Scuba Diving On Kauai

April 20th, 2014

Kauai is known for its spectacular sights on land that include brilliant gardens and cascading falls, but there is no shortage when it comes to magnificent underwater sights that can be explored by beginning and experienced scuba divers alike.

Just a few of the wonders found in the warm waters of the Garden Isle include reef creatures, arches, pinnacles, caverns and an abundance of tropical fish, with more than 25% of the species occurring nowhere else on the entire planet. You’ll also likely encounter Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, prolific here as their main food source, algae, is plentiful in the area with Kauai being one of the wettest places in the world.

06Certification

Most dive operators offer introductory dives for beginners who are not certified. The maximum depth that non-certified divers are allowed to dive is 40 feet, with no more than four non-certified divers for each instructor.

You can get certified while you’re on vacation in Kauai, but you may want to do all of the pool work in addition to learning basic skills, reading the PADI, taking quizzes and tests, etc. at home first so that when you arrive, all you need is your open water dives to complete the certification. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of your precious vacation time studying.

If you’re working through the PADI Open Water Diver course online, once you’ve completed all of the segments you can just print the eLearning record and bring it in to Seasport Divers in Koloa, starting your underwater adventure there.

Diving with Seasport Divers

Seasport Divers offers two boat trips off Kauai’s South Shore every day of the year. Boat dives are led by highly trained, experienced guides who take small groups of a maximum of seven certified divers per guide on guided tours. High quality equipment rentals and dive computers are used for all certified divers who are diving from the boat with a video of each dive shot during the excursion.

Morning trips, catered to more experienced divers, meet at 7:30 a.m. in the Poipu shop. These are meant for divers who are totally comfortable in the water and with diving. The afternoon trips meet at 12:45 p.m., also at the Poipu shop, and are for new divers, those who aren’t certified, or divers who are a bit rusty. The pace is slower and the dive sites are more shallow.

One of the popular dive sites here includes Sheraton Caverns which is considered a must for Kauai divers with its ancient lava tubes made up of beautiful archways and overhangs as the home of many Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles as well as large whitemouth moray eels, conger eels and a wide variety of Hawaiian reef fish. Divers also are treated to Brennecke’s Ledge, a lava shelf that extends for several miles parallel to the South Shore with large branches of black coral where you’ll find all types of marine life, including turtles, cowry, octopus as well as an abundance of tropical fish and even a resident white tip reef shark.

Shore diving tours are also available from Koloa Landing which was voted one of the best shore dives throughout the Pacific by Scuba Diving magazine. The site features lots of interesting coral formations and nearly every fish that can be found on a Hawaii fish cart. Hire an experienced dive guide for a tour of Koloa Landing, or get a briefing on the site as well as equipment rentals at the Seasport Divers Poipu shop.

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Fun Things To Do On Kauai With Kids

April 6th, 2014

When it comes to things to do on Kauai, there are practically an endless number of options, including kid-friendly activities. You’ll have no worries about the kids getting bored on this island paradise that is known for family fun with its easily accessible beaches, paved bike trails and small size that makes it easy to navigate.

Swimming and snorkeling beaches

There are several beaches that offer access to calm waters and are ideal for kids to swim or snorkel, including Poipu Beach Park on the South Shore with its natural ocean wading pool, a shallow bay for swimming and an area for snorkeling.  On the North Shore, Anini Beach and Hanalei Bay Beach Park are good options, while Salt Pond Beach Park on the west coast, Lydgate State Park, Kalapaki Beach and Anahola Beach Park on the east coast all offer the opportunity for kids to safely take a dip as well.

08Fern Grotto River Boat Tour

The Fern Grotto Boat Tour is a favorite with children and adults. This cruise takes guests through Hawaii’s only navigable river, the Wailua. The waterway winds its way through dense tropical jungle, past rich historic sights and brilliant flora with guides sharing fascinating legends of the river. The final destination is Fern Grotto, a lava rock grotto covered with ferns where performers demonstrate the near perfect acoustics of the cave with their beautiful singing voices.

