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Kauai

We just got back from our vacation to Kauai. We had lots of fun, especially Baby Bel. "Beach" became her favorite word. She loved splashing in the waves and playing in the sand. This picture was taken at 'Opaeka'a Falls.

Location: Kauai, HI

Date: Feb/Mar 2011

The Tour

Lodging

We stayed at Kauai Beach Resort. It was a decent hotel with basic amenities such as coffee maker, mini fridge, iron, hair dryer, restaurant, exercise room, spa, laundry room, pool, and outdoor bar/restaurant. We were hoping get internet access in the room, but it was costly, slow, and you had to plug in (no wireless).

Initially, we had gone through Expedia and booked a condo, the Wailua Bay View Condos. But a few days before our trip, they cancelled our reservation and rebooked us at a different hotel. That's how we ended up at Kauai Beach Resort. We were pretty bummed because we really wanted a kitchen. Traveling with a young toddler, it really comes in handy. She did not do well at restaurants, especially not for every meal of every day for 3 weeks. We did search around for another condo, but being a few days before the trip, there was no availability.

Nonetheless, we had fun at Kauai Beach Resort. We enjoyed the room service and the outdoor restaurant and bar. We drank Mai Tais at the pool side. But after 3 weeks, we did get a little tired of their menu. There was beach access, but it a little crowded with rocks, soggy coconuts, driftwood, and and tiny broken pieces of junk. Not a very good swim beach.


The view from our lanai.


Mom and baby at the hotel's toddler wading pool.

Lydgate Park

Lydgate Park was our favorite beach. It was relatively quiet, private, and clean, with lots of soft, silky sand for Baby Bel to play in.


Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon was the first place we went to go sightseeing. It was about a 90 minute drive there from our hotel, with a winding uphill drive as you get close. We actually ended up going there twice, once to get sunrise pics, and then mid-day pics.

There's a small climb up stairs or wheelchair ramp to get to the lookout. Compared to the Grand Canyon, there's a lot of green, plus a waterfall off to the side. We contined up the road and went to some other great lookouts and ate at a decent restaurant up there.

Waterfalls


Waliua Falls

Apparently there are many waterfalls on Kauai. We went to see a couple of them. They had easily accessible lookouts (no hiking required). Near 'Opaeka'a Falls there is a quaint old Kamokila Hawaiian Village you can tour, with huts and a canoe ride.

Kilohana Plantation

A fun train ride, animal feeding, a delicious, farm-to-table restaurant, rum tasting, gift shops, and a luau. Kilohana Plantation has it all. Other than getting eaten alive by mosquitos, we had lots of fun there. Baby Bel loved the train ride with the animal feed most of all. It toured us around gardens of everything from papayas and bananas to native and introduced trees. I enjoyed the vegetarian lasagna and home grown salad at the restaurant.

The luau was very nicely done, but it was hard for us to enjoy it with Baby Bel. It was impossible for her to sit still at the table for dinner. She enjoyed some of the dancing, but it wasn't long before Baby Bel was ready to go home.


Train Ride


Animal Feed

Conclusion

We were there for 3 weeks and drove all over the island. There were not too many great restaurants and made me really wish we could have gotten a condo. My favorite food there was definitely the fresh papaya, which is in season all year around.

We took a flight to Oahu one day, which was fun and not too expensive.

Someday it might be fun to go back and do some kayaking, hiking, or helicopter riding around more waterfalls and the famous Na Pali Coast, which is not accessible by car. Until Baby Bel gets old enough to do some of those things, we probably would go to Maui or Oahu next time.

Since it was winter when we were there, the water wasn't always warm, and it rained a little more than I would have liked. But the temperature in the 70s and 80s was perfect. We had gone to Oahu last summer, and the water was perfect, but the weather was a little too hot. So I guess there's a trade off.

Kauai was full of wild chickens running around everywhere. It was really cute. Baby Bel loved them and said "cluck cluck" whenever she saw them.

Overall it was a fun vacation. It was warm, relaxing, and we got to be beach bums!



More of my trips ...

 





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