What's better than a long weekend in Kauai? The opportunity to spend it with some wonderful friends! We said "a-loooooo-ha" to family and readied ourselves for the tedious 20 minute flight. Seriously, I think we spent more time on the tarmac, taxiing, and taking-off than we did on the actual flight.
This wasn't a photography vacation - but I did manage to hop out and snap a few shots at some amazing locations. My one regret? Not bringing my gear on the catamaran tour of the Na Pali coast. Far and AWAY the highlight of our weekend. Spinner dolphins, turtles, snorkeling, views of Niihau the Forbidden Isle...and the most incredible coastline I've ever had the pleasure of laying eyes upon. Alas, next time.
After we arrived in Kauai on Friday morning, we made our way to our home base on the south shore, in the town of Kaleheo. Not a resort town, it is quiet, beautiful, and our rental home had room for three families, let alone three girlfriends. We spent a good amount of time on the wrap-around lanai, drinking wine in the evening, coffee in the morning, chatting while taking in the ever-changing vistas of mountains and sea.
Interested in a long-weekend (girlfriend or otherwise) in Kauai and want to hit all the highlights? In the spirit of a virtual Darcie Crenshaw Tour, let me break it down for you. I'll assume you're staying on the south shore (Poipu perhaps) as we did...otherwise, break this down into regions.
DAY 1 (South Shore)
Arrival, Car rental
On the way to Poipu from the airport in Lihue, turn left off onto highway 520 (Maluhi Road), and witness the spectacular 'Highway to Heaven' tree-tunnel during the first mile of the road.
Lunch and leisurely shopping in the boutiques and galleries of historic Old Koloa town. Its history dates it back to Hawaii's first successful sugar mill and plantation.
Spend the rest of the day at leisure, and prep for a long day tomorrow.
Day 2 (South and West Shore)
Catamaran sailing tour of the Na Pali coast (we spent several hours, having both breakfast and lunch on the boat). Several charters run out of Eleele town (we used Capt'n Andys...they were wonderful!)
After getting off the boat, drive up to Waimea Canyon (this will take until dinner time). The Grand Canyon of Hawai'i!
Day 3 (East and North Shores)
Wait to eat breakfast in Kapaa town. Specifically at the Kountry Kitchen, conveniently located right along the highway. DELICIOUS!
Head north to Kilauea Point Lighthouse, stunning views from the northern most point of Kauai.
At the turn off to the lighthouse, you'll find historic Kong Lung market. Boutiques, various restaurants, and even a bakery can be found in this delightful shopping area.
Drive at a leisurely pace to Princeville, Hanalei Town, Hanalei Bay and on to Maniniholo Dry Cave (almost at the end of the road). This area speaks for itself...breathtaking vistas and beaches at every turn in the road.
Day 4 (East and South Shores)
We used this day to poke around the areas we wanted to return to...and to enjoy few new spots. The highlights included:
Kapa'a Town shopping....after breakfast at the Kountry Kitchen again. And no, they're not paying me for shameless advertising!
All Saints Episcopal Church in Kapa'a - a beautiful historic church along Kuhio Highway.
Wailua Falls (Lihue) - beautiful twin falls. For those of you old enough to remember, made famous by the opening sequence in Fantasy Island.
Poipu beaches - lunch on the beach is the perfect way to round out your stay.