Luaus

Luaus are fun for all, even families with young children can enjoy them with dancing and music that can keep everyone entertained for hours. Smith’s Tropical Paradise Luau at the Wailua River on the east coast is especially popular with families, offering the opportunity to start the evening with a tram ride and a tour of the garden.

Other top luaus include the Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau on the oceanfront at Poipu Beach, the Sheraton Kauai Resort’s Surf to Sunset Oceanfront Luau and the Luau Kalamaku at Kilohana Plantation.

Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens

These beautiful gardens include a children’s garden that features a tropical jungle gym, tree house, maze, Jack and the Bean Stalk Giant and a train ride.  There are many beautiful spots to take family pictures too, such as the Wild Forest Garden or the Shower Tree Park and Ka’ula Lagoon.

These gardens lead to picturesque Kaluakai Beach where visitors can relax at the edge of the surf or meet some of the island’s indigenous and exotic birds.

Zipline tours

Zipline tours are offered throughout the island, with Outfitters Kauai in Koloa offering several different types, including tours that are suitable for younger children; kids as young as seven years old are able to zip. Their Safari tour includes a two mile kayak trip as well as the chance to take a dip in a pristine, freshwater pool and zip across the forest canopy, taking in the breathtaking views.

Ride the Kauai Coastal Path

The Kauai Coastal Path is a great place for a family bike ride, running along the island’s magnificent shoreline with beautiful views of the ocean. Bike rentals are available at several shops and include a variety of sizes for children aged six through 12; for those with smaller children, trailers that attach to an adult bike can also be rented.

The path is fairly flat and stretches for miles along the coast with humpback whales sometimes seen putting on a show from December through April. Dolphins and turtles often spotted year round, primarily at Kapaa Point.

Of course, this is just a short list of the many activities available for families; horseback riding, dolphin watching, surfing and boogie-board lessons and hiking are just some of the other possibilities.

 

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Most Popular Quotes

March 16th, 2014

Here are some of the most well read posts on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/hideawaycove.

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

Robert Frost

 

Three grand essentials to
happiness in this life are:
something to do
someone to love and
something to hope for.
Joseph Addison

 

#1 Simple Truth Smart People Forget–

Education and intelligence accomplish nothing without action.

 

Not what we say about our blessings,
but how we use them,
is the true measure of our thanksgiving.
W.T. Purkiser

 

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

Johann Goethe
Money doesn’t bring you happiness, but it enables you to look for it in more places.

 

Do not take anything for granted —
not one smile or one person or one rainbow
or one breath, or one night in your cozy bed.
Terri Guillemets

 

The trouble with going with the flow is, you might wind up getting sucked down the drain.

 

Age is something that does not matter unless you are a cheese.

 

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

Oscar Wilde

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Don’t Miss Out!

March 12th, 2014

Although there’s still another two weeks until the end of our Sweepstakes, we’d hate to have you miss out by procrastinating.

So go ahead, while you’re still thinking about it, and enter.  Who knows, the blue bird of happiness may be about to bless

you with a special present–a free one week stay in our Beachcomber Studio valued at $1260.  Good luck!

ENTER SWEEPSTAKES NOW!

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Top Six Essentials To Remember When Visiting Kauai (AKA Proper Etiquette)

March 12th, 2014

If you want to enhance your vacation in Kauai, one of the best ways to do so is to get to know the true Aloha spirit by becoming familiar with common customs and proper etiquette in order to connect better with locals. While each of the islands offers a unique beauty of their own, they share the same Aloha spirit which is quite evident when visiting Kauai.

09Using the words “aloha” and “mahalo”

Two of the most important words to learn before you travel to Kauai are “aloha” and “mahalo,” which should be used with sincerity. You will hear these words spoken often, and locals appreciate travelers who use them too. Aloha is pronounced “ah lo hah,” and has several meanings. Most visitors will use it to say hello and goodbye. Mahalo is pronounced “muh hah lo,” and means thank you.  Use it often!

Respect the environment

Kauai is filled with incredible beauty, and the surrounding waters as well as the land should always be treated with the utmost respect. Never litter and respect all private property by not crossing anyone’s yard to reach the beach. When in the water, do not approach whales, seals or sea turtles as they have no immune system that will protect them against human-transmitted bacteria. By law, visitors are required to keep a 100-yard distance from whales and 15 feet from turtles.

