2018 Kauaʻi Trip Report Part 10: ʻAliomanu Beach

To celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, we took a trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi (read the previous parts here). One of our main goals of going to Hawaiʻi was to go to beaches, so we set out to visit another one…

Monday, July 9, 2018

By this time, we had developed a pretty good routine. Or if you want to look at it another way, we had fallen into a pretty good rut. But routines work well for us, so we never complain about that. And a good routine in Hawaiʻi is even better.

We were up once again at the usual time. And we once again ate breakfast at the Ilima Terrace, because that was what our breakfast package got us. Once again, we were not disappointed, because our breakfast was delicious. And the servers were as friendly as always.

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After eating, we once again walked around the hotel grounds for a while, enjoying the scenery. We stopped to look at the macaws in the open air lobby area for a bit. One of them had a sign that said he would dance to “Duke of Earl.” So we pulled up the song on our phones, and he did start to dance a little at different times. Pretty funny.

Not only are they colorful, but they are also talented!
Not only are they colorful, but they are also talented!

We then walked around outside for a while. It was a beautiful morning with lots of blue sky, even though there were some clouds, too. There was a gentle breeze blowing as usual, and it made the morning even more pleasant.

Who would ever want to leave a place like this?
Who would ever want to leave a place like this?
Not much going on at the fire pit in the morning hours.
Not much going on at the fire pit in the morning hours.
Breezy morning at the hotel.
Breezy morning at the hotel.
A really cool tree!
A really cool tree!
This almost made us not want to go to the beach. Almost.
This almost made us not want to go to the beach. Almost.

We went to our room, where I made the Monday morning phone call to the office. Except that due to the time difference between Hawaiʻi and Tennessee, it was already Monday afternoon there. It sounded like all of the problems there were getting taken care of, which was good. With that taken care of, we jumped in the car and headed on our way.

Because we love beaches, we had decided to give another beach a try for the day. Or maybe two beaches, if the first one did not work out. Laura had worked to find some beaches that were hopefully a bit out of the way so that there would not be that many people there. She had found one that looked good, so off we went.

We drove back up through Līhuʻe and on toward Kapaʻa. We stopped once at Long’s Drugs to get some lunch for our day, knowing that we planned to be at the beach around lunch time, and also knowing that there were not restaurants near some of the beaches we had been to already. Better to take our own picnic lunch and be prepared. Besides, we had once again had a big breakfast, so we figured we would not be all that hungry for a while.

We drove on past Anahola and the beach we had visited earlier, knowing that if nothing else we could always go back there. Laura navigated while I drove, and she took us to a residential neighborhood with some nice houses and relatively large lots. But in between the houses there was a small parking area for beach access at ʻAliomanu Beach, and so we parked there.

The only downside was that we could not see the beach from where we had parked. A sign was there pointing the way to the beach, but all we could see were trees. Not knowing what we might find, we decided to leave our cooler in the car at first and just go check out the beach. We figured we could always come back for it later if we decided we wanted to stay.

The mysterious path down to the beach.
The mysterious path down to the beach.

The trail looked to lead away from the parking area, past some grass that was as tall as we were, and into some trees. We followed it, and we found ourselves in a forest of tall trees and the famous red dirt of Kauaʻi. And going down a hill. My knees were still a little sore from our climb down into and back out of Waimea Canyon on Friday, but we kept on going, down, down, past giant lava rocks, toward the sound of the waves.

Suddenly, we stepped out of the trees and found ourselves on ʻAliomanu beach. Blue water, white-capped waves, golden yellow sand. And almost no people. There were a few here and there, mainly just a family and another couple. One other couple was up ahead of us, but they disappeared around a bend and we did not see them anymore. They must have had been there before and knew where they were going.

We made it to the beach!
We made it to the beach!

