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Planning a visit to Kauai? We regularly add news and information about events, activities, and places to see on The Garden Isle.

About The Author

Sheila Heathcote has lived in Hawaii since 1986. She's a published author on the topic of Kauai and the owner of Hale O Nanakai Bed & Breakfast.

Kauai's Sights, Activities, & Events


Prince Kuhio Festival Events March 14 - 29

An array of exciting cultural events -- including cultural site tours and workshops, an artesian fair, rodeo, canoe races, luau and music -- beginning on March 15, marks the annual statewide celebration and holiday. 

Born in the Kauai sugar plantation town of Koloa on March 26, 1871 Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole was the nephew of King Davis Kalakaua (the Merry Monarch) and prince of the reigning House of Kalakaua when the Kingdom of Hawaii was overthrown in 1893.

Prince Kuhio was raised on Kauai, and studied both in California and abroad. He attended St. Matthew’s College in California, the royal Agricultural College in England, and then graduated from a British business school.

Photo courtesy of the Hawaii State Archives

Kuhio was appointed to a seat in the royal Cabinet administering the Department of the Interior, but his tenure did not materialize.  American businessmen overthrew the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893. Kuhio joined other native Hawaiians in 1894 in an unsuccessful attempt to restore the monarchy. Prince Kuhio was arrested and sentenced to a year in prison. Following his release, Kuhio left Hawaii and traveled South Africa for several years and joined the British Army to fight in the Boer War, vowing “never to return to a Hawaii that appeared inhospitable to Hawaiians”.

When Kuhio returned, Hawaii had already been annexed as territory of the United States. If the Hawaiian monarchy had not been overthrown, Prince Kuhio probably would have become King of Hawaii upon the death of Queen Liliuokalani. He was, however, elected as Hawaii’s congressional delegate for 10 consecutive terms.

Kuhio was often called “the Prince of the Hawaiian People”, and is recognized for his efforts to preserve and strengthen the Hawaiian cause. While a delegate of Congress, he spearheaded the effort in the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act that provides lands for native Hawaiians to homestead.  He served in Congress from 1903 until his death in 1922.

March 15 - Rodeo at CJM Stables in Poipu from 9 AM - 4 PM

March 21 - Commerative Ceremonies with the Royal Order of Kamehameha at Prince Kuhio Park on Lawai Road at 10 AM, complete with Native Hawaiian Cultural Practices and Protocol. Bring your camera!

- Garden Island Artesian Fair at Poipu Beach Park 9AM - 3PM

March 23 - Salt Making Demonstration at Salt Pond Beach Park 9:30 AM

March 24 - Royal Dinner at Plantation Gardens Restaurant, Poipu from 5:30 - 9:30 PM featuring traditional Hawaiian foods, music and hula

March 25 - Talk Story Session about the history, culture and traditions of Kauai's South Shore presented by "kupuna" or Hawaiian elders, with a Flora and Fauna Tour starting at 9 AM in the lobby of the Marriott Waiohai Beach Club, Poipu

March 26 - Makauwahi Cave Reserve Tour 9 AM - 11:30 AM east of the Hyatt where Hawaii's largest limestone cave and native plant reserve is located.

March 27 - Hawaiian Cultural Demonstrations at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort from 2PM - 7PM.

- Evening of Hawaiian Entertainmnet, Grand Hyatt Seaview Terrace 6:45-8PM

- Prince Kuhio Celebration Luau at Smith's tropical Paradise, Wailua 5PM

March 28 - 44th Annual Long Distance Canoe Race Men's Division begins at 8AM from Kalapaki Beach to Kukuiula Harbor; Women' start at 10z:30 AM from Kukuiula Harbor to Salt Pond Beach Park. Awards Ceremony at Salt Pond

- 5th Annual Prince Kuhio Day Celebration at Anahola Beach Park 11 AM - 5 PM with Arts, Crafts and Entertainment

-Hawaiian Entertainment at the grand Hyatt Seaview terrace 6 - 6:30 PM

- An Evening with Na Hoku Award Winner Henry Kapono 8 PM 

- Opening Protocol, Taiko Drumming, Craft Fair and Cultural Demonstrations 8:30 AM - 3 PM, Grand Hyatt

For more information, contact George Thronas at (808) 240-6452 or georgethronas@hyatt.com


Garden Island Arts Council announces E Kanikapila Kakou 2014

E Kanikapila Kakou Schedule

E Kanikapila Kakou 2015 presents the best of Hawaiian music, musicians, composers, dancers and storytellers every Monday night from January 19 through March 23 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm at the Kauai Beach Resort Jasmine Ballroom.A donation at the door will treat you to an unforgettable evening of Aloha from the heart. This program is brought to you by the Garden Island Arts Council with a grant-in-aid from the Hawaii Tourism Authority and is supported by the County of Kauai Office of Economic Opportunity. 

