Live Hawaii

Free things to do in Kauai

Spouting Horn – A Natural Wonder of Kauai

On the Koloa district on the southern coast of Kauai, you will find the Spouting Horn…a majestic blowhole and one of the best photo ops on the island. I live on Oahu, have been to the Halona Blowhole many times and have never seen anything except crashing surf! The Spouting Horn put on quite a show shooting water 50 feet, into the air, again & again & again…

The view deck is kind of small and it can get crowded so some patience may be needed as you wait your turn. Bestest thing: free parking and restrooms! There is also a covered flea market, with local vendors, selling everything from Hawaiian type gifts to fine jewelry. I’ve been told (don’t quote me) that you can find the best prices, for genuine freshwater pearls, here!

Across the road is the McBryde Garden & Allerton Garden which is acturally two botanical gardens Allerton – 80 acres and McBryde – 50 acres. They received good reviews from Yelp and Trip Advisor but we skipped them since it was raining.

Back to the Spouting Horn. I came across a wonderful story about the origin of the Spouting Horn as told by the late Uncle Louis Almodova Jr. (Da Mayor of Salt Pond):

The Legend of the Spouting Horn is about a lizard family, consisting of a brother and two sisters. The three left their homeland for a swim. After they swam a long way they spotted two islands. The closer one was named Niihau and the farther one was named Kauai. The brother could see that, although far away, Kauai was beautiful and lush. He wanted to go and visit Kauai, but the sisters were too tired and wanted to rest. So they decided to stay where they were on the beach on the island of Niihau and let their little brother explore.

The brother headed off toward the island of Kauai. He swam and swam. As he got near Kauai he could see beautiful green mountains in the distance. After a while he got tired and decided to land as soon as he could. He came to rest at the old Koloa Landing and waited there for his sisters. He waited a long time, but they never arrived.

He was lonely and being that they didnt come, he swam back to Niihau and went looking for them. When he landed on Niihau he searched and searched. All he found were two large rocks, boulders really, near where he had left them on the beach. At last he realized that the two large rocks were all that was left of his sisters.

Sadly he swam back to Kauai. He cried and he cried, and when he got near Koloa Landing he was caught by a big wave that pushed him along the shore. He missed Koloa Landing and passed Kukuiola Bay and then was shoved by the wave under a lava tube just short of Lawaii Kai. He has been trapped there since. Whenever the waves come back you can hear him moan and see his breath bursting from the lava tube at Spouting Horn.

Don’t believe? See the video below:

Waimea Canyon & Koke’e State Park Through Pictures

Waimea Canyon as seen from the Waimea Canyon Lookout view deck. You can barely see Waipoo Falls to the far left.

A better view of the fantastic, wondrous, glorious Waipo’o Falls just past Pu’u Ka Pele Lookout on Waimea Canyon Drive. See the video below!

Waimea Canyon, with the Waimea River snaking through, as viewed from Pu’u Hinahina Lookout.

Majestic view of the Kalalau Valley and ocean from the Pu’u O Kila Lookout.

Wai’ale’ale was once THE wettest spot on Earth but is now only ONE OF THE WETTEST SPOTS ON EARTH.

Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge

Address: 3500 Kilauea Rd, Kilauea, HI 96754
Phone: (808) 828-0384

We finally were able to visit the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge! On our last trip we did not know that the park is closed on Sunday and Monday. Boo hoo! Just remember that the refuge is open Tuesday Through Saturday 10am to 4pm. It’s generally more crowded in the morning than in the afternoon. It is well worth the $5 entry fee and you will spend at least 30 to 45 minutes taking in the scenery and snapping those selfies! Most important, the refuge has a clean bathroom.

The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge has been operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1985. Even when the lands were in possession of the Coast Guard, the area was already a natural habitat for different species of sea birds such as the red-footed boobies (‘ā), the white-tailed tropicbird (koa‘e kea) and the wedge-tailed shearwater (‘ua‘u kani).

The refuge staff re-introduced the nēnē (Hawaiian goose) which was on the brink of extinction. Thankfully, the sate bird population has been growing steadily. The Laysan Albatross (mōlī) returned to Kauai’s north shore in the mid 1970’s. Refuge management created a safe nesting environment protecting the laysan albatross from predators.

Short Kine History

Since Kauai was the first landfall for vessels coming from the west, the U.S. government searched for a location to build a lighthouse to aid navigation. After discussions and consultation with experts, Kilauea Point was chosen. Since the elevation of the peninsula was 180 feet, the lighthouse need not be tall and at only 52 feet is one of the shorter lighthouses in the U.S.

