Posted by: kauaikolea2 | September 25, 2011

Kaua’i Road Trip No. 2: Waimea Canyon Trip

Another day, another road trip!  Today’s trip is to the south and west starting from our condohotels in Kapa’a ( or 1 855 HULA NOW). Our location is ideal, not only right on the beach, but also right in the middle of Kaua’i activities.  Waimea Canyon….

For breakfast, after having a pot of our complementary Lion’s Brand Hawaiian Coffee, skip Starbucks (you can go here any time) and head to Kukui Grove in Lihue.  Look for Kauai Bakery tucked away in a corner. It opens early and you need to arrive early to lay claim to one of their famous cinnamon rolls.  If the rolls are sold out, rest assured that all baked goods are excellent here.  Try the apple fritters or some malsadas with lemon or chocolate fillings.  Grab a cup of coffee and head on out on to Po’ipu.  It is worth a stop, especially if the tide is high, to stop at Spouting Horn for some great photos of the wave action in this well-known lava blow hole. Stay awhile and explore the craft shops here, with many one-of-a-kind handmade items.

Head west on Kaumuali’i Highway, looking for Waimea town (near milepost 22). Stop to explore Russian Fort  Elizabeth State Historical Park. The ruins are of a czar’s ambitious building in 1816, but are now just a pile of rocks.  On the opposite side of the Waimea River look for the cement slab in the mud that marks where the first European explorer, Captain Cook, set foot on island. If you have time and interest, go to the center of Waimea town and visit the more impressive monument to Cook.

Take Waimea Canyon Drive (Route 550) and the 20-mile climb that skirts the rim of the canyon.  The views are incredible but wait until you safely reach Waimea Canyon Lookout between miles 10 and 11 for the most spectacular views.  Red rocks and deep gorges, the 800-ft plunge of Waipo’o Falls all come into view. Continue to Koke’e State Park and have lunch at Koke’e Lodge.  Hearty souls should have dessert – Koke’e is a maze of hiking trails and you can easily walk off that slab of coconut pie! You can spend 2 to 3 hours hiking the Pihea Trial or you can drive to the end of Koke’e Road to mile marker 19 and the Pihea Trailhead at Pu’u O Kola Lookout. The views here are of the Na Pali Coast. It  is possible to start hiking here, too.  Maps are available at the museum by the Lodge if you decide to hike.

After hiking and photographing and simply enjoying the beauty that is Kaua’i, drive back to the condos for a quick shower and maybe a nap.  Dinner is casual tonight in downtown old Kapa’a.  We love Mermaids for its fresh organic food or Olympia Café, where if you can snag a window seat on the second floor, you can watch the sun setting and the goings on in Kapa’a.

Then it is back to the condos for a quick swim, a soak in the hot tub, and/or a drink at the Tiki Bar before turning for the evening.

View all our listings at

Islander on the Beach

Unit 111: Partial Ocean View – Ground floor – 2 Full Beds

Unit 170: Partial Ocean View – Ground floor – 2 Full Beds

Unit 222: Almost Ocean Front – Second Floor – Queen Bed

Unit 250: Ocean Front – Second Floor – King Bed

Unit 361: Ocean View – Third Floor – King Bed

Kauai Beach Resort

Unit 1317: Lagoon/Partial Ocean View – Third Floor – King Bed

Kapaa Sands

Unit 7: Ocean Front Coastal Views – Second Floor – Queen Bed

Unit 9: Ocean Front Coastal Views – Second Floor – Queen Bed



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