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Monday, June 3, 2013

The Garden Island During Summer 2013 – What Kind of Kauai Visitor Are You?

We recently asked our Facebook Friends “What historical site or museum on Kauai is a must-see for a first-time visitor?” The results came back instantly as our Facebook Friends began sharing their all-time favorite memories of The Garden Island:

Jennifer says: “Kilohana Plantation is a must see!”
Tony says: “Light house”
Kay says: “all of the above and Waimea Canyon”
Robin says: “Hanalei Pier”
 Tracy says: “Sleeping Giant”
 …and Daniel says: “The ancient lava rock terraces at Limahuli Garden”

Wow! These are such great places to Enjoy Kauai – and thanks to our Friends for inspiring us to create a new Feature story series that shows guests how to plan an amazing vacation of their very own! Everyone likes having an amazing vacation – and Kauai Vacation Rentals & Real Estate, Inc has helped guests create unique and special holidays for 35+ years!

So that leads us to ask… are you ready for a vacation?  Then let us know the dates and we will help you find a perfect island accommodation. Voila! Your Kauai adventure has begun!


What Kind of Visitor Are You?

This summer, we are taking a look at 5 different Kauai visitor experiences, including: 

The Island Explorer: For guests seeking the “authentic” Kauai experience: historical sites, museums, plantations, and restaurants serving local fare.
The Kauai Adventurer: For guests who Enjoy athletic activities, like surfing, scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, bike riding.
The Spa Lounger: For guests who want to relax completely, visit luxurious spas, and catch up on rest & relaxation.
Kauai After Dark: For guests who want to explore Kauai after the sun goes down, including areas with great restaurants, live music, and even karaoke!
The Golf Enthusiast: For guests who love spending time on all of Kauai’s great golf courses, playing with Friends, while creating good times and warm remembrances.

Yes, there are many ways to explore the Garden Island and getting ready for your vacation is half of the fun! In this first story, we explore fun places that provide an authentic Kauai experience. Have you visited these places? If yes, share a picture on our Facebook wall!  We love hearing all about your great vacations!


The Island Explorer

Hanapepe Historic Walking Tour

Hanapepe means “crushed bay” and the town is named after the cliffs that surround the deep bay area. “Kauai’s biggest little town” is 17 miles south of Lihue Airportand home to shops, dining, an orchid festival, and a weekly Friday Night Art Night event. 

A full-color Historic Hanapepe Walking Tour Map is available at many commercial stores. It shows many of the historic locations to visit and is one of the best ways to see and explore the town. Points of interests include 3 bridges: The Swinging Bridge on the east end of town, the Concrete Bridge built in 1911 on Hanapepe Road, and the 1938 Bridge on Kaumualii Highway

The “Talk Story Bookstore & Café” is another favorite attraction, featuring a diverse selection of over 70,000 fine secondhand, new, and out-of-print books – as well as locally made gifts, Hawaiian records, Hawaiian Slack Key & Ukulele lesson courses, and much more!
Learn more about the Hanapepe Historic Walking Tour on the official website, located here!

The Kauai Museum, In The Albert Spencer Wilcox Building

Located in Lihue, “The mission of the Kauai Museum is to inspire and promote in the community an appreciation and respect for the indigenous and immigrant people of Kauai and Niihau and their cultural heritages…” 

The Museum is home to the largest collection of books about Kauai and includes exhibits of locally made products like Niihau shell leis, Tahitian pearls, Koa products, and quilts.

The Museum’s permanent collection includes:
The Story of Kauai: Walk through a passage highlighting geological wonders of the island, its natural history, and the coming of the Hawaiian people. Portraits include famous chiefs from ancient times and beautiful examples of Hawaiian culture. Captain James Cook, traders, and whalers lead up to the second floor and the sugar plantation exhibits. Walk through the life-size camp house exhibit and discover the many people from many nations that came to make Hawaii their home.
The Juliet Rice Wichman Heritage Gallery: See large koa-lined cases display fine kou umeke (bowls), rare and exquisite Niihau shell lei, and possessions once belonging to monarchs and Kauai alii. See beautifully carved furniture, wall plaques, and tableware from the monarchy period. View impressive portraits by Charles Bartlet and Kimo Wilder, of Emma Mahelona Wilcox and Albert Spencer Wilcox – the builder and namesake of the building.
Oriental Art Gallery: From the early post-contact days, beautiful Asian china, sculptures, and paintings made their way into Hawaiian homes. Now, see many collections from Kauai families now on display in the Museum where the community can Enjoy and learn about Asian art.

