Saturday, September 23, 2017

Kauai's South Side

Kauai, blowhole
Spouting Horn Beach Park

The school year is off with a BANG, and I am missing those lazy summer days. Our family trip to Kauai was a departure from our normal vacation mode of cramming in as much sightseeing as possible. On this tropical Hawaiian island, we took things slow and made sure we had time to relax. I already told you all about Finding Paradise in Hanalei on the north side of the island and how stunning Waimea Canyon "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific" on the west side is. This week, I'm showing you around the south side. Whereas the north side is lush and rainy, the south side of Kauai is drier and sunnier.

Spouting Horn

The blowhole at Spouting Horn Beach Park (pictured at top of post) is a must see place. As the waves roll in, water rushes under a lava shelf and bursts upwards through a hole in the rocks. I enjoyed watching the size of the waves and trying to guess just high high the water would shoot into the air. It's nowhere near as high as the geyser at Yellowstone's Old Faithful, but the cycle is much, much shorter.

Po'ipu Beach

After Spouting Horn,  we headed towards Po'ipu Beach because it has lifeguards and was recommended for families with children. Granted, all  three kids are taller than I am, but the mama in me still makes me prioritize safety. It's also one of the most popular beaches on the South Shore, and there seemed to be many local families having large gatherings there. 

Kauai, Po'ipu Beach

We were set to hit the water when we noticed a crowd around a cordoned off area of the beach. Was it some celebrity? It was an endangered Hawaiian monk seal! I guess too many do-gooders become concerned when seals look totally zonked out on the beach and try to get them back into the water. Beaching is normal behavior, and there were signs up saying "Seal is Alive and Well. Seals need to rest on the beach. Do Not Disturb." Along with a hotline number, the sign also posted particulars about this individual. It's a 6 year old female who had been there since 7AM yesterday morning. It was late afternoon when we arrived, so she'd been there about 34 hours already. She was also molting skin. No wonder people mistakenly think something is wrong. The fines for disturbing a Hawaiian monk seal can get up to $25,000, so stay away.

Koloa Tree Tunnel

On our last day, we had time to kill before heading to the airport, so we did a little bit more driving around the island. We headed back towards the South Shore to catch one place we had somehow missed the first time through. Turning off of Highway 50 onto Highway 520, also known as Maluhia Road, between Koloa and Po'ipu, we passed through the famous Tree Tunnel. 

Koloa Tree Tunnel

In the early 1900's, a man named Walter Duncan McBryde had a whopping 500 eucalyptus trees leftover after landscaping his homestead. He donated them to the county, and they were planted alongside the road. Over the years, the trees have gown until they tower over the road with their branches intertwining at the top to form a tunnel.

Beach House Restaurant

Hubby's boss declared Beach House Restaurant as his absolute favorite place to eat on the island, so I wanted to pass along the recommendation to you. Our trusty Ultimate Kauai Guidebook also described it has having the "best oceanfront location on the island." It's supposed to have an amazing view at sunset. Alas, I have no photos because we did not dine there. In addition to it being too early for dinner, our bellies were too full of shave ice. Reservations are recommended, and the prices put this into the splurge category for me.

One of my friends bought a timeshare on the south shore, and I can definitely see the appeal. Who wouldn't want to return to this incredible island again and again?

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  1. Love Kauai! Would love to return! Not sure if I saw the South Side! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  2. I haven't been to Kauai, but it looks amazing. I'm glad there were signs up about the beached seal. I'm sure there are people who have good intentions to "help" but will just do more harm than good. I'd probably be wondering if the seal was okay if I didn't know that beaching was a regular thing.

  3. I love Kauai - I think we saw the same monk seal when we were there :)! We didn't make it to the Beach House but we ate at Roy's which was fantastic, also. I'd go back in a heartbeat!

  4. I still haven't made it to Kauai and I have heard so many great things. I really want to see that Grand Canyon. So neat that you saw the seal. I love watching seals, when they are active they just have so much personality. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  5. I was just in Kauai earlier this year, but unfortunately I didn't make it to the south side. I was only in Kauai for a day, so I just didn't have the time. I did make to Waimea Canyon, which was spectacular, but I wish I'd had more time to see the rest of the island and just relax as you did (because my time there was jam packed with things we were doing)

  6. I love the southern part of Kauai too. It's always sunny there and there are so many attractions to keep you entertained. When we went there this year, we discovered that you can no longer go down on the lava rock to the Spouting Horn. Maybe it's for the better, because it was kind of dangerous, but it was a disappointment. #WeekendTravelInspiration

  7. I love the Koloa Tree tunnel - of course, I love Kauai, so there wasn't anything you mentioned that I didn't love!! (I even love timeshare life, not everyone does.)

  8. I like the spouting horn. I could sit there for a long time and watch the ebb and flow of the tide.

  9. Bryna | Dotted Line TravelsSeptember 24, 2017 at 10:34 PM

    I never got to go to Kauai, but the south side does look very pretty. The Spouting Horn seems like a great place to admire nature, and I'd love to catch some seal napping! How cute?

  10. I would love to get to Kauai. I've been to Hawaii and Oahu of course, but none of the other islands. Thanks for the inspiration, I'd love to see the this beautiful island. #wkendtravelinspiration

  11. How cool you saw a Monk seal! I'd love to see one in the wild! I haven't been to Kauai, but would love to go. All these activities would be something I would enjoy to do while traveling.

  12. This morning I wanted to stay on my bed like that monk seal. Kauai is so beautiful. Today, I was telling my coworkers how my visit to Hawaii has been the best travel deal of my life. I need to go back.

  13. I was wondering why it was called a beach park when we couldn't go anywhere near the water. I guess the railing must be a recent development.

  14. Waimea Canyon is so impressive, so I'm glad you at least got to see that.

  15. I've heard amazing things about Kauai. These are great tips for seeing this somewhat less touristed island.

  16. Looks like there is another thing I have to add to the list of places I want to visit! I love being by the sea and this looks like a perfect spot! How cute is the seal though?

  17. We never made it to the south side of Kauai. Your Kauai posts have really inspired me to make this our next island revisit. We missed so much. I love how that tree tunnel looks.

  18. It sounds like a wonderful time you had. I learned a lot about Kauai by reading your post. I actually didn't know there you can do horse riding there. I would love to try it.


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