Even if you’ve never flown across the Pacific, you’ve probably visited Kauai many times! Countless blockbusters have been filmed on the Garden Isle; from Elvis’ Blue Hawaii to Jurassic Park, King Kong, Tropic Thunder, The Descendants, Raiders of the Lost Ark, South Pacific and Pirates of the Caribbean.
In October, I had the opportunity to visit this majestic isle and take in its beauty firsthand. Honestly, the movies don’t do it justice! No visit to the Isles of Aloha would be complete without spending a few days on Kauai. This island is the furthest north of the eight main islands of the Hawaiian archipelago and just a hop, skip and a jump away from Oahu, Maui and Hawaii’s Big Island, easily accessible via Hawaiian Airlines.
Kauai is lush with beautiful rainforests, the famous Fern Grotto, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” – Waimea Canyon, and the Napali Coast (which you will probably recognize from many movies!). The landscapes are truly breathtaking; photos and movies capture a bit of it, but to truly appreciate the majestic scenery, you simply must visit! The island offers plenty of opportunities for sightseeing, but you can also enjoy a round of golf at 10 renowned courses, or for something a little less challenging, experience one of the most unique mini golf courses anywhere! This island is also home to a coffee plantation where you can sample Kona coffee’s more affordable and every-bit-as-tasty cousin Kauai Coffee. If you prefer to indulge in a stronger beverage, head on over to the Historic Kilohana Plantation where you can take a train ride through tropical fruit fields and participate in rum tasting at Koloa Rum Co.
After a long day of sightseeing (I do recommend a rental car for that!), you will certainly want to rest your head on a comfy pillow. Kauai has a variety of hotels to choose from. Some of my favorites include the St. Regis Princeville for its view that cannot be beat & impeccable 5 star service, the Courtyard Kaua’i at Coconut Beach for its casual, comfortable accommodations, beachfront location and proximity to shopping & dining, and the Sheraton Kaua’i Resort in the Poipu area for its gorgeous beach and recently renovated, spacious accommodations.
Get in touch with your favorite Beach Bum when YOU are ready to experience the Garden Isle! We are here to make sure you have an exquisite experience in paradise!
I am so thrilled I was finally able to get to experience this amazing island! I had always wanted to see the more popular islands, Maui, Kauai and Oahu but just like most others, the Hawaii island was not first on my list. After finally experiencing this island I have to say I have fallen in love! It is so much more than a place to vacation, it’s about family and culture as well as beauty and adventure.
The island of Hawaii is truly fascinating. It has all but two of the world’s climate zones generating everything from lush rain forests to volcanic deserts, snow-capped mountaintops to beautiful black sand beaches. It is the youngest and largest of all the Hawaiian islands and is still growing. Hawaii has become known as the Big Island which is very fitting since this island alone is more than twice the size of all Hawaiian islands combined! It is the home of one of the world’s most active volcanoes (Kilauea), the tallest sea mountain in the world at more than 33,000 feet (Maunakea), the most massive mountain in the world (Maunaloa), and the largest park in the state (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park).
While on the island of Hawaii I was able to experience its beauty. I zip lined over waterfalls, walked through lava tubes, toured and tasted Kona Coffee, hiked through the cloud forest, visited the last temple built in Hawaii, but my favorite of all was viewing Kilauea spit lava. Everything I experienced was truly incredible.
Not only is this island perfect for the adventurous but also for those that loves culture and history. Hawaii Island is home to some of the most historic places in all of Hawaii. From the birthplace of King Kamehameha and the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy), to restored heiau and the site of Captain Cook’s death, Hawaii Island offers visitors a chance to walk in the shadows of Hawaiian history.
This island has active volcanoes, star-filled nights, diverse climates and the legacies of Hawaii’s original settlers. It permits visitors to experience nature in its most powerful and raw forms. There’s no other island in the world that has this blend of environments, history and fiery drama than Hawaii Island!
In 1922 James Dole arrived on the tiny Hawaiian island of Lana’i and purchased it (yes, the whole island) for a sweet $1.1 million. Mr. Dole was a smart and successful businessman, you’ve probably tasted the fruits of his labor yourself! Canned Dole Pineapple from Lana’i became a huge hit on the mainland US. At one time Lana’i produced 75 percent of the world’s pineapple! To accommodate the increasing number of workers on his fields, Dole built a plantation camp in the flatlands. This is now Lana’i City (formerly nicknamed “Pineapple Island”). In the late 1980s Lana’i’s pineapple crop began to wither and was therefore no longer profitable. Now owned by Castle & Cooke Resorts, Lana’i has reinvented itself as a one-of-a-kind vacation destination.
Today Lana’i is perfect for travelers seeking exclusivity, peace & quiet, romance and luxury in simple, unspoiled surroundings. Lana’i’s natural and cultural attractions are spread over 141 square miles (with not one traffic light). It’s terrain is mostly unpaved roads, rainforest, and of course, barron pineapple fields. Lana’i has one town with approximately 3,000 local residents. Lana’i is the smallest and least visited of all the Hawaiian Islands. It’s accessible only by ferry or air.
