Road Scholar : Home
The Best of Hawaii and Kauai

Program Number: 1413RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/18/2013 - 2/28/2013; 1/11/2016 - 1/21/2016; 2/1/2016 - 2/11/2016; 2/8/2016 - 2/18/2016; 2/22/2016 - 3/3/2016; 3/14/2016 - 3/24/2016;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Price starting at: $2,598.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 29; 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners    

Enjoy two perspectives of paradise. Explore the Garden Isle of Kauai, the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain, and the Big Island of Hawaii, the youngest. Learn about the development of each island’s cultural traditions, "talk story” with residents of diverse backgrounds and venture to all parts of both islands as you examine their unique histories.


• On the island of Hawaii study marine life, endangered birds, fern forests, lava tubes and steaming calderas at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
• Explore rainforests, Hawaii's tallest waterfall and the Hamakua Coast with field interpreters from local educational institutions.
• Visit the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Waimea Canyon, “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile over maintained trails and uneven ground.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Lihue, Kauai, 5 nights; fly to Hilo, Hawaii, 5 nights; departure.

Coordinated by University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Hilo (Hawaii)

This is one of few surviving examples of a Hawaiian plantation town. The impact of Polynesians, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Koreans, other Pacific Islanders, and Europeans blend in the faces of the people who give Hilo its charm. With diverse shopping opportunities and its friendliness, Hilo is the perfect town to linger just a little longer.


Kauai, or Kaua'i, is the oldest and northernmost of the major islands in the Hawaiian Island chain comprising gentle, rolling countrysides, jagged mountains, magnificent canyons and desert-like sand dunes, as well as 143 miles of coastline.

Seaside hotels with outdoor swimming pools. Most meals in area restaurants, lunches picnic-style in the field.
Meals and Lodgings
   Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach
  Kapaa, Hawaii 5 nights
   Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
  Hilo, HI 5 nights
 Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Courtyard Kaua'i is centrally located on Kauai's Coconut Coast. This delightful beachfront hotel is an elegant retreat from which you can explore all of the natural beauty that is Kauai.
  Contact info: 650 Aleka Loop
Kapaa, HI 96746 USA
phone: 808-822-6603
  Room amenities: Air Conditioning, Phone with Voicemail, Coffee Dispenser, Hair Dryer, Iron/Board
  Facility amenities: The hotel features an oceanfront swimming pool, jogging path, tennis court, day spa and fitness center, high-speed Internet access, cocktail lounge, restaurant, laundry facility, a business center and self or valet parking.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $128.00 net + tax per room Please call reservations at 808-822-6603
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Centrally located along Banyan Drive, the hotel is within walking distance of the trees planted by royalty and celebrities like the famous Babe Ruth. It is adjacent to the Japanese-style Liliuokalani Park and the Healing Island of Moku Ola (Coconut Island). It is within minutes of shops, museums, beaches and the airport.
  Contact info: 71 Banyan Drive
Hilo, HI 96720 USA
phone: 808-935-9361
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, coffee maker, clock radio, refrigerator, television, telephone, and dial-up internet access.
  Facility amenities: The Queen's Court Restaurant offers nightly buffet and plated dinners, a lounge for daily relaxation, pool, laundry and meeting rooms, and a general store fronts the hotel lobby.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: starts from $95 + tax. When calling the hotel's reservation department, identify yourself as a participant of the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Kauai Historical Consortium Road Scholar Program and the program dates.

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in between 3 PM and 4:30 PM. You will be staying at Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach that night.
  End of Program:
Departure in Hilo anytime after breakfast and before 12:00 noon. You will be staying at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Full program participation requires the following forms from the provider to be completed and returned prior to the start date: Risk and Release, Medical, Travel, and Room information. A form of picture identification is required at airline check in.
  Required innoculations:
Yes: Provide all medication necessary for treatment to your allergic reactions, ie. insect bites, stings, food. Make arrangements to accommodate any dietary needs.
  Parking availability:
Vehicles accommodated on the hotel parking lots on a space available basis.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Kapaa, Hawaii
  Nearest city or town:  Kapaa
  Nearest highway: Kaumuali'i Highway
  Nearest airport:  Lihue Airport
  From End of Program
  Location:  Hilo, HI
  Nearest city or town:  Keaau
  Nearest highway: Highway 19
  Nearest airport:  Hilo International Airport
Travel Details

Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach


From Airport




Kauai Taxi Company
phone: 808-246-9554


Hilo Hawaiian Hotel


To Airport




Hot Lava Taxi
phone: 808-557-0879

Driving Directions
  Mainland USA Air travel only to islands.

Required innoculations:

Yes: Provide all medication necessary for treatment to your allergic reactions, ie. insect bites, stings, food. Make arrangements to accommodate any dietary needs.

