The Big Island of Hawaii – a Photo Essay

The Big Island of Hawaii is known for volcanos, lush land of the east bordering the desert of the western side. Small towns and villages with coffee that is AMAZING! But, to really enjoy this island one must either experience it in person or take a view through the lens of another.

Below you will find a few different groupings of photos and a video. The first is a slideshow of the Kona area, including the coffee farms and “shacks” that make it extra special.

Next you will see a carousel from the Volcano National Park- yes there are ACTIVE volcanos on the Big Island.

Historical sites are throughout the island, but many are in the upper west and north quadrant. Don’t miss them. Enjoy this carousel feature, too.

Charming is how I would describe Hilo! Small town vibe with excellent beaches, shops, and restaurants. Don’t miss this part of the island or the photos in the last carousel.

The Rainbow Falls are highlighted in a serene video below. All photos and video are property of moi- Louise Sattler and not for duplication or “snatching”. Thanks!

KONA, The Big Island’s home to tourists and coffee!

THE BIG ISLAND – VOLCANO TIME!


Historic Sites (north and west shore)



The Rainbow Falls are serene and lovely – stop when visiting Hilo.

Visiting Dog Friendly Paso Robles and Morro Bay, California

Confession. Our recent trip to Paso Robles was the first vacation with our 65 pound dog that entailed staying in a hotel. Our adventure was a four- hour drive along the California coastline to Paso Robles – aka “Wine Country of the central California region”.

First off, Paso Robles is extremely dog friendly. And, thanks to BringFido.com we were able to download a list of attractions, restaurants, and hotels that were open to dog guests. After much consideration (and due to pup size limits at some hotels) – we decided to stay at the La Quinta – located a few minutes from downtown Paso Robles. The room was spacious, lots of areas to walk our dog, and there was NO extra charge for a dog that left the room in the same condition when entered. The people were very friendly and accommodating. Our unit had a kitchen and a large sitting area – so we had plenty of space. Bonus- we backed up to a small petting zoo with cows, sheep, and a few emu that provided endless hours of entertainment for humans and pups, alike!

Of course we didn’t drive all that distance to stay in the hotel. So explore we did!


Good Eats!

While there are many restaurants that we visited – these establishments were found to be very dog friendly and we would give them high marks for both food/ wine and flexibility.

Blast and Brew – right in the heart of the Paso Robles main square. The food (salads and pizza) were very tasty. The “pour your own brew” feature was a winner with hubby. Bayla loved the ongoing attention and treats!

The Hearst Ranch Winery – If you take a side trip to the lesser explored areas surrounding Paso Robles I hope you stumble upon the Hearst Ranch Winery. Here you will find delicious wines and cheeses. Dog friendly, quiet, comfortable, and staffed with super kind and knowledgable people. Ranay, our designated staff member, was extremely helpful with educating hubby and I about the area, wines, and history of the ranch. A ” must do” if you are “winery hopping”. Plus, dogs are welcome and spoiled here!


The Backyard at Thirteenth. This is an open air restaurant that does not provide indoor seating. So, come prepared if it is very hot or looks like rain. The food was good as I thoroughly enjoyed my veggie burger with a spicy sauce. The fries were standard. Several dogs were in the area – all leashed – so there was peace in the “backyard”.


Dog Friendly things to do in Paso Robles

  1. Wineries. There are a reported 200 plus wineries and tasting rooms with a short distance of Paso Robles or within the town itself. Pace yourself. Click here for information.
  2. Urban Adventure Quest A scavenger hunt that takes you around key areas in the downtown area of Paso Robles. Both family and fido friendly. We had a blast. All three of us!
  3. Antique shopping. Depending on the store and if there is an outside shopping area – Dogs are sometimes welcome.
  4. Visiting the Mission of San Miguel. We kept our Bayla confined to outside areas only – out of respect and also we believe it is a rule.
  5. Visiting Morro Bay – a must! This place at sunset is simply gorgeous.


Recommended Resource: BringFido.com is invaluable as a resource for where “Fido” is welcome when traveling

TripAdvisor – The Forum (TripAdvisor.com)

Say Hello to Palm Springs, California!