We went away from the others and found a nice spot all to ourselves. The beach was wide, and away from the water there were some trees. We found a shady tree with a large lava rock underneath it, and we claimed that as our own. Not that there were other people there fighting us for it. A short distance past where we had dropped our stuff, the sandy beach gave way to lots of large lava rocks. Back in the other direction, we could see sand for quite a ways, and then the beach went around a curve so that we could not see that part of it. Maybe there were a few more people down that way, but we did not bother trying to find out. We were happy right where we were.

Coconut on the beach
Coconut on the beach.

Rain had been in the forecast again for this Monday, but the clouds had mostly given up their fight, turning the sky over to the sun and the blue expanse. Likewise, the water was nice and blue, too, except that it looked clear and not blue right up by the shore. The sand was softer than what we were used to, which made walking across it a little bit of a challenge because our feet kept sinking down into the sand.

Laura in the ocean
Laura in the ocean

As with the other beaches we had visited, the waves were slightly strong here, but they were not strong enough to keep us from getting in the water. We did not feel comfortable swimming out from the shore, but the water was still nice. The sun had been heating things up, so that made the slightly cool water feel even better.

Same coconut as above, but different view. Also proof that there were indeed other people at this beach, if you look closely.
Same coconut as above, but different view. Also proof that there were indeed other people at this beach, if you look closely.
I am one with the ocean!
I am one with the ocean!

After some time in the water, we decided we were ready for our lunch. The only problem was that the cooler was back up the hill at the car. Should one of us stay with our stuff at the beach while the other would go to the car? Or should we both go and risk losing our nice lava rock under the tree? We decided that we would both go, because surely no one would get our spot, since there had not been many other people there so far.

The view from under a tree
The view from under a tree

Up we went to the car, giving us a good workout to burn the calories that we were going to consume. When we reached the car, another family was getting out of their car to head down to the beach. They were slightly ahead of us on the way down, and they reached the beach before we did. Sure enough, they turned to the left, toward where our rock was. But instead of heading to the shade, they headed out to the water first. We quickly went back and dropped our stuff at our rock, claiming it once again as our own. Of course, it was really anyone’s rock, but we liked it and were glad to have it back again.

We enjoyed our lunch in the shade as we sat on the rock with the great view of the ocean in front of us. The other family moved on off to the right, farther away from where we were, since there was plenty of room for everyone there. It was another instance of a simple picnic lunch being as good as anything else because of the location and the company. Food is sometimes only an incidental part of a good meal.

After eating, we went back out to the water for a while longer. The clouds overhead would come and go. Some of them would look slightly threatening from a distance, but once they got to where we were, they did not bother us with any rain. I did try to check the weather radar on my phone, but there was not much of a cell phone signal down there on the beach, so we just had to rely on watching the clouds. However, in a place like that, not having a cell phone signal is not a bad thing. You do not get any unwanted calls, and you will not be distracted from the beautiful scenery by trying to look at things on your phone. It was not a big loss at all.

The view from our lunch rock. Who needs a table and chairs with a view like that?
The view from our lunch rock. Who needs a table and chairs with a view like that?

Just like the clouds that would come and go, people would come and go as well. One guy that stayed for a while was over on the lava rocks doing some fishing. How he was able not to get his hook hung in the lava rocks is a mystery to me. But he appeared to know what he was doing, although I did not bother watching him too closely to see if he actually caught any fish.

Laura on the rocks
Laura on the rocks

Laura enjoyed spending some time sitting on the lava rocks (well away from Fishing Dude) and letting the waves wash up over her. They were not strong enough waves to actually knock her off the rock, because that would have been bad.

She really did enjoy that
She really did enjoy that

After getting a few photos of waves crashing over her, I joined her on an adjacent rock. And except for all the sand that the waves would wash into my swimming suit, it was pretty pleasant. Just when I would start to feel a little warm from the sun, I would get soaked by a wave and be cooled off again. Laura might be onto something there. If we could just figure out how to get that at our landlocked house, it would be really cool.