A typical vacation on the island of Lana’i is spent playing golf, hiking, renting a Jeep to tour around the island, explore the remote beaches, or snorkeling/ scuba diving in the archipelago. There are two resorts and two golf courses on the island. The Four Seasons Manele Bay Hotel and Four Seasons Lodge at Koele pamper their guests in every way possible, from ocean side massages to gourmet dinners it’s luxury all the way.
Guest room at the Lodge at Koele:
The two main attractions on the island are Hulopo’e Bay and Manele Bay. Hulopo’e Bay is the center of the island of Lana’i’s beach activities and home to ancient fishing village.
White sand beach at Hulopo’e Bay:
The wide white sand crescent, lined at each end with dramatic lava outcroppings, is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and tide pool exploration. Water temperature stays around 75 F year-round. The beach is a wonderful place to hang out, barbecue and watch schools of spinner dolphins leaping and diving in the bay. From November through April, the dolphins are joined by breaching humpback whales!
Located around the corner from Hulopo’e, Manele Bay is also a marine preserve with the only public boat harbor on the island. All south shore ocean tours originate at Manele Harbor: fishing boats, yachts, the Expeditions ferry, whale-watching, snorkel sails, scuba diving and ocean rafting. The Munro Trail is one of the most amazing hikes on Lana’i.
Hiking Munro Trail:
Winding upward through lush rainforest and Cook pines, this challenging 8-mile trek takes you to the top of the island’s only mountain, the 3,370-foot-high Lana’ihale. Once you reach the peak, astounding views of at least three, and sometimes five neighbor islands (Maui, Moloka’i, Kaho’olawe, Hawai’i and O’ahu) will unfold of steep gulches below.
The Garden of the Godsis located a mile and a half northwest of the Kanepu’u Preserve on Lana’i. This geological wonder has formed from centuries of wind erosion. It’s created an eerie lunar landscape with rock formations in all shades of purple, red, sienna and umber. The surroundings look like a painter’s pallet of the Earth!
If you are a scuba diver, put the Cathedrals dive site on your must-do list. The cathedral-like chambers created by 60-foot pinnacles are filled with all sorts of marine life. As you explore the countless nooks of the First and Second Cathedral you will come face to face with schools of blue-stripe snappers, pyramid butterfly fish, corals and shrimp.
Lana’i’s two championship golf courses have earned worldwide recognition for both layout and views. The Experience at Ko’ele is a spectacular 18-hole course spread high over a plateau and the rolling hills of central Lana’i. Designed by Greg Norman and Ted Robinson, the 7,017-yard, par-72 course is set nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, with views of Maui and Moloka’i directly across the channel.
The Challenge at Manele is built on hundreds of acres of lava fields and dry, desert-like terrain that present their ultimate challenge at the ocean: three holes built on the bluffs above Hulopo’e Bay, where the Pacific Ocean is the world’s largest water hazard. The 7,039-yard, par-72 course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and features panoramic ocean views from all 18 holes.
Sporting clays is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. It’s found its perfect setting here in the northwestern hills of Lana’i. The 15-acre Lana’i Pines Sporting Clays offers 4 target shooting disciplines (trap, skeet, compact sporting, or sporting clays mimicking pheasants and rabbits) with gorgeous views of Maui and Moloka’i across the channel.
Last but not least, the Kanepu’u Preserve is located in the quiet central uplands of Lana’i. Kanepu’u Preserve is a nature lover’s paradise. This 590-acre preserve is the lastdry land forestof its kind in the world, home to over 40 species of precious native Hawaiian plants, including lama (native ebony), olopua (native olive), Lana’i sandalwood, and na’u (native gardenia). I was fortunate enough to experience the natural wonders of Lana’i last October. If Lana’i sounds like your perfect Paradise allow Beach Bum Vacation to take you away!
Recently, some of the Beach Bums returned from the 5th Annual GIVC Awards by Karisma Resorts. It was a 3 day event, full of training and after taking in all of the new and exciting updates Karisma is now offering our clients we got to let loose in true Bum style and have a little fun! At the Halloween gala, we let our dark sides come out.
While staying at El Dorado Royale and El Dorado Casitas Royale, we were able to see some of the beautiful new updates and amenities the resort has recently added. These weren’t the only two resorts making changes either! That’s one of the reasons why we love Karisma as one of our Preferred Partners – they are always seeking to make things better for our guests 🙂
The most exciting part about this week was the Awards Gala, where many of the Beach Bums were awarded as Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultants and Wedding Consultants. It was such an honor to hear “Beach Bum Vacation” being called to the stage repeatedly to receive each award. Some of the awards included ‘Top 10 Wedding Producers Overall” awarded to Beach Bum Melissa and higher diamond levels awarded to a few select Beach Bums for their continued excellence in service and dedication to providing clients with a Gourmet Inclusive vacation experience. The greatest reward is that our hard work allows us to continually better our relationships with each individual resort, the entire resort line, and in turn provides us with some really great benefits for Beach Bum Vacation clients. That’s what makes all of this worth it! I’m excited to be a part of such a team and can’t wait to see what the next year holds for Beach Bum Vacation!