Hawaiian island to visit

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Paul McCourt
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Hawaiian island to visit

#1 Post by Paul McCourt » October 20th, 2019, 12:45 am

Been to Oahu and Maui. Going to be back to Maui with a group of friends in July but looking to tack on a few days with just the wife. Would like to visit one of the other islands. Anyone have a favorite?
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#2 Post by Jim Stewart » October 20th, 2019, 5:07 am

Kauai.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#3 Post by Brian Tuite » October 20th, 2019, 7:01 am

Jim Stewart wrote:
October 20th, 2019, 5:07 am
Kauai.
^^ This ^^

Poipu Beach, Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, quiet, gorgeous...
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#4 Post by Mark Y » October 20th, 2019, 7:42 am

Just a few extra days to tack on - its Kauai.
But big island is well worth a trip at some point.

Volcano. Observatory. South end green beach.
It’s a beautiful and somewhat different experience.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#5 Post by Paul McCourt » October 20th, 2019, 11:02 am

Thanks! recommendations of where to stay on Kauai? Best part of the island? Hotels?
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#6 Post by Scott Tallman » October 20th, 2019, 11:58 am

We stayed near Poipu last Thanksgiving. It’s a fine place for access to restaurants, cafes, coffee, shopping, decent beaches, but further away from what I consider the best parts of the island - the rugged nature hikes. We stayed at the Hilton, which was fine, but there are plenty of hotel options in the area. Little Fish Coffee is a great coffee/breakfast spot in Poipu, but it gets super busy, so arrive early or be prepared to wait in line for a bit.

If I go again, I’d stay on north side in order to hike Napali Coast, which I think is now open again (it was closed for over a year due to mud slides). The Okolehao trail was a fun, but steep and super muddy hike!

If you stay near Poipu, head out to Koke’e State Park & Waimea Canyon. The canyon itself is cool and lots of awesome hikes of various lengths/difficulty if follow 552 all the way to the end. I enjoyed the Awaawahpui trail as you can get awesome views of the Napali Coast from above (see pics below). Also some nice beaches (Barking Sands Beach bring one) out that way past Waimea that avoid the crowds founds on other beaches. Island Taco in Waimea was really good.

The area around Kapaa had good coffee shops and restaurants. Did not visit the beaches there, but worth stopping if driving from north side back to airport or from Poipu to north side. The Sleeping Giant Trail nearby is awesome, but can get very busy.

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#7 Post by Jim Stewart » October 20th, 2019, 12:56 pm

I agree with Scott's advice, the whole island is beautiful and the north/northwest coast especially so. Fortunately, the island is small, so almost everything will be within a day trip no matter where you stay. If you are looking for the "resort" experience:
- the Grand Hyatt in Poipou is very nice: spectacular grounds, adult pool area (+), Tidepools restaurant, nice beach area, access to other restaurants nearby (we stayed here)
- on the North side, the Princeville Resort is supposed to be very nice (never stayed)
- a lower key "resort" at a lower tariff, is the Marriott Resort in Lihue , nice but not at the level of the first two (we stayed here)
Top recommendations: Waimea Canyon, Na Pali Coast (Kee Beach magnificent location and snorkeling, Kalau Trail right there if you are adventurous), Kaapa for a feel of low key beach town and for shave ice and poke.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#8 Post by Ian H » October 20th, 2019, 6:14 pm

Would not deter anybody from Kauai but if you're in Maui I would suggest considering Lanai for a short stay with the wife. You can take a quick ferry ride over from Maui. I don't know that there is much to do beyond bask in the wonder of the Four Seasons there, but it is a wondrous resort. We played golf, lounged by pool, and over-ate seriously great food while staying in an awesome room.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#9 Post by Joe Dulworth » October 21st, 2019, 9:29 am

Kauai is our favorite but love them all. We've been about 14 times so far and likely again in 2020. A couple of random comments about Kauai. If you want sun sun sun, Poipu. If you want good breezes and restaurant access, eh...maybe Kapaa. You want a little quieter than that and definitely cooler breezes with some cool snorkeling and hiking? North shore around Princeville, Hanalei, etc...

Not sure of the status of the recovery of the Hanalei area. They had bad floods. Guessing they are back up and operational at this point.

Traffic has gotten really bad in recent years on Kauai. It is particularly bad around Kapaa closely followed by Lihue. It is not unusual to get held up for an hour traveling through those areas so bear that in mind planning day trips.

No huge preference on where to stay. We typically rent a condo and visit the roaming Farmer's markets and fish stores dotted throughout the island daily and buy whatever is fresh and in season for dinner most evenings. Lunches are when we dine out. Saves a fair amount of change if that matters.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#10 Post by Carlton McCrindle » October 21st, 2019, 11:07 am

We have spend time on all of the developed islands and Kauai is our fav. We currently stay in Princeville since Iniki swept the rental house we liked out to sea. Planning on using shuttles to get to Ke’e beach to avoid becoming part of the car problem. We love Hanalei and love the Tahiti Nui bar and weekly low key luau. Our wine bar is the Palate In Kilauea.

