Kauai

Discussion in 'The GatorTail Pub' started by G8trGr8t, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    Last night I booked our plane tickets and car reservations for our family trip for next summer. Used FF miles for flights and points for car rental. Have to drive to and fly out of Tampa to get 5 tickets together on same flights using miles on the dates we wanted/needed to travel but that is a minor inconvenience now although not looking forward to driving Tampa to Ft. Myers after that long of a return flight.

    We are spending 8 nights on Maui split between Lahaina and Hana and 7 nights on Kauai. We went to Maui 10 years ago but have never been to Kauai. I am trying to determine best area to stay in Kauai or if we should split our time between north and south shore. leaning towards south shore condo for full 7 nights right now. moving family of 5 with groceries and luggage is not an easy task.

    snorkeling (preferably from shore), hiking, waterfalls, photography, diving, fishing are priorities. It looks like we will be there in prime time for Blue Marlin fishing and will spend July 4th on Kauai.:grin::grin::grin::grin::grin::grin::grin:
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  2. beachpiratefla
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    beachpiratefla Resident Pirate Premium Member

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    Take pics please and share...sounds like a great vacation...have fun
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  3. exiledgator
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    exiledgator Gruntled Premium Member

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    Completely different weather on each shore.

    If your kids are rugged enough (and its really rugged), hike the 11 miles along the Na Pali coast trail and spend at least a night camping at [name I can't recall] beach.

    It's one of the world's best hikes.
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  4. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    thanks exiled, we will be there in summer and it seems that north shore is calmer during summer but the south shore has more to do. kids are pretty rugged, have hiked up and down trails all over Yosemite, Zion, Grand Tetons, Glacier, Alaska etc. roundtrip 15 miles relatively flat (Sedona) or 8 - 12 miles with substantial elevation gain (up and down Yosemite walls) is about our daily hike limit. camping would probably involve gear we wouldn't have so try and stick with day hikes.
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  5. exiledgator
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    exiledgator Gruntled Premium Member

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    Understood. Napali is the gem of all the islands, IMO. By a wide margin.

    Waimea Canyon is worth the drive. An amazing and diverse island, Kuai. Enjoy!
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  6. Phil_Elliot
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    Phil_Elliot New Member

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    Kauai is my favorite island by far...if you scuba dive,dive Niihau...fabulous wall dive and of course hike the Kalalau Trail.
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  7. supagator
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    supagator Supa'star Premium Member

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    Dad what were the dates and time again for the trip?
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  8. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    thanks I will add to the list.

    yes, I dive and daughters (15 and 14 then) should be certified by then but they would probably require calm water entry. I will have a better feel for their comfort level after Grand Cayman in the spring. I can tell that 1 week on Kauai will not be enough but wife insists on doing Maui again and I want to spend a little more time in Hana myself.

    supa, you wouldn't like mom's rules. :no::no::no:
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  9. ufrulz2
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    ufrulz2 Premium Member Premium Member

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    Spent ten days on Oahu in March and it was absolutely spectacular. Any of you who haven't been to Hawaii need to book a trip. Hoping to hit the other islands next time we're there.
  10. oragator1
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    oragator1 Premium Member

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    I loved Kauai.


    With kids in tow I would say the south shore is the better locale, assuming the north shore hasn't built up too much since I was there in the late 90's.
    As for waterfalls there is seemingly one everywhere you look, that won't be an issue.

    As mentioned Waimea canyon is amazing, as at the north shore hikes. The only possible downside to Kauai is that with kids it is the quietest and least developed of the islands (which is also its charm), but definitely nothing like Oahu.
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  11. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    not worried about least developed. we tend to enjoy those areas the best as long as we have good outdoor rec available. It is my understanding that the north shore was on a building spree during the boom so it probably has changed since late 90's.

    enjoyed Pearl Harbor, didn't find much else I liked on Oahu but I didn't spend any time on the north shore either
  12. m9000
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    DO NOT MISS HIKING THE NAPALI COAST- even if it 2 miles in and back. I have hiked both Grand Canyon rims, Tetons, Arches, Bryce, Zion, Yosimite, Yellowstone, Sedona, Oregon & Washington coasts, Smokey Mountains- and the trail along the Napali coast is my favorite.

    The bar deck at the Princeville Hotel in Hana has an incredible view.
  13. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    m9000

    no worries, we will definitely hike a bit of that trail, might even have to get a boat tour to areas we cannot hike to. the more I research the more it looks like the seasonal variations in the waves is going to settle me on the north coast of Kauai as that area apparently has much calmer seas during the summer which will allow kids to get in more snorkeling time

    sounds like you enjoy the trails too..you should really try the canadian rockies...Lake Louise area and Jasper area if you like to hike. we have done all you listed except Washington and Oregon coasts and other than a few places in Alaska the canadian rockies were tops (although wife loves Sedona). Glacier in Montana had some pretty awesome trails too but the snow was too high in July the year we were there for us to hit the high country trails I really wanted to do
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  14. dyeaman
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    dyeaman New Member

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    just got back from kauai

    this sounds like fun for you and your family. i used tripadvisor
    extensively to plan our trip to Hawaii and also benefitted from
    having been there five times before. we stayed in kapaa, on
    the east side of Kauai and found it to be very convenient to the
    north shore and also the other areas of the island. it is a quick
    and convenient distance from the airport, which I liked. Kauai is
    much quieter than maui but out of the two islands i prefer Kauai,
    just because it seemed like i could get where i wanted to go
    much quicker. with a large group you face the challenge of trying
    to satisfy different tastes. the adventurous will love both islands.
    the shoppers will prefer maui. snorkeling is great on both. the
    beaches of the north shore Kauai are remote and breathtakingly
    beautiful. there is more action on kaanapali beach in maui. you can
    spend a fortune on this trip so if you can save in smart ways, like
    buying food for the condo from Costco, you can cut your bill a bit.
    i did not enjoy the air travel very much. long flights, crowded,
    very long security lines...these all added to my stress level. i hope
    you have a great time. go gators. david
  15. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    thanks David. I use TA a lot and try and pitch in on areas that we know. I just ordered the Kauai Revealed book to combine with trip advisor. Already have the Maui Revealed book and it was really helpful.

