Our Kalihiwai vacation rentals offer the finest in Kauai north shore living with close access to the picturesque Kalihiwai Bay and its beautiful crescent of sand and azure waters. The lush Kalihiwai valley is quintessential Hawaii valley with verdant and tropical growth.
Things To Do Kalihiwai beach is a great family beach as long as the surf is not too big. The ocean conditions are often as calm as a lake during the summer months. Kalihiwai Bay is relatively well protected from the open ocean and the expansive beach provides plenty of areas for relaxing. Kids love playing near the lagoon that forms in the area where Kalihiwai stream flows into the sea.
During the winter months when large waves come from north of the islands some of the world's best surfers brave the giant waves that break offshore beneath the cliffs surrounding Kalihiwai Bay - watch from a distance, these are the experts!
From Kalihiwai it's just a short drive east to the beaches of Kilauea town and it's pristine Secret Beach with views of the Lighthouse, and west to the horseshoe-shaped Hanalei Bay which is great for water sports including swimming, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and surfing. A fun activity is to rent some stand up paddle boards in Hanalei town and journey up the meandering Hanalei River or in the ocean near the rivermouth where it is well-protected from the open ocean.
Eat and Shop From Kalihiwai you have close access to several exceptional restaurants as well as health food stores and interesting boutique shops in Kilauea town. Or visit the Princeville resort area where you will find an abundance of dining and shopping options including spectacular views of Hanalei Bay from Makana Terrace at the St. Regis.
Just down the hill from Princeville is Hanalei town with more great shopping and dining choices. Bar Acuda in Hanalei is an upscale restaurant in Hanalei town while Tahiti Nui is more casual and often the site of local Hawaiian music.
Getting Around A rental car is recommended when staying in Kalihiwai vacation rentals so you can explore the great beaches and activities of the north shore as well as Kauai's many other attractions from the Coconut Coast on the eastern shore to the "sunny Poipu" resort area and the south side and Waimea Canyon on the west side
Kalihiwai Bay and the North Shore
Kauais North Shore is like those on the other islands concerning the rise in surf during the winter, it gets much bigger waves. The surfing improves dramatically for those who are excellent surfers but it turns into a nightmare for those less experienced. For that reason, less experienced surfers should find their surfing beaches on the other sides of the island during the winter months. There are excellent places to surf during the winter that are much less dramatic and dangerous and really quite challenging as the waves are bigger than usual on other beaches also. However, during the other months of the year, Kalihiwai Beach is an excellent place to learn to surf. Anini Beach, right down the coast, is also an excellent place to learn to surf. Both beaches are excellent for learning to boogie board also. The sand is excellent, the water is good since the waves are not monstrous and there really is not a reef there. Thats great for surfers and boogie boarders but not great for snorkeling or scuba diving.
For snorkeling and scuba diving you would need to go to Anini Beach to find the largest reef on Kauai. There are plenty of places for the beginner to the expert to explore. The water is very shallow in some parts but since the reef is so big there are ample opportunities for exploration of underwater canyons at the reefs edge. There you may find larger reef and pelagic deep-sea fish hanging out. Another place to snorkel and scuba dive are the tunnels beyond Hanalei. There you will find a labyrinth of passageways that intersect throughout the labyrinth. Also you will find cavernous canyons where you will find a wide array of reef life. At the very end of the road on Kauais North Shore you will find Kee and the beginning of the Na Pali Coast. While snorkeling and scuba diving in the azure waters here you will often see Pacific green sea turtles as they often congregate in the outer lagoon beyond the inshore reef. There is a wide variety of colorful fish on the coral reef that can only be found in Hawaii. You may also find some of the more exotic Pacific Ocean underwater creatures. Just be careful while snorkeling and diving on the North Shore. You should dive during the incoming tide as the outgoing tide can be very strong and dangerous.
Leave Your Suitcase Half Empty
When packing for Hawaii and for Kalihiwai in particular, you should leave your suitcase half empty so you will have room for gifts and souvenirs. If you are doing a variety of different activities you might have more trouble than if you were sticking to one activity all week. For instance, if you are going to be playing golf at Princeville the entire week you are on vacation, you may want to bring several different pairs of slacks or shorts to mix and match with several different shirts. One pair of golf shoes at least, all the under garments, lots of socks and all of your toiletries. Of course youll need your sticks and lots of extra balls as its tough getting them out of the thick underbrush if any were to go in or if you are playing by lava or the ocean as they are equally as lost in either of those areas. You may want to bring something for the weather depending on the time of year you plan on visiting. A couple of different hats but since you can buy them while on Kauai and will probably want at least one to take home you may only want to bring your favorite one. If you are planning on buying a shirt or two or maybe even some other clothing while here, subtract out of your suitcase that which you will be buying. There is no need to have two of anything you are only going to wear once.