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#11 Post by Paul McCourt » October 21st, 2019, 1:46 pm

Thanks for the tips.

Im usually an apartment rental guy (we have a house on Maui the next week) opposed to a resort guy but this time we don’t want to deal with cooking etc and just want ease. Want to do some sightseeing, hiking kayaking snorkeling etc, then be able to be waited on at end of day.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#12 Post by Carlton McCrindle » October 21st, 2019, 2:19 pm

If money were no object to me, I would stay at the Princeville Resort, formerly the St. Regis Hotel.🤩

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#13 Post by Carlton McCrindle » October 21st, 2019, 2:21 pm

When I rented, I usedNa PaliProperties In Hanalei.

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#14 Post by Joe Dulworth » October 21st, 2019, 2:41 pm

Paul McCourt wrote:
October 21st, 2019, 1:46 pm
Thanks for the tips.

Im usually an apartment rental guy (we have a house on Maui the next week) opposed to a resort guy but this time we don’t want to deal with cooking etc and just want ease. Want to do some sightseeing, hiking kayaking snorkeling etc, then be able to be waited on at end of day.
Sounds to me almost like 4 different areas of the island. Sightseeing is literally all around the island. At least something to see around the entire ring road (that doesn't literally ring the entire island). Kayaking is more of a grotto / river thing just south of Kapaa in Coconut Grove area. Snorkeling I prefer up north shore closer to tunnels beach. Resort wise I'd say Poipu. More offerings and tons more construction down there building lots of new restaurants and such.

I'd pick a spot and just be prepared to drive a bunch. Good news is it is small. Bad news is the aforementioned traffic.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#15 Post by Paul McCourt » October 21st, 2019, 2:53 pm

Carlton McCrindle wrote:
October 21st, 2019, 2:19 pm
If money were no object to me, I would stay at the Princeville Resort, formerly the St. Regis Hotel.🤩
Looked at it. No rooms available.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#16 Post by Paul McCourt » October 21st, 2019, 2:54 pm

Joe Dulworth wrote:
October 21st, 2019, 2:41 pm
Paul McCourt wrote:
October 21st, 2019, 1:46 pm
Thanks for the tips.

Im usually an apartment rental guy (we have a house on Maui the next week) opposed to a resort guy but this time we don’t want to deal with cooking etc and just want ease. Want to do some sightseeing, hiking kayaking snorkeling etc, then be able to be waited on at end of day.
Sounds to me almost like 4 different areas of the island. Sightseeing is literally all around the island. At least something to see around the entire ring road (that doesn't literally ring the entire island). Kayaking is more of a grotto / river thing just south of Kapaa in Coconut Grove area. Snorkeling I prefer up north shore closer to tunnels beach. Resort wise I'd say Poipu. More offerings and tons more construction down there building lots of new restaurants and such.

I'd pick a spot and just be prepared to drive a bunch. Good news is it is small. Bad news is the aforementioned traffic.
Sounds like I should just pick a nice place with a good swimming beach and move around for the rest.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#17 Post by Scott Tallman » October 21st, 2019, 3:03 pm

Yes, but I’ll second the traffic comment. Our day trip to N Shore from Poipu involved a lot of car time, especially from south of Kapaa to Princeville
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#18 Post by Gray G » October 21st, 2019, 3:38 pm

+1 Princeville
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#19 Post by Carlton McCrindle » October 21st, 2019, 4:12 pm

Paul McCourt wrote:
October 21st, 2019, 2:53 pm
Carlton McCrindle wrote:
October 21st, 2019, 2:19 pm
If money were no object to me, I would stay at the Princeville Resort, formerly the St. Regis Hotel.🤩
Looked at it. No rooms available.
Check the nearby Westin Princeville. It is a magnificent timeshare property but often has villas available for rent.

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#20 Post by mattbillet » October 21st, 2019, 9:11 pm

Another vote for Kauai... we rented a waterfront condo in Princeville! The road had just opened when we were there... but they are restricting access to an extent. Strongly suggest arranging to see the Napali coast from a boat!

