Can this site use your data to personalize useful ads for you?

Our advertising partners will collect data and use cookies for ad personalization and measurement. Otherwise, your data will not influence ads. This site uses cookies to deliver our services. Please see our License Agreement and Privacy Policy (Terms of Use) and Disclosure and Cookie Policy. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand these policies. You can change this setting later on the Disclosure page.

   

 
The Wordy Explorers
   

facebook share
twitter share
pinterest share
flipboard share

Follow


Lihue, Kauai:  Tour of 4 Hawaiian Islands by Cruise Ship (Part 3)

Lihue, Kauai: Tour of 4 Hawaiian Islands by Cruise Ship (Part 3)


By avatar  Scott
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 celebrate her 75th birthday. Since Stacy and I had previously spent some time on Kauai, we went the DIY route 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 resource 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 links for those who wish to read more) will help you make a plan for the perfect DIY shore excursion for you 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 fees) and unbeatable convenience for cruise ship passengers in the Hawaiian Islands, you should definitely give them a try! As a booking agent with cars available from many rental car agencies, they have a variety of cars for different size groups. With a reservation confirmed before you leave home, your car will be ready and waiting at an office near the cruise ship dock. All you'll have to do before getting your group loaded to explore Kauai is complete the paperwork, check your car for any damages and pay.



Lihue is a great starting point for many of the beautiful attractions and points of interest on the island. 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 a population of wild chickens and roosters so be on the lookout as you drive around. As I understand it, years ago during Hurricane Iniki many chickens got loose from farms and have never been rounded up!


Wild Rooster

Wild Rooster

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 beauty.


Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Scott and Stacy at Waimea Canyon

Scott and Stacy at Waimea Canyon

Standing at one of the lookouts on Waimea Canyon Drive, the main road through the park, 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, the first at Waimea Canyon Overlook. Just over three miles further down the road, you'll come to Puu Hinahina Lookout located at mile marker 13 from which you can see both the canyon and the Pacific Ocean.


Scott at Waimea Canyon Overlook

Scott at Waimea Canyon Overlook

The Gang at Waimea Canyon

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.



Waimea Town

On the west side of Waimea Canyon, make a brief stop at Waimea Town. 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

Captain Cook, Discoverer of Hawaii

Hanapepe

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 with 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 that has made us return to the town multiple times is the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge. The historic bridge was built in 1911 over the Hapapepe River and rebuilt after Hurricane Iniki in 1992.


Hanapepe Bridge

Hanapepe Bridge

Stacy At Hanapepe

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 of the rainbow. With every wave producing another spray, it is mesmerizing and you can literally spend an hour watching in amazement!


The Spouting Horn

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 in 1911 were severely damaged during Huricane Iniki, you can see that they have recovered in the years since.


The Tunnel of Trees

The Tunnel of Trees

Fern Grotto

For an unusual Hawaii adventure, cruise up the Wailua River to Fern Grotto, a lava rock grotto covered with tropical ferns. Along the 40 minute upstream journey via a long flat bottom riverboat, you will 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 and 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 are fantastic and greatly enhance the singing and guitar accompaniment.


The Fern Grotto

The Fern Grotto

You do need reservations for the 1 1/2 hour Fern Grotto tour and boat ride.



Wailua Falls

This majestic tiered waterfall is located close to the roadside on Maalo Road where you will find a parking lot with a lookout where everyone can enjoy the beauty. Wailua Falls was made famous when featured in the opening scene of the popular television show Fantasy Island.


Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls

Wailua falls

Wailua falls

Port of Lihue

As with any cruise port where you decide to go off on your own, you need to closely monitor your time 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 watch it 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 plenty of time to fill your tank with fuel and check-in your car. Remember that there may be a line of others on 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 gussied up for formal night!


The Wordy Explorers in Formalwear

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 are traveling with youngsters, you'll find some ideas geared more towards those who are less adventurous or have children in Lahaina, Maui: Tour of 4 Hawaiian Islands by Cruise Ship (Part 4). If you 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?


Lihue, Kauai:  Tour of 4 Hawaiian Islands by Cruise Ship (Part 3)











Comments    









  blog theme  
About WE
Contact WE
Follow WE
License
Privacy Policy
Disclosure Policy
facebook share
twitter share
pinterest share
flipboard share
 

(C) Copyright, SNS Web Ventures, LLC, DBA Are We There Yet, 2019
The Wordy Explorers