U KA A’I TRAVELER THE LIFE & STYLE OF KAUA‘I
KAUA‘I TRAVELER myhawaiitraveler.com FALL 2019
LOCAL VIBE EAT + DRINK SHOP + STYLE THE HOT SPOT CULINARY Q&A WHAT WE LOVE NOW SPORT + ADVENTURE ULTIMATE BEACH GUIDE $6.99
KAUA‘I’S “BIGGEST LITTLE TOWN”
AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN
LATE NIGHT ON KAUA‘I
PROTECTING NATIVE SPECIES
SAVE THE ‘ŌHIA, SAVE THE BIRDS
Marriott Resort & Beach Club (808) 245-4860 Kukuiula Shopping Village (808) 742-2828
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CONTENTS 28 WELCOME TO KAUA‘I Paradise found
68 LIFE AT SEA Hawai‘i’s original ocean voyagers
48 SOUTH SHORE The sun-drenched coast from Po‘ipū to Polihale
82 THE HOT SPOT Palate Wine Bar & Restaurant
74 EAST SIDE The Royal Coconut Coast 100 NORTH SHORE The majestic and magical wonder of nature
84 CULINARY Q&A Executive Chef Aaron Leikam 86 ALMOST FAMOUS Under the radar reds 88 AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN Late night on Kaua‘i
34 KEEP YOUR DISTANCE Dolphins need peaceful sleep to survive
92 BLENDING CULTURES IN DELICIOUS HARMONY Global cuisine on a plate (or in a box)
50 HANAPĒPĒ Kaua‘i's “Biggest Little Town”
96 BIZARRE BITES It's what's inside that counts
62 SAVE THE ‘ŌHIA, SAVE THE BIRDS Protecting native species from extinction takes extreme measures
UNDERSTANDING PIDGIN, LESSON 49
Broke da Mouth /brōk dah mowt/: Extremely delicious to the taste.
"Dis Potagee Paella broke da mouth, Unko Roy!"
Tiger Shrimp, Clams, Chicken, Portuguese Sausage
Eating House 1849 pays homage to Hawaii’s vibrant culinary heritage, a nod to restaurateurs like Peter Fernandez who, the story goes, opened one of the first restaurants in Hawaii, called the Eating House, back in the mid-1800s, using what was available from local farmers, ranchers, foragers and fishermen. It’s here that award-winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi blends these two worlds: the easy ambiance and simple flavors of a plantation town with the dynamic modernity of haute cuisine.
Located at The Shops at Kukui‘ula | Reservations (808) 742-5000 or visit eatinghouse1849.com
UA’I KA TRAVELER THE LIFE & STYLE OF KAUA‘I
Editor in Chief Mun Sok Geiger
SHOP | 42
SPORT + ADVENTURE | 54
Coco Zickos Krystal Kakimoto Mary Troy Johnston Andrew Walsh Emery Garcia
FOOD + DRINK | 76 Traveler Media PO BOX 159 Kamuela, HI 96743 firstname.lastname@example.org
BEACHES | 102 4
EVENTS | 110
Copyright©2019 Traveler Media. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission from the publisher is prohibited. Printed in Hong Kong. Traveler Media makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied in this publication. However, due to unavoidable circumstance of change, whether from the forces of nature or manmade, the information is not guaranteed. Traveler Media is not responsible or liable in any way for any loss or damage incurred resulting from the information supplied in any and all forms of media or communications.
PHOTO COURTESY: (TOP LEFT) VAN BALEN FINE JEWELRY; MIDDLE) STREETBURGER KAUAI
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EDITOR'S NOTE Be pono (righteous). With record-setting visitors, the word is out that Kauaÿi is a vacation destination hot spot. It’s easy to see why with dramatic emerald valleys, lush rainforests, idyllic beaches, abundant waterfalls and incredible adventures that will leave you breathless. And while most visitors are well traveled and respectful of culture and place, there have been some incidences when some island guests have behaved badly leaving residents understandably upset. I was so distressed when I read about the trespassing bride and groom in The Garden Island in the June paper. They not only trespassed onto a working taro filed in Hanalei, but one of the guys even elbowed the landowner when he asked them to leave. Could you imagine looking into your backyard and seeing about 20 complete strangers having a wedding party and taking photos? That’s beyond unacceptable behavior not only as a visitor, but also as a decent human. Kauaÿi is renowned for the aloha spirit the residents exude and for living pono. Visitors need to be pono, too. This means no trespassing on private property and respecting the recovery efforts from the historic April 2018 flooding, which includes the repairing of roads and rebuilding of what was lost. Please take the time to learn about the new access rules to the North Shore beaches (The Beaches of Kauaÿi, p. 104). Plan ahead if you want to experience Häÿena State Park, or have an equally great time at any of the postcard-perfect beaches found in abundance here. Being pono also means respecting the island’s flora and fauna and doing your part to preserve them. Sadly, there’s been a recent discovery of Rapid ÿÖhiÿa Death (ROD) on Kauaÿi. ROD has destroyed many of the native ÿöhiÿa lehua trees on the Big Island, and much effort has been put in place to prevent the same fate on the Garden Isle. The nectar from the lehua (blossoms of the ÿöhiÿa tree) is 6
a favorite amongst native birds so it’s super important to prevent the spread of ROD (Save the ÿÖhiÿa, Save the Birds p. 62). Everyone loves dolphins and to witness spinners here doing acrobats and playfully chasing the boats is an unforgettable sight. However, it’s been well studied that human interaction is detrimental to the health and population of dolphins. Dolphins sleep during the day and hunt at night. Many of the daytime adventures with dolphins are during their time of rest. It may not look like they are sleeping, but they actually are. Sleep is vital for their survival (Keep Your Distance, p. 34). Dolphins need to sleep peacefully so they have enough energy to fend off predators, such as sharks and whales, hunt, mate, care for their young and be social. State legislature is very close to passing a law that will make it illegal to be within 50-yards of dolphins. It has been taken into account that dolphins are highly intelligent and curious creatures and may approach snorkelers/divers/boats. Under the current Marine Mammal Protection Act, you cannot deliberately approach, chase or harm dolphins or any other mammal. Whether it’s the stunning natural marvels, fun ocean adventures, the famed trails or the wonderful kamaÿäina (residents) that draws you here, please enjoy responsibly. It truly is an extraordinary place with friendly locals who enjoy sharing their aloha and sharing their home. We hope you have the time of your life discovering this amazing destination in the middle of the Pacific. Many happy returns, Mun Sok Geiger email@example.com Editor in Chief KAUA‘I TRAVELER
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WORDS BROOKE REHMANN
One of our reef’s more colorful inhabitants is the uhu, or parrotfish. With its psychedelic colors, parrotfish are easily discernable from their fellow reef-dwelling residents. Their unusual coloring, though, isn’t the only extraordinary thing about them. Parrotfish prefer to eat a diet of coral, and often their chomping can be heard underwater. After their meals, they expel a stream of sand, as much as a ton per fish per year! We can give a little bit of thanks to these unusual fish for our islands’ beautiful beaches, as their excrement has helped make them. Hawaiian waters are home to three endemic uhu, as well as four non-endemic ones. Parrotfish do not start off their lives looking as fabulous as they do in adulthood—their colors evolve over time; and in fact, some fish have the ability to change sex and become even more colorful as their lives progress. For instance, “supermale” parrotfish have a harem of female fish—when the supermale dies, the strongest female in the harem changes sex and adapts the colors of the male. As if all that strangeness wasn’t enough, parrotfish also enjoy sleeping in a cocoon made of mucus, potentially as a form of protection from eels and other predators. Now when you catch a glimpse of this unique fish, you’ll never look at them the same way again.
HEAVEN SCENT GOOD SMOKE
Looking to add a little spice to your morning breakfast? Portuguese sausage, or more formally known as linguiça in its home country, is typically made from smoke-cured pork that gets seasoned with spicy paprika and garlic. When Portuguese immigrants left their homeland, typically from the Azores, an island chain in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean tied to the Portugal mainland (much like Hawaiÿi is to the US), they brought with them their culinary traditions, including what has been adapted as the “Portuguese sausage.” This tasty sausage, along with Spam, is the go-to breakfast meat of the Hawaiian Islands, perfect with a plate of fried eggs and a scoop of white rice. You’ll see it added to fried rice dishes and noodles or even on püpü (appetizer) menus, and McDonald’s offers Portuguese sausage as a breakfast option. Next time you’re in line at the hotel’s breakfast buffet or see it on a menu, give this flavorful local staple a try.
One of the most refreshing aspects of a visit to Hawai‘i is the fragrance of the tropical flowers. Few other places on earth rival the scents found here on our islands, and one such fragrant flower is the gardenia. Multiple gardenias grow here, from the standard gardenia, with beautiful, soft white blossoms, native to Southeast Asia, and preferring moist, acidic growing conditions more suitable to our island’s higher elevations. Gardenia tubifera, or the golden gardenia, is striking with its yellow petals and sweet fragrance, making a dramatic statement in any landscape. The Tahitian gardenia, Gardenia taitensis, also grows here in Hawai‘i, either as a small hedge or tall tree. Its pinwheel shape flower has five to eight petals that resemble blades, and is a favorite flower to wear behind the ear both here and across Polynesia. Hawaiÿi has its own gardenia, the nänü. Native to Hawaiÿi’s dryland forests, the nänü has six soft white petals, with a sweet perfume slightly reminiscent of coconut oil. Regardless of the type of gardenia you encounter, be sure to admire its beauty and enjoy their heavenly scent. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
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SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE Guardian angels are very popular in Christian communities across the US. Here in Hawaiÿi, a similar concept evolved organically, long before Western contact took place. ÿAumakua, or spirits of ancestors in the form of animals or plants that guide the living, hold a significant position in the hearts of not only Hawaiians, but also Polynesians. A popular saying, “ÿAno lani; ÿano honua” means that ʻaumakua are both heavenly and earthly in nature. A visit by a personal ÿaumakua is said to be offering advice, help, inspiration, or acting as a guide—heeding the guidance or warnings of your ÿaumakua was (and still is) something that should be taken seriously. ÿAumakua can take the shape of sharks, sea turtles, pueo (Hawaiian
short-eared owls), octopuses, eels, rats, dogs, caterpillars, and even plants and rocks. And not all sharks or pueo are the family’s ÿaumakua, but instead one particular one would represent the family’s ancestor. Those who have seen Disney’s Moana might recognize her grandmother in the form of a manta ray as an example of an ÿaumakua. Each family is in charge of taking care of their ÿaumakua through prayers and other offerings, and to behave in ways that doesn’t anger the ÿaumakua. In exchange, the ÿaumakua acts as a guardian and provides inspiration or strength as needed. It is not common for families to speak openly about their ÿaumakua, though some may be willing. Being respectful of this special relationship will go a long way.
Serving Lunch & Dinner Grass-fed Kauai Beef Locally sourced ingredients Wood fired grill Exhibition Kitchen Patio Dining Large selection of Craft beers on tap JASON PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY
Be sure to check out our new sister restaurant, Oyster 369.
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GRACEFUL GIANTS There’s something magical about manta rays. To catch a glimpse of one of these elegant creatures as they glide through the clear water is a moment of great joy and deservedly garners oohs and ahs. Known as hähälua in Hawaiian, which means “two mouths” or “two breaths,” these creatures were so revered they are mentioned in the second section of the Kumulipo, the Hawaiian creation chant. Their presence has always captured a sense of wonder simply because our realm of understanding them or their behavior is elusive. Each manta ray’s markings are unique, like a fingerprint, and researchers use these markings to study the graceful creatures and their habits over time. But where can you catch your own glimpse of manta rays? Take a snorkeling/diving tour to Niÿihau and you’re highly likely to see these majestic creatures plus many other sea stars like spinner dolphins, monk seals, turtles and an array of tropical fish. You will be amazed as the gentle giants gracefully glide right before your very eyes—and, don’t worry, these creatures are safe with no teeth or stingers. Expect to walk away from this unforgettable experience feeling an immense sense of awe and appreciation for these extraordinary creatures. Try Blue Dolphin Charters (808) 3355553, Holo Holo (808) 335-0815, or Kauai Sea Tours (808) 335-5309. 16
in one beautiful space. Devoted to quality clothing, art, jewelry, and Hawaiiana, The Shops at Grand Hyatt Kaua'i offer something for everyone. 1571 POIPU ROAD,Â KOLOA
THE SHOPS NA HOKU Na Hoku has been creating Hawaii's finest jewelry since 1924. Their Hawaiian and Island Lifestyle jewelry features hand engraved heirloom, floral and seal-life designs. Many pieces are set with diamonds, Tahitian pearls, fresh water pearls, Mother of Pearl, and Opal. nahoku.com SHOE ENVY Shoe Envy features stylish, comfortable resort footwear for the whole family. Step into the latest fashions from _ ..
brands like Olukai, Taos, Naot, Pikolinos, Bernie Mev and Keen. You will also find unique handmade vintage clutches, leather handbags and accessories. shoeenvypoipu.com MARTIN & MACARTHUR Handcrafted Koa furniture and personal accessories made by the finest craftsman in Hawaii for over 50 years. Choose from their collection of Koa wood watches , Eternity Rings, and Koa sunglasses made by their private stock of Big Island Koa. martinandmacarthur.com WATER WEAR Water Wear will prepare you for beach life at its finest! Visit the shop for a complete selection of swimsuits, beach tops, sarongs, and beach slippers featuring popular surf brands like Roxy and Quicksilver. shopsofhawaii.com TORI RICHARD Founded in 1956, Tori Richard is proud to continue their tradition of quality made-in-Hawaii craftsmanship and playful eclecticism for the resort lifestyle. From the finest textile printing techniques and unique fabrications, to the one-of a kind prints that adorn and delight, Tori Richard captures a piece of Hawaii like no other. toririchard.com SUNGLASS HUT The ultimate destination for sunglasses. Live for fashion or sport? Sunglass Hut has the best designer brands under the sun. sunglasshut.com OASIS LIFESTYLE Luxuriously relaxed and casually elegant, Oasis is a boutique that reflects the spirit of gracious living that makes our island so special. Oasis offers a selection of apparel, accessories, jewelry, and items for the home. shopsofhawaii.com ACCENTS From fresh food and drinks to locally made and island inspired accessories and gifts, Accents brings you the best Hawaii has to offer. shopsofhawaii.com POIPU BAY GOLF SHOP Within walking distance of the resort, you'll find contemporary resort logo wear and accessories for both men and women. The Golf Shop features the newest designer collections for on and off the course. poipubaygolf.com
WHAT A COOT! The ÿalae kea, or the Hawaiian coot, is an endangered small waterbird endemic to Hawaiÿi. With a black head, dark gray body, and white under tail feathers, one of its most striking features is its conspicuous white bill and frontal shield. The Hawaiian coot prefers the wetland and can be found on the main Hawaiian Islands, except Kahoÿolawe near fresh and brackish ponds and marshes. Hawaiian coots prefer to eat a diet of leaves, seeds, tadpoles, snails, insects, and crustaceans. Though they prefer to eat on land as well as the surface of the water, they will also dive for their food. Interestingly, though, these birds have the ability to fly between islands if their food sources become depleted. Traditionally, the ancient Hawaiians saw the ÿalae kea as a deity, but also as a tasty bird to eat. To help the Hawaiian coot recover its population, visitors and residents are asked to be mindful of the threats that hinder its recovery: loss of coastal plain wetland habitat, the introduction of predators, the introduction of non-native plants, including mangrove and water hyacinth, as well as avian diseases. Try to keep your cats indoor and your dogs on a leash when these special birds are nearby, especially around coastal wetlands so they can live on for future generations. 20
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MY KAUA‘I NAME
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HOW LONG YOU HAVE LIVED IN HAWAI‘I MOVED FROM
Favorite beach: Hanalei Bay—ideal for so many activities including just hanging out. Whether you’re walking your dog, running the bay, body surfing, paddle boarding or just getting wet. It’s a great spot for sunset as well! With a variety of access points to the bay and several parks with picnic tables, it’s always a great choice. Favorite food: Fresh fish. We are lucky to have a plentiful assortment of fresh fish here; and, if you’re really lucky, friends will drop by with a big chunk of ÿahi (yellowfin tuna) or ono (wahoo) they just hand-caught offshore and you can slice it up right then and there—a real treat.
Favorite place to catch the sunset: Black Pot Beach at the Hanalei Pier. It’s always a festive spot with good vibes and lots of folks coming and going—some out to catch waves, others just to chill with an umbrella drink—and, as they say, ‘It’s all good.’ The sunsets though are the star with Mount Makana, aka Bali Hai, in the distance and surfers and sailboats crisscrossing the horizon—really outrageous. Favorite place for happy hour: My back länai (patio). It’s one of my ‘happy places’— perfected a few great cocktail recipes, through arduous trial, error, and lots of Advil. Favorite nightspot: The Nui. Tahiti Nui is Hanalei’s local bar. It’s changed a bit since it was featured prominently in The Descendants. It’s a combo of super talented local musicians, some hula, lots of dancing and their world-famous mai tais. Famous last words here, ‘You shoulda been at The Nui last night, it was going off!’
my local faves
KAUA‘I GOLF 22
Lucky you live Hawai‘i because…it’s a great place to go to bed at night, and a great place to wake up in the morning!
TAHITI NUI KAUA‘I TRAVELER
PHOTO COURTESY: (BOTTOM RIGHT) KIT FURDERER
Favorite pastime/activity: Golfing anyplace on Kauaÿi—the courses are all beautiful, the hospitality and aloha is always warm and gracious, and the putts always break towards the ocean. How cool is that!
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Experience our two, three, or four hour excursions; the perfect mix of adventure and off-road touring for the whole family. Navigate your own premium 4x4 vehicle while your experienced and knowledgeable tour guide leads you through an expansive 3,000 acre trail system on a working cattle ranch full of breathtaking scenery, blockbuster movie sites, and cultural history.
WHY DON'T YOU... COWBOY UP. Go on a horseback riding adventure of a lifetime on a gorgeous, private cattle ranch on the North Shore and stop for a swim in an 80-ft waterfall with a picnic lunch, or catch a thrill on their ziplines. Take a private ride or even take a horseback-riding lesson. Call Princeville Ranch (808) 826-7669 or visit PrincevilleRanch.com.
RESET YOUR BUTTON. Quiet your mind and take in the gift of nature in all its wondrous glory with all of your senses without looking at your phone, or even talking to your companion. Totally give in to the serenity that nature provides allowing you to find peace and destress in a tranquil setting. The few moments you take will go a long way to shake the everyday hustle, and revitalize yourself.
TREAT YOURSELF TO A VISUAL FEAST. You’ve already flown quite a distance to get to the most stunning island in the Aloha State, but because much of Kauaÿi is undeveloped and still pristine, the only way to see many of the inaccessible gems it to take flight once again and take a spectacular helicopter tour. It’s one of the pricier tour activities, but it’s so worth it. You gain local knowledge and learn interesting historical facts and leave with exceptional images of nature’s masterpieces to share with your family and friends. Call Jack Harter Helicopters (808) 245-3774 or Sunshine Helicopters (808) 245-5953.
SCREEN YOUR SUNSCREEN. Sunscreens made with chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate are harmful to the coral reefs, which is home to countless colorful, beloved sea creatures and helps sustain all ocean life. Hawaiÿi’s ban of these coral-killing ingredients in sunscreens is a “firstin-the-world” law that goes into effect in 2021. If you wear protective sun clothing, you can reduce sunscreen usage by half. Read the ingredients carefully, and make sure you are wearing reef-safe sunscreen. Apply 1015 minutes prior to ocean entry so it has time to absorb into your skin. myhawaiitraveler.com
KAUAâ€˜I THE GARDEN ISLE
It’s no surprise that Kaua‘i typically finds itself ranked as one of the top islands in the world. There are two of many distinctions Kaua‘i holds that contribute to landing on the top of many traveler's lists. The first is that Kaua‘i is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, so Mother Nature has had plenty of time to cut deep gorges into the valleys, shape dramatic sea cliffs and sculpt the majestic Waimea Canyon into “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” Another primary distinction is that Kaua‘i is also home to the rainiest spot on earth, Mount Wai‘ale‘ale (rippling water), with an average yearly rainfall of 450 inches. Situated almost in the center of the island, this 5,148 ft. tall mountain provides Kaua‘i with the nourishment it needs to earn its monicker as the Garden Isle, with lush rainforests, spectacular waterfalls and verdant tropical foliage.
