The town of Hanalei has approximately 300 full time residents. Its business district stretches along three city blocks which includes restaurants, shops and a small park. With Kauai’s 2-lane Kuhio Highway running through it, the traffic can get quite busy during the day.
My name is Anthony. I will be your guide through this tour. Kauai’s North Shore has unlimited points of interest. During our week’s stay, we visited as many local attractions as possible. Follow along with us while we explore a few of these sites.
A few of our adventures took us in and around Hanalei. We stopped to do a little shopping and when it was lunch time, we tried some of the local cuisine.
It’s not always what’s in town that tells the story, but what’s around it. Hanalei has quite the history. In the 1900s, rice was the dominant crop. Many Japanese descendents migrated to the island and became farmers. They also wanted to start a new life.
Just past the Amazing Grace Baptist Church is the ‘Old School House Road’. This dirt easement winds around for about a quarter mile. The road ends at a private cemetery where there are scattered headstones and monuments.
The first Japaneses settlers came to Kauai more than a century ago. The generations to follow had to decide where to lay their descendants to rest. At the base of the mountain in an open field became the place of choice. In 2018, torrential downpours created extreme flooding and massive landslides which destroyed most of the private cemetery.
Families that have loved ones buried here are trying to recover what’s left of their remains. It’s a very slow and tedious process but nonetheless, it seems to be coming along. To see so many headstones and markers piled up all around the grassy knolls was a very solemn site. We stopped for a moment and while staying inside our car, we paid our respects.
Our next stop was at the Haena State Park and the Maniniholo Dry Cave. Here is where the Kuhio Highway comes to an end. The upper part of the park on the island’s North Shore is where the world famous Kalalau Trail head begins. But that will be a whole other segment coming soon.
When the island was still forming thousands of year ago, crashing waves created this cave. It is approximately 300 yards deep and no matter how tall you are, there is plenty of height to stand up and walk around.
Legend has it that the cave was once connected to the Waimea Canyon. The Menehune; a mythical Hawaiian dwarf used it to escape the Polynesian Settlers’ attack.
When I approached the cave’s entrance, I got an adventurous feeling when staring into the cave’s dark abyss. The floor consists of soft brown sand and scattered rocks. As we traveled further into the cave, a flashlight for your exact footing and forward movement is definitely needed.
The cave allows you to see what thousands of years of relentless pounding from waves can do to a sheer cliff. Everywhere you look are rock formations top to bottom and side to side. When we finally reached the back of the cave, we followed it around and explored the tiny nooks and different rock formations.
There is a green area with park benches and BBQ grills. It also has full service restrooms, outdoor showers, and a lifeguard station. There is everything you need to spend an enjoyable day relaxing with family and friends!
This fabulous day was without a planned agenda which in turn, lead to several exciting attractions and a plethora of local history. This proves that you don’t always need to have an itinerary to have fun. Freelance sightseeing can offer some of the best times when visiting a new destination.
I would like to take a moment and give thanks to our subscribers and social media followers. We here at “You, Me and The Dock” couldn’t keep going on without you. With that said, stay tuned for more exciting adventures from our Kauai experience! Sorry, there is no video for this particular blog-article.
Photography: Anthony & Maureen Scopel
Video: Anthony & Maureen Scopel
Article Creator & Formatting: Anthony Scopel
Video Production: Anthony Scopel & Matt Kemper
Associate Editor: Maureen Scopel
Technical Mastering & Web Support: Matt Kemper
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