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The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed Paperback – October 15, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 733 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The finest guidebook ever written for Kaua’i. Now you can plan your best vacation-ever. This all new seventh edition is a candid, humorous guide to everything there is to see and do on the island. Best-selling author and longtime Hawai'i resident, Andrew Doughty, unlocks the secrets of an island so lush and diverse that many visitors never realize all that it has to offer. Explore with him as he reveals breathtaking trails, secluded beaches, pristine reefs, delicious places to dine, relaxing resorts, exciting waterfalls, colorful canyons and so much more. Every restaurant, activity provider, business and resort is reviewed personally and anonymously. This book and a rental car are all you need to discover what makes Kaua'i so exciting.



The most up-to-date and accurate information available anyplace with up-to-the-minute changes posted to our website



Frank, brutally honest reviews of restaurants, hotels and activities show you which companies really are the best...and which to avoid-no advertisements



Driving tours let you structure your trip your way, point out sights not to be missed along the way and are complemented by 100 spectacular color photographs



15 specially-created maps in an easy-to-follow format with mile markers-so you’ll always know where you are on the island



Clear, concise directions to those hard-to-find places such as deserted beaches, tropical jungles, hidden waterfalls, rugged scenic coastlines, freshwater lava pools and scores of other hidden gems listed nowhere else



Exclusive chapter on Kaua'i’s beaches with detailed descriptions including ocean safety



Unique Adventures chapter and over 60 pages of exciting activities from ATVs to ziplines



Fascinating sections on Hawai'i's history, culture, language and legends



Companion website with links to every business, events calendar, over 70 resort reviews complete with aerial photos-so you’ll know if oceanfront really means oceanfront



"The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook" covers it all-from the mile-high summit of Mt. Wai'ale'ale, to the sparkling underwater reefs. This is the best investment you can make for your Kaua'i visit. Whether you are a first time visitor, or a longtime kama'aina, you will find out more about Kaua'i from this book than from any other source. Discover the island of your dreams with "The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook."



Book Description

The finest guidebook ever written for Kaua’i. Now you can plan your best vacation-ever. This all new seventh edition is a candid, humorous guide to everything there is to see and do on the island. Best-selling author and longtime Hawai'i resident, Andrew Doughty, unlocks the secrets of an island so lush and diverse that many visitors never realize all that it has to offer. Explore with him as he reveals breathtaking trails, secluded beaches, pristine reefs, delicious places to dine, relaxing resorts, exciting waterfalls, colorful canyons and so much more. Every restaurant, activity provider, business and resort is reviewed personally and anonymously. This book and a rental car are all you need to discover what makes Kaua'i so exciting.



The most up-to-date and accurate information available anyplace with up-to-the-minute changes posted to our website



Frank, brutally honest reviews of restaurants, hotels and activities show you which companies really are the best...and which to avoid-no advertisements



Driving tours let you structure your trip your way, point out sights not to be missed along the way and are complemented by 100 spectacular color photographs



15 specially-created maps in an easy-to-follow format with mile markers-so you’ll always know where you are on the island



Clear, concise directions to those hard-to-find places such as deserted beaches, tropical jungles, hidden waterfalls, rugged scenic coastlines, freshwater lava pools and scores of other hidden gems listed nowhere else



Exclusive chapter on Kaua'i’s beaches with detailed descriptions including ocean safety



Unique Adventures chapter and over 60 pages of exciting activities from ATVs to ziplines



Fascinating sections on Hawai'i's history, culture, language and legends



Companion website with links to every business, events calendar, over 70 resort reviews complete with aerial photos-so you’ll know if oceanfront really means oceanfront



"The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook" covers it all-from the mile-high summit of Mt. Wai'ale'ale, to the sparkling underwater reefs. This is the best investment you can make for your Kaua'i visit. Whether you are a first time visitor, or a longtime kama'aina, you will find out more about Kaua'i from this book than from any other source. Discover the island of your dreams with "The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook."