The scenery may steal the show, but it’s the various adventures in the idyllic setting that will get your heart racing. You can navigate one of the Island’s seven rivers on a kayak, trek through the rainforest of Alaka‘i Wilderness Area, wander through multiple jade gardens, hike trails of all levels, and be rewarded with secret waterfalls and golden sand beaches. You can even sit poolside at a five-star resort, where your only exertion is choosing a tropical refreshment. Whatever your pleasure, this emerald island promises a regal vacation. In case you haven’t noticed, tall buildings don’t obscure any of the natural splendors of Kaua‘i. This is because legislation mandates that no structure built on Kaua‘i is taller than a coconut tree. How it has managed to maintain that code after all these years is a mystery, but Kaua‘i is no stranger when it comes to standing its ground. Not even the Great King Kamehameha could take it down. In fact, in an attempt to prevent further attacks on both his people and his Island, King Kaumuali‘i, Kaua‘i’s last reigning king, decided to cede Kaua‘i to Kamehameha in peaceful negotiations. Now that is the original “make love not war” mentality. This peaceful mindset has been passed on through generations and is apparent in island life today. Kaua‘i has the reputation of having the friendliest residents of all the islands. Not only is the Garden Isle the most beautiful, with paradise settings often portrayed in Hollywood movies, but the feel of the island is relaxed, with a laid-back attitude that resonates in the air as much as the sweet intoxicating aroma of its plumeria. 32
As balmy and dreamy as Kaua‘i is, it does experience a change in seasons, so make sure that you plan your activities accordingly. Actually, the entire state experiences basically two seasons. The Hawaiians named them kau (summer) and ho‘oilo (winter). The summer months range from May through September and those of winter from October through April. Although the seasons are usually mild, you should watch out for excessive rain in the winter. In March 2006, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, and while nobody spotted an ark in the horizon, there was massive flooding on all of the islands. Before making the famous 11-mile trek along the Näpali Coast, make sure that the skies are clear and there is no chance of rain. The change is weather also brings a change in surf.Winter months will bring large swells to the North and West shores, and the opposite goes for summer months. Heed all warnings on the beach to ensure the safety of your family. Kaua‘i’s main vein of transportation is the predominately two-lane Kaumuali‘i Highway. Named after the king, this 82-mile stretch of highway can really get backed up, especially during rush hour. And yes, paradise does have a rush hour. About 62,000 people live on this over five million year old “Fantasy Island,” and 36,800 residents drive. So to avoid any unwanted stress in paradise, make sure to schedule your road trips around peak travel hours. Aside from this, don’t worry if you need to get from one side of the island to the other, as you could do so in about 90 minutes. So if you like the idea of visiting Waimea Canyon, but would rather stay in the quaint and convenient town of Kapa‘a, near award- winning restaurants and cool boutiques, go ahead, as the average commute time to most places is 30 minutes. Kaua‘i has 552 square miles of diverse terrain, which making it the fourth largest island in the eight-island chain. Obviously, good things come in small land mass. Once you have experienced the diversity and the beauty of each town and its attractions, you will soon agree that the Garden Isle is the best island, offering all the elements of a perfect vacation—rural enough to get away, yet a stone’s throw away from indulgence. Perfect. E komo mai. Nou ka hale (Come inside, the house is yours). myhawaiitraveler.com
your distance DOLPHINS NEED PEACEFUL SLEEP TO SURVIVE WORDS ANDREW WALSH
y first interaction with a wild dolphin happened many years ago in the Turks and Caicos Islands. I had just begun to entertain the idea of becoming a marine scientist and my research work there provided me with a great excuse to spend time in the ocean, a place I felt both at home and alive. Eventually, I would realize how important and endangered many of the ocean’s creatures have become, but on my first dolphin encounter, all I could think about was how lucky I was to be in the right place at the right time to...well...do something stupid! A friendly Atlantic bottlenose dolphin decided to trail our 20-ft Carolina Skiff, which we had commandeered after completing our research activities that day and rechristened into our wakeboarding flagship. As I unstrapped the board to call it a day, an unfamiliar large grey mass hurtled toward me through the water column. Needless to say, when your head is only inches above the water and your floating in the open ocean, any large grey finned mass can be somewhat disconcerting. Fortunately for me, this big guy just wanted to investigate! Without thinking, I signaled my buddy Luke to drop the boat into gear and slowly drag me as I held onto the towrope. Skimming across the surface and intermittently “manta diving”—pointing my head down so I dove, then up, to rise—I began an unforgettable watery dance with my new mammalian friend. He went left, so I swung right. As I swung right, he darted below me and up on the other side. Up and down, right and left, and on and on we went. I’m not sure who was having a better time, but clearly we both seemed cheerfully lost playing with such a strange new creature. As my arms grew tired, I leveled out at the surface and straightened my course. With little effort, my peppy friend simply finned up next to me and tucked in close near my right side. As we pulled through the water, my hand unwittingly reached out and gently landed on his hydrodynamic forehead and ran down the length of his silk-like back. I was in a total state of awe, the kind of feeling that makes you believe there is magic to be found out in the world. He looked straight into my eyes, shook his body, and swam away. Unforgettable and incredible? Yes! Stupid? You betcha! Now, if you are wondering why, let’s talk a little bit about dolphins. Certainly, we all know the acrobatic spinner dolphins that we often see here in the Hawaiian Islands. If ever there was a playful dolphin, we would all want to jump in and swim with, these would certainly seem like that kind…right? Well, that might not be the best idea. Like all dolphin species, spinners are highly social, intelligent creatures trying to survive a daily battle for life in an unforgiving and heavily impacted ocean environment. And, yes, unfortunately it’s you and I who have been doing the “impacting”—a fact that has put some populations of spinner dolphins on the Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Spinner dolphins in many parts of the world are heavily affected by the fishing industry, as they are very susceptible to being caught in purse-seine nets from tuna fishing. As fisherman often follow
pods of hundreds or thousands of spinners to locate tuna, the dolphins inevitably get caught and are discarded as bycatch. It is thought that up to half of all eastern spinner dolphins have been killed from these activities. Additionally, spinner dolphins are very sensitive to DDT and PCB, toxic chemicals that although banned from use for over 30 years, are still poisoning dolphins and humans alike. Here in Hawaiÿi, the National Ocean & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has identified human interactions with spinner dolphins as the greatest threat facing their conservation status. Although many groups of spinner dolphins live and feed primarily in the open ocean, Hawaiian spinners are coastal dolphins that feed at night and rest during the day in the protected bays and sheltered coastal areas of the Islands—a behavior most beach and water enthusiasts can relate to. Each evening, pods of spinners set out into the watery depths surrounding the Islands. Diving as much as 1,000-ft. below the black solitude of the night, spinners hunt in packs like wolves. But unlike wolves, they communicate with frequency-modulated whistles and burst pulses that convey an extraordinary amount of information both between individuals and in reference to the environment around them. These sounds, which are both within the audible range of humans and in the ultrasonic spectrum, act like a type of sonar allowing the dolphins to “see” what is happening around them. To catch prey, they work as a group encircling a school of fish, swimming at high speeds around them, slowly drawing the circle tighter and tighter until their prey becomes trapped in a frantic bait ball. Once the pod has tightened the noose around the confused fish, they take turns, in pairs or individually, breaking off from the circle and driving full force through the middle of the bait ball. Each dolphin spends time both corralling and catching dinner. Make no mistake—that grin we often associate with dolphins is not the smile of a friendly creature, but rather a static jawline filled with razor sharp teeth attached to 150 pounds of a deadly, cunning hunter. They are one of the most efficient hunters in all the oceans, capable of simple mathematics, social organization, and highly sophisticated communication among their brethren. After a long night hunting, the dolphins retreat to Hawaiÿi’s peaceful, protected bays and coastline for a well-earned rest during the day. This critical recovery period will replenish their strength and alertness necessary to sustain them in the next evening’s hunt or in retreat should they be hunted themselves by oceanic sharks or predatory whales. However, dolphins can’t just crash out on a comfy pillow-top mattress. They must continue moving to keep warm and constantly return to the surface for air, not to mention keeping an eye on their unrelenting predators. Amazingly, they have developed a very unique adaptation, which allows them to literally sleep with one eye open. Dolphins can turn half their brain off for rest while the other half remains mildly alert and awake. The spinner dolphins swim up and down in a “Zen-like” state cycling each hemisphere of the brain on and off until they attain the required rest needed. It is commonly myhawaiitraveler.com
thought that the sandy shallow bays surrounding the islands facilitate this by providing a relatively safe enclosed area with a bottom contour that makes spotting predators easy. Enter the silly human getting towed behind the boat, petting the dolphin! As magical as my experience may have been, what was it really for the dolphin? A precious half hour of energy he desperately needed to find a mate, rest, hunt, or avoid a predator. He gave me an incredible experience I will cherish forever, but all I did was take something from him. So in return, I now offer the wisdom I should have heeded many years ago. Dolphin and human interactions are only beneficial for people, as the dolphin is left less prepared to survive in a wilderness that gives them no second chances and offers no safety nets. Humans instinctually respond to dolphins because buried deep in the recesses of our mammalian genes, the shared flame of an intelligent sentient being burns bright within us both. But what draws us to interact, even more so, is the innate curiosity we both share about the world around us. However, our curiosity and fascination, no matter how strong in the moment, do not absolve responsibility in the long term. Knowing that these incredible ocean masters need to rest during the day, we must let sleeping dolphins lie. It is as much a right as a responsibility to malama kai (care for) the ocean bounty from which we are given and take so much. Of course, that’s not to say we can’t appreciate these creatures when they come to us. Often, they will ride the bow wake of a passing boat allowing visitors a glimpse into their amazing abilities and agility. Many times while leading dives underwater off the Hawaiian coast, I will hear the distant calls of an approaching pod of spinners. As they grow louder and fill the waves with pitches and clicks, I signal my group towards the open ocean. With luck, the dolphins will swim by within sight; some may even come by to check us out. But we will not follow them or interrupt their daily rest. Just as I would not want to be woken out of a deep sleep, neither would I seek out nor disturb a creature I profess to respect and appreciate. Rather, it is reward enough that Mother Nature has smiled upon us and offered such a gift—a glimpse into the amazing world of dolphins. Marine Mammal Protection Act All marine animals (whales, dolphins, and seals) are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), which was passed by congress in 1972 in response of significant declines in some species of marine mammals due to human activities. Some mammals are protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Convention of International Trade n Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Under the MMPA, you cannot harass, hunt, capture, collect, kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, collect or kill any marine mammal. To report harassment/violation, please call NOAA at (800) 853-1964.
Van Balen Fine Jewelry
SHOP KAUA‘I 42
The essence of Hawaiian lifestyle and tradition has been captured in the Na Hoku collection of fine jewelry. Hawaiian for “stars,” Na Hoku also stands for incomparable quality and craftsmanship. At Na Hoku, you will find original pieces set with Tahitian pearls, diamonds and colored gemstones, as well as collections by renowned designers such as Kabana®, Le Vian® and Effy®. Every piece of Hawaiian and Island lifestyle jewelry is designed to accent the individuality, taste and style of the one who wears it, and will forever be a memento of a treasured time in the islands. Located in the Grand Hyatt Shops (808) 742-1863 and Poipu Shopping Village (808) 742-7025. NaHoku.com.
One-of-a-kind LEIKO clutch purses (above). Vintage lines capture the essence of the 1960’s era. Some come from Tutu’s old dresses or uncle's favorite aloha shirts. These vintage fabrics are really great memories—its a special part of our lives when things were simple, wholesome and stress-free. Sophisticated suede leather mid-heel sandal (right) with adjustable ankle strap and buckle, lightly padded insoles. Available at Shoe Envy in the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Shops.
ISLAND STYLE Shop these glamorous designs available at Van Balen Fine Jewelry at Princeville Resort.
Looking for the perfect gift from Kauaâ€˜i? Ready to begin your opal collection? This is the piece for you! This pear shaped, naturally colored ocean blue Ethiopian opal is over one and a half carats, with over a quarter carat of surrounding white diamonds. Available in 14k yellow gold as shown, or also in white or rose gold, for only $1,950.
Hoops are Hot! Turn up the heat this summer with these 18k white gold earrings that have white diamonds on the inside & out, making a fantastic first impression. With a total of over two and a half carats of white VS quality diamonds, they make the perfect gift for any lucky lady! Treat yourself, at just $6,500.
This amazing 14k rose gold ring showcases a beautiful blush colored cushion cut Morganite gemstone, over five carats. A halo of surrounding white diamonds total at just under half a carat, price is $5,600. Sizing is included if required. Looks fabulous paired with our Morganite Stud Earrings.
If true elegance is in simplicity, than this necklace a must-have! A staff favorite, this sporty design is available in the length that suits you best with an Italian14k yellow or white gold snake chain, and with a wide variety of South Sea pearls to choose from. Shown here in warm yellow gold with a 14mm Golden Indonesian pearl, you can choose from Tahitian black pearl or an Australian white South Sea pearl, offered at the price of $2,800. Also available in sterling silver starting at $450.
This unique ring is a work of modern art! The 3 dimensional design layers both naturally colored pink & white diamonds totaling over one carat combined. This comfortable 14k rose gold ring will be sure to get noticed! Offered at $6,000. Also available in yellow and white gold.
NORTH SHORE SHOPPING VAN BALEN FINE JEWELRY Established in Hawai‘i in 1999, our globally recognized pearl jewelry is hand made on Kaua’i by Valerie Van Balen. We welcome you to visit our store at the popular Princeville Resort and adorn yourself in our rare pearl jewelry from Tahiti, Australia and Indonesia. Van Balen showcases an exciting collection of diamonds and naturally colored gemstones in a multitude of designs. Our GIA certified staff offers fine jewelry education, style tips and flawless customer service. Join us daily
for complimentary sparkling refreshments at the Princeville Resort from 9am to 9pm (808) 826-6555. Feel free to browse our online collection at valvanbalen.com and be sure not to miss our weekly giveaways on facebook and instagram! LATEST NEWS: Van Balen Fine Jewelry is now featured weekly at Timber’s Resort on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5-9pm. SOUTH SHORE SHOPPING GRAND HYATT SHOPS The shops at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i offer
something for everyone. Na Hoku features an alluring collection of Tahitian pearls and more. Collectors Fine Art showcases wall art and handblown glass creations. Lamonts carries sundries, snacks and beverages. The Sandal Tree offers a selection of footwear and accessories. Reyn’s continues its tradition of aloha wear for the whole family. Visit Poipu Bay Golf Shop for designer collections for on and off the course. Try Water Wear for beachwear for every age group. Kohala Bay Collections features casual designer elegance.
14k gold necklace set with an Australian "pin fire" Crystal Opal and diamond accent (above). Sterling silver hand hammered double drop earring with chain link (above, right). 14k gold ring set with a rare Green Tourmaline and princess cut diamonds (right). Available at Grande's Gems at the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort or The Shops at Kukui‘ula.
ISLAND SHOPPING + LIVING SOUTH SHORE & LĪHU‘E GRANDE’S GEMS Grande’s Gems Hawai‘i has been featuring nature inspired and romantic jewelry since 1982. Our guests will find fun fashion-forward and elegant jewelry in opal, multicolor gemstones, diamond, Tahitian, golden and south sea pearls. Sea life and tropical flower jewelry from Denny Wong and Mikel. Visit us at Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club (808) 245-4860 and our newest location at The Shops at Kukui‘ula (808) 742-2828, or online at GrandesGemshawaii.com. MENS HARDWEAR Mens Hardwear is all about the guys. Jewelry, knives, watches, and accessories for men in cool and edgy styles. Featuring men’s jewelry from Scott Kay, Edward Mirell, Triton, and Hellmuth. Tahitian pearl and opal designs from Mens Hardwear collection. Knives from William Henry Studio and Cold Steel. Visit us at our two locations on Kaua‘i, or shop online at menshardwear.com. NA HOKU An incomparable collection of the finest Hawaiian and Island Lifestyle jewelry for women and men; Na Hoku is recognized in Hawai‘i and the world for its exquisite island-inspired designs; from our original Hawaiian slipper (flip flop) pendant, our elegant Palm Tree Jewelry Collection, the timeless Na Hoku diamond solitaire engagement ring and bridal collections, to our extensive Plumeria Jewelry Collection and our traditional Hawaiian jewelry. Featuring unique collections by Kabana, Steven Douglas, Asch/Grossbardt, and Levian, as well as our exquisite Tahitian Pearl designs. Na Hoku jewelry captures the essence of Hawaiian and island lifestyle and is unmatched in quality and craftsmanship. Located in the Grand Hyatt Shops (808) 742-1863 and Poipu Shopping Village (808) 742-7025 or at nahoku.com. myhawaiitraveler.com
REAL ESTATE HŌKŪALA Höküala, A Timbers Resort, enjoys a setting among the most spectacular in all of the Hawaiian Islands, a 450-acre natural amphitheater with an unobstructed panorama from the ocean to coastline to sculpted mountains beyond. In the poetic language of native Hawaiians, Höküala means ‘Rising Star’. It is fitting, then, that this epic resort will evolve gradually, beginning with Timbers Kaua‘i Ocean Club & Residences, a residential enclave located on the ocean's edge of the Pacific. The award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature Ocean Course, already rated among the very best, features the longest stretch of continuous oceanfront holes in all of Hawai‘i. Höküala offers a rare and delicate balance between adventure and serenity, discovery and accessibility. The evolving vision is to create a place and experience that
unites us all in the celebration of the island, its culure, and its people. For more information, call (808) 720-6688 or (800) 269-2364. Visit them online at hokualakauai.com/traveler. KUKUI‘ULA Inspired by the authentic Kaua‘i Island culture, and named for the candlenut (kukui) torches that once guided the island’s fishermen back to shore, Kukui‘ula is a Kaua‘i community that offers our homeowners the laid-back lifestyle of classic Hawai‘i. At the heart of our carefully planned Hawai‘i luxury homes, nestled above Kukui‘ula Bay, are the Plantation House, Spa and Makai Pools. From here, the Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course follows the natural flow of the land through the community’s coffee fields, meadows and rolling hillsides—affording wide, panoramic vistas of the Pacific. Call (808) 201-0380 or visit kukuiula.com or lodgeatkukuiula.com.
