The North Shore
The lush tropical north shore of Kauai is home to Puff the Magic Dragon, Bali Hai and a myriad of world-class beaches. It is a 30-40 minute breathtakingly scenic drive from Aloha Cottages, so plan to take your time. Small communities dot the north shore, each with it's own unique personality, all worth visiting. Kilauea, Princeville, and Hanalei, in addition to small neighborhoods between Hanalei and the end of the road at Ke'e Beach (you'll need a permit to get that far).
We like to make a day of it when we drive north, and plan a leisurely expedition. Take beach towels, bathing suits, beach equipment and snorkel gear... maybe a picnic. Or plan to visit one of the delicious restaurants (see our recommendations).
The KILAUEA POINT Lighthouse & Nat'l Wildlife Refuge is worth visiting for it's spectacular location, out on a promontory, the northern-most spot of land in the inhabited Hawaiian chain. It is also home to several endangered and threatened, wild-flying seabirds that nest on the nearby cliffs: Laysan Albatross, Red-tailed & White-Tailed Tropic Birds, Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, Newell Shearwaters and Red-footed Boobies. You may spot schools of Spinner dolphin in the cove to the west and hopefully you'll see some of the numerous Humpback whales that winter in Hawaiian waters. A National Parks Pass will admit up to 4 people.
PRINCEVILLE offers 36 holes of golf, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., who brilliantly integrated the wild beauty of the north shore of Kauai. Taking advantage of wilderness areas, natural water features and the dramatic coastline, the courses wind their way through magnificent stands of trees and rolling landscape and views that will astonish you with their unforgettable beauty.Some nice shopping and eating establishments can be found nearby, too.
The town of HANALEI is a perfect place to grab some lunch and head to magnificent Hanalei Bay to set up camp for the day. You may be joining local boogie boarders, surfers, kayakers, one-man outrigger canoes and beach strollers on any given day. There are lifeguards here, a good safety precaution at any beach you visit.
From Hanalei on you'll see some of the best of Kauai, memorable for the views of rugged mountains, sparkling ocean and miles of sandy beaches. Depending on the weather (calm) and time of year (not winter) our favorite snorkeling is at Haena Beach Park and Ke'e Beach. A stop at the Limahuli Garden & Preserve features one of the most biodiverse valleys in the Hawaiian Islands highlighting native and culturally-significant species.
Click Gallery to enjoy a larger view of photos, with captions.
Things We Love to Do
Surf, Boogie Board, Kayak or
Walk the Beach at Hanalei Bay
Hike the Kalalau Trail,
NaPali Coast (permit required)
Miniature Golf in Kilauea, best course Anywhere!
Snorkel at Ke'e or Haena Beach Parks
Walking tour of Limahuli Nat'l Botanical Gardens
Aloha Cottages Recommends
Kilauea: Kong Lung
Banana Patch Studio
Hanalei: Yellow Fish
On the Road to Hanalei
Kilauea Bakery (yummy lunches)
Lapperts Ice Cream (Princeville)
Tahiti Nui (featured in movie
Hanalei Farmer's Market
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