Family-Friendly Resort on Secluded Bluffs of Kauai’s North Shore
Where visitors once looked out over sugar plantations and cattle ranches, today Princeville, Hawaii, draws guests in search of white-sand beaches, jungle hikes, and golf courses, all easily accessible from the town’s location on the north shore of Kauai. Occupying 22 acres of Princeville’s tropical landscape, The Cliffs At Princeville takes its name from the high, secluded bluff that it sits on. The resort has an activities desk to help arrange adventures throughout the surrounding area, from zipline tours through a forest to kayaking down a tropical river (Groupon customers receive a 10% discount on activities booked through the desk). But even with its visitors, Princeville evokes a sense of calm—explore that peaceful setting by visiting a working cattle ranch or riding a horse out for a picnic by a waterfall.
There’s plenty to do onsite as well. Relax at the outdoor pool area, complete with two hot tubs, a trickling waterfall, and a keiki area. Quiet time is observed here from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. nightly—one of the ways the resort preserves its tranquil atmosphere. Sporty types will appreciate the Cliffs’ basketball court and pair of tennis courts, and complimentary rackets are available at the front desk. The staff also provides beach towels and chairs for those headed to the nearby waters such as Hideaways Beach, about five minutes away.
Each of the family-friendly suites—renovated in early 2012—accommodates up to four people and comes with a full kitchen with granite countertops and separate living area. Suites have hardwood flooring and Polynesian hardwood furniture, as well as private balconies that open up off the main rooms and showcase views of the manicured gardens and the cliffs overlooking the ocean.
Kauai, Hawaii: Sandy Beaches, Sheer Sea Cliffs, and Lush Rainforests
Kauai is the fourth-largest Hawaiian island, but it's also somewhat secluded—it lies about 100 nautical miles northwest of Oahu. Travel + Leisure recently named it one of the World's Best Islands, citing the peaceful landscape. Here you can watch waterfalls spill from jagged cliffs in lush valleys and clouds hover over mountains framed by sandy beaches. Many championship golf courses overlook the ocean here, and you can find wide offshore reefs overflowing with tropical fish.
On Kauai’s northwest side lies Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park a 16-mile stretch of sea cliffs that Frommer’s calls "one of Hawaii's most spectacular natural attractions.” While you can take a helicopter or boat tour of the coast, the park’s hiking trails may offer the most scenic experience. The Kalalau Trail, one of the most popular, starts at a sea-level beach and then climbs steadily uphill along the coastline with sweeping views along the way—be advised that some parts of the trail can be strenuous.
Another must-see sight is Waimea Canyon, a dramatic gorge reportedly nicknamed the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific" by Mark Twain. Unlike its counterpart in Arizona, Waimea is much more colorful, covered in exotic plants and rocks that change hues during the day.
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