Maniniholo Dry Cave, Haena Beach Park

Maniniholo Dry Cave

Maniniholo Dry Cave and Haena Beach Park is a popular attraction for those visiting the North Shore of Kauai. This ancient site is located across from Ha’ena Beach Park, on highway 560.

Maniniholo Dry Cave is said to have formed naturally thousands of years ago.  The sea level was higher and the ocean once used to hit the base of the cliff. As a result, erosion from the waves formed the cave.  The sand was brought into Maniniholo Dry Cave during the 1957 tsunami. In addition, stones have been piled in the front of the cave by locals as well as native Hawaiians.  


About 300 yards deep, with plenty of standing room, the cave is great for exploration.  The floor is covered by sand as well as large stones.  Furthermore, keiki love to explore the cave and run around.  Consequently, a flashlight is needed to go deeper into the cave. We used the one on our cell phone.

Hawaiian Culture and History

Maniniholo Cave and the surrounding Haena area has its importance in Hawaiian culture and history.  In Hawaiian legends, it is told that this dry cave was once used by menehune to escape danger. For that reason, the cave was used as a passage route to get from one side of the island to the other.

 Another Hawaiian legend says that this cave was named after Maniniholo, the head fisherman of the Menehune.  Maniniholo used it to catch many fish here at Ha’ena. On one account, after catching many fish, he left some of the catch under the cliff. The menehune then carried the rest of the fish to the island’s interior to other menehune.  However, when they returned to gather the rest of the fish, they saw an akua (supernatural beast/ spirit) who took the fish that they had left there.  In order to catch the supernatural beast, they decided to dig a cave and make a trap.  This cave is the remnants of the menehune work.  Other legends say that the menehune dug the cave looking for imps that stole their fish.

Parking and Information

Ke’e Beach, Hae’na and the North Shore was impacted by a severe flood in April 2018. As a result, the road to Ke’e Beach and the surrounding area (right past Hanalei) was restricted due to repairs and maintenance. Since then, a shuttle service has been established to help transport visitors to many popular destinations past Hanalei.  This will help preserve the beautiful landscape and limit traffic flow to the recovering areas impacted by the flood. In order to visit this area, you must book tickets for the shuttle in advance as most shuttles are booked two weeks out in advance.  Here is the link to the website.

Shuttle services are provided at various locations where you can park and take the shuttle to your destination.

Make sure to make it back for the last shuttle that leaves at 5:00 pm.  

Another option to get to attractions, sites and beaches past Hanalei is to purchase a pass for entry and parking. Facilities with limited parking spaces and monitored entry, require parking permits that need to be purchased a week in advance as there are only a set number of dedicated parking stalls for visitors.  It is advised that visitors plan ahead if wanting to take a day trip to Ke’e Beach or hike the Hanakapiai or Kalalau Trail. You can get a permit two weeks in advance before heading to the area.

Haena Beach

During the winter months, the surf can be very high and beachgoers should heed caution. Inevitably, the beach will be closed by lifeguards when conditions are too rough.

The Maniniholo Dry cave is a great place to take a break from a long drive. As a result our boys get a chance to stretch their legs and run around.  They also get to explore one of Kauai’s natural wonders. After visiting the cave, they came up with so many stories.  This is where the Batman and Spiderman lives.  They also claimed to see blood on the rocks.  Whether adult or keiki, your imagination runs wild as you enter the cave.  Will the space cave in?  How was this cave formed?  What was the cave used for?  What’s in the darkness?  Are the Legends of the Evil Spirit true?  Maniniholo Dry Cave and Haena Beach Park is great for exploration and play with your keiki.




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Upcoming Holiday Events on Kauai

Here are some upcoming events that make us proud to be one L.O.C.A.L on Kauai.

Tree Lighting in Waimea, November 30th

On November 30, 2017 the West Kauai Business and Professional Association will be holding their annual tree lighting ceremony.  This will be at the newly renovated Hofgaard Park in the center of Waimea town.  Beginning at 5:30 and after the sunset, the tree as well as the historic town buildings and businesses will turn on their lights for the holiday season.  They will exhibit their festive decorations.

This event sponsors keiki literacy and will feature a storytime for children. Mayor Bernard Carvalho will be present and read a story from Moana.  The Waimea highschool band will also play.