Before I ever visited Palm Springs, California I had envisioned it to be stuck in the 1960’s. I had thoughts of old cars with “fins” riding up and down the palm tree-lined streets. I assumed that every home was painted pink or neon green (or both). And, that the sounds of Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin were heard on stereos everywhere you turned.

You know what? I wasn’t that far off with my “visions”. You see Palm Springs is a quirky city. Parts of it are hipster 2022 while much of it seems stuck in the decade of Marilyn Monroe. In fact, the streets are often named after presidents who lived or vacationed in the area or mega-watt celebrities of past eras. And… I love it!

If you decide to visit Palm Springs (or are returning) – here are some tips on how to maximize the fun factor.

Book ahead. You can save a heap of $$ if you book ahead using one of the many discount websites. You know that I love TripAdvisor for just this reason.

We stayed at the Shadow Ridge Resort in the Palm Desert/ Rancho Mirage area, a Marriott property. This is a timeshare resort that offers apartments, when available. You can always trust that a Marriott will be top-notch with quality amenities – like golf, pool, spa, and more. For more information go here.


(Plus, many more suggestions below)

#1 PIONEERTOWN

This place is actually 45 minutes or so outside of Palm Springs. Known for being an old movie set converted to part artist colony and part honky tonk village – Pioneertown is sure to please most people. Please note that there is a lot of sand in Pioneertown. This will make mobility carts/ wheelchairs tough to get around. But, you can access the fun and delicious Pappy and Harriet’s restaurant without any problem. This place is reason alone to go to the high desert. Plus, you are very close to Joshua Tree – so consider that a bonus to your visit!

Scenes from Pioneertown


#2 The PALM SPRINGS TRAMWAY!

I absolutely love this tramway! The people are exceptionally nice and knowledgable. (A Shout-Out to a staff member – Gil!) The ten-minute tramway ride takes you to over 8 thousand feet above sea level. There are two restaurants at the top building. Plus, you can see miles and miles from the balconies and the building. The gift shop is really chocked full of fun and interesting items for all ages. And, the tramway is accessible for people who need mobility equipment. On the way down to the base building, our tramway conductor put on music, and collectively the riders sang to Neil Diamond’s, Sweet Caroline!

Call ahead for your tickets here.

Ride the tramway in this video!


#3 THE LIVING DESERT

The Living Desert combines a wonderful eco-friendly zoo with lovely botanical gardens. It is small enough to visit in just a few hours or discover in small bites. We went with friends when it opened because the Palm Springs afternoons can be brutally hot. Easy access and multi-lingual information is available. Great for couples, families, or solo travelers! Visit their website here.


Runner-Ups for my “Best of Palm Springs” list:

The Cabazon Dinosaurs. A fun park intended for families with young children. Great for Instagrammers!

The Palms to Pines Scenic Ride (and a visit to Lake Hemet)

Agua Caliente Casino – Actually there are three! Photo credit: Agua Caliente

Whitewater Preserve This is a great place to rest, relax, and have a picnic!

Wait there is more!

Click on the links below to discover more about Palm Springs

Great Restaurants on Palm Canyon Drive

Village Fest

Antique and Thrift Shopping

Traveling with disabilities to Palm Springs

Palm Springs Road Names (yes, many are in memory of celebrities!)


For more about Palm Springs and area hotels, restaurants, and more go to VisitPalmSprings.com

My Journey with the making of “The Salon” – Culminating with a Win! (Indie Series Award for Best Ensemble- Comedy)

It has been more than four years since I sat with my friend Roxanne Messina Captor at the Yellow Vase in Redondo Beach to discuss a possible extension of her short film – A Couple of White Chicks at the Hairdresser. This older film with the not so politically correct title, told the story of the comings and goings of “frenemies” who routinely met at their upscale hair salon. Loosley based on Roxanne’s own experiences, the film became popular and award nominated. Fans of of principle actor, Harry Shearer loved it. Fast forward a few years to when Roxanne was being urged by her friends to continue the “chicks” storyline. With much consideration and more than a few cups of coffee- the ideas for “The Salon” began to percolate (oh come’on it was too easy to make that pun).

For me, meeting that day with Roxanne was my baptism into how one creates a digital series. This week, I found out that the arc of digital series making also can be a like a rainbow- with a pot of gold at the end. For on April 7th The Salon won the Indie Series Award for Best Ensemble – Comedy.

