Must-see Kauai and Maui??

Discussion in 'Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa' started by ebenmax, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. ebenmax

    ebenmax DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    957
    Our Family will be spending 4 days on Kauai and 3 days on Maui following our week at Aulani this June. Since our days are quite limited, we want to experience the best these 2 islands have to offer!

    We are definitely planning a helicopter tour in Kauai and Haleakala sunrise on Maui but other than that, we are wide open.

    Our party consists of 5 adults, an easy to please 15 yr old, and our 1 year old GS. I am somewhat limited in mobility - easily fatigued. Motion sickness can be an issue for several. Several love adventure and any wildlife. Hopefully that can help give you some important details.

    Thank you for your insights!
    Ellen
     
  2. pitpat

    pitpat DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    Messages:
    908
    The Hanalei Bay / Princeville area of Kauai is absolutely gorgeous. Make sure to spend time exploring the whole North Shore area. There were many beaches we had to ourselves.

    Waimea Canyon near the SW part of the island is also impressive.

    I recommend The Blue Book Guide for each island. Read through and highlight/bookmark things that sound fun.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    DaisyDuck001 likes this.
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


  4. cgattis

    cgattis DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,353
    We loved Poipu Beach on Kauai. It was very kid-friendly--very soft sand and some shallow cove areas for the infant. (One of those little tents seems like a must to me....) We had a great time snorkeling there and saw four monk seals--and numerous chickens LOL. We enjoyed Waimea Canyon, which I'm guessing you'll see from the helicopter. We wanted to go tubing in the ditch but heavy rains the previous day forced them to cancel :( Looked super relaxing and maybe a good water activity that's good for limited mobility..? We cruised along the cliffs, and it was AWESOME, so I highly recommend some sort of boat tour.

    On Maui, the road to Hana could be brutal with an infant if he/she gets antsy. There's no shortcut back if things go south! If anyone is super into it, it might be a good day to split up IMO. Although I would've walked through broken glass to see Waianapanapa Beach, so maybe not!! Haleakala is amazing. We enjoyed a drive through cattle country afterward and poked around Makawao a bit. My biggest to-do next time is Molokini Crater; didn't think my son would enjoy snorkeling enough to make it worthwhile this trip, but I was wrong.

    Maui and Kauai are both just gorgeous, so I think it's hard to go wrong either place. I'm planning to do them both for my next trip, so I'll be watching your plans intently!
     
  5. ebenmax

    ebenmax DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    957
    Thank you for the advice!! We are staying at Poipou so I’m thrilled to hear it’s a place to see!
    The little beach tent was a 2017 Christmas gift!:santa: So happy to hear there are some shallow coves for our GS.

    What is tubing in the ditch?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. ebenmax

    ebenmax DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    957
    Thanks so much!

    I was excited to hear there are “private” beaches you get all to yourselves!

    Can you drive through or hike in Waimea Canyon or is it only visible from a helicopter tour?
     
  7. Midoria

    Midoria Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2016
    Messages:
    331
    Both. It's a state park.
     
  8. cgattis

    cgattis DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,353
    Check out Kauai Backcountry Adve
    Check out Kauai Backcountry Adventures. You float down some old plantation irrigation channels in big inner tubes, no swimming or paddling required. Looked like fun; hate we missed it. One day we'll be back though!
     
  9. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    15,218
    We only had 3 days on Kauai and 3 on Maui. Details are in my trip report in my signature.

    We didn't do much in Maui, but we did do the Feast at Lele luau. We chose to do this here because Maui has the highest rated luaus and this particular one was not buffet style and also did not have communal tables, which we preferred. We also spent time at the Whaler's Village and in Lahaina, which we loved.

    We did a helicopter tour in Kauai through Island Helicopters. We did the Jurassic Falls tour where they land at the falls from Jurassic Park. It was about a 90 minute tour and also went over Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast. It was very cool with beautiful views, but extremely expensive and I'm not sure I'd do it again. We actually preferred our sunset dinner cruise to the Na Pali Coast with Captain Andy's. It was a fraction of the cost, the food was amazing, and the views were incredible. We also saw dolphins next to our boat!
     
  10. JMommyof3

    JMommyof3 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2016
    Messages:
    41
    I highly recommend Surfing Goat Dairy on Maui. It's upcountry, on the way/back from Haleakala. It's a goat farm/working dairy. Amazing cheeses that they make there and you can do a little tour of the farm and cheese tasting too. It's really cute and the views from the farm are beautiful.
     
  11. cgattis

    cgattis DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,353
    Tell me more about the luau....We did Paradise Cove and loved it, but I'd like to try something smaller next time. Planning Maui and Kauai so it sounds like both your recommendations may go onto my list!!!
     
    nkereina likes this.
  12. ebenmax

    ebenmax DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    957
    This sounds really fun! I’m thinking our 1 yr old GS would love this. Thanks for the suggestion!
    Did you do one of the tours?
     
  13. ebenmax

    ebenmax DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    957
    We were considering Blue Hawaiian for the helicopter ride but the Island Jurassic Falls would highly appeal to some of our party.
    Why would you not do it again? Expense?
    My biggest concern for the helicopter and the dinner cruises is the risk of motion sickness. Three of us are prone to it and I cannot tolerate medications. Did you experience any motion sickness issues on either of these experiences?

