I've lived on Oahu for the past 5 years now and I have been fortunate enough to visit a few islands since then. I've been to the Big Island, Maui and this past month I enjoyed a wonderful trip to Kauai. This trip was planned spontaneously and couldn't have come at a better time. My boyfriend, Ryan and I both had not been to Kauai yet and were excited to plan a trip around our 1 year anniversary. Since he was born and raised on Oahu, I thought how crazy he was for not going to Kauai after all these years!! So we booked our flights, packed our bags and flew 20 minutes to one of the most gorgeous islands of Hawaii.
Now, I like to plan things-- so before we left for our trip, I did some research on what we should do on the island of Kauai and boy, the list was long!
So, I was able to plan a non-stop excursion for our three day adventure. We got to Kauai at 10am on our first day. We rented a car and drove up to the North Shore to kill time until we could check in at our hostel in Kapa'a. Yes, I said hostel. Anyways, we drove up the coast and arrived at Kilauea Lighthouse were we enjoyed the nice, clear blue sky and a local Kauai Juice Co. beverage. My passion for (food) photography took over and I thought I was being cute while laying on the ground taking a photo of the lighthouse and my Kauai Juice. I had a few people take pictures... of me.
We continued to drive north as the hot, sunny weather slowly turned into rain. Apparently, Kauai is one of the most rainy islands of Hawaii. We found ourselves in a town called Princeville, where we stopped and ate lunch. We thought we would wait out the rain... but no luck. We decided to drive on! We passed a couple beaches and scenic points that were hard to see due to the rain but we still enjoyed the coastal scenery. But finally, after 2 SHORT HOURS of driving, we got to the end of the road and to the beginning of the Kalaulau Trail located at Ke'e Beach. Since it was still raining we didn't feel like jumping in the ocean. We felt like hiking. We started on the Kalaulau Trail (a 11-mile long trail) and only at a mile in were we surprised with a scenic view of the coast and ocean. We knew we weren't going to hike any further but we were happy the view was just as fabulous only a mile in.
We turned around, hiked down and headed back towards Kapa'a. On our way back we encountered many more scenic view points and stopped at a few along the way such as Hanalei Bay Lookout, which was a green and organized view of the taro fields.
By the time we got to the hostel, it was only 4pm. We were exhausted but excited and decided to wander the town of Kapa'a to familiarize ourselves with the restaurants and stores surrounding our hostel. We had dinner at Olympic Cafe where we enjoyed dinner, a lovely fruit platter and many cocktails. Afterwards, we headed to the hostel which was conveniently located on the beach, and watched the sunset.
The next day was the start of another great adventure and definitely the highlight of our whole trip. We got on the road and headed to Waimea Canyon which was on the South Shore of the island. On our way there we stopped by the Kauai Coffee Company and took a quick educational tour and had samples of freshly brewed flavored coffee.
We finally made it to Waimea Canyon after a few rest stops and a long drive up the mountain. We arrived at this great view!
After seeing the Waimea Canyon, we checked out Glass Beach where the sand was made from glass that has been dumped in the ocean and molded into sea glass smooth stones. I suppose tourists collect a lot of sea glass because there wasn't much to see.
But luckily this beach was right next to our next tour!
THE NA PALI COAST. My parents highly recommended this scenic tour since they went on it a few months earlier and LOVED IT. So why not?! You don't go to Kauai all the time! So I booked two tickets for Captain Andy's Na Pali Sunset Sail Tour and we arrived for departure at 2pm (after seeing the Waimea Canyon) and set off on sail for the Na Pali Coast. It was an adventurous excursion that went through strong winds and rapid waves that ended up with me getting hit by a wave and sliding all over the sail boat but it was worth the pain once I saw this view!
On our last day in Kauai, we were only trying to kill time until our flight home. We were exhausted! We decided to relax and go to the beach. We ended up at Poi'pu Beach Park where we ate lunch, got rained on and swam in the ocean. On our way back to Kapa'a we drove past the Koloa Rum Company and immediately signed up for the rum tasting tour. WOW. and YUM.
After the rum tour we googled more of what to see on Kauai which lead us to see the only river on the Hawaiian islands-- the Wailua River. This then brought us to Wailua Falls which was right up the road. Everything was so green!
Eventually we became even more exhausted and realized we were spending more money than we expected. So we gathered our belongings from our hostel, grabbed some souvenirs at the local ABC store and had our last bite to eat before returning our rental car and heading to the airport.
It was a fun, exhausting, adventurous, touristy and spontaneous experience I have been on in a while and I'm glad I got to island hop before I move back to the mainland.
Visit Kauai. CHECK.