I have a confession. I didn’t expect us to win. The competition was fierce! In fact, I was so lackadaisical about us winning that a few minutes into the ceremony I took off my shoes. Only minutes before our category was announced by Jason Stuart and Mitch Hara did I think to put back on my shoes. That was a good call.

And the winner for Best Ensemble – Comedy goes to … The Salon! “, announced Stuart and Hara

I couldn’t believe it! With aching feet, but exhilerated, I joined Roxanne and members of the cast, Kate Linder, Luis Jose Lopez, and Akende Munalula to receive the award on stage. When we hopped on the stage we were met with lots of cheers from the audience. Roxanne began her eloquent speech that touched on how important inclusion was to her for this project. She told the attentive audience about how she used humor juxtapose with pathos in The Salon. She added her admiration to the ensemble cast who she remarked brilliantly brought the characters they played to life. She thanked the cast and crew – who worked for SAG deferment – and gave a shout-out to all who took this journey with her.

What a night! WOW oh WOW!

What next? Well, now we are on to the next chapter for The Salon.

When an award is given as a recognition of the caliber of a project- it is the hopes of the creators that there is a “something next”. In this case, the hopes are that The Salon finds a permanent home on a streaming network in order for a large audience to enjoy it and for the story to continue with a Season 2.

I hope I piqued your curiosity. And before ending this article let me give my own thanks to all who were involved – most of all the visionary – Roxanne Messina Captor.

Here are related links followed by photos from the Indie Series Awards and behind the scenes.

TheSalonDigitalSeries.com

Last press release

Meet the cast:

Official poster:


Indie Series Awards 2022 – The Salon photos


Behind the Scenes of the Making of The Salon

Everything Danish (almost) is found in Solvang, California

Looking for a get-away vacation? Perhaps a place to rest your weary head when traveling along the coastal highways of California? Look no further than the quaint, culturally rich, proud Danish town of Solvang.

The first time I visited Solvang, a hamlet about 40 miles north of Santa Barbara nestled in the San Inez area of California, was before my college years. The second time I was pushing a baby buggy. So, obviously, it has been a long while and I was overdue. The Solvang I remembered has grown, but still kept the charm I recalled. Ready to be enticed to visit with a Top 5 list of things to do when visiting Solvang? I hope so!


Here are my TOP 5 things to do while visiting Solvang.

Visit the Elverhoj Museum

Located on a side street, but close to town, is the charming Elverhoj Museum. Partly a historical homage to the city of Solvang and part art gallery, this museum was once was the home of Viggo Brandt-Erichsen and his wife, Martha Mott. Both Viggo and Martha were renowned artisans. Together they built a sensational home/art gallery packed full of photos and art but nailing together boards the “old fashioned way” – one peg at a time. The building is a testimony to the heritage of Danish culture and the history of Solvang. Well worth your time and guess what – it is FREE (but donations are welcome!)

Discovering and Creating Solvang …

When you enter the Elverhoj museum take time to chat with the uber knowledgeable docents, Linda and Kirsten. They relay and weave many that may you feel as if you are being transported in time. After you have completed touring the rooms – be sure to stop in the art gallery. Currently, they have an exhibit titled Fables, Foibles, and Fairy Tales by Susan Read Cronin. These whimsical sculptures just add to the charm of this lovely experience!


#2 Old Mission of Santa Ynes

The Old Mission of Santa Ynes is a lovely place to go and visit a true California relic. However, due to Covid 19, it would seem that the mission has restricted tour hours. But, the grounds are open and they welcome guests walking about.


#3 Take a sweet tour…

The Solvang Visitor Center offers a variety of tours throughout the year. The walking tours are under two hours and stop at a variety of “hot” spots (Most stops are yummy bakeries and candy shops – my kind of tour!).

Along the way, you can spot the Hans Christian Anderson bookstore, see the horse-drawn trolleys, and visit the Water Tower. (Langauge aficionados will want to try to read the various inscriptions on the side of the tower – representing a variety of cultures). Oh, guess what?! Kirsten (from the Elverhoj) and her dad, Dean, were our tour guides!


#4 Wine! Wine! Wine!

Wineries and taverns with tastings are throughout this area. From small bistros downtown to the large vineyards that adorn the perimeter of the towns – you will find a wine for nearly every palate. Many establishments serve small bites – while others are minimalistic. Prices vary. Ask around. The local folks have their favorites!

