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Friday, January 25, 2013



Ahhhh… 2013. Off to a great start! Fun holiday memories. All caught up with the family. Sure, it is cold in a few places around the world and that’s probably why many of our Facebook friends are already asking us to help get their vacation planning started. :-)  

Good thing for all of us, we work and live on Kauai – and that means everyone benefits from our 35+ years of vacation accommodation experience. Plus, Kauai Vacation Rentals & Real Estate, Inc has over 200 accommodations spanning the North Shore to the South Shore, and the East Side to the West Side! And oh how beautiful Kauai is right now!

In the next few Feature stories, we thought to share some first-hand experiences from our Facebook friends who visited the Garden Island for the first time. Through their eyes, we all get to learn about their island adventures to inspire us all to make time for a vacation this year. So are you ready? Cool. Pull your chair a little closer and let’s take a look at…

My First Time to Kauai – and My Amazing Hiking Adventure!

I decided within myself to keep an open mind on my first trip to Kauai because I really didn’t know what to expect. I have heard blanket statements from friends returning from Kauai, like “Oh, I can’t wait to go back…” and “It was literally AMAZING…” and even, “I might have to move there!” When my group of pals decided it was time for an island adventure, we picked up a copy of The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed to prepare ourselves, which turned out to be one of our best pre-Kauai purchases. When it came to planning our beach days and hikes, we agreed to treat every day as an adventure with no expectations. That said, I would like to share two “states of mind” that made my Kauai vacation something I’ll remember forever. 

First, keep an open mind and remain flexible. That’s a great way of keeping your options open as you explore the many regions of Kauai. Your own experience may include some welcome surprises and without a rigid timetable you’ll grow accustomed to “Aloha time” very quickly! The second thought to share is my first time to Kauai can be summed up this way: a trip to Kauai is more than a vacation, it’s an adventure!

I’m going to do my best to describe my first Monday on the island. My group of five pals and I were on Kauai for a few days staying in Princeville on the North Shore. The night before our big hike, we started the evening watching the sun set from the St. Regis Hotel. Believe me when I say life feels like heaven when you have the sun setting softly over the North Shore mountains while holding your sweetheart in one hand and a St. Regis tropical drink in the other!
The next morning we headed to a popular town called Hanapepe on the West Side which has plenty of art galleries and restaurants. That’s where I received another lesson in “Aloha time” when I asked one of the restaurant proprietors if she was open. She replied, “Oh, yeah! I should plug in the sign, huh?” And then we laughed genuinely and she said it was OK for me to do the honors. Over lunch, my group of pals decided Waimea Canyon was our destination for a hike. Incidentally, we had a scrumptious, authentic Hawaiian lunch of local pork, chicken and fish along with macaroni salad and some Asian-inspired noodles. We also hydrated amply so we would be ready for our ambitious hike. 

After lunch we drove West until we reached Waimea Canyon and Kokee Start Park. The drive took about 1 hour and we got to see many areas of Kauai along the way. We began our hike at about 1:30pm, realizing we could have started earlier. But hey, we are on Kauai time so the time we arrived was perfect. Though if you really want to get the most of your adventure, you may want to allocate plenty of sunlight hours for hiking. Regardless, we had plenty of water, related supplies, and even found a couple of great walking sticks along the way. It is important to note the path was rugged and really called for our attention. Still, along the way, we caught some tremendous views of the island’s beautiful northwest side. 
The highlight of the hike was reaching the vista that overlooks the Na’Pali coastline! Imagine hiking over three miles in the sunshine with an occasional steep grade to be rewarded by reaching a dramatic, awe-inspiring view of breathtaking canyons drenched in shadows – and a backdrop of deep blue water and soft wind cooling us off. We spent probably fifteen or twenty minutes at the end of the trail – the cutoff we reluctantly held ourselves to due to the time of day. Regardless, the six of us stood at the end of the trail soaking in the dream-like views. Now, after relaxing a bit, we began the trek back which was a bit challenging and also rewarding because coming from California, this was a day outdoors unlike any person in our group has recently experienced.

