This beautiful Hawaiian island, is known as the Garden Isle. We went in September, and the weather was still amazing. There was rain here and there everyday, but that’s totally normal here! Also why this island is SO green. This was my second time visiting this island, and after this second visit I think I have this island down. From the beaches, to the hikes, and some good eats, this blog post will definitely help your next visit here!
We spent 7 days on the island, and it was the perfect amount of time to relax and explore around. This trip was actually planned super last minute. We were supposed to be headed to Turks and Caicos, but the week before we left Hurricane Irma took destroyed that island. It makes me so sad and still can’t believe that happened, but it gave us the opportunity to explore Kauai together for the first time! We usually travel to Maui with Matt’s family, because they have a timeshare at the Marriott, so it was different and special going to another Hawaiian island together. This island isn’t very big, but you are definitely up for a ton of adventures and activities. We wanted to do a little bit of both, so I’ll outline exactly where and what we did. Before I do, I want to give a few TIPS about this island!
Tip #1: RENT A CAR!!!! You cannot visit this island and not rent car. Everything is super far from each other. Don’t plan on calling an Uber or Lyft, it takes a long time for them to arrive, and it’s costly.
Tip #2: You don’t need fancy clothes. If you’re like me, I always like to bring my super cute vacation pieces (wear once, never again) and I honestly didn’t put ONE on. I wore my comfy and airy maxi dresses, and was comfortable with my attire. No one dressed up too much for even the nicer restaurants. It’s very laid back, and you’re in your bathing suit almost the entire time with a cover-up of some sort!
Tip #3: Pick the hikes you want to go on AHEAD of time. There are SO many hikes here, and we learned 1-2 hikes is enough here! Pick the 2 you really want to see, because there is still so much more to do!
Now here is a run down of my Kauai trip:
HOTEL: We stayed at Koloa Landing Resort, and it was PERFECT. It was in Poipu which is on the South Shore. This hotel was very updated, beautiful landscape, and the pool was to die for. It was close to many really great places to eat, and in between two shopping centers.
BEACHES: I loved every single one of these beaches, but my favorite was Ha’ena Beach. The water was beautiful, and it was at the tip of the North shore so the beautiful mountains surrounded you! If you are looking for a good place to sit and watch the sunset, Poipu Beach was our favorite! They all were so beautiful, but some beaches were purely meant for hanging out on the sand only because the waves were so big! I’d highly recommend checking all of these beaches out.
• Secret Cove Hideaway
• Salt Pond Beach
• Ha’ena Beach
• Ke’e Beach
• Tunnels Beach
• Poipu Beach
• Hanalei Beach
• Shipwreck Beach
• Anini Beach
HIKE: We went on one hike, Kalalau Trail. This hike is also connected to Ha’ena Beach, so after you do this hike, you can jump straight into the sea! This 11 mile hike was SO worth it! Bring lots of water, it’s very tiring. You’re constantly tracking up rocks and walking through mud. You hit several scenic viewpoints that were breathtaking. At the end of the hike it leads you to a creek, and you cross over the water (not dangerous) and it drops you to this beautiful secluded beach. So pack yourselves a little picnic, but not too much because it will be hard carrying all of that during the hike! Wear your comfortable hiking or running shoes, my mistake was not wearing my most worn in ones, and I had giant bubble blisters that- so painful.
FOOD: I have quite a few food recommendations, so I’ll list them!
- JoJo’s Shaved Ice: OH MY GOD, if I could have this everyday I would. I literally crave this place all the time now. We went to quite a few shaved ice places because they were everywhere around the island, but this place blew them all out of the water. If you create your own, make sure you add the Macadamia Nut ice-cream, that’s the best part!
- Kauai Juice Co: I always felt refreshed after getting one of these. They have really unique pressed juices here that you definitely don’t see in California. They all come in these super cute glass bottles as well! I took one home and it made a cute little decor/memory piece.
- Keoki’s: Our first dinner in Kauai, and it did not dissapoint.So many options to choose from, and their cocktails are delish! The best part is they served Hula Pie for desert. We are the BIGGEST suckers for a Hula Pie, and there weren’t too many restaurants on this island that served it. We came one more time after eating dinner at another restuarant just to have another Hula Pie! (YES, it’s THAT GOOD) The ambiance was beautiful, there was live music playing, and if you’re looking to get a quick bite, you can sit at the bar as well!
- Kalaheo Cafe: We came here for breakfast, and it was delish! Nice little sit down cafe, with open windows for a nice morning breeze feel.
- The Little Fish Coffee: This was the cutest little place! There was little seating, but it never was too crowded so we always were able to grab a seat! The acai bowls were super filling, and there are so many options. This is a must go to spot in Poipu.
- Aloha Juice Bar: This was a cute little bright red shack in the middle of a parking lot that you can’t miss! The endless amount of juices, smoothies, and bowls will have you coming back for sure. We made sure to stop at it every time we passed by.
- Fredericos: I always crave Mexican food, and we stumbled upon this in Hanalei. We actually went for breakfast, and I had the one of the best tostadas I’ve ever had.
- Kauai Brewing: This was located in the Port area, also near the red dirt factories. The food was delicious, and it was a perfect place to grab a beer and hangout.
- Tidepools at Hyatt: Make this your fancy splurge dinner. It’s super romantic- you’re having dinner in giant huts on their pond. The food was delicious! Whenever I go to Hawaii, I HAVE to have a Hyatt Smoothie. That sounds crazy and random, but trust me, Hyatt smoothies in Hawaii are the BEST smoothies you will ever have. I of course orders my usual Lava flow smoothie, trust me just do it. You’re welcome.
- The Fresh Shave: This cute little airstream made some delicious handcrafted shaved ice! Just look at the photos to see what I’m talking about.
- Da Crack: This little wall gem in Poipu is always a good one to stop at for a quick but delicious bite of Mexican food! Sick of eating fish steak all trip? Stop here to get your Mexican cravings.
- The Beach House: If you want a fancy dining dinner, come here! It was our first time going, and we will definitely be back. The food and drinks were so delicious, and you can’t beat the view. Try to make reservations for Sunset hour.
- Kalapaki Beach Hut: First meal on our way from the airport in Lihue to Poipu! These burgers hit the spot, and started off our trip right. Grab a seat on their top deck, and enjoy the beautiful island views.
- Brennecke’s Kauai: This is must when visiting the island! Located right in Poipu. Expect a little wait, but order a drink at the bar. I wasn’t able to enjoy the Brown Nipple Cocktail this trip, but my mother-in-law was obsessed.
- Aside from restaurants, if you spend lots of time in the kitchen, stop by Aloha Spice Company. I bought way too many spices and oils in there! Also, make sure you get one of their Homemade popsicles on your way out! They have tropical essential oils- jasmine, plumeria, etc. I bought a few to take home and give as gifts! They smell amazing.
I’ll be back to this beautiful green island soon…stay tuned for a new post of the outfits I wore, and some beauty products that were my trips essentials!
Here is a small list of other things to do on this island: