September News
Aloha from Kauai and our Great Vacation Retreats Ohana

September has been a busy month filled with fun events starting with the tenth annual Kauai Marathon on September 2nd. A record 2,276 runners participated with runners from 48 states and 17 countries competing alongside 1,235 local registrants, of whom 909 were from Kauai. Shinya Ohashi of Ishinomaki, Japan, completed the full marathon in an impressive 2:33:35.

The 7th Annual Live Like Sion Gromfest was held last Sunday at PK's on the south side of the island. Congrats to our Kauai Surfer Girls (Presley, Alea and Moana) who paddled out in the longboard and shortboard divisions. Our island keiki are always so stoked for this event to hang out with their ohana and the local community and to surf all day to honor the memory of Sion Milosky.
Presley, daughter of GVR Owners Scott and Amy Grant, takes 5th for Long-boarding. There were some tough competitors, including Molly Middlebrook, who executed a perfect head stand on her board while riding one of her waves!

Follow Kauai Surfer Girls on Instagram
Made for Film

Kauai is a Filmmaker's paradise! The diversity in landscape has made it the perfect backdrop for a movie location. Kauai has been used to imitate Central America, Asia and even Avatar’s mythical planet. Watching movies filmed on Kauai is a great way to get excited about taking a vacation to Kauai! Here’s a list of Kauai’s most popular blockbusters:

The Jurassic Series: Jurassic Park I, Jurassic Park – The Lost World, Jurassic Park III, Jurassic World
Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides
The Descendants
Disney's Lilo and Stitch
Soul Surfer
Kong Skull Island - Rise of the King
Tropic Thunder
Six Days Seven Nights
Raiders of the Lost Ark
King Kong
Lord of the Flies
Blue Hawaii
South Pacific
White Heat

This year Kauai has hosted Disney's Jungle Cruise and is preparing for another blockbuster arrival "Hobbs and Shaw" which is an offshoot of the Fast and Furious franchise. Jungle Cruise stars Dwayne Johnson, also known as The Rock. He gave us a sneak peak on Instagram of the impressive set built at Kapaia Reservoir..

“watch ’til the end and see one of the most awe inspiring & massive sets ever built from scratch. Walt Disney, this one’s for you buddy!" (via @TheRock)
Not just a backdrop...
Kauai has its own stories to tell!

KAUAI FILM ACADEMY is redefining filmmaking on Kauai. The Kauai Film Academy provides professional filmmaking training and creative opportunities for the youth of Kauai and is currently working on creating the first ever feature film on Kauai using all local Talent, Crew, and Resources.

Too Much Life, directed by Sawyer, is a Kauai Made Film about teens on Kauai. Harper Hudson is popular, smart, and focused on her future. She is about to achieve her dream of becoming Student Body President when her best friend decides to run against her. In the struggle to maintain the status quo, Harper loses her “fake” boyfriend, and has to avoid being exposed by the school’s ace reporter, Avery Nation. In Harper’s on-line world, the line between what’s real and what’s not keeps growing. With a distant father and demanding mother that expects the best, Harper has to decide how far she’ll go and who she’ll hurt to live up to a world that doesn’t exist.

Follow Too Much Life on Instagram
A day on the set of Too Much Life
Support Kauai Film Academy
To find out more about the incredible opportunities Sawyer and Elliot are creating for the youth on Kauai explore the Kauai Film Academy's online magazine.

Don't forget to follow KAUAI MADE FILMS on Instagram for the latest updates and casting calls. Find out how you can become a part of the first feature film made on Kauai!
Kissed by God
Another amazing Kauai story is that of Andy Irons, a three-time world champion surfer, who died in 2010 at the age of 32 after battling bipolar disorder and opioid addiction. A new documentary, "Andy Irons: Kissed By God" explores Irons' experiences and how they resonate in a larger conversation about mental health and addiction.
UNSTOPPABLE is Bethany’s complete and untold story that follows her journey from childhood into motherhood – the ups, downs and her powerful resilience against all odds to become one of the leading professional surfers of all time.

"Born into a family of surfers on Kauai, Bethany Hamilton began surfing competitively at eight years old. In 2003, at age 13, she was out surfing when she was attacked by a 15-foot tiger shark, a run-in that cost her her right arm. But not only did she survive the attack—she was back on the competitive circuit just a year later. More than a decade later, Hamilton, now a mother, undertakes her greatest challenge—chasing a toddler, and chasing the biggest wave of her career. Filmmaker Aaron Lieber weaves intimate observational footage of Hamilton and her family, archival footage of the surfer as a young woman, and gorgeous ocean wave panoramas into a heroic tale of bravery, perseverance, athleticism, and hope. Unstoppable takes the viewer on an incredible journey as a girl becomes a woman and a fearless athlete rises to the top her game, becoming a world champion. Hamilton’s story gives new meaning to the term “surf like a girl.”

—Deborah Rudolph
Surfing to Cope
Kauai’s Brianna Cope is someone who doesn’t let obstacles stand in her way. At age 23, she’s been on the cusp of qualifying for the Championship Tour for a few years, coming extremely close in 2014 when she finished 15th on the Qualifying Series. Since then she’s been extremely competitive in all the events she enters. Brianna is an inspiration to many of our young Kauai surfer girls that are always excited to encounter her ripping it up at our local favorite surf break PK's. Surfing to Cope is an independent film by Katie Walsh and Harris Mendheim. Follow surfer, Brianna Cope, as she attempts to make the Women's Championship Tour while coming to terms with a physical challenge that has shaped her life. Also starring Kauai surfers Bethany Hamilton and Rochelle Ballard.
Event Calendar
There is a lot happening in October:

Coming soon to Poipu Beach Athletic club are two live music events. Tribal Seeds will be playing on October 7th and BONE Thugs-N-Harmony will be performing on Saturday October 27th. Purchase tickets and find out more about these events at

Experience the fun of Hammers 'n Ales at the Poipu Beach Athletic Club on October 13th. This is an event to support affordable housing on Kauai; enjoy food, drinks, and live music by Homestead and Cruz Control.

Definitely don't miss the Kauai Chocolate and Coffee Festival in Historic Hanapepe Town on October 19th and 20th.

The Kauai Harvest Festival on October 21st is a free event for the whole ohana at Waimea Canyon Park featuring water slides, a bounce house, rides, games, food, entertainment, music, tons of free pumpkins and more!
Don't Forget to check out WEEKLY EVENTS - many of them are free!
Listen to Polynesian drumming, watch a hula show, pose with parrots, feed koi fish, listen to live local bands, catch a ride on the Aloha Shuttle and more!
Horton Update!
It became increasingly necessary to replace Mr Pickles (the Mini Cooper) with a larger vehicle to accommodate our canine brood, specifically Horton our Great Dane puppy! Horton at ten months old has now expanded to 125 pounds and is far more comfortable in the back of a spacious Toyota SUV. Hopefully we will not need a super-stretch limo by the time he is fully grown.
Plan your Kauai Vacation
Explore our online EXPERIENCE KAUAI guide to plan your next vacation! View our Commonly Asked Questions covering topics like direct flights, weather, not to be missed, etc.

Find YOUR perfect vacation paradise at
Great Vacation Retreats | Phone 808.742.9202 | Text 808.427.0818 |