You’ll be Kauai’ing(crying) if you pass up this Hawaiian island for your next getaway because this place is unfathomably beautiful(or maybe you’re crying because of that horrible pun, either way get ready for the waterworks). Imagine Jurassic Park scenery minus the man eating dinosaurs. There is something to do for everyone and countless activities for nature lovers. Kauai is pretty dope in an unpretentious way which creates a casual and laid back atmosphere. It is more underdeveloped and natural than say, Oahu or Maui, so it’s perfect for people who want to get away from the city and go somewhere that provides a change of pace. Also, if you’re lucky you might get to see a double rainbow cascading over the Napali coast!
This trip started off in Oahu(of course) and included a flight to Kauai from Honolulu which took around 40 minutes and there was an amazing view of both coasts from the air during takeoff and landing so try to sit near the window if you can 🙂
Where to stay
We stayed on the Eastern side of the Island in a town called Wailua, which was not too far of a drive from Lihue airport. It was a cute area with lots of small shops but if I were to visit again I would choose to stay in Princeville or Hanalei in the Northern part of the Island just because it is closer to more attractions and seemed more fun at night. We drove up to the northern part of Kauai quite often so staying in the area would’ve been easier although the Island isn’t very big and there is only one road so driving wasn’t difficult at all. Wailua didn’t have many nighttime activities other than going out to dinner and stargazing(again, not bad options so I’m not complaining). Just a note, Hanalei has a bit more of a touristy feel to it as opposed to Wailua which had a local vibe so depending on what you’re looking for keep this in mind. I look like a local when I’m tan so I fit in very well regardless LOL.
To be completely transparent, there was a lot of homelessness in the area where we were staying and people would camp out on the beaches, however I never felt unsafe. We also never wandered off at night other than going out to dinner so I can’t speak of the night time safety aspect but everyone seemed super friendly in my opinion, just use common sense and you should be fine. A result from the underdevelopment and pristine environment is that this Island is less well off than other Islands because as you can already guess there are less jobs/opportunities for locals. Anyhow, that is another post altogether; there is a lot to cover since we accomplished a lot(like eating ice cream and doing absolutely nothing) LOL.
Things to do
Where do I even start…
- Hiking the Sleeping Giant Trail Head: The hike wasn’t too difficult but I think it took around 2-3 hours one way and by the time we got down to the bottom it was dark and you could hear the wild animals(I don’t recommend doing this at night). The view was amazing and worth risking getting attacked by a wild boar or whatever animal was lurking in the bushes.
2. Biking along the coast to Wailua Beach Park: You pass the cute boutique shops along the way as well as the gorgeous coastline. We found a cute matcha ice cream place and glass art shop.
3. Going on a helicopter ride to Jurassic Falls: Highly recommend this, it was one of the most breathtaking helicopter rides I have ever been on due to the fact that Kailua has the most unreal mountain peaks, coastlines and waterfalls. They made a stop at Jurassic falls and let you off to go explore and admire the fall for about 15 minutes.
4. Tan on Hanalei Beach: I don’t have any pics to show you how beautiful this beach was but its a must do, perfect place to chill with a couple beers.
5. Hike down and swim in Queen’s Bath: Heads up the hike is very muddy and you need the right footwear or you’ll end up slipping, I think this was one of my most favorite hikes of all time because of the scenery. Turtles were spotted. Enough said.
6. Get a drink and enjoy the stunning views(and watch people Windsurf) at the St. Regis Princeville Resort: This was such a relaxing way to end the day, the views at this resort are insane.
7.Hike down to Hideaways Beach to watch the sunset: Prettiest sunset I’ve ever seen, watch out for the mosquitos though. The hike down involved holding onto a rope since it was very steep.
8. Go on a booze cruise along the Napali Coast: We saw it from the air so now seeing it from the sea is obligatory and much more intimate. You can get up close and personal with the stunning coastline.
9. Visit Waimea Canyon(the Grand Canyon of the Pacific): Really cool Mars vibes.