A big Mahalo to Anaina Hou who is now bringing live music, trivia and lots of social gatherings to the north shore of Kauai! You may not recognize the name, but Anaina Hou is the community center that features a mini-golf surrounded by a botanical garden in Kilauea. It is also known as the starting point for the Wai Koa Loop trail, a fire show every Wednesday night, and one of the best playgrounds on the island. The Farmers Market on Saturday morning offers some of the freshest local produce, flowers and homemade products. And, there is talk of a craft fair to be held at the same time.
But, what many north shore residents are most excited about are the events that have been happening at the Porter Pavilion; a beautiful, newly built, large room with a stage, that is a perfect venue for movies and live music. Pau Hana Fridays have become very popular. Each Friday, with the exception of the first, a musical group from around the island or abroad is brought in to perform. Food trucks offer ono (delicious) food and concessions are sold. Happy Hour runs from 5:00 to 7:00 with music from 6:00 to 9:00. Keiki (children) are welcome so it makes for a great opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. There is seating inside the pavilion or on a large grassy area which can be used to picnic. It is quite the social gathering and guess what – it’s free!
Looking for a fun, low impact, exercise activity on Kauai? Try Aquasize in Paradise for some water aerobics. The buoyancy of the water makes the workout much easier on the joints, and you will meet some friendly locals and guests in the process.
The hour long class includes a warm up, cardio, strength training exercises, balance and stretch. It is a multilevel class, with modifications suggested for people who have knee, back or shoulder problems. All fitness levels are welcome. The pool is heated and salt cleaned.
Did you know that the Garden Island has more sand beaches per mile of shoreline than any other major Hawaiian island? Kauai north shore beaches are so plentiful that you could be on the “Beach a Day” program for over a week and never leave the area. Some of these gems take effort to get to, but others are footsteps from where you park. Some offer a reef bottom environment for fabulous snorkeling, while others are best for swimming and/or catching waves. Starting with the far north end of the island, here are my top ten picks.
The residents of Kauai’s north shore have been waiting a long time for the Kilauea Market and its adjoining stores to open. Started in 2016, the project ran into planning and road issues, as well as lots of rainy weather (remember the 2018 Kauai Flood?). So, the opening of the first new shopping center on the north shore in 30 years was delayed for over a year. Last month the North Shore Animal Clinic and the Kilauea Market & Cafe finally opened their doors. It is unclear when the rest of the shopping center, known as “Ahuimanu” will open.
Tenants who have signed up for space at Ahuimanu include: Grande’s Gems Hawaii, Island Soap & Candle Works, Kai Bar Coffee Roasters, Kauai Boba & BBQ, the Kauai Government Employees Credit Union, Shipwrecked Kauai Lifestyle Boutique and Wyland Galleries. There is also talk of two more sit-down eateries, one offering fine dining.
If you are on Kaua’i October 18th and 19th, do not miss the fourth annual Kauai Chocolate & Coffee Festival in Hanapepe, Kaua’i. Yes, it is a bit of a drive from Honu Point (about 90 minutes), but it will give you a chance to see our Historic Hanapepe Town and indulge in two of my favorite treats. This is a celebration of all things chocolate and coffee featuring a variety of these products from around the state.
The Kaua’i Chocolate & Coffee Festival spans over two days beginning on Friday with tours and workshops continuing into the evening. Then it picks up again on Saturday morning in order to highlight all the attributes of these two favorite local crops. The street festival takes place in Historic Hanapepe Town and includes farm tours, informative classes, workshops/demonstrations, live entertainment, a chocolate & coffee pampering station, a silent auction, keiki activities, sampling and much more.
Who says there is no nightlife or culture on Kauai? Kauai theater is alive and well! This month Women in Theatre are presenting, “A Tuna Christmas,” a play which the New York Post claims, “It’s far too good for just Christmas.” I have been to several productions by the Women in Theatre group and I can not wait for this one. Three of my girlfriends and I have already bought our tickets. It sounds like a night of good fun.
Thanks to Honu Point’s concierge, Stephanie Michel, I had the opportunity to meet Rochelle Ballard this week. Growing up in San Diego and being around the surf scene for most of my teenage years, it was quite an honor. Rochelle Ballard, a world-class surfer, who competed professionally for seventeen years, grew up on Kauai. For the last ten years she has taken her well balanced, mindful approach to life and created an Elite Wellness Retreat business on the Garden Island.
Before I go into specifics about her offerings, check out this five minute video as an introduction to Rochelle Ballard:
Update (October 11, 2019): From the Owners – Ok Kauai so because Breakfast has been so busy for us we are gonna stop serving Tacos for a while and start serving breakfast longer! Starting next Thursday we will be serving Breakfast and Breakfast only from 7a-1pm Thursday-Monday! We want to focus on what we do best and offer it so Breakfast is available for longer hours! So sorry again no more tacos starting today!
Looking for a Kauai food truck with outstanding breakfasts and occasional tacos? Saenz Ohana, a hidden gem on the north shore, is sure to please. You may have seen this food truck in Hanalei before, but now it is at its new location behind the Makana North Shore Urgent Care Center (in back of the police and fire station, just off the highway, past the Princeville Shopping Center on your way to Hanalei).
Saenz Ohana is owned and operated by the owners, Juan Saenz & Noelle Wong. I spoke with Juan who is very excited about his new location as it is close to where he lives with his wife and four children. He says he gets up at 4:00 each morning to start preparing fresh sauces and salsas to serve with his breakfasts and tacos. Learning his trade at the Culinary Institute, and then working for some of Kauai’s best restaurants, he loves using locally-sourced, farm fresh ingredients in his preparations and is thrilled to be serving Kauai’s north shore community.
Update as of September 5, 2019: Parking reservations may be made one month in advance. There are three time periods for parking reservations: 6:30 to 12:30, 12:30 to 5:30, and 4:30 to sunset. For each time period the cost is $5.00. If all three time periods are available, you may reserve all three for $15.00 and park from 6:30 AM to sunset. If you arrive prior to 6:30 AM, leave the parking reservation under the windshield for the parking attendant to see. The shuttle is now $15.00/person.
The road is open! There is no better way of knowing how the new regulations work than to actually drive there and that is just what my husband and I did one morning in June (we have since been back a second time). We left our house in Princeville at about 7:15 AM. We had a smooth ride, breezing through Hanalei and crossing the bridges on the north end of the bay. It was a beautiful ride as we passed the enormous amount of work that has been done over the last 15 months since the 2018 flood.
Organized by the Kauai North Shore Community Foundation, in partnership with Anaina Hou Community Park, the Ohana Fit Fest will be held on Saturday, October 5th, 2019, at 7:30 AM. The Ohana Fit Fest is truly a community event that’s all about fun, family and friends. The Community Expo is at the Anaina Hou Porter Pavilion; the obstacle trail run/walk is on the beautiful Wai Koa Loop Trail.
Run the 5K or the 10K. Obstacles along the way will excite residents and guests to the island. You may climb and crawl, testing your coordination and balance. For those that would like a real challenge, the 10K run will have tougher obstacles. Walk the 5K and you can skip the obstacles. Sunny or rainy (fun in the mud), the race is a go on the Wai Koa Loop trail.
For the 5K and 10K Run, medals go to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in each age division by gender. Challenge yourself and/or just enjoy the experience. Proceeds of the 2019 Ohana Fit Fest will fund the Fit Fund.