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Lihue, Kauai: Tour of 4 Hawaiian Islands by Cruise Ship (Part 3)
Posted On 03/22/2019 16:28:24
Trip Date 05/03/2010
Destinations | Cruises | Hawaii | Kauai | Golden Princess | Self-Guided Hawaii Travel | DIY Travel | Kauai Road Trip
The third port of call on our Hawaiian Islands cruise aboard the Golden Princess was in
Lihue, Kauai. This cruise was a dream cruise for Stacy's mom, and we chose it to
her 75th birthday. Since Stacy and I had previously spent some time on Kauai, we went the DIY
and we played the role of "itinerary planners" and "tour guides".
If you are considering a cruise with stops in the Hawaiian islands, this series will be a great
for planning your days in port. This is the third of four posts (one for each of the islands that we
visited) with a focus on the island of Kauai. With so many places to see on the beautiful
garden isle, it can be hard to decide where to go with limited time and planning can sometimes be
overwhelming. Spending a few minutes reviewing the suggestions below (with corresponding
those who wish to read more) will help you make a plan for the perfect DIY shore excursion for
and your traveling companions.
Port of Lihue, Kauai
This was our third consecutive day for which we had rented a car for our driving tour from Discount Hawaii Car Rental. With great prices (including no booking or cancellation
and unbeatable convenience for cruise ship passengers in the Hawaiian Islands, you should
give them a try! As a booking agent with cars available from many rental car agencies, they have
variety of cars for different size groups. With a reservation confirmed before you leave home,
will be ready and waiting at an office near the cruise ship dock. All you'll have to do before
your group loaded to explore Kauai is complete the paperwork, check your car for any damages
Lihue is a great starting point for many of the beautiful attractions and points of interest on the
You can easily head north or south, but we've made it easy for you with an awesome one day plan
which includes a canyon, waterfalls, historic towns and much more. The entire island of Kauai has
population of wild chickens and roosters so be on the lookout as you drive around. As I
years ago during Hurricane Iniki many chickens got loose from farms and have never
Waimea Canyon State Park
Waimea Canyon State Park, home to the largest canyon in the Pacific, is truly a dramatic sight to behold. Carved
thousands of years ago by rivers and floods that flowed from Mt. Waialeale's summit,
Waimea Canyon measures about 10 miles long, 1 mile wide and over 3,500-feet deep.
Even though the canyon is smaller than Arizona's Grand Canyon, Waimea Canyon rivals the
Scott and Stacy at Waimea Canyon
Standing at one of the lookouts on Waimea Canyon Drive, the main road through the
you can marvel at the lines in the canyon walls. Each line depicts a different volcanic eruption and
corresponding lava flow that occurred through centuries of time. Plan to make at least two stops,
first at Waimea Canyon Overlook. Just over three miles further down the road, you'll
Puu Hinahina Lookout located at mile marker 13 from which you can see both the canyon
the Pacific Ocean.
Scott at Waimea Canyon Overlook
The Gang at Waimea Canyon
Here's a couple of tips to help you enjoy your visit to Waimea Canyon State Park:
the elevation makes the air temperature 10 to 15 degrees cooler than in the valley, so prepare
yourself for the change;
since by afternoon, many areas in the park are often shrouded in clouds, we recommend a
morning visit to have your best chance of seeing the canyon.
On the west side of Waimea Canyon, make a brief stop at
Don't miss the Captain James Cook Monument in the center of the town full of small
shops and other businesses. Captain Cook was a British sailor who changed the course of history
for Hawaii when he sailed into the Waimea Harbor in 1778. He was reportedly the first westerner
to ever set foot on the islands.
Captain Cook, Discoverer of Hawaii
The cute little town of Hanapepe is a great place to
spend a part of your day while on Kauai. Even though your port hours will probably not coincide
the weekly Friday evening Hanapepe Art Night, it's still a fun stop to enjoy the authentic
Hawaiian lifestyle. Drive or walk through the historic downtown area. Do any of the plantation
style buildings currently home to art galleries, restaurants and retail shops look familiar to you?
The town has served as a movie set for a number of films!
Some of the must sees in Hanapepe include Salt Pond Beach, the Hanapepe Town
Truck and the Hanapepe Tile Mural at Eleele Elementary School. The thing
has made us return to the town multiple times is the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge. The
bridge was built in 1911 over the Hapapepe River and rebuilt after Hurricane Iniki in
Stacy At Hanapepe
Spouting Horn Beach Park
The natural wonder that occurs at Spouting Horn Beach Park when water rushes under a lava shelf and bursts through a
small opening in the
surface is not to be missed. Spouting Horn frequently spurts salt water 50 feet into the air. The
phenomena is especially exciting at sunset when the spray becomes incandescent with the colors
the rainbow. With every wave producing another spray, it is mesmerizing and you can literally
an hour watching in amazement!
The Spouting Horn
The Tree Tunnel
Drive down the first mile of Maliuhi Road also known as Highway 520. The shade
over your head, referred to as The Tree Tunnel
comes from a gift from Pineapple Baron Walter McBryde. Although the 500 trees originally planted
1911 were severely damaged during Huricane Iniki, you can see that they have recovered in the
The Tunnel of Trees
For an unusual Hawaii adventure, cruise up the Wailua River to Fern Grotto, a lava rock grotto
with tropical ferns. Along the 40 minute upstream journey via a long flat bottom riverboat, you
encounter numerous photo opportunities of the tropical grasslands lining the river and the cloud-
capped Mt. Waialeale looming in the background. You'll also hear ancient Hawaiian songs
stories plus have the opportunity to learn how to hula along the only navigable river in Hawaii.
Once you arrive, you'll enjoy a walk through nature to the grotto where you will be serenaded by
Hawaiian musicians playing traditional local songs. The acoustics within this natural amphitheater
fantastic and greatly enhance the singing and guitar accompaniment.
The Fern Grotto
You do need reservations for the 1 1/2 hour Fern Grotto tour and boat ride.
This majestic tiered waterfall is located close to the roadside on Maalo Road where you
find a parking lot with a lookout where everyone can enjoy the beauty. Wailua Falls was made famous when featured
the opening scene of the popular television show Fantasy Island.
Port of Lihue
As with any cruise port where you decide to go off on your own, you need to closely monitor your
so as not to miss your all aboard call. We suggest that you make a "timeline" before leaving home
that includes the amount of time that you want to spend at each of the seven locations - and
closely. While some groups will want to devote some time to hiking in the state park, others may
prefer to shop in the small towns. Don't forget about allowing time to stop to see the chickens
wandering around and watching the horn spout! As you make your timeline, be sure to allow
time to fill your tank with fuel and check-in your car. Remember that there may be a line of others
the same schedule so build in a little extra time for that plus your walk back to the ship.
Following our busy but rewarding day, we returned to the Golden Princess where we all got
for formal night!
The Wordy Explorers in Formalwear
Lahaini, Maui, Hawaii
Stop back tomorrow for our final self-guided shore excursion for the islands in Hawaii. The final
installment will not only include a great driving itinerary, but you'll also find some options. If you
traveling with youngsters, you'll find some ideas geared more towards those who are less
or have children in Lahaina, Maui: Tour of 4 Hawaiian Islands by Cruise Ship (Part 4). If
are more adventurous, you'll find something for yourself as well!
Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii
What are your top "must see" attractions on the beautiful garden island of Kauai, and why do they
make your list of favorites?
Created On 03/14/2019 00:03:11
Updated On 03/22/2019 17:09:29
Scheduled On 03/21/2019 14:28:24
Posted On 03/22/2019 16:28:24
Last Editor Stacy
Location Port of Lihue