February 21, 2020
It’s no secret that Ryan and I love to explore and adventure together. Especially when living on an amazingly beautiful rock in the middle of the Pacific. Kauai is a dream destination and has something here to offer everyone!
It’s true that whether you are the beach bum type or a lover of adventure, Kauai is the way to go for your next vacation. Ryan is the avid adventurer and I’m the beach bum in this situation. 🙂 There’s nothing I love more than a full day with my toes in the sand, the sound of crashing waves, a good book, and as many naps in that day as I want. Say it with me:
But honestly, we love to explore and discover new things together on our days off. After living here for almost a year, we’ve eaten lots of good food, discovered amazing hikes, & spent time at gorgeous beaches. I’ve got some awesome recommendations we’d love to give you for your trip!
Namaste: If you love Indian food, you will love this. Actually scratch that. Even if you don’t like Indian food, you will love this! It’s our go to for too many nights than I want to admit, and it’s because it rocks our socks off. It’s a food truck on the East side and it’s sooooo yummy. Like slap yo granny good. I’m talking tikka masala, hot fluffy naan, and straight goodness.
Pacos tacos: There are a few of these on island, but our fave location is in Poipu on the Kiahuna golf course. We love that location because the ambiance is stellar, and if you sit in the “outdoor” seating out back you’ll get amazing sunset views! The Al pastor (tacos or burrito) is our order/ best meat, and they’ve got the best salsa on island in our opinion.
Kind Koffee Co: This is my all time favorite coffee on Kauai. It’s located at the Warehouse 3540 in her own little vintage coffee truck. The iced vanilla lattes are my jam, but it’s her vanilla and espresso that are the bomb. Can’t really go wrong with anything from her though! It’s embarrassing how many punch cards I’ve been through already. Not only is her coffee bomb, but her truck is freaking cute and a great photo op;). Did I also mention how incredibly sweet she is?
The Fresh Shave: You can’t come to Hawaii and not get shave ice. That would be like, not cool. We’re pretty serious and picky when it comes to the ice we eat, and the Fresh Shave is hands down our #1 spot for shave ice on Kauai. Not only do they taste the best, but they use all-natural and local ingredients, making it a “healthier” option. So basically you can eat double the amount you would at other places is how I look at it. 🙂 That’s what I’m talking about!
Rainbeu Jos: How does a pesto, tomato, crunchy -on- the -outside- but -soft -on- the- inside -breakfast bagel sound? Amazing, amiright? Beau and Jo run this fun truck and can give you lots of Aloha bright and early. They have many different & quirky bagel options for breakfast on Kauai that won’t disappoint!
Chicken in a Barrel: This is a solid go to choice no matter what shore of the island you are on. We often pair this with our north shore days as a quick and easy choice. They are known for their chicken, but the baby back ribs are my personal fave. This option is good for those who want a little taste of bbq during their stay.
Da Crack: This is a local takeout window near Kukuiula shopping center in Poipu. They serve some pretty dang good mexican grinds, and their burritos are big enough to share. They pack them so full of goodness, you definitely won’t need to eat for a few hours after.
Sleeping Giant: Just when you think you’ve reached the top of this hike, keep going. We promise the views get even better. This moderate hike is pretty uphill the whole time, but that means coming back down is easier. The view you see at the top is of the entire East side of the island. It’s pretty stellar!
Kalalau Trail: If you only get to do one hike while you’re here, definitely see this one! An important thing to note about this hike is that you have to get a permit for parking ahead of time. These can fill up quickly so don’t wait until the last minute to get one. This hike goes for a solid 11 miles in and 11 miles out. But don’t let that stop you! You get stunning views all along the first 2 miles in, so that in itself is so worth it. Trust me! You know you’ve reached two miles when you come to the beach. Don’t forget to pack lots of water!
Waimea Canyon: This beauty is called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It’s located on the West side of the island and will not dissapoint! While it’s a trek by car to the top, again, so worth it! If you’re wanting amazing views + a hike, there are TONS of trails to venture on here.
Poipu: One of my favorite things about this beach is that monk seals and turtles often beach here. It’s a great place to swim and snorkel, and I’ve seen many turtles swimming here too! It tends to be a bit more crowded since it’s right in front of hotels, but the set up is nice and they have lifeguards here.
Hanalei Bay: Plan to go North Shore for the day? Make sure that Hanalei bay is on your list to see. This beach features an iconic view and will leave you feeling like you’re looking at a green screen. The pier is a nice added thrill to jump off of and a great place to paddle board in the summers.
Kealia: This East side beach stretches pretty far and makes for a nice place to sort of spread out. It also features a lifeguard tower and runs along the bike trail. It’s near some food trucks, so it’s a great place to picnic on the beach.
Kekaha: If it’s raining and you’re looking for some sun, head to the West side of Kauai. It’s known for getting lots of sunshine, being warmer, and getting less rain than other parts of the island. This beach also stretches super long (miles), and is a good place to set up a tent and hang out all day.
Ha’ena: Another beach located on the North shore that offers some variety. Not only does it have some beautiful views, but you can also see the wet and dry cave near by.
Waimea canyon: As stated before, this is a must see. Don’t feel like hiking? No worries. There are several lookout points along the way so you can plan to drive and park where you want to look out.
Napali coast: This is the coast line where the road ends either far North or far West. You do not want to miss seeing the Coast! Whether you see it by boat or air, it’s one of Kauai’s most epic views!
Snorkeling: One of my favorite things about Hawaii is how diverse their fish are. I’m talking loads of different types and colors. Plan on either doing a snorkel excursion, or hitting up Poipu or Tunnels beach to see the many different varieties. Tip: snorkeling is best on a very sunny day for clarity in the water.
Wailua river: This can be seen by car as your driving across the bridge in Wailua. However, I highly recommend renting a kayak and venturing down the river that way. It’s a fun, active, and unique perspective to see it from the water that way. It’s one of our favorite things to do when we have a few hours. Pack you a lunch and even eat in your kayak. I mean how romantic does that sound? lol
Wet & dry caves: These are two caves up North. They are a little dark and creepy, but soooo cool. Want to feel small? Check them out!
Farmers market: Our favorite one is on Saturday mornings at 8:00 AM at the community college, but there are several that happen in different places and times. One thing to note: GET THE WHITE PINEAPPLE. It’s called Sugarloaf pineapple and it’s grown right here on Kauai. It’s the most magical thing you’ll eat while you’re here. Let’s just say you won’t want yellow pineapple after having white!
Hanalei viewpoint overlook: It’s no secret there are tons of crazy views everywhere you turn in Hawaii, but one of the most spectacular is the Hanalei Vally Lookout. It’s located just outside of the Hanalei town and one you don’t want to miss.
Love these helpful recommendations? Head over to see these tips for your Kauai vacation.