Story originally appeared on Club Wyndham.
Stunning cliff-side views. Colorful snorkeling beaches. And, of course, shave ice. It’s all in Princeville, a luxurious community speckled with golf courses on the north shore of Kauai. Here, you can easily fall in love with the sun, the sand, and the leisurely pace that are the hallmarks of Hawaiian life.
The Garden Isle Returns
The island of Kauai lives up to its nickname, “The Garden Isle.” Year-round, visitors can see all kinds of exotic flora blanketing the island in a sea of brilliant green speckled with vibrant colors. And now, you can see it all from your Vacation Ready resorts — six in Princeville, and four more around the island in Kapaa, Lihue, and Koloa. Driving is the best way to get around and explore the area, however Hawaii is currently experiencing a car rental shortage across all islands. If you plan to rent a vehicle during your vacation, reserve your car rental as far in advance as possible.
TOP PRINCEVILLE ATTRACTIONS
For nature lovers and thrill seekers alike, Kauai boasts an impressive display of natural wonders. Explore the famous cliffs and hidden sea caves of Nā Pali Coast on a zodiac boat tour. You can kayak Hawaii’s largest navigable river, the Wailua, following an ancient royal pathway. At Princeville Ranch, saddle up for an exciting waterfall tour on horseback through the North Shore’s lush rainforest trails. At Kauai Backcountry Adventures you can even embark on a mountain tubing expedition through the historic tunnels and canals of Lihue Plantation.
Players of all levels can choose from nine courses on the island, each with their own unique scenery. A must-play on the North Shore is the award-winning Princeville Makai Golf Club, featuring the first solo design by Robert Trent Jones Jr. On the South Shore, you can challenge Phil Mickelson’s record at Poipu Bay Golf Course, home of the 1994-2006 PGA Grand Slam. The award-winning Ocean Course at Hōkūala boasts Hawaii’s longest continuous stretch of oceanfront golf and the only Jack Nicklaus Signature Course on Kauai.
The National Tropical Botanical Garden is headquartered in Kauai along with three gardens — McBryde Garden, Limahuli Garden and Preserve, and Allerton Garden, which features the famous Moreton Bay Fig Trees showcased in Jurassic Park. Kauai is also home to renowned Waimea Canyon, the largest canyon in the Pacific, with scenic trails for hikers of all levels. The picturesque Kīlauea Point Lighthouse is perched on the northernmost point of the Hawaiian Islands and is a favorite destination for panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and wildlife sightings. During the winter season, you can also book a whale watching tour for a chance to see the magnificent kohola, or humpback whale.
Whether you’re looking to swim, snorkel, or ride Hawaii’s famous waves, Kauai has plenty of dazzling beaches to choose from. On the North Shore, you can learn to surf and even explore a sunken shipwreck at Hanalei Bay. Snorkel brilliant coral reefs at Ke’e Beach, a popular location for Hollywood films like Pirates of the Caribbean. For a day of swimming and sunbathing, take a trip to the South Shore’s Poipu Beach Park and enjoy crystal-clear waters, a natural wading pool, and the occasional visit of Hawaiian monk seals. On the East Side, Keālia Beach Park’s long stretch of golden sand is ideal for beachcombing in the summer and whale watching in the winter.
ARTS &CULTURE ATTRACTIONS
Attending a luau — a traditional Hawai’ian feast — is a festive and interactive way to celebrate Hawaiian and Polynesian culture. While all closed for now, Kauai offers an array of venues where you can experience the incredible sights and sounds of an authentic luau when it is safe to do so. On the North Shore, you can attend the family-owned and -operated Smith Family Garden Luau. On the historic Kilohana Plantation, the Luau Kalamaku delivers an evening of live entertainment and ceremonial cuisine. ‘Auli’i Luau features an oceanfront luau with a four-course buffet and performances of cultural art forms from Hawai’i, Tahiti, and Samoa.
WHERE TO SHOP & EAT
Princeville at Hanalei is the North Shore’s premier destination for resort-style shopping and dining. The historic Hanalei Town and Ching Young Village both offers eclectic boutiques, local food trucks, and famed shave iced. Another gem is the Kong Lung Historic Market Center, with high-quality artisan shops and gourmet dining.
On the South Shore, treat yourself to upscale shopping, art galleries, and award-winning restaurants at The Shops at Kukui‘ula. While there, make sure to try Eating House 1849 for fresh seafood and fusion cuisine. Then wash it all down with cold-pressed juices, milks, and blends from Kauai Juice Co.
On the East Shore, check out the Kukui Grove Center, the island’s largest open-air mall, or the colorful Coconut Marketplace, a family-friendly destination with entertainment venues, shopping, dining, and cultural events. Stop by Jojo’s Shave Ice — you can never get enough of this Hawaiian specialty.