Elevation Note: Gradual inclination from sea level to 4000 feet in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Equipment Requirements: Comfortable, closed toe walking shoes is suggested for daily field trips
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Opening dinner and program orientation
(Monday, February 18)
 Arrive To: Arrival and check in
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel dining room.
 Evening: Program orientation will take place after dinner.
Accommodations: Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Geology of Kaua`i and South Shore Tour
(Tuesday, February 19)

Note: South Shore Tour of Maha`ulepu Beach, Koloa Landing, Kukuiula Harbor and Spouting Horn. Enjoy lunch at Poipu Beach Park and continue to National Tropical Botanical Garden "Allerton Garden". Evening activity: "Introduction to Hawaiian Words" lecture.

 Breakfast: Meal in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Your first full day on the Garden Isle will take you to the south eastside of the island. Your Naturalist today will be noted geoscientist, Chuck Blay who earned his Ph.D. in geology from Indiana University. Chuck’s first encounter with Kauai was in the late 70’s and in 1986 he walked and investigated the 111 miles of the island’s perimeter. Chuck co-authored the book Kauai’s Geologic History: A Simplified Guide, which provides a comprehensive summary of the geologic origins of the Hawaiian Island and the island of Kauai. Among other studies he presently investigating the Lithified Sand Dunes of Kauai’s Mahaulepu Coastal Area and the Character of Coral/Algal Fringing Reefs of Kauai. Chuck is one of Kauai’s most noted naturalists and field interpreters. Your day with Chuck will be awe-inspiring and his enthusiasm for the ‘aina (land), culture and history of Kaua’i, will be infectious. Maha`ulepu Beach: This is the site where King Kamehameha I, tried to capture the Island of Kaua’i, but failed in his attempt in 1796 due to a violent storm that forced his retreat. Moir Gardens Koloa Landing: Although, Koloa Landing is now a very popular dive spot, this historic site was – until this century- Kauai’s main port. Whaling ships used to winter here, and all goods brought to Kaua’i came through either Koloa Landing or Waimea.
 Lunch: Lunch at Poipu Beach Park.
 Afternoon: You will spend the afternoon exploring the National Tropical Botanical Garden "Allerton Garden". Allerton Garden (Lawa`i Kai) lies between the Pacific Ocean and the McBryde Garden in the Lawa`i Valley. It is a garden paradise, transformed through time by the hands of a Hawaiian Queen, by a sugar plantation magnate, and most significantly by an artist and an architect. The endless possibilities found in this dramatic topography led to the creation of this masterpiece of garden art. A series of garden rooms unfold between the Lawa`i Stream and the cliffs of the Valley. The sound of water is in abundance in pools, miniature waterfalls, and fountains. Statues grace this former estate and resonate with a European influence. Towering rainforest trees with tall curving roots grow near bronze mermaids, a grove of swaying golden bamboo, a cut-flower garden, and tropical fruit trees. Here the focus is on landscape design, but among the plantings are botanically important species of the tropics, including varieties of palms, ki (ti), heliconias, and gingers.
 Dinner: Meal in hotel dining room.
 Evening: Introduction to Hawaiian Words. Tonight, you’ll be introduced to basic Hawaiian words. You will hear these common words around the island and throughout the program.
Accommodations: Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: North Shore Tour
(Wednesday, February 20)

Note: North Shore Tour of Kilauea Lighthouse and Hanalei Overlook. Picnic lunch and guided tour of Waioli Mission House. Evening activity: "Introduction to Kaua`i" lecture.