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#21 Post by Brian Tuite » October 22nd, 2019, 5:56 am

mattbillet wrote:
October 21st, 2019, 9:11 pm
Another vote for Kauai... we rented a waterfront condo in Princeville! The road had just opened when we were there... but they are restricting access to an extent. Strongly suggest arranging to see the Napali coast from a boat!
We did a helicopter tour of the island back in the ‘80s. The dramatic views through Waimea Canyon were mouth dropping. The boat trip to the Na Pali coast is a can’t miss.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#22 Post by Richard Albert » October 22nd, 2019, 8:07 am

North Shore Kauai is lush, gorgeous and offers a glimpse of how Hawaii used to be.
Once over the Hanalei Bridge, just past Princeville there are no buildings over two stories, no chain restaurants, no chain stores. There are hiking trails and beaches galore--starting just before Princeville you can go to a different beautiful beach daily for a week or more. The snorkling at Tunnels Beach is famous and justified. If you do the first leg of the Na Pali hike, do not swim at Hanakāpīʻai Beach, those signs are deadly serious.
There is a great selection of wine at the Princeville Shopping Center wine shop, a fresh fish market behind the Blue Dolphin as you enter Hanalei, Baracuda is an excellent restaurant as is Post Cards for vegetarian faire. Havaiki is a unique store full of Hawaiian and South Pacific art, sorta like a museum, but with price tags. There are plenty of small shops in Hanalei as well. There is music to be found at the Princeville Hotel(do have a drink on the lanai off the lobby overlooking Hanalei Bay) and at the Hanalei Bay Resort also in Princeville
There are vacation rental homes and portions thereof in Hanalei a few steps for the 1+ mile long Hanalei Beach. I have stayed at hanaleivacationrental.com many times, its my sister's place. I have been going to Kauai for 30+ years, it is special.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#23 Post by AndrewH » October 22nd, 2019, 1:36 pm

Paul McCourt wrote:
October 21st, 2019, 2:54 pm


Sounds like I should just pick a nice place with a good swimming beach and move around for the rest.
Or if there long enough, split your time between the north and south.

And, yeah, second (or twenty-second) the Kauai idea.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#24 Post by M. Taylor » October 22nd, 2019, 6:22 pm

Literally returned today from 10 days in Hawaii. 6th time to Hawaii, 4th time to Kauai (we had gone some, then our oldest daughter and son-in-law moved to Oahu for the Navy, so we have made trips the past 3 years to visit) Kauai is the way to go, and definitely stay on the North Shore. As everyone says, the north shore of Kauai is really special, and hard to beat.
STay away from the old St. Regis, now Princeville resort, at least for now. New group bought it over a year and a half ago promising a massive renovation, and they’ve done nothing. In fact, the property is in terrible shape at the moment.
Eat at Bar Acuda.
They have opened a new wine store/gourmet food store/slam restaurant at the old Prince golf clubhouse called PV. Decent food and by far the best wine selection up north.
Can give you other suggestions if you are interested.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#25 Post by Joe Dulworth » October 23rd, 2019, 7:19 am

M. Taylor wrote:
October 22nd, 2019, 6:22 pm
They have opened a new wine store/gourmet food store/slam restaurant at the old Prince golf clubhouse called PV. Decent food and by far the best wine selection up north.
Thanks. I didn't know this.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#26 Post by Paul McCourt » October 24th, 2019, 5:35 pm

I think a found a nice little beachfront place on the far west north shore. I think I may land there and maybe move and see the other parts on the last day or so.

Thanks for advice everyone. Kauai looks pretty awesome. I'll have to stop by PV to pick up some juice.
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#27 Post by M. Taylor » October 24th, 2019, 5:46 pm

Paul McCourt wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 5:35 pm
I think a found a nice little beachfront place on the far west north shore. I think I may land there and maybe move and see the other parts on the last day or so.

Thanks for advice everyone. Kauai looks pretty awesome. I'll have to stop by PV to pick up some juice.
2 don’t miss items:

Tunnels beach on the far west north shore. Great beach right beside Bali Hai, with great snorkeling

Be sure to eat at Bar Acuda in Hanalei. Never had a bad meal there. Owner was a highly-regarded chef in San Fran who sold it all and moved to Kauai.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#28 Post by Michael O'Brien » October 25th, 2019, 8:29 am

Kauai for us. Tried the rest. Kauai's the best.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#29 Post by Carlton McCrindle » October 25th, 2019, 1:15 pm

Paul McCourt wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 5:35 pm
I think a found a nice little beachfront place on the far west north shore. I think I may land there and maybe move and see the other parts on the last day or so.

Thanks for advice everyone. Kauai looks pretty awesome. I'll have to stop by PV to pick up some juice.
That is what we did on our first trip in the seventies.
PV wasn't open yet when we left in mid Feb. but at least prior to then, Princeville Wine Market had the best selection of good wines. This is the wine shop Richard was referring to, above.
For inexpensive wines, beer, and liquor Costco in Lihue cant be beat. Aloha!

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#30 Post by Carlton McCrindle » October 25th, 2019, 1:29 pm

M. Taylor wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 5:46 pm
Paul McCourt wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 5:35 pm
I think a found a nice little beachfront place on the far west north shore. I think I may land there and maybe move and see the other parts on the last day or so.

