Beautiful Kauai Visit 2016

Poipu Beach at sunset

After a six-night visit to Kauai, the memories of the island’s beauty still resonate. Even though we’ve been to Kauai several times and I know what to expect, the island still puts me in awe- from the verdantly green volcanic mountains to the white sandy beaches and everything in between. If there was a beauty contest for islands, Kauai would most certainly be a contender.

Kilauea Lighthouse

In the coming weeks and months we’ll be sharing more details about the visit. For now, we’d like to provide an overview of the visit which may be helpful for readers who are currently planning a Kauai vacation.

Wailua Falls


Kauai is an island that inspires you to get out and discover its trails, views and history. Here are the adventures we enjoyed on this most recent visit.

– We hit the dirt trails driving through a former sugar can plantation with Kauai ATV. In addition to the thrill of the ATV driving, we also enjoyed a refreshing dip at a waterfall. Here’s our review of Kauai ATV.

We’re just about to set off on our ATV adventure. The path becomes much more narrow and challenging than what you see here.

– We took in the majestic Na Pali Coast by catamaran tour and snorkeled, too with Kauai Sea Tours. See our review of the Na Pali Coast snorkel tour with Kauai Sea Tours.

The Na Pali Coast.

– No trip to Kauai is complete without a visit to Waimea Canyon and the Kokee State Parks. Even though we’ve explored these two parks numerous other times, it’s still such a special place to visit. We spent most of a day taking in the sights and mixing in a little hiking.

The Kalalau Lookout from Kokee State Park


– We went horseback riding on the lovely grounds of Silver Falls Ranch on the north shore. The tour also included the opportunity to swim at a waterfall.

Silver Falls Ranch

– We did a self-guided tour through Limahuli Garden and Preserve on the north shore. It was difficult to decide which was prettier — the gardens or the setting. See our review of Limahuli Gardens.

Limahuli Garden and Preserve

In between all these adventures we also packed in as much sightseeing as we could. We returned to some favorite places — like Wailua Falls and Kilauea Lighthouse. We also enjoyed seeing beaches that we’d never seen, walked around Hanapepe town and even learned about and sampled Kauai-made run at Koloa Rum Company.


We stayed in two different accommodations in the Poipu Beach area. There are many great places to stay in Kauai, but Poipu is hard to beat for great beaches and convenient restaurants and shopping.

We spent four nights at the Villas at Poipu Kai. These upscale villas are very comfortable, spacious and well appointed. They’re in a garden setting, just a five-ish minute walk to the beach. Here’s our review of the Villas at Poipu Kai.

Our lanai at Poipu Kai Villas

We moved over to the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa for our last two nights. This luxury resort has the best pools on the entire island. See our full detailed review of Grand Hyatt Kauai with video and photos.

The pool options at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa are great. There’s a lazy river, water slide, salt water lagoon, adults-only pool and jacuzzis. Plus, when conditions permit, there’s the ocean, too.

We’d like to thank the Kauai Visitors Bureau for sponsoring this excellent visit.

  1. Wow, Sheila! You have the most thorough and informational site I’ve found regarding Hawaii. Thank you for investing so much time, effort and obviously love into creating this wonderful resource for the public at large.

    My family (husband, myself, our two boys (15 & 13), brother-in-law, wife, two boys (17 & 11), mother and father in-laws, and my parents) are booking a trip to Kauai from March 23, 2018 through April 1, 2018.

    We are planning on staying the 23-24 at a hotel in Honolulu as we want to visit Pearl Harbor and are not planning on renting a vehicle.

    -Would you recommend any nice, but budget friendly, hotels in that area?
    -Are there any other Honolulu sites we should visit?

    We are flying from Denver, Colorado to Kauai. Would you recommend we book our airline tickets as a round-trip/continuous flight (i.e. DIA to HNL to LIH and same for return) or schedule flights from DIA to HNL and then from HNL to LIH and same for return?

    When we get to Kauai, we are utilizing our timeshare trade for everyone’s accommodations and have requested (on waiting list) one of the following resorts:

    -Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa – Koloa
    -The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas – Princeville
    -Hanalei Bay Resort – Princeville
    -The Cliffs Club & The Cliffs Resort – Princeville

    I see that you stayed in the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa recently.

    -Would you happen to have any video or additional pictures of this resort?
    -Is this a good place for families ranging from ages 11 to 68?
    -Would you recommend other accommodations as better for our group?
    -Does the property have outdoor BBQ grills?
    -Do you remember what the additional daily room fees and taxes were?
    -Are the activities and equipment additional or are they covered by the daily fees?
    -Have you experienced the luau at the Marriott?
    – Would you do this luau or is there another one that you would recommend?
    -What are some of your most recommended/must see activities for Kauai.

    If we don’t get into the Hyatt, all of our other choices for accommodations are in Princeville.

    -Do you have any specific information (similar to my above questions) regarding any of these resorts and/or activities?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond (hopefully) to my myriad of inquiries. Although my husband and I have traveled quite a bit, I’ve never planned a “whole family” vacation and am quite nervous…I feel the pressure. 🙂

    1. If you want to stay near Pearl Harbor, I recommend you search TripAdvisor. There aren’t really any vacation/resort hotels that are immediately nearby. We have stayed at the Ohana by the airport because we didn’t make our interisland connection one night. It’s relatively close by. It’s budget friendly and clean, but I really wouldn’t want to stay there again.

      Here are our Oahu day trip (2 different options) for Oahu which you could easily adapt for your situation:

      I’d look at all your options regarding flights to see if one option is quicker and/or cheaper and stands out from the rest. From our experience, we have found it cheaper to book all the way to the island we’re visiting.

      This is our video of the Grand Hyatt: We’ll be publishing a full review in a couple of weeks, so subscribe to our free newsletters.

      Really, most resorts in Hawaii are great for multi-generations. Certainly, Grand Hyatt Kauai is. They have a ton of pools from serene to playful.

      We don’t commit daily fees to memory because they are subject to change. If I remember correctly, some activities are included in the resort fee.

      Not done the Marriott luau. Some info here is probably out of date, but still a good comparison with useful links to reviews:

      Kauai activities:

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