Kauai North Shore on a Budget (and on the Kauai Bus)
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Jun 24, 2012 2:37 PM Last Post By: ebourne
Jun 23, 2012 10:58 AM
Kauai North Shore on a Budget (and on the Kauai Bus)Getting to Kauai on the cheap is one thing, but staying within a budget once you get here is possible (somewhat). My wife and I stayed in Princeville which is on the North Shore of Kauai and a short car (or public bus ride) to Hanalei. You can find vacation rentals near the water from only $50 a night in Princeville if your dates are flexible. Hanalei has a small town center where you can find pretty much whatever you need for your island adventure.
Kauai public transportation totally rocks, and it does allow you to get around the island without a car. It's a $2 fare to hop on the Kauai Bus which runs from Kekaha to Hanalei with stops in between. Getting from the Airport in Lihue to Princeville using the Kauai Bus is a little tricky because you need to take the Kauai Bus to the Walmart next to the airport before getting off and switching to the Lihue-Hanalei line which travels to the north shore of the island. While you're at the Walmart you might as well go inside (it sucks to do, I know) and buy some liquor, because it seems the farther you get from Lihue to more expensive the booze gets.
Speaking of booze, Kalypso in Hanalei has a great happy hour from 3 to 5:30 p.m. with $2.50 Bud Lights and killer $6 nachos amongst other yummy stuff. Overall the food at Kalypso reminds me of Chevy's back on the mainland, but with a nice front patio with a view of the mountains above Hanalei. It also seems like a good place to catch a game with a large bar and plenty of HDTVs. Also, check out Tahiti Nui for the best Mai Tai on the Kauai North Shore (and perhaps ever). It's $7, but worth it. Hollywood buffs will recognize the bar from the movie Descendants.
Cheapest food in Hanalei can be found at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue (it's a new location, so Google doesn't list it as of 6/12. Cheap doesn't mean bad either (we even spotted some locals chowing down there). Bubba's Burgers in Hanalei is good, but overpriced, especially when compared to L&L. I am done typing now, I will update later if I find the time. Mahalo!
Edited by: ebourne
Jun 23, 2012 11:33 AM
1Where are these $50 a night rentals in Princeville? And how are they near the water if the entire area is up on a bluff? The cheapest I've ever seen for Princeville is $630 a week for a 4-week rental, plus cleaning fee and 13% tax. Does this $50 rental have a cleaning fee, as most places do?
You should also explain that the bus comes one an hour. A trip from the airport to Hanalei may take 4+ hours, depending on when your baggage arrives. The bus also has a size limit on bags and doe not allow oversized backpacks.
That also makes it a nightmare trying to get back to the airport for a flight.
Jun 24, 2012 7:57 AM
2Glad you had a good time, but you could not pay me to take that bus, there are so many places it does not go to (Waimea Canyon, Ke'e or Tunnales beaches, etc.).
Jun 24, 2012 7:57 AM
Jun 24, 2012 2:37 PM
4From Princeville you can walk to Anini Beach, hence "near the beach." And you're right, Kahua, that $50 price doesn't include tax or cleaning fees. However, searching Craigslist for last-minute unrented condo seems to be a good way to find a cheaper place to stay.
Also, if you don't travel lightly, the Kauai Bus won't work for you.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$212.85 per night