…of adventure! ūüėČ ¬†We had such a good time in Kauai this past week, and we decided it really is the ultimate destination for adventurous vacationers! ¬†While it’s so beautiful, laid back, and relaxing, it can also be exciting if you’re looking for an adventure.

I actually went for a shoot for Albion Fit, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with them. ¬†I also really love their photographer, Jessica. ¬†Since I was there for work, we didn’t have a ton of free time. ¬†But we were able to check some things off of our Kauai bucket list, and also have a better idea of what we’ll do when we go back.

What We Did

Na Pali CoastHawaii-10

Tank ~ Sports Bra ~ Shorts ~ Shoes (on sale!)

The main thing we wanted to do in Kauai was experience the Na Pali Coast, so that was what¬†we did on our first full day there. ¬†Let me tell you, it’s spectacular – unlike any hike I have ever done. ¬†As a couple that loves to hike, we loved the trail and the views. ¬†The trail you hike is the Kalalau Trail, and you can find the trailhead at the end of the Kuhio Highway (Highway 56). ¬†There are a few different hikes you can do. ¬†You can go 2 miles in to¬†Hanakapi‚Äôai Beach, 4 miles in to the¬†Hanakapi‚Äôai Falls, or 11 miles in to a beach where you can camp (with permits, I believe it’s $20 for non-residents).imageimageimage

Because we were limited on time, we did the 2 mile¬†hike just to the beach. ¬†We loved it! ¬†The views are insane – the best vista is at the .5 mile marker, but literally around every corner you see a new beautiful view so it’s worth going the whole way. ¬†We actually saw a pod of whales swimming and breaching as we were hiking, and it was so amazing to see! ¬†The coast is rugged, with lots of greenery, mountains, fluted cliffs, streams and waterfalls, and beautiful beaches. ¬†A few things to know – wear hiking shoes (the trail is super slippery at times), and be prepared to get muddy! ¬†Be careful at the beaches – the riptides and waves can be pretty fierce depending on the time of day/year.

The beach at the trailhead is actually a really fun/beautiful beach.  When the tide is out and the waves are mellow, it makes for great swimming and snorkeling.  Blake actually swam with a huge turtle here Рhe was pretty excited about that!

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Wailua Waterfall

Our friend Devin is pretty much an expert on the cool stuff to do in Kauai, so naturally I asked him for suggestions when we got there. ¬†One of the things he told us to do was to check out the Wailua Waterfall. ¬†He also told us to make sure and hike down to the base, despite signs that would tell us not to ;). ¬†I’m SO glad he told us this, because we¬†definitely wouldn’t have done it otherwise! ¬†The trail is steep and muddy, but it’s short and there are ropes to hang on to, so it’s totally doable! ¬†And SO worth it! ¬†To find the trail, walk a little ways back down the road from the parking/viewing area (this¬†will be an obvious area) and where the guard rail ends sneak your way through or over the chain link fence. ¬†With a little bit of hunting, you’ll see where there is a trail and ropes to help you.imageHawaii-5

Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay is a great area to hang out/shop/eat in, and the bay is beautiful!image

Top ~ Leggings ~Shoes

Tunnels Beach

Many people recommended this as their favorite beach. ¬†We stopped to check it out on our way up to the Na Pali Coast, but didn’t spend much time there. ¬†It’s definitely a place we’ll put more time into on our next trip!

Poipu Beach

We asked some local friends where the best place to snorkel was, and they suggested Poipu Beach. ¬†Poipu Beach has been rated the top beach in America, and it’s located on “the sunny south side” of Kauai. ¬†The beach is pretty crowded, but beautiful. ¬†As far as snorkeling goes, the fish literally just swim right up to you when you wade in the water. ¬†I’m thinking people must feed them?! ¬†The water is so clear you can actually just look down through the water to see them – but it’s definitely better if you put your mask on and get the under-water view. ¬†I’m talking the most beautiful fish I’ve ever seen, and so many varieties! ¬†And apparently it’s really easy to spot turtles here, but we didn’t see one when we went. ¬†So I’d go to this beach for some easy snorkeling and a guarantee to see beautiful fish, but expect to deal with crowds!imageimage

Top ~ Bottoms

What We Ate

I actually had a hard time finding places I really loved to eat on the island, but by the end of the trip we got into a groove and there were a few other places I’d really like to try when we go back. ¬†Here are the places we LIKED ;). ¬†Keep in mind, we were staying in Kapaa, so many of our food choices centered around that area.

Hukilau Lanei

Our FAVORITE spot hands down! ¬†Recommended by my friend Rachel, whose family has a place in Kauai. ¬†It’s a little pricier, and you definitely need a reservation, but it’s totally worth it! ¬†It’s located in the Kauai Coast Resort, and only open for dinner (5-9, Tuesday-Sunday). ¬†We ate here on our last night, and had we had more time I’m sure we would have gone back for more, because there were a few more dishes I was dying to try! ¬†We tried (and loved) the lobster and goats cheese wontons, arugula salad, mushroom seafood¬†bisque, pork tenderloin, and the Hukilau Mixed Grill (A sampling of Island grilled seafood¬†and sugar cane skewered shrimp, served with creamy orzo pasta¬†& Thai chile coconut sauce), and vanilla bean cr√©me br√Ľl√©e.