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Wizard Publications Inc.; 7th edition edition (October 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981461018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981461014
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (733 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Until now I have never taken the time to write a reveiw for anything, but I feel need to share my feelings about this book. This book is the reference standard for how guidebooks should be written.
The maps and graphics are outstanding; very detailed with mile markers etc. shown where needed, and it doesn't include useless details that you won't need anyway. Maps are very easy to follow, and they are broken down for each district on the island.
It is especially helpful if you are looking for little known hiking trails, beaches, or waterfalls to visit. Some of these you would never find without the help of this book.
The information is very accurate. The couple that wrote the book live on Kauai, and it is clear that they do their homework, and they even added a touch of humor. We used this book for every activity and restaraunt during our stay, and we have never been disappointed.
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An indispensable resource for every Kauai vacation. It includes a wealth of information that will help you plan your trip and then get the most out of your time on the island. Skimming through the book a reader can quickly get a feel for the wide range of natural features and outdoor activities that the island has to offer. More careful reading will reveal additional hints on special areas to explore. Having read and re-read this book many times, it's clear that each word is carefully chosen.

I was turned onto this book before my first visit in 2001 and have bought every edition since for subsequent annual visits. It doesn't change much from edition to edition but there's always something new or fine-tuned to make it worth the new version. In the 8th edition I learned of a hidden waterfall near to where I stay. In this edition there is (finally) mileage noted clearly at the beginning of each hike description.

Restaurant reviews are usually quite accurate, however the writers tend to rate the food more highly if a restaurant has a view, and downgrade ratings if it doesn't, even if the atmosphere is open-air and pleasant. I like that they include places to avoid along with places they recommend. While not perfect, most of the restaurants of interest are described, so it's at least a good starting point when trying to figure out where to eat.

On the down side, they could do somewhat better with ocean safety descriptions. While the ocean safety section is very good, not every reader will scour every page for information (as I do). The writers do emphasize the dangerous beaches where it's almost never safe to swim, but it took several editions before they got around to mentioning how many people drown at Queen's Bath, a feature that is highlighted.
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Format: Paperback
My comments are specifically addressing the hiking and snorkeling portions of this guide, which is what we primarily used it for: First, as another review already notes, EVERY tourist on Kauai is walking around with this book, so forget all the comments in it about "having the beach to yourself" or visiting a spot "only a few local hunters know about". Second, in an obvious attempt to separate this guide from others, the author tends to overexaggerate the beauty or uniqueness of many of the "secret" attractions or destinations that his book contains. And that's a serious problem for most of us that have only a limited amount of time on our Kauai vacation and must decide how to spend each day - what to do and what to give up.

Case in point is the book's hiking description to a pair of now-abandoned, mile-long water diversion tunnels blasted through rock near the middle of the island some hundred years ago. Following the guide's directions you drive inland, then hike 2 miles on an unmaintained hunter trail, then hike a mile through the first tunnel...to find yourself in a breathtaking, Shangri La valley! The book estimates 1.5 to 2 hours hike for the first 2 miles on an uneven, potentially muddy trail. What it doesn't reveal is that, even in dry weather, you will be trekking for 2-3 hours each way through troughs of foot or deeper mud the color and consistency of diarrhea! The hike through the tunnel is cool but the narrow valley beyond is not very exciting and the same scenery can be found in many other parts of the Island with much less time and effort. What was initially a "must-do" hike for us based on the book's description turned into a tiring, wasted day of our vacation.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a huge home run for the first time visitor as well as the returning Kauai visitor. It's really, really good. The book is well laid out in a logical fashion which makes finding the information fast and easy. The book separates the island into North, South, East and West Shores, with multiple quick fold out map references guides inside the front and back covers. This feature alone is huge. It includes aerial photos of the top beaches, which helps for hiking, snorkeling and other outdoor planning. The combination of the writing style, which is easy to read on the fly and relaxed but professional, with the number of color photos and detail maps provides a perfect comprehensive guide for anyone visiting or even living on Kauai.

What we found especially helpful were spot on details on local shopping and dining, which helped us make decisions about how to manage our vacation budget--a key element for many people visiting Hawaii. Whether you're visiting with a 'money's no object' situation or pinching pennies, the tips in the book were helpful. Additionally, sections on everything from culture and language to personal responsibility were helpful. Bottom line; this book delivers so much for it's price that it's a must for anyone visiting Kauai.
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