We had plenty to discuss as we rode back to Princeville and it’s worth noting there is no road connecting Waimea Canyon and the island’s North Shore. And as you can imagine, the drive back was just as beautiful as the hike through Waimea Canyon!

Later that evening, as we were turning in for the night, we realized why people love Kauai so much. We spent the day outdoors and it was beautiful! And after our great hike… we felt ready for a peaceful and much deserved GREAT night of rest. As I faded off to sleep, I remembered the way friends back home described Kauai. “Oh, I can’t wait to go back…” “It was literally AMAZING…”  “I might have to move here!” That’s when I passed out 100% relaxed, eager for a new day of adventure on what was one of the best vacations I ever had.



What a great story about Kauai! We could say we hear great things like this all the time – because we do! – and still every story our guests tell about Kauai always makes us smile. It is true: we love helping guests create a wonderful vacation for their family and friends, and quick get-a-ways that help you relax and keep your big 2013 plans on track. 

So now that you see how your vacation can unfold, check out the information on Kauai’s hiking trails (below) PLUS some information about fun events coming in the next few weeks.  

Just think: in a matter of days you can be here, Enjoying the beauty and splendor of Kauai. So take a look out the window… if your view doesn’t look like this, let us help jumpstart your very own Kauai adventure!

HIKING TRAILS ON KAUAI has posted on their website a number of tips on Kauai Hiking Trails. Some trails offer short walks while others are more appropriate for advanced hikers. For example, this page offers 11 maps of Kauai hiking trails with varying difficulty. Kokee and Waimea State Park trails are very popular, leading to Waimea Canyon. Another great hike on the East Side of Kauai is Nounou East Trail.

 According to, “The Nounou East or Sleeping Giant trail will take you on a journey of 1000ft, but oh the views at the top are grand. You'll be presented with a view of all of the east side of the island and a good look inland as well towards Waialeale. The trail can be hot if you start too late in the day, so try and get an early start. Be careful at the top too, as some of the dropoffs are pretty steep. 

Enjoy the view though, it's unlike anything else in East Kauai.”  And for folks who just want to have a leisurely walk on Kauai’s East Side, check out the multi-purpose path at Lydgate Park where “the whole family can enjoy a stroll on this paved path good for bikes, skates and slippers.”

UPCOMING EVENT: The 20th Annual Eat Dessert First Scholarship Event

Need a great reason for EATING awesome desserts? The Eat Dessert First event happens on February 8, 2013, sponsored by the Zonta Club of Kauai Foundation. Taste delightful desserts from local restaurants, hotels, local chefs, including a selection of sugar - & gluten-free items. Fruits, vegetables, cheese & cracker platters; plus Kauai Coffee Company and a no-host bar. A portion of the proceeds benefits student scholarships – a very scrumptious way to support the youth on Kauai. $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Keiki Rodeo Sporting Event in Poipu at CJM Stables

Whooooo-hooooo!!!! This February, Enjoy the Keiki (kid’s) rodeo at CJM Country Stables in Poipu. The fun starts on February 9th at 9:00 AM and goes to about 4:00. Then, the Waimea Roundup Rodeo happens on February 22 and 23, 2013 at CJM Country Stables, with elimination roping starting on Friday at 10:00 AM. Then on Saturday, February 23, 2013, the fun starts again at 10 AM with Paniolo Grand Entry and the Rodeo starts right after. Food is available and if you love rodeo, come on out because there is plenty of action & events for the entire family!  More info here


Come spend 2 days of Small Town Fun at the old Sugar Mill in Waimea. Continuous Live Entertainment on Stage including a Ukulele Concert & Ice Cream Contest; Local Food, Crafts, & Game Booths; Beer Garden; Displays; and loads of sporting events including a canoe race, baseball and basketball tournaments, rodeo and Captain Cook Caper 10, 5, &2k Fun Run.  More information here

Special Thanks to: Burke and RonHamProd, MC, Wikipedia, Kauai, Friends on Flickr, and Kauai Vacation Rentals & Real Estate, Inc’s amazing collection of vacation accommodations.


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