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Kaua’i Sightseeing Tours- Land

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You’ve come too far to sit by the pool ALL day long.  Sure, that’s fun, but you just have to see the rest of the island…it’s beautiful!  So get off the couch, get into the car and circualte a little and see the most beautiful state in the Union.  You might consider calling one of …

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Kamokila Hawaiian Village

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Come and enjoy a traditional Hawaiian village that has been recreated on an authentic site. The 4 acre property is rich in history, culture and natural habitats from centuries ago. The last reigning king of Kauai, King Kaumuali’i, was a one-time resident and it was reported to be his favorite place. The area is also alive with some of the Wailua River …

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Kalalau Valley

I first saw the valley from the Kalalau Valley Lookout in July 1972 and was even then stunned by its beauty.  Don’t get me wrong—there’s nothing to “do” at the Kalalau Valley Lookout other than bask in the beauty of the spot, but if ever there were a “Shangri-La” on this earth, it is here.  …

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Princeville

Princeville

In 1853, R.C. Wyllie started a coffee plantation on the site of what is now Princeville. The coffee plantation failed, but Princeville is now the largest planned development on Kaua’i. It’s home to some of Hawai’i's finest resorts, golf courses and restaurants. Princeville is also the site of three beaches, Pu’u Poa (thumping point), Kenomene …

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Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge

kauailighthouse

The Kilauea Lighthouse is right out of a young child’s imagination…a beautiful lighthouse on a rugged cliff, with pounding white surf and soaring birds overhead.  The 52-foot Lighthouse was erected in 1913 and its beam once reached 90 miles out to sea. The lens is the largest of its type ever made. The lighthouse has …

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Hanalei Valley Lookout

Hanalei Lookout

Hanalei Valley Lookout offers one of the most famous views on Kauai. The valley is one mile wide and six miles long. Most of the taro grown in Hawaii is grown here. On the valley floor is a one-way truss bridge built in 1912. The bridge was damaged by a tsunami in 1957, and …

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Waikanaloa Wet Cave and Waikapalae Wet Cave

Waikanaloa Cave

I first visited these caves (totally on the dry side…never in a million years could you get me into cave full of water…) in 1973, and I vividly recall that not every scuba diver that’s ever gone into them has come out.  That really gave me the willies and confirmed by desire never to in …

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Makana Peak

makanapeak

Meaning “gift,” Makana peak is another stand-out from the movie “South Pacific” where it is identified as “Bali Hai.”  Hawaiian legend holds that ancient Hawaiians would climb the mountain and throw burning spears off of it, to arch across the sky, eventually landing in the water.   Drive North on the 56 38 miles through Kapa’a, …

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Hanalei Bay

Hanalei

Did I say “another visual stunner?”  (You’re going to see that phrase a lot  regarding things on Kaua’i).  Hanalei Bay is crescent-shaped beach that abuts a sheer cliff on one end and a rocky point on the other.  It doesn’t’ get any better than this!          Drive North on the 56 30.5 miles through …

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Honopu Valley

Honopu Valley

Another visual “stunner.”  Thought by some to be the final home of the Menehune, it is also known to some as “The Valley of the Lost Tribe.”  (Boy, I wish I could be lost there for a while !!!)  The valley has also been used in a number of movies, such as the 1976 re-make …

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Na Pali Coast

Na Pali Coast copy

Along the northern shore is the Na Pali coast, one of the most beautiful and most famous scenic venues in the world.  This fifteen-mile stretch of rugged coastline on the northwest shore of Kauai literally means “the Cliffs,” some of which are 4,000 feet high.  Much of Na Pali Coast is inaccessible due to its …

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Sleeping Giant (Nounou Mountain)

sleepinggiant

Look for the mountain ridge between Wailua and Kapaa.  It looks like a man reclining on his back. which looks like the figure of a man on his back. Legend has it that this was a pesky giant who ate constantly. The villagers of Wailua, tired of feeding the giant, tricked him into eating a …

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Wailua River State Park

Wailua River

Another beautiful scene.  Remember the scene in the first Indiana Jones movie, where he’s being chased by natives, jumps into the water and swims out to the airplane?  Yep, this is where that was filmed.  One of the prettiest scenes you’ll ever see.   Drive North on the 56 6 miles into Kapa’a. Lydgate State Park …

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Old Kapaa Town

kapa'a

Old Kapa’a is a quaint 19th century plantation town. The streets are lined with a variety of unique shops and an abundance of ono (delicious) restaurants. A wonderful place to take a stroll and see the wares of local merchants.     Drive North 8.5 miles on the 56. You will see a sign welcoming you to …

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Keahua Forestry Arboretum

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Hawai’i is such a wonderful place for things to grow! The climate, the soil and the ample rain make it place that even I could maybe get things to grow! If you are interested in plants, you’d be well advised to take the time to tour the botanical gardens that are found on the major islands. And waling among the plants is a god way to simply reflect on things. So peaceful, so tranquil…

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The Bell Stone

Bellstone%20-%20Kauai,%20Hawaii

  Looking for a great way to make that special announcement?  Strike this stone in the right way, and hard enough and a unique note will resound throughout the valley.  Seriously!    Drive North on the 56 6 miles into Kapa’a. Turn left on Kuamo’o Rd. (580). Just past the 1 mile mark is a dirt road …

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Anahola Mountain

Anahola Mountain

There is nothing particularly profound about this mountain other than its unusual shape. If you would like to see the mountain, drive North on the 56 for 14 miles.