ISLAND LIVING AT KUKUI‘ULA 47
THE SUNNY SOUTH PO‘IPŪ TO WAIMEA CANYON
tunnel of tall eucalyptus trees marks the gateway to Kaua‘i’s sunny South Shore. Perfect weather and golden beaches make the south side of Kaua‘i a favorite hang out for both visitors and locals. Old Köloa Town is home to Hawai‘i’s first active sugar mill, the birthplace of the Hawaiian sugar industry, which was the state’s strongest economy for more than a century. Although the mill is inoperational now, the charming town thrives with activity from the many restaurants, boutiques and shops that line the wooden sidewalks. One of the best ways to really experience all the South Shore has to offer is by ATV, exploring its beautiful vistas, plantations and waterfalls. Fun! Just a couple of miles south of Köloa lies sunny Po‘ipü, a major resort destination with beachfront condos and restaurants developed around some of the best beaches on the Island. Once there, you will see why Po‘ipü Beach has been voted America’s Best Beach by the Travel Channel. It’s no wonder, as Po‘ipü provides beachgoers a place to snorkel, swim, wade, boogie-board, kayak, surf and sunbathe. Swimming at all levels can be enjoyed, from the protected natural saltwater pools to the more exciting wave action for the experienced. With three bow-shaped bays, each with their own environment, Po‘ipü thrives with a multitude of marine life. Looking to satisfy the explorer in you? Then discover the secluded and diverse landscape of Mähä‘ulepü. With rugged limestone cliffs, ancient burial grounds and rocky sea caves, your journey will be unforgettable. If trekking by foot, start at Shipwreck Beach, located just east of the Hyatt. (Hint: If you see locals jumping from a 50-ft sand dune at Makawehi Point, you’re headed in the right direction.) Once in the ironwoods, you should be able to pick up the trail. If you have a 4WD and a watch, you can drive in. But 48
if you do drive, pay attention to the time, as the park closes at 6pm, and you don’t want to get locked in. At Prince Kühïo Park, you can pay your respects to Hawai‘i’s first delegate to the U.S. congress, Prince Jonah Kühïo Kalaniana‘ole. He was known for spearheading the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. This sets aside 200,000 acres of leasehold land for indigenous Hawaiians. A state holiday is observed in his honor, while the park honors his birthplace. To the west of the park is Spouting Horn, a cascade of water that shoots up like Old Faithful from an opening of an ancient lava tube with every incoming wave when the tide is high. A visit to the Garden Island wouldn’t be complete without visiting a garden or two. The National Tropical Botanical Garden and the Allerton Garden are two stunning examples of native landscape and design. The NTBG provides a haven for tropical endangered plant species to thrive and focuses on the cultivation of traditional medicinal plants. The Allerton Garden sits on the site of Hawai‘i’s Queen Emma’s summer cottage. This 80-acre retreat hosts the Island’s living treasures in an enchanting garden and also has a private beach that turtles use to lay eggs. It’s a good idea to make advanced reservations for the Allerton Garden since tours are limited. Just a little inland from the opulent coast, is the modest town of Kaläheo. Take a drive through the neighborhood and experience true island living. Stop and picnic in paradise in Kukui O Lono Park. Because the park is set up on top of a hill, you will enjoy spectacular panoramic vistas in every direction, including the south coast and Läwa‘i Valley. Stroll through the lovely serene Japanese-style garden or play the public golf course. By blending luxury and tradition, the South Shore of Kaua‘i is sure to provide something for everyone. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
HANAPĒPĒ KAUA‘I'S “BIGGEST LITTLE TOWN”
Hanapëpë is an adorable community pleasantly trapped in time with historic buildings lining the streets and an old school Kaua‘i charm. It’s one of those treasured Garden Isle locales that resembles the days of yesteryear. Hanapëpë was originally inhabited by ancient Hawaiians who resided within the fertile valley where they grew crops like taro. They lived this way for centuries before Captain Cook stumbled upon the Hawaiian Islands in Waimea, Kaua‘i, in the late 1700s. A remnant of this ancient civilization is located next to Salt Pond Beach Park where loÿi paÿakai (salt beds) have been harvested by Hawaiian families for many generations. The salt serves many purposes, including healing. After Europeans arrived on the Islands, Hawaiians began trading their precious resource with sailors. Today, the salt is no longer a commodity and is gifted to people by the families who still use the traditional, unprocessed methods to harvest paÿakai (salt) every year. It’s one of the few places in the state that continues this custom where the product is collected from saltwater underground and moved into shallow, clay-lined ponds. You won’t be able to visit this site, but you can enjoy a swim at the neighboring Salt Pond Beach Park where the water is protected by a surrounding reef. Moreover, there are lifeguards that make it safe for the entire family to enjoy the ocean here. 50
WORDS COCO ZICKOS
Across the highway from the beach is Hanapëpë’s main town, where Disney’s movie Lilo & Stitch is said to have modeled its fictional setting after. Most of the buildings were constructed in the late 1800s, when Chinese, Japanese and Filipino immigrants arrived in Hanapëpë to work for plantation companies. What makes Kauaÿi’s “Biggest Little Town” unique is that it’s one of the only plantation villages on the island that wasn’t constructed by sugar plantation owners. After retiring or deciding not to continue plantation work, immigrants started their own businesses and built the structures you see today to accommodate them. Now, tucked inside these buildings are a variety of small, local businesses, many of which sell art. In fact, this is considered the island’s art mecca where paintings, sculptures, koa furniture and every other imaginable medium are sold. One of the best times to visit is when the town springs to life every Friday evening for an art walk. Friday Night Festival & Art Walk is the only time when stores and galleries stay open late and Hanapëpë Road is festively filled with food vendors, music and local artisans selling their handmade creations from 5pm to 9pm. This is a popular reason to visit Hanapëpë, especially if you’re in pursuit of something beautiful and locally made to hang on your wall at home. Can’t make it Friday night? Step into as many as a KAUA‘I TRAVELER
FRIDAY NIGHT FESTIVAL AND ART WALK
dozen galleries most days of the week like Puÿuwai Gallery & Boutique and Veronica Jewels. The business-friendly owner not only sells wire-wrapped gemstone jewelry she meticulously shapes by hand, she also provides space for other Kauaÿi artists to sell their goods, including paintings that showcase the plantation lifestyle. An eclectic mix of other brick and mortar businesses share the street, and you’ll be charmed by any number of them like Talk Story Bookstore that sells secondhand books, including collectible literature in the Hawaiian genre. Local authors also visit this western-most bookstore in the U.S. during Friday Night Festival & Art Walk when they sign and sell their newly published work. Edible gifts are also easy to find in Hanapëpë. Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salts, for instance, specializes in gourmet seasonings, salts and rubs. This locally owned and operated business offers awardwinning flavors. You can’t go wrong gifting your dinner host or the cooking enthusiasts in your life some Pineapple Poultry Seasonings or Mango Java Steak Rub. Taro Ko Chips Factory, a disheveled looking home with beer caps and empty whiskey bottles as décor, might not look like much, but it’s the go-to place to grab bags of fresh, homemade taro chips made from plants grown in a nearby taro patch. For something trendy, check out Blü Umi and all its interesting finds, as well as clothing and jewelry for the fashionable. This store also has a charming restaurant, Japanese Grandma’s Cafe, which features fresh, handmade sushi rolls, sashimi, and other delectable Japanese fare, as well as an array of great vegetarian options. 52
You’ve probably heard of Niÿihau shells that residents of the “Forbidden Island” string together to create collectible jewelry. You can purchase these rare beauties at JJ Ohana. Finally, there are quick and convenient spots to eat in this cozy town as well. Little Fish Coffee has a nice selection of light, healthy food and plenty of caffeinated drinks. If you’d rather splurge, order a scoop, or two or three, of ice cream at Lappert’s Hawaii Ice Cream & Coffee. Hanapëpë is where this business, which now has many stores statewide, got its start during the ‘80s. Try a Volcanic Sundae, or double scoop of Kaua‘i Pie and Macadamia Nut. Before heading out of this adorable community, check out Hanapëpë’s historic swinging bridge, especially if you have keiki (children) in tote because they’ll have a blast. This long, narrow wooden suspension bridge dangles over Hanapëpë River and while it seems iffy to walk on, it’s as sturdy as they come. It was restored after Hurricane ‘Iniki ravaged the island in 1992 and now it’s affixed with steel and much stronger, despite its extreme wobble. The bridge was constructed in 1911 so that residents could cross the river. If you decide to walk all the way across, please head back right away so as not to disturb the residents who live here. Make a special trip or take a quick detour through Hanapëpë Town and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this quaint, picturesque community. And art aficionados, this lovely West Side location has a specialized knack for attracting all kinds of artistic talent, making it an especially perfect place for you to stop. Visit hanapepe.org for more information. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
JAPANESE GRANDMA'S CAFE
TALK STORY BOOKSTORE
SPORT + ADVENTURE The spirit of adventure thrives on the Garden Isle with secret waterfalls, beaches and hiking trails to excite the explorer in all of us. With so much to discover in the vast ocean, valleys, parks and rivers, the choices are endless and the unmatched beauty is complimentary. 54
M MULTI-YEAR WINNER!
“Our pilot was terrific and his narration was superb. The whole staff was friendly, attentive and helpful from the minute we arrived for check-in until we waved Aloha.
The entire experience was the
absolute high point of our vacation.” Satisfied JHH Customer
Eurocopter AStar Doors On
“Going to Kauai and not taking a helicopter flight is like going to the Sistine Chapel and not looking up.” The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook
Hughes 500 Doors Off
Now all you have to do is decide…
Dfi Dfifiwfififly wfi fly “Doors-On” fir “Doors-Off”?
Off-Island Toll-Free: 1.888.245.2001 FfififiPfirtfififi5fiCfirtfififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififififi Tour paths will vary according to weather conditions. Weight Restrictions Apply. 24-Hour Cancellation Notice Required.
SPORT + ADVENTURE
ADVENTURE GUIDE AIR TOURS JACK HARTER HELICOPTERS
Jack Harter is the Originator of Helicopter Tours on Kaua‘i. Jack’s motto is “Imitated by All, Equaled by None!” All of the employees at Jack Harter Helicopters work to carry on Jack’s reputation of providing safe, high quality tours that become cherished memories. Choose a 60 or 90 minute narrated tour offered in two types of helicopters. Their luxurious, air-conditioned, 6-passenger Eurocopter AStar features huge floor-to-ceiling windows for unsurpassed visibility and a two-way intercom system with BOSE noise canceling headsets. Adventurous travelers who seek a little more excitement may want to consider a flight in one of Jack Harter Helicopters’ 4-passenger Hughes 500 helicopters which are flown with the DOORS OFF. FAA Part 135 Certified. Call (808) 245-3774 or helicopters-kauai.com.
Experience Kaua‘i’s hidden wonders that can only be discovered from the air. See areas where no one has ever set foot. Your tour will include famous areas that make Kaua‘i a favorite location for Hollywood filmmakers. You will see lush valleys dotted with waterfalls, colorful Waimea Canyon and the impenetrable Näpali Coast known for its towering razor sharp cliffs and secluded beaches. Depart from Lïhu‘e Heliport or the exclusive Princeville Heliport. Call (808) 245-5953.
EXPLORE KAUA‘I ATV TOURS
Venture into Kaua‘i’s lush, tropical paradise on the back of a semi-automatic, easy to use All Terrain Vehicle. Choose one of our daily ATV expeditions through the gorgeous mountains of Kaua‘i’s south side for an unforgettable experience on the road less traveled. Ride your own ATV on 22,000 acres of private dirt roads and trails. Enjoy breathtaking mountain and coastline views, unspoiled tropical landscapes inaccessable to the general public and a half mile tunnel through the heart of the Hä‘upu Mountain range. Come join us for the ultimate off-road adventure. Call (808) 742-2734.
KIPU RANCH ADVENTURES
We are proud to be one of the top eco-tours in Hawai‘i. We enable visitors and residents alike to discover the rich history, landscape and legends that make Kaua‘i unique. Guests return to us year after year because of our enthusiastic dedication to high standards of quality and service. Adventure lovers enjoy the thrills of our ATVs while nature lovers and photography enthusiasts enjoy our Rhino and Ranger passenger tours. We also cater to private groups, families, companies and weddings. Spend a few hours with us and see why we are the number one ATV tour in Hawai‘i! You will be deeply moved by your experience of genuine aloha, history and tropical adventure. Call (808) 246-9288 or visit kiputours.com.
Ranked #3 in best courses you can play in hawaii. - Golfweek
One of the top 5 greatest golf settings in the united states.
- Nat. Geo. Traveler
PRINCEVILLE RANCH ADVENTURES
Go mauka. Get away from the crowds and find yourself in nature. Explore a hidden part of Kaua‘i rarely seen and experience the pure natural wonder of our 2,500-acre family ranch on the North Shore. Princeville Ranch has it all: ziplines, horseback riding, 4x4 off-roading, hiking, kayaking and secluded waterfalls. Glide over green valleys and jungles. We’ve got an extensive Kaua‘i zipline course for all levels. Looking for excitement, speed, and flying mud? Blast through streams and get ready for “permagrin” because our fleet of 4x4 side-by-sides will take you to some amazing places. Enjoy panoramic views of our working cattle ranch on horseback. Both group and private rides are available, and we can accommodate beginners up to expert riders. Along the way, our friendly guides share the history and culture of both Kaua‘i and the Ranch. Or how about kayaking down a gentle, jungle stream and hiking through a lush rainforest? Or swimming plus a picnic at a stunning private waterfall? We even offer combination adventures so you and your family can mix up the fun. There’s an adventure for everyone at Princeville Ranch! Call (808) 826-7669 or visit us at princevilleranch.com.
GOLF MAKAI GOLF CLUB
PMS 3415 95% - C 100% - Y 27% - K
PMS 186 13%-C 100% - M 83% - Y
PMS 471 C - 14% M - 68% Y - 100% K - 4%
The Makai Golf Club at Princeville has long been considered one of Hawai‘i’s premier golf facilities. The distinct layout of the course strategically winds around serene lakes and native woodlands, while capitalizing on spectacular coastline views. With the recent renovation by original architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. complete, the course is now open for play! For reservations and information, please call (808) 826-1912 for tee times or visit makaigolf.com.
POIPU BAY GOLF COURSE
#65 on america’s 100 greatest public golf courses. - Golf Digest
Use promo code “KAUAI19” when reserving a tee time online. www.makaigolf.com • 808.826.1912 56
Come experience the breathtaking beauty of Köloa; from the beauty of the natural settings to the preservation of the rich history of the land. Travel through and above a variety of ecosystems located on Grove Farm lands on 8 fantastic ziplines. Watch the sun set on our Sunset Tour and fly hands free over the jungle like your favorite super hero in our custom upgradeable Flyin’ Kauai’an Harness. Brave the island’s longest lines at Koloa Zipline! Call (808) 7422734 or visit koloazipline.com.
Sprawled between lush mountains and rugged ocean cliffs on Kaua‘i’s sunny South Shore, Poipu Bay Golf Course boasts 18 championship holes that are as visually stunning as they are challenging. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Poipu Bay is one of the most highly acclaimed resort courses in the Pacific. From 1994-2006, the course played host to the annual PGA Grand Slam of Golf, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the golf world. A round at Poipu Bay Golf Course affords you the opportunity to experience the sheer pleasures and daunting challenges of a course recognized as one of America’s finest and to “play where champions play.” Call (808) 742-8711 or visit poipubaygolf.com. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
washes off but
the memories last
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SPORT + ADVENTURE
SNORKEL, SAIL & SURF BLUE DOLPHIN CHARTERS
The highlight of any vacation has to be a Kaua‘i Näpali Coast sailing tour, sailing down the Näpali with dolphins surfing at the bow of your catamaran, is the ultimate in ecotourism and adventure travel. We offer the best ocean sightseeing experience and whale watching tours of any charter boat company in the Hawaiian Islands. Our Kaua‘i sailing tours also venture to Ni‘ihau, The Forbidden Island, and along the shores of Po‘ipü Beach for a romantic sunset sail. Everyone enjoys scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and the true spirit of aloha from our experienced, fun loving, crew. (808) 335-5553. Visit us online at kauaiboats.com. Located in Port Allen Marina Center in Ele‘ele.
The memories should last a lifetime, not the trip getting there. Our two boats, Leila and Holo Holo, get you to the action quicker than anybody else, so you have more time to snorkel, sightsee, relax and enjoy the pristine waters and spectacular cliffs of Kaua‘i’s Näpali Coast, and the “forbidden island” of Ni‘ihau. We offer morning snorkel sails along the Näpali Coast with an optional tour to Ni‘ihau. We also offer romantic Näpali sunset sails in the evening. Located in the Port Allen Marina Center in Elee‘le. Call (808) 335-0815 for reservations or visit us online at holoholocharters.com.
KAUA‘I SEA TOURS
Kaua‘i Sea Tours is unique among the boat tour operators on Kaua‘i, as they offer both traditional catamaran tours and adventurous zodiac boat tours of the Näpali Coast. Both tours are run by experienced boat captains, who are educated on Kaua‘i wildlife, conservation and history. Come aboard Kaua‘i Sea Tours for a “can’t miss” adventure! Take advantage of our unique permits to land on the Näpali Coast and hike into an ancient Hawaiian Fishing Village. Enjoy our delicious, catered lunch on board and view some of the most diverse marine life in Hawai‘i. We’ve been granted a State Parks Special Use Permit, which means you’ll see remote beaches where others can’t go. Tours depart from Port Allen Marina Center in Ele‘ele, 4353 Wai‘alo Rd. Ste 2B-3B. Call (808) 8267254 for reservations.
Snorkel Bob Brand masks for every shape & size-The SEAMO BETTA™ & LI’L MO BETTA™ are Rx receptive in a minute. The MoflO2 & MoflO2RS snorkels with double valve twin chambers clear easy and deliver fresh-air on every breath. Sumo™ Mask & Bigfoots™ fins (15-17) for the mongo among you. Boogie boards, beach chairs & FREE 24-HOUR INTERISLAND GEAR RETURN. Book 2 seats on most activities and get a FREE Boogie Board for the week. Open 8 to 5 Every Day. Located in Kapa‘a (808)823-9433 and Koloa (808)742-2206, or visit snorkelbob.com.
ATTRACTIONS NORTH SIDE ALAKA‘I WILDERNESS PRESERVE
The Alaka‘i Wilderness area is a mystical rainforest in the high plateau near Mt. Wai‘ale‘ale and is home to some of Hawai‘i’s rarest plants and endangered birds. On clear days, you can see breathtaking views of Hanalei and Wainiha valleys. The park includes nature trails and a boardwalk over marshy terrain to explore the most interior park in Kaua‘i. The Alaka‘i Swamp is 10 miles long and two miles wide. Wear appropriate hiking clothes (bring a sweater) and shoes. The boardwalk can be very slippery, wet and muddy at times. The trail ends at the vista of Kilohana on the edge of Wainiha Pali. Located off Hwy 550 adjacent to Köke‘e State Park. Call (808) 335-9975 for weather info in Köke‘e or hawaiitrails.org.
DRY AND WET CAVES
Maniniholo Dry Cave is said to have been dug out by Manini-holo, the chief fisherman of the Menehune in search of an evil spirit who stole the fish intended for the Menehunes. Scientifically, sea caves are formed by ocean waves pounding away at the lava for thousands of years. The grotto is covered with fern and vines and is located across Hä‘ena Beach Park off Rte. 560. Waikapala‘e Wet Cave and Waikanaloa Wet Cave are the remains of an ancient lava tube created by the forces of the sea. The cold water in the caves is fed by underground springs and the level of water depends on the tides. The caverns are said to have been used as a gathering place for chiefs in ancient times. Swimming is not recommended due to the presence of leptospirosis found in fresh water. Wear appropriate shoes to prevent injury from the slippery lava rock. Located western end of Rte. 560. Both wet caves are located just before mile marker #10 on the left, past Hä‘ena Beach Park.
HANALEI VALLEY OVERLOOK
A Treasure By Design
More than beautiful, the Hanalei Valley is mystical, magical and substantial, with spectacular vistas and a half-mile patchwork of taro ponds. The fertile and ancient kalo lo‘i (the flooded taro fields) of Hanalei have fed the Hawaiians since the first Polynesians arrived here over a thousand years ago. Currently, it still produces most of the state’s taro for poi, a Hawaiian staple. You can see the 900-acre National Wildlife Refuge from the overlook. Located on Hwy 56 in Princeville.
A National Historic Landmark, this lighthouse had the largest clamshell lens of any lighthouse in the world and served as a beacon since it was built in 1913 to guide passing sea and air traffic. The light was replaced in the 1970s with a low-maintenance light beacon. You can walk into the lighthouse but not the lantern room. Located on Kïlauea Lighthouse Rd. Open daily 10am-4pm. Call (808) 828-0168.
GET OUT AND ZIP
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KĪLAUEA POINT NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
A refuge for several species of seabirds, some nesting and some endangered, surrounds the lighthouse. Red-footed boobies, Laysan albatrosses, wedge-tailed shearwaters and the magnificent frigate bird with 7½-foot wingspan are just some examples of birds that can be seen at the refuge. Make reservations for the two-hour guided hikes through the refuge, available Monday through Thursday. Located on Kïlauea Lighthouse Rd. Open daily 10am-4pm. Admission is $3 per person; children under 16 are free. Call (808) 828-0168.
Beautiful botanical garden in a lush tropical valley is used to preserve native flora and fauna in its natural environment. It is also home to endangered plants. Built by early inhabitants, you can walk through the lava terraces and see the working taro patches in the ancient Hawaiian tradition. Reservations are required for guided tours. Self-guided tours are $15 for adults and free for children 12 and under. Wear comfortable walking shoes; umbrellas are provided (mosquito repellant may be necessary). Open Tuesday-Friday from 9:30am-4pm. Located on Rte 560 in Hä‘ena. Call (808) 826-1053 or ntbg.org.
NĀPALI COAST AND STATE PARK
The Kalalau Trail is an 11-mile trek through the spectacular Näpali Coast. From Kë‘ë to Hanakäpï‘ai Beach is about 2 miles. There is an uneven trail (for the physically fit) to a waterfall and freshwater river pool about 2 additional miles back of the Hanakäpï‘ai Valley. The park consists of streams, cascading waterfalls, high sea cliffs, lush valleys and amazing views. The hike beyond Hanakäpï‘ai can be strenuous and is suitable for experienced hikers only. There are several campsites in the park, but make plans well in advance since permits are limited and the wait list can be long. The trailhead for Kalalau Trail is at the end of Hwy 56. Call (808) 274-3444 or visit hawaii.gov/dlnr/ dsp/fees.html for camping information.
WAI‘OLI MISSION HOUSE
Built in 1837, the missionary home is set in beautiful Hanalei Valley and was restored by descendants of the first missionaries Lucy and Abner Wilcox. The house was restored in 1921 by the granddaughter and houses historical furnishings made from koa wood. Located off Kuhio Hwy. Free. Open Tues., Thurs., and Sat. 9am-3pm. Call (808) 245-3202.
EAST SIDE FERN GROTTO
A beautiful, natural amphitheater of volcanic rock covered with enormous fishtail ferns, is the venue of choice for many weddings. The only way to reach the Fern Grotto is either to kayak upriver or book a boat ride. The latter has the reputation of being a bit cheeky and a tourist trap, but if you don’t feel like the exercise then be prepared to sing along. Nevertheless, you will enjoy the lush, tropical scenery along the way. Located in Wailua River State Park. 60
KAMOKILA HAWAIIAN VILLAGE
An authentic recreation of an ancient Hawaiian folk village illustrates ancient Hawaiian lifestyle on 3 acres of private land. The last king of Kaua‘i once resided here. Several huts and displays show how ancient Hawaiians lived, including a courtyard featuring Hawaiian games, such as spear throwing and Hawaiian bowling, which were essential in building skills. Admission: $5 adults, $3 children for self-guided tours. Located on the east shore of the Wailua River Valley at 6060 Kuamo‘o Road (Rte 580) across from Öpaeka‘a Falls. Call (808) 823-0559.