(Photo by Anne E. O'Malley)


Monday, February 2, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Kenneth Makuakane and the Pandanus Club - Alden Kaiaokamalie & Rodney Lopez Jr.
plus Kane Hula Dancers from Halau Ke Kai o Kahiki (O’Brian Eselu)

Monday, February 9, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Keola and Moanalani Beamer return with the outstanding artists of the Aloha Music Camp to share their Beamer-style Magic at this “Community Aloha Night” at EKK.

Calvin Hoe (oli); Alan Akaka (steel guitar), Herb Ohta Jr. (‘ukulele), Uluwehi Guerrero (‘ukulele), Kevin Brown (slack key), Jeff Peterson (slack key), Kaliko Beamer Trapp (guitar), Konabob Stoeffer (taro patch bass),  Liko Puha (oli)

Monday, February 16, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Mark Yamanaka, Bert K. Naihe, Edward N. Atkins
Hawaii Island Falsetto at its very best will thrill the audience as
Mark and friends hit the rafters with their power-packed performance

Monday, February 23, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

“Tribute to Uncle Moe”
Cuzzins Mike Keale and Walt Keale carry on the Keale family musical
tradition each bringing his own unique sound and style to the circle

Monday, March 2, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

E Kanikapila Kakou 2015 - “Music Into the Community”
"The Music of Na Lani Eha" - Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Seranaders
(Kuuipo Kumukahi, Kimo Stone, Isaac Akuna, Joseph Winchester

Monday, March 9, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Waipuna (Kale Hannahs, Matthew Sproat, David Kamakahi)

Monday, March 16, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Auntie Noelani Mahoe and Kai'ola Farin plus Guest Artist Sean Robbins

Monday, March 23, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

"One Big Community Hula Party"
Tamatea Nui O Kauai (Haunani Kaui, Wailana Dasalia, Pikea Matias, Anuhea Herrod, Tia Keawe, Rose Kurita) Maile Foundaton Special (Lady Ipo & Uncle Nathan) 


November Arts and Culture Calendar for Kauai

November 2 - 14; November 17 - 22
Work on NTBG Large-scale Sculpture Project
with world-renowned artist Patrick Dougherty
Two 4-hour shifts per day; volunteers can sign up for as many shifts and as many days as you like; work may require work on 20 feet high construction scaffolding;
requires physical stamina
Sign up:  Lorna Lopes (808) 332-7324, ext 204 lopes@ntbg.org

Friday & Saturday, November 7 & 8, 7:00 pm
Sunday, November 9, 3:00 pm
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” — Ichabod Crane & the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow
written by Washington Irving, American colonial tale
directed by Peggy Ellenburg
by Island School fifth graders
On Stage at Island School
Tickets:  $4 from Island School Office and from cast members;
$5 at the door; Discount Family Passes from Island School
Contact:  peggy@ischool.org

Saturday, November 8, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Veterans Day Parade - Honoring our Women in Military
Kapa’a Town and Kapa’a Beach Park
Contact: Aida P Cruz (808) 246-1135

Saturday, November 8; 11:00 am - 2:00 pm (rescheduled event)
Kauai Museum Kauai Living Treasures Celebration Luncheon
Kauai Beach Resort
Contact:  Kauai Museum, 246-2470

Saturday, November 8, 5:00 - 9:00 pm
Grove Farm Homestead Museum 150th Anniversary Luau
Guest Artist:  Melveen Leed
Hula by Leina’ala Pavao Jardin’e Halau
For stories, tickets, info, contact (808)( 245-3202

Saturday, November 8, 7:30 - 9:30 pm: Doors 7:00 pm
Na Pali in Concert
A rare & special night with Pancho Graham, Carlos Andrade, Pat Cockett & Rick Gerding
Kilauea Theatre, 2484 Keneke St (next to Kong Lung)
tickets:  $20 at door; Hawaiian Music Kiosks, PV & Coconut Marketplace
Contact:  (808) 634-1684

Sunday, November 9, 12:00 - 6:00 pm
22nd Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, Kauai Style
Featuring 15 Slack Key Guitar Artists
Aqua Kauai Beach Resort & Spa, Wailua
Admission at the Door
Info:  Milton Lau, (808) 226-2697

Sunday, November 9, 6:00 - 10:00 pm
“Reggae by the Sea”
Pato Banton and members of “The Now Generation”
World renowned singer/songwriter & award-winning reggae legend
(toured w/ Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers, Sting, Burning Spear,
Third World, Yellowman, Black Uhuru, Dennis Brown, Steel Pulse)
Evening of positive & uplifting reggae from local island bands
—Sashomon & Friends, Molokai’s guitar virtuoso Uncle Isaac Kamaile,
Ukulele Phenom Violet Asuncion and others
Courtyard Marriott - Oceanside, Kapaa
Ages 21 and older
$35 advance/$40 at door; www.popokimusic.com
Kauai Music & Sound, Kapaa Papaya’s, Progressive Expressions
Hawaiian Music Kiosk, Princeville & Coconut Marketplace
Info:  (808) 346-5800