Moving over to the sand to dry off
Moving over to the sand to dry off

Eventually, we left the rocks and I shook the sand out of my shorts. We walked along the beach for a while, enjoying the perfect day just a little longer. However, the clouds were starting to look a little more serious. So we decided it was probably a good time to make our exit. We went back to our lava rock under the tree, gathered our stuff, and the climb up the hill back to the parking lot and the Mustang.

One more view of ʻAliomanu Beach before we leave
One more view of ʻAliomanu Beach before we leave

Our slight dilemma was not wanting to spend the rest of the day in our wet clothes. There were not changing facilities there at that beach. So we did the next best thing: we changed in the car. If you did not know, there is not a lot of room in a Mustang for something such as that, but we were able to get the job done. And yes, we had checked first to make sure there was no one else around. Besides the chickens, of course. But they did not seem to mind.

We also took some photos of the mountains that were around, because they looked even more cool than usual with the dark clouds around them. We drove a short way, and then stopped for more photos without other cars from the parking lot in the view, too. We knew we were going to miss seeing the mountains when we got home.

Cool mountains in the distance
Cool mountains in the distance
Another mountain view
Another mountain view

We drove back to the town of Kapaʻa, and we stopped there to walk around for a while to see what we could see. We were also scouting eating places, because it was getting slightly close to our eating time. One of the places we looked at was Bubba’s Burger, another location of the same small chain that we had eaten at on our first night there. But there appeared to be quite a line, so we looked at other options.

We also looked in some of the small shops of the area. As with several of the other towns that we had visited, this one appeared to have some history behind it. However, this time around there were no signs that we could find explaining the history to us, so we were left wondering. But that was okay, too.

Off to the east away from the main street was a small park, and beyond that was the beach. We did decided to make use of the restroom facilities there. Not that you really needed to know that. However, you might be interested to know that there was a guy hanging around outside of the facilities. He had a radio, and he was playing songs and talking. Not talking to anyone in particular, because there was no one else around who was talking to him. He was just talking. I think maybe he was the self-appointed Restroom DJ or something like that. Interesting.

The shops were also interesting, as always, although we did not find much to buy there, remembering that we had a flight home coming soon and we would have to get everything that we bought back home. We also did not see anything that really jumped out at us for eating, either. So we decided to head back to the area of our hotel and decide what to do there.

But we did not make it all that far before we saw another shopping center. Laura wanted to check out a few of the stores there, and she found a dress she liked in Ross Dress for Less. It was interesting to us how some of the same stores there in Kauaʻi that we have back at home had Hawaiian print clothes there that our stores back home do not have. I guess they figure those would sell better there than here, although I know a couple of people here who would buy those sorts of things. But we are probably a very small minority, I would think.

At that point, hunger was starting to become more of an issue for us. So instead of going straight back to the hotel, we instead drove to the Kukuiʻula Village Shopping Center once again for another meal at the Bubba’s Burger that we had been to before. Just as at the Kapaʻa location, there was a pretty good line here. But we waited. There were some occasional sprinkles, and sometimes they were heavy sprinkles, but fortunately it never did rain. Because the line was not covered, I am not sure what we would have done if it had actually started raining. But we finally got our turn to order. Once again, we both got Kauaʻi Burgers, and Laura once again got a milkshake, too. And once again, we were happy.

After eating, we decided on the spur of the moment (or in other words, just as we were about to pass the turn) to stop at another shopping center close to the hotel, the Poʻipū Shopping Village. As with the other, it had a few different eating options, and some other stores, too. There was even a Del Sol there, much closer than the one we had driven to on Sunday. We shopped for a little while there, but not for very long because most stores were closing at 9:00. But we thought we might try one of the restaurants there the next time we were looking for something to eat.

By that time, we had enjoyed another fun, full day, with one of the best beach times we had ever had. It had been good. But all of that goodness also had made us tired, so once again we showed that we do not have a night owl nature, and we enjoyed another restful night of sleep.

Check back soon for more from the 2018 Kauaʻi Trip Report!

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Steve

Husband, father, photographer, webmaster, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography and stories through Burnsland.com.

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