So you think you can dance? Good news! Dance on Kauai is alive and well. Whether it is ballroom, swing, Latin, tango, zouk or dancing with your partner on the sand, we have you covered. But, before I tell you what is happening on the Garden Island, check out this video that was created by one of the Oahu dance groups last year. The basic moves are West Coast Swing.
I have been involved with the swing dance community on Kauai for about 15 years. Our passion is west coast swing but that does not keep us from moving our hips to other forms of dance (cha cha, hustle, east coast swing, country 2-Step, nite club 2-Step, salsa). Every Tuesday evening a small group of us meet up at Rob’s Good Times Grill in Lihue for some companionship and dancing. Our leaders are really considerate about dancing with all the followers so no one gets left out. For years the owner of the grill has graciously allowed us to play our music through his sound system from 7:30 to 10:00. Many come early to eat in order to support our host. The food is yummy and relatively inexpensive. Visitors occasionally find us online and join in on the fun. Everyone is welcome.
Anaina Hou, home of the Kilauea Mini Golf and Porter Pavilion, continues to host Kauai events for residents and travelers alike. We are lucky to have this venue on the north shore. Following are the events scheduled for March 2020, with an added concert on April 2nd. Come join the fun!
Every Wednesday (Except Christmas) – Ahi Lele Luau Fire Show
Fire Dancing, Storytelling, and the Exhilarating Beat of Polynesian Drumming. Every Wednesday at Anaina Hou Porter Pavilion. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Arrive early to reserve your seats. Seating is limited and the show does sell out, so book your tickets in advance.
Trivia Night! Generally the first Friday of the month is Trivia Night at Anaina Hou. Get in the game just for fun, or get competitive and bring your trivia expert friends and family to win the ultimate bragging rights! Visitors and residents join up at tables to answer 40 questions. Doors open at 5:00; Gaming starts at 6:00 and runs for two hours. Tables may be reserved here, or just drop in and join a team. Snacks and drinks available for purchase. Food truck(s) on site. It’s free!
Friday, March 20th – Pau Hana Friday – Vic and the Victimz
“From the West Coast Swing of T-Bone Walker and the South-Side Chicago Grind of Muddy Waters to the Blues/Rock Stylings of Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Allman Brothers, and Carlos Santana, Vic & The Victimz offer a Blues-Infused selection of dance music for audiences of all ages.” Most of these musicians have been playing together for 20 years on Kauai. Bring a date, a friend, or your whole family. Here are a couple of videos to get you in the mood to dance!
You have arrived on Kauai and, if you are like most people, you can not wait to barbecue some fresh island fish. Depending on the time of year, you will have a choice of Pacific Blue Marlin, Ahi (yellow fin tuna), Aku (skip jack tuna), Ono (Wahoo), Opah, Sea Bass or, my favorite, Mahi Mahi (dolphin fish or dorado). Most restaurants will offer two, generally Ahi and Mahi Mahi or Ono. But, if you want to buy some to bring home to cook, here are your best options to buy fresh fish between Lihue and Hanalei.
Where to buy fresh fish on Kauai:
Start with Costco. Just about every day you will have a selection of several kinds of raw fish at the best price on the island. As with most things at Costco, however, the fish is packaged in fairly large quantities. If you are looking to feed four or more – no problem. For two people, you might consider buying a slab of fish, cutting it in half, and freezing one half for another night later in your trip. It will be just as tasty the second night you cook it. Or, cook up the whole piece and use the leftovers for fish tacos or wraps the next night.
Just recently, our Costco set up a sushi chef preparation area where you may also purchase fresh sushi daily.
Address: 4300 Nuhou St, Lihue, HI 96766
Phone: (808) 241-4000
The Fish Express
While still in Lihue, check out The Fish Express. Located right across the street from Walmart, this busy place has a small variety of raw fish, as well as a large variety of poke, shrimp and other items from the sea. In addition to seafood, they offer cuts of meat. Daily prepared specials are listed on a placard.
Address: 3-3343 Kuhio Hwy, Lihue, Hawaii 96766
Phone: (808) 245-9918
Hours: Monday through Saturday: 10:00 to 5:00, Sundays, starting March 1, 2020: 10:00 to 2:30 but grill will be closed.
Most grocery stores on the island will also carry fresh fish. Foodland, in Princeville, generally has quite a good selection (depending on how well the fish are biting). When I am not going to be in Lihue, this is where I buy my fish. They almost always have ahi and marlin. I prefer white fish so I am always on the lookout for Mahi Mahi, Ono, or occasionally Sea Bass. Here one can buy smaller portions to barbecue, fry, or bake. Try coating each serving of fish with olive oil and a combination of panko flakes and finely chopped up macadamia nuts. Then bake at 450 degrees until brown on top. It does not take long to bake and it is so delicious (ono)!