County Buildings Festival of Lights, Lihue

Historic County Buildings Festival of Lights will run from December 1-30, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 pm.  This event is featuring Christmas decorations made with recycled products.  Also, local themed decorated Christmas trees that are influenced by Hawaii’s LOCAL culture will be featured.  For more information you can check out

Rice Street Parade in Lihue, December 1st

On Friday, December 1, 2017 from 6:00-8:00 pm Rice Street will be holding its annual light parade.  One of Kauai’s largest gatherings, the Lights on Rice event is definitely a must do. It is a treat to both visitors and locals.  Live entertainment, food booths and many organizations, clubs, community groups and families make this event a true L.O.C.A.L (Loving Our Community and Lifestyle) experience.

Arrive early to find parking. Parking can be found near the Lihue Civic Center, Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall, Vidinha Stadium, and at business parking lots on Rice street.  Free Shuttle services are provided at Kukui Grove Shopping Center from 5:00-9:00 pm.  The shuttle will depart from the First Hawaiian Bank at Kukui Grove and will drop off guests at the First Hawaiian Bank on Rice Street.  With the limited parking spaces on and near Rice Street, taking a shuttle is recommended for both Kama’aina and visitors.  Rice Street will be closed down from 5:30 pm and will reopen after the event is finished.  Please be aware that the closure may restrict  your access to leave if you are parked near Rice Street.

Plan Ahead and Stay Safe

The parade will begin at Vidhina Stadium and will go through Rice Street ending at the Kauai County Building.  It is best to plan and stay at the event. Take tme to enjoy the many different food vendors, shops, craft fair and boutiques that are in the area.  There will be a variety of local products to purchase and great food to eat. Many participants and performers are in this year’s event. Advisors expect 60 units and 3,000 performers.  Beautifully decorated floats along with energized walking troupes for various community groups and organizations will make this parade an entertaining and festive occasion.  This is one of Kauai’s largest attractions. The Rice Street parade is a family event that is a must-see if visiting or residing on Kauai

For parades, please be sure to accompany your keiki at all times. Keep keiki on the sidewalks to be safe.  Keiki will have the opportunity to get candy and treats from many of the groups and organizations in the parade. They will also get to see a number of Santa Claus. There are some pretty cool vehicles that you may not see otherwise.

Waimea Light Parade, December 16th

On Saturday, December 16, 2017 the 23rd Annual Waimea Christmas Light Parade will be taking place in Waimea. Starting from the Waimea Canyon Park the parade will, make its way down from Waimea Canyon Rd. to the main street of Waimea town (Kaumualii Hwy.) to Ala Wai Road.  It will then head back West on Waimea Road to end back at Hofgaard Park. This annual event is one of West Kauai’s largest gathering for locals.  The parade features many hand crafted floats created by over 40 different groups.  Many of our local organizations, businesses and families are represented.

Holiday Tradition continues

Westside LOCALS, look forward to this event as it is a tradition.  It makes those living here appreciate the community we live in, the love we have for each other and the beautiful island that we share.  The event first started in 1994 with only a collection of lighted fishing boats, a red tractor, and a few walking and bicyclists that was led by the mayor in a fire truck.  Over the years, this annual event has grown in the number of participants as well as its popularity among local families and visitors alike.  It is a once a year event in Waimea, where the Holiday Season is at it’s best. The quiet little town is vibrant and energized with entertainment, good food and lots of people on the streets mingling and having a good time.

Parking for the Event

This event is not as large as the Lights in Lihue Parade. However, there will be many people in town trying to stake their spot for viewing the parade.  For convenience in parking, it is best to park on the Kekaha Side of Town across from the Waimea Plantation Cottages and alongside the road.  There will be very little parking in Waimea Town as many residents and businesses will have had most parking taken well before the event starts.  You will even see lawn chairs and people set up seating areas for the their family and friends three to four days before the event.  With that being said, the best thing to do is come early before the bridge closes at 5:30 pm.

Spend some time exploring the West side of Kauai, which may include: visiting the beaches, going up to Waimea Canyon/ Kokee, getting a bite to eat, grabbing some snacks and refreshments, or hanging out in the town well before the big party begins.

