Kauai – An Ideal Travel and Movie Location

On Hawaiian or World Voyage cruises, some of the NCL, Princess Cruises, Crystal Cruise Lines and Holland America ships stop at the “Garden Island” of Kauai for at least one day. Cunard’s Queen Victoria stops here too.

While on a recent Hawaiian cruise, we got off the ship in the port of Nawiliwili and rented a car to explore the oldest and most verdant Hawaiian island, Kauai.

Our first destination was Princeville on the North side of the island. Princeville and nearby Hanalei and Napali beaches offer dramatic emerald colored scenery and aquamarine colored water. We were excited to visit this destination after watching the movie, Descendants with actor George Clooney. The location lured us to enjoy a swim, snorkel and sunbathe.

From a calm beach in Hanalei, we had a great view of the St. Regis Princeville hotel and a beach house featured in the movie.

As we drove to the end of the road admiring sea caves and white sandy beaches, we commented that the North side of Kauai feels the most Polynesian, with its jagged canyons and taro fields.

 We stopped at Tunnels beach for a quick snorkel adventure. It was thrilling to see yellow tang, colorful angelfish and pretty butterfly fish within steps of walking into the warm water. The highlight was swimming with a Hawaiian green sea turtle.

Driving back towards Princeville, we stopped at Dolphin Restaurant and Fish Market in Hanalei for lunch. Locals and tourists come here for fresh sushi, poke, seafood chowder and fresh Ahi and Ono plates. Afterwards, we drove to the St. Regis Resort to admire the views.

We found a spot in a small public parking lot just before the entrance of the spectacular St. Regis resort. A public access path led us to Hideaway Beach. It can be a dangerous hike if you don’t have good shoes, and is very slippery after a rain. Looking into the clear warm water, we saw sea cucumbers, bright pink brain coral and the state’s fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa.

After our snorkeling adventures we decided to head back to the cruise ship with one stop at Kauai’s northern-most point to see the historic Kilauea lighthouse. Celebrating its 100th year, the scenic lighthouse was recently refurbished. A volunteer pointed to a preserve where hundreds of sea birds reside. Whales, seals, dolphins and sea turtles can be viewed at the point too.

Near the port of Nawiliwili lies the main town of Lihue that offers restaurants and shopping for cruise passengers. A visit to the nearby Marriott Resort and Beach Club sitting on the lovely Kalapaki Beach, is a nice stop. We finished our Kauai excursion with a stop at Duke’s Canoe Club and Barefoot Bar for a Mai Tai  before boarding our cruise ship to sail to another beautiful island.

 If you fly or cruise to Kauai, the beauty will leave you wanting to come back for more. This article was published in the Sept. 2012 issue of Not Born Yesterday.





Princeville on Dwellable