The serene 30-acre refuge with streams and freshwater pools is a perfect setting for a picnic surrounded by mountains and lush foliage. The arboretum is divided by the stream and has a variety of foliage including monkeypods, mango, eucalyptus trees, ‘öhi‘a lehua and hibiscus. Picnic areas and pavilions can be found throughout the area for your enjoyment. There are two short hiking trails through the park. You can access the trailheads for Kuilau-Ridge Trail (incredible views from this trail) and the Moalepe Trail from this area. Open sunrise to sunset. Located down the road from the Wailua Reservoir on Hwy 580. Call (808) 241-4463.
This beautiful waterfall is the easiest to view, as it tumbles out of the jungle into a dramatic plunge over a high cliff about a 150-feet into the Wailua River. The name means "rolling shrimp," for the days when swarms of shrimp were seen rolling in turbulent waters at the base of the falls. The best time to view the cascading falls is mid-morning, and the best view is from the path along the highway. Located in Wailua off Hwy 56 on Kuamo’o Rd (Rte. 580) at mile marker 6.
Royalty came to Wailua from the neighboring islands to give birth at the sacred birthstones of Pöhaku Ho‘ohönau. According to legend, if the child was to become a great chief, the heavens would rupture with thunder and lightning followed by rain. When the baby’s umbilical cord fell off, it was wrapped in kapa (cloth made from bark) and placed in the crevices of the Pöhaku Piko for safekeeping. Located Kuamo‘o Rd. (Rte. 580) in Wailua River State Park.
SLEEPING GIANT VIEWPOINT
This formation on Mt. Nounou that sort of resembles a giant is a landmark between Wailua and Kapa‘a. There are several myths and legends surrounding the Sleeping Giant. According to one, the villagers tricked a giant named Puni into eating stones to keep him from eating all the fish and taro, and he fell asleep with a full tummy, never to wake again. Mount Nounou Trail is about a two-mile trek through the forest to the summit of the Sleeping Giant’s belly with spectacular views of the Island and sometimes, O‘ahu can be seen 110 miles east. The hiking trail begins on Haleilio Road. To view the Sleeping Giant, look for the sign marking the viewing area near the Chevron station in Kapa‘a. Located off Hwy 56.
WAILUA RIVER STATE PARK
A popular place to spend a day for the wide range of activities, as well as the lush scenery of tropical foliage, Wailua River is the only navigable river in the state. Activities in the park include water skiing, kayaking, hiking trails, famous waterfalls, the Fern Grotto, an ancient Hawaiian Village, and seven sacred heiau and historic landmarks. At the mouth of the river, ancient petroglyph carvings on large stones can be seen depending on the amount of sand in the area. Once the banks were a favorite dwelling place for high chiefs and kings of Kaua‘i. If you want to kayak on your own without a guide, only three kayak rental companies rent kayaks for the Wailua River. Kayakers should stay on the right side of the river. No guided kayak tours are available on Sundays. Wailua River is located off Kuhio Hwy. Scenic views and historic sites can be accessed from Kuamo‘o Rd. Call (808) 241-4463
LĪHU‘E & SOUTH SIDE ‘ALEKOKO (MENEHUNE) FISHPOND
Built for a young chief, this fishpond was unique in that it was built for the river instead of the coast like most others. The fishpond once covered 40 acres and consisted of a 900 ft. long wall that separated the fishpond from the stream, but today only remnants remain of the great wall. According to legend, the Menehune built the massive aquaculture facility in one night before sailing away on a floating island. Located off Hwy 50. Take Puhi Rd. to the end, and then turn left on Hulemalu Rd. The fishpond can be seen from the overlook.
GROVE FARM HOMESTEAD
The lovely plantation home was built in 1864 and opened as a living museum in 1978, featuring many displays and exhibits to paint the life of the sugar plantation days gone by. The historic home is beautifully furnished and has a staircase made from native koa wood. The grounds include giant trees and tropical flower gardens. Located south of Lihue on Highway 58. Admission is $20 and $10 for children 12 & under. Access is by tour only, which is offered twice a day Mon., Wed., and Thurs. at 10am and 1pm. Call (808) 245-3202 to make reservations in advance.
With artifacts, vintage photographs and exhibits, Kaua‘i Museum presents a factual look into Kaua‘i’s history. The galleries include a permanent collection of ancient Hawaiian artifacts. Located 4428 Rice Street. Admission is $10. Call (808) 245-6931 for information.
KUKUI O LONO PARK
Because the park is set on top of a hill, you will enjoy spectacular panoramic vistas in every direction. Stroll through the lovely serene Japanese-style garden or play the public golf course. The tranquil park is a lovely place to have a romantic picnic with sweeping ocean views of Läwa‘i Valley. Kukui O Lono means light of the god Lono. Located on Papalina Road off Hwy 50 in Kaläheo.
The National Tropical Botanical Garden is an exceptional preserve and houses the world’s largest collection of rare and endangered plants, and includes the Allerton, McBryde and Limahuli (North Shore.) The gardens are stunning examples of native landscape and design. The NTBG provides a haven for tropical endangered plant species to thrive and focuses on the cultivation of traditional medicinal plants. The Allerton Garden sits on the site of Hawai‘i’s Queen Emma’s summer cottage. This 80-acre tropical retreat hosts the Island’s living treasures in an enchanting garden and also has a private beach that turtles use to lay eggs. It’s a good idea to make advanced reservations for the Allerton Garden since tours are limited. McBryde Garden is set in seclusion between rugged cliffs, making it ideal for learning about the native plants while viewing rare and endangered Hawaiian species. Call (808) 742-2623 or ntbg.org.
PRINCE KŪHĪO PARK
At Prince Kühïo Park you can pay your respects to Hawai‘i’s first delegate to the U.S. congress, Prince Jonah Kühïo Kalaniana‘ole. He is known as “People’s Prince” because of his great accomplishments for native Hawaiians. A state holiday is observed in his honor, while the park honors his birthplace with a statue. While here, you can see the Hoai Heiau, the foundation of Prince Kühïo’s home, and the royal fishpond. Located on Läwai Road.
KALALAU VALLEY LOOKOUT
The lookout provides panoramic views into the majestic valley—without breaking a sweat—from the 18 mile marker. It is one of the most spectacular views on earth with striking sea cliffs and the cobalt Pacific looks into the largest valley in Näpali. Kalalau Valley is dramatic, with jagged emerald ridges, and is best viewed in the morning to avoid the clouds. Further ahead is Pu‘u o Kila Lookout, which offers even more astonishing views of the valley and the deep blue ocean. Both lookouts are located at the end of the Köke‘e Road. Call (808) 335-9975 for weather information.
KŌKE‘E NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
This little museum provides interpretive programs and exhibitions about Kaua‘i’s climate, geology and ecology. The museum has great information about the forest, hiking trails and conditions and sells maps and local books. Located past the 15 mile marker off Köke‘e Road. Turn left after the park headquarters. The museum is next to Köke‘e Lodge just before the campground. Open everyday 10am-4pm. Free. Call (808) 335-9975 or visit kokee.org.
MENEHUNE DITCH (KĪKĪ A OLA)
Only remnants remain of what was once a great watercourse and aqueduct that extended 25 miles up the Waimea River—made from smooth lava stone
brought from Mokihana. Legend has it that the Menehune, race of little people, built the ditch in one night for the high chief of Waimea to irrigate the taro patches for Waimea residents for payment of shrimp. Archaeologists say the historic site was built before Polynesians came, possibly by the Menehune. Located off Hwy 50 on Menehune Rd. just before the 23mile marker.
WAIMEA CANYON LOOKOUT
The Grand Canyon of the Pacific is a breathtaking gaping gorge with dramatic ridges and deep ravines shaped by the steady process of erosion and collapse of the volcano that formed Kaua‘i. It is roughly 10 miles long and 3,600 feet deep. The canyon is spectacular and majestic with jewel-tone colors of reds and greens. Take the scenic but narrow drive on Waimea Canyon Drive (Rte 550) from Hwy 50, or turn up the steep Köke‘e Road at Kekaha. The two roads merge into Köke‘e Road after a few miles up. Waimea Canyon Lookout is between mile markers 10 and 11. Check out the spectacular vistas from scenic lookouts at Pu‘u Hina Hina (3,336 feet elevation), where the private island of Ni‘ihau can be seen on clear days, and Pu‘u Ka Pele where the Waipo‘o Falls are visible after a heavy rainfall. Be prepared for cooler weather, and make sure you have some fuel in your car. Waimea Canyon Drive ends at Kalalau Lookout about 4 miles above the park.
To the west of the park is Spouting Horn, a cascade of water that shoots up like Old Faithful from an opening of an ancient lava tube with every incoming wave. Located across from the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Läwai Road.
Giant eucalyptus trees planted over 150 years ago by Scotchman Walter Duncan McBryde create the Tree Tunnel, the gateway into Koloa and Po‘ipü. Turn south on Hwy 520, Maluhia Rd.
A stunning 80-foot tiered waterfall is easy to view close to the roadside lookout. Nicknamed the Fantasy Island waterfalls for the prominent opening scene of the falls for the hit television show. It’s best to view the falls in the morning when the sun adds to the beauty of the falls. The power of the falls depends on the rainfall. A slippery hike down a steep trail leads you to the bottom of the waterfalls for a cool swim. Located off Hwy 56, end of Ma‘alo Rd.
WEST SIDE CAPTAIN COOK’S MONUMENT
Captain James Cook, the British explorer, landed in Waimea Bay in January 1778 with his ships Resolution and Discovery, marking his first visit to the Hawaiian Islands. Facing the sea, a statue of Cook stands in Waimea to mark the historic event that would forever change Hawai‘i. Located in Hofgaard Park in the downtown area. myhawaiitraveler.com
SPORT + ADVENTURE
NATIONAL TROPICAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
SAVE THE ‘ŌHI‘A SAVE THE BIRDS WORKING TOGETHER TO PRESERVE NATIVE BEAUTIES WORDS MARY TROY JOHNSTON
Hawaiians have always revered
the ÿöhiÿa lehua for its exquisite beauty. The beloved tree is a namesake for two lovers, who according to one legend, suffered the wrath of the volcano goddess, Pele. She desired the handsome youth, ÿÖhiÿa. He turned down her affections, so much in love he was with the beautiful Lehua. Spurned (and fired up more than usual), Pele turned him into a twisted tree. The other gods took pity on Lehua and turned her into a flower where she resides to this day with ÿÖhiÿa as the red and gold-tipped blossom that adorns his tree. It is customary not to pick the lehua blossom when one first enters the forest because it will surely rain, the tears of Lehua upon becoming separated from her lover. ÿÖhiÿa lehua belongs to Hawaiÿi in a very real sense. It is endemic to Hawaiÿi, meaning the tree can only be found here, and its nectar feeds a number of endemic birds, who live and die only in the Hawaiian rainforests. It is no wonder Hawaiians feel a deep cultural attachment to the tree that in earlier times spanned the island, omnipresent mauka to makai (from the mountains to the shore). Hula kumu (teacher of hula) Këhaulani Kekua on Kauaÿi explains the deep identification with the ÿöhiÿa among Hawaiians to this day. “In the customary beliefs and practices of traditional hula in our hälau (hula school), the ÿöhiÿa lehua is one of many plants that are revered as kinolau, or nature body forms of Hawaiian deities. Kino in Hawaiian means, body, and lau means many.” The tree is significant in nature because it qualifies as a keystone species; that is to say, the integrity of the forest ecosystem depends on the tree. As the foundational tree of Hawaiian forests, the ÿöhiÿa is estimated to comprise more than 80% of tree growth in the native forests of the islands. Consequently, the very survival of the forest ecosystem depends on it. Besides just sheer presence, the ÿöhiÿa also has a creative role to play in sustaining the forest. The trees myhawaiitraveler.com
form so great a part of the upper canopy, which is responsible for gathering the rain and directing it downward to the forest floor, where it gets filtered into deep aquifers, streams and captured in the rich fauna of ferns, lichens, and mosses. The leaves of certain species of ÿöhiÿa are slightly cupped for this water collection function. If the water were not “captured” and if the ground were dried out, debris-carrying floods would go rushing down the mountainside and end up on our beaches, polluting our coral reefs. Outreach specialist Kim Rogers for the Kauaÿi Invasive Species Committee (KISC) points out, “Some trees in wet environments like the Alakaÿi grow almost like ground cover or small bushes. Young leaves often have tiny hair-like matter that are great at collecting moisture from the air.” According to cultural practitioner Këhaulani Kekua, “oral traditions that have been passed down through countless generations” recognized that the ÿöhiÿa “draws in moisture from the heavens/atmosphere by way of mists and rain clouds.” The integrity of rainforests in Hawaiÿi has been known to be suffering. A team of scientists conducted research on the Big Island in 2008 and discovered that invasive species were taking a toll on the ÿöhiÿa population there. Some of the invasives had grown taller than the native trees and denied the latter sunlight. ÿÖhiÿa were discovered to be in retreat. Concern became heightened when Rapid ÿÖhiÿa Death (ROD) was named and identified on the Big Island in 2014 and went on to ravage hundreds of thousands of trees. In May 2018, the first identification of the disease was made by a botanist in the Moloaÿa State Forest Reserve on Kaua‘i. As a result, foresters used helicopters and drones to try to determine the scope of the threat. Two other locations infected by ROD, respectively on the North and South shores on the mountainside were identified and, lately, a site was confirmed behind Anahola Mountain. So far, the locations are not in heavily trafficked areas, a positive in terms of prevention. The off-the-track location lessens the chance of hikers spreading the fungus by way of their boots. Kaua‘i also benefits from the enormous efforts and extensive networks of scientists, naturalists, cultural practitioners, and concerned citizens that mobilized action after ROD was discovered on the Big Island. Both species of fungus that cause ÿöhiÿa disease have been identified on Kauaÿi. The more virulent species, Ceratocystis lukuohia was the most destructive on the Big Island and has only been identified in one location. Ceratocystis huliohia, is slower acting and is present in three locations. Still, Kim emphasizes it is a deadly disease. She explains, “It may take months to a year to kill. But that’s still pretty rapid for a tree that can live to be 1,000 64
PHOTO COURTESY: (OPENING SPREAD/OPPOSITE TOP LT) RAPIDOHIADEATH.ORG; (OPPOSITE BOTTOM RT) DAVID EIKHOFF; (TOP RT) LISA KEITH; (BOTTOM RT) JIM DENNY
years of age.” None of those involved in the campaign to save the ÿöhiÿa plan to rest even though the disease was discovered relatively early on Kauaÿi. Stepped-up seed banking of ÿöhiÿa seeds throughout Hawaiÿi is among the efforts to prepare for the future. On Kauaÿi, the National Tropical Botanical Garden is a sponsor of collecting and conserving the seeds of the different varieties and species. Dustin Wolkis, who manages the seed bank and laboratory there, emphasizes how vital the conversation stage is to the survival of the seed. Dustin says, “thankfully, ÿöhiÿa has seeds that are orthodox,” meaning they can tolerate the conditions requisite for “long-term storage.” Moisture has to be removed from the seeds (desiccation), and storage takes place at sub-freezing temperatures. He also observes that “seeds are relatively small” which means “storage space is less of an issue.” The lab still faced its challenges. The process of cleaning seeds, he described, was causing a “huge bottleneck in the lab.” The seed itself is contained in a capsule, known as a “dehiscent” capsule. Nature designed it to break open when it is still attached to the mother tree in order to yield seed. A way needed to be found to separate the seed efficiently from the capsule without harming the seeds. The team found they were able to adapt “a consumer grade food processor by rubberizing the blade.” As a result, the team “can now place entire seed lots into the food processor which encourages seed dispersal from the capsules” and permits them “to clean hundreds of thousands of seeds in minutes.” Dustin has actually tested the seeds for survivability and has found promising results. He expects “viability to remain above 50% of initial of maximum germination (i.e. half life) for timescales of decades to centuries.” The dedicated plant conservationist is able to find optimism in the “really talented people from around the world all working on different aspects of combating and understanding ROD.” It is important to remember that the ongoing efforts are not only to save the ÿöhiÿa, but to save an ecosystem. The forest birds are of special concern because of the love for their song among islanders. According to Jim Denny, author of A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hawaiÿi (University of Hawaiian Press, 2011), the bird most affected will be the ÿapapane as its major food source is the nectar of the lehua. The intense red feathers of the ÿapapane, one variety of the Hawaiian honeycreeper, were used to adorn the garments of royals, for instance, to create the mahiole (feathered helmet). The bird expert states, “Three other endemic honeycreepers feed on the lehua as well—ÿiÿiwi, ‘anianiau, and ÿamakihi.” If the keystone tree species dies out, the future is bleak for myhawaiitraveler.com
PHOTO COURTESY: (TOP RT/LT/BOTTOM RT) RAPIDOHIADEATH.OG; (BOTTOM LT) J.B. FRIDAY; (OPPTOSITE) JIM DENNY
these birds as they depend on the ecosystem anchored by the ÿöhiÿa. “If the ROD fungus takes hold in the Alakaÿi, I fear it will be a nail in the coffin for these birds,” Jim laments, after having described how threats, “introduced rats, avian malaria, avian pox, and invasive plants…” have already seriously reduced the numbers of native birds. “In my lifetime, it has been depressing for me to hear the cacophony of bird song reduced to nothing but the sound of ‘wind in the trees and water dripping off the leaves,’” Jim concludes echoing the words Andrew John Berger wrote in Hawaiian Birdlife (University of Hawaii Press, 1972). We discover the sound of the wind when it rattles the trees. Future generations deserve to make that discovery. Losing the forests would be tantamount to turning back the clock millions and millions of years, the period of time it took to produce these incredible feats of nature. myhawaiitraveler.com
How can we help with ROD prevention on Kauaÿi? KISC makes the following recommendations: 1. Avoid injuring ÿöhiÿa, because wounds leave the tree open to infection. 2. Clean your shoes and gear before and after entering the forest. This is a two-step process: 1. Remove all soil/debris from boots, gear, and tools. 2. Spray items with 70% rubbing alcohol. 3. Wash vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles) to remove mud. 4. Don’t move ÿöhiÿa. (Fungal spores can remain alive even in dead wood.) 5. Report ÿöhiÿa with ROD-like symptoms (the sudden browning of leaves) to Kauaÿi Invasive Species Committee. For more information, visit cms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/rod/ or call (808)821-1490, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 67
LIFE AT SEA HAWAI‘I’S ORIGINAL OCEAN VOYAGERS WORDS COCO ZICKOS
PHOTO COURTESY: (BOTTOM RT) THOMAS J. KAIAKAPU/ DOFAW
Millions of seabirds once covered the Hawaiian Islands, prior to human arrival. These magnificent birds, such as Kaua‘i’s native ÿaÿo (Newell’s shearwater), helped make the islands as lush as they are by digging burrows through lava rock, and turning and fertilizing the soil. Unfortunately, every species faces serious threats due to human activity, such as plastics floating in the ocean that birds inadvertently scoop up while fishing and habitat loss due to development. And since most seabirds only lay one egg a year, it’s even more difficult for their numbers to recover. These ocean voyagers carry cultural significance, having led Hawaiian fisherman to food for generations—if you see seabirds congregating in parts of the ocean, you know there’s a seafood buffet nearby. There are infinite reasons why each species is worthy of protecting, including their unique characteristics and the fact that while they are awkward on land, their ethereal beauty while gliding through the sky is astounding. Good news is that there are places where these birds are protected like the Kïlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, which is the best place to see most of the following beauties, on Kaua‘i. Drive slowly to the end of Kïlauea Road to get there—nënë (Hawaiian goose) are often walking along the street. Mölï (Albatross) Like many other seabirds, mölï, with their white and brown plumage and 6-foot-long wingspans, spend their life, which spans about 12 to 40 years on average, almost entirely at sea. When they need rest, they either sit on top of the water or take a mid-flight snooze. This ability to sleep while flying, coupled with hardly expending energy by not flapping their wings, allows them to travel hundreds of miles in a single day. They can make journeys over a thousand miles without stopping, just to retrieve food for their babies. Mölï return to land from October to July to meet their life partners and nest. Their chicks hatch by January or February and are fed by their parents who come back with regurgitated goodies from the ocean like fish eggs and squid (sadly, this also often includes plastics). The parents typically leave their babies around July, and when the fledglings get hungry enough, they let a gust of wind lift them into the air and take them to sea. ÿAÿo (Newell’s shearwater) Kaua‘i is home to 90 percent of this endemic bird’s population, with the rest residing on Maui and the Big Island. One of the qualities that make the endangered bird, with dark gray feathers on top and white on bottom, so special, besides spending most of their lives at sea and returning only to nest, they can dive some 30 to 40 feet for fish, with the deepest recorded dive being more than 150 feet. They also scale cliffs using their talons and bills. Every year between September and December, fledgling ÿaÿo leave the safety of their burrows on steep cliffs within deep foliage, to follow the moon and stars on their inaugural journey to sea. In recent decades, however, the young birds become distracted by myhawaiitraveler.com
bright, artificial lights and lose their bearings. They will circle manmade lights until dropping to the ground, too exhausted to take off again and rendering them easy prey for dogs, cats, rats—and cars. The state recognized the issue some 30 years ago and established the Save Our Shearwaters program (saveourshearwaters.org) in an effort to help. The program encourages everyone to pick up any downed fledglings they may come across and bring them to aid stations, such as fire stations, located around the island. Koaÿe kea (White-tailed tropicbird) This elegant, small white bird with black markings is one of the most abundant on Kaua‘i. They soar along coastlines and around steep cliffs around the entire island. They breed yearround and half of Hawai‘i’s population call Kaua‘i home. What makes them visually stand out is their thin, ribbonlike white tails that trail behind them. Like other seabirds, they can sustain long periods of flight and rest on the surface of the sea with their waterproof feathers and webbed feet. To feed, they plunge into the ocean at rapid speeds and become completely submerged to obtain their food.
