Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The Descendants author on Hawaii

use.jpg
Kailua1.jpg

Kaui Hart Hemmings is the best-selling author of Hawaiian-based family drama The Descendants, which has just been made into a critically acclaimed film starring George Clooney. Here, she introduces Stylist to her favourite places on the island where she and her family live, and where she wrote The Descendants. She's also perused through her album to share some personal photos of Hawaii's incredible beach and mountain scenery - plus snaps of her family (and dog!) taking to the waves. Read on to find out more about Kaui's "real" Hawaii - a million miles away from the tourist trail...

Kaui Hart Hemmings is the author of The Descendants (Vintage). The film adaptation, The Descendants, starring George Clooney, is released in the UK on 27 January

1. Kailua Beach

This sprawling beach accommodates all kinds of appetites. You can enjoy peaceful solitude or have an action-packed beach day with friends, kids, dogs. Some people kite surf, some kayak or canoe paddle out to the Mokulua islands, while some just soak in the sun with a good book. The ocean here is enlivening. My dog and daughter can often be seen boogie-boarding (pictured, second below).

2. The Pali Lookout

A perfect place for panoramic views of Kailua town, the Windward coast, and the sharp, sheer cliffs of the Ko’olau Mountains. I love the climate and the wind here, the old highway, and the visceral sense of history. It’s the site of the Battle of Nu’uanu where King Kamehameha conquered and united the chain of islands. The unfortunate losers were pushed off the cliff.

3. Hanalei Bay

A crescent-shaped bay on Kauai’s North coast, with dramatic, green mountains soaring at the helm. My favourite days are spent here. First walking on the stretch of beach, then fish tacos at the food truck and shave ice, followed by surfing by the pier (ideal for kids) and happy hour at Tahiti Nui.

Photo below shows Kaui's son and husband going to surf on Christmas day.

4. Mount Olomana

A rigorous hike with a variety of views: Maunawili, Kailua, Waimanalo, my house and neighborhood, my grandmother’s house where I set my novel (The Descendants). The last stretch of this hike is difficult and dangerous, and when you get to the top you feel like you’re standing on a mere slice of land. I like being overwhelmed by nature, yet managing it in some way. The best experiences have to involve a little amount of risk and exclusivity.

Photo below shows a view of Mount Olomana from Kaui's backyard

5. Kaimuki Restaurants

On the island of Oahu I suspect that most tourists don’t venture to Kaimuki for their dining experiences. But some of the best restaurants are here in this tight-quartered melting pot. Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai, French, Italian. My favourites are Town (pictured below) and 12th Avenue Grill.

Related

travel-destination-hero.jpg

10 best travel destinations for 2012

sonali-splash.jpg

Travel review competition winner!

books-for-travel-junkies.jpg

10 best reads for travel junkies

Comments

More

Flight attendants claim they were paid less due to their weight

“We have had our salary lowered due to our clothing size."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
27 Apr 2017

This Dutch pilot wants to inspire more women to pursue aviation

She's giving us serious wanderlust.

by Hayley Spencer
26 Apr 2017

Someone is crowd-funding to create the world's first vagina museum

It would be a place dedicated to celebrating vaginas.

by Hayley Spencer
25 Apr 2017

This Japanese restaurant has covered its ceiling in cherry blossom

And its about to be all over your Instagram feed.

by Hayley Spencer
25 Apr 2017

Meet the woman walking 2,500 miles in memory of her best friend

"It's a love letter to Harriet from me, because I couldn’t tell her myself."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Apr 2017

Everybody (yeah), are you ready for the Backstreet Boys cruise?

Backstreet’s back – and, this time, they’re on a boat

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Apr 2017

Jet lag could be cured by eye drops, study finds

There's hope for shift workers too...

by Anna Pollitt
18 Apr 2017

Why everyone’s calling Barack Obama an “Instagram husband”

A picture of the former POTUS taking a photo of his wife on holiday has gone viral.

by Moya Crockett
18 Apr 2017

Dream internship: get paid to party in Ibiza and Cancun this summer

by Anna Brech
17 Apr 2017

Behold Europe's cheapest destination for a beach break this summer

Have your passports handy

by Anna Brech
14 Apr 2017