Tuesday, November 11
Sound Emergence
An Alchemical Sound Journey with Taj Jure & Hezar Courson

Wednesday, November 12, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Renovating the Roost:  Introducing the Nihoku Pest Proof Fence
at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge Crater Hill
Jessica Behnke, Ecologist Pacific Rim Conservation
Join us in celebrating the completion of predator proof fence
for six-acre refugium for native plant & animal communities
Princeville Public Library, 4343 Emmalani Drive, Princeville
Contact:  info@princevillelibrary.com

Thursday, Nov 13, 7:00 pm - Sunday, Nov 16, 9:00 pm
34th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival - Kauai
13 films from Hawaii, Korea, Japan, Philippines, India
United Kingdom and United States
Historic Waimea Theater, Waimea Kauai

Friday, November 14
North Shore Dance Party
7 - 8 pm Tango
8 - 10 Swing, Ballroom, Latin
Church of the Pacific
All levels & singles welcome
Email: kauaidancing@gmail.com

November 14 - 23 Two weekends only
Fridays, Nov 14 & 21, 7:00 pm
Saturdays, Nov 15 & 22, 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm
Sundays, Nov 16 and 23, 4:00 pm

Hawaii Children’s Theatre present the Hawaii premier of
“Shrek The Musical”
Music by Jeannie Tesori; Books & Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abrare
Director:  Marly Madayag, Music Director: Nina Saraos
Choreographer:  Carol Culver
Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall
Ticket Outlets:  Kalaheo Cafe, Progressive Expressions, Times,
Papaya’s, Kong Lung, Harvest Market
Ticket Info:  (808) 246-8985, www.HawaiiChildrensTheatre.com

Saturday, November 15, 7:00 - 9:30 am
Rotary Club of Kauai announces
12th Annual Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run (Half Marathon)
Contact:  Richard Olsen, (808) 634-8703

Saturday, November 15, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Calligraphy Kanji Workshop for Beginners of All Ages
Rev. Kosen Ishikawa, Kyle Chu & Yayoi Ishikawa
88 Shrines at Lawai International Center
Donations appreciated with gratitude
Information:  651-8893; dorahong888@gmail.com; www.lawaicenter.org

Tuesday, November 18, 5:30 pm
NTBG and KCC invite you to its “Plants for our Planet” lecture series
“Stick Sculpture: Primitive Ways in an Accelerated World”
by environmental artist/stick sculptor Patrick Dougherty
Dougherty will be in residency, building a stick sculpture
at NTBG’s McBryde Garden from November 2 - 22
Free Public Lecture at KCC Campus Center Cafeteria, Puhi
Accessibility & accommodations request:  Margaret Clark at least 10 days in advance;
(808) 332-7324, ext 225

Thursday, November 20, 7:00 pm
Kauai Concert Association presents
Trio Con Brio Copenhagen
World-renowned Piano Trio
Kauai Community College PAC
Tickets:  www.kauai-concert.org/tickets.html

Thursday, November 20 - Wednesday, December 17
Mixed Media Miniature Show XXVII (Honolulu Event)
Koa Art Gallery, Kapiolani Community College
Contact:  David Behle, (808) 734-9374, koaglry@hawaii.edu

Friday, November 21, check-in 4:00- 5:00 pm until 6:30 pm
Patrick Dougherty Stick Sculpture Installation Preview Reception
Live Music by KCC Jazz Band
Greenery Cafe will serve wine, beverages & pupu
Inside NTBG’s McBryde Garden; Start from Southshore Visitor Center
into Lawai Valley NTBG’s Biodiversity Trail to the McBryde Garden
Space is limited and advance tickets online at ntbgbrownpapertickets.com
Tickets also available at Visitor Center Gift Shop
Discounted tickets for Garden Members at NTBG’s Development Office, 332-7324, X211
Media Contact:  Janet Leopold, (808) 332-7324, X213

Friday, November 21, 5:00 - 8:00 pm
Kauai Society of Artists Small Works Show Reception
KSA Art Gallery, Kukui Grove Center (near Food Court)
Contact:  Rhonda Forsberg and Katy Zeidner

Friday, November 21, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Cary Valentine Book Signing Celebration
In Love Forever: 7 secrets to a Joyous, Juicy Relationship
(Amazon’s Best-Seller first week of November)
St Michael’s Church, Lihue
Proceeds benefit the Lotus Arts Foundation in honor of Wendy Valentine,
co-author and Cary’s late wife
Delicious pupu, wine and beverages
Tickets $25 per person; $40 per couple; available at door
or call (808) 346-6652

Friday, November 21, 7:00 pm
An evening of Irish Music by Whiskey-O
featuring Sylvia Woods, world class Celtic Harpist
Church of the Pacific
Contact:  Bob Smith, (808) 651-5819, shantybob@yahoo.com
plus every other Sunday at Feral Pig Restaurant/Pub, Harbor Mall
beginning Sunday, October 28