The lei greeting

The lei greeting is a time honored Hawaiian tradition that is also a part of celebrations such as a wedding or graduation. It’s important to avoid removing the lei in front of the person who has given it to you, and it should never be refused. To wear it properly, drape it evenly over the shoulders, across the front and back.

Shoe etiquette

Throughout Hawaii, flip-flops are frequently worn, but here they are referred to as slippers. No matter what type of shoes you wear, always remove them before entering the home of a local resident. To avoid standing out as a poorly dressed tourist, never ever wear black shoes with black socks and shorts.

Communication

One of the easiest ways to spot a tourist is the sound of their voice. Natives are usually fairly soft-spoken while visitors tend to be loud which can be viewed as rude and self-centered. If you’d like to connect more with locals, it’s important to avoid asking direct personal questions such as what someone does for a living. Instead, just listen and take time to develop a friendship by getting to know them.

Driving

Never honk your horn while driving unless an emergency is imminent. The state even has a law against using it as a greeting or as a way to encourage someone to move who hasn’t reacted fast enough for your liking – this is considered extremely rude. Tourists often speed through residential areas while driving well below the speed limit on roads where there is beautiful scenery. Watch your speed in towns and neighborhoods, and if you’re driving less than the speed limit through scenic routes, allow others to pass.

Immersing yourself in Hawaiian customs and being aware of proper etiquette can help ensure that you’ll experience the ultimate getaway that dreams are made of, and perhaps allow you to make a lifelong friend or two.

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Kauai’s Music Scene

January 25th, 2014

Experience the Music Scene on Kauai 

The Garden Isle may be more laid back as compared to some of the other islands, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to go out and enjoy some great live music. In fact, on Kauai you’ll find a live music scene with a wide range of entertainment that includes everything from traditional and contemporary Hawaiian tunes to jazz and much more.

There are also several different music venues throughout our beautiful island, including restaurants, bars, hotels and resorts, festivals and concert halls.

In Poipu, the Bamboo Bar at Keoki’s Paradise features live contemporary Hawaiian music every night, while Stevenson’s Library at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort offers nightly music at 8 p.m. with the chance to listen to Hawaiian and jazz.

The Point at Sheraton Kauai Resort features everything from rock ‘n roll to more traditional island tunes each night as well as a torch lighting ceremony and a “Surf to Sunset” Luau at beachfront on Friday evenings.

en5kIlima Terrace at the Grand Hyatt features a variety of different music from slack key guitar to keiki hula.  Come before sunset and watch the torch lighting ceremony then stay for the music.

Stevenson’s Bar at the Grand Hyatt has live music many nights.  Call the front desk and ask what’s playing that night.  The bar also features pool tables and a sushi bar.

Tortilla Republic at Kuku’iula in Poipu  has live music many nights of the week and great mexican food.  There’s a lively bar downstairs and more subdued dining upstairs.

Every Wednesday evening there is a gourmet farmers market at the Shops at Kuku’iula.  What makes this one unique is the wine and beer garden with live music.  At five p.m, one of the local chefs does a cooking demonstration, complete with recipes and samples that’s not to be missed.

The Kalaheo Steak House in, you guessed it, Kalaheo features live music on the weekends.  Also a great place to dine.

If you venture to the eastside, you’ll find live music seven nights a week at Shutters at the Kauai Beach Resort in Lihue in a beautiful open-air lounge setting that also provides for views of the spectacular island sunsets. Duke’s Barefoot Bar on the sand at the Kauai Marriott in Lihue frequently has local performers entertain guests on the weekend and during happy hour with fantastic Hawaiian music.

Dukes Restaurant, owned by the same company that owns Keokis, is right on the water in Kalapaki Bay and features live music most nights.  Try the bar menu downstairs for a quick snack.

In Kapaa, on the first Saturday of every month the Aloha Beach Hotel features “Hot Latin Nights” with live music from 9 p.m. to midnight. Trees Lounge, also in Kapaa, has live entertainment with a variety of various artists as well as open mic nights starting at 7 p.m. every evening.

