After staying in Maui for three days, my boyfriend and I flew to the garden isle of Kauai to enjoy the rest of our vacation. Kauai was actually my first island preference since it is known to be the most luscious and scenic island of all of Hawaii, so you can imagine just how excited I was to finally land there. We stayed in the north shore of the island in a town called Princeville, and we absolutely loved it. Everything we had planned out was less then a 30 minutes drive away and every place we visited was simply breathtaking and completely exceeded our expectations. There are so many things to do and places to see here in Kauai that it is nearly impossible to mention everything, so I will just cover a few of my favorites!
1. Scenic Lookouts: There were so many scenic lookouts as we drove along the north shore and it was so much fun to randomly pull over and snap a few pictures while taking in the view. Hanalei Valley Lookout (1st and 2nd picture) was one that we planned to visit ahead of time, though the others were just along the road as we were driving toward our destinations. Because of this, we never really knew when we would turn a corner and stumble upon surprise views, which added to the fun of it all. A few of these lookouts have signs a few feet before, allowing you to be prepared to stop. However, not all of them do, so drive slowly and keep your eyes open!
This is obviously a no brainer since most people will visit at least one beach during their time in Hawaii. During my stay, my boyfriend and I went to the beach every single day in the late afternoon to take a dip in the ocean and enjoy the sunset. Tunnels Beach and Ke'e State Park are the most popular and most raved about beaches on the North Shore. However, we found that parking for those two was extremely difficult unless you go very early in the morning. We mainly went to the Haena State Park, which is actually located between Tunnels and Ke’e Beach and enjoyed it very much, so if you do not get parking for the other two, Haena Beach is a great alternative! We also visited another very popular beach, Hanalei Bay, during our first day on the island, but I found it quite underwhelming when compared to the other beaches that Kauai had to offer. 2. Visit Beaches:
3. Fruit Stands: If you read my Road to Hana blog post, you know just how obsessed I am with these farm and fruit stands that are scattered along the islands of Hawaii; and I could not help myself, but feed into my obsession during my stay in Kauai. These stands are in town centers, at beaches, and even alongside the roads, so there is really no way of escaping them. My favorite stand is the Aloha Juice Bar located in Hanalei town and although there are mixed reviews on Yelp, I had nothing short of a pleasant experience, so I recommend stopping by at least once and giving it a chance!
4. Queen's Bath: Queen's Bath was on the top of my must see list when I was planning my trip to Hawaii this winter. It is quite tricky to get there; since there is very limited parking (about 10 spots) and you must go through a pretty slippery and muddy trail to reach it. Although it is a relatively unique location, it can also be extremely dangerous, so definitely be cautious if you decide to visit. I did not go swimming in the tide pool since the currents that day were extremely rough. However, many people were snorkeling in the water and although it did look fun, I was too scared to go in myself. Again, I must say that Queen's Bath is worth a visit to just come and appreciate the beauty of this place; just be extremely careful if you do decide to go swimming, since there have been many fatalities in the past.
5. Wailua Falls & Secret Falls: Seeing a waterfall is a must when you are in Hawaii and although I have visited a few during my Road to Hana trip in Maui, I also wanted to see what Kauai had to offer. We first made a brief stop at Wailua Falls Lookout (pictured below), which was about 40 minutes from Princeville. Wailua Falls is the most well known waterfall in Kauai, appearing in many films and is one of the tallest waterfalls in Kauai. On our last day in Kauai, we signed up for a tour with Rainbow Kayak and kayaked 4.5 miles in the Wailua river and hiked about 1.5 miles to Secret Falls. I swam underneath a waterfall for the first time, and it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. Sadly, I did not have a waterproof camera with me, so there are no pictures, but I promise that you would love a tour similar to this, especially if you are the active and adventurous
6. Kilauea Lighthouse: Kilauea Lighthouse was unfortunately closed when we visited it, so we could only get a look from afar. Although, I did not fully experience this attraction, I have read some pretty good reviews on Trip Advisor and is probably worth a visit! It was also nice to get away from the beaches and see something relatively different during our trip.
Last but not definitely not least, visit the Na Pali Coast! This is what Kauai is known for and a visit to this island is incomplete without seeing the Coast. I have a separate blog post up dedicated to this wonder, so please take a read!
Tips, Tricks, and Fyi's:
Rent a car
Parking is limited in many areas, so please go in the early morning (8am) if you have a place in mind that you definitely would like to visit.
Bring an umbrella - There will be some parts of the day where it will start down pouring, so make sure you have an umbrella with you at all times. The weather here is quite random, however if it starts raining on one side of the island, you can easily drive to the other side to avoid the rain.
Kauai was actually the most expensive island to fly to from the east coast, it is better to fly to another island like Maui or the Big Island and spend a few days there and then fly out to Kauai from there.
Stay at an AirBnb to save money and if you would like to experience living like a local!
Outfit 1: Shirt: Forever 21, Skirt: Forever 21 (similar)
Outfit 2: Romper: Revolve