Café Portofino in Lihue, Kauai

Dining Outside the Home: Café Portofino in Lihue, Kauai! Feel the romantic rhythm of northern Italy in a tropical destination overlooking the beach. This is paradise on the island of Kauai. The food is true Italian cuisine, the wine from cellars across the world. Café Portofino, a family-owned business, offers fresh seafood and locally sourced vegetables as well as classic dishes. Notice the Red Beet Salad and Grilled Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo, both celebration-worthy. Chat with the wait staff. Their friendly reception is warm and connected with deep-felt hospitality. For a memorable evening, especially bringing in the New Year, treat yourself to a taste of Italy.

Manchester-by-the-Sea is a Charmer

You probably know the Massachusetts village by an Oscar-winning film of the same name that awakened the rest of the world to this sleepy little fishing community. But Manchester-by-the-Sea has been around since 1645. Located along the north shore of Massachusetts Bay, where quaint summer cottages become the coveted home-away-from-home for a season, history is still being made. Such notables include a poet, author, actor, politician, comedian, professional golfer, radio talk show host, and more. The town has several points of interest, like Singing Beach, that adds enough allure to keep people flocking back. Unless of course, you’re one of the fortunate ones who get to live there. 

Experience the Charm of Island-Style Living

For island-style charm, on the historic Royal Coconut Coast, the oceanfront sunrise is unbelievable. As the dawn turns from azure-blue-grey to the golden cerulean seagreen of clear Pacific waters, the pull of the ocean practically lures you over the balcony to become one with the sea. Across the only road that runs north and south, like a horseshoe, on the island just beyond the lush valley is a view of the Sleeping Giant Mountain Range. The view can literally take your breath away. Old Kapaa Town is just a stone’s throw away. Walk the uncrowded shoreline, paying attention to the kite-surfing enthusiasts, or choose the paved Kauai Path for biking and daily exercise. Whatever the whim, the East Shore fits the bill. 

From Poi Pond to Bird of Paradise 

The white surf on the coral reef disappeared into the blue shadows along the shoreline. From the cliff house, on the East Shore of the island, the daily temperature rarely dipped below 71° and seldom peaked above 84°. Our exercise regimen included a two-mile walk along the small stretch of beach on Kalapaki Bay. Looking out beyond open waters, the azure blue of sky and sea melded together until it disappeared into a hazy horizon. The sun shown so brilliantly white, I often had to squint behind polarized sunglasses just to find shade in the leafy fronds of a towering palm tree. Evening strolls through the cultural garden past bridges, waterfalls, and statues led us on stone pathways from magnificent Poi Pond to exotic Bird of Paradise. A nightcap against the radiant sunset soothed the senses. Two tropical cocktails arrived decorated with a maraschino cherry and fresh-cut pineapple wedge skewered by pretty paper umbrellas. Well done, Kauai Marriott Beach Resort. 

Dining Outside the Home: Duke’s Canoe Club on Kalapaki Beach in Lihue, Kauai 

Dining Outside the Home: Duke’s Canoe Club on Kalapaki Beach in Lihue, Kauai.  Sometimes the biggest challenge of being on vacation can be resisting all those tempting foods that lead us away from our daily diet. No worries here. Duke’s Canoe Club has included gluten-free menu items that satisfy those vacation cravings. Take, for example, the Caramelized Beet Salad loaded with savory roasted beets, pickled red onion, crumbled goat cheese, and farm-fresh arugula. It’s topped off with a macadamia nut brittle that is out of this world. Not only is the salad bursting with flavor, it comes with that rewarding feeling at the end of the meal. You know what I’m talking about; the one where you can still slip into that bathing suit afterwards and walk the beach like a seasoned athlete. Well done, Duke’s Canoe Club!