Thanks for advice everyone. Kauai looks pretty awesome. I'll have to stop by PV to pick up some juice.
2 don’t miss items:

Tunnels beach on the far west north shore. Great beach right beside Bali Hai, with great snorkeling

Be sure to eat at Bar Acuda in Hanalei. Never had a bad meal there. Owner was a highly-regarded chef in San Fran who sold it all and moved to Kauai.
Love Tunnels also but it is going to be tough to access it by car going forward. We only got there by boat earlier this year and were afraid to get in the water because the surfers had taken over. No snorkeling was going on at that time.
The beach in front of the Princeville Resort(f/k/a the St. Regis) is public (like all the other beaches in the state) and provides the most iconic beach view of Bali Hai in my opinion.
BTW, the beaches on Hanalei Bay have been repaired and are in good condition again.

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#31 Post by M. Taylor » October 25th, 2019, 5:55 pm

Carlton McCrindle wrote:
October 25th, 2019, 1:29 pm
M. Taylor wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 5:46 pm
Paul McCourt wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 5:35 pm
I think a found a nice little beachfront place on the far west north shore. I think I may land there and maybe move and see the other parts on the last day or so.

Thanks for advice everyone. Kauai looks pretty awesome. I'll have to stop by PV to pick up some juice.
2 don’t miss items:

Tunnels beach on the far west north shore. Great beach right beside Bali Hai, with great snorkeling

Be sure to eat at Bar Acuda in Hanalei. Never had a bad meal there. Owner was a highly-regarded chef in San Fran who sold it all and moved to Kauai.
Love Tunnels also but it is going to be tough to access it by car going forward. We only got there by boat earlier this year and were afraid to get in the water because the surfers had taken over. No snorkeling was going on at that time.
The beach in front of the Princeville Resort(f/k/a the St. Regis) is public (like all the other beaches in the state) and provides the most iconic beach view of Bali Hai in my opinion.
BTW, the beaches on Hanalei Bay have been repaired and are in good condition again.
Accessed Tunnels by car less than 2 weeks ago. No issues (though be aware there is still some ongoing construction in places on the road)
Agree that the Princeville Resort beach is night
Last edited by M. Taylor on October 25th, 2019, 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#32 Post by M. Taylor » October 25th, 2019, 5:56 pm

Carlton McCrindle wrote:
October 25th, 2019, 1:15 pm
Paul McCourt wrote:
October 24th, 2019, 5:35 pm
I think a found a nice little beachfront place on the far west north shore. I think I may land there and maybe move and see the other parts on the last day or so.

Thanks for advice everyone. Kauai looks pretty awesome. I'll have to stop by PV to pick up some juice.
That is what we did on our first trip in the seventies.
PV wasn't open yet when we left in mid Feb. but at least prior to then, Princeville Wine Market had the best selection of good wines. This is the wine shop Richard was referring to, above.
For inexpensive wines, beer, and liquor Costco in Lihue cant be beat. Aloha!
Agree that Princeville Wine Market is good — was just there. PV has a larger selection
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#33 Post by Paul McCourt » October 29th, 2019, 5:31 pm

Just wanted to chime in with my thanks to everyone!
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#34 Post by DavidFrankil » October 29th, 2019, 9:49 pm

Second all the above recommendations- if you like ramen, try Hamura’s Saimin in Lihue - hole in the wall but amazing

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#35 Post by Carlton McCrindle » November 1st, 2019, 8:34 pm

Article on parking limitations at Haena and K'ee beaches:

https://www.thegardenisland.com/2019/11 ... each-park/

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#36 Post by johngonzales » November 3rd, 2019, 7:55 am

I just got back from the Big Island this week. Kauai is my favorite island, but the Big Island has a lot to offer and is a respectable second. I’m guessing that I’m over the 30 count on Hawaii trips by now.

Sounds like Kauai is the choice???
I can chime in with more detail if so.
I still like the Princeville Resort, even though it has phases of decline and the price needs to be at a discount well below rack. The location/ view /layout is just fantastic. We actually usually stay in a condo at one of the bluff oceanfront complexes up adjacent to the resort. One just needs to look online a little and figure which units are best and oceanfront. I’ve stayed at the new Westin resort. It’s nice, but more generic in layout and location. We got a deal so it was ok, but otherwise I wouldn’t stay there a again.

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#37 Post by Barry L i p t o n » November 3rd, 2019, 12:33 pm

John, do you have any updates into visiting tunnels, ke’e, lumaha’i? I heard they are open but parking is impossible (vs just difficult at Ke’e and tunnels) before the flood

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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#38 Post by Paul McCourt » November 6th, 2019, 5:46 pm

Kauai is the choice.
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Re: Hawaiian island to visit

#39 Post by eddy c » January 14th, 2020, 6:52 pm

Love the Princeville Resort
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