Up on the North Shore, the St. Regis Princeville Resort offers easy listening piano and guitar music at the St. Regis Bar from 6:30 to 9 p.m., while the Tahiti Nui Restaurant and Lounge in Hanalei features live Hawaiian music, often accompanied by hula from around 6 to 9 p.m. in a cozy, romantic setting.  From 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., guests can dance to rock ‘n roll.  Tahiti Nui was featured in the movie “The Descendants”.

The Mediterranean Gourmet in the Hanalei Colony Resort, not only serves a wide variety of cuisine, but it also frequently serves as a venue for fantastic live music. They’ve featured artists like musician and singer Anjela Rose, who is known for her haunting voice and soft guitar, Kauai Music Festival award winner Sara Thompson, a passionate jazz vocalist.

Of course, Friday nights in the old plantation community of Hanapepe, the Hanapepe Art Night is something that is not-to-be-missed. The town comes alive from 6 to 9 p.m. with a fun and festive atmosphere featuring local works of art, live music and entertainment with local performers, as well as a wide range of delicious cuisine.

For musical entertainment, you might find slack key guitar, solo ukulele, string trios, or something completely different such as Westside Smitty and his rockabilly tunes.

There is no shortage of musical entertainment to enjoy during your Kauai vacation.

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Improve Your Health – Escape To Kauai!

January 19th, 2014

How an Escape to Kauai Can Improve Your Health

Did you know that just the thought of an upcoming vacation can be beneficial to your health? Picturing a gentle tropical breeze and the sights and sounds of dazzling turquoise waters can instantly bring a smile to anyone’s face, reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

The opportunity to slow down and get away from the chaos of everyday life is likely to leave you feeling refreshed and reenergized and ready to face the world when it’s time to go home. Kauai is known as the best of the best when it comes to an idyllic spot for relaxing, yet you’ll also find outstanding opportunities for hiking and other physical activities to help improve both your physical and emotional health.

Kauai offers a much slower pace of life as compared to the mainland, while here many visitors rediscover what’s really important in life, and bring a more relaxed attitude back home.

De-stressing

Getting away from a fast paced life has the power to melt away stress and fatigue. If you’re feeling frantic and frazzled, take time to de-stress with a holiday on Kauai.

When was the last time you sat back and watched a spectacular sunset, without a care or worry in the world? On the Garden Isle, you can take time to feel the sand between your toes, take in the magnificent scenery and remember what truly living life is all about.

Spending time outdoors in a beautiful place offers a wide range of stress reducing benefits that can support heart health, reduce anxiety and lift away clouds of depression.

By visiting one of the many outstanding spas on the island, you can enhance relaxation even more with a massage or a variety of healing treatments.

en5iGetting fit

Of course with the wide range of opportunities for activities here, Kauai also provides an incredible setting in which to spark inspiration for getting physically fit, or to improve current fitness levels. There are numerous hiking trails that wind throughout the island, with treks suitable for just about every level of fitness. Here, the reward for the effort is often unsurpassed when it comes to breathtaking views.

There is an twelve foot wide oceanside path on the west side of the island (Kapaa), that continues to expand its reach each year.  You can walk or bike the mostly flat path, that includes covered picnic pavilions with breath taking views of the ocean.  You’ll want to rent a bike with a basket to bring along your picnic lunch and several bike rental shops are located along the path.

Other land activities include bike riding, horseback riding and even yoga on the beach. Of course, taking advantage of the warm waters that surround Kauai is practically a must. There are numerous fun activities that also promote fitness, including kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddling, surfing, windsurfing, snorkeling, diving and more.

Delicious, nutritious foods

You don’t have to worry about blowing your diet here; there are many delicious and healthy food options on Kauai. Of course you’ll find an abundance of fresh seafood, as well as heavenly fresh fruits like mangos, sugarloaf white pineapples, sunrise and strawberry papaya, rose and mountain apples, rambutan, mangosteens, litchis, guava and more. You’ll also find a number of markets and cafés that specialize in healthy, organic foods.  You’ll also find many of these fruits at the farmers markets located around the island

Papaya’s Natural Foods is a family-owned store in Kapaa with a large natural selection. It features an organic salad bar as well as hot entrees, including vegan dishes. Living Foods Market in Poipu offers an expansive selection of organic, sustainable and locally grown produce as well as specialty gourmet foods and organic wine.