If you plan on spending your time at the beach then you may not need more than a couple of bathing suits, some flip-flops and a large hat to shade you. The towels may or may not be provided by the place you are staying so youd better bring at least one beach towel. If you are doing a variety of activities you may have to pack a little more than those who are sticking to one major activity. If you are going horseback riding, going kayaking up the river, going golfing, renting a Harley, hiking Na Pali Coast and hanging out on Kalihiwai Beach, you may need two suitcases. Youll need something to wear to ride a horse so bring jeans and if looking good is important, cowboy boots, at least a good swim suit to kayak in but if you have your own life vest, you may want to bring it so it fits right, golfing attire, clubs, shoes etc., something to ride the bike in which could be very similar to the horseback riding attire and your helmet and leather jacket, good hiking shoes or boots for the coastal hike and then beach attire. If possible, leave a little room for souvenirs or buy a bigger suitcase.
If you came to Kauai for an adventure, the North Shore, which consists of several different areas including Kalahiwai, is an incredible place. It is exceptionally beautiful and lush with pristine beaches and rivers that are magnificent and find themselves emptying into the bays. This is also the beginning of the Na Pali Coast which is an amazing cliff structure left after the faces crashed into the ocean. What was left was stark cliffs that are covered with lush green growth that are like the plates of armor on a dinosaur. They fold back so they go in and out like an accordion. They are unlike anything else, especially on the Islands.
Another adventure to try is to go off the beaten track and take a tour with Princeville Ranch Adventures. With them you will venture into the jungle growth on a twenty-five hundred acre ranch. There you will experience being harnessed to a zipline, youll find yourself paddling a kayak and youll do plenty of hiking. Youll start the trip with your group sitting in the open air Pinzgauer, a Swiss Army Vehicle that will drive you around one of the oldest working cattle ranches in Hawaii. This ranch dates back to around 1831 so the history and stories will abound. There are actually several trips you can take to see this ranch. One includes getting a birds eye view of the jungle while sailing through the air on the zipline. You experience eight different ziplines while on this trip. It ends at a heavenly waterfall where you will have lunch and a dip. If youd like to do a little more work and not so much adrenaline you can take the islands only kayak trip to a waterfall. Its a four hour adventure to a hidden twin waterfall that ends with a lunch and a dip in the magnificent pool thats surrounded by fern lined walls. The final way to get to a spectacular waterfall is to hike there. Youll see breathtaking scenery as you walk through incredible native and Polynesian flora. On this excursion youll walk to two beautiful waterfalls. Be sure to bring your camera and bathing suits on these adventures. Whichever adventure you decide to take, whether you want a workout, an adrenaline rush or the relaxing walk amongst the local lush flora, youll see why they say the North Shore of Kauai is perhaps one of the most beautiful places on earth. Not only are the visuals great but the feel of swimming in a waterfall is unlike anything youve ever done. The difference between the jets of a Jacuzzi and the hydro-massage of a waterfall is indescribable.
RESTAURANTS AND NIGHTLIFE
To be quite honest the nightlife at Kalihiwai is pretty simple. The nightlife consists of whatever you want to bring to the beach or simply be there and enjoy what Mother Nature provides. If youre looking for something more exciting than starry skies and waves lapping then youll have to head to Princeville or Kilauea. There you will find plenty to do and see. Princeville is the larger of the two and has a bit more to offer for your dining pleasure. If youre interested in a restaurant with a view try the Hanalei Café. Its a spectacular view and offers sushi, Japanese, Hawaiian and contemporary foods for your dining pleasure. The Sunday brunch is supposed to be outstanding and is a pleasure to have while looking out over Hanalei Bay. If youre looking for a delicious dessert to go with whichever restaurant you choose head to Lapperts Ice Cream. Some think it might be a little expensive but the overall consensus is that it is worth every penny to get that extra butter fat that they use in their amazing flavors. Where else can you get macadamia nuts in your ice cream that are freshly grown? The variety of flavors will keep you coming back for more and more taste tests.
There are a number of good restaurants from which to choose when thinking about going out to eat in Princeville. Theres Chucks Steak House, you may have been to one of the 29 spread out over the world, for a wonderful and flavorful steak. Believe it or not, Chucks was the first restaurant to bring the idea of an open salad bar to the United States. His first steak house was opened in 1956 in Waikiki so hes had a while to get to perfection. Its worth a visit just for the right to say youve seen where the salad bar started.
If youre looking for a great bargain and great food, head to Kilauea and the Kilauea Fish Market. The reviews are excellent and the recommendations come highly rated. The take out is first class to go with all of the other excellent taste treats such as homemade sauces. All of the sauces and salad dressings are made on site. There is also a deli counter where you can get your raw fish and meats along with true Hawaiian side dishes of poi and pickled ginger. They have the best in meats available considering you can get Kobe steak in a homemade teriyaki marinade. You can get Ahi wraps and Opakapaka drenched in butter along with salad and rice. There are also wonderful vegetarian options. The only downside, if you consider it one, is you have to sit outside. For the tasty treat and the incredible value, that seems like a small price to pay.
If youre looking for a tasty pizza or a great cup of coffee and baked goods to start your day, you may enjoy Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza. Not much in the way of seating and amenities but that is what adds to its 60s look and feel. Its a good place to go and grab a slice while youre out playing in the surf and sun. Its also a great place to start the day of fun in the sun. Whatever you choose to do before or after your day at Kalihiwai Beach, enjoy!