#5 Solvang is a Restaurant Bonanza!

Solvang is known for being a town with top-notch restaurants- including the First and Oak – a restaurant with a Michelin star. And you can’t miss the smell of sweet delights that waft the streets from morning through the day due to the local bakeshops. Yes, the bakeries are filled with creamy this and bready that… all delicious. (Rumor has it that the Danish elves remove all the calories!?!)

Despite the Danish bakeries and great local fare restaurants, our favorite place to eat was Ramen Kotori a noodle shop nestled on a side street. This place knows how to “heat things up” – so be sure to order the Thai Tea, too!


In closing, Solvang is a great place to relax, eat delicious food, and learn about Danish culture. But, most of all – it is about the people. And for that reason alone- we will be back!

Quick Links:

Solvang Tourism Link: SolvangUSA.org

Chumash Casino Link (nearby attraction): http://chumashcasino.com

iPhone Night Photography

Did you know that there is awesomeness in your own backyard? Really! Some of the most interesting places to visit may be within 30 minutes of your home. You don’t need to travel far to have a “mini-vacation” or a “staycation”! And if you are in the Los Angeles area – check out the venues Hubby and I recently have visited- the Descanso Gardens (La Canada) and the South Coast Botanical Gardens (Rolling Hills).

These two places have a rotating set of exhibits. Recently, they offered a walk-through of the parks with holiday/winter-themed exhibits. Of course, we went and I took this as an opportunity to check out the night mode on my iPhone 11 Max camera.

I have learned through much trial and error that some of the best shots can be taken without a flash and/or when the lighting of the moon is “just right”. Here are some of my recent favorites. Enjoy!

GLOBE. GLOBE. globe. globe.

This first photo was taken at Descanso’s Gardens winter exhibit known as ENCHANTED. Nine individual-themed sections of this botanical garden created nine opportunities to explore and dream that you were in faraway lands. I decided with the image belowL that I wanted the tall trees to frame the image in an upside-down V formation. The globes are illuminated as part of the display.

photo credit: lmsattler


A SciFi Movie Set?

Again taken at Descanso Gardens with purple and blue lights hitting the tall trees. Photographed after sunset and when the garden staff employed a subtle fog machine to create the “smokey” look. How did I get this shot? Well quite frankly – it was simply by luck. I raised my camera phone and took this photo – “blindly”. The result is what some of my friends are calling my “Twilight Zone” / “X-Files” pictures!

photo credit: lmsattler

QUAD PHOTOS

A year ago I photographed these trees at the South Coast Botanical Gardens. I virtually stood in the same area but changed the setting on my iPhone. Do you have a favorite?


The Simplicity of Illuminated Trees

Trees that are illuminated with lights can produce some awesome photos. Don’t be afraid to look beyond the trees – you may just spot something spectacular – like a full moon!


Venue Links:

Descanso Gardens

South Coast Botanical Gardens

Travel Nevada: a Visit to Laughlin

Hubby and I recently took a road trip from Los Angeles to New Mexico. We ended 2021 in the very fun Nevada border town of Laughlin.

I had heard about Laughlin via their very robust travel representatives that I met when I visited the LA Adventure and Travel Show in 2019. I was all set to visit and tour the Laughlin area and then… well you know… the Covid 19 pandemic hit!

Fast forward…secure with two vaccines, a booster, and lots of masks – we ventured to Laughlin en route home to LA. We opted to stay at the Laughlin River Lodge located on the banks of the Colorado River. The hotel was well equipped with dining options nearby, several casinos, and an outdoor heated pool with a spa.

PLUS… the lodge is loaded with family fun activities including a bowling alley, kid specific activites, and kid-friendly electronic games (Similar to what we played many times at amusement centers on the New Jersey Shore boardwalk.)

The rooms at the Laughlin River Lodge are quite nice and reasonably priced. Thanks to my TripAdvisor’s TRIP PLUS membership, we paid under $60 per night for a quiet and clean room.

