If you’ve read my previous posts about the stunning “Garden Island” of Kauai, you’ll know that its definitely my favourite of the Hawaiian Islands (so far!), and that I can’t recommend it enough as a magical and idyllic escape.. especially during the winter months.
Continuing my journey around the island, I thought I’d write a bit about one of my favourite ways to spend a morning on the North Shore. What could be better than perfect coffee and bagels, a spot of shopping, clifftop views, then sunbathing on a beautiful secluded beach? You can tell I’m getting excited for my next visit in December!
The Kong Lung Center, Kilauea
This shopping and cultural centre has a rich history, tightly bound with the area’s heritage as a sugar plantation. The centre was taken over by a Chinese businessman in 1902. You can read about the history of the site, here.
In the present day, it’s the perfect place to grab some breakfast and have a wander around the gift shops before heading onto the lighthouse.
First stop, The Kilauea Bakery (2484 Keneke Street), which has an incredible selection of freshly baked bagels, pizza and pastries, as well as excellent coffee. They have a small seating area inside, and some more tables and chairs outside (with a lending library if you want to enjoy a book with your breakfast).
They also cater for vegan, gluten free etc. They open early (around 6am!), and their website says that bagels and breakfast pastries sell out by 10am – you have been warned! It’s well worth getting out of bed for.
There are some interesting shops in the centre, including the Island Soap and Candle Works, and a surprisingly luxe boutique dress shop, Cake Boutique. I bought a beautiful maxi dress there which I wear as often as possible, and I will be going back for more this year!
The Kilauea Lighthouse
A 5 minute drive down the Kilauea Road will take you to Kilauea Point, and the magnificent 52 ft high lighthouse, perched high on the cliff.
The lighthouse underwent a 3 year restoration before it’s centenary in 2013, and is now back to its original condition (apart from the lens rotation, which it was too dangerous to fully restore, as it was originally designed to float on 260 pounds of mercury!). You can read about the history of the lighthouse here.
There’s a small visitors centre next to the lighthouse, where you can learn more about it’s history and restoration. Note that the lighthouse is only open to visit from Tuesday to Saturday! We drove there on a Monday once and found it closed. Kilauea Point is a beautiful place to stop anyway, and there are plenty of beautiful views and wildlife to see, so we weren’t too disappointed!
Don’t miss – the Secret Beach (Kauapea)
I’ll be writing a future post on my favourite Kauai beaches, but I can’t let you visit this area without stopping by at this incredible spot. It’s only a couple of minutes drive from the lighthouse to the start of the trail. I almost want to keep it a “secret”.. but there are so many expanses of beautiful beaches on the North Shore, and Kauai as a whole, that there’s plenty of room for everyone!
The beach is only accessible by a downhill (and then unfortunately uphill!) hike over uneven terrain of around 10 minutes. It’s well worth the walk!
The beach is wild, beautiful and secluded. Bear in mind, the water here, as with the whole island, can be pretty sketchy, especially in the winter! I wouldn’t recommend any form of swimming, especially if it’s like the last time we visited!
So.. enjoy your morning in Kilauea – and remember, get up early to make sure you get the best bagels!
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Next stop Gran Canaria next week… I can’t wait!
Until next time, travel safe!