Appropriately named “The Garden Isle”, Kauai is one of the most majestic and lush of all the Hawaiian islands. The warm aloha spirit of the local people and the jaw dropping landscape easily makes it one of our favorite Hawaiian Islands. Kauai’s beauty showcases the magic of Hawaii and truly makes you feel like you have stepped into another world. The islands beauty is so unbelievable, it’s no wonder classic films like Jurrasic Park and King Kong were filmed there. In our recent trip to Kauai we really felt connected to the island and were so sad when it came to an end. We wanted to share with you guys a little bit of our experience and top recommendations when traveling to Kauai, if you haven’t been yet it’s a definite must.
Essentials for packing:
Bikinis, lots of bikinis.
Hiking shoes (that you can get dirty).
Flip Flops. Nothing is better to wear to the beach than a pair of classic rubber flip flips. (Locals call them slippers)
Sandals/ flats that you can wear from day to night. The nightlife and restaurant scene in Kauai is very causal and relaxed so don’t worry about packing any high heels.
Waterproof camera. A disposable one will do!
Uber isn’t exactly readily available on the island so we definitely recommend getting a rental car when you arrive. A lot of the activities and beaches require driving. If you decide not to rent a car there is taxi service but it can get pretty pricey.
The beautiful Kauai Marriott Resort is fabulous for families who are looking for that classic old Hawaii feel while not spending too much. Equip with a luxurious full service spa and spectacular room views, this is a great option for accommodation in Kauai. (Bonus: it’s close to the airport!)
Price range: $200-$300 per night
The Westin Princeville is a beautiful option if you’d like to be in Princeville at a lower price. Located just above the ocean on an coastline ocean view bluff the resort is only 200 feet away from the sea. Equip with two plunge pools, a main pool, a children’s pool, and countless other amenities, this resort has everything you need for the perfect Hawaiian vacation.
Price range: $350-$450 per night
The St Regis Princeville is the cream of the crop of resorts on Kauai. Located on the North Shore of the island this beautiful resort overlooks Hanalei Bay, one of the most famous bays in Hawaii. The views from The St Regis are priceless with lush green mountains and waterfalls trickling down the crevices. Views so stunning it looks fake.
Price range: $500-$800 per night
We also highly recommend booking an Airbnb on the island! This makes for a more authentic Hawaiian experience without all the fuss of a hotel and it’s extra charges.
Boat day: A boat ride around the Napali Coast with Go Blue Adventure! This is an absolute MUST. One of the most memorable days to date has been our trip around the coast with Cody (the best tour guide ever). Not only do you see some of the most beautiful sights in the world but you also get a great dose of Hawaiian heritage and culture. Bonus: You’ll most likely see dolphins and or Hawaiian monk seals!
Helicopter tour: If you’re wanting the best seat in the house for Kauai views, book yourself a Helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiian Helicopter! Check out the beautiful lush canyons, breathtaking waterfalls and even see “Jurassic Park Falls” up close! There’s no better way to see the island.
Kayak Hanalei: A really fun way to check out some beautiful scenery is to kayak down the Hanalei River and down into the bay! Local tour guides guide you down the river and give you some great cultural information about Kauai and Hawaiian heritage. Bonus: You’ll get a workout!
Waterfall Hike: Take a scenic hike to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Check out some of the top recommended hikes here.
Horseback Riding: See the island by horseback! Tropical trails and happy horses are what Silver Falls Ranch promises! Check them out!
Aloha Juice Bar– If you’re looking for the best Acai Bowls in Hanalei here you go! These bowls are to die for. We literally got them everyday of our 5 day trip on Kauai and never got sick of them. With add ons like chia seeds, bee pollen, coconut flakes, bananas and strawberries, our mouths our watering just thinking of them.
Postcards– Yum, yum and YUM. Postcards has delicious fresh options that is great for pick up or dine in. They also have awesome healthy and vegan options!
Piazza– “Modern Italian cuisine in the heart of Princeville.” We ate here twice during our visit. They’re pizza’s are to die for and the ambiance in the restaurant is perfect. Great for a date night!
Plantation Gardens Restaurant & Bar– A former sugarcane plantation house, this beautiful property has been converted into one of the islands best restaurants. Surrounded by tiki torches you’ll enjoy a wonderful meal with regional Hawaiian influences.
The best time to visit Kauai: Hawaii is beautiful and warm all year round but if you want to try to avoid as much rain as possible we recommend the summer months of June, July and August. Always expect rain on Kauai as tropical showers are extremely common. The weather report can often be tricky to read because it always says rain but that doesn’t necessarily mean your day is ruined. Showers come in and out quickly.
Bon voyage! xx Tash & Dev