Some may say Laughlin is a “mini Vegas”, but we found it to be unique and prettier than over-stimulating Las Vegas. First and foremost, you can enjoy water sports thanks to the flowing Colorado River that separates Arizona (Bullhead City) from Nevada (Laughlin). Staying at the Laughlin River Lodge afforded us access to the beach alongside the river and an opportunity to snap photos. Plus, there are many places to shop, eat, have kids play, and enjoy a walk while being surrounded by beautiful mountains that illuminate the awesome sunsets.

Read more about Laughlin’s efforts to become a tourist destination.


Sushi in the Desert?

We had read up on TripAdvisor reviews about where to eat in Laughlin. The Minato Japanese and Korean restaurants frequently received consistently excellent reviews and the menu piqued our interest!

OMG – this restaurant was AWESOME. Yes… there is EXCELLENT SUSHI in the DESERT!

Minato’s was located within easy walking distance from our hotel in a little shopping center. An elevator for easy accessibility is available to bring you to this ultra-yummy establishment. We started our meal with a LAUGHLIN ROLL. This was a tempura-sushi hybrid made with various veggies and seafood. I could have ordered a second but we opted for an udon noodle soup instead. Hubby likes to compare restaurant spring rolls, so we ordered some. They were some of the best we ever have eaten!

Lastly, the udon soup was stocked full of meat and veggies plus a healthy dose of chili! Luckily, I had ordered a Thai ice tea that helped to soothe the slight burning in my mouth from this spicy dish! I would easily give the food and service a 9/10 rating.


Bonus Fun – Classic Cars!!

As previously mentioned, there is much to do in Laughlin. We opted to visit an exhibit of old classic cars and gaming machines at the aptly named Laughlin Classic Car Collection. Pricing varies here from free to $3 per person. (Waived if you are a casino “member”.) I would recommend this place as it provided great family fun and there were no visible issues for people using mobility equipment to have full access.

LAUGHLIN – thanks for the fun! We will be back!

(Note, I have been a frequent contributor to TripAdvisor and a beta user of this new plan – but my opinions are not being compensated for on this blog.)

Travel New Mexico

New Mexico has always fascinated me. Maybe because the culture is so different than the way I grew up in New York. Since it is within a “reasonable” driving distance from Los Angeles (14 hours), hubby and I decided it would make a perfect holiday vacation destination. So with a packed car for all kinds of weather, from snow to “sweater weather”, we ventured out through the Mojave region of California, into Northern Arizona, and eventually reached Alburquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Along the route, we stopped at a few fun locales off “Old Routte 66”. From quirky dinners to a place that touts itself as a “ghost town” – OATMAN, ARIZONA. (I will go more in-depth about this region in the mountains another time.)

Back to New Mexico…

The west part of New Mexico is FLAT… and WINDY! And despite the speed limit often being 75 MPH, you will find yourself cruising much faster because there is not much visually interesting to stop you. The ride is a long and quasi-straight highway/freeway with an occasional tumbleweed flying by you. Once you find yourself on the cusp of Alburquerque (ABQ), you will notice more mountains among the vastness.

Hubby and I mapped out a few places that we wanted to see in ABQ during our stay. Friends had suggested we check out the petroglyphs that are in several parks on the perimeter of the city. We started at the visitor center mid-afternoon, only to find out the park closed by 4:30. That left us a measly hour to explore. Note: this park is not handicap accessible for those who wish to see the petroglyphs up close but use a walker or wheelchair. The terrain is rocky and there are many uneven steps that need to be taken to see the ancient artwork.

Day 2 – Museums of Alburquerque

First, we went to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Hubby was a former nuclear engineer and he was hoping that the museum would dedicate a good bit of its real estate to exhibits about the benefits of nuclear power. On the contrary, we found much of the museum dedicated to informative and interesting displays of nuclear energy for war efforts, such as during WW II. While this is an excellent history lesson and one that should be reiterated for the ages, it was a bit of a disappointment that only a small sliver of the museum spotlighted the positive use of nuclear energy/ power.

Of all the exhibits that piqued my interest, there was one that chronicled the post-effects of “the bomb” on the children of Hiroshima. There was a small display dedicated to the “Crane project”. I snapped a photo of the explanation of this mission below. In essence, there was a young girl, Sadako Sasaki, who was suffering from leukemia or “Atom Bomb disease”. She believed that anyone who created a thousand cranes would be granted a wish. Despite her efforts, she did die, but her friends and classmates published a book in her memory and the story of her crane project lives on decades later.

