Whale Watching on Kaua’i

Bluegreen Resorts offers dozens of comfortable, luxurious, affordably priced vacation accommodations in popular locations across the United States and the Caribbean. Select your favorite destination among Bluegreen’s resorts from New York to Montana, Miami to Southern California, New Orleans to the Wisconsin Dells, and many other colorful places in between. If your family loves nature and outdoor fun, Bluegreen’s affiliate on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i could be the spot where you find heaven on earth.

At Pono Kai Resort, you’ll vacation on 13 acres along the island’s beautiful Coconut Coast. Visit luscious forests nestled among the outlines of jagged cliffs, or take a quiet stroll along a sandy shore lined with clear water. Enjoy a kayak trip, a boat ride to the picturesque Fern Grotto, or a hike through the trails of Waimea Canyon State Park. However, the most memorable part of your Kaua’i vacation may be your encounter with some of the world’s most magnificent animals on a whale-watching tour.

Every year, humpback whales come to the waters off Kaua’i to give birth to their calves. Visitors to the island from December through April or May can catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures by taking a chartered boat tour, or even by walking along the shoreline or an upland trail. Known as “kohola” in the speech of the islands, humpback whales migrate some 16,000 miles annually. They spend their summers feeding in the southern hemisphere, and in winter travel north to breed, give birth, and care for their young. One full-grown whale can weigh as much as 40 tons.

Some of the best spots on Kaua’i for observing whales spouting, breaching, and slapping their tails against the white-capped waters include Poipu Beach on the southern part of the island, the Kapaa Overlook on the east side, and the trails of the Napali Coast on the northern shore. Other prime locations include the Kilauea Point Lighthouse on the northernmost tip of the island, as well as Maha’ulepu Beach and Barking Sands at Major’s Bay. Some experienced whale-watchers recommend late afternoon as the best time to spot whales offshore.

Kilauea Point Lighthouse Offers an Intriguing History

Enjoy a Hawaiian vacation on the Garden Island of Kaua’i, the Aloha State’s westernmost island. When you stay at Bluegreen Resorts’ Pono Kai Resort along the Coconut Coast, you’ll have access to kayaking, swimming, surfing, hiking, and a variety of boating excursions amid Kaua’i’s spectacular natural backdrop. But don’t forget that Kaua’i also offers fascinating points of historic and cultural interest. Case in point: Kilauea Point Lighthouse, a restored wonder from the glory days of maritime navigation.

Surrounded by the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge at the northernmost tip of the island, the lighthouse served as a beacon for sea and air travelers over the Pacific route between Asia and the United States for more than 60 years. The lighthouse opened in 1913, was decommissioned by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1976, and in 1979 was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Recent renovations were completed in time for its centennial celebration. From its vantage point, visitors can catch sight of humpback whales during their winter breeding season near the islands and observe the numerous birds that make their home within the refuge.

The lighthouse’s original and then-state-of-the-art 4.5-ton Fresnel lens and clockworks were created in France by the firm of Barbier, Bénard & Turenne for a price of $12,000. The characteristic double flash of the two-sided, clamshell-shaped revolving lens could be seen by ships approximately 21 nautical miles offshore and by planes nearly 100 miles away. Over the years, the lighthouse directed numerous pilots to safety, including the airmen flying the first trans-Pacific flight from California to Hawaii in the late 1920s. In the following decade, electricity came to the lighthouse and the lens was replaced with a light bulb, which later gave way to the automatic beacon that made the lighthouse obsolete.

Yet the beauty of the rugged coastline, and the historic significance of the lighthouse itself and the nearby keepers’ cottages, are part of the reason some half a million visitors every year make the trek to the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.