Walk With “The Descendants”Kaua‘i
“THE DESCENDANTS,” a 2011 film starring GEORGE CLOONEY and SHAILENE WOODLEY, was filmed on-location in Hawai‘i (O‘ahu and Kaua‘i) and features many cherished sites. The movie is based on a novel of the same name written by Kaui Hart Hemmings, a Hawai‘i resident. While exploring Kaua‘i, you, too, can walk in “The Descendants'” footsteps by visiting locations seen in the Andrew Payne production nominated for five Oscars.
Reenact the scene where the King family stands on a hilltop, admiring their family’s breathtaking inheritance below. This picturesque property is, in reality, the KIPU KAI RANCH: a 3,000-acre private cattle ranch on the south shore owned by the Rice family (missionary descendants). Hollywood has used this property for many years—from “RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK” to “THE LOST WORLD” (“JURASSIC PARK” sequel). Take a three-hour ATV tour of this living movie set—with movie extras: cattle, boar and peacocks!—with KIPU RANCH ADVENTURES. Sites include: HU‘LEAI VALLEY, HA‘UPU MOUNTAIN RANGE and the MENEHUNE FISHPOND. Call (808) 246-9288, or visit www.kiputours.com.
Puristic HANALEI BAY also served as an ideal filming location. Make the most of your experience at the Bay by booking a night in THE COTTAGES BY HANALEI BAY. The cast stationed and filmed at two of the properties’ cottages: NALU BEACH COTTAGE ($1,000/night) and the Hemmings’ own KAUIKEOLANI ESTATE ($2,500/night, one-week minimum). Call (888) 900-1454, or visit www.hanaleiland.com to reserve a room.
Before retreating to your cottage, stop for a nightcap and nice meal at TAHITI NUI RESTAURANT & TIKI BAR. A romantic, causal vibe welcomes patrons to the charming local hangout, opened in 1963. Nightly music, good food and fun are always on the menu. Don’t leave without ordering the Huli Chicken or Kalua Pork Pizza, signature dishes. Wash fare down with a Mai Tai or Over the Rainbow-Tini. Open for lunch and dinner. Call (808) 826-6277, or visit www.thenui.com.
Make like Matt King (Clooney) and jog on the beach by the ST. REGIS PRINCEVILLE Resort. The cast and crew retreated to this luxurious, 9,000-acre oasis after long days on set. Rest your head at one of the most spectacular hotels in the islands. Bookings at www.stregisprinceville.com or (866) 716-8140.
The open-air, naturally beautiful LI’HUE AIRPORT was also featured in the film (when the Kings arrive in Kaua‘i and bump into one of their cousins).
As Kaua‘i’s only major airport, Li‘hue also appeared in “HONEYMOON IN VEGAS” and “SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS.” Plan your visit: www.hawaii.gov/lih or (808) 274-3800.