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Total Number of Articles - 27
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  • Hamakua Mushrooms and the Hukilau at Anini Beach

    High school graduations, summer vacation and a recent holiday weekend all point to summer on Anini Beach, a long thin, thread of sand on Kauai’s North Shore with a white ribbon of breaking surf a hundred yards off-shore where the primarily algae reef, home to a high number of endemic fish and marine organisms, greets incoming waves from as far away as the Bering Sea. Summer means Hawaii’s surf season has swung around to the south shores of the archipelago, the recipient of waves delivered by winter storms in the southern hemisphere. But stiff trade winds draw kite boarders and windsurfers to the usually calm inner lagoon, so there’s still plenty of fun to be had on the water at Anini. Read More
  • Foto Friday: Fisherman on a Rock

    fisherman casting line into wave on kauaiThe other evening, an hour before sunset, I went for a walk on an east side Kauai beach. Ostensibly, I was looking for a Hawaiian monk seal with a possible infection to his face, after a fishing hook had been removed (by a permitted team from NOAA) from his jaw a week or so ago. I didn't find the monk seal, but I did find great frigatebirds flying overhead. And nene. And red-footed boobies. Off-shore, several whales breached and tail-slapped as an outrigger canoe passed in the foreground. A couple of surfers had figured that the north/northwest swell was wrapping around the island in such a way that an unusual surfbreak would be just about the right size for them. And a fisherman cast his poll into breaking waves. There really are few better ways to end the day. Read More
  • Kauai Adventure Day: South Shore

    mahaulepu kauai coastlineIt was dark until 6:41 a.m. at 22 degrees northern latitude--Kauai--when the sun finally shook off the night and rounded our side of the earth. Rain fell. Trade winds stood at attention. One dog didn’t want to get her feet wet, and so I had to drag her, back legs stiff as 2x4s, outside for the morning walk. Then, the emails started. “Anyone have a weather forecast?” “It’s lookin’ pretty stormy down this way.” “It’s definitely Kona weather, no wind here.” “Should we cancel or just go?” “Let’s forget bikes and just go. Looks like it’s clearing.”

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  • A Weekend on Napali: Part Two

    nualolo kai cliff wall with xYesterday, I wrote about my arrival at Nu‘alolo Kai along Kaua‘i’s Nāpali Coast State Park. Today, I share some of the earliest written accounts of Nāpali and Nu‘alolo--all by non-Hawaiians. Hiram Bingham and his entourage first arrived in Hawaii in 1820, on behalf of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. In 1821, he voyaged along Nāpali Coast in a double-hulled canoe. Here is a snippet of his arrival at Nu‘alolo Kai. Read More
  • A Weekend on Napali: Part One

    nualolo valley wide shot of reefThe sky was dark when we met at Kīkīaola Harbor on Kaua‘i’s west side, a pile of yellow, blue, green and red dry bags gathering on the dock as each member of our work party arrived at the rude hour of 5:00 a.m. We said our groggy hellos, sharing breath in the traditional Hawaiian greeting known as honi and with the more common pecks on the cheek. A sky full of diamonds sparkled overhead. Read More
  • Hanging out with Sharks

    turtle swimming through blue ocean tunnels kauai“If you come across a shark, don’t look it eye to eye and maybe it will hang around a while,” said Wayne, our dive master before we descended head first into a slot cavern at Kauai’s best summer shore dive—Tunnels. On a recent outing, Wayne had encountered a shark here—in this very same dive spot—and human and shark hung out for a while. Read More
  • Earth Day 2011

    Underwater photograph of reef fish courtesty of NOAAToday is Earth Day. This weekend, as usual, thousands of people will head to the beaches around the Hawaiian Islands. Mahaulepu on Kauai. Haleiwa Beach Park on Oahu. Kaanapali on Maui. Kahaluu Beach Park on Big Island. Most will walk the shoreline or wade into the water. Many will slip snorkel masks over their faces to explore life under the lip of the ocean’s surface. Some will kayak, canoe, surf or sail. A few will participate in the many beach clean up days scheduled to coincide with Earth Day. Read More
  • Sunset with Seals

    hawaiian monk seal t12 at beachAfter a long and busy day at my desk, my feet started to throb come late afternoon. Strange, I know, they should hurt after a big hike--like the one I enjoyed at Kokee State Park over the weekend; more on that in a later post--but the advice of most editors and writing coaches--just sit your butt in your chair and write--isn't always good for the body. Read More
  • A Gift of A Beach, A Day and A Man

    haena coastline, kauai, north shoreIt was off-and-on rainy in Kapaa one Kauai morning last week after rounds of loco moco, eggs and spam, buttermilk pancakes and shave ice at Ono Family Restaurant. Angry clouds circled Sleeping Giant and other inland mountains. Conventional weather wisdom in Hawaii says, “If it’s rainy where you are, go west.” Or, at the very least, on Kauai, go south to Sunny Poipu. But we wanted to go the other direction into the tropical rainforest  of Kauai’s North Shore, to a special  place, for a special reason. The beach is known as Tunnels. It’s Hawaiian name is Makua. The mountain, hovering like an anxious parent, overlooks the beach and was featured in the 1950s movie South Pacific and called “Bali Hai.” Its Hawaiian name is Makana, which translates to English as “gift.”
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  • This is Winter in Hanalei

    Hanalei Pier in winter at sunrise.Today, I returned to my desk after a weekend writing retreat in Hanalei on Kauai's North Shore. The environmental philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore shared inspiration and tips on writing nature essays. Here, with Kathy's tutelage, is one essay I wrote from the retreat. She called this form, combining prose and poetry, a haibun. Read More
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