Ahh, Kaua’i – my favorite place on earth! This travel post is a bit delayed – we took this sunbreak trip back in November. I usually update my blog chronologically but due to a very busy winter, I didn’t get a chance to go through my images until there was a foot of snow outside my window last week. I’m so done with the multiple “winter blasts,” thank you very much.
Our previous trip to the Garden Isle was for our 3rd wedding anniversary and we hiked the stunning Kalalau Trail; our trip prior to that was for our wonderful wedding. Although both trips were absolutely amazing, both were very busy. For this trip, we decided to make minimal plans (which is very unlike me) and see where each day took us. We had the best of both worlds – leisurely visits to our favorite spots and fun, new adventures.
One of our Kaua’i traditions is to visit Polihale State Park for our first beach day. We’ve always been able to count on it being dry and sunny on the West Side of the island if it’s raining elsewhere.
Another favorite spot of ours is Maha’ulepu Beach on the South Shore – so ruggedly beautiful.
We returned to Polihale that evening with our homemade tropical drinks for a sunset cribbage session.
Prior to our wedding trip to Kaua’i several years back, Chuck and I “honeymoon registered” for a helicopter tour of the island. This tour has always stuck with me as one of the most beautiful adventures ever and I wanted to experience it again. As we had before, I flew with Jack Harter Helicopters in their ‘doors off’ Hughes 500. I highly recommend this experience. Awesome.
To prepare for the journey, I bundled up Hawaiian-style (long pants and a fleece) for the wind, removed my jewelry, and tied my hair back to ensure every piece of me stayed inside the aircraft during the hour-long tour. Needless to say, I had my camera clicking frequently and had to keep reminding myself to ‘stay in the now’ and just soak up the breathtaking scenery.
Flying over the Na Pali coast is my favorite part of the tour – the razor-thin cliffs, lush valleys and pristine beaches are absolutely stunning.
Our anniversary hike to Kalalau Beach a few years ago is definitely one of my top 10 life experiences – it was awesome to get another perspective of the trail and the scenery from above.
Due to recent rainstorms, there were countless waterfalls flowing down the pali.
We enjoyed a lot more beach time than usual…
After spending a few days staying on the East Shore, we headed north to my favorite little town, Hanalei. We spent our time riding our cruiser bikes, stand up paddleboarding, visiting the farmers market, and pining over Hanalei real estate (I was doing most of the pining).
Trip Details -
Where we stayed:
Where we ate:
Java Kai, Kapa’a – My very favorite açaí bowl and Maui coconut mocha.
Pizzetta, Old Koloa Town – Umbrella drinks and fantastic Kalua Pork sandwichs.
Verde, Kapa’a – Our new favorite Kauaiian mexican place – they put aioli on their tacos!
Tiki Tacos, Kapa’a – Our 2nd favorite mexican place.
Keoki’s Paradise, Koloa – Fantastic happy hour – kalua pork spring rolls and dangerous mai tais.
Hanalei Pizza, Hanalei (located next to Big Save) – I highly recommend the Wild Pig pizza.
Hanalei Gourmet, Hanalei – We hit up this spot on each Kaua’i visit – good burgers and drinks.
Hanalei Coffee Roasters, Hanalei – Formerly Java Kai, this was our Hanalei morning staple.
Kalypso Island Bar and Grill, Hanalei – My 2nd favorite açaí bowl on the island.
Bubba’s Burgers, Hanalei – We love watching Hanalei life while eating their burgers and shakes on their picnic tables.
Bar Acuda, Hanalei – For our last night, we splurged and went for a fancy dinner of tapas.
Tahiti Nui, Hanalei – We spent our evenings here enjoying their lilikoi margaritas, music, and local characters.
Some images available for purchase here.
Until next time, Kaua’i – I’ll be dreaming of you!