Day 6, Thursday. Another laid back day in Kauai. We had a light breakfast in our room, and planned our visit to the south end of the island. We headed out with plans to first visit Koloa. To get there, one of the routes takes you through the Tree Tunnel. When Walter Duncan McBryde was landscaping his home in the early 1900s, he found that he had over 500 eucalyptus trees left over. He donated the trees (called swamp mahogany) to the county, and many residents helped to plant the trees along Hwy 520. The result is the Tree Tunnel, or tree corridor. Some of the trees were removed in the ’50s when the highway was rerouted, and there was a lot of damage as a result of Hurricanes ‘Iwa in 1982 and ‘Iniki in September 1992. But it is still quite beautiful!
We did some shopping in Koloa and bought a couple of small things. Then we drove to Po’ipu which is right on the beach on the south side of Kauai. We took a drive along one of the beach roads that meanders between homes, condos, and hotels, and then headed to Brennecke’s Beach Broiler for lunch. They are directly across the street from Po’ipu Beach and have a great view of the beach and ocean. We had a good lunch at the open-air restaurant, and thoroughly enjoyed sitting back and enjoying the views! We spent some time at Po’ipu Beach and drove to see the Spouting Horn. This is a small lava shelf where water from waves is thrust through an opening, causing water and air to squirt out a blowhole. This particular site distinguishes itself from other blowholes around Hawaii in that it has an additional hole that blows only air, causing a loud moaning and gasping sound. It is a really beautiful area, and we just stood there for quite a while watching the Spouting Horn spout! We did a little looking at shops in the Po’ipu area. The impact of the economic downturn is visible – while there are still many shops in the area, there are empty spaces for rent as well.
We also visited the Marriott Waiohai Beach Club in Po’ipu, a Marriott Vacation Club property. It is very beatiful resort, with lovely grounds, several swimming pools, and a very nice beach location. Would be a good place to stay with a larger party than the 2 of us as it has 2 and 3 bedroom units (our current place does not – only studios or 1-bedroom units). Glad we got to see it in person!
We then stopped at Kilohana Plantation, a working farm and estate. Built in 1936, the 16,000 square foot mansion was the home of Gaylord and Ethel Wilcox and has been restored to its “former glory.” Gaylord Wilcox was a “Sugar Baron”, and the manager of the Grove Farm Plantation. The mansion at Kilohana is said to be the finest example of plantation architecture in Kauai. The property now houses a restaurant, Koloa Rum’s Tasting Room, and a number of shops. In one of the jewlery shops, we found my birthday present from Mike – a beautiful pendant. Hurray!
We then drove back to our hotel, and finished the day with dinner at Cafe Portofino, a beachside Italian restaurant at our Marriott. Had another delicious dinner! A great ending to yet another really, really nice day. (Sure seems like we spend a lot of time eating!) 🙂