PHOTO COURTESY: (OPPOSITE) DUNCAN WRIGHT
Koaÿe ÿula (Red-tailed tropicbird) This is the rowdier of Kaua‘i’s two tropicbirds and considered one of the loudest of all seabirds, especially during breeding season from February to September. While white-tailed tropicbirds find their lifelong mates via dynamic courtship, red-tailed tropicbirds are even more “dramatic” and noisy with their group aerial displays, which include flying backwards. Koaÿe ÿula also have long, streamer tails, but they are red rather than white. This bird is one of the most commonly seen (and heard) at Kïlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. ‘Iwa (Great frigatebird) This year-round resident has a massive wingspan of some 7-feet and is often seen flying solo, hovering in the sky in areas near shorelines. They are aptly named “thief” in Hawaiian and will torment other seabirds with bellies full of fish until the victims regurgitate their meal. The sneaky ‘iwa will dive under the victim and scoop up the dislodged food. ‘Iwa are unable to take off from the water so they snatch fish or squid from the ocean’s surface with their long, hooked beaks. ‘Iwa are unusual in that they don’t have nest or mate “fidelity” like other seabird species. Females cannot breed every year, as it takes them a year and a half to raise their chicks, largely without the male. Males, on the other hand, will mate with another female each year. Most ‘iwa, who have dark gray and black feathers, you’ll find at Kïlauea Point Wildlife Refuge are females and juveniles. They don’t nest in the area and so you won’t see the males with their red throat sacs that poof up while courting. 71
‘Ua‘u kani (Wedge-tailed shearwaters) If you’re lucky enough to experience the Kïlauea Point Wildlife Refuge during early evening hours from March to November, you might hear these light and dark gray birds with wedge-shaped tails before you see them. They make a moaning sound when they return to their burrows during breeding season after spending the day at sea, acquiring seafood brought to the surface of the ocean by schools of predatory fish. Their landings are awkward when they arrive on shore at night, but they find their nests with the haunting sounds that gave them their Hawaiian name. During breeding season, a monogamous pair digs a burrow, which they return to each year, into the sides of hills and lay their egg in June. Their fluffy babies nest in low elevations, unlike Newell’s shearwater, and are much more common. Yet, they are still subject to human activity—people and cattle are known to trample their nests, predators like cats and rats take advantage of vulnerable babies and they ingest plastics in the ocean.
ÿÄ (Red-footed booby) These seabirds, with white feathers, red feet and blue beaks, are unlike any other in that they have the ability to perch. You might see them sitting on branches of shrubs at the Kïlauea Point Wildlife Refuge where the largest colony of red-footed boobies is located with more than 2,000 pairs who breed year-round with monogamous mates. In order to obtain their prey, they dive vertically into the water from about 26 feet above water. They search for seafood on their own or link up to flocks of other seabirds and indulge in a feeding frenzy. They follow schools of tuna and other “predatory” fish that bring their meals of flying fish and squid to the surface. Their babies aren’t born with the same fuzz as other seabirds and, instead, are naked and need to be kept warm by one of the parents for their first month of life. After this point, they develop soft white down and can regulate their body temperatures, therefore, allowing the parents to leave them behind to fish.
PHOTO COURTESY: (RT) THJIM DENNY/KAUAIBIRDS.COM
‘Ua‘u (Hawaiian dark-rumped petrel) and ÿAkëÿakë (Bandrumped storm petrel) These are two of Kaua‘i’s most endangered seabirds that you’re unlikely to see. They’re populations have suffered catastrophic declines in recent years. They are both smaller-sized seabirds, with dark gray, black and white plumage. ‘Ua‘u mainly nest in remote, high elevation locations, such as the Upper Limahuli Preserve and are only active at night when they fly from their burrows to the sea. They also congregate with other seabirds to fish, but don’t dive into the water to nab their food and catch what comes to the surface. They are known to travel more than 6,000 miles in one trip just to find food for their chicks. There isn’t as much known about the ÿakëÿakë because they tend to nest in highly inaccessible locales along cliff faces. Like Newell’s shearwater, they are also attracted to bright lights and fledglings are sometimes found on the ground after becoming disoriented during breeding season. They spend their entire life at sea and only return to breed, and also akin to the Hawaiian petrel, can “tap dance” on the water’s surface with their feet and flap their wings near waves to help them collect prey just below the surface with their bills. myhawaiitraveler.com
Noio (Black noddy) These medium-sized seabirds breed year-round and eat small seafood brought to the surface by predatory fish, though they do not travel as far out to sea as some birds. Noio, which have dark gray and black plumage and white “caps” on their heads, are most prevalent on the West Side of the island from Kekaha and beyond, as well as Këÿë Beach on the North Shore. How you can help You can do your part by making as minimal of an impact as possible while traveling. Try to eliminate plastic from your routine, including water bottles and any other kind of single use plastics. Moreover, dispose of your trash properly and recycle when you can. And please remember to keep a respectful distance from these magnificent, beloved creatures. To learn more about Kaua‘i’s seabirds, visit kilaueapoint.org or kauaiseabirdproject.org.
EAST KAUA‘I THE ROYAL COCONUT COAST
The East Side of Kaua‘i is often referred to as the Royal Coconut Coast. Appropriately named, considering the royal history and the abundance of ancient coconut groves from Wailua to Kapa‘a. Back in the 1300s, this area was called Kawaihau (the ice water), and it was the location of choice for Hawai‘i’s royalty. Kawaihau is mainly divided into four areas: Wailua, Kapa‘a, Waipouli and Ke‘alia. The kings chose Wailua to be the capital of Kaua‘i. High chiefs believed that the area around the mouth of the Wailua River was sacred and called it Wailua Nui Hoano or Great Sacred Wailua. This sacred area extended two miles up the Wailua River. Seven heiau (shrine) were built in an arc from the shores of Wailua up Mount Wai‘ale‘ale ending on the Westside of Kaua‘i. Royalty would come to Wailua from the neighboring islands to give birth at the birthstones of Holoholok‘u. When a king was born, a kahuna (priest) would take the child up the mountain to a bell stone. He would strike the bell stone with a rock, sounding the birth of a new king. No commoner was allowed in this area unless they were servicing a chief. You can view the birthstones and five different heiau at the Wailua River State Park. Please remember that this is a special place of worship and needs to be treated with respect. Do not leave offerings or move any rocks. Below the Wailua River State Park is Lydgate Beach. Two rocklined seawater pools make it a haven for year round swimming. Above Wailua Park is Wailua homesteads. Here you will find many hiking trails and freshwater swimming holes. Waipouli (dark water) is a little town between Wailua and Kapa‘a. Before all of the commercial development, Hawaiian royalty used this area to set sail to other locations in the Pacific. Due to the sudden popularity of fractional ownership, Waipouli is now a mile-long strip of shops and modern conveniences. Old Kapa‘a Town is the remnant of an old plantation town. Most of the buildings have been renovated and filled with boutiques, bars and restaurants, making Kapa‘a a hip little hot spot. Although, there are many beach parks in the area, be very careful about swimming here. The East Shore is best known for fishing, and the rocky shoreline can be very dangerous during high tide. As the locals say, “Never turn your back to the ocean.” If you’re driving north from Kapa‘a town, you will come across a large crescent shaped, golden sand beach called Keälia. The Kapa‘a Stream flows across the south end of the beach. You may see kayakers paddling in the stream or people rinsing off after a salty dip in the ocean. The area around the beach was once a 2,000-acre sugar plantation. Today, in an effort to preserve our agricultural past, Plantation Partners have converted the area into the largest agricultural subdivision on the island. Today the Coconut Coast is lined with newly renovated resorts, spas, condominiums and residences. They provide a getaway for travelers from around the globe. 74
EAT + DRINK 78 ISLAND DINING GUIDE
88 AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN
82 THE HOT SPOT
92 BLENDING CULTURES
84 CULINARY Q&A
96 BIZARRE BITES
86 UNDER THE RADAR REDS 76
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GRAND T I D E P O O L S AT G R A N D H YAT T K A U A I —
Ahh, the romance of a tiki-torch lit dinner in thatched roof bungalows floating above a koi-filled lagoon. Here you’ll find stellar service and contemporary Hawaiian cuisine featuring the freshest of fish and succulent steaks crafted with a distinct island flair. Free valet parking for diners. For reservations call 808 240 6456, visit tidepoolskauai.com or book online at opentable.com.
KAUA‘I DINING SOUTH SHORE DONDERO’S Dondero’s will satisfy your soul as well as your appetite. The elegant ambiance and stellar service makes this a dining favorite for those with discriminating taste. The menu is designed as an Italian tasting menu, offering complimentary flavors and contrasting textures with a large selection of appetizers, homemade pastas, fresh fish, chicken, lamb and beef specialties. This light, modern Italian cuisine is carefully paired with wines from all over the world. Located in the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i. Call (808) 2406456. EATING HOUSE 1849 BY ROY YAMAGUCHI The Eating House 1849 pays homage to Hawai‘i’s vibrant culinary heritage, a nod to restaurateurs like Peter Fernandez who, the story goes, opened one of the first restaurants in Hawai‘i. Called the Eating House, back in the mid-1800s, using what was available from local farmers, ranchers, foragers and shermen. It’s here that award-winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi blends these two worlds: the easy ambiance and simple flavors of a plantation town with
the dynamic modernity of haute cuisine. Located at the Shops at Kukui‘ula. Call (808) 742-5000 for reservations. STEVENSON'S SUSHI & SPIRITS The warm woods and intimate seating areas of this classic lounge create a welcoming atmosphere. Take a seat at the 27-foot, hand crafted koa wood bar or sink into a cozy chair or sofa in the booked lined room. Chef Jay creates delectable sushi creations nightly in this unique Kaua‘i bar boasting an extensive selection of Whiskies, Cognac and Port in addition to creative martinis and delectable tropical drinks. Enjoy a game of pool, backgammon or chess. Scrumptious sushi rolls are sure to please. Located in the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i. Call (808) 240-6456. THE SHOPS AT KUKUI‘ULA The Shops at Kukui‘ula has become known as the premier dining destination on Kaua‘i for its selection of casual and fine dining experiences in a beautiful plantation style setting. Merriman’s Fish House and Eating House 1849 feature renowned Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine Chefs Peter Merriman and Roy
Yamaguchi while Tortilla Republic and Dolphin Sushi bring contemporary flair to Mexican and seafood cuisine. Casual options include Bubba Burgers, Living Foods Market & Café, Merriman’s Gourmet Pizza & Burgers, and TR Taqueria & Margarita Bar as well as local favorites Uncle’s Shave Ice and Lappert’s Hawai‘i. Check out the weekly Kaua‘i Culinary Market, Wednesdays, 3:30 to 6pm, with a cooking demo at 5pm. Visit theshopsatkukuiula.com. TIDEPOOLS For the ultimate in ambiance, Tidepools is the place. With a backdrop of waterfalls, these thatched roof hale seemingly float above koi filled lagoons providing a distinctive open-air setting in which to savor contemporary Hawaiian style cuisine. Diners rave about the fresh island fish and steak options including macadamia nut crusted mahimahi, grilled opah, organic steak, or Hawaiian salt and garlic rubbed prime rib. Salads feature fresh island-greens and the desserts are luscious. Don’t miss this delightful experience. Located in the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i. Call (808) 240-6456. LĪHU‘E KUKUI’S Features a Pacific Rim gourmet buffet in an outdoor setting, plus American and local specialties. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located poolside at the Marriott Kaua‘i Beach Resort. Located at 3610 Rice Street. Call (808) 245-5050. WAILUA - EAST SIDE KOREAN BBQ RESTAURANT Authentic Korean food with great Korean BBQ like galbi, chicken and pork served with soup, kimchee, vegetables and rice. Delicious Korean plates like shrimp tempura, Korean chicken, Mahi or meat jun (marinated mahi or ribeye dipped in egg and fried), bi bim bap (rice bowl with veggies and your choice of meat) and favorites like katsu, fried rice, noodles and dumplings all reasonably priced. Open Mon.-Sun. 11am-9pm. Kinipopo Shopping Village in Wailua. 4-356 Kuhio Hwy Building #E. (808) 823-6744. NAUPAKA TERRACE Inspired by the natural beauty of the Garden Island, Kauai Beach Resort creates unforgettable dining experiences that delight your senses. Indulge in delicious island specialties, fresh seafood, refreshing tropical drinks and live music as you gaze at the coastline and sparkling ocean. Dine on island cuisine at Naupaka Terrace, one of the top restaurants on Kaua‘i, enjoy a poolside snack at Driftwood Bar & Grille, and enjoy refreshing drinks and island music nightly at Shutters Lounge. Located at the Kauai Beach Resort. Call (808) 245-1955.
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GRAND S T E V E N S O N ’ S L I B R A R Y AT G R A N D H YAT T K A U A I — Poipu’s luxury nightspot offers sweeping views, scrumptious sushi, inventive cocktails, tropical drinks, aged whiskies, cognacs and ports. Sushi rolled nightly 6:00-10:00pm. Free valet parking for diners. For reservations call 808 240 6456 or book online at opentable.com.
HUALANI'S AT HŌKŪALA KAUA‘I
STREET BURGER Street Burger is Wailua’s hippest urban-chic eatery, offering handcrafted, locally-sourced burgers, hand-cut fries, and the east side’s largest selection of local and craft beers on tap, accompanied by a fun, exciting wine list. Come dine at this upscale burger-joint—pull up a stool at the chef’s counter or relax on the patio with sweeping views of Sleeping Giant. Open for lunch and dinner, Street Burger will excite your taste buds, and satisfy your craving for an American classic. Enjoy with friends, family or just a quick bite on your way home. Located at 4-369 Kuhio Hwy, Kapa‘a. Call (808) 2121555 for more information or streetburgerkauai.com. OYSTER 369 Oyster 369 is an intimate upscale eatery focusing on fresh seafood and shellfish - raw, chilled and brickoven roasted. Whether enjoying a rotating selection of oysters on the half shell, Iced Shellfish Platters featuring locally grown Maine lobsters, Dungeness Crab, Peel-n-Eat Shrimp, Oysters & Clams, or sizzling hot Mussels from the wood-fired brick-oven, you are certain to enjoy the freshness and inspired cuisine. An exciting wine list as well as 26 taps of craft beers, compliment the seafood delicacies. Nestled just next door to the burger joint Street Burger, Oyster 369 is 80
open evenings from 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday, and is sure to delight your tastebuds. Located at 4-369 Kuhio Hwy, Kapa‘a. Call (808) 212-1555 for more information or oyster369.com. NORTH SHORE NALU KAI GRILL AND BAR Enjoy light Hawaiian influenced cuisine and sophisticated tropical libations in the shade of our gazebo or in the privacy of our dining cabanas. Should your preference be relaxing poolside soaking up the Hawaiian sunshine we feature a special poolside menu. Indulge the refinement of our unique offerings at the bar while enjoying breathtaking views overlooking Hanalei bay. Located at the Princeville Resort. KAUAI GRILL A comfortable yet elegant hideaway—signature Jean-Georges sophistication realized far from home. Sweeping views of Hanalei bay and Bali Hai surround Kauai Grill, the latest in creative dining experiences from Michelin awarded Jean-George Vongerichten. Kauai Grill combines a curated selection of JeanGeorges’ greatest appetizers, side dishes and accompaniments from his portfolio of domestic and international restaurants around the world with
the highest quality of meats and freshest local fish available. Simply grilled preparations accompanied by bold condiments anchor the Kauai Grill experience at the Princeville Resort. Open Tuesday-Saturday 6pm10pm. For reservations call (808) 826-9644. MAKANA TERRACE Overlooking magical Hanalei Bay and Makana Mountain is the main dining room at the Princeville Resort, Makana Terrace, the perfect venue for sophisticated casual all day dining. The menus showcase the freshest Hawaiian grown produce flawlessly represented in the dishes prepared by the Executive Chef and his culinary team. On Wednesdays, The Mailani dinner experience captures the essence of Halele’a, through chant, hula and storytelling. Journey with us overlooking Hanalei Bay as we reveal the mystery of this special place. Mailani, is an elegant Hawaiian dining experience that honors the culture and traditions of Kaua’i. Dinner ThursdayMonday, Wednesdays for Mailani, Dinner Show. Located at the Princeville Resort. Call (808) 826-2746 for reservations.
YOUR TA S T E B U D S DESERVE A V A C AT I O N .
Enjoy local and responsibly sourced ingredients at all six restaurants, as well as farm to table menus, legendary steak and seafood dishes, light and healthy options, and of course, delectable desserts.
Kauai Marriott Resortâ€™s dining selections range from casual oceanside cocktails and snacks to true ďŹ ne dining.
