10. Paddle boarding. Truth be told, yours truly, did not paddle out and attempt to stand on a float. But I did enjoy watching my husband successfully paddle board while sitting on the beach.
9. Pono Kai Dining. We stayed in Kalapaki Bay and although we really enjoyed Duke’s and the other Marriott on-property restaurants, the most memorable dining was in Pono Kai. There seemed to be several high end restaurants to choose from.
8. Sunset Beach. This beach requires a steep hike down to the beach, but it’s fairly short and worth the effort. You emerge from the trail to a pristine untouched beach. Our footprints were the only sets we could see as we walked down the coast. The water here was not safe for swimming. The waves were gigantic and even two local surfers came in and warned us that is was a bad idea to swim here. Seeing the huge waves smash into the rocks that dotted the beach on both ends, really reminded me that Mother Nature is not a force with which to be reckon!
7. Sitting poolside with a local frozen drink, the Aupaca. Cocktail servers are happy to bring you drinks and snacks from the poolside cabana. A locally inspired frozen beverage was a favorite of mine. The Aupaca featured kahlua, banana and another secret ingredient. There is no better way to spend an afternoon then by catching some rays and enjoying an Aupaca by the pool.
6. Helicopter ride. With our sense of adventure encouraging us, we took an open-door personal helicopter ride around the island of Kauai. The landscape was absolutely gorgeous and can not be taken in fully any other way. The helicopter flew up along the untouched Napali Coast and in and out of crevices, allowing us to get close to the landscape and captivating waterfalls that spilled over every other cliff. We flew through the fog and into the crater in the center of the island and were surrounded on all sides by waterfalls. It truly is something that can’t be described with words, but must be experienced. That said, those prone to motion sickness should be cautious and take the appropriate measures before getting on the helicopter.
5. Hiking the trail. This is really an amazing hike, second only to Cinque Terra in Italy, in my opinion. The two hikes actually have one major element in common: the ocean. Both hikes wind high above the ocean, offering spectacular views of the coastline and crashing waves below. You can take a shorter hike to a small beach and back or the more adventurous can continue along the coastline for a multiple day hiking and camping journey. We opted to take a side journey into the tropical foliage for a refreshing swim below a majestic waterfall.
4. Beach Volleyball. It just so happens that the Marriott’s Kauai Beach Club is situated on the local’s favorite beach for playing volleyball. Locals come daily, but can be seen playing some intense doubles every Thursday and Saturday. We found some other volleyball amateurs and played until sunset more than once.
3. Balcony lunches. My favorite place to have lunch was the balcony of our villa. Enjoying lunch on the balcony, listening to local birds, watching the waves crash while the palm trees sway in the breeze, and watching the beach goers build sand castles and play in the waves is very hard to top. The birds will even fly over and keep you company on the balcony rail. One brave little bird even followed me into the room, hoping to find some crumbs in the kitchen.
2. Sleeping with the sliding door open. Why buy sound tracks of ocean waves, when you could have the real thing? In Hawaii temperatures at night are quite comfortable for sleeping. I highly recommend turning off the air conditioning, opening the sliding glass door and listening to waves crashing all night long. Of course, you must remember to close the screen door if you don’t want any nightly visitors!
1. Sunrise and a cup of tea. Every day after a sound sleep to the crashing waves, I would wake up just around sunrise. The breeze off the ocean is chilly in the morning, so I would put on a sweater, make a hot cup of tea and sit on the balcony as the sun began to rise. Very few are awake this time of the morning so it also makes for a great time to meditate, practice yoga, or just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet. If you are lucky, you may even catch a giant cruise ship pulling in to dock. It’s quite the site actually, as you will swear a boat that size cannot possibly fit through the opening of the bay, yet it does, right before your eyes!
What are your favorite things about Hawaii? Don’t have a list because you’ve never been? Make a Hawaiian vacation a reality with our Hawaii timeshares for sale and timeshare rentals. There are so many things to enjoy on these islands, you’ll want a timeshare just to have enough time to explore them all!