Saturday, November 29, 8:30 am - 1:30 pm
Kaua’i Handworks 35th Annual Christmas Fair
All Kaua’i-made products in longest running Kaua’i Crafts Fair
Wilcox School Cafeteria
Contact:  Erlinda Bukoski, (808) 332-7220; Gayle Konishi, (808) 332-8483

Saturday, November 29
Go Green for the Holidays — Annual Members Meeting
Tabletop Centerpiece or Small Evergreen Swag Workshop
Wai Kuapahi, Billi Smith, Lorraine Wichman & Others
Bring your own clippers, scissors, gloves, embellishments
CCC Camp
Cost $20
Sign up:  (808) 335-9975

Saturday, November 29, 7:00 pm
Kirk Smart presents
“A History of Hawaiian Steel Guitar”
Special guests:  Donavon Frankenreiter, Pancho Graham,
Lady Ipo, Eddie Lilikalani Punua, OCDC, Tone 11, Violet Asuncion
and many more….
Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center
Adults $20; Keiki $10
Ticket Outlets:  Hanalei Strings, Magic Dragon, Kauai Music & Sound,
Scotty’s Music, Island Soap & Candleworks, Koloa
Online:  Ksmartmusic.com; (808) 652-7226 - credit cards


Wilderness camping in Miloli'i on the Na Pali Coast

by Sheila Heathcote; Photos by Francisco Monsalve

Inaccessible by foot, vehicle or aircraft, this remote camp site on the rugged Na Pali Coast is a diamond amongst the many jewels the island of Kauai has to offer.

With only six camp sites, this hidden stretch of beach and scrub vegetation appears to be small from the only access, which is by kayak or boat.

The majestic palis stand like monoliths reaching almost 2,800 feet at the back of the beach, and the wide apron of sand -- thick, creamy, pristine -- is long and deep. 

The ruins of a state park cabin is the only evidence that humans administer this remote stretch, which in antiquity was home to hundreds of Native Hawaiians, who farmed taro and lived in the area, and even had a school house.

With an outdoor shower (cold water only), a spigot for running water (not   drinkable), composting toilets/outhouses and picnic tables, the area is a peaceful, and remote – like a castaway’s settlement. No electricity, no cell service; none of the trappings of modern society, add to the quiet splendor of Miloli'i.

Because Milolii is located on the dry western side of Kauai, the campsites are nestled under huge Australian pines, affording a pleasing canopy of shade. A favorite stop off point for kayakers who are on the day trips from Hanalei to Poipu, the beach becomes littered with colorful boats that look like rainbow colored pick up sticks that a giants has tossed on the beach.

Sunrise is uneventful due to the western location, but sunsets are spectacular, and snorkelling at Milolii is superb in the absence of trade winds. Beach combing to gather coral and shells on the sand, sometimes affords a glimpse of a near-shore sea turtle, or an endangered monk seal who has hauled up on the sand for a long daytime nap to diest its meal. (Please do not disturb the seals!)

Logistics and packing for this wilderness adventure is challenging on several accounts. All food and drinkinhg water mst be carried in along with tents, kitchen gear, propane stoves and utensils. Packing a cooler with a second fabric cooling bag will keep a block of ice viable for several days. Coordinating a boat or kayak to get to the area involves either a lot of paddling (from Ke'e Beach to Miloli'i is about 13 miles, and if you find a boat to take you in, boats are not permitted to land on the beach, so swimming the food and gear to shore can be exhilirating and a bit frightening when wind kicks up ocean swells.

At the westernmost end of Miloli'i is a bubbling stream and a narrow valley that becomes a narrow ravine between dry, 1500 foot walls. Despite a fraction of the rainfall experienced in Kalalau Valley or in the Koke'e mountains, the stream runs year round. Waterfalls and wading pools offer respite and cool refreshment against the blazing sun. From an  ancient settlement, modern day officials from the Department of Land and Natural Resources have piped the shower and water for washing from this stream to the campground area.   Besides the life-giving water, the stream provided native shrimp and o‘opu gobys, the latter a fish remarkabe for its ventral sucker that enables climbing waterfalls. These animals spend their very early life in the sea but soon ascend and colonize the mountain streams. The Milolii people also irrigated taro on the backshore flats behind the beach, and of course fished the extensive reef, whose bounty is revealed even today by the rich shell collecting it offers.

Permits are required to camp at Miloli'i. Camping permits for Kalalau and Milolii should be secured at least two months ahead of travel through Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources

 For more information, contact Sheila at hale.nanakai@hawaiiantel.net


The best massage on Kauai (808) 634-5441

Ingrid Levy gave me one of the best massages I have ever experienced in my 22 years of living on Kauai.

This gentle Colombian native, a former flight attendant for Avianca airlines (the official airline of Colombia) has honed her skills by specializing in lomi-lomi. But, that's not all. Ingrid's peaceful and picturesque studio in a shady neighborhood in Poipu, allows total relaxation, while birds chirp and palm trees sway outside the screen doors. 