    We actually decided to join Costco in 2004 when we first visited and spent two weeks on Maui due to what we read in Maui Revealed. We try and travel as inexpensive as possible and save our spending money for excursions. When we arrive, we hit the nearest costco or walmart or ?? and get groceries for the duration. get condo's through redweek.com or VRBO to try and keep prices around $150 - $200 per night and rarely eat out when we are traveling. We get plane tickets with ff miles earned from credit card bonuses and try and get cars with amex points so the car and plane tickets are essentially free.

    Then we agree to sacrifice for the next year (limited eating out, keep the old phone, etc) and save that money into an account for the excursions. Wife and I skip x-mas and put that gift $$ into the vacation fund. We carry our own snorkel gear so that is a free excursion when we can find good shore access and hiking is always free so the camelbacks get packed too.

    no shoppers in the family really and no need for nightlife at this point in our life. our plan for Maui is to make sure we see at least one sunrise from Haleakala, hopefully get to bike down from the peak, explore Hana, hopefully go for a ride on a ultralight there, do some snorkeling (Molokai and ???), maybe let the kids take a surfing class, horseback riding on the Hana side, visit the aquarium, visit and swim in in lots of waterfall pools, and spend a couple of days on the beaches.

    right now it looks like Kauai will be hiking, snorkeling, diving, zipline (??), boat trip along Napoli coast, and probably fishing for my son and I if budget allows. Would like to do helicopter thing up the valley but need a midcap domestic oiler i invested in early to get bought out at a nice premium between now and then to be able to afford it. Hoping to have a go-pro camera by then and rent a dive camera to go with it. Mom and Dad might get to go on helicopter ride and leave kids behind.

    I agree on the long plane flight and TSA though so we have a minimum of 2 weeks stay if I am going to sit that long. i sprung for economy comfort for flights between Maui and LA to get a little extra legroom. Daughters (both in 9th grade this year) want to go to Australia for their graduation gift in 4 years and I kind of promised if they graduate in top 10% and stay out of trouble (and get admitted to UF). Currently trying to accumulate miles between now and then to get to experience Cathay Pacific first class lie flat seats for that long of a trip. not sure how but plan on taking a month to do that trip to Oz, New Zealand, and Fiji on the way back. No new car, no new boat, less gator games attended...but the sacrifice will be worth the memories and keeping the daughters focused on the prize hopefully motivates them to stay focused.

    We tend to try and experience a vacation 3 times. Once while researching/planning/scheduling/booking it, once when we take it, and then again when we sort through the photo's and create our photo books (shutterfly) afterwards to share with friends and family. We recognize that kids will not be around forever and we want to encourage them to be adventurous and share some of those travels with them. Not sure they totally appreciate it yet but they will one day. We want to do Costa Rica but I am still not comfortable with the prospect of renting a car there and moving around the country with the family that includes a couple of teenage girls
  16. G8rChuck85
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    Good Job, dad!
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  17. Kirby
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    Kirby Active Member

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    We did a zip line near Princeville and it was great. They do lunch at a spring where you can swim and it helps to break up the day.

    Go and do the Smith family luau. The gardens and show are good. I will let you learn how they came up with the name.

    There is also tubing through the irrigation tunnels and canals.

    Take the hike at the top of the canyon to the "wettest spot on earth." It is strenuous, but worth it. Go very early or the clouds will come in and obstruct the view.

    If you are military or civilian, you can go to the MWR at PMRF on the west side and get discounts on several of the above.

    Enjoy!
  18. mvt_gator
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    A couple observations/recommendations on accommodations etc. since there have already been quite a few good suggestions on activities.

    I would not recommend getting a convertible even if they offer you an upgrade at a minimal amount. Driving across Kauai one minute it is sunny, another it is rainy, sometimes hard - making it difficult to get comfortable with the top down.

    We stayed in Kapaa and found it to be a good base of operations (watching the sun rise was also a great way to start the day). Waimea canyon (definitely a must see) is a longish drive from there, but Hanalei Bay (probably my favorite part of Kauai) and most of the best northern hikes are fairly convenient to get to.

    Agree 100% about hitting up Costco early, it's pretty nice how all the major islands have one.

    Love the Hawaiian islands - as soon as I have enough frequent flyer miles and time I'm definitely headed back. Kauai and the big island are my favorites.
  19. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    got a condo in Hanalei Bay reserved. under $200 night total, working on Hana now. . Renting a minivan on both islands for easy in easy out and space for gear.

    wrt Big Island, liked the snorkeling/diving, liked the volcano thing, lots of turtles, LOVED the fishing on big island. Didn't care much for the people, not nearly as inviting and warm as Maui but that was just our experience. Client of mine has 10k acres in and around Waikoloa Village on the Big Island. Trying hard to find the person with vision to pay me to go transform it into the next great retirement place.

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