Anahola Mountain will be on your left.

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Wailua Falls

wailuafalls

These dramatic 80-foot waterfalls can be seen from Highway 583 or Maalo Road and were used in the opening of the television series Fantasy Island. The cliff over the pool once served as a diving platform for the ali`i.  (These falls are among the most photographed falls in Hawai’i, and to be frank, I’ve never …

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Pohaku Ho’ohanau

Pohaku Ho'ohanau

To ensure that their children would become kings or chiefs, royal Hawaiian women would go to the sacred stones located at the Pohaku Ho’ohanau heiau to give birth. Drive into Kapa’a town. Turn left on Kuamo’o Rd. (580). Pohaku Ho’ohanau (the Birthstones) is almost immediately on your left.     Drive North on the 56 and make a …

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Lydgate State Park

lydgate

Lydgate has much to offer the visitor. Fine picnic grounds, an excellent swimming area for the keiki, and a wonderful stretch of beach for sunning or a stroll. There is also a great playground built by volunteers from the community. The coconut grove here once served as a place of refuge for the ancient Hawaiians. …

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Hikina Akala Heiau

The Hikina a ka la (rising of the sun) Heiau is at the north end of the beach at Lydgate State Park. Evidence indicates it was built around 800 A.D. It draws its name from the fact that it was built on the first spot in the Wailua area that the rays of the sun touch each morning. Drive North on the 56 6 miles into Kapa’a. Hikina Akala Heiau is near the mouth of the Wailua…

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Hauola Place of Refuge

At the northern end of the Hikina a ka la Heiau, which is part of Lydgate State Park, is Hauola (dew of life), one of two ancient places of refuge on Kauai. If a Hawaiian had broken a kapu or belonged to a defeated army, the goal was to gain entry to a sanctuary such …

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Fern Grotto

ferngrotto

This picturesque fern-fringed cave is only accessible by a leisurely ride up the Wailua River. The dewy emerald grotto, complete with the soft strains of Hawaiian music, creates an alluring setting for weddings.   Just a few miles west of Lihue.    Drive North on the 56 6 miles into Kapa’a. Fern Grotto tours are purchased across …

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Menehune (Alekoko) Fishpond

Legends abound about the Menehune, an ancient race of “little folk” who made their home on Kauai. These mysterious people were thought to be very industrious and used their great strength to accomplish mighty feats overnight. The seaward end of the fish pond was left unfinished because dawn came before the Menehune had completed their …

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Kaua’i Museum

kauaimuseum

We go to the museum every time we visit Kaua’i. Not very large, but very well done and very interesting. I love learning about the history of the Islands, and there is something new to learn with every visit. The last time we visited the museum there was a local crafts fair going on, along with some great local…

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Hulē‘ia National Wildlife Refuge

Hulē‘ia

Another great place for experiencing the natural beauty of Kauai. The Huleia River winds its way through this thickly jungled wildlife refuge. Remember the scene in the first Indiana Jones movie, where he’s being chased by natives, jumps into the water and swims out to the airplane?  Yep, this is where that was filmed.  One …

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Grove Farm Homestead Museum

Formerly the 80-acre plantation home of George N. Wilcox, Grove Farm Homestead has been preserved as a depiction of life on a sugar plantation. Tours must be booked in advance.

Drive South on the 50 to Nawiliwili Rd. Turn left on Nawiliwili, continue…

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Gaylord’s Plantation House

gaylords

This remarkable building will catch your eye every time you drive by. The architecture is strikingly beautiful and the building is well maintained. There’s a nice restaurant inside along with a gift shop; I bought one of my favorite aloha shirts there. And watch for the carriages pulled by…

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Spouting Horn

spouting

Ocean water, forced into a lava tube by the surf, gushes into the air making an eerie hissing noise. The ancient Hawaiians believed that Kaikapu, a lizard goddess, was trapped by a clever fisherman in the lava tube and the hissing was her angry roar.  Drive South on the 50 7 miles. Turn left on …

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Poipu Beach Park

poipu

We LOVE Poipu Beach and the area surrounding it.  We have stayed there several times and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves every time.  The weather seems to be nicer in Poipu and the condos we’ve rented have always been right on the water (like 30 feet away…there are some serious beach properties in Poipu Beach…)  It’s just …