PALATE WINE BAR & RESTAURANT Nestled in the heart of Kïlauea is an elegant, European-style tasting room that features wine and tapas. Palate Wine Bar & Restaurant is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. That’s because the hidden gem is tucked inside a petite space at the Kong Lung Historic Market Center. The building is one of several in the area that was constructed during the height of the plantation era in the late-1800s. The décor is soothing—dim lighting and rich, wooden tones that complement bright, white brick and tile walls. The atmosphere is sleek and stylish, yet casual. And while it’s a refined wine bar, you won’t find any uppity attitudes here. An open-kitchen allows you to watch the culinary magic take place and a small bar is perfect if you’re dining solo or just wish to stop by for delicious püpü (appetizers) and great wine. There are only a few 82
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tables to sit in the dining room, all of which are high-tops, so if you’d like to snag one of these, it’s best to make a reservation. The sophisticated restaurant might be little, but its food is mighty. The menu offering is small, but every dish is packed with fresh, delightful ingredients. Moreover, the portion sizes are decent and are perfect for two. What’s also exquisite about Palate Wine Bar & Restaurant’s food is that everything is homemade—from the flatbread and fruit compote to the sauces, dressings and even the mustard. Moreover, specials are offered every day and if you have dietary restrictions they’ve got you covered—vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options abound. It’s best to order several dishes to share so that you get to sample as many fine flavors as possible. The ultimate feast is the Palate Sampler KAUA‘I TRAVELER
PHOTO COURTESY: (ALL) PALATE WINE BAR & RESTAURANT
Board ($28), presented on a classic wooden cutting board. This bountiful artistic spread consists of an ample serving of crostini, a selection of different imported cheeses, cured meat, fruit compote, assorted seasonal fruit, including halved grapes, cubed watermelon, and apple slivers delicately drizzled with honey, as well as one of the most surprisingly delicious accompaniments—housemade spicy mustard. Mix and match the ingredients to offer an eclectic range of celebrations for your taste buds. A smaller meatless version of this heavenly cheese platter is the Three Cheese Board ($16), which offers similar elements and is a meal unto itself. Another exceptional dish is the Oven Roasted Golden Beets ($16). The flavors in this hearty starter complement each other in such a lovely way. Supple chunks of beets are tossed with goat cheese, roasted fennel, macadamia nuts and a delectable lilikoÿi (passion fruit) vinaigrette. Appetizers are more than enough to satisfy cravings here, but if your hunger pangs are exceptional, a flatbread will do the job. These pizzas are incredibly rich and aren’t recommended for those seeking lighter fare. But if your tummy is rumbling, any of the flatbreads, such as the Mediterranean ($22) with tomato sauce, olives, artichoke hearts and feta cheese or the Macnut Pesto ($21) with sundried tomatoes, feta and mozzarella cheeses, will cure your ailment. There are delicious meat options as well including Classic Pepperoni, Italian Sausage and Smoked Salmon. Of course, to make your experience truly epic, you’ll want to pair this marvelous food with vino, each carefully curated from small vineyards around the world. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable about all-things-wine and will help you make your selections. They know the right amount of body, acidity, fruity or sweet tones to go with your cheeses, cured meats and any other dishes on the menu. One piece of advice if you’d prefer to avoid the crowds and have a more quiet, relaxing experience, is visiting this hot spot on a weeknight. And get there early, as the restaurant fills up quickly and is particularly busy at peak dinner hours. No matter what, if you happen to be in this quaint, historic North Shore town during the evening hours, then at the very least, stop here for a bite or two of tapas and a glass of wine. Pleasing palates is easy with the authentic flavors that flourish at this sophisticated establishment curiously nestled in the heart of a tropical community. Palate Wine Bar & Restaurant is located at open 2474 Keneke St., Kïlauea and is open every day from 5pm to 10pm. Their market next door sells wine, beer, liquor, and freshly made daily sandwiches and salads. The market is open Monday thru Saturday 10:30am to 10:30pm and on Sunday from 12pm to 10:30pm. Call (808) 212-1974 to make reservations or visit palatewinebar.net for more information. myhawaiitraveler.com
CULINARY Q&A EXECUTIVE CHEF AARON LEIKAM
aron Leikam filled an edible niche on Kauaÿi in 2015 when he opened Street Burger, a contemporary restaurant featuring homemade gourmet burgers filled with flavorful ingredients, as well as local and craft beers on tap. The talented culinary expert made it a mission to come up with specialties people wouldn’t find anywhere else on island like the Street, a 6 oz. Makaweli Meat Company beef burger topped with pork belly, a fried egg, arugula, Point Reyes Original Blue cheese and frizzled onions. After working across the country for several award-winning chefs, Leikam, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and native of Texas, packed his bags and moved to Kauaÿi in 2009. Before Street Burger’s debut, he served as Executive Chef at the Hukilau Lanai, as well as chef de cuisine of the former farm-to-table restaurant, 22 North at Kilohana. 84
What was the first dish you ever made that you truly felt proud of? There isn’t a specific ‘dish’ that stands out, each dish is more of a creative process and always seems to be changing. However, making sauces for Rick Bayless has been one of the most enlightening culinary aspects of my career. I learned from him such things as how to make authentic Mexican moles that he, in turn, had learned from abuelitas while traveling through Mexico. What do you like about being a chef? The connectivity to people through food. A quote from culinary icon Anthony Bourdain speaks volumes: ‘You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.’ Watching family and friends gather to eat and converse brings the most joy. It is why we don’t have TVs or live music at Street Burger. It distracts people from what should be going on at a dinner table. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
PHOTO COURTESY: STREETBURGER
WORDS COCO ZICKOS
What’s the most rewarding aspect about owning and operating Street Burger? Customer comments and appreciation for what we are trying to do. We make almost everything in-house, including the ketchup. We cook over a wood-fired Argentinian-style grill. A great deal of time and effort goes into what we do and what we make. We offer only craft beer and boutique wine, and just a few specialty cocktails. We care a lot. Everything we do has a reason. We don’t settle and we don’t cut corners. When people get that, it’s very rewarding. What’s the most challenging aspect? Keeping things running despite living on a rock in the middle of the ocean. We have completely unique product availability, shipping and employment scenarios. What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to aspiring chefs who want to open their own restaurant? Don’t. Or at least go work for as many different people in as many different styles and positions as you can before you take it on. There’s much more to being a restaurant owner than just being a great cook. Taking a few courses in how to be an electrician, a plumber, an HVAC specialist, a marketing executive, a business manager and a guidance counselor would not be a bad idea. How do you come up with new ideas for the menu? Most of my inspiration comes from experiences. Places I’ve worked, things I’ve eaten or just seen. What menu item is the most popular at Street Burger and how would you describe it? Our most popular item is the Bacon & BBQ Burger. It is a 6 oz. Makaweli Meat Company beef patty topped with a plethora of bacon, housemade BBQ sauce, frizzled onions, locally grown tomato and lettuce on a brioche bun. What can someone do to have the most enjoyable experience at Street Burger? For the most enjoyable time always the earlier, the better. We are open all day so the times that are least crowded are outside of the typical meal crunch. We strive to offer the same service and quality at all times, however, we do make everything to order. The busier the restaurant, the busier the kitchen, the busier your server. We are definitely not fast food, but take care to get the perfect dish out in the timeliest way possible. What are some future plans you have for the business? We haven’t really discussed the future of Street Burger. Most people say, ‘give a restaurant five years’ before making any future plans. So, we are still a year out and are excited about the possibilities ahead of us. We did, however, open our sister restaurant, Oyster 369, two years ago, which is right next door and shares the bar, bathrooms and prep kitchen. It has its own private and intimate space and cooking area complete with wood-fired brick oven. The addition of Oysters On The Half Shell as a starter at Street Burger after 5pm has been really exciting too. But there’s not much crossover food wise other than a couple tasty items on the Oyster 369 menu, such as a lobster topped burger and truffle fries. The oyster bar serves its own separate menu of raw, chilled, smoked and brick-oven roasted seafood and shellfish. When you aren’t working, what kind of food do you enjoy making at home? We eat simply at home—a good pasta dish, roast chicken or anything on the grill. It’s family time and that is what’s important. Street Burger is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 10pm and sister restaurant Oyster 369 is open Tuesday-Saturday from 5-9pm. Both are located at 4-369 Kühiö Highway in Kapa‘a. Call (808) 212-1555 or visit streetburgerkauai.com for more. myhawaiitraveler.com
ALMOST FAMOUS UNDER THE RADAR REDS WORDS KRYSTAL KAKIMOTO
While glasses of bold Californian Cabernet Sauvignons are often the wine du jour during the cooler months, sourcing renditions of this noble grape from bottlings across the globe can not only prove to be a fun, delicious endeavor, but also a rewarding one. From Australia to Chile and even Washington State, vines of Cabernet Sauvignon are gaining in acreage and admirers making its one of the most sought-after grapes of the moment. This thick-skinned red grape with roots originating in France was imported to Australian soils in the 1830s by James Busby, the “father” of the Australian wine industry. With lots of encouragement, the vine began to spread across the continent and thrived in the Australian soil and sunlight, but it wasn’t until the 1970s when the world began noticing Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, especially from the Coonawarra area of South Australia. Here, the grape offers an intense fruit profile of red and blue fruits with a hint of mint woven throughout the palate, which is synonymous with the region. The terra 86
rossa (red soil) and warmer climate help the grapes reach their physiological ripeness while still retaining definition of individual flavors. The 2012 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Black Label ($39.99/bottle; wine-searcher.com) is one stellar bottling from this region. Bright raspberries and spices play along the palate while a deep purple core of black olives, succulent blueberries, and a touch of oak blend with the glimmer of mint in the background. A surprising pairing to enjoy with this wine is a filet of hibachi-grilled salmon with ponzu sauce, which some may be lead to pair with a gentler wine such as Pinot Noir; however, the grilling and smokiness imparted in the fish makes for the perfect counter to the structured tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon while the creamy mouthfeel added by oak aging gives the wine enough texture to match the weight of the salmon. The citrusy ponzu sauce is balanced with the earthiness of this grape and hints of black olives that peek through in each sip. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
Chile is another area in the world offering remarkable Cabernet Sauvignon, though at a fraction of the price compared to other wine regions. Interpretations of Cabernet Sauvignon from this country often feature the flavors of blackberries and fig paste aligned with warm baking spices and the area’s moniker of green peppercorn, which adds a complexity and savory aspect to this grape. Major Chilean regions for Cabernet Sauvignon include Aconcagua, Colchagua, and Cachapoal Valley, while Maipo tends to be the one region that never ceases to shine, vintage after vintage. With warm sunshine balanced with cool ocean breezes, the vines of Maipo tend to grow at a steady pace and offer the fullest expression of this fruit on the palate. The 2017 De Martino “Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley ($13/bottle; klwines.com) is an easy wine to enjoy both at a casual lunch or shared at a dinner party. As the second largest owner of organic vines in the country, this 100% carbon neutral winery stopped purchasing new oak barrels in 2011 and opts to age their wines in tinajas (signature clay vessels of Chile) that allow the fruitiness of the grape to shine through, complemented with a fine-grained tannin and balanced acidity. Such an expertly crafted wine can be paired with simple Japanese dishes as delicate as toro sashimi or nigiri with nikiri (sauce made with soy and mirin), which traditionally sees pairings with beer, sake, or white wine. This decadent, melting cut of tuna belly features a marbling of fat throughout the flesh that begs to be paired with a wine with enough acidity to cleanse the palate between bites, while the umami (savoriness) from the sweet soy glaze pairs wonderfully with the blackcurrants and cassis found in this bottling. A third region producing stellar Cabernet Sauvignon is often myhawaiitraveler.com
overshadowed by its neighbors to the south. As the most widely planted red varietal in the state, Cabernet Sauvignon has become a central grape in Washington’s wine industry and a highly underrated find. Fruity and easy to drink, the climate of the region softens the tannins making it incredibly food-friendly. Warm vintages since 2013 have also aided in the ripening of the grapes creating robust wines ready to be enjoyed. The 2016 H3 Cabernet Sauvignon ($15/bottle; columbiacrest. com) is, to some, quintessentially what Washington Cabernet Sauvignon should be. Bold with a palate of black berries, currants, and a slight cocoa finish, the vintners have blended in a bit of Merlot to complement the Cabernet Sauvignon and add a seductive weight to the body of this bottling. This powerful wine is best paired with a heavier protein like a thick cut of ribeye steak grilled over local kiawe (mesquite) wood. This flavorful cut can quickly overpower a lighter wine, but the concentrated flavors of overripe cherries and syrup-sweet currants provide enough substance to not be lost against the rich flavors of the steak. Meanwhile the polished tannins and immaculate structure of this wine cuts through the distinguishing fat found in ribeye steaks, cleansing the palate between bites, while leaving a whisper-soft finish of sweet berries and vanilla that interplays with the sweetness imparted from the grilling over kiawe wood. From Australia to Washington, vineyards are producing Cabernet Sauvignon reflective of their region and climate making for interesting bottlings to add variety and diversity to the selection of wine to reach for during the cooler months—or whenever you feel like a different kind of red. 87
AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN WORDS COCO ZICKOS
ou most likely chose to vacation on Kauaÿi over the other main Hawaiian Islands due to its abundance of stunning beaches, lush tropical settings and epic trails, and probably not so much for a lively night life. Otherwise, Oÿahu or even Maui would have been better suited for your ideal destination checklist. A big part of the magic of Kaua‘i is the rural, laidback charm its beloved for. But if you get a hankering to go out past dinnertime an evening or two you are visiting, there are some fun-night-out places you can experience island style.
PHOTO COURTESY; (TOP RIGHT/OPPOSITE) KIT FURDERER; (MID RIGHT) GRAND HYATT KAUAI; (BOTTOM RIGHT) KEOKI'S PARADISE
A popular hot spot in Hanalei and locals’ favorite hot spot is Tahiti Nui, made famous by the movie, The Descendants. Late night antics have been happening here for years and the crowd almost always surges. People come here for the drinks and stay to dance the night away to live Hawaiian music. “Da Nui” is a no-frills experience, but it’s one of the only places open until the wee hours of the morning. The iconic establishment has been open since 1963 and has been serving up good times since then.
If you’re seeking more sophistication, slide next door to Iti Wine Bar, owned and operated by the same family who runs Tahiti Nui. The space is intimate, chic, and much quieter, as it only accommodates about a dozen or so patrons. A decent selection of wine and dark lighting make it a great place to slip away from next door’s raucous shenanigans and sip vino with a date. On the opposite end of the island, you’ll find a few more options. For a classy experience, visit Stevenson’s Sushi & Spirits at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. The modern establishment features a 27-foot, handcrafted koa wood bar, as well as seating on the länai (patio) and throughout the “library,” which is stylishly adorned with books. Simply sip craft cocktails or play a game of pool, backgammon or chess. Order fresh sushi until 9:30pm, but don’t feel rushed to leave after, as this luxurious South Shore lounge stays open until midnight.
STEVENSON'S SUSHI & SPIRITS
Keoki’s Paradise is another late night establishment in Poÿipü. The setting is casual and exemplifies a relaxed, Hawai‘i-style vibe. Listen to music and kick back with your favorite mixed drink or beer. This is one of the spots where kamaÿäina (Hawai‘i residents) prefer to hang out so it’s where you’ll find a good mix of locals and visitors, especially since they offer live hula almost every night. Another unlikely place to find a great mix of people imbibing at night on the South Shore is Bangkok Happy Bowl Thai Bistro & Sushi Bar. The casual establishment regularly features local bands and has a traditional selection of spirits. They are open until midnight on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. myhawaiitraveler.com
KEOKI'S PARADISE 89
KAUAI BEER COMPANY DUKE'S KAUAI
PRINCEVILLE NIGHT MARKET 90
ITI WINE BAR
KIMCHI FRIED RICE AT KIAWE ROOTS KAUAâ€˜I TRAVELER
PHOTO COURTESY: (OPP TOP LEFT) DUKE'S KAUAI; (OPP. TOP RIGHT) KAUAI BEER COMPANY: (OPPOSITE BOTTOM LEFT) BALIHAIPHOTO.COM
On the East Side of the island, check out Kauai Pasta’s lounge. It’s tucked behind the restaurant and stays open a little later than the dining room for those who aren’t ready to call it a night. KP Lounge has a dimly lit, cozy ambience and offers several handmade cocktails with fresh ingredients, as well as an extensive wine list until 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, 10pm other evenings. They are closed on Wednesdays. Tree’s Lounge stays open even later. This is Kapaÿa’s evening hot spot and showcases local bands and solo musicians from around the world every night of the week. Some don’t even take the stage until 9pm. Food is served late into the night and it’s one of the few places that has significant space for dancing. You’ll also find a great mix of visitors and locals, as Kaua‘i residents like to unwind here after a long workweek, and they enjoy seeing their talented musical friends perform. Duke’s Kauai in Lïhuÿe is an excellent choice if you like an oceanfront option right on Kalapakï Beach. Similar to Keoki’s Paradise, you’re immersed in a casual, “old-school” Hawai‘i atmosphere that also features live Hawaiian music. The open-air establishment is often crowded, but be patient and don’t worry because there’s plenty of seating. The Barefoot Bar at Duke’s stays open until 10:30pm. Another Lïhuÿe favorite is Kauai Beer Company. This is arguably the best place for locally brewed craft beer that offers excellent flavors like Lihue Lager with its blend of traditional and tropical flavored hops. And great seasonal offerings like Austrian Chicken, which is a Vienna-style copper lager with toasted malts and a hint of caramel. And try the More Than Meets the IPA, which is as interesting as it’s clever name. The décor is simple and there’s lots of seating, but it can get busy on nights like Truck Stop Thursdays when the pau hana (after work) crowd stops in for a beer and to nab dinner from one of the mobile eateries that parks outside for the night.
Imbibing might not be what you have in mind for late night activities and, if so, you have other opportunities. Throughout the year, groups, such as Women in Theatre and Kauai Community Players, host theatrical productions. Moreover, Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center regularly hosts productions that consist of talented musicians and other artists from around the world. Additionally, Poipu Beach Athletic Club produces large events every so often that feature out-of-town musicians. Last, but certainly not least, visit one of the art walks that happen around the island each month. Creative crafters of all things beautiful, including paintings, photography, jewelry, clothes, as well as culinary delights, regularly gather during art night celebrations to present their work. Festivities occur each month in Hanapëpë, Kapaÿa and Princeville. Though these events end around 9pm, which is hardly “late night,” it’s a rare opportunity to check out businesses that otherwise would have been closed long after the sun’s gone down. Hanapëpë on the West Side is “Kaua‘i’s Biggest Little Town” and is home to some 15 galleries that stay open late every Friday. On the East Side of the island is the Old Kapa‘a Town Art Walk where every first Saturday of the month, just like Hanapëpë’s Friday nights, visitors are treated to multiple music, art and food truck vendors who set up shop, as well as stores that keep doors open late. Every second Sunday of the month, the North Shore holds Princeville Night Market. It takes place at the Princeville Shopping Center and, like the others, it’s one of your best bets as far as shopping at night for one-of-a-kind locally made souvenirs, listening to live music and tasting delicious food from trucks that congregate in one space. The night scene on Kaua‘i might not be as abundant and obvious as other popular tropical locales, but great options are here for those who seek some fun after the sun goes down. And, even more options to play in nature’s wonderland when the sun comes up.
BLENDING CULTURES in delicious harmony
GLOBAL CUISINE ON A PLATE (OR IN A BOX) WORDS KRYSTAL KAKIMOTO
Hawaiÿi, the melting pot of the Pacific, is home to people
from all corners of the planet. They’ve brought their rich cultural histories and time-honored family recipes to create what’s known as local cuisine. Looking back on Hawaiÿi’s alluring history, we see how local cuisine came to be and why it’s so important to the people of Hawaiÿi. Prior to the 19th century, the major ethnic groups in Hawaiÿi were Native Hawaiians and Europeans. This changed drastically when sugar and pineapple became big business in the islands. With cheap land, high demand for products, and reliable steamship transportation to the mainland, plantations needed to find adequate labor to work the fields. The Hawaiian population was decimated by disease brought by European settlers, and the remaining Hawaiians opted to live off the land by farming and fishing, rather than work on plantations. The first ship of contracted workers from China arrived in 1852, followed by the Japanese in 1868, the Koreans in 1903, and the Filipinos in 1906. Portuguese whaling ships also arrived, and by the late 1800s, Portuguese sailors and fellow immigrants continued to settle in the islands. It’s estimated that nearly 400,000 contracted workers came to Hawaiÿi from 1850 to 1930. Workers were housed in camps separated by ethnic group in efforts to maintain their ethnic identities, but also to hinder their abilities to unionize. Workdays began before the sun was up, and their backbreaking work under the hot Hawaiian sun was grueling to say the least. Lunchtime provided the workers with something to look forward to and it was also a time the different ethnic groups mingled. Sitting in the shade of a tree, the workers opened their lunch containers and while enjoying their meal, they would also exchange food with one another. This generous act of sharing precious food helped them to appreciate food from the other cultures and also laid the foundation for the local cuisine enjoyed in Hawaiÿi today. Born in China Brought to Hawaiÿi by Chinese immigrants, the first manapua was reminiscent of char siu bao or barbequed pork-filled rolls. The yeast dough was filled with a savory pork filling and rolled into a ball. Once steamed or baked, the roll became a warm lunch on the plantation. The name comes from the Hawaiian name mea ‘ono puaÿa meaning “delicious pork thing.” Manapuas are still popular to this day and can be found everywhere from impressive resort restaurants to grab-andgo shops. While char siu pork is still a popular flavor, new fillings include curry, sweet potato, and even pizza.
Japanese Boxed Lunch The bento dates back to the late Kamakura Period (1185-1333) in Japan when people on hunting trips or long journeys would take cooked and dried rice called hoshi-ii stored in small bags with them as takeaway meals. It wasn’t until the Azuchi-Momoyama Period (15681600) that we see bentos of lacquered boxes similar to the bentos of today. When Japanese immigrants came to Hawaiÿi to work on the sugar and pineapple plantations, they brought with them the tradition myhawaiitraveler.com
of packing single-portion lunches so they could eat quickly and not have to return home to cook a meal. Stackable aluminum tins called kau kau tins (kau kau means food or let’s eat in Hawaiian Pidgin) were carried by plantation workers. The bottom layer usually held rice and some pickled vegetable. The top layer usually held the entrée, which might have been leftovers, canned meats, or scrambled eggs. After the end of the plantations, lunch wagons began serving meals on paper plates, the predecessor of the island favorite “plate lunch.”
marinated meat in a mixture of vinegar and salt, braise the meat, and then simmer it in the sauce. It wasn’t until the Chinese traders introduced soy sauce to the Philippines that the more modern marinade of vinegar, garlic, and soy sauce emerged. Adobo is the Spanish word for “marinade” or “seasoning,” and it’s a flavor that pairs well on meat, pork, and even in fish dishes. Today adobo dishes are found at any Filipino restaurant, but it’s also a flavor that many chefs experiment with to create interesting fusion dishes.
Korean Superfood Visit any Korean restaurant and you will find their beloved national dish, kimchi (or kimchee). Originally, kimchi was a mixture of cabbage and salt that was fermented in underground jars as a way to store vegetables for the cold winter months around the 7th century—basically, pickling the vegetable for future consumption. The red chili pepper, one of the main ingredients for any type of kimchi, wasn’t introduced until early 17th century by the Japanese after their invasion in 1592. On the plantations, families made batches of kimchi to eat with nearly every meal, either as an accompaniment for rice, or cooked into dishes such as porridges, stews, soups or savory pancakes. Today, kimchi is offered as a side dish at restaurants across Hawaiÿi, and can be found in every major grocery store and flavors everything from ramen noodles to different types of poke (cubed fish). With well over 100 varieties to choose from, there is a kimchi style for every palate, from napa cabbage and radish to scallions and cucumbers. Kimchi has also been dubbed a superfood for its health benefits and has become a top food trend of late.
Portuguese Donuts The first Portuguese immigrants arrived in Hawaiÿi during the 19th century from the Azores and Madeira. The initial Portuguese whaling ships brought a few hundred sailors; later in the same year, about 3,300 more plantation workers were brought to Hawaiÿi. Around 1887, there was an estimated 10,000 Portuguese in Hawaiÿi bringing not only their food, but also their Roman Catholic religious traditions. One community tradition for the Portuguese was using all the butter and sugar before Lent by making malasadas. Malasadas, from the Portuguese word mal-assada meaning “under-cooked,” are deep-fried, hole-less donuts rolled in granulated cane sugar with slightly crispy exteriors and light, fluffy interiors. Popular pre-Lent celebrations of Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, and Carnival occurred all over the world, but in Hawaiÿi this celebration was known as Malasada Day during the 19th century. Today, the traditional malasada rolled in sugar is still popular, but there are other delicious versions filled with custard, chocolate, and even haupia (coconut pudding).