Who knew that a vacation could be so good for you?

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Packing Essentials For Your Kauai Vacation

January 12th, 2014

Packing Essentials for Your Kauai Vacation

“What to pack?” is a question that is on the minds of almost every traveler. It’s an important part of any travel experience, no matter what the destination. There are few travelers who have ever returned from a vacation wishing their bags had been heavier, but what is really necessary for a holiday on Kauai?

The Garden Isle is a very casual, relaxed place. Unless you’ll be attending a wedding or part of the ceremony, there is no reason for ties, sports jackets or formal dresses.

There are several items that every Kauai vacationer should bring.

en5hSun and bug protection

In Kauai as well as throughout the Hawaiian Islands, sun protection is a must.  The islands are located near the equator which means the sun can be intense, even on days that are cloudy. This includes a strong, water-proof sunscreen that is 30 SPF or higher, sunglasses and a light hat. Of course, these items are all available on the island, but they tend to be quite a bit pricier than they are on the mainland.

If you plan to hike – and you should with much of the island inaccessible by vehicle, bring a mosquito repellant that contains Deet.

Necessary shoes

Beach sandals or flip-flops are the standard footwear in the islands, including Kauai, although they are referred to as “slippers” here. For any serious hiking into the Island’s spectacular rainforest areas, hiking boots are also a necessity. You may also want to bring comfortable, casual walking shoes for exploring Kauai’s towns or taking a stroll on one of the scenic walking paths.

You should probably leave your high heels at home, the odds are they’ll just take up room in your suitcase and never be used. Blisters can quickly ruin a vacation and there is just way too much to see on this beautiful island. You shouldn’t chance wasting the opportunity to enjoy it all by ending up forced to stay off your feet.

Bathing suits

If you plan to spend a lot of time in the water, bring at least two bathing suits. They don’t take up much room in the suitcase and this way you’ll have a dry suit to wear when the other is wet. You might want to spend time swimming or snorkeling in the ocean and then visit one of Kauai’s fabulous spas to take a dip in the pool or relax in a hot tub.

Clothing necessities

Pack light, comfortable clothing like shorts, sundresses and sleeveless shirts that allow the body to breathe in the tropical heat. Men might want to bring a polo shirt and khakis for going out at night as well. Bring one sweatshirt or light jacket and a pair of long pants for cooler, breezy nights. A light, long sleeve cover-up to wear when you feel like you’ve had too much sun is also a good idea.

Other essentials

A camera, of course, is a must. There are practically an endless amount of picture-perfect opportunities on Kauai. If possible, put it into your carry-on bag so that it’s easily accessible when you need it as well as in the rare chance that your luggage is lost. A pair of binoculars is handy for whale-watching and other wildlife viewing.

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New Sweepstakes Winner Announced!

January 6th, 2014

en17Congratulations to Jamey Fitzpatrick, the lucky winner of our latest Sweepstakes.  She wins a free one week stay, valued at $1260, in our Beachcomber at Hideaway Cove Poipu Beach.  We don’t know yet whether she’s coming with a friend or will be upgrading to a larger accommodation and using her $1260 credit.  Either way, we’ll be happy to welcome the ninth winner of a free one week stay with us.

For those of you that didn’t win, don’t despair.  Our new Sweepstakes begins right now.  So click this link to throw your name in the hat and you could be our next winner!

 

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Five Fantastic Kauai Hikes

January 5th, 2014

Top 5 Hikes on Kauai

Nearly nine-tenths of the Garden Isle is inaccessible by road, which means getting out and hiking is practically a must for Kauai visitors. The island is filled with natural wonders just waiting to be explored, from the rainforest of Kokee to the hanging valleys of the Na Pali Coast. There are trails to suit just about every age and ability.