Constuction of the lighthouse began on July 8, 1912. Kilauea was one of the first towers that used reinforced concrete technique. Metal fabrication was constructed in Ohio. The Fresnel lens (invented by Augustin-Jean Fresnel) was shipped from Fance. Remember, Kilauea Point is 180 feet above sea level so it was difficult to offload materials from ships and haul them up the steep incline.

Kilauea Lighthouse, while important to marine traffic, also aided aviation from the late 1920’s forward since its beam was visible for up to 90 miles. In 1930, radio towers were added to broadcast directional signals for ships and airplanes. After the attack, on Pearl Harbor, by Japan on December 7, 1941, the lighthouse went dark for the remainder of World War 2.

Free Things to Do in Kauai – Kauai Path, Kapaa…A Runner’s Paradise

kauai path

Kaui Path Near Niu Street

Free things to do in Kauai? Kauai Path in Kapaa is #1 of 53 things to do in Kapaa according to Trip Advisor. This beautiful multi-use path can be described as “Ke Ala Hele Makalae” which is Hawaiian for “The Path that Goes by the Coast.” The vision for Kauai Path, Inc. (a non-profit community organization) is for the trail to eventually follow the eastern shoreline for 17 miles from Nawiliwili to Anahola on the island of Kauai.

Kaui Path partially follows a former railroad line once used to haul the island’s sugarcane. The route offers access to parks, beaches along with all the shopping and restaurants of Old Town Kapaa. Along the path, you will encounter many informative signs sharing knowledge about important cultural and historical sites. You will also learn the native names different watercourses along plants and animals native to the area.

Presently, there are 7 miles of the path completed. Unfortunately, they are in two disconnected segments. The southern segment (phase 1) connects Lydgate Park to Wailua Beach Park and is 2.5 miles in length. The northern segment (phase 2) extends along the coast, for 4.5 miles,  from Lihi Park, in Kapaa, to Ahihi Point in Kealia. There is a 2 mile gap between the two segments and the only to bridge this is by traveling on Kuhio Highway which is busy and has narrow shoulders (I won’t even run there).

Kaui Path is a multi-use trail and the following etiquette guildlines are in place so people can fully enjoy segment of Ke Ala Hele Makalae:
  • Be Courteous—All path users should be respectful of other users regardless of their mode of travel, speed, or skill level.
  • Keep Path Clear—Use no more than one-half of the path when in a group. Move off of the path if you are stopped.
  • Be Predictable—Travel in a consistent manner. Look behind you before changing position on the path.
  • Keep Right—Stay to the right side on the path except when passing. Move back or to the right once safely past.
  • Respect Private Property—Stay on designated paths or roadways. Avoid shortcutting switchbacks.
  • Signal When Passing—Give a clear warning signal by voice, bell, or horn before you pass.
  • Yield to Slower Traffic—Cyclists yield to pedestrians. “Wheels yield to Heels.”
  • Respect the ‘Aina & the Park—Keep litter in trash receptacles.

running dog

Dogs may be walked on Kauai Path, subject to the restrictions listed below:
  • Dogs may be on the paved portion of the path plus six feet on either side.
  • Handler must be in control of dog at all times
  • Two dogs per handler max
  • Must have poop bag in evidence.
  • Dog owner must remove and dispose of dog’s feces
  • Dog must be licensed
  • Maximum leash length 6 ft. (No extendable leashes allowed.)
  • Must leave path area if dog gets aggressive
kauai path

If it rains, there can be flooding on parts of the path.

My Experience Running on Kauai Path

I only ran on Phase 2, of Kauai Path, so I can only comment on that segment. Unfortunately, I didn’t even know Phase 1 existed until after my Kauai trip. The eastern coastline is just breathtakingly beautiful in the early morning. I started both runs at the break of dawn. If you run later in the morning, you will encounter lots of families on rental bikes.

My first run started off of Niu Street which is around .4 miles from Lihi Park; the beginning of Phase 2 of the path. I ran around 2 1/2 miles, just past Kealia Beach, before turning around.

For my second run, I parked at a lookout point between Kawaihau Road and Kealia Beach which around 1.6 miles north of the beginning of the path. I ran all the way to the end (2 1/2 miles), where it became a dirt trail, turned around and returned to my starting point.

kauai path

End of Kauai Path and the beginning of a hiking or mountain bike trail.

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