After being well oiled and manipulated by skillful hands, Ingrid applied aroma therapy to my nose and upper lip, delighting the olfactory senses, and she clears the air with the heavenly sounds of tinkling chimes.

This is a full body massage, no doubt about it. Not to mention, this massage also benefits the mind and the 5 senses! Combining the essence of sound, smell and physical sensations, the client emerges refreshed, peaceful and totally relaxed. 

"Lomi-lomi massage is a traditional Polynesian technique that works gently, yet deeply into the muscles, using loving hands and a loving heart," Ingrid explains.

"The Hawaiians view all aspects of the body as one, and believe that the physical-mental-emotional and spiritual are all part of the "whole" self. When healing is affected on one level, all levels are affected. The ALOHA spirit refers to the attitude of friendliness and acceptance throughout the massage with the joyful sharing of life energy, or "mana" in the present moment".

For an appointment, call Ingrid at (808) 634-5441


Hale O Nanakai featured in Adventure World Magazine!

Kauai is aptly called “The Garden Island.” Although small, Kauai is more tropical and less developed than the other islands. After the short flight from Honolulu to the city of Lihu’e, we headed to the Hale O Nanakai B&B.
Hale O Nanakai B&B
Sheila Heathcote is the gracious owner of the Hale O Nanakai B&B. The premises are gorgeous and the view from
the lanai is breathtaking. Sheila, an accomplished writer on Kauai and its culture, was a delight and she provided a wealth of information on places to visit while on the island.
Po’ipu Beach Park
Po’ipu Beach Park is one of the best snorkeling areas on Kauai. Po’ipu Beach Park is located on the south coast below Koloa and is loaded with a variety of fish. Be sure and visit the nearby Spouting Horn, where water from the surf channels into a natural lava tube and spouts high into the air.

Captain Andy’s Sunset Cruise
Leaving out of Port Allen, Captain Andy’s large catamarans are the absolute best and most pleasurable way to see the spectacular Napali coast. The majestic mountains, covered with green and gold vegetation and the beautiful blue water and white sand beaches are unbelievable. In addition to this, whale and dolphin sightings are common. The crew cooks a steak and shrimp dinner to perfection, and right on cue, another Pacific sunset!
Article reprinted from the FALL 2014 issue #23 of Adventure World Magazine. 
To view the article, please go to:



Top three photos by Sheila Heathcote; Catamaran photo courtesy of Captain Andy's Sailing


Monk seals thrive on Larsen's Beach

 There are currently three mother seals and three pups on the North Shore of Kauai.

The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. Part of the "true seal" family (Phocidae), they are one of only two remaining monk seal species. The other is the Mediterranean monk seal. A third monk seal species--theCaribbean monk seal--is extinct.

Isolated from their closest relative 15 million years ago, Hawaiian monk seals are considered a "living fossil" because of their distinct evolutionary lineage.

Females generally mature around age 5; it is unknown when males mature. Monk seals are promiscuous and mate underwater. Given male-dominated sex ratios at some breeding colonies, group mobbing of "estrus" females is known to occur, sometimes causing serious injury or even death to the female.

The gestation period is 10-11 months. Birthing rates vary with a range of 30-70% of adult females birthing in a given year. While most births occur in late March and early April, birthing has been recorded year round. Newborns are black, and then molt near the end of their nursing period.

Nursing occurs for about 1 month, during which time the mother fasts and remains on land. After this period, the mother abandons her pup and returns to sea. Although they are generally solitary animals, females have been observed fostering others' offspring. The pup takes its entire nutrition from the mother's milk. As the pup grows larger, themother gets skinnier!

 Monk seals are primarily "benthic" foragers, feeding on a variety of prey including fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Their diet varies by location, sex, and age. Adults are generally nocturnal hunters while juveniles spend more time hunting species that hide in the sand or under rocks during the day. Monk seals generally hunt for food outside of the immediate shoreline areas in waters 60-300 feet (18-90 m) deep. Monk seals are also known to forage deeper than 1,000 feet (330 m), where they prey on eels and other benthic organisms.

(Photos above by Sheila Heathcote)

NMFS has developed a video, "Good Neighbors: How to Share Hawaii's Beaches with Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals," to enhance understanding of human-seal interactions and the direct impact that has on the population and recovery of the monk seal species:

link to Good Neighbors video
Video: How to Share Hawaii's Beaches with Endangered Monk Seals
Credit: NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office


How the Kauai locals live

Sustainability. GMO -free Zones. ""Smart" electrical meter-free Areas. Kauai is a grass-roots movement kind of island and many people take their stand vigorously. 

On only about an acre of land, a family of 5, along with co-operative caretakers and friends, make their home on a flowering garden of Eden at an undisclosed location on the North Shore of Kauai. 

Working the land for vegetables, duck eggs and brilliant flowers, this group includes a clothing designer, a master carpenter, a woodworker par excellence,  a concert pianist and an artist. 

