Archive for January, 2014
Saturday, 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.
Ilima 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.
Sunday, 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.
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.
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?
Sunday, 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.
Sun 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Monday, January 6th, 2014
Congratulations 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!
Sunday, 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.
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.
Nounou 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.
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.
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.