Kauai, Hawaii 2011 – Day 4

Day 4, Tuesday. We had planned another “tour” day for Tuesday, with a focus on the East and North coasts of the island. Had a lovely breakfast by the pool at the Kauai Marriott, and then headed out. We wanted to visit 2 waterfalls while we had the good morning light. First, we drove to the outskirts of Lihue to Wailua Falls. You can literally drive right up to the falls and park – however, at the TOP of the falls! The falls have 173 of solid drop, with a 33 foot deep pool at the bottom. Apparently the locals have played at the bottom of the falls for generations, but both hikes down to the bottom were way too difficult, so we enjoyed the view from the top! We next drove up to the Kapaa area, where we visited the Opaeka’a Falls (151-foot fall) and enjoyed the view of the Wailua River and the valley it flows through.  We could also see Wai’ale’ale Mountain from the OTHER SIDE (way far away of course). That was really something as we had just been on the other side, up high and close, at the top of the Waimea Canyon yesterday!

We next stopped off at our timeshare in Kapaa – the Shell Vacation Club Beachboy Resort. It is just as beautiful as we remembered it – right on Waipouli Beach, overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the East. We took a break and enjoyed the view with a cocktail in hand! Then we headed North. We visited some beautiful beaches on the North end of the island – Kalihiwai Beach (and Bay), as well as Anini Beach. The views of the surf, the Kilauea Lighthouse, and the beaches were just amazing. We snapped pictures like crazy, and spent time just watching the waves rolling in. We kept on moving, and drove through the resort area of Princeville (we had stayed at the Princeville Hotel the last time we visited Kauai). We even visited one home for sale on the bluffs in Princeville, which had an Open House in progress – unfortunately the approximately 1,850 sq ft house was $3.2M – clearly we’d have to win a big lottery to live in that little house with the huge view of the Pacific!

We continued our drive, taking in the views of Hanalei Bay, Lumaha’i Beach, Ha’ena Beach, and Tunnels Beach. We finally stopped at the end of the road at Ke’e Beach – yes, the road literally ends here at the start of the Na Pali coast.  We took some time to relax, walk the beach, and watch the surf. This area is extraordinarily beautiful. Na Pali is one of my favorite places that I’ve ever been. I have seen it from boats, from each end, and once we spent a day to hike out to the top of one of the cliff areas from above. We have never hiked in from the North side – the Kalalau Trail is an 11 mile trail through hills and switchbacks which culminates in a beach with a beautiful waterfall – don’t think we’ll be doing that one! Eventually, we climbed back in the car and started back. We stopped over at the Hanalei Colony Resort for a glass of chardonnay overlooking Kepuhi Beach, and yet again were mesmerized by the view of the surf crashing in. This is our first trip in the winter months, and the calm surf of the summer turns into wild surf in the winter. Beautiful!!! We spent the rest of the afternoon driving casually back to the hotel. We ordered room service and enjoyed a relaxing end to yet another great day in Kauai.

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