    Thanks!
     
    nkereina likes this.
  14. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    15,218
    Feast at Lele and Old Lahaina Luau are both in Lahaina on Maui, and they are two of the top rated luaus on Maui. We did Feast at Lele which pairs multiple courses with the Polynesian cultures - for example, they serve you a Samoan dish as you watch the Samoan performance and traditions by the performs. Then they break and serve you a Tongan dish while the Tongan performers come out, etc. They do several courses/cultures - maybe 5 of them, and end with the fire dancer who was amazing. The price includes open bar and they also serve you (not a buffet) but it does not include gratuity. Also included leis and kukui nut shells. Each party was also seated at their own table on the beach with chairs, which differs from other luaus. They had a photographer doing photos on the beach at sunset for you as well, which were available for purchase after the show. We loved it! I recommend booking early because your table assignment is done in the order of bookings. We booked about 7 months in advance and our table was front and center!

    Old Lahaina Luau is more of a traditional Hawaiian luau. There is no fire dancing, you sit at communal tables with other groups, and I believe it is a buffet. They also have lawn seating you can book where you sit on a cushion. We were on our honeymoon, so preferred a table of our own so it just depends what you want. I hear this one is excellent as well though.

    The expense is the main reason we wouldn't do it again. For two of us, it was about $700 for the Jurassic Falls tour after fees and taxes. I believe all helicopter tours have pricey surcharges. A regular helicopter tour is shorter in length and was closer to $400 for the two of us if I remember correctly. The stop at Jurassic Falls was a landing in a lush area of a private, untouched property and there was a trail to the falls themselves. It was a 20 minute stop. The falls were beautiful and its something only people on this tour can walk up to like that, since its on private property. After checking out the falls for a few minutes and taking photos, there wasn't anything else to do. We weren't allowed to leave the trail at all. So I'm not sure seeing the falls up close was actually worth that extra cost. It's my understanding the regular tours will still fly over it. How many in your group? There were 6 passengers plus the driver and we had a full load.

    We had no issues with any kind of motion sickness on the helicopter ride. It's smooth. They won't let you choose your seat though as they assign it based on weight distribution, so something to consider. The dinner cruise would probably not be best for anyone easily prone to motion sickness. The waters were choppy and it's essentially a catamaran. You also get wet and are required to be barefoot during sailing so no one slips on the decks.
     
  15. hodad

    hodad DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2015
    Messages:
    804
    We go to Kauai every 3 years or so and stay at the Marriott or Hyatt in Poipu. Some of our favorite activities:
    • Pick up some poke at Ishihara Market in Waimea and drive up to Pu'u O Kila Lookout for a picnic (and some can hike). Earlier is less foggy.
    • Tour the National Tropical Botanic Garden
    • Anyone who is willing and able should kayak the Napali Coast
    • Explore Ke'e Beach and the nearby heiau and caves
    • Makauwahi Cave
    • Snorkling at Poipu
    • Cook fish that you pick up at the market
     
  16. JMommyof3

    JMommyof3 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2016
    Messages:
    41
    We did the casual tour. Guides led us up to the goats, not a far walk at all, we got some hay to feed them, then we saw the milking machines, and had some samples of cheese. There are other tours that are more involved and some even allow you to milk the goats. There is food up there and of course, cheese to purchase. I have 3 kids (human, not goat :) ) ages 10, 7, and 4 and they had a blast feeding the goats. The website has all the info regarding the tours.

    In that same area is the Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm. We arrived too late and we weren't able to see it but it's supposed to be beautiful.
     
  17. Alabama Minnie

    Alabama Minnie DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,343
    Kauai: The Kalamaku Luau is very nice, food so-so/show excellent IMO. Also, did a horseback ride on Kauai that was beautiful, rode on the beach, but I can't remember the name of the stables. The Na Pali Coastline is really something beautiful to behold. We were on a cruise ship so I'm not sure what the experience would be from a helicopter.

    The Wailea Beach at Maui is very nice/scenic.

    We were on a cruise that spent 2 nights on Maui and 2 nights on Kauai. Also, stopped on Big Island for the volcano. Flew in/out of Honolulu and toured Oahu (Pearl Harbor, etc.) then.
     
  18. cgattis

    cgattis DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,353
    @nkereina Feast at Lele sounds exactly like what I'd be interested in for our next trip! Thanks so much for the info!

    I want to focus on the west and southwest side of Maui next time, since we really did the middle, east, and northeast last time. I do have to find at least one black sand beach though; that's just my favorite thing ever for some reason LOL
     
    nkereina likes this.
  19. ebenmax

    ebenmax DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    957
    We will definitely try to get to the goat farm! DGS and DD15 will love the goats!

    I’m all about the Lavender farm. That’s a must see for me! Is it in bloom year round in HI or only a certain season?

    Thank you!
     
  20. MissDaisyofTexas

    MissDaisyofTexas DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,613
    We're going to Kauai in March before Aulani and here is what we're doing: Wings Over Kauai small plane tour (cheaper than helicopter and better for motion sickness), sugar cane tubing, Steelgrass Chocolate Farm tour, ATV family tour at Kipu Ranch, Poipu Beach and hopefully some north shore beaches and a hike.
     
    cgattis likes this.
  21. ebenmax

    ebenmax DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    957
    Oh my goodness... just looked up the chocolate tour. SOUNDS AMAZING!
    A little pricey but it’s unique and it’s chocolate! Thanks for the suggestion.

    Did you hear about it on the boards or know anyone who has gone?
     

Share This Page