Kalalau Trail

The Kalalau Trail is one of the most challenging hikes on Kauai, but also one of the most spectacular. It can be hiked in several different ways. It’s best accomplished early in the day to avoid bumping elbows with others as well as the intense mid-afternoon heat. The trail follows the footsteps of ancient Hawaiians along an 11-mile stretch of coast, originally used by Hawaiians who lived in Kalalau Valley and the surrounding valleys on the Na Pali coast.

The first two miles of the trail of the Kalalau end at Hanakapi’ai Beach.  This four mile round trip hike is considered moderate.  Do not go in the water at this beach as it is not safe and there have been many drownings.  Also, after a period of heavy rain, crossing the stream just prior to the beach should not be attempted.  Hikers have been swept out to sea under these conditions.  When the stream is calm, hikers can cross and go off the Kalalau  an additional two miles to Hanakapi’ai falls.  The falls top 100 feet and are breath taking.

If you plan to hike this additional two miles, take a picnic lunch and take a swim in the pool below the falls. These additional two miles are much more difficult than the first two miles of the trail, making the eight mile hike to the falls challenging.

The entire eleven miles of the Kalalau can be done in a day but be prepared. The Sierra Club gives this hike its most difficult rating.  You will also need to camp overnight, as there are not many that will be able to do the 22 miles round trip in one day.  Camping requires a permit and the campsite is checked by rangers, so be sure and apply for a permit before coming to Kauai.

It is also possible to arrange for a rubber raft to drop you off at the beach at the end of this eleven mile hike.  Then you can either have the raft pick you up in a couple of days, or when the raft comes back, gie them your gear and then hike out the eleven miles back to the trail head.

The trail provides the only land access to this breathtaking part of the wild coast. It traverses five valleys, ultimately ending at Kalalau Beach; the trail is almost never level, crossing towering sea cliffs and through lush valleys, dropping to sea level at the beaches of Kalalau and Hanakapi’ai.

en5gNounou East Sleeping Giant Trail

The Nounou East Trail is often referred to as the Sleeping Giant trail as the shape of the mountain has a profile that appears to be a giant lying down. This 3 ½ mile round trip hike is fairly easy, although it does have a rapid elevation gain of 1,000 feet. The trail ascends through forested mountains and gorgeous views, including of Kapa’a and Waipouli. This is a great hike on a warm, sunny day as the trail is shaded throughout much of the trek.

Pihea Trail

This trail located in Kokee State Park, is a moderate 8-mile round trip hike that is also known as the Alakai Swamp trail, crossing over bogs on a wooden boardwalk along the swamp. Shortly after the trail begins, hikers are rewarded with incredible inland views that stretch to Mount Waialeale from atop a land bridge that straddles 4,000 feet above the Kalauau Valley and the Alakai Swamp.

The swamp is the highest in the world, with its location susceptible to quick moving weather. On a rare, clear day Wainiha Valley, Hanalei Bay and even the Kilauea Lighthouse can be seen.

Canyon Trail to Waipoo Falls

Kauai is blessed with activities that reap great rewards with just a small effort, and this is one of those. The Waipoo Falls Trail, also in Kokee State Park, is an easy 3.6 mile roundtrip hike that culminates at this magnificent 800-foot waterfall, featuring panoramic views of the canyon and the fragrant scent of an Awapuhi Ginger-lined stream.

The trek also includes views of the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” The awe-inspiring canyon features an ever-changing array of colors that are illuminated at sunset. Along the trail you’ll enjoy breathtaking views into the 3,000-foot deep chasm. Be aware that the cliffs along the way have extreme drop-offs, if you’re afraid of heights you may want to rethink this one. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes with lots of traction as the trail can get quite muddy and slippery.

Berry Flats

This meandering two mile trail (four miles round trip) gets its name from the many berry bushes along the way.  Although there is an easy uphill climb at the beginning, the majority of the trail is level.  You’ll also pass through a grove of Sugi Pine trees, which were brought to Kauai forty years ago and planted here.

The Kokee Museum is the place to go for a trail map, that will include Berry Flats.  A private non-profit funs the museum, so be sure and make a small donation when you go in.  They’re supported entirely by donations and volunteer efforts.

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