Having come to Kauai from Europe many years ago, the family decided to adopt the rural lifestyle and make themselves a sustainable llifestyle, living off the land. 

And it works.

Ducks roam the garden and fertilize the crops. 


Communal cooking areas, an outdoor shower heated by solar and a Paloma when the sun doesn't shine, and a workshop full of recycled goods -- glass table tops to be made into circular windows, collected posts, planks and plywood, tin and tarps are the economical, environmental way to go in this locale.

Fruit trees, an artesian well and photovoltaeic panels keep the group mostly off the grid.

And they flourish.

Growing up in the Sixties, I heard about places like this. But I had never experienced one until I drove into this modern day "Shangri-La" with a friend.

TV is not an option. Music is made by musicians. Food is grown, washed and put in the kettle. No animals are sacrificed to feed this vegetarian family.

 Angels and Lilly ponds flow into waterfalls, and the pathway is made of hand mixed concrete hearts, adorned with patterns of tropical leaves and pieces of colorful, buffed glass.

All of this rests in front of a backdrop of brooding, verdant mountains, shrouded in gossamer mists. And the ocean, rivers and ponds are only minutes away.

If you have ever considered an alternative lifestyle, Kauai is the place to make that dream come true.

If were are serious about saving the planet, this is the way to do it!

(Photos by Sheila Heathcote)


Summer Special -- All Rooms 20% OFF through August

Summer for Weddings, Graduations and VACATION! For the month of June, 2014, Hale O Nanakai Bed & Breakfast has slashed room prices to fit the  discerning traveler's budget! 

Many airlines are offering "pre-Fourth of July" Specials and now is the time to visit and avoid the mid-summer crowds!

And with discounts like these, you can't go wrong!

Rent the entire upstairs (sleeps 5, full kitchen, Continental breakfast foods and Welcome Basket provided) for $245 per night!*

Laka's Garden, a two room apartment with Queen bed and pull out sofa bed, full kitchen and private entrance is reduced to $135 per night (for 2; each additional personaadd $20)

The Kahili Master Suite, has a king-sized Select Comfort Sleep Number bed, private bathroom and private entrance. Don't forget the HDTV WiFi and phone at no extra charge. Now priced at $115 per night!

Hina's Bed Chamber features a double, Select Comfort Sleep Number bed, HDTV WiFi and phone, and shares a bathroom for $89 per night.

The Maile Room is a perfect spot for the single traveler. The only room with A/C, it also shares the bath with Hina and is now priced at $65 per night! 

We are also proud to provide guests with Beach Towels, Robes, slippers, snorkeling gear, coolers, boogie boards, reef walkers and umbrellas or rain ponchos, island maps and hiking maps on loan.

There is  WiFi throughout the house, and rooms with landline phones offer local and US and Canada free long distance. We also have free parking on site.


* Offer good through Aug. 31. Does not include taxes and cleaning fees.  Call (808) 652-8071 or Book Now at www.nanakai.com/reservations


Katie Cassel honored for preserving Koke'e Wilderness

I met Katie up at Koke'e just after Hurricane Iniki when we were both  temporary residents enticed into the uplands by the extreme damage to habitable spaces on the rest of the island. What we found up there was the most incredibly beautiful, natural forest being invaded by introduced non-native plants and invasive, destructive alien plant and tree species.

We spent many days hiking the trails, learning the plants, and listening to lectures Katie organized through the Koke'e Museum by noted ornithologists, invasive species experts, geologists, fern experts, wildlife photographers and even historical legend writers. It was an amazing time on the mountain.  While I returned to my former occupations, nursing and and journalism, Katie went even deeper into the forest. In a few short years, she developed the Koke'e Conservation Resource Project in 1996 and the rest has been history and a far better chance of survival for native species on Kauai. Congratulations and Thank You to Katie Cassel and all her dedicated volunteers   --Sheila


2nd Annual Kickoff Event Recognizes Statewide Heroes – Volunteer opportunities held across the state

HONOLULU—On Monday March 3rd, Governor Neil Abercrombie kicked off Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness week with a proclamation and special recognition of this year’s Hawaii Invasive Species Council Award Recipients. Declaring that “invasive species pose the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s health, environment, economy, and people” the Governor praised the award recipients for their dedication to protecting Hawaii and encouraged all to continue leading the fight. State Representatives and Senators were on hand to present the awards which included 2013 Community Hero, 2013 Hottest Hotline Report to 643-PEST, 2013 Business Leader, Greatest Hit of 2013 and MVPS’s from each county in the state.

