Helicopter Tours Hawaii discount activities

Things to Do Kauai West Side

Things to Do Kauai West Side The West Side of Kauai is rich in cultural activities - from having the largest native Hawaiian Population on the island, the first landing site of Captain James Cook, Salt making in Hanapepe, and so many old cultural sites. We'll visit them today. Hanapepe, Salt Pond, Waimea, Kekaha, Polihale State Park Salt Pond Beach, Making Salt in the traditional Hawaiian way, Kekaha Beach, Polihale Beach, Captain Cook Monument

2010-08-06 15:45:02

Salt Pond Beach, Airport, Port Allen Harbor

Hanapepe Salt Pond Beach - We start our Tour of Kauai's West Side on Highway 50 (Kaumualii Hwy) passing through the little town of Kalaheo. At 700 feet above sea level, this community is at the highest elevation of any town on Kauai. Literally translated, Kalaheo means "The Proud Day" and is probably because of the fact that from the wwest side, Kalaheo is the first place from which the sun can be seen in the morning. Drive through Kalaheo until you reach the Hanapepe Valley Lookout on the right - about 3 miles. Pull over for sure and take a short break. The Hanapepe Valley was at first a population center of Hawaiians as well as a center for Taro production and quarry site for stone implements. The name Hanapepe is translated literally as "to bruise or crush" or "Crushed Bay" probably referring to the type of rock in the valley that accumulates in the bay after big rains.

At the bottom of the hill, if you want to go on a Whale Watching Tour, A Sunset Cruise, or go Deep Sea Fishing turn Left into Port Allen. There are plenty of vendors there.

The town of Hanapepe was established at the turn of the century (the 20th century) in 1902. Again, although the area was already settled, sugar plantation interests built the town and established ethnic camps as well.In Hanapepe you'll find restaurants and art galleries.

After passing through Hanapepe, Turn left and go down to Salt Pond Beach and the Port Allen Airport. If you are into Skydiving or Ultra Light Air Tours and Helicopter Tours, this is the place on the West Side.

Just past the airfield at Port allen is Salt Pond Beach Park. A beautiful, idyllic sandy bay replete with showers, comfort stations and Coco Palms for shade. Hang around here for a while. There's even a lunch wagon for sancks there.

If you are at the beach park off to the left toward the airfield are the Salt Ponds. Here, the ancient practice of harvesting salt is still carried on in much the same way as the ancestors did it. IN a nutshell, the area there is just at sea level. A well is dug, from where the salty sea water accumulates and is drawn. The water is poured into beds /pans formed from the native clay. THe sun evaporates the water off leaving the sea salt. It is never sold, and is a huge gift to receive because only a handful of families are allowed to make the harvests.The salt when harvested varies in color from snow-white to a deep reddish brown, and tastes unlike any salt you have had.

2010-08-16 15:56:27

Waimea, Kauai - Captain Cooks Landing, Red Water, Beaches

Waimea, Kauai - Captain Cooks Landing, Red Water, Beaches Head West again on Highway 50. We're on our way to Waimea. Waimea was the first place in Hawaii where Captain James Cook landed. There is a monument erected there near the actual landing site. Just as you get across the Waimea River Bridge, you'll see a park on the ocean side. Pull in there for a rest and a picnic. If you drive about a quarter mile past the bridge, pull over at the Captain Cook Monument on the right and cross the street for some great snacks (pupu in Hawaiian) at the Ishihara Market. Freshest fish on the West Side - all sorts of raw fish and other treats including juices, beer and bottled water. This is where the locals go. Now drive back to the park for a break.

When you are ready, continue on the main drag through Waimea and head toweard Kekaha. On your right will be the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor. Many west side fishermen frequent the only launching ramp on this side of the Island. Just past that are stretches of beach you can walk on. At one point on the west side, the sands turn from Black-green (with lava rock and olivine) to the golden color you are more accustomed to. Kekaha is that point. If you drive past Kekaha settlement, you will reach Kekaha beach - with rest stations and a Life Guard.

2010-08-16 20:54:41

Polihale Beach State Park, Napali, Heiau

Polihale State Park: When you go out to the end of the road, make sure you take along plenty of water and sunscreen.Now we are headed around toward the Napali Coast and Ploihale Beach State Park. You may need four wheel drive here - but chance it anyway unless it gets too bad. You remember walking that trail on the North Shore? Well, Here is the other end of that magnificent coastline. Polihale Beach is the end of the road on the West Side. Drive all the way past the Pacific Missle Range Facility (The Navy Base) and turn left onto the dirt road at the sign to Polihale Beach State Park. Drive about four miles on this bumpy, and sometime impassable without four wheel drive, road to the end.

Here you'll find pavillions and comfort stations, and much needed shade. There is no running water out there so be prepared. The Polihale area is another sacred place to Hawaiians. The name "Polihale" can be translated thus: The root Po refers to the original night/darkness from which creation is manifested. Po in this case is the "source"; poli, is literally "bosom" or "breast", revealing the word's root in the concept of "source of life". "Polihale" should not be literally translated as "bosom house", but "house bosom". From the cliffs at the end of the road, the spirits of our ancestors cast themselves off on the journey to Po, the world of afterlife. There are heiau (temples) and walls here. Please be respectful of the area and do not remove any rocks or tamper with the walls. It is not always safe to go into the water here, even on very calm days. Be aware that currents and waves are unpredictable and Lifeguards ARE NOT posted at this beach.

The best, safest swimming is at Queens Pond, near the southern end of the beach - as you are driving in, you'll get to a huge Monkeypod tree. Turn left here to get in the water. Park at the end there and walk to the water. Do not attempt to drive on or near the sand. you WILL get stuck, and a towtruck wil cost you $300... plus, cell phones don't work out here. The sands of Polihale and Nohiili (the dunes back toward the base) are famous islandwide. Polihale is the end of the longest stretch of continuous sand on th eisland - over 11 miles. In the middle of the day, the sand is so hot that you can't walk on it, so go early.

2010-08-18 18:42:08

West Side of Kauai - Beaches, Attractions:

Things to do on Kauai's Sunny West Side. Waimea, Kekaha, Polihale, Hanapepe, Salt Pond, Beaches, Salt making. Salt Pond Beach, Waimea Beach, Kekaha Beach, Polihale Beach. Surf, Sand, Sun

Quick Links to Kauai West Side Activities:
Whale Watching on Kauai
Dolphin Excursions on Kauai
A Sunset Cruise on Kauai
Deep Sea Charter Fishing on Kauai
Helicopter Tours from the West Side of Kauai

2010-08-20 14:44:20