Not all was gloom and doom here. There was a section that brought out the movie geek in me. I really liked the exhibit that highlighted movies with “nuclear” themes. Notable mentions were “FAIL SAFE” and “WAR GAMES”.


Museum #2 included a trip to the ANDERSON ABRUZZO INTERNATIONAL BALLOON MUSEUM. This museum is dedicated to balloon flight and mainly the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Sadly, the internationally renowned Balloon Fiesta is in October and not December, when we were in the region. But, someday I hope to venture back to ABQ to see thousands of balloons lift off in succession for one of the world’s greatest exhibits of ballons in flight!

Included in this museum are several interactive lessons and much to keep the whole family occupied. There is one room dedicated to artwork, called MAGIC, that takes up a whole wall and is stunning. The artist is Jane Maclean and her 6 x 20-foot montage of balloon scenes is frankly… magical!

Made of a series of panels, this artwork by Jane Maclean depicts the ABQ Balloon Fiesta.

See a video about the Balloon Fiesta here. If you plan on visiting the museum – be sure to plan ahead. Tickets to the museum tend to sell out fast!

Note: Both museums demonstrated good accessibility practices from what I was able to see and learn.

More about Alburquerque…

This lovely city has very little in the way of nightlife. In fact, it is safe to say that it pretty much closes down by 5 pm. Old Town ABQ is very nice, but again – the local shops, museums, and other points of interest are closed before sunset. Dining also is a bit tricky. And for any kind of after-dark entertainment, many travel to the area casinos. We spent some time in the Isleta casino. It was nice and we had a good time, however, it is a wee bit of a hike from the center of the city.

An alley of an artist’s gallery in ABQ

Next stop… Santa Fe… but first the Turquoise Trail.

Many shops along the Turquoise Trail are brightly painted and very inviting.

We had heard about the infamous “Turquoise Trail”. This is a stretch of road between Albuquerque and Santa Fe that supposedly offered many shops and quirky “sites” to visit. Sadly, we were not too impressed. Much was closed and frankly, many of the area’s “hot spots” were run down. We did go to the Henderson Store in Golden, New Mexico. There we met a lovely couple (and bought some items). We enjoyed our time there and that stop alone made the trip worthwhile. I have a funny feeling that the Turquoise Trail is much better to see during the warmer months when more stores are open and artists are “in residence”.

About an hour north of ABQ is the small city of Santa Fe. Technically, it is a large city and the state capitol. Adobe buildings adorn the city center square with museums, galleries, and fine dining all throughout the city streets.

We started our day by touring the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. This is a compact museum that takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours to cover. It was just perfect to start there for our touring of Santa Fe. If you visit, here is a tip… Don’t leave here without checking out the museum shop on the bottom floor. It has a lovely book selection – including for children.

Downtown Santa Fe is charming, but was very crowded the day we arrived. Seating at restaurants was at a premium. We ended up getting take-out at Tomasita’s the evening we arrived. It was delicious but eating in our hotel room was less than desirable.

Here are some “tips” for Santa Fe, too:

  • While Santa Fe has lots to offer by day, again, the nightlife is limited.
  • Tickets are encouraged for the more well-known museums – such as the Georgia OKeeffe. We opted not to go there due to the limited number of tix and also having only two days in the area to explore.
Sculpture at the Wheelright Museum of the American Indian.

More tips…

  • There are many wonderful parks and outdoor attractions in the Alburquerque and Santa Fe areas. Go visit them!
  • Be prepared for weather that ranges in a single day from sunny and 60 to freezing and snow!
  • New Mexico is a slow paced state. Don’t expect a frenetic party environment – unless you know people in the area. This is one “chill” state – relaxation is like the state motto!
  • If you have the time – keep traveling – as there is much to see! Taos is the north of Santa Fe and worth a visit.
  • This state has mask mandates – everywhere. We were thrilled to see Covid 19 safety protocols in effect throughout the state!

Tips on Traveling to Kauai, Hawaii During Covid (Plus photography)

Kauai is one of my “happy places”! Unique topography juxtaposed with a “tropical attitude” makes this Hawaiian island a true treasure. I have traveled to Hawaii several times and prefer Kauai to the other islands because of the “old world” feel it exudes. However, traveling during the Covid pandemic made this trip much more challenging than any of the previous. Because many are finding Hawaii, including Kauai, a preferred destination for their own vacations, I have decided to share a few travel tips here. Need some enticement to visit Kauai? I added photos, just in case!