Kauai MVP 2014, presented by Representative Derek S.K. Kawakami, Representative James Tokioka, and Representative Dee Morikawa: Katie Cassel arrived in Kauai to help with the clean up after hurricane Iniki, and began the Kokee Resource Conservation Program (KRCP), when she recognized the need for a dedicated, volunteer-based program to help control invasive species in Kokee State Park to help protect the pristine forests that had already been devastated by destructive winds. She has been working tirelessly to involve not only the local community but also inspiring volunteers from all over the world to participate in conservation efforts on Kauai. Katie’s determination has allowed KRCP to lead over 27,000 volunteers resulting in the removal of over 10 million individual invasive plants in selected areas of Kokee State Park and Waimea Canyon State Park. Many of the people working in conservation on Kauai got their experience working under Katie and now hold positions at DLNR- DOFAW, KISC, the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), and many other groups helping to preserve Kauai’s natural resources. Katie has also formed many strong partnerships on Kauai through collaborative projects.

 Article and photos courtesy of Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources  dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/news/hisaw2014kickoff/


Flying high over Kauai

Story and photos by Emily Arbut

I've hiked many a trail on Kauai, it's my favorite pastime, but even my adventurous feet have a healthy respect for the Kalalau Trail.  An 11-mile, ever-muddy and eroded trail, the Kalalau starts at Kee Beach, crosses five different valleys and ends at secluded Kalalau Beach. It can be treacherous, but it's the only way to traverse the ruggedly magnificent, emerald green Napali Coast, the fabeled Northwest quadrant of Kauai.  The Napali Coast tops the picturesque list of Kauai, but, these days, with all the rain on the North shore, the Kalalau Trail is closed for all foot traffic.  

Napali is not-to-be-missed, so for explorers who know, there is only one alternative option: to see this beautiful coastline by air.  Nothing against boat tours, this mode of transportation is ideal for those looking to get some snorkeling in, and will be covered in an upcoming blog.  But, when it comes to stunning island panoramas, nothing can beat the window seat of a plane.  In an hours ride, the view is ever-changing, from coastline, to canyon, from swamp, to mountain top. Kauai landscape is breathtakingly diverse, and the water falls dotting the countryside never fail to illicit squeels of delight and camera clicks.  

Flying high over Kauai provides a greater appreciation for the luscious landscape of, "the Garden Island". Spanning the distance from East to West, South to North, the natural patchwork of the island pieces together to form one beautiful masterpiece.


Editor's Note: Article and Photos by Emily Arbut

Air transport provided by Wings Over Kauai Air Tours (808) 635-0815


Home Sweet Hawaii

Story and photos by Emily Arbut

Etched in memory from my first trip to Kauai, more than 4 years ago, was this deck view from the beautiful Hale O' Nanakai.  It had been only a dream that I would one day return back to the lush tranquility of the garden island. Kauai is, simultaneously, a sanctuary where one can feel at peace, and a treasure trove of breath-taking sights at every turn.  One can't help but become engulfed in the hospitable embrace of both the natural environment, and the island populous.

Hale O' Nanakai owner, Sheila Heathcote, embodies this unique spirit of Kauai. Easy-going, yet an encyclopedia of adventure; she is the perfect hostess for just about anyone.  On my first visit, she went out of her way to make certain that I experienced the island from every angle, and for that, I would have done just about anything to repay her kindess.  Over the years, thanks to the wonders of Facebook, we managed to stay connected.  When she sent out an SOS for help during the holiday months, I knew wild horses couldn't keep me away.  I would finally have the chance to give back to the person and the island that had given me so much.From now thru the end of March, I am the luckiest of ladies, as I take on the role of jack-of-all trades at Hale O' Nanakai.  Duties include, but are not limited to: cleaning rooms, helping with breakfast, taking reservations and leveraging my social media skills on the blog and beyond.  

That being said, island living means a healthy balance between work and play, providing me with the opportunity to explore the island on afternoons and days-off.  If you are reading this, I hope that you will stay with us, and that I will have the privelege to share my Kauai experiences in-person.  If not, please feel free to follow this blog in the months to come.  I will share some of the adventures that one woman, and her '96 Honda Coupe "Hawaii car", can encounter on the island of Kauai.  Until then, ALOHA friends!


Moon Bow Magic Gifts, Hanapepe

On a recent trip to Hanapepe -- the little town where "art night" is held every Friday evening from 6 - 9 PM -- I ducked into Little Fish Coffee to check out the boutique that resides in the garden area behind. 

Surrounded by blossoming tropical flowers, Andrea King's adorable shop, called Moon Bow Magic" surprised me with the array and variety of affordable gifts, knick knacks, jewelry, art, fabric creations and sculpture -- to mention only a few. 

I found two last minute gifts that fit my budget perfectly and were highly appreciated by the recipients.

It might be a little hard to find-- the only indication being a sign that says "OPEN" on a red wooden fence  leading to an alley just before the Little Fish Coffee Company if you are walking east. If you don't see the sign, go in Little Fish's front door and go out the back door to Moon Bow Magic. 

Don't forget to stop and have a tasty Smoothie or delicious coffee while in transit. 

Andrea says she travels the world in search of unique gift items to ensure a variety that can't be found anywhere else on Kauai. "When I bring items into my store, they have to be more than unique; they have to be fun, sophisticated, elegant and sassy!"

