My husband and I recently returned from our first trip to Kauai. It was fabulous and so incredibly beautiful. I received tons of information from so many people on this forum—both regulars and others who had written trip reports over the last several months. Thank you all for the great information you have passed along—it truly helped us out! I’ll attempt a trip report below so that maybe others can get some ideas just as I did. I’ll apologize ahead of time for being so long-winded!
We stayed in Princeville on the North Shore at the Pali Ke Kua condos. Our unit was #111 (I’ve written a review on TA as well) and looked directly out onto the Pacific and Bali Hai. My gosh—it’s the best view! We could look out our dining room and living room windows all day long and see such beauty—it was just amazing. The whole island is beautiful and I’ve never been anywhere so gorgeous before in my life. The pictures we took certainly don’t do it justice.
We enjoyed our condo and the location. The Princeville area is truly lovely, and there are so many beautiful spots on the North Shore. Our condo unit had a very steep paved path that went down to Pali Ke Kua’s private beach. What a walk—coming up was tough! Back to the location of the condo: we did have to drive a bit to get to other areas of the island, but we enjoyed this as well. We had a convertible for the visit and that was so much fun! It’s gorgeous in so many places on this island so driving around was a blast.
We shopped for a few groceries at the nearby Princeville shopping center, at the Foodland. We got the shopper’s discount card, so that helped a bit with prices. Yes, groceries are expensive around there but we expected that. We did not want to visit Walmart while there since we have so many around here but still ended up there on our last day. We should have gone on the first day—we would have found better prices on things like sunscreen, bottled water, etc. Oh well…live and learn. We did buy quite a few souvenirs at Walmart, so we saved a bit of money there.
We tended to eat out or pick up things to bring back to the condo. My favorite take out spot was Hanalei Gourmet in Hanalei. I loved their Waldorf Salad and there was always plenty left over for another meal. My husband enjoyed their hamburger and fries, and we both loved the 4 layer chocolate cake—outstanding! We never ate in there, so I can’t comment on the service. We ate breakfast one morning at Wake Up Café in Hanalei and enjoyed that as well. Another favorite breakfast spot was Kountry Kitchen in Kappa. I had the mac nut pancakes—excellent!---and my husband had an omelet—delicious as well. This was a great value too.
We ordered pizza one afternoon from a place whose name I can’t remember, but it’s located in a small shopping center on the way to the Lighthouse and is also a bakery. We both thought the pizza was delicious, even though a bit expensive. We had bear claws from there too and liked those as well. We purchased a loaf of “sweet French bread” and were disappointed with that. It certainly wasn’t sweet and didn’t taste like French bread. Our one bargain food-find was cinnamon pull apart bread from the Princeville Foodland bakery--$3.00 and really delicious! I will say, again, that we expected food to be high, so we weren’t that shocked and just tried to do our best about not buying too many things that we wouldn’t be able to use.
A few other places we ate at: Duane’s Ono Char Burger—we stopped here our first evening in Kauai, on the way to Princeville. We got there at 5:52 p.m. and were told we had 8 minutes to order but were welcome to sit at the tables and eat after 6:00 (they close at 6:00). The burgers were good, and so was the chocolate milkshake. We also tried Bubba’s Burgers in Hanalei—really average burgers, if that, and we wouldn’t recommend them. There is a small restaurant and bakery inside the Chen Young Village in Hanalei where we had plate meals. I had teriyaki beef with rice and my husband had pork chops and gravy. Both were yummy! I’m sorry—I can’t remember the name, but I know it has a bakery as well. On our last day, we stopped at the Lihue Barbeque Inn on Rice street and had plate lunches there too—hamburger steak with mashed potatoes. For one price, we got the main entrée, a fruit salad or soup, bread, a drink, and dessert. It was all GREAT! I figured dessert would be something really cheap like jello but we were allowed to pick from the daily pies. We got slices of chocolate pie and macadamia nut pie—both were yummy. Service was great here as well.
To be continued...