We are back from Kauai and I am already having withdrawals. I have been to Hawaii a number of times and Kauai before, but this past trip was truly one of the best vacations of my life. Daniel and I went with my parents, brother and soon to be sister-in-law for ten days to celebrate my parents thirty fifth wedding anniversary coming up later this year. I received so many questions on Instagram about where we were staying and the specific tours we went on so I am going to break everything down in this post. Kauai is so breathtaking you will have a good time no matter what you do. I really did decompress on this trip and wasn’t thinking so much about a blog post, so there were a lot of areas I did not explore. I loved spending time with my camera looking at things from a new perceptive, I found the whole think incredibly inspiring. I guess that just means we will have to go back soon!
Where We Stayed
We were in a group of six so it was important to rent a house with enough space for each couple. My Mom and Dad found this property, which could not have worked out any better for us. I loved how open the house was and with it being a two minute walk to the beach we were able to get in the water multiple times a day. We chose Poipu over the north side of the island because it is naturally less rainy and felt like a fun area to hangout. We hit up Brennecke’s Beach every day even though the water is a bit rough there. It is a small beach and popular for bodyboarding, but an ideal spot to swim with giant sea turtles. We also frequented Kukui’ula Village Shopping Center which has a wonderful farmers market on Wednesdays and a slew of good places to eat.
What We Did
I posted a ton to my Instagram stories, so a lot of the questions I was getting this past week were about the tours we did. We went all out on this trip and every adventure seemed to be better than the next. The first major thing we started with was a boat tour of the Na Pali Coast.
We had this tour planned prior to our trip, which I recommend doing as they can book up quickly. We went with Na Pali experience and were treated to the best time. There were six of us in the group so we had a private charter that lasted about five hours. I highly recommend asking for Jordan. He was such an incredible tour guide and made the experience so much fun. We had a lot of time to stop and take photos, snorkel and get a lot of history about this magical area. There is also a benefit to these smaller boats because they can take you into the water caves which is the best part. I saved all of my Instagram story videos to a highlight called Kauai so you can see what the inside of the caves look like and all of the dolphins we got to see!
The other tour we decided to do was more of an impulse and not planned ahead of time. Everyone wanted to do a helicopter tour, so my brother’s fiancé found one of the most affordable options that turned out to be the coolest experience ever! We went with Island Helicopters Kauai and had Brody as our tour guide. I had never been on a helicopter and couldn’t believe what we saw and how it put the whole island into perspective. I am normally a little anxious with flying, but this was oddly peaceful and so surreal. I felt like I was on a Disneyland ride and you are able to get some very cool areal photos!
View of the Na Pali coastline from the boat & aerial helicopter views. Seriously magical
Where We Ate
Since we were staying at a house we didn’t eat out for as many meals as I normally would. On our way back from the boat trip we ate lunch at Chicken In A Barrel in Waimea. It is located in the Waimea Plantation cottages (one pictured above) which is an adorable collection of plantation style houses for rent. After lunch I recommend walking around the property to take some photos or look at the houses! Some of my other favorite restaurants on Kauai include The Beach House (great for sunset watching and a nicer dinner), Plantation Gardens (get the lavender Piña colada) and Kalypso (up on the North side of the island, but great spot for authentic lunch after the beach). I also loved the stretch of little restaurants and shops in Old Koloa Town.
Beaches I Loved
I love just about every beach I have been to in Hawaii. Some are rockier than others, but they all have their own unique qualities that I love. We made our way all around the island so some of my favorite beaches are;
Brennecke’s Beach (just because we were staying right next to it)
Polihale State Park (warning the road to get to this beach is not paved and takes quite a bit to get out there, it is rough, but one of the prettiest beaches I have been to!)
Shipwreck Beach (pictured below, super soft sand – good for laying out)
Hanalei Bay (the calmest water I have ever seen, no waves, beautiful open beach and great for hanging out all day. I would bring an umbrella if you can because there is very little shade)