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Old Koloa Town

Old Kaloa

The enchanting town of Koloa was the site of Kauai’s first sugar plantation, which was built in the 1830s by Ladd and Company.  Good place for “VIP sightings,” sometimes.  Wifey and I sat next to Peter Graves (of “Mission Impossible” fame) one night at dinner in a small Koloa Town restaurant.  Nice fella.   Drive South …

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National Tropical Botanical Garden

National Tropical Botanical Garden

Located in Lawai Valley, the National Tropical Botanical Garden is the only tropical botanical garden in the U.S. to be chartered by Congress. The tour of the grounds, ablaze with a multitude of plants and flowers, includes ancient Hawaiian stone walls and taro terraces.  My wife has toured these gardens and reported that they are spectacular.  …

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Kukuiolono Park

Kukuiolono Park

From Kalaheo, travel Papalina Road for a little less than a mile and you’ll see a sign indicating Kukuiolono Park. Kukuiolono means “light of Lono,” which has its origin in the fires that were built on the hillside to guide Hawaiian seafarers. The park features a beautiful Japanese garden, legend stones, and a panoramic view. …

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Koloa History Center

Located in the Old Koloa Town Mall, the tiny history center offers a brief introduction to the history of the area in the form of artifacts from the old plantation days. Drive South on the 50 7 miles. Make a left on Maluhia Rd. (520) (the Tree Tunnel road). Continue 3 miles on Maluhia into Koloa …

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Waimea Canyon

waimeacanyon1

OK, so maybe I’ve saved next-to-best (remember, now, the Kalalau Valley is THE best site on Kaua’i) for last.  The Waimea Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” can be seen from the same road by which you get to the Kalalau Valley lookout.  The canyon was (and still is being) formed …

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Salt Pond

You may be able to catch a glimpse of days gone by at the ancient Hawaiian salt ponds near Hanapepe. The art of salt-making in earthen pans is still practiced here by families descending from ancient saltmakers, and is a reminder of the rich Hawaiian culture of the island. Enter the salt-making area only if …

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Hanapepe Valley Lookout

Hanapepe Valley Lookout

Rolling green hills, quaint farms, and lush vegetation create a dazzling view from the Hanapepe Overlook. This untamed, exotic area was the perfect setting for Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster thriller “Jurassic Park.”    Drive South on the 50 14 miles past Lawai and Kalaheo, into Hanapepe. Hanapepe Valley Lookout is just after the 14 mile mark, on …

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Hanapepe

View of Hanapepe

Hanapepe means “bay crushed by landslides” and is the unofficial art capital of the island.  Most galleries stay open until 9 p.m. on Friday nights.   The main street through town was used for the filming of “The Thornbirds.” This quaint town is filled with charm, and there are heiaus and numerous Hawaiian homesites up the …

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Russian Fort Elizabeth

RussianFort

In 1815 the Russian doctor, Georg Scheffer, arrived in Hawai’i to gain trading privileges from King Kamehameha, who had created a kingdom incorporating all the islands of Hawaii. The Russian went to Kauai, nominally under the control of King Kaumualii, to salvage Russian cargo being held in Waimea. Once on Kauai, Scheffer gained the confidence …

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Menehune Ditch

According to legend, the high chief of Waimea, Ola, was concerned that his people were having difficulty bringing water from the Waimea River down to their taro patches. In order for Ola to enlist the aid of the hardworking Menehune, he had to establish a kapu (taboo) so that no one could leave their houses …

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Kokee Natural History Museum

kokee

Kokee Museum is located at Kokee State Park at the top of Waimea Canyon Road. Part of the beauty of visiting the park and museum, of course, is the drive past breathtaking Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” to get there. The small, quaint museum is devoted to the flora, fauna, and natural …

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Captain Cook Monument

Captain Cook

Located on the roadside in the rural town of Waimea in Hofgaard Park (also known as Tamago — egg-shaped — Park), is the site where British Captain James Cook first landed in Hawaii in 1778. Cook, with his ships the HMS Resolution and Discovery, was the first westerner to discover the islands.  Drive South on …

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Polihale State Park

polihale

Just past the Pacific Missile Range Facility gate on Highway 50, a sign posted by the Hawaii Visitors Bureau points to a dirt cane-hauling road angling off to the left. Follow the road for about five miles and you’ll arrive at Polihale State Park. The park has a beautiful 3-mile long beach. However, the ocean …

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Barking Sands Test and Underwater Range (“BARSTUR,” in military-speak.)

barkingsandskauai

The Navy owns and operates a state-of-the-art guided missile and underwater test range on the west coast of Kaua’i.  We have been there any number of times.  It has one of the prettiest beaches anywhere, from which it gets the name “barking sands.”  As you walk the beach, if you engage your imagination just a …

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Waimea and Kehaka

waimeacanyon3

Turn onto Kekaha Rd. where it separates from the 50 (at the 25 mile marker). Bear right off Kekaha Rd. onto Old Mana Rd. immediately. Continue on Old Mana Rd. 7 miles. Old Mana Rd. then becomes a bumpy dirt road. Do not continue if you have a very low car, or if it is …

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