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Best place to stay North Shore

Moses Lake...
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Best place to stay North Shore

I am planning a trip to Kauai in Aug. and want to stay on the North Shore, I've been to the island before but stayed on the south side. I am debating if it is better to rent a house in Hanalie so you can walk to town and/or the beach, or if we would be better off renting a condo in Princeville. We want to be close to a good beach, mabye with good snorkeling if possible. Any opinions?

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Best place to stay North Shore

After having done it several different ways, I've settled on option no. 3....I like renting a beach house in Haena. For me, avoiding the parking nightmare at Tunnels and Ke'e, etc by renting something walking distance is a priority. Being able to enjoy those beaches early and late after most of the daytrippers have left is also nice. I do also like renting at Hanalei Bay though, and if you're not going to cook as much as I usually do when we visit Kauai and want to have easier access to restaurants, that may better suit you.

canada
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2. Re: Best place to stay North Shore

We have been here in Kauai for almost 4 weeks and are staying in our 4th place. We did that so that we could get a taste for several different parts of Kauai, not ever having been here before.

Our priorities were snorkeling, swimming, boogie boarding (teen kids) and not too touristy. All places we stayed were condos so we could do our own cooking and spread out. We stayed at Koloa Landing in Poipu, a home in Kilauea, a home in Ha'ena further north, and finally (now) a condo in Princeville.

The last 2 places we have stayed (and the last one are now staying) had good beach access for snorkeling and swimming. We found Ha'ena a really neat place for many reasons but were disappointed by the volume of traffic to Tunnels. The snorkeling was ok but we weren't blown away by it as we had thought we would be. The surf tended to be a bit rough making snorkeling more difficult. That could have just been the time we were there though. We loved many other things about the area though and would stay in a beach house in Ha'ena over Hanalei in a flash.

We are now in Pu'u Poa condos in Princeville and have a spectacular ocean view. There is a small beach just below us that so far has had pretty good snorkeling and we have also liked swimming there. The condos themselves are beautiful, quiet and not too far (driving) from other beaches we have been to in the area.

As far as we're concerned, the north is the place to be in the summer!

Edited: 30 July 2013, 07:35
Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: Best place to stay North Shore

The snorkeling on Kauai is the poorest in the Hawaii islands, IMO. It's a great island in so many respects, and I'm always happy just to get in the water, but if you're expecting good snorkeling you'll likely be disappointed. Big Ialand, Lanai, Maui are all good islands to do in combination with Kauai to get your snorkeling fix before enjoying the stunning above water scenery of Kauai.

canada
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4. Re: Best place to stay North Shore

I would have to agree with you on that Shea! We have been to all of the islands now and although Kauai is stunningly beautiful, it hasn't been the best one for snorkeling.

California
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5. Re: Best place to stay North Shore

THIS August?

Finding something decent in the prime location of Hanalei might be tough.

Just remember that Hanalei Bay does not have snorkeling. You will need to drive to locations which have this activity. I promise you that you'll be in your car finding the next beautiful location no matter where you decide to stay.

The mention of poor snorkeling is not really fair. For someone coming to Kauai JUST to snorkel, and they are used to Great Barrier Reef snorkeling, then sure its lousy, but for people that like to snorkel or are newbies its fine. To many people its a highlight. I actually have snorkeled in some of the best locations in the world and still enjoy it. There is nothing like coming up to the surface at Ke'e or Tunnels and seeing those mountains welcoming you back to the surface.

Huntington Beach...
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6. Re: Best place to stay North Shore

We love the beautiful views from the blufftops in Princeville. Ocean one direction, mountains the other. Beach access is not that good from some complexes, but it's just a short drive to Hanalei and the surrounding area where there are great beaches. Parking can be a problem if you get there at peak times, but we've found that there are usually spots at Haena, and it's a nice walk along the beach to Tunnels or Ke'e. I'm in the same camp as jebett, snorkeling on the North Shore is good enough for me. Any spot can be good or bad, just depends on the conditions....

La Mirada...
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7. Re: Best place to stay North Shore

If you can find something in Hanalei, I'd JUMP on it. The best places book up fast, but you might get lucky due to a cancellation.....

3Chihuahuas

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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8. Re: Best place to stay North Shore

If you are going this August, you may have a very limited selection - you can try for Haena or Hanalei, but you might have to stick with Princeville. What is your budget and dates?

9. Re: Best place to stay North Shore

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