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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hiking the Great Outdoors on Kauai

Your Spectacular Summer of Fun on Kauai

There is something truly amazing about being outdoors, especially with the weather warming-up all over the world. The time has come for backyard barbeques, brisk walks in the sunshine while chatting with Friends, and the invigorating rush of energy that comes with a leisurely hike on one of your favorite trails, roads, or outdoor shopping malls. Yes! These are all great ways of being in the “moment” where laughter, exercise, and fresh air elevate our senses and reaffirm our connection with Happiness and Joy. And when we can do all these things on one of the most beautiful islands in the world, we have a grand recipe for one of the best vacations ever!

This summer, Kauai Vacation Rentals & Real Estate, Inc invites you to see yourself with your Friends, Family, and new acquaintances Enjoying the vacation you have always dreamed about. Waking up when you feel like it. Experiencing the casual pace of island time. Creating new memories with people you love, while surrounded by beauty everywhere you go.  Sound like a great idea? We think so too – and the great news is: you are just a few mouse clicks away from having an amazing vacation in paradise!

Today, we invite you to have a look at our website where you can browse 200+ accommodations throughout the island. Need a condo for a quick getaway? How about a spacious home where you can relax and see the ocean from your own lanai? With 35+ years of experience helping guests create magical, life-expanding tropical holiday vacations, we are ready to help you book an accommodation in the middle of all things FUN, RELAXING, and ADVENTUROUS.
In this Feature story we are sharing great ways of being outdoors as part of our Spectacular Summer on Kauai Countdown.  For our Friends who love to hike, this story is for you!  And for our Friends who like to hike while they shop, this story is for you, too.  :- ) And remember… you are ALWAYS invited to come stay with us!  Sound like a plan?

Hiking the Great Outdoors on Kauai!

After settling into your vacation accommodation, have a look at our Blog for great ideas on how to maximize your holiday. For guests wanting explore Kauai outdoors, hiking is one way that lets you immerse yourself in the Garden Island’s natural beauty while getting a little exercise. Every step, every climb, every resting point reveals breathtaking views and vistas that come to life before your eyes.
If you are an expert climber, a Sunday stroller, or a Shopping Sprinter, Kauai has a path and location for you. Now, let’s take a look at some great trails for you to explore – and remember, always bring a friend or family member with you. Tell others where you are going. Bring your phone and lots of water. Safety is the most important thing to keep in mind. It helps you get the most out of your vacation.  : -)

Hiking on the North Shore

For all our Fitness Friends, here is an “expert” 2.5 mile hike that climbs to 1,500 feet in elevation where you can Enjoy bird watching, waterfalls, and see great views of Kilauea Lighthouse, Hanalei Bay, and the Napali Coast. Yes, this hike starts on the North Shore and Okolehao Trail and is ideal for Friends who love a hiking challenge.

Okolehao Trail begins near the iron bridge at Hanalei River. It has multiple places to stop to admire the view and remember: always be safe on your vacation.  To see a review of Okolehao Trail, visit All Trails/National Georgraphic’s page here.
Photo courtesy CC Larry Loos Flickr

Hiking on the East Side

If you are more of a “moderate” hiker, the East Side has another great trail that that provides hours of fun. The Sleeping Giant Trail, also known as the Nounou Trail, begins at Haleilio Road in Wailua and has a walking distance of 2 miles each way. The first part of the trail ascends rapidly to an elevation of 1,000 feet with breathtaking ocean views that can be seen behind you.
Nounou Mountain earned the nickname “Sleeping Giant” from its resemblance to a “reclining human figure” and Hawaiian legend talks about “a giant who, after great labor or overeating, lay to rest and is yet to awaken” (Wikipedia). Hiking trails lead to the highest point of the ridge, which resembles the giant’s forehead. :- )
Photo courtesy CC G. Pedersen/Wikipedia.

