If I had to choose right this very moment what my favorite place in the world was, it would be Kauai. It’s so beautiful and the people there are incredibly nice and welcoming. I’ve been there three times and each time was just as fun as the last one. Steph even got married there but that’s a story she’ll have to share 🙂
Going through three years of pictures was rough (so many selfies!) but I got some of my favorites to show you and to give you an idea of what to do if you happened to find yourself on this beautiful island.
The north shore of Kauai is so luscious and green, it’s insane. From Kilauea to the Na Pali Coast, it feels like you’re in Jurassic Park (I know, I know, some of it was filmed on Kauai) but it really feels like you’re going to see a T-Rex pop up out of nowhere.
Na Pali Coast / Kalalau TrailThis is one of my favorite pictures that I took while hiking the Kalalau Trail. This is the Na Pali Coast, untouched by roads, houses, and construction. It’s honestly breathtaking.
This is another view from the lookout on the Kalalau Trail. If you’re not a big hiker, you can still stop here and get some great shots because it’s not too far from the trailhead.
Here’s a snapshot of the trail. Make sure you wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and dirty, especially if you’re hiking this during a rainier part of the season.
This is a view from the lookout that we took when it wasn’t so sunny.
My sister took this shot of my friends and I hiking the trail last year. I’m the one in all black (and dying, go figure).
This is a picture of me earlier during that hike before I got so hot that I had to take my shirt off.
Let me tell you a story about this hike. We hiked to Hanakapi’ai Falls this last year and it was hard. It’s all kicks and giggles on the way there but I was dying (and was completely unprepared) for the trek back. It’s 8 miles round trip and I think we all had brought one water bottle each and a couple granola bars. On the way back down, I honestly thought so many times about jumping off the cliff into the water because it was SO hot and we had no more fuel. By the time I got to the bottom, my arms had cramped up so bad that my hands looked like claws. Yeah, you read that right… CLAWS. I couldn’t move them. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep next to some rocks by the trailhead while my friends got the van. Anyway, I might skip that hike next time but the pictures were worth it, I guess! 😉
This is Hanalei Bay. It’s one of my favorite beaches on Kauai because the water is so shallow, you can swim out super far and just hang out. It also has an incredible view of those mountains on the Na Pali Coast!
My friend Santino took this super cute pic of me at Hanalei Bay last year and it’s one of my faves. (If you’re digging the swimsuit, get it here from Albion Fit)
The second year we went to Kauai, it was gloomy and rainy the majority of the time but we tried to make the most of it. It kinda looks like I’m boogie boarding in Twin Peaks or something.
This is in Hanalei. This is what most of the shops in that area look like.
We went paddle boarding on the Hanalei River the last two years and both times, it POURED on us on the way back. Don’t let this clear-ish picture fool you, we had soaked hair, makeup running down our faces and wet clothes after. It was like when Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are in that rowboat in The Notebook and it’s pouring rain (except none of the steamy scenes).
We ate at this restaurant called Kalypso Bar & Grill and it’s a yummy place!
This is the Hanalei Valley Lookout on the way to the Bay. It’s gorgeous and you’ll see lots of cars parked here to take pictures!
This is the Kilauea Lighthouse! It’s adorable, huh? There’s not a ton to see here so I wouldn’t plan on spending the day here but it’s nice to stop by and look at for a second.
Another great beach on the North Shore that I don’t think I have pictures of is Anini Beach. It’s not super crowded and the water is great.
West Shore / Coconut Coast
We probably spent the majority of the time exploring this side of the island. There’s a lot to do around here! One thing I will suggest you do is to rent some bikes from Coconut Coasters and ride up and down the trail. We have done that all three times and it never disappoints!
Riding the trail will get you over to this cute overlook!
And will let you see views like this! *heart eyes*
This is a view from Sam’s Ocean View Restaurant in Kapa’a. You can see the cute bike trail.
The second year we went, we did this super cute boat cruise with Smith’s Fern Grotto Tours. It’s on the Waimea River.
They take you to this cave where people used to get married. It’s a gorgeous place so I can see why!
It started to get dangerous so they built this deck right next to the cave so people could still get married if they wanted to. The employees bring all their instruments and they sing the cutest songs so you get an idea of how they would celebrate weddings!
Another great thing you can do on the Waimea River is kayaking! This is my sister and I the first year we went. We had a blast and the kayaking tour we did takes you to a place where you dock your kayaks, hike for a little bit and takes you to a secret waterfall where they provide lunch. So all in all, pretty dang cool.
Keālia Beach is a straight-up DREAM. There is no better place to get your swim on and your tan on. It’s a truly gorgeous beach and the bike trail passes by here so it’s easy to get to!
One of my favorite places to eat in Kapa’a is Bubba Burgers. I’m a burger & fry junkie so this is my kind of place. It’s so delicious. I crave their fries every day.
This is my sister and I at one of our favorite spots to eat called the Kalapaki Beach Hut.
The Beach Hut is right by Nawiliwili Bay and this gorgeous beach!
One thing we did last year was cliff jumping! Well, I should say that it was just me and two of my friends (we’re the top three people).
You walk through this insanely beautiful trail of trees to get to the cliff and then you just jump off and climb back up! My goal was to do it once and I did but then on the way back, I crossed a slippery stream, slipped and hit my head and elbow on a rock and my friends had to come and get me. I’m not really accident prone but it just sounds like it. Anyway, I still give it a 10/10.
This was something I had been DYING to do since the first time we were in Kauai and we finally got to do it last year. We went tubing in the rivers around an old sugar plantation and through caves! It was SO great.
This was definitely one of our most favorite activities!
This is around the area we were tubing!
Us after 🙂
We also ziplined through the areas where they filmed Jurassic Park our second year and that was a blast! They film everything for you and you get to take it home on a little flash drive.
Last but not least, did you think I would forget a LUAU? The same group that does the Fern Grotto tour has their own luau and it was a blast! Lots of great food, entertainment and of course, the dancing!
Poipu Beach is a MUST. It’s usually pretty crowded since a lot of people stay down on the South Shore but it’s always so much fun.
The other great thing to do on the South Shore is Waimea Canyon! They call it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and they’re so right.
I love Kauai so so much. Have you ever been there? If so, let me know what else I need to do so I can schedule another trip out there pronto 🙂