Foodland also features sushi chefs making a variety of fresh sushi for take-out.
The Kilauea Fish Market
Although most people go to this small fish market for prepared food (their fish tacos are the BEST), they do offer a few pieces of high quality fish for you to take home and cook. Located behind the stone building on the left side of Kilauea Road (road to the lighthouse), this popular spot can be quite crowded around lunch time with long wait times. There are a few tables on the covered patio and a couple of picnic tables on the grass where you may “dine in” or wait for your order.
Address: 4270 Kilauea Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754
Phone: (808) 828-6244
Hours: Monday through Saturday 11:00 – 8:00, closed on Sunday.
Just down the hill from Princeville, on the way to Hanalei Town, you will first see the Dophin Restaurant on your right, next to the Hanalei River. Around back is the small Dolphin Fish Market where you will find one of the best selections of raw fish on the north shore.
“If ‘Take out’ or ‘cook-your-own’ is where you’re at tonight, then there is no better place to start your meal preparation than the Dolphin Fish Market in Hanalei. Cleaned and cut by master fish cutters you are guaranteed to receive the finest cuts in fish or beef, not to mention specialties like Teriyaki Shrimp, Beef Stix, sushi rolls and fresh sashimi, poke salad, ceviche, seafood chowder, organic salad mixes, squaw bread garlic croutons (a delicious snack themselves) and The Dolphin’s homemade salad dressings.”
They are proud of their offerings as is suggested by their prices, but some people swear you will not find a better piece of fish.
Addriess: Hanalei Dolphin Center, 5-5016 Kuhio Highway, Hanalei
Phone: (808) 826-6113
Of course, the best way to ensure that you have fresh fish is to catch it yourself. Check out two fishing charters in the “Sports” category of my blog list. If you happen to see someone along the side of the road selling fresh fish, that is a great way to get yummy fish at a more reasonable price. Wherever you buy your fish and however you cook it, a trip to Kauai is not complete until you have tasted our local fish. Enjoy!
For more of my blogs, or to subscribe, go to the right-hand side of this page (not phones). For more information about our luxury vacation rental on the north shore, go to any other page of this website. Mahalo!
It is always exciting when one happens upon an albatross courting dance. Last month I heard the distinctive sounds of two albatross just four doors down from Honu Point Vacation Rental. I grabbed my phone and sat down on the other side of a hedge to watch the show. Soon one of the birds came through the hedge and walked toward me. I started this video as the other one came over in hot pursuit. Some preening and bobbing started; sure signs that there was love in the air.
Have you ever thought about adding a Kauai spa experience to your time on the Garden Island? There are a few spas on the island, but how about if the spa came to you? Recently I was introduced to Robin Sheldon, owner and operator of Mobile Spa Kauai. Once a month a friend of mine invites Robin to her home for an hour and a half massage/facial treatment. She schedules herself and two other friends (a spa party!). I was lucky enough to be one of the “others” last month, and I can tell you first hand that it is a heavenly experience.
The first hour is a massage from head to toe. Following that is a wonderful facial, complete with warm scented towels, essential oils, a facial steamer, calming music and more. I can just imagine having this experience with the sound of the ocean in the background! Don’t plan on getting much accomplished after these 90 minutes, however, because your body and mind will be in complete relaxation mode.
I knew that my neighbor, Paul, LOVED to go fishing (I have been the beneficiary of some of his catch). But, I was still surprised when he told me he was buying a boat and starting a Kauai fishing charter called Apex Charters. The refurbishing of the boat was not quite ready when my family wanted to go fishing last July, but, lucky for you, it is now.
One of the largest fishing charter boats on Kauai, his beautiful boat, “Grander,” is a 45-foot Bertram Sport Fisher. It is docked at Kauai’s largest harbor, Nawiliwili Harbor, just a five minute drive from the Lihue Airport. The Grander features a 14-foot Fly Bridge with a cushioned bench and guardrail; perfect for watching sunrises, seabirds, dolphins and whales. There is an indoor salon with couches as well. The bathroom is downstairs.
Whether you live on Kauai, or are visiting the garden island, do not miss a Kauai farmers market held at two venues on the north shore every Saturday morning. At each one you will find the freshest produce and quality products brought to you by the local farmers and merchants of the island. The best, and least abundant items go fast. So, if you are particular, get there when they open for first choice.
Kauai Farmers Market at Hanalei
Opening at 9:30, and running until noon, this Saturday event draws hundreds of people. It is held in an open area just past the town of Hanalei. Parking is along the side of the highway or next to the historic green church (Wai’oli). There are usually parking attendants directing the traffic. Once parked, follow the crowd.
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. At least one Friday a month 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!
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.
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.