 Breakfast: Meet in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Visit the North Shore to explore the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge. One of the few wildlife refuges that is open to the public, it includes over 200 acres of protected land and serves as the home to migratory birds such as the Pacific golden plover, Laysan Albatross and the Nene Goose. The refuge is recognized as Hawaii’s largest seabird sanctuary, a place that is home to over 5,000 seabirds. Unfortunately, the refuge was struck hard by the 1992 hurricane Iniki and there was severe damage to the habitat and, of course, loss of birdlife and vegetations. The Refuge complex lost several buildings and received extensive damage due to the hurricane, but fortunately much has been repaired and it remains a very unique and inspiring place to visit. On this refuge is the Kilauea Lighthouse that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This historic lighthouse services as an important navigational aid for commercial shipping vessels sailing through the Hawaiian archipelago to and from the Orient. The history of the Kilauea Lighthouse began in 1909 when the property was purchased for a one dollar token from the Kilauea Plantation Company. The location was perfectly suited as the grass-covered bluff was surrounded by pounding surf on three sides. Work began on the Lighthouse in 1912 and was completed in 1913, with a light shinning to ships more than 20 nautical miles away. Hanalei Pier that was constructed in 1892. Hanalei means “lei shaped” and it is one of scenes you’ll remember if you saw the movie “South Pacific.” The wooden pier was constructed in 1892 and then reinforced with concrete 30 years later. The Pier was used by local farmers for shipping their rice until it was closed in 1933. In 1979, the Pier was put on the National Register of Historic places and has recently reconstructed and reinforced.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch
 Afternoon: Wai`oli Mission House. Located in the heart of Hanalei, this mission house dates back to 1837 and provides people today a chance to see how the early Christian missionaries lived. The missionaries first arrived in Hanalei on the island of Kauai in 1832 to convert the natives to Christianity. This used to be the home of early Christian missionaries Abner and Lucy Wilcox who moved here in 1847. The home was originally constructed by Reverend William Alexander prior to the Wilcox' arrival. The architecture of this home is what makes it different from others in Hawaii. Most mission homes from the same time were built in the traditional New England style architecture, appearing at odds with their tropical landscape. Since Reverend Alexander originally came from Kentucky, this home has influences from his southern roots, as well as Hawaii. There's a lava rock chimney, lanais on both stories and ohia wood floors. The home is furnished with traditional Hawaiian koa furniture. There's even a clock inside that was installed in 1866 and still keeps perfect time.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
 Evening: Introduction to Kaua’i. Tonight, you’ll be introduced to the history, culture and the environment of Kauai. Once known as the land where sugar was king, the island is also affectionately called the “Garden Island”, because this Island, more than any other Hawaiian island, represents the stereotypical “Garden of Eden” with its lush carpets of green and tropical island beauty. Kaua’i has abundant valleys high cascading waterfalls, upland rain forests dense with tropical vegetation and high trees alive with rare birdlife. There are arid desert canyons populated with adapted plant life, mountain ridge trails, rivers and remote interior valleys and tranquil beaches. The coral reefs are filled with tropical fish and other diverse forms of marine life. Kauai’s tranquil island beauty will enrapture your imagination and meet all of your expectations with its intimate beauty and warm community.
Accommodations: Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Kaua`i Museum and Grove Farm Homestead
(Thursday, February 21)
 Breakfast: Meal in hotel dining room.
 Morning: The Kaua’i Museum is the best place to get acquainted with the island’s history. It is very unique because it houses a treasure of the island's heritage, everything from feathered leis to vintage photographs. A permanent display is called The Story of Lana'i and is filled with Hawaiian artifacts and history of the past. Many local people refer to this special Museum as a cultural sanctuary for the art and artifacts of Native Hawaiians because it nurtures the creative spirit of today’s artists. Your museum journey will enhance your discovery of how the islands have changed since Captain Cook’s arrival at Waimea in 1778. You’ll also be able to view a 30 minute aerial film tour of Kaua’i and see the diversity of the oldest island in the Hawaiian chain The museum’s gift shop contains some of the best historic Hawaiian titles and handicrafts.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a visit to the historic Grove Farm Homestead Museum located on an 80-acre sugar plantation that belonged to George N. Wilcox and his nieces who built their home here in 1864. The Grove Farm was one of the earliest sugar plantation homes and it was turned into a museum in 1978 and depicts the rise to fame of the prominent family. The main house is in pristine condition with walls and a staircase made of native Koa wood. Also on the grounds is a wash house, tea house, and guest cottage.
 Dinner: Meal in hotel dining room.
 Evening: Evening Activity-Hawaiian Cultural Experience
Accommodations: Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: West Side Tech and Koke`e State Park
(Friday, February 22)
 Breakfast: Meal in hotel dining room.
 Morning: If you are interested in history, high-tech, or engineering, you’ll be intrigued by Kauai’s innovative, high-tech, state-of-the-art Technology Center, with “touch-sensitive” screen. The Center offers a unique opportunity to explore Kauai`i’s engineering history. Using the theme, “Enduring Engineering,” you’ll be able to follow cultural and historic photographs showing the development of engineering on Kaua`i from ancient days to modern times and from the Polynesian voyagers to NASA’s most sophisticated technology. The historic photos even depict the “grass shacks” which dominated the landscape of Kaua`i and there is even a photo of the first movie ever filmed in Kaua`i, “White Heat”, by director Louis Weber. The museum blends history with the near by Pacific Missile Range Facility. The center is representative of the eclectic mix that gives definition to the tiny communities that co-mingle with the military base situated on this end of the island. With the Pacific Missile Range Facility and a growing number of high-tech companies, it is taking its place as the high technology hub of the island.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch
