Kauai vacation thoughts

So I’ve been collecting some information from my friend, Doug, who is kind of an expert on Hawaii and works with Kauai vacation rentals. I figured I’d share what I’ve been thinking / learning here.

First of all, why Kauai? Wee for one thing, Hanalei Bay was named the #1 beach in the USA by “Dr. Beach” – actually Stephen P. Leatherman’s 2009 list of top 10 beaches. I was wondering what happened to make Hanalei Bay a better beach than Fleming Beach (Maui, Hawaii) which won in 2006. I think after winning a beach no longer gets to compete so it’s not really the best beach in 2009 – it’s the best beach in 2009 that hasn’t already won. That’s not a knock though; Hanalei Bay Resort sure looks like a nice vacation spot.

Another answer to the ‘Why Kauai?’ question is that people say that Kauai is less developed and less crowded than other Hawaiian Islands but of course there are still people who complain, especially about traffic, rising prices, and new construction.

This Youtube video of Hanalei Bay doesn’t make Kauai look too crowded though:

Plus there’s more than just one award-winning beach. Poipu Beach is also on Kauai and that won back in 2001. The Poipu Shores condos are nearby that one. Kuhio Shores condos are also right there. Prince Kuhio condos would be another option.

I might stay in Honolulu first since that’s where you fly into. From Honolulu, the flight to Kauai takes about half an hour. Then it’s a 30-mile drive from Lihue Airport to Hanalei. I imagine I’ll be renting a car. This drive takes an hour and I’m sure there will be other drives around Kauai as well.

In addition to the ones I mentioned near Hanalei Bay and Poipu Beach, Kauai has a number of vacation rental options, which you can see on this Kauai map. This map makes it look like Kaua’s big draw is golfing – something that I never got into.

But another reason to visit Kauai might be movie tourism. Not a big thing for me but not totally meaningless either. If you’re into movie tourism, “South Pacific” was filmed here. Hanalei Bay is where the sailors sang “There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame.” Lumahai Beach is where Mitzi Gaynor sang “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair.” The North Shore has also starred (or made appearances in films from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” to “Tropic Thunder,”

Speaking of the North Shore, another beach worth noting is Anini Beach, where you can stay at Sealodge in Princeville or Puu Poa, also on the North Shore next to St. Regis Princeville Resort.

I guess Waipouli Beach Resort gets its own special mention since it is rated the #1 resort in Hawaii (#7 in the US and #21 in the world). They say it has a 2 acre pool…

Also, blame the economy or whatever but there may be some discounts available for some vacation rentals. As I write this there is an offer for 10% off a condo at Hanalei Bay – it may not sound spectacular but I’ve seen several Hawaii sales and they don’t usually offer deep discounts.

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