Kauai Pasta

Decent Italian with some really yummy desserts, so save room if you can!  The back lounge is really fun at night, with a great vibe.

Verde Restaurant

Really good, fresh Mexican with a twist!  We also loved our server and the other staff Рthey were super friendly and fun despite the busy night they were having! Blake had a shrimp burrito and I had the ahi tostada.  We loved them both!

Kauai Juice Co.

Really good cold-pressed juices!!  I love their different juice combos, and love the cute glass bottles they come in.  Also, if you return your used bottle you get $.50 off your next juice!imageimage

Papaya Natural Foods

We stopped in here to stock up on People Water, and they have a little cafe¬†with a great menu! ¬†I had some really good fish tacos, and Blake had an ahi burger he really liked. ¬†They are also¬†Kauai‚Äôs largest natural and organic grocery store offering groceries, a refrigerated and frozen food section, bulk food, herbs and spices, fresh local and organic produce, organic beer and wine, vitamins, herbs, beauty and body care products. ¬†Perfect for you natural honeys! ūüėČ ¬†Plus, they carry People Water…so obviously I love them for that!

Ono Ono Shaved Ice

You HAVE to get a shaved ice or two in Hawaii…right?! ¬†Ono Family Restaurant and Shaved Ice is located in Kapaa, on¬†the main road. ¬†And I definitely recommend getting the “snow capped” version (which just means they pour flavored condensed milk on top). ¬†It’s¬†$3.25 for up to 4 flavor choices or one of the local selections and a free snow cap, either vanilla or coconut.image

Olympic Cafe

Olympic Cafe is a restaurant and bar located in Old Town Kapaa. ¬†We stopped here for breakfast burritos a couple of times. ¬†It’s a fun place to go, and the burrito was huge so I’d definitely split it next time! ¬†I also want to try their pancakes with coconut syrup next time :).

Sushi Bushido

We were craving sushi and decided to try this place. ¬†The rocker vibe ambiance was probably better than the actual sushi, the food was just decent. ūüėČ ¬†I’d eat here again, but would love to find a better sushi option on the island…anyone??

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Aston Islander on the Beach, in Kapaa. ¬†We were happy with it – it was clean and the service was friendly. ¬†The beach here was beautiful, and although the hotel was full, the beach never seemed crowded. ¬†We loved watching the sunrise and sunsets here! ¬†This is a good place to stay if you are on a budget but still want to stay on the beach. ¬†It seems a little outdated, as many places in Kauai do, but is still kept up nice and clean. ¬†If we went back, we’d either try a nicer hotel (if we had the budget for it) or rent a vacation rental home! ¬†I’d love to be able to do our own cooking sometimes, so a kitchen would be really nice.

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Travel Information

We flew American Airlines from LAX direct to Kauai. ¬†The airport there is the Lihue Airport. ¬†The flight was about five hours, and I was really happy we were able to fly direct. ¬†The Lihue Airport is small and easy to navigate. ¬†We had a rental car, which I would really recommend. ¬†Although the island isn’t very big, I think it’s the best way to get around and explore what Kauai has to offer!

Weather

The weather in Kauai is pretty much perfect year-round! The average temperature ranges from 69-84 degrees, and ocean temperatures range from 71-81 degrees.  Pretty great, right?  I will say, it did cool down a bit at night when we were there, so I was happy to have light sweaters and jackets with me for going out, as many places are open to the outside or have patio/outside seating.

Things To Bring

  • Lots of swimsuits! ¬†And fun cover ups to go over them. ¬†That’s what you’ll want to wear most of the time, and everyone is pretty laid back and casual so you can get away with going to most places/restaurants in that attire.
  • Good workout clothes, tennis shoes, and hiking shoes! ¬†It’s awesome if you have sports bras/shorts that can double as swimwear for the impromptu swimming you’ll most likely do on your adventures and excursions.
  • Bug spray. ¬†We definitely got some bites, both hiking and at the beach!
  • Sunscreen. Duh.
  • Mask/snorkel/fins (if you own¬†them, bring them! And keep them with you in your car if you have one. ¬†There were a few times we hadn’t planned on snorkeling, but stumbled upon a great spot and were really glad we had them.)
  • Ear plugs!!! ¬†Blake brought ear plugs for swimming and surfing, but we were so glad we have them because of the ROOSTERS! ¬†Apparently they have a wild chicken problem in Kauai, and it’s no joke. ¬†Those roosters start making noise around 4:30 in the morning and don’t stop until midnight…I’m serious. ¬†We wouldn’t have slept at all without our ear plugs in.

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Happy Travels!