Filipino Marinade or Filipino Flavor Adobo, the unofficial dish of the Philippines, was created out of the need to keep meats fresher longer. Filipinos 94
While the Hawaiian Islands is in the middle of nowhere, far removed from other civilizations, the cuisine is no less global. Take a delicious journey through history, and savor all the delicious diversity the Aloha State has to offer. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
MALASADAS KIMCHI FRIED RICE ADOBO
BIZARRE BITES IT'S WHAT'S INSIDE THAT COUNTS WORDS EMERY GARCIA
isiting any one of the Kauaÿi’s numerous fruit stands and farmers markets is a delightful treat for the senses. Bizarre and enticing fruit specimens of all shapes, colors, and sizes line tables and fill baskets, housing a selection so vast that choosing which tropical delight to try can be a little overwhelming. While the majority are transplants from other continents, the Island’s year-round mild tropical temperatures and mixed cultural inhabitants have allowed over a hundred different edible, and desirable, varieties of fruit to take root here. Mangos, pineapples and papayas are easy picks, but with all that Hawaiÿi offers it can be a lot of fun to step outside the norm. The next time you find yourself at a bustling farmers market or fruit stand, try one (or all) of these five exotic and often unheard of fruits, bound to intrigue your taste buds.
SURINAM CHERRY RAMBUTAN
When scoping out the markets, keep in mind what your mom has taught you at a young age and don’t judge a book, or fruit, by its cover. The scaly and unappealing green skin of the cherimoya can make it hard to justify buying, but looks can be deceiving. This South American native was heralded by Mark Twain as “the most delicious fruit known to men,” and was once reserved strictly for Incan royalty. Sweet, gooey, sherbet-like flesh earned it the common name “custard apple,” but the flavors are more reminiscent of a coconut-banana-mango combo meal than a Golden Delicious. Best chances for finding your own are at fruit stands from May to January. Ripe cherimoyas are little squishy and have a slight golden brown tone to their green skin. The fruit will store for several days in the refrigerator, but avoid eating if they turn dark. When you are ready to enjoy, cut it open and feast on the fragrant white flesh with a spoon and experience why it’s also called the ice cream fruit. The Kona coffee cherry may be Hawaiÿi’s most famous cherry, but keep a lookout for the Surinam cherry for a deliciously tart twist on the common mainland favorite. The large shrub is originally native to Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, but excels here on the Island. The small fruits, high in antioxidants, are tangy and sweet, and leave a resinous flavor on your palate unlike any other cherry. Look for maroon to dark purple colored Surinam cherries for maximum sweetness and eat them immediately, as the soft delicate skin does not hold up over time. Pop the whole cherry into your mouth and spit out the seed. Year-round producers exist, but peak season runs from October through May. To enjoy a truly ripe Surinam, it’s best to pick them off the shrub, so ask a local and they might just know where to find one. If you were looking for a fruit most likely to be from an alien world, look no further than the rambutan. The bright red spiky, hairy rind reminiscent of an early 90s Koosh ball hides an inner sweet white flesh similar in appearance to a lychee. This exotic fruit, originally from Southeast Asia, is part of the lychee family, and evokes the taste and texture of the more familiar fruit. Opening a rambutan typically requires cutting around the center KAUA‘I TRAVELER
of the spiky rind with a knife, but can also be bitten off if the fruit is fresh. Simply squeeze out the fleshy fruit, and discard the bitter pit as you eat. Rambutan season in Hawaiÿi is from October through March, so keep your eyes peeled for this extraterrestrial looking fruit at farmers markets and Asian supermarkets around the island. You’ll be rewarded by a unique experience that you’re not likely to forget any time soon. The yellow pitaya is another fantastically weird-looking fruit definitely worth tasting. Commonly known as the dragon fruit, these scaly orbs grow from a cactus species found originally in South and Central America. There are many dragon fruit varieties, but the yellow pitaya is known as the sweetest of them all. The seedy white flesh inside tastes a little like a pear with a tropical twist. Find them at farmers markets and fruit stands between the months of May and December, and check fruit ripeness by feeling for spines on the ends of the strange knobs that cover the soft yellow skin. When the fruit is ripe, the spines fall off and it’s time to enjoy. Cut the fruit in half and scoop out the juicy insides with a spoon. If you think you have seen it all in the fruit world, slice open a ripe eggfruit, or yellow sapote, and give it a taste. The deliciously rich filling has a consistency similar to the yolk of a hard-boiled egg. The fruit is native to southern Mexico, but is a fairly common find here on the Island from June to November. The oily and highly nutritious flesh offers a unique flavor somewhat like a cooked yam with a hint of maple syrup, but the skin and pit should be discarded. When the fruit is ripe, the yellow outside gives a little when you press on it. If it’s very soft, don’t bother tasting, as it’s passed its prime and will not be pleasant for snacking. There is an abundance of fresh island fruits and produce yearround. If something is unfamiliar, just ask the farmer, vender or nearby shopper—most locals love to talk story and will gladly share their knowledge. So grab some small bills and reusable bag and go check out the multiple farmers markets and fruit stands to discover your own favorite tropical exotics. You may even make a new friend or two. myhawaiitraveler.com
DRAGON FRUIT EGGFRUIT
THE NORTH SHORE The North Shore is tranquil and draped in velvety green, with waterfalls cascading from heaven into a verdant valley and the sounds of gentle surf. At the top of Mount Wai‘ale‘ale sits Alaka‘i Swamp. From this wetland, streams of water flow to the beaches below. Along its journey, the water engraves deep, lush valleys, creating a fertile landscape for the cultivation of various crops on Kaua‘i’s North Shore. The Hawaiians divided this area into three land divisions: Ko‘olau, Halele‘a, and Nāpali. 100
KO‘OLAU The rural communities of Moloa‘a and Kïlauea lay in the ahupua’a of Ko‘olau. Due to its isolation, the beach community of Moloa‘a is often overlooked by visitors. Just ten minutes north of Kapa‘a, Moloa‘a Bay is a great place for swimming, snorkeling or reading a book. Unlike the rocky beaches of Kapa‘a, Moloa‘a offers golden sand and turquoise water. Kïlauea is a former sugar plantation town. The most frequented visitor attraction here is the Kïlauea Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located on a 203-acre national wildlife refuge. Many migratory birds, such as the Pacific Golden Plover, the Laysan Albatross, and the Nënë propagate here. Sometimes you may even see humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals and spinner dolphins. HALELE‘A Six small beach towns make up the district of Halele‘a. Kalihi Wai is the first and is primarily known for its surf break. Kalihi Wai means “with a stream,” which is fitting, being that it’s next to one. Spend an afternoon kayaking up Kalihi Wai stream. ‘Anini Beach is just across the river. A bridge once connected the two towns until a tidal wave washed it away in 1957. Vacation homes line the beach here and the ocean stays relatively calm due to a wide fringing reef surrounding it. Windsurfing is very popular here. Up the road is Princeville, the Bel-Air of Kaua‘i. This lavish town sits on a plateau that extends from the upper mountains to lower sea cliffs. A short hike down one of these cliffs will take you to Queen’s Bath, a large protected saltwater pond. Princeville offers many amenities that Hanalei doesn’t (like a
gas station), so fill’er up and head on down to Hanalei. Hanalei is what Kaua‘i probably looked like in the 1800s. Make sure to stop at the Hanalei Valley Lookout, where you’ll find acres of taro fields covering the valley floor. Be on the look out for Beefalo (half cow, half buffalo). Hanalei has become a popular destination for visitors and surfers, and offers some of the largest waves on the island. The water is temperamental, so take heed to any posted warnings. If you can’t swim in the ocean, the Hanalei River feeds into the bay and provides a short but sweet kayak adventure. The valley of Wainiha is believed to be the last hideout of the Menehune, a race of little people. Along this narrow valley lie the remains of old home sites, heiau and taro patches. When you’ve reached the end of the road, you’ve reached Hä‘ena. Explore the wet and dry caves of Waikanaloa, Waikapala‘e and Maniniholo (dry). View Ka Ulu a Paoa, a distinguished hula heiau and discover the underwater sea caves at Kë‘ë Beach. More than likely you’ll end up spending longer than a day here. NĀPALI For the truly adventurous, the district of Näpali is only accessible by foot. The majestic park and coastline consists of streams, cascading waterfalls, dramatic sea cliffs, lush verdant valleys and amazing views. If you plan on doing the 22-mile round trip hike to Kalalau Valley, be prepared. First and foremost, secure a camping permit. Second, pack your bags rationally and third, train! If 22 miles is a bit too adventurous, there are many enjoyable day hikes around the area. Remember, always check the weather conditions before going anywhere.
THE BEACHES OF KAUA‘I 102
NORTH SHORE BEACH RULES Due to the April 2018 historic flooding on the North Shore, the Hawaiÿi State Department of Land and Natural Resources have limited access to Häÿena State Park, which includes access to Kalalau Trail, Hanakäpiÿai Falls, Hanakäpiÿai Beach, and Këÿë Beach, to 900 visitors per day, and requires advanced online reservations and a permit to the park. Reservations may be made up to 14 days in advance, and no later than the day before your visit so plan ahead. State of Hawaiÿi residents are exempt form the fee/reservation requirement. A parking reservation ($5) grants park entry to driver and passengers, or if you are going on foot or biking, you can purchase a park entry online for $1 per person. This information is subject to change. For updates and reservations, visit https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/kauai/haena-state-park/. KAUA‘I NORTH SHORE SHUTTLE Because there are few parking spaces available and to help reduce congestion on Kühiö Highway, visitors are encouraged to enter by taking the North Shore Shuttle. A round-trip reservation ticket includes entry into the park. The shuttle runs between Princeville and Häÿena State Park. Go to KauainsShuttle.com to reserve tickets online.
SAND + SURF NORTH SHORE ‘ANINI BEACH PARK
This beautiful white sand beach has one of the largest coral reefs in Hawai‘i and has some of the best snorkeling in Kaua‘i for all levels. Swimming is among the safest in the North Shore, and a good place to learn how to windsurf. You can see magnificent sunsets from here. Grills, camping, restrooms and showers are available. No lifeguards. Located off Kühiö Hwy. Turn west on second Kalihiwai Rd between 25 and 26 mile markers. Take ‘Anini Road to beach.
HĀ‘ENA STATE PARK
This long stretch of white sand beach with a protective coral reef is a great snorkeling spot with a variety of colorful tropical fish when the water is calm. This is also a great place to beachcomb, surf, windsurf and fish. You can explore nearby sea caves carved out more than 4,000 years ago when the sea was higher. Camping, showers and restrooms are available. Located at the end of Kühiö Hwy.
One of the most majestic places on earth, this spot is also a great place to learn to surf, frolic in the water, jump off the pier, or just enjoy the incredible scenery. The sunsets are spectacular and the moonlight over Hanalei Bay is magical. There are four beach parks included in the two-mile sandy crescent shaped bay, and all have lifeguards on duty except Waikoko Beach. Black Pot Park is located next to the Hanalei River mouth, with tropical foliage along the river’s edge, and is a local gathering place with a variety of water activities. The Hanalei Pavilion Beach Park is a popular spot for picnics. The water is generally calmer near the pier. Wai‘oli Beach Park is near the center of the bay, set in an ironwood grove. Waikoko Beach is located on the westernmost section, and is protected by Waikoko Reef, so it’s popular with snorkelers and families. Picnic area, tables, pavilions, grills, showers and restrooms are available. Located off Kühiö Hwy in Hanalei. Access beaches off Aku Rd or Weke Rd.
KA‘AKA‘ANIU “LARSEN’S” BEACH
This long, narrow ribbon of sand and shallow reef lies at the foot of a series of low hills and pastures. A protecting reef offers excellent snorkeling for the experienced, but only when the ocean is calm. Poor visibility in the water can occur in the late summer. Beware of its rocky bottom and dangerous rip currents, 104
and stay away from the channels. This secluded beach is also a good place to beachcomb and fish. There are two small pockets of sand on the opposite side of Pakala Point. No lifeguard and no facilities. Located off Hwy 56 near the 20-mile marker, take Ko‘olau Rd. Take the left Beach Access Rd. to the end. Walk through the gate and follow the trail down.
This wide sandy beach fringed with ironwood trees at the head of scenic Kalihiwai Bay is popular with boogie boarders and beginner surfers. Swimming is generally good in the summer. One of the nicest surfing breaks on the North Shore in the winter brings the more experienced out to this beach. Wide, shallow sand bar enables body boarders to ride decent waves in the front part of the beach. High surf periods create dangerous swimming conditions. Located off Kühiö Hwy west of Kïlauea on Kahihiwai Rd.
KAUAPEA “SECRET” BEACH
This exquisite, long and wide sandy beach with great views of Lighthouse Point is stunning. Swimming and snorkeling can be good when the ocean is calm. Swimming can be hazardous, so observe the ocean before entering. Look for the small waterfall flowing over the side of the cliff. You can see Moku‘ae‘ae Island, which is a bird sanctuary. Located off Kuhio Hwy on the same turnoff as Kalihiwai Beach. Take a right onto the first dirt road, drive to the end of the road and park. The hike down takes about 10-15 minutes.
KAWEONUI (SEALODGE) BEACH
This pocket of white sand beach backed by cliffs is a great place to snorkel and see honu in calm ocean conditions or just be secluded from the rest of the world. Beware of dangerous entry and currents. Offshore is a surf break known as “Little Grass Shack.” Located off Kamehameha Rd. Access beach from the trail at Building A at the SeaLodge Resort.
The Thornbirds and Lord of the Flies were filmed at this exquisite and very popular beach. With views of the Näpali Coast, it is great for snorkeling and swimming in the protected lagoon in calm conditions. Snorkelers and scuba divers can expect to see teems of tropical fish and honu (green sea turtles) on calm, clear days. Stay inside the reef for calmer waters. Beware of
strong currents and dangerous waves breaking on rocks and ledges. The currents are deceptively strong even on days when the water looks calm, so it’s best to stay in the reef-protected lagoon. The beach gets crowded with hikers and beachgoers, so get there early for a parking space. You may want to stay for the magnificent Näpali sunsets from the point. The trailhead for Kalalau Trail is from here. Bathrooms and showers are available. No lifeguards. Located at the end of the road on Hwy 56.
LUMAHA‘I BEACH (BALI HAI)
One of the most stunning and most photographed beaches in Kaua‘i, it was made famous as the location for the movie South Pacific. This large, wide beautiful golden sand beach is popular with a background of verdant foliage cliffs. Swimming is not recommended here, since there is no protective reef barrier to guard you against the tumultuous sea. Dangers include powerful waves sweeping up unsuspecting beachgoers off the rocks into the sea, strong undertow and dangerous shorebreaks. It’s a great beach to sunbathe and take in the incredible scenery. Access to the western part of the beach is located off Hwy 560 at Wainiha near mile marker 5. The eastern part of the beach is separated by a lava rock of Lumaha‘i is Kahalahala Beach. In calm conditions (summer), this beach can be a picturesque beach to swim in crystal clear warm water and explore the tidepools. No facilities or lifeguards. Park in the dirt parking lot. To access, hike down a steep jungle trail from the top of the lookout.
MĀKUA “TUNNELS” BEACH
This is one of the best snorkeling beaches due to the wide-fringing reef with a huge variety of fish swimming around in the shallow inner and outer reefs. The exceptional beach is surrounded by gently sloping sand and is well protected with incredible mountain scenery popular with swimmers, surfers, windsurfers and beachcombers. The best snorkeling is in the center by the crescent shaped reef. Scuba divers can explore the underwater caverns near the shore. Beware of sharp reefs, rip currents and dangerous water conditions. No facilities at this beach, but the facilities at Hä‘ena State Park are nearby. Lifeguard on duty. Take one of two dirt roads off Hwy 56 north of Hanalei near the 8 mile marker.
Surrounded by rolling hills, this beach is secluded and off the beaten path, with a wide crescent shaped sandy beach perfect for couples to catch a spectacular sunset or sunbathe, swim, snorkel and beachcomb. Be cautious of dangerous water conditions. The southeast side of the beach offers the best swimming and boogie boarding with plenty of shade. The beach is located where the Molo‘a (matted roots) Stream feeds into the bay. Located off Ko‘olau Rd. between mile markers 16 and 17. Take the narrow Moloa‘a Rd. to the end and follow the signs to the beach.
NĀPALI COAST PARK
About a two mile hike down from the Kalalau Trail is Hanakäpï‘ai Beach. The beach is beautiful but dangerous to swim. A difficult two mile hike inland near the stream leads to the waterfalls and a spectacular pool. Kalalau Beach is a long and wide sandy beach backed by sand dunes, located at the end of the trail (9 additional miles). There are other beautiful pristine beaches such as Miloli‘i Beach and Honopu Beach in the park, but they are only accessible by boat. Swimming and wading is dangerous due to strong currents and powerful waves at all the beaches in this awe-inspiring park. Camping is allowed with a permit. No lifeguard on duty. Access the beach from Kalalau Trail from Kë‘ë Beach at the end of Hwy 56.
PALI KE KUA (HIDEAWAYS)
Two beaches separated by a rocky point both have excellent snorkeling with a variety of tropical fish when the water is calm. Check ocean conditions carefully before entering for rip currents and do not enter when there is high surf. The large false kamani trees offer shade on the bed of coarse sand. People are scarce due to limited parking and hidden trail. Located off Ka Haku Rd. Take the path next to Pu‘u Poa tennis courts just before you reach the Princeville Hotel gatehouse and hike down to the beach.
PU‘U POA BEACH
Protected by a narrow reef offers great snorkeling with teems of colorful fish in crystal clear water. Safe when the surf is not high. The sandy beach is located directly below Princeville Hotel. Park at the small public parking lot. Take the beach access steps by the guardhouse at the hotel entrance.
A fabulous secluded beach with a long, fringing reef and shade along the sandy beach. Snorkeling and swimming can be good if the ocean is calm. There is a cool freshwater stream at the far end of the beach. Beware of dangerous rip currents, surges and high surf. Located off North Waiakalua Rd. Before the road ends, take the dirt road on the left side all the way to the end. Take the trail to the left and it’s the beach on the left. The beach on the right, past the Kepuhi Point is Waipakä Beach.
EAST SIDE ‘ALIOMANU BEACH
Pretty sandy beach shaded by ironwood trees and fringed by one of Kaua‘i’s longest reefs, this beach is a favorite of locals for gathering seaweed and spearfishing. Swimming can be safe in the lagoon when calm. Located off Kühiö Hwy on Aliomanu Rd.
ANAHOLA BEACH PARK
Grassy park with a beautiful sandy beach with good swimming conditions most of the time in the cove on the east side of the bay due to a large protective reef offshore. Snorkeling is good at the nearby reef; fishing and beachcombing are also good. The beach used mostly by locals is good for boogie board, body board and surf south of the old pier. The ironwood grove offers shade. Picnic tables, restrooms and showers are available. Lifeguard on duty. Located off Kühiö Hwy on Anahola Rd.
DONKEY (KUMUKUMU) BEACH
A fantastic long sandy beach in a cove at the base of a pasture named Donkey Beach because of the herd of mules that rested on the beach in the early plantation days. The waves draw in many surfers but it’s not a good beach for beginners. The winters yield high surf making swimming dangerous. Beware of steep entry, dangerous shorebreaks, strong currents and rocks submerged in the surf. Snorkeling can be good in a secluded cove north of the stream and over a small hill. No facilities or lifeguards. Located north of Kapa‘a ~ 1/2 mile north of the 11 mile marker off Hwy 56. Parking lot is at the top of the path to the beach. Hike 10 minutes to shoreline and take right for the beach; turn north and walk past the stream for the secluded cove.
FUJI BEACH (BABY BEACH)
Protected shallow section in the reef by a long, natural breakwater makes it a great place to have some water fun with the kids while you soak up the sun on the sandy beach. No facilities or lifeguards. Located off Kühiö Hwy behind the Chevron in Kapa‘a.
A long, exquisite sandy beach with powerful waves makes it a great spot to watch experienced surfers and boogie boarders. Swimming can be done on calm days at the far northern end of the beach, which is protected by breakwater, but be careful of strong currents and sharp reefs. Public parking. Lifeguard on duty but no facilities. Located off Hwy 56 near mile marker 10 north of Kapa‘a in Keälia.
LYDGATE STATE PARK
A scenic family beach that is very popular since it offers something for everyone including a park. There are two large lava pools great for children and offers safe swimming and snorkeling for beginners. Rock wall protects swimmers year-round and the ironwood groves provide shade. Kamalani playground has a wooden volcano; jungle gym and bright ceramic sea creatures adorn the playground. Picnic pavilions, grills, showers and restrooms are available. Lifeguard on duty. Located off Kühiö Hwy on Leho Drive just south of the Wailua River.
