We just returned from our first visit to Kaua’i. We have been to Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island a number of times, but this was our first Kaua’i adventure.
It is fair to say that we had some expectations going into our journey –
- We expected the island to be beautiful and it is. The flowers and plants were amazing!
- We also expected it to be a bit quieter than the other islands and laid back which it WASN’T (at least that was not our experience). The roads were packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic, the sites were jammed, and good luck getting into a restaurant without a 45 minute – one hour wait! Staffing is still not up to speed, post (?) pandemic.
There are now six airlines with direct flights to Kaua’i. Last week was one of those spring break weeks that occur every March – April but overall I think there is just a lot of pent-up demand for travel.
The same Alaska pilot flew our full planes both legs of our trip. I talked to him at the departure gate. He clearly loves the island and I brought up the crowds and traffic.
It is great to see people returning to Kaua’i. But I’m not sure the island is ready!Alaska Airline’s pilot
The hosts for our trip now live in Washington state but are both Hawaiian natives. The husband (R) was born and raised on Kaua’i and returns frequently. They said that this was the most crowded visit of all, even for them.
That being said, and thanks to our hosts, we saw some beautiful sites, including:
- Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge – I had excellent coconut shrimp at the Kalypso Island Bar and Grill in Hanalei
- Waimea Canyon – it was crystal clear and the views were spectacular!
- Kalalau Lookout – also spectacular
- Kilauea Lighthouse – the nearby whales were putting on quite a show!
Note: Kilauea is R’s hometown. He is the youngest of a family of nine. He showed us the various neighborhoods to give us a sense of what it was like when he was growing up. His father worked on a sugar cane plantation, as did he and his brothers.
We stayed in Princeville at a condo owned by our hosts’ nephew. It was lovely and we had great views of the sunrise over the Makai golf course and the ocean. We also found a spot nearby to catch the sunset – one of my favorite Hawaiian activities. The flora everywhere took my breath away! Princeville is on the northcentral tip of the island and gets more rain. We only had one shower the night before we left, so no complaints!
Our hosts were amazing and I hope this saying is true:
“A One Lokomaika’i I Nele I Ke Pana’i”
No kind deed has ever lacked its reward.?
Mahalo and Aloha,
P.S. R’s niece recommended the book, The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama, about a Japanese/Hawaiian family in Hilo. It is now on my Kindle!