limit to avoid overage fees (which can run from $25 to well over $100!).
When you are planning what to pack for your Kauai vacation, follow these suggested guidelines:

What to Pack for your Kauai Vacation: Clothing and Shoes

There is one guiding principle to follow when deciding what to pack for your Kauai vacation: keep it casual! You will find very few circumstances that call for fancy dress in Hawaii. Indeed, the most common daily wear in Kauai is a short sleeved shirt, shorts, and flip flops (locally referred to as “slippahs”) or sandals.

With comfortable temperatures and generally mild weather, a light jacket will typically be all you need to keep comfortable in evening breezes. And for the occasional rain shower we see in the coastal regions, bringing a light poncho can keep you dry when you are out exploring.

One of the main reasons visitors spend their vacations on Kauai is to Enjoy time in our beautiful waters. We suggest bringing two swim suits with you. That way, you can leave one at your rental to dry while you head out for a day on the water in the other.

In addition to flip-flops or sandals, we recommend bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes if you like to get off the beaten path. Hiking through our tropical landscape will be much more Enjoyable with good support and covered toes.

What to Pack for your Kauai Vacation: Equipment and Accessories

The islands of Hawaii are one of the best places in the world to Enjoy outdoor activities. From snorkeling to surfing, paddle boarding to sunbathing, you will be hard pressed to find a better location.

Having the right equipment and accessories is vital to many of these activities. However, unless you are a seasoned pro that needs specialized or custom-fit equipment, you are generally better off renting what you need here.

Masks, fins and snorkels are available for rent at many stores and resorts, often at lower rates than you can find on the mainland. And if you are looking to ride the surf, there are just as many shops offering boards (and lessons) for all skill levels.

For other activities, we again suggest that it is often much more reasonable and easier to rent what you need on the island. If you need some assistance, give us a call! We will be happy to speak with you and point you in the right direction. See you in Kauai!