Beautiful long narrow stretch of beach with shallow bottom offers an array of water activities. The beach stretches for miles to Lydgate Park swimming and snorkeling can be good in the well-protected reef and shallow waters when surf is calm. Fishing and surfing are also good here. Check ocean conditions before entering. There are more secluded beaches further north near Wailua Golf Coarse. Located at the end of Kaua‘i Beach Drive.
Long, wide golden sand beach near the Wailua River is good for taking a stroll or watching the experienced boogie boarders, surfers or watching the river flow into the sea. Swimming is dangerous due to strong rip currents and rough water. Children sometimes play near the river mouth when the currents aren’t strong. No facilities and no lifeguard. Located across from Coco Palms Resort. The beach is easily accessible when traveling north off Kühiö Hwy. 105
SAND + SURF WAIPŌULI BEACH
A long stretch of golden sand without crowds isn’t good for swimming since the ocean is rough and the coastline is rocky or reef, but it’s a great beach to watch windsurfers and fishermen pull in their catch. The beach has lots of hidden coves for seclusion and can be romantic. There is also a nice trail to jog while you take in the glorious scenery. Monk seals have been spotted quite frequently here. Located off Kühiö Hwy. There are many access points behind Coconut Marketplace.
LĪHU‘E & SOUTH SHORE BRENNECKE’S BEACH
A small sandy beach is popular with boogie boarders and honu. Waves tend to be bigger here in the summer than winter. Grassy area with picnic tables, showers and restrooms are available. Located on Po‘ipü Rd.
HO‘AI (PRINCE KŪHIŌ) BEACH
A beautiful sandy crescent shaped beach with water protected by an offshore reef great for keiki and novice snorkelers when water is calm. This beach is popular for the honu (green sea turtles) and local fishermen who frequent the beach. Restrooms and showers are available. No lifeguard on duty. Located off Läwa‘i Rd. in front of the Prince Kühiö Park.
HO‘ONA “BABY” BEACH
Great sandy beach for keiki (children) since the water is calm in a small cove behind off shore lava rocks. Access the beach using the walkway on Ho‘ona Rd. off Läwa‘i Rd.
This is a beautiful sandy crescent-shaped beach with tranquil water and a great place to learn to surf on the offshore break with great views of pali in the bay. It’s a great place to swim when conditions are calm. Beware of strong rip currents during high surf. Located off Rice St. west of Lïhu‘e in front of the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort and Beach Club. Park in the public parking lot at the hotel.
LĀWA‘I (BEACH HOUSE) BEACH
Small sandy beach is popular with snorkelers when the water is calm for the variety of fish in the offshore reef. It’s also a popular surfing spot for the waves that break offshore. Surfing competitions are held regularly here in spring thru fall. The small pocket of sand disappears in times of high surf. Beware of seasonal strong currents. The beach is located next to the Beach House Restaurant off Läwa‘i Rd.
A long, beautiful and romantic beach with mountain vistas is a two mile sandy strand along a reef-protected shoreline and high sand dunes. The beauty of this beach was captured in the movie Islands in the Stream where George C. Scott played Ernest Hemingway. It’s good for swimming only during extreme calm conditions. Windsurfing, beachcombing and shoreline fishing are popular activities. This is a sacred site 106
for native Hawaiians and for endangered plants and species. No facilities and no lifeguards. Beach is closed from 7pm to 7:30am. Follow the cane road past Shipwreck Beach. Stop at the guard gate to get through.
Ninini Beach and Running Waters Beach are hidden and out of the way beaches with pockets of sand separated by a lava rock formation. Protected and secluded, the beaches are good for snorkeling on calm days. Park across the street from the Kaua‘i Lagoons Golf Course or the clubhouse parking lot and follow path to beaches. Between Kalapakï beach and the lighthouse on Ninini Point near the 13th green.
PO‘IPŪ BEACH PARK
Po‘ipü Beach in the county park is nationally ranked and popular because the sunny weather and calm water that surrounds the chain of beautiful wide, white sandy beaches. An offshore reef causes the waves to break before they reach the shore making it a keikifriendly beach. Swimming and snorkeling are great between the offshore reef and the coast while the breaking waves outside the calm waters create surfing and boogie boarding opportunities. The protected beach area is great for novice snorkelers. Dangerous water conditions can occur during periods of high surf. Beginning surf lessons are available as well as a nearby playground. Lifeguards, picnic tables, pavilions, showers and restrooms are also available. Located off Po‘ipü Rd. south of Ho‘owili Rd.
SHIPWRECK (KEONELOA) BEACH
A lovely beach to sunbathe but not a good swimming beach due to dangerous ocean conditions is named for an old unidentified shipwreck. On the left is Makawehi Point where you will see fishermen surf casts and brave locals jumping into the sea as did Harrison Ford and Anne Heche from Six Days, Seven Nights. It’s a good beach for boogie boarding, surfing and windsurfing for the experienced. Showers and restrooms are available. No lifeguard on duty. Located in front of the Hyatt. Take public access road between the Hyatt and the Po‘ipü Bay Resort Golf Course.
WEST SIDE BARKING SANDS BEACH
The beach is a continuation of the long white sand beach with superb vistas of Ni‘ihau and incredible sunsets. The name is due to the sound the sand sometimes makes when sliding down the 60’ high dunes along the beach but watch out for the thorns from the kiawe trees. Swimming is not recommended on this beach due to dangerous ocean conditions. Located between Kekaha Beach and Polihale Beach on the northern part of the Pacific Missiles Range off Kaumuali‘i.
KEKAHA BEACH PARK
This is the first beach of the series and is an exquisite long stretch of white sand with spectacular sunsets and many great surfing spots along the way. The
beach offers clear views of Ni‘ihau. This area is almost always sunny and shade is absent. Picnic area, grills, pavilions, showers and restrooms are available. Swimming can be extremely dangerous. Lifeguard on duty. Located off Kaumuali‘i Hwy.
PĀKALĀ (INFINITIES) BEACH
The beach is picturesque and surrounded by lush tropical foliage and trees and a favorite spot for experienced surfers. This is not a good swimming beach due to murky water known for shark sightings and other dangerous ocean conditions, but it’s a great place to watch the locals surf and catch a magical sunset. The reef is called “Infinities” because it creates long perfect waves. Located by 21-mile marker off Hwy 50.
The longest and widest stretch of beach in the Hawaiian Islands, this 7-mile white sandy beach is breathtaking and considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Kaua‘i. The name means, “a leaping off place for spirits” or “house of death”. The usually sunny beach is framed by the majestic Näpali Coast and has sweeping sand dunes that can get up to 100 feet high and you can catch amazing sunsets with views of Ni‘ihau. This remote area is a great place to stargaze. The only safe place to swim is in the Queen’s Pond where the fringing reef offers protection from the extremely strong currents when the surf isn’t high; beware of sharp coral. Picnic tables, showers and restrooms are available. No lifeguards. Camping by permit only. Located at end of Rte 50. Take left onto the bumpy dirt road and drive several miles. Follow signs to beach.
SALT POND BEACH PARK
The protected reef in this pretty crescent shaped beach with lots of palms is great for swimming, snorkeling and beachcombing. Swimming is usually safe year round in the large lagoon and the sunsets are spectacular. Salt ponds are nearby where generations past made salt by evaporating seawater in red earthen pans and still do today. Please do not enter the salt-making area. The beach is also great for windsurfing, boogie boarding and exploring the tidepools. Lifeguard on duty. Picnic tables, pavilions, grills, camping, restrooms and showers are available. Located in Hanapëpë. Take left turn on Lele past town off Kaumuali‘i Hwy and right on Lokokai Rd. to park. EDITOR’S NOTE: There is a wise saying in Hawai‘i, “Leave only footprints and take only memories.” Please take all your trash and don’t take anything that does not belong to you including those that belong to the sea. It’s best to leave your valuables at your hotel and not in your car, so the time can be spent relaxing and not worrying. Conditions change with the seasons, so take the time to evaluate the sea and read the beach safety. It is highly recommended to visit beaches with lifegauards on duty. Visit kauailifeguards.org for more safety information. KAUA‘I TRAVELER
KAUA‘I EVENTS ONGOING
LIVE MUSIC AT SHUTTERS LOUNGE
(Everyday) – Listen to great live music while dining on well-priced, delicious food every evening including late night fare and small plates at Shutters Lounge at Kauaÿi Beach Resort located in Lïhuÿe. Happy hour Lanai Menu is available from 5pm to 6:30pm daily. Live music nightly from 7pm to 10pm. Open from 5pm to 11pm Sunday thru Thursday and 5pm to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Call Kauaÿi Beach Resort (808) 245-1955 for more information. GROVE FARM MUSEUM TOUR
(Mon., Wed., Thurs.) – An unhurried, 2-hour guided tour of the 100-acre Grove Farm site preserves one of Hawaiÿi’s sugar plantation buildings, furnishings and collections, surrounding orchards and pasturelands. This homestead was the center of operations for the developing sugar plantation and involved the relationship of family life, plantation activity, household work, gardening and farming and continues as part of the experience of visiting Grove Farm. Advance reservations are required (10am and 1pm). Fee: $20 for adults and $10 for ages 5-12. Call (808) 245-3202. WAIMEA HISTORIC WALKING TOUR
(Mondays) – Take a 3-hour walk back through time in the place where Captain Cook first landed in Waimea. Where the agricultural landscape changed from taro to rice to corn, watered by an intricate ditch system with a marvelous history dating back to the time of the legendary Menehune. Learn about the last King of Kauaÿi, the missionaries, and other famous citizens of Waimea along with the landmarks they left behind. Enjoy a taste of the past in one of the most historic towns in all of Hawaiÿi. Registration is required for participation and Special Group tours are available. Call West Kauaÿi Tech & Visitor Center (808) 338-1332 for more information and reservations. KAUA‘I CULINARY MARKET
(Wednesdays) – Meet Kaua‘i growers and package food vendors, as well as Kukui‘ula Village merchants and enjoy Chef Demonstration at 5pm with Kaua‘i grown produce, and listen to Hawaiian and local style music. Wine and beer garden, freshly grilled püpü and sweet treats, and 20 Kaua‘i growers and package food vendors make for a lively 108
fun evening. Stay for dinner and shopping at the great retail shops and restaurants. Every Wednesday from 3:30pm to 6pm at Kukui‘ula Village in Po‘ipü.
10am to 5pm at the Kauaÿi Museum in Lïhuÿe. Free for kamaÿäina, and discounted for visitors. Call (808) 245-6931.
HANAPĒPĒ FRIDAY NIGHT FESTIVAL & ART WALK
(Monthly) - Princeville Night Market is a monthly festival, held every second Sunday, featuring live music and local artisans at the Princeville Shopping Center. Discover 40+ local artisans as you walk around the grounds from 4pm to 8pm. Listen to live music from several different bands. Find pottery, paintings, photography, apparel, jewelry, wood workers and more! For more info, email PrincevilleNightMarket@gmail.com.
(Fridays) – Come join the festivity! Every Friday evening, Old Town Hanapëpë is bustling with fun and activity! With a wide variety of shopping, local crafters, several excellent restaurants, a dozen art galleries, stilt walkers, classics cars, live music and entertainment, there is always something for the whole family to enjoy! From 6pm-9pm. Call Ed (808) 335-6469. KAUA‘I COMMUNITY MARKET
(Saturdays) - New weekend value added farmers market hosted by the Kauaÿi County Farm Bureau and Kauaÿi Community College. Kauaÿi Community Market features a wide variety of locally grown fruit and produce, value added products like coffee, honey and goat cheese, plus culinary treats, breakfast and lunch items to eat at the market or take home. Learn ways to grow and prepare local foods, educational demos and garden tours held regularly. A great way to buy fresh and buy local, supporting Kauaÿi Grown products and Kauaÿi farmers from Hanalei to Kekaha. At Kauaÿi Community College front lawn and parking lot from 9:30am to 1pm. Free. Call (808) 652-3217. KAUAI ISLAND CRAFTERS FAIR
(Saturdays) - You will find an amazing array of quality hand-made products from Kauai’s own crafters and artisans. Beautifully-crafted handbags, fabric angels, Hawaiian quilts, Hawaiian dolls, towel wraps, Kauaÿi scenic photography & paintings & fiber arts, carved hardwood tikis & bone jewelry, beachwear cover-up, sunrise shell jewelry, souvenirs and lots more by local Kauaÿi artists. This is where you will find that unique gift for that joyous occasion or special someone that will be cherished for years (8am to 2pm). Place: Church of the Pacific, 5-4280 Kühiö Highway, Princeville. Proceeds to benefit The Church of the Pacific. Contact (808) 635-4314. ‘OHANA DAY
(Monthly) – The first Saturday of each month is ‘Ohana Day for family fun at the Kauaÿi Museum. Look forward to demonstrations, lectures and more during these special days.
PRINCEVILLE NIGHT MARKET
KĪLAUEA ART NIGHT
(Monthly) - Kïlauea Art Night is a monthly festival held on the last Saturday of each month featuring live music, local artisans and trendy food trucks. Line up for pulled-pork sandwiches and fresh fish tacos, stretch out on blankets while listening to the band. Walk around the grounds to discover 40+ local artisans. Find pottery, paintings, photography, apparel, jewelry, wood workers and more! Held at Anaina Hou Community Park. Email KilaueaArtNight@ gmail.com for more info. PAU HANA TRIVIA NIGHT
(Sept. 6, Oct. 4, Nov. 1, Dec. 6) – Every first Friday of the month is Pau Hana Trivia Night at Anaina Hou Community Park from 6pm to 8pm. Come start the weekend with us in the beautiful Porter Pavilion. There are food trucks, beer, wine, and trivia with Katie, Kauaÿi’s “Trivia Girl.” Bring the kids! There’s a big lawn for the keiki to run around on and/or board games to borrow. Everyone is welcome! Come early to save your team a table. Anaina Hou Community Park is at 5-2723 Kühiö Hwy in Kïlauea. With questions, please email Katie: email@example.com. KEIKI DAY AT NA ‘ĀINA BOTANICAL GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK
(Sept. 28, Oct. 19, Nov. 23) – Na ÿÄina Kai’s playday is a monthly event held on a selected Saturday from 9am to 1pm where you can enjoy quality time with your kids in the “Under the Rainbow” Children’s Garden. Kids can get wet and play in Jack’s fountain, explore the jungle tree house and discover the many child-friendly features of the Children’s Garden. Bring a towel, and be prepared to get wet. Outside snacks are permitted and reservations are recommended KAUA‘I TRAVELER
($10/person, free for children under 1 years old). For the monthly schedule and to make reservations, call (808) 828-0525 or visit NaAinaKai.org/keiki-day.
MĀLIE FOUNDATION: KAUA‘I MOKIHANA FESTIVALS
(Sept. 22-28) – Kaua‘i Mokihana Festival is a weeklong celebration of Hawaiian culture and includes educational lectures, craft fairs, music and hula competitions at various locations around the island of Kaua‘i. The finale cannot be missed, as a solo competition will enchant the audience before the competing hälau and audience wait breathlessly as the judges announce the winners. Various venues and fees. Call (808) 651-1868 or visit MalieFoundation. org for detailed information on events and locations.
EO E EMALANI I ALAKA‘I
(Oct. 12) -Since 1988, Hui o Laka/Kökeÿe Museum has hosted “Eo e Emalani i Alakaÿi” to commemorate a historic event honoring Queen Emma’s 1871 visit to Kökeÿe and Alakaÿi Swamp. Each year people are chosen to represent Queen Emma, Kaluahi, and attendants. Invited hula hälau from around the state and Japan honor their queen with dances and chants honoring Kaleleonälani—Traveler of the Mountains. The event starts at 9am along with exhibits, crafts and snack sales in the Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow. After the Queen’s party rides into the Meadow at 11am, a dozen hälau perform dances and chants honoring Queen Emma. There is no admission although donations are accepted myhawaiitraveler.com
at the Kökeÿe Museum. Parking is limited with carpooling strongly suggested. Shuttle service is in the works from Kekaha and Waimea Neighborhood Centers. Call (808) 335-9975 or visit Kokee.org. ANNUAL HALLOWEEN EVENT AT NA ‘ĀINA BOTANICAL GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK
(Oct. 19) – Games, prizes, face painting and more! Costumes are encouraged. Concessions are available for purchase. The Halloween Event is recommended for children ages 10 and under, but, of course, all are welcome! This has proven to be a Spook-tacular event for the whole family! Fee is $10/advance, $12/door. Event is from 4pm-7pm. To get tickets or for more info, call (808) 828-0525 or visit naainakai.org/keiki-day.
Anniversary of this glorious celebration founded by artist Elizabeth Freeman in 1997. It showcases the beloved “Trash to Treasure” Folk Art decorations of Auntie Josie Chansky and the gorgeous new “up-cycled” creations designed by Elizabeth and crafted by our talented teen volunteers! Step inside and let the magic begin! In the twinkling interior guests will find delightful Kauai-style touches—from Rainbows & Roosters to Hula Bears and Dolphins. Don’t miss our Surfin’ Santa and the whimsical SPAM Can Tree! It’s the best place for Photos with Santa. Plus the dazzling Park Lights glow every night through New Year’s! All free! It’s truly a reflection of Kauaÿi’s Aloha Spirit! Open 6pm-8pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from December 6-28 including Christmas Eve! Visit KauaiFestivalOfLights.com for more information.
VETERANS DAY PARADE
(Nov. 2) – The annual parade honors veterans and is made up of the following participants: the County of Kauaÿi as well as each military service and the civilian population of Kauai. Following the parade is the Coconut Festival Craft Fair with food and craft booths, live entertainment and hula. From 9:30am to 10pm; free. Starts at Makaha Road, down Kühiö Highway through downtown Kapaÿa and ends at Kapaÿa Beach Park on Nui Street. For more info, call Russel (808) 652-4802.
KAUA‘I’S FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
(Dec. 6-28) – Santa’s gone Kauaian at the Festival of Lights! It’s a Kauai-style Holiday Wonderland inside the Historic County Building. This December marks the 23rd
NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION
(Dec. 31) - From 5-8:30pm on the grounds of Poÿipü Beach Park in celebration of the successes of 2019 and future prosperity of 2020. The event includes food trucks and a familyfriendly movie in the park, activities for the keiki and spectacular display of fireworks. The event is free (except for food/drink) and open to the public providing attendees an opportunity to enjoy this traditional celebration in a beautiful, ocean-side environment. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets. Visit PoipuBeach.org for more info. All events are subject to change. Check out myhawaiitraveler.com for updates and more events.
KAUA‘I FOR YOUR INFORMATION Area Code (808) for entire state
EMERGENCY NUMBERS Ambulance/Police/Fire Civil Defense Poison Control Wilcox Memorial Hospital
911 733-4300 1-800-362-3585 245-1100
Alaska Airlines American Airlines go! Airlines Hawaiian Airlines Japan Airlines United Airlines
American Express MasterCard Visa Credit Card Directory
Hertz Car Rental Bus Taxi
1-800-654-5669 1-800-433-7300 1-888-IFLYGO2 1-800-882-8811 1-800-525-3663 1-800-241-6522
1-800-221-7282 1-800-307-7309 1-800-847-2911 1-800-555-1212
1-800-654-3011 241-6410 246-9554
WEATHER/CONDITIONS Weather Forecast Marine Forecast
VISITOR INFORMATION Directory 1-800-555-1212 Information 411 Agricultural Inspection 245-2831 Hawai‘i County Parks 241-4463 Hawai‘i State Parks 274-3444 Fishing License 274-3344 Hunting License 274-3433 Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce 245-7363 Kaua‘i Visitors Information 1-800-262-1400
GENUINE ALOHA RICH HISTORY TROPICAL ADVENTURE
Experience our two, three, or four hour excursions; the perfect mix of adventure and off-road touring for the whole family. Navigate your own premium 4x4 vehicle while your experienced and knowledgeable tour guide leads you through an expansive 3,000 acre trail system on a working cattle ranch full of breathtaking scenery, blockbuster movie sites, and cultural history.
Kipu Ranch Adventures | (808) 246-9288 | www.kiputours.com
U KA A’I TRAVELER THE LIFE & STYLE OF KAUA‘I
KAUA‘I TRAVELER myhawaiitraveler.com FALL 2019
LOCAL VIBE EAT + DRINK SHOP + STYLE THE HOT SPOT CULINARY Q&A WHAT WE LOVE NOW SPORT + ADVENTURE ULTIMATE BEACH GUIDE $6.99
KAUA‘I’S “BIGGEST LITTLE TOWN”
AFTER THE SUN GOES DOWN
LATE NIGHT ON KAUA‘I
PROTECTING NATIVE SPECIES
SAVE THE ‘ŌHIA, SAVE THE BIRDS
Fall 2019 Issue of the premier Kauai travel guide