 Afternoon: Waimea Canyon is the largest canyon in the Pacific. With breathtaking views, from the west side of Kaua’i, the vistas offer some of the most spectacular scenery in Hawai`i. The canyon is approximately ten miles (16km) long and up to 3,000 feet (900m) deep and it was carved thousands of years ago by rivers and floods that flowed from Mount Waialeale's summit. The canyon was formed by a deep incision of the Waimea River arising from the extreme rainfall on the island’s central peak, The lines in the canyon walls depict different volcanic eruptions and lava flows that have occurred over the centuries. Even though Waimea Canyon is smaller than the Grand Canyon of Arizona, we think you’ll agree that Waimea Canyon rivals the beauty in Arizona. Make sure you bring some light rain gear because some of the lookouts are among the wettest places on earth. Bring your cameras, too, because this will truly be one of your favorite photo opportunities.
 Dinner: Smith’s Lu`au was founded over 50 years ago in the sacred Wailua River Valley. The Smith family created a tropical paradise to celebrate the Hawaiian spirit of aloha that they loved and lived by. Today, four generations of the Smith family continue to honor that tradition with the most famous of Hawaiian celebrations, the luau. Some of the items on the menu are Kalua pig roasted in the earthen imu oven, Cousin Gary’s secret recipe for teriyaki beef, mahimahi, tasty chicken adobo and a bowl of poi. As dinner winds down, they may even get some of you up on stage to try some hula moves. Food may be the heart of a luau, but music is the soul. Hawaiian ancestors preserved their history by passing down songs and chants called mele. These traditions are celebrated at the luau, as well as the songs and dances from other cultures that live in our tropical paradise. The lyrical sway of the Hawaiian hula, the colorful precision of the Tahitian drum dances and the fiery emotion of the Samoan fire knife dance all speak deeply of the people who have come to call Hawaii home.
Accommodations: Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Transfer To Hilo
(Saturday, February 23)
 Breakfast: Your morning meal is at the hotel on Kauai before your transfer to Hilo on the island of Hawaii.
 Morning: After breakfast, bring your luggage to the lobby for your transport by bus to the Lihue Airport for your transfer to Hilo via Honolulu.
 Lunch: You will have lunch upon your arrival into Hilo
 Afternoon: Enjoy a tour of the garden and learn about different formal, cultural and orchid florals. After your tour, you will be transported to the hotel for check-in.
 Dinner: Meal in hotel dining room.
 Evening: Orientation for the Big Island portion of the program will take place after dinner.
Accommodations: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
(Sunday, February 24)
 Breakfast: Meal in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Field trip to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Educational field guide will accompany the group to the Visitors Center, Jaggar Museum, Halema`uma`u Crater and the Nahuku Lava Tube.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch in the field.
 Afternoon: Continue on to various sites in the National Park.
 Dinner: Meal in hotel dining room.
 Evening: Free evening.
Accommodations: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Marine Day
(Monday, February 25)
 Breakfast: Meal in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture and presentation at the hotel on Hawaii's unique marine environment. Field trip to the Wailoa Center.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch at beach
 Afternoon: Hands-on marine exploration in tidepools and lagoon at the beach park. Swim time is included.
 Dinner: Meal in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Leisure evening for relaxation and exploration.
Accommodations: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Star of the Sea Painted Church/ Pahoa Town
(Tuesday, February 26)
 Breakfast: Meal in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture and presentation on Hawaiian culture, chanting and hula.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in the quaint town of Pahoa.
 Afternoon: Field trip to the lava inundated community of Kalapana. View the magnificent paintings on the walls and ceiling of Kalapana's Star of the Sea Painted Church.
 Dinner: Meal in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Leisure evening of relaxation and exploration.
Accommodations: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Hilo Farmers Market, Pacific Tsunami Museum, Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, Lyman House Memorial Museum
(Wednesday, February 27)
 Breakfast: Meal in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Visit the Hilo Farmers Market to sample local agricultural products and crafts. Field trip to the Pacific Tsunami Museum and `Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii.
 Lunch: Lunch at Sky Garden Restaurant at `Imiloa
 Afternoon: Tour of the historical Lyman House Memorial Museum, Gallery and Gift shop.
 Dinner: Aloha Dinner and sharing in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Independent departure
(Thursday, February 28)
 Breakfast: Meal in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Independent departure after breakfast and by 12:00 noon. Independent travel arrangements for transport from hotel to airport.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Kapaa, Hawaii Big Islands Visitors Bureau
Phone: 808-961-5797 For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

What’s included in this Road Scholar program?

Except for the occasional meal on some programs, Road Scholar programs are all-inclusive. That means there are no extra “options,” no passing the hat for tips and no surprises. From lectures and field trips to gratuities and accommodations – the price you pay up front is the price you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

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