Preparing to arrive in Waimea Town at 4:00 pm to get a good spot is advised.  Kaumualii Highway will reopen after the parade is finished (This may be around 7:00-7:30pm) so if you are trying to get somewhere, plan accordingly.  Only emergency vehicles will be authorized to use Kaumualii Hwy and head eastbound.

Kuk’s Mini Golf

Kuk’s Mini Golf: Kukuiolono Park, Kalaheo

Nested in a prime location at Kukuiolono Park, Kalaheo you will find a Mini golf course next to the 9-hole Kukuiolono Golf Course and driving range called “Kuk’s Mini Golf”.  If you are a golfer or not, this mini golf is a great place to take your keiki for an outing.  For those staying on the South Shore or West Side of the island, Kukuiolono Park is about 20 minutes away.

Spectacular Views and Weather

Enjoy the spectacular views of both the South and West Shores.  Kuk’s Mini Golf offers golfers young and old a chance to putt around and enjoy the beautiful weather of Kauai.  You could also get a few swings in on the driving range while being able to take your kids along.

For Real!

Unlike most miniature golf courses, the setup is created with real grass.  It includes local plants and flowers, Hawaiian rocks, a Japanese garden, and water features.  Also, original park artifacts that have been excavated from the land are part of the layout. The course is intended to mimic the regulation nine-hole golf course with smaller versions of the Japanese and Hawaiian gardens that are also found on the property.

This mini golf course is one of three opportunities for mini golf on the island of Kauai.  It is a great place to stop for a quick lunch break. Grab some refreshments at Paco’s Tacos Cantina which is located in the Clubhouse.

A Piece of Kauai History

As it is still a work in progress, Kuk’s Mini Golf has plans on using the venue to educate others about Hawaiiana and other cultural ethnicities that create the diverse population of the Island of Kauai.  A piece of history on Kauai can be found here at Kuk’s mini golf course.  

Also read our blog on Kukuiolono Park, Kalaheo here >>>>




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L.O.C.A.L.  Loving Our Community And Lifestyle ™ 




Kilauea Point Lighhouse and National Wildlife Refuge

At the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge you will encounter unprecedented sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.  The contrast of colors in this landscape is amazing with the deep greens and browns of the cliffside, to the blacks of the rocks, to the vibrant bright blues of the ocean.


There are many things to take notice of and engage the keiki in.


Seabirds are everywhere, hugging the cliffs, hovering above you, hiding from you, and even walking amongst you. Observation scopes are located throughout the pathways and binoculars are available for the keiki to use. Just sign them out and return when you are done.

Observation scopes
Hovering Seabirds


Besides the opportunity see seabirds in their natural habitat, there are also opportunities to see other wildlife such as whales and dolphins, endangered Nene, and Hawaiian monk seals. On this particular day, the Nene were approaching nesting season. Therefore, we were able to observe mating behaviors such as them “talking” to each other and acting territorial. We have also seen whales during whale watching season which runs from November-May. Dolphins can also be spotted from the lookout areas and are usually most visible during the summer months.


Along the property there are informational picture boards which provide a visual inventory of what to look for. Walking up the pathway to the lighthouse, take notice of the abundance of native plants. Try to have the keiki match the picture and the description with the plants around you. The easiest one to identify is the native Napaka shrub. It has waxy green leaves with white flowers that have five petals and looks like a half-flower. Your keiki can reach these along the path and feel the surface of the leaves for the texture.

There is a Hawaiian legend that goes with this half – flower that you can tell your keiki. One version is about a royal princess who fell in love with a commoner from the mountains. Together the princess and the commoner traveled up the mountain in distress. The kupuna told them that there is nothing that he could do so that they could be together.  So as a token or rememberance of her love, the princess took the flower from her ear and tore it in half telling the commoner that he must go by the water and live.

Since then, the Naupaka flower only bloomed in half-flowers where one-half can be found near the sea and it’s counter-part found in the mountains.  Some say that if you find one of each flower and put them together, you reunite their love and it can bring you good luck. The Naupaka plant can easily root near sand and rocks and is found along most of the beaches on Kauai as it prevents erosion.  

4. Kilauea Point Lighthouse

The historic Daniel Inouye Lighthouse is another highlight. Tours are offered on certain days and times of the week, so if you are interested in actually going up into the lighthouse, plan ahead. Children need to be 44 inches tall for this activity.


