Of the 16 times I’ve visited the Hawaiian Islands, this was my first time on Kauai. The views were breathtaking, activities aplenty, and we cannot wait to go back. I decided to put together a list of a few of our island favorites — where we stayed, where we played and our bucket list for our next trip to the Garden Isle!
Where to Stay
Having never visited the island before, I was a bit overwhelmed when it came time to book a place to stay. We knew we were renting a car, so proximity to the airport, etc was not an issue. After pouring over VRBO, I stumbled upon our dream condo. I dealt with Kelly during the entire process and it was seamless. The condo had a fully stocked kitchen (waffle iron included!), beach towels, chairs, coolers, guide books and beautiful beach decor. Oh and did you catch this view?!
We were thrilled with the location of the cliffside condo in Princeville, HI — minutes from the grocery store and the famous Hanalei Bay. The condo could comfortably sleep 6 people and we plan on bringing our families back here in the near future!
Where to Play
Kauai Coffee Tour – Head over to the estate and join one of their extremely informative Walking Tours. There’s no need to schedule a tasting as it’s a go-at-your-own-pace kind of thing, but walking tours depart at certain times so make sure to check the schedule before you arrive. If you have a choice of guides, ask to be on Chuck’s tour, he’s THE BEST!
Hike! – The entire island is full of amazing hikes for every skill level. Our favorite hike was in Waimea Canyon State Park where we hiked The Cliff Trail to Waipoo Falls. This 2 mile long trail ended at two stunning waterfalls and an paralleled view of Halemanu Canyon. The hike took us about 2.5 hours roundtrip and we met people of all ages and athletic ability along the way.
Stand-up Paddle Board, Surf & Kayak – There are many, many places to SUP and kayak around the island, but if you’re staying where I recommended, you are only minutes away from our favorite place for rentals. The amazing staff and instructors at Kayak Hanalei hooked us up with both surf lessons and rental kayaks. They also have stand-up paddle boards for rent and their riverside location allows for convenient water access. Surf lessons take place right in Hanalei Bay and our surf instructor, Kolo, was beyond patient with us!
Beach Hopping – Kauai is covered in some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. Depending on the time of year, rain can be an issue. We went in late February and although it rained almost every day of our trip, there was always somewhere on the island that was hot and sunny. So we just followed the sun. Always use caution when swimming and body boarding in the ocean. Rip tides and undertow are a real thing and warning signs should NOT be ignored!
|1| Hike the Na Pali Coast
|2| Spear fishing
|3| Visit Queen’s Bath
|4| Horseback riding at Princeville Ranch
|5| See the Na Pali coast by boat
|6| Snorkel off Kee Beach
|7| Kayak with dolphins
While Kauai is known as ‘The Garden Isle’, I think another appropriate name would be the ‘Isle of Roosters’. The island is covered in wild roosters and chickens, which I found highly amusing!