Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kauai Scenery in Poipu and Kapa'a

After a gorgeous morning in Hanalei, the entertainment for the evening was a Hawaiian luau on Kauai's south shore on the beautiful beach of Poipu. We left Hanalei Bay/Princeville mid-afternoon and drove along Kuhio Hwy & Kaumualii Hwy down to the Poipu beach area. Enroute, we passed through the mesmerizing Tunnel of Trees made of eucalyptus trees planted over 100 years ago.

The last portion of the drive to the Sheraton Kauai Resort featured amazing views of the ocean with blue skies and a deep blue ocean right next to the road.

The Sheraton Kauai Resort does have a bit of a parking problem as their parking lots are really not sufficient for the number of guests they have so do go a bit early to make sure you grab a parking spot. Street parking is also an option but you'll also have to get there early for that. Once parked, to get to the luau, the easiest way is to make your way straight through the Sheraton's main open-air lobby and head out left.

You'll pass by a pleasant courtyard on your right, featuring palm trees and tiki torches which give the resort a very exotic, South Pacific-island feel.

After heading through an open air corridor, you'll emerge out the other side on the Sheraton's section of Poipu beach where the luau is held. The location couldn't be any better with a setting sun and blue skies providing a gorgeous backdrop for the evening.

During check-in, you'll get a shell or flower lei depending on which option you've selected and the early evening entertainment begins with some soothing songs and dances by the performers up on stage. The show host felt a bit blase though, rolling off formulaic, rehearsed lines and scripted jokes, almost as if he wanted the crowd to know he had done this many, many times.

Dinner consisted of appetizers including your regular veggies but also taro (the potato-like slice on the left) which was a very unique addition to the selection.

The dinner buffet was a sumptuous Hawaiian feast feature kalua pork, traditional lau lau, grilled i'o marinated beef (this was the best!), lomi salmon, and the island's every present mac and cheese. Beverages (including alcoholic ones) are included and you can sample cocktails from Mai Tai's to Blue Hawaiian's to your heart's content!

The real entertainment began in earnest once we had our food with some great South Pacific and Polynesia dances. The luau takes you through the mythology and dances of the various South Pacific islands from Tahiti to New Zealand, showing off the culture of the various peoples through song and dance.

The next day was rather rainy as we we stopped by the eastern town of Kapa'a where a lot of the other accommodations on the island are located. The town is a bit more built up and 'Americanized' with Safeway supermarket and other fast food chains located in the vicinity. There are all sorts of interesting stores and shops all along Kuhio Hwy though and I'd recommend stopping by the Ono Family Restaurant for breakfast or lunch if you're in the area.

The wind and waves off the eastern coast are rather strong as you can see from the trees below. This might be great for surfers but be careful if you want to do any swimming. If the weather is nice, there's also a long ocean-side path perfect for a long walk or a bicycle ride.

Enjoy these pictures taken at Kealia beach just at the very north end of Kapa'a!

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