What's the scoop with the swimming? No swimming out front of resort? We will be staying a week in December. Would appreciate any info on restaurants nearby and inside scoop on local stuff. Thanks!
You can swim out front of Pono Kai; it's just a bit unsafe as there are some rocks on the shore, and the beach has a steep slope and lots of small crabs. There are much better beaches just a couple of miles away on either side. We did see people swimming in front...rip currents may be present and there are no lifeguards. If you're a good swimmer, what the heck, go for it. John
Skimming out front is OK, but nothing to see (sand bottom, no fish), so a place like Lydgate is a better bet. Kountry Kitchen for breakfast, and Olympic for other, although we enjoyed Mariachi's for Mexican (Wife says pretty authentic). SAMs for Sunday Brunch.
There was some swimming when we were there, but rip tide currents are a problem all around Kauai. Our favorite restaurant was Sam's, a short walk down the beach. Expensive, but the food was great and watching the sun go down behind the palm trees lining the beach was special.
We swim in front of the resort all the time. If the ocean is rough there are better options, but in the winter it is almost always swimmable. Lydgate Park to the south is a lovely place for a calm swim and snorkeling.
We like the Olympic Cafe for fun atmosphere and good food with lots of choices. For a lovely dinner with great ocean views in Kapaa, go to Sam's Ocean View. Another special restaurant is Hukilau Lanai. Oasis on the Beach is good. And walk over to Ono family restaurant for breakfast or shave ice.
You will love the convenience of Pono Kai.
The water at the end of the resort property is not a smooth beach like you will find just a short distance down the coast. You can walk to the beach and pick up shells or just have a nice walk, but it is not the best swimming beach.
There are many nice restaurants and none are far from the resort. Please check out my other reviews for my favorites. You really have to try the fish shack. Don't miss out on the Shave Ice. Also keep an eye out for roadside stands selling fresh local ingredients. You can buy coconuts, pineapple, honey, and other fresh ingredients. Buy some of the local salt from Salty Wahine. Take a deep sea fishing trip and grill some tuna with the pineapple and Salty Wahine seasoning. It may well be the best meal of your entire trip.
For the best of the island, follow the locals and eat at the mom and pop shops where they stop.
The concierge at Pono Kai is always happy to tell you about local restaurants and activities. They will even schedule your activities for you so you don't have to waste a minute of your time making reservations. Don't miss the orientation meeting because they have discounts and free tickets to some of the more popular activies.
The beach in front of the hotel is ok to swim depending upon the season. Winter is better than summer as the waves are coming from the north. Restaurants constantly change. Ono is always good and walking distance . We eat in fairly often. Maybe a lunch or dinner out so we aren't current on the eateries. The Sunshine market is held at the park I think on Wednesday, great local veggies and fruits, flowers etc. If it is your first trip I would suggest on of the Kauai guide books.
Swimming at pool at resort is good. The ocean is a bit rough in front of the resort but a short walk takes you to other options kn the ocean. Many good eating options. Check my reviews in this island. Walk by the tennis courts to the main road and have the best breakfast ever at the corner restaurant.
Get an answer from Pono Kai Resort staff and past guests.