Snuggle up with the surf at Gloria’s Spouting Horn Bed & Breakfast. At this former plantation house in Poipu Beach, all three suites pamper you with lanais, soaking tubs, and canopy beds. Sound appealing? Gloria’s is perpetually booked, so reserve your retreat now. Doubles from $750, for three nights, the minimum stay; 888-742-6995 or glorias bedandbreakfast.com.
Whalers Cove is ideal for nesting newlyweds. Minutes from the shore in Poipu Beach, this first-class resort boasts stunning ocean views, furnished lanais, and state-of-the-art kitchens. Let the housekeeper take care of the dishes you have important business to attend to in the Jacuzzi, the infinity pool, and the rocky cove. (The sea turtles are waiting.) Doubles from $690, for two nights, the minimum stay; 800-225-2683 or whalers-cove.com.
CURRENCY AFFAIR You’ll pay for paradise with (duh) American dollars. Credit cards are accepted most places, and you’ll find ATM machines almost everywhere you go. GETTING AROUND While Kauai has a rudimentary public transportation system, you’ll want a car. Don’t rely on taxis: They’re expensive and hard to come by. Rent your own wheels at the airport or at your hotel, and be sure to reserve far in advance. PACKING PROTOCOL Daytime temperatures seldom stray below the mid-70s or above the mid-80s, and trade winds keep hot days comfortable. For the most sunshine from November through April, stay on the South Shore. You’ll spend your honeymoon days in shorts and sundresses, and he’ll do well in khakis and colorful prints, even at fancy restaurants. (Though some require collared shirts.) Bring a sweater for evenings, and lightweight rain gear and hiking shoes. SHOP CLASS You’d be lolo (crazy) not to bring home a beautifully grained Hawaiian hardwood bowl or other native crafts. At Kong Lung Company (808-828-1822) on the North Shore, you’ll find Asian-in-spired housewares such as crackle-finish soy-sauce dishes, plus fun-and-funky girl clothes like tiny Ts with eye-popping Japanese images.
Hanalei’s Yellowfish Trading Company (808-826-1227) proffers a dazzling array of retro-cool and vintage-inspired Hawaiiana, from antique floral fabrics to groovy 1950s jewelry, tiki lamps, and reproduction travel posters. Even Sandra Bullock and John Cusack have flexed their plastic here. Bam-bulei (808-823-8641), on the Coconut Coast, is hipper still. It overflows with bamboo furniture, Asian figurine lamps, and barware from the ’40s and ’50s. The gift shop at the National Tropical Botanical Garden Reserve Center (808-742-2623), across from Spouting Horn in the Poipu Beach area, is a fab shopping stop. Browse for tropical-themed gifts and crafts, from lauhala boxes to koa bowls. Hawaii’s biggest name in aloha wear, Hilo Hattie (888-526-0299 or hilohattie.com) wins for island clothing, coffee, and macadamia nuts, which you can snap up on your way to the airport.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT Every sunset is cause for celebration at the oceanfront Beach House Restaurant in Poipu Beach. Start with a passionate margarita (made with passion fruit juice), then follow with the tangy maca-damia-crusted mahimahi in citrus-miso sauce. Entrees from $22; 808-742-1424.
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