TIP 1: If you are traveling from the United States be sure to consult this page at least one week prior to leaving on your trip: TRAVEL HAWAII . Also, check with your airline carrier.

International travelers should consult this website: https://travel.hawaii.gov/ – for pertinent information well before they plan on arriving in Hawaii.

SCREENSHOT OF https://travel.hawaii.gov/#/welcome page. Please click to read the complete details from this website.

TIP 2 – Make Reservations Well in Advance of Traveling

From cars to restaurants – be sure to make reservations well in advance to ensure that you have transportation (if needed) and also a place to dine. Popular restaurants, such as the Beach House in Poipu, are booking far in advance! Rental cars are a premium on the island and many are resorting to TURO to get around the island. For your personal safety please be sure to rent from only reputable companies. Note: a car is needed to visit many of the island’s favorite spots- such as Waimea Canyons.

TIP 3- Stay at a place that adheres to Covid 19 safety/ cleaning regulations.

TripAdvisor is very good at giving salient information regarding the reputation of hotels and vacation rentals in regards to their following Covid 19 sanitization protocols. Keep in mind, however, that this information is provided from the hotel or rental company and not vetted by TripAdvisor. A sample of what you can look for in the hotel description is below.

TIP 4 – Look for activities outdoors – without crowds!

While we traveled on a semi-crowded plane to get arrive in Hawaii – we didn’t feel the need to continue to be with “others” during our stay. Therefore, we opted for outdoor activities that were sans crowds or in some cases, even anyone else! When going to the pool we picked times that were not popular and if a group of people decided to join us in the hot tub we smiled and exited.

Most of our dining was outdoors at tables spaced fairly far away from other patrons. We stuck together on tours and didn’t do anything that entailed being with another group (such as any boat tours). While big group activities can be fun and a great way to meet people from all over the globe – we decided that now was not the time to be making friends! And, masks were mandated everywhere we went!


Below I listed some activities that you may want to consider if visiting Kauai:

  1. Go when not busy to the Kauai Coffee Estate. Lovely to walk the farm area and free samples! Plus a super yummy gift shop!
  2. Visit and if inclined, hike, Waimea Canyon State Park. Also, there is a delightful gift shop and restaurant within the park. Check it out for great coffees and perhaps you will have the pleasure of meeting David Parsons III as he sings a few groovy tunes!
  3. Visit Wailua Falls (hiking availabe there, too)
  4. Visit the Wailua State Reservoir -off the beaten path.
  5. Find quiet at the Sacred Forest – a great place to meditate and see some amazing trees!
  6. Eat in quaint town of Waimea at Island Tacos or the Shrimp Station. Both are family favorites! If in Kappa go to the Kountry Kitchen – another favorite (The Salty Monkey breakfast is a must!)
  7. Hang out at several beaches and relax far from others – there is plenty of space for all! Each beach has its’ own “personality” – so sampling a few is well worth it.
  8. Enjoy an ice cream from Lappert’s while walking around Princeville or Poipu (there are ice cream shops in both towns).
  9. Kauai is the garden isle – visit the many botanical gardens sprinkled throughout this region.
  10. Step back in time at the Kauai Museum on a rainy day or whenever! It is packed full of great Hawaiian artifacts, cultural information, and a fabulous gift shop!
  11. Drive from shore to shore. Be sure to bring your camera, swimsuit, sunscreen, and a towel! (Not to mention hand sanitizer and wipes.)
  12. Learn to kayak, paddle board, or surf! The ocean and rivers await you!
  13. Check out the local newspapers (or websites) for area cultural events such as Hula presentations or lessons about Hawaiian culture and the language!
  14. Lastly, rise early to see glorious sunrises and stand alongside the ocean shore to see the amazing sunsets!

As promised… here are some of my favorite photos (please do not copy or “hijack” – thank you!)

POIPU BEACH, KAUAI


WAIMEA CANYON STATE PARK, KAUAI


WAILUA FALLS and WAILUA HOMESTEAD (including the SACRED FOREST), KAUAI


KAUAI BEACHES