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Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

Yorktown, Virginia
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Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

I have been lurking here on the forum for several months, planning our trip. What follows is my tentative plan:

We will be visiting Hawaii for the first time this summer. We will be attending the American Psychological Convention in Waikiki July 30-August 4. My plan is to then fly to Kauai at the end of the convention & spend 7 or 8 days there before heading home. I already have a car reserved for Kauai, but have not made any other reservations. Most likely, we will fly to Kauai on Aug. 4, if there is a late afternoon flight.

It will be just my husband & I, active older adults. We like off-the-beaten path sort of travel -- we are not fancy resort or posh hotel types. I'm leaning strongly towards staying on the North Shore, perhaps in one of these cottages: www.halemakaicottages.com/HaleMakai.aspx Another possibility would be to rent a small place elsewhere in H'aena or in Haneilei. I think we would like wandering around Haneilei, but would prefer to be very close to the beach, both for views & for walking along the beach.

My tentative plans include a doors-off helicopter tour, snorkeling and walking along the beach. If we get our kayaking muscles back in shape before then (we're experienced sea kayakers, mostly on the Chesapeake Bay & some along the coast of Maine), we might kayak along the Napali Coast: https://www.kayakkauai.com/cart.php… If we don't do the kayak tour, we'll probably do a Napali Coast boat tour, preferably one with the smaller boats that goes in close to shore.

One day will be a drive up the Waimea Canyon. We probably won't be doing a lot of hiking this year due to my recent back problems -- several herniated disks -- unless it gets a lot better soon (I think I will still be able to kayak, though). If my Dr. approves, might also want to do some zip-lining, too. Other, less vigorous plans include the luau at the Mediterranean Gourmet. I usually don't plan too tightly on trips like this, but will keep in mind a general itinerary (like the days we can do the luau).

Thinking we might just stay near the Lihue airport the first night, take the helicopter tour the next morning, then get in our rental car & drive up to the North Shore, maybe stopping at the waterfalls & the lighthouse on the way.

I know we will have a long flight to get from the east coast to Hawaii & back home. (And my husband will probably suffer from jetlag on the return trip) Looking currently at United for their schedules & also we might be able to upgrade to 1st with miles.

Any advice & recommendations welcomed!

Shari

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1. Re: Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

I'd recommend that you find accomodations asap. The cottages you're thinking of look very nice. Do you know if they're available? The few place I'm familiar with in Hanalei are booked solid. Otherwise, sounds like you a great plan.

Yorktown, Virginia
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2. Re: Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

Thanks. The cottages are showing availability on the website. -- but I will definitely check.

Santa Rosa...
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3. Re: Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

It looks like you have been doing your homework. You've made some good decisions thus far. Kudos to you.

My only comment..... you might want to rethink your plan to spend the first night near the airport just because of your helicopter ride the next morning. This is just my own personal preference but I'd head right to my hotel of choice and avoid having to check in and check out immediately on your next morning. The hassles of packing up again outweigh the drive to the airport the next day. Driving distances just aren't that bad on Kauai.

This is just me but I'd much rather get to my abode and settle in. Then again I don't find the drives on Kauai to be bad at all and the scenery is worth the drive anyway.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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4. Re: Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

There are a couple of good, small hotels near the airport - Garden Island Inn and the Kaua`i Inn. There's also the Marriott in Lihu`e, and the Kaua`i Beach Resort. Depending on when your flight arrives and where your cottage is, you might opt to just drive there on arrival.

central cove
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5. Re: Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

"Thinking we might just stay near the Lihue airport the first night, take the helicopter tour the next morning"

The only problem with that thought process is that it requires the weather to cooperate. It is not unusual to have to re book due to weather, particularly with the smaller Helos. Go to your Condo, relax, stay flexable and see what the weather dictates.

Santa Rosa...
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6. Re: Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

Good point made by Spud. What if you book a room near the airport your first night then the weather doesn't cooperate the next morning for your ride? You might want to wait until you get there to book.

Yorktown, Virginia
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7. Re: Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

Advice noted. I will make reservations for only the one place on Kauai, and stay there the entire time. I agree, this opens up more flexibility to allow for weather conditions and such.

Moorpark, California
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8. Re: Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

If you have a bad back, I would skip the ziplining all together. My husband also has a bad back and on some of the zips, they will jar your back. He was in pain the rest of our trip (in 2011). We opted for the ATV tour instead. As 22kauai mentions, you really need to book your accomodations ASAP. We've been booked for our trip in June since Thanksgiving and I was not able to get into my 1st choise. It was booked already.

Kauai, Hawaii
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9. Re: Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

Excellent , and you asked for some ideas on your great choices.

You sound pretty fit, and have researched your trip pretty darned thoroughly.

We like that in the visitors.

You mentioned zip lining. Also very near the Lihue Marriot are the offices of a really fun and different zip lining and the company name benefits their adventure : JUST LIVE....808-482-1295,

You check into their offices at the Anchor Cove mall. They are great people and thier programs are quite different, in that you do not come out of the trees.....you zip in the tree tops....no hiking from take off area to take off area. You will board their new transport van to the lush surrounding of their zip lining area....about a 12 to 15 minute drive. You just relax.

Ecology narratives are provided by their guides. Yes, they do have just zip lining, but what interests us, is the zipline eco-ADVENTURE that includes ziplining, 3 zips, 2 canopy bridges,60 ft. monster swing, 60 ft. climbing wall, and 100 ft rapelling tower. ( 4 hours ).

Other programs are: 7 zips, 4 canopy bridges ( 3 hrs ) or the

wiki wiki zip tour which is 2 zips, 2 canopy bridges ( 2 hrs )

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As to staying on in the Airport Area, to be close to the helo tours. Agree with staying at the Marriot on Kalapak beach in Lihue. Many on property restauants, plus great pool , beautiful beach, lots of aloha. Also off property restaruants are a short walk.

And, you can walk to the offices of three different helo companies in a couple of minutes. BLUE DOLPIN , MAUNA LOA, AND SUNSHINE.

Also, JUST LIVE is in the same area and an easy walk.

The Lihue Marriot is about a 6 or 8 minute drive from LIH AIRPORT.

Life made easy.

Denny

Edited: 3:30 pm, February 24, 2013
Wisconsin
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10. Re: Advice on my plans for first Kauai visit?

Did you decide where you are staying on the north shore yet? We have stayed at this house many times and it appears to be available the week of August 4th:

hawaiilife.com/vacation-rentals/…

The weekly rate runs closer to $2000-2200 than the stated $400/night.

We love this cottage because it is a half block from beautiful Hanalei Bay and just a few blocks from town - restaurants, shops, fish market, grocery store, etc. We barely drive our car while we are there. It is not directly on the beach - there are large homes between this home and the beach - but it really hasn't been a problem for us. The short stroll to the beach is just part of the experience.

Wherever you end up staying I hope you love your time on Kauai! It is absolutely our favorite island and the north shore is unbelievably beautiful.

Anne