Admission for children 15 and under are free and adults are $5 per person so this is a great bargain.  If you are a L.O.C.A.L. (Kamaaina) you can purchase a yearly pass for $20 that allows entry for 4 people.  Only cash and traveler’s check are accepted as forms of payments, so make sure you bring some cash.  The Refuge is closed on Sunday and Monday and open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm so plan accordingly.


On the way out, there is a great bookstore that offers books and gifts or information to reinforce anything that your keiki may have been interested in

Nesting Shearwater

Getting There

Heading north on Kuhio Hwy. from Lihue pass through the towns of Kapaa and Anahola.  The next town is Kilauea (look for the gas station on the right) and turn right onto Kolo Road.  Pass the gas station and make the first left onto Kilauea Road.  The refuge is at the end of this scenic road, about 2 miles in.

I had this old photo from 2008, when my family visited!

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Kukuiolono Park, Kalaheo

Looking Backwards at Forward Thinking

Understanding the history of the Kukuiolono Park will allow for a deeper appreciation of all that this park has to offer and what it represents.  Walter McBryde, a visionary and successful businessman gifted this 178 acre park to the people of Kalaheo and Kauai upon his death in 1930.  His wish was to have the park not only for the residents of Kalaheo, but surrounding communities.

Kukuiolono Park, Kalaheo

Walter McBryde’s burial site

 In 1907, McBryde purchased 346 acres at a public auction and then leased half of it to finance the maintenance of the other half. He built the park and added a golf course in 1928.  When McBryde who is buried at Kukuiolono died, he contributed his life savings to maintain this park.


Three Trademarks of Kukuiolono Park

There are three distinguishable things about this park that stand out.

1. Historical Picture Boards:

These pictures boards which are in the entrance to the gardens, in the pavilion and at the golf course clubhouse, pay tribute to McBryde and represent the historical significance of the area. These are from the archives of Kukuiolono, Kauai Museum, and community members.

2. Japanese and Hawaiian Gardens

The Japanese Tea Garden is full of statues, fountains, bonsai trees, and bridges. There is also a Hawaiian Rock garden depicting ancient artifacts and a meditation pavilion.

Meditation pavilion

3. The Pavilion

The Pavilion located ¼ mile from the parking lot up to the peak provides a secluded relaxing area to digest the surrounding peace and unprecedented sweeping views of Kauai’s southern and western shorelines. My son and I made the trek up, as he enjoyed running down the tree lined path just before reaching the pavilion.

Fun for Our Keiki and Visitors

The keiki always love a trip to Kukuiolono park to play in the gardens and to frolic in the open space.  Our family enjoy the safe, relaxing lush environment that this park provides.  The keiki enjoy feeding the chickens, and playing hide and go seek on the offbeat walking paths in the Japanese Tea garden as well as Hawaiian Rock Garden.   Hiding underneath the foot bridge to play out the three billy goats Gruff is always included. 

 Kukuiolono is one of the best places we like to take our children and guests.  It is a great place to take our visitors for a quick game of golf and a nice place to have a family picnic.  Kukuiolono park is one of those hidden gems on Kauai which locals and visitors alike can enjoy. Through the experience, you gain an appreciation to those of our past, such as Walter McBryde’s, who exercised forward thinking.  His vision can help us understand that we can also leave our legacies in our own communities.  Walter McBryde was loving our community and lifestyle, a true L.O.C.A.L.

Getting There

To reach Kukuiolono Park, head mauka, towards the mountains to the town of Kalaheo.  At the light, turn left onto Papalina Road.  The green sign for Papalina Road is undeniably bold and cannot be missed.  Turn right onto Puu Road and then a quick right for the front entrance to the park.  Pass through the stone archway which was constructed to honor Walter McBryde’s mother. You will travel up the path along a rock wall to the parking lot.  If you make a right right turn at the reindeer, before the parking lot, it will take you to Kukuiolono Golf Course clubhouse, (a 9-hole community golf course that is affordably priced).  There you will experience more sweeping views of Kauai’s southwestern side including a view of Kalaheo Coffee Plantation.




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L.O.C.A.L.  Loving Our Community And Lifestyle ™ 




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