"I love to connect with travelers from around the world and enjoy matching my items to individual tastes. You can be sure that your gift won’t be found in any tourist shop on the island. Filled with tropical plants, shade giving trees and water sculptures, my courtyard entrance is a relaxing way to sip a cup of tea and discuss any special orders you may have."

Check out the boutique in person, online at http://www.moonbowmagic.com/MoonbowMagic or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MoonBowMagicGiftGallery.

The shop is located at 3900 Hanapepe Road Courtyard Unit E, P.O. Box 955, Hanapepe, Hawaii 96716. Call (808) 335-5890 for more information.

(Photos by Sheila Heathcote) 


Ancient Hawaiian Village to Become "Cultural Center” at the Gateway to Poipu Beach

Over the summer months, many have been watching closely as the restoration project, involving a significant ancient Hawaiian village, got under way at the corner of Poipu and Hoowili Roads. Many believed it was simply a capital improvement project along the roadside, but as the new perimeter wall took shape and culminated with the installation of four beautifully carved Kii, clearly this project was something much more.

Completely encompassed by roadways and encroaching development, the site is largely intact, but in desperate need of rehabilitation. The ancient kahua has suffered instances of flooding, disturbance and theft of sacred rocks. The complex has also succumbed to dense vegetation overgrowth, and its rock walls are deteriorating and partially collapsed. Without the current preservation and repair work, this rare and remarkable heritage site would have been lost.

Kaneiolouma is considered sacred to the Hawaiian culture as well as an important historic landmark for the residents of Kauai. Within the complex, an intricate system of walls and terraces trace the architecture of an ancient way of life. Remnants of house sites, fishponds, taro fields, above ground irrigation channels, shrines, altars and idol sites lie relatively undisturbed near the scene of epic battles and legends spanning a millennium. Near its center, the complex contains what may be the only intact Makahiki (ancient Hawaiian sporting arena) in the state as well as the sacred spring of Waiohai.

Members of the Native Hawaiian group Hui Malama O Kaneiolouma have unofficially cared for Kaneiolouma for more than a decade. The group has an enduring vision and mission to protect, restore, interpret and share Kaneiolouma as a public cultural preserve. Under a Stewardship Agreement signed in August 2010, the County of Kauai has granted formal custodianship of the complex to the group and it is through their leadership and hard work that their vision is now being realized.

The restoration has been planned in four phases and is expected to span the next seven years. Phase One, which commenced earlier this year, involves the completion of the security wall, followed by hurricane debris removal and a comprehensive 3D survey and documentation.

Phase Two, spanning years two and three of the seven year plan, involves wall restoration, the completion of a drainage and flood mitigation plan, creation of interpretive signage and a traffic plan.

Phase Three will begin with the reconstruction of the fishpond, restoration of taro fields and selected house sites connected by pathways, viewing points and interpretive signage will be installed. Upon the completion of Phase Three, the site will be officially opened to the public.

The project will be completed in Phase Four. The final work involves the design and completion of the visitor learning center and integration into the larger Poipu Beach Park complex.

As we watch the day-to-day work, we all realize what a significant project this is not only for the Hawaiian community but for all of us who love and care for Kauai and its special history. Through the passion and dedication of a community working together, Kahua O Kaneiolouma will emerge from hiding as a shining example of what divergent people can accomplish when they work together towards a common goal with Aloha and Lokahi (unity).

Thanks to Makai Properties (www.makaiproperties.com) for the article and great real estate options.

(Photo by Sheila Heathcote)


Lighten Up, Seven Ways to Kick the Suffering Habit by Deborah Duda

Need a new book to read? Well, here is one that is sure to get you thinking!

A practical guide to increasing the joy in our daily lives by healing the suffering habit.


KAUA’I, Hawai’i: Ask yourself, “When was the last time I felt joyful?” If the answer is not “Today”, reading Lighten Up, Seven Ways to Kick the Suffering Habit will open a door in your life. 

Part memoir, part exposé, Lighten Up is not a book for sissies. It takes courage to acknowledge the sadness and losses in our lives, let them go, and reclaim our joy.

Suffering is the least recognized, most widespread, most pernicious addiction of our time, according to the author. We live in a world where angst is prevalent and, for many, even fashionable.

Most of humanity believes suffering is inevitable. While feeling emotional pain is unavoidable as we make peace with the often-profound changes in our lives, suffering –- pain prolonged -- is optional. Lighten Up exposes the severity of the suffering habit and shares practical, and often fun, options for changing our limiting ideas and behaviors so we can live more light-heartedly.

“We are hardwired for bliss, both physical and divine,” concluded Candice Pert, Ph.D., after thirty years of research as a Georgetown University School of Medicine research professor and a National Institute for Mental Health section chief.

Lightening up is the greatest gift we can give to our families, our communities, and our world.  Being a profoundly contented person who feels a joyful kinship with all of life is the major work of a lifetime. 

Lighten Up is available on Amazon and Kindle, at http://www.amazon.com/Lighten-Up-Seven-Suffering-Habit/dp/1475263783