Been There, Done That, and Ready To Do It Again

Waimea Canyon is just a short drive away these days.

What do you do when you love to travel but can’t, and live on a remote tropical island where the distance from end to end is just 54 miles? How do you arrange a staycation when hotels are closed and road trips are not an option?

For the most part, Brett and I are quite content for now with keeping ourselves socially isolated. As an introvert, it’s a dream come true for me in many ways, but I do like to get out here to see and do things beyond shopping for groceries, visiting the farmers’ market or walking in the park. We certainly don’t feel trapped nor are we suffering from “rock fever,” but now that it’s just the two of us again we’ve been talking about things we can do to keep busy and more involved with island life, not only finding new things to do but revisiting places around us and seeing them with new eyes.

We’ve come up with an initial list of mostly nearby things we can do. Most are things we’ve done before, but all would be fun to do again (and again and again).

The Kalalau Viewpoint at the end of the road in Kokee State Park is worth all the twists in the road it takes to get there.
  • Re-visit Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park: We now live just 30 or so minutes away from the road leading up into Waimea Canyon and Kokee, and without a lot of visitors currently on the island this should be a great time to visit this natural wonder.
  • Stroll through Hanapepe Old Town: We also now live very close to one of our favorite places on the island, the small town of Hanapepe on the south side. We enjoy walking through and exploring Old Town, and want to go see what’s opened back up. I did read that the wonderful Midnight Bear bakery is open – it would be fun to stop for coffee and to share a pastry. And the Talk Story Bookstore is also a wonderful place to spend a chunk of time.
    The Talk Story bookstore in Hanapepe is a must visit.
  • Explore Waimea: We always drive right through this little town on the west side on our way to Barking Sands, or turn off and head up to Waimea Canyon, but think it would now be a good time for us to stop and walk around for a while. We’ve seen a few places from the car windows we’d like to check out, but know there’s more to discover and learn about.
  • Go on breakfast date once in a while: The Kalaheo Cafe is just a couple of miles down the road from us, and serves a really good breakfast, even if it’s only take-out. We went a couple of times when we were here before but the drive was a long one, but now we don’t have that excuse any more. And, it’s actually quicker to drive to the Tip Top Cafe from our apartment now than from where we lived before. Both the Kalaheo Cafe and Tip Top serve a more local clientele and practice social distancing.
    Salt Pond beach park
  • Visit some new beaches as well as old favorites: Once we find a beach or two we like, that’s where we tend to go. We’re just not that adventurous when it comes to beaches. While the beach at Barking Sands is our current favorite, there are others nearby that we haven’t visited, such at Salt Pond. There’s no time like the present to get to know them and see how we like them. Although it’s a long drive, this is also a good time to revisit other beaches on the Eastside, like Kealia, and ones up on the north shore as well.
  • Do some longer walks on the Eastside beach path: We really, really don’t care for the long drive up to Kapaa these days, but as Brett and I increase our walking distance, this is as good a time as any for us to go for longer distances on the beach path. It’s not flat, but it is smooth making it a great walking venue for me. And then there are those views!
    Walking the eastside beach path is always a visual delight.
  • Socially distant visit with friends: Choosing to live down on the south side of the island, we knew we wouldn’t see our friends much as they live up on the east side and up north, and for Kaua’i those are long drives away. We’re planning to go visit our friend Joy up in Princeville next week though, and want to set up a visit (and maybe a trip to the beach) with friends Alan and Cheryl. Both times will also give us a chance to stop by other island locations we enjoy on the way up or back (like the Kilauea Bakery, or Java Kai in Kapaa).

A couple of other nearby places and activities we want to revisit are the Kauai Coffee Plantation and the Koloa Rum store. We enjoy doing tastings at both places, but those opportunities are closed off for now. Koloa Rum hopes to reopen after October 1, and hopefully tastings will resume at Kauai Coffee as well, although perhaps in a more controlled manner. We’ll see. But otherwise I think we have a nice list of things to revisit and look forward to during the next few months!

12 thoughts on “Been There, Done That, and Ready To Do It Again

  1. Does Kokee still have the little cabins for rent? When we spent time there (a long time ago!!) we had a whole cabin to ourselves for $10/night – great for a relaxing time with lots of hikes.

    Like

    1. Hi Greg! The cabins are still operating at Koke’e, but are no longer $10/night . . . more like $158/night! They still get high ratings though. Hopefully one of these days we’ll make it up there for a getaway. For now, Waimea Canyon and Koke’e will stay a day trip.

      Like

  2. We visited Kauai for the first time this past January. We loved it. One of our favorite places was Lydgate Chocolate Farm. I’m not sure if they are doing tours yet. But, it was fantastic! We still order from them. (a little too much).

    Like

    1. The Lydgate chocolate farm is new to us! We’ll have to see if they are open (and if they offer kamaaina discounts because the tour price is quite high). It sounds like an interesting place to visit.

      We are happy to be back. Our return was so sudden, and it took us a while to get settled, but now we can’t imagine being anywhere else. We’re so glad our girls suggested last winter that we return. We’re not sure if the two older will be able to make it here this year for the holidays, but they are looking forward to getting back eventually.

      Like

  3. Very interesting list. I have added some of these to my list of places to visit next time I’m there. I’ve never heard of Salt Pond beach so that’s definitely on the list now. I wanted to go to the Lydgate Chocolate Farm but was put off by the entrance fee. If I had known there would be a pandemic a few months after I was there, I would have gone!

    Like

    1. Ldygate farm is a bit pricey. But, the tour was 3 hours and included a fruit of Kauai taste and learn as well. They let you eat a lot of chocolate and take some with you. Will Lydgate runs the farm. He is very personable. He has a Ted X talk. Wen we order from them, they always put something extra in the box. We fell in love with them.

      Like

      1. This is all good to know. I’m going to call and ask how much their kamaaina discount is. It would still be very expensive if only 10% is taken off. Still, they do offer quite a bit for the price – I’m impressed!

        Like

    2. Salt Pond is top of the list for the next time we go to the beach! I was also sort of shocked by the entrance fee at Lydgate’s, but they do offer a kamaaina discount, so we may go, depending on how much that is (10% is not going to cut it though).

      Like

Comments are closed.