Here is an aerial view of the trail looking back towards the East Side:

 Photo courtesy CC Rick McCharles/Flickr

An Easier Hike on the South Shore

Kauai Beach Explorer says the Mahaulepu Beach Trail is cool because “the terrain is millions of years old on this undeveloped coastline.” In fact, this 2-mile heritage trail is an “easier” trail that starts near Shipwreck Beach.
Mahaulepu Beach is known to be a remote and rugged trail with ocean views mostly suitable for whale watching, Enjoying the sandy beach, and hiking. The Malama Mahaulepu Preserve Kauai’s Wilderness Heritage says “this undeveloped watershed is a living museum - a research site and habitat for rare and endangered plants and animals. Mahaulepu is sacred and legendary to Native Hawaiians, many of whom are connected to this area by ancestral ties and by continuing cultural uses including fishing and gathering."

To learn more about the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail, see the Virtual Tour here.

Mahaulepu Beach photo courtesy DarTar and Wikipedia/cc.


Great Hiking on the West Side – Kokee State Park 

Now let’s have a look at some of the 19 trails accessible from Kokee State Park on the West Side. Alakai Swamp Trail is 3.5 miles through the wet forest to the rim of Wainiha Pali.  Canyon Trail is 1.8 miles of popular scenic trail with great views of Waimea and Poomau Canyons, following the rim of Waimea Canyon, crossing Kokee Stream.

Below is a photo of Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It is approximately ten miles long and 3,000 feet deep.  “Waimea” is Hawaiian for “reddish water,” a reference to the erosion of the canyon’s red soil.

Photo courtesy CC Kyle Pearce, Wikpedia/Flickr

Another great trail hikers Enjoy from Kokee State Park is the Pihea Trail, which is 3.7 miles of scenic views of the Kalalau Valley, traversing an ohia montane wet forest.

Photo courtesy CC Gh5046 and Wikipedia
Access to these and other great hiking trails begins at Kokee State Park, about 1 ½ hours by car from Lihue and 1 ¼ hours from Poipu.  To read more about the great hikes, directions, and to browse the online museum, visit the official Kokee Musuem and State Park website, here.

Now for the FUN HIKE: 4 FUN Shopping Areas on Kauai

Hiking in the mountains and by the ocean is a great way to spend time outdoors and get exercise. And there is still another great way of getting exercise while picking up great souvenirs, food, and snacks! 

On the North Shore, Hanalei has a Fun shopping area called Ching Young Village in the Heart of Hanalei. The area has a photo gallery, juice bar, gift shop, Hanalei River Healing & Body Work, Hanalei Surf Backdoor, and many great places to grab a meal.
Photo courtesy of CC Wally Gobetz/Flickr

On the East Side, Kapaa Town is another great area for shopping and the Coconut MarketPlace is a unique open-air center where you can find apparel, souvenirs, snacks, dinners, galleries, and more!

Located on Highway 56 in Wailia, the MarketPlace is open from 9AM to 9PM Monday through Saturday and 9AM to 6PM on Sunday.  There is also a Farmers Market on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9AM to noon.
Photo courtesy CC Eric Schmuttenmaer Flickr

The Kinipopo Shopping Village in also located on Kauai’s Coconut Coast, about 10 minutes north of Lihue Airport. If you are hungry, this is a great place to start your Kauai Adventure. Korean BBQ, Monico’s Taqueria, Passion Bakery Café, and Cakes by Kristin. The peaceful tropical garden setting is a great place to relax and have a snack. 
Photo courtesy of Kinipopo Shopping Village

Spend the day exploring Old Koloa Town and on Kauai’s South Shore and explore the former sugar plantation that dates back to 1835! Old fashioned storefronts, gift shops, and so much to see. The Koloa Heritage Trail includes 14 cultural, historical and geological sites that stretch all the way to Poipu. The beautiful Tree Tunnel section of Maluhia Road is lined with eucalyptus trees first planted more than a century ago. 

Koloa Town is about 20 minutes west of Lihue and a great place to spend the day.  To see the official website, click here

Photo courtesy of

Now, grab your sneakers and visit Hanapepe on Kauai’s West Side. Every Friday night from 6PM to 9PM, experience “Art Night” when the town lights up with a festive atmosphere. Local artists and gallery owners gather and create a fun night of “strolling” down the street where you’ll hear music, Enjoy snacks, and have an overall great time outdoors.

