Warm water and sunny days make Kauai’s south shore a dream. Coming from the mainland, Kauai has an ease about it that fosters relaxation. The island isn’t too big, making it easy to drive around in much less than a day, but it’s also not small enough to get stir crazy. In California, everyone drives like a bat out of hell, but in Kauai, the pace of the road is slower, and invites stopping to take in vistas or grab a roadside coffee. Driving through the Tunnel of Trees, be awed by the tropical vegetation – huge, broad leaves, hanging vines and trailing flowers. Dark purple rainclouds hang about the looming interior mountains, which are the wettest place on earth, but the sky can remain blissfully clear right above your head.
See Poipu Beach. Sunsets here aren’t too shabby 🙂 Our bed and breakfast was within walking distance, and was also near the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Unfortunately the bed and breakfast, which had just two sweet units, is now being rented as a whole house (fortunate if you want to rent a beautiful house). In terms of the Grand Hyatt, I thought this hotel would be an overdeveloped monstrosity, but the landscaping and lobby oceanside are actually pretty amazing. There is public access to Shipwreck Beach in front of the Hyatt – if you stay in the area, feel free to stroll through.
If plants are your thing, take a tour of Allerton Gardens, in the National Tropical Botanical Garden (the NTBG is a non-profit, not some sort of national or state park). You’ll need a guided tour – it’s definitely not the cheapest, but neither is Kauai, and bamboo thickets, Art Deco mermaid sculptures and coconut palm lagoons are priceless, right?
Stop by Wailua Falls and take pictures of the all the pretty horses.
Latte fix: Living Foods Market in the Kukui’ula Village Shopping center. Also a good place for lunch and snacks; prices for their produce and grocery items can be shocking. Or, on the way out to Waimae Canyon, stop at the sweet vintage trailer spilling coffee scents, known as Dark Roost. We also enjoyed Ha Coffee Bar in Lihue.
Though we didn’t have time, next time I would try hiking the Maha’ulepu Trail, at cliff’s edge, right near Shipwreck Beach.
For dinner, try Eating House 1849, and eat on the porch.
(More pics below …)