BEACHY KEEN. All beaches in Hawaii must be open to the public. So don’t limit yourself to the public (and often crowded) beach parks. Anywhere you see a resort, look for the public access signs and you might just enjoy a stretch of beach to yourself.
SPINNING SECRETS. Between 6 and 10am, drive out to Kalihiwai or Secret Beach. There are often spinner dolphins playing in the waters near these beaches during the early morning hours. If you decide to jump in with them, remember to swim at a respectful distance!
WI-FI IN HI. If you’re looking for free Wi-Fi in Hanalei, go to the two-story brown building on the right, which is next to Java Kai and houses Bar Acuda and Neide’s. In order to get good reception, you need to sit down on the benches next to the stairs to the second floor. Connect to the network helpfully called “FreeWifiKauai.”
CLEANING UP YOUR WALLET. When booking accommodations, pay attention to the cleaning fee, a one-time charge for preparing the unit for the next occupants. If the cleaning fee is high, it makes more sense to stay in one locale for a longer period of time. Some places will actually waive the fee if you stay for a week or longer.
IN TOUCH WITH NATURE: Don’t worry about your cell phone or camera running out of battery while you’re camping. Most campsites have pavilions with electrical outlets. Just don’t leave them there charging overnight.
STUCK IN THE MUCK. When the Polihale State Park road reaches the beach it quickly becomes less hard-packed dirt and more loose beach sand. Do not proceed without 4WD; you will get stuck! If you do, try using a low gear, reverse, and step lightly on the gas. If all else fails, get out and push.
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