When you come to Hanapepe during the day, be sure to grab a map of the Historic Walking Tour, available at most stores in the area. It will guide you to the Swinging Bridge, Hanapepe River, and the Talk Story Bookstore & Café. 

The official “tour” page talks about the 43 locations that meet State/National Historic Register Criteria.  It’s a fun way of learning the history of Kauai, while having a leisure “hike” through a fun, small town on Kauai!

Photo courtesy of

Your Spectacular Summer of Fun on Kauai is Ready – Are You?

Looking at the calendar it is hard to believe we are already in May. In a matter of weeks school is letting out for the summer and that means kids are about to have a lot of free time. It also means VACATION time is upon us and we are ready to help you confirm a well deserved holiday.
Below we are sharing MORE Fun activities happening in May, plus we are sharing a few Featured Properties that provide great value for families looking to spend time together, with all the conveniences of “home.” All of the hiking and shopping excursions mentioned in this Feature story are close to our 200+ accommodations on the North and South Shores, East and West Sides. When you get to Kauai, check our blog for more great ideas on how to Enjoy your vacation. Before you arrive, be sure to check out our Vacation Planning Videos featured on the main page of our website.

We look forward to seeing you on Kauai this summer!

- Aloha!
Special thanks to AllTrails/National Geographic, Wikipedia, and Kokee State Park for sharing their information & details about hiking on Kauai.  Remember to respect the Land, have a hiking plan, bring supplies (water, food, first aid), check the weather, wear proper clothing, and have proper hiking shoes. For more great hiking tips, visit Kauai Explorer here.

Fun Things to See and Do in May


Hear Kauai Music at May Day by the Bay

Come Enjoy Hawaiian music performed by groups from all over Hawaii. The theme for 2014 is “Keeping the Culture Alive,” and this year’s event features cultural demonstrations by local practitioners, a craft fair of Kauai-made products, Hawaiian food, displays from local non-profit groups, and a silent auction.
The event begins promptly at 9 AM, Saturday May 10thwith the blowing of the pu (conch shell) at Waioli Beach Park in Hanalei Bay.

A $5 donation is welcomed by event organizers and a great time awaits everyone.
Photo courtesy of May Day by the Bay

The 2014 Visitor Industry Charity Walk

The 36th Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk is happening Saturday, May 17th from 7AM to 11AM. Presented by The Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association Kauai Chapter, the walk begins at the Historic County Building and ends in Lihue on a 2.9 mile route.
The Walk is open to the public and everyone is welcome to participate. A minimum pledge of $35 includes breakfast, a t-shirt, and lots of camaraderie with folks who help keep Kauai Tourism Fun for everyone. 
Photo courtesy of

Awaken Your Inner Self at the Kirtan Yoga Retreat

Join the Bhakti Yoga Shack for an awakening weekend, May 24th and 25th in Anahola. Deepen your experience, live your practice, and share healthy food, joy and laughter with a group of like-minded yogis.
Enjoy Yoga classes, nourishing & delicious vegan food, joyful ecstatic kirtans, Mantra meditation workshops, and more!  Two days, two nights, event organizers invite you to come and have a great time!

$60 per person and $90 per couple. To RSVP and get more info, visit

Image courtesy Kirtan & Yoga

Put Your Pedal to the Meadow!

Pedal to the Meadow is the official bicycle hill climb race on Kauai and this year’s USAC-sanctioned event is happening Sunday, May 25th. Presented by the Tradewind Cycling Team, this ride starts in Kekaha town and climbs along the Waimea Canyon rim to Kokee State Park.
The scenic and challenging climb is 15.75 miles long, starting at a warm dry sea level and ending at 3,835 feet elevation in the cool upland forest of the island's interior. At the finish line, Enjoy live music, food, and family Fun at the Banana Poka Round-up festival.

For more information about the hospitality tent, live music, kid Fun, basket-making, fees and more… visit the official website here. Online registration closes May 21st at 6 PM Kauai time!
Photo courtesy Pedal to the Meadow

Have a great time on Kauai!  We look forward to seeing you!