Want to know more? Visit the official site here


Kauai Plantation Railway

Visit the Kauai Plantaion Railway in Lihue and start your tour in an authentic Hawaiian train depot. Check in with the stationmaster, explore the unusual train depot shop, and discover many hand-crafted items made here on Kauai. 

When the train approaches, step towards the boarding platform and watch as the engine appears right out of the trees. Railway cars are reproductions from the period of King Kalakaua, with elegant hand-finished wood interiors that give way to amazing views. 

A local guide narrates your journey and calls your attention to over 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables grown right in the region. 
To learn more about the “train-only tour,” the “train-hike-lunch-orchard tour,” and the “luau & train tour” – click here

The Kilohana Plantation
Located directly across the street from the Kauai Plantation Railway in Lihue, The Kilohana Plantation includes a 16,000 sq. ft. mansion on the grounds of a working farm surrounded by lush tropical flowers. 

Be the plantation’s guest of honor while you stroll through the grounds. Visit Kauai’s award-winning Koloa Rum Company’s Tasting room. Shop at the Company Store. Enjoy dinner at Gaylord’s – an award-winning restaurant named after the owner of the plantation: Gaylord Park Wilcox – serving fresh island cuisine.

Learn more on the official site, here

Authentic Kauai Meals at Koloa Fish Market

The Koloa Fish Market serves lunch and dinner as “Take-out” or “Delivery” because there are no seats at this local favorite. The menu includes signature dishes, like Hawaiian plates with Laulau, Kalua Pig, Chicken Long Rice, Poke, Salmon, and Smoked Swordfish. Guest comments on say: 

“Terrific no frills spot to stop for some of the best seafood lunches you can ever have.”
“The Kimchi tuna is perfect.”
“Very fresh Ahi and seaweed salad – was awesome!”
“Basically a take-out counter with good plate lunches and food to take with you to a day hiking, at the beach, etc.”

Koloa Fish Market is located at 5482 Koloa Rd. Read more on

Merriman's Fish House in Poipu

Chef-Owner Peter Merriman serves his unique style of Hawaii Regional Cuisine in a casual and elegant setting on an old Hawaii plantation. Pioneering the "Farm to Table" concept, the restaurant serves fresh food that is 90% grown or caught locally, using only sustainable methods. 

Located in Poipu, the restaurant features mauka (mountain) and makai (ocean) views – and sunset views that are quite special. The Aloha-friendly staff ensures you have an extraordinary dining experience. To learn more, click here


Events Happening on Kauai During The Next Few Weeks

Magic of Dance – World Inner Motion

Live in the moment and Enjoy “Magic of Dance – World Inner Motion” on Friday, June 7th at the War Memorial Convention Hall in Lihue. The multi-media extravaganza promises to energize, charm, delight, and treat audiences to a live performance that includes a spectacular cast of 80 dancers from Kauai. Ranging from children to adults, see Ballet, Hip Hop, and Contemporary dance. Student performers are from Kauai Dance Center.

Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the door! Learn more, here!  

King Kamehameha Day Celebration and Parade

This year’s Floral Parade and Celebration Event begins at 9:00 AM on Saturday, June 15th at Vidinha Stadium (near the airport) and travels up Rice Street to the County's Historical Building Lawn. Enjoy live entertainment, crafts, demonstrations, and lots of food and fun.

Traditional Pa'u riders dressed in full regalia represent each island as well as local Hawaiian organizations. The Kamehameha Court is led by Ali'i Nui Louis Hoomanawanui, Pa'u Marshall Norman Ho`okano, Grand Marshall Sam Mahuiki, Sr., and Pa'u Queen Nalani Palama Soares.

The Free event celebrates Hawaiian Heritage and the theme is “E Ola Mau Na Hawaii a me ka Mo`omeheu Hawaii - May Hawaiians and their Culture Live Forever!” Learn more about the Event on Kauai Festivals & Events

So! Are You Ready For Your Own Kauai Adventure?  

Wow! What a great list of things to see and do during your next Kauai vacation! Be sure to visit Kauai Vacation Rentals & Real Estate, Inc's Official Website and explore our 200+ accommodations. When you see something you like, just drop us an email by clicking here - or give us a call at +1 (808) 245-8841 or +1 (800) 367-5025.

In Our Next Feature:
Learn more about “The Kauai Adventurer” – complete with fun activities like surfing, scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, and bike riding! 

- Aloha!

Special Thanks to: The Kauai Museum, Wikipedia, Kauai, Friends on Photobucket, and Kauai Vacation Rentals & Real Estate, Inc's amazing collection of vacation accommodations.