Last month I had the wonderful pleasure of spending eight days in the tropical paradise that is Kauai in the Hawaiian islands. Growing up, I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful place with my family for vacations but this time around I was on the island for my best friend's wedding and some personal exploring and relaxation. Kauai is one of my favorite Hawaiian islands because it is so lush (you feel like you've been dropped into a scene in Jurassic Park) and not as tourist-filled. I also love how vastly different one side of the island is from the other. The Princeville side, where we were staying during the trip, is more lush/tropical and rainy; the other end of the island near the airport and Poipu is more sunny, sandy and beach-filled.
We were able to cover the entire island during our eight day stay and visited some beautiful spots on the island I thought I would share for anyone interested in visiting or planning an upcoming visit to the beautiful island of Kauai.
Here are my trip highlights:
Princeville: lush, tropical and the rainier side of the island of Kauai.
Secret Beach: a favorite find on the Princeville side of the island. It requires a little off-roading down a dirt path to get to and a little bit of a muddy hike down to the beach, but the view is well worth it.
Kilauea Lighthouse: a wonderful viewpoint to soak in sunsets and the coastal view. We paid the $5 to get up close and personal with the lighthouse. The view was well worth it on a clear day.
Poipu: the sunnier side of the island made for a great day to tan, play in the ocean and relax. We also couldn't resist stopping by JoJo's shaved ice, a must when visiting Kauai! They give you a stacked shaved ice cup filled to the brim with amazing flavors and at the bottom of your cup is macadamia nut ice cream...it's to die for.
Skyline Eco-Adventures Zipline: we scored a solid deal through Groupon to go on a zipline adventure for a couple of hours. We were able to soak in the greenery and beautiful views on 8 various ziplines.
Waimea Canyon: a MUST if you're visiting Kauai. It's quite the windy road trip up to the park viewpoints but the view is well-worth it. You can view the falls that were filmed in Jurassic Park from the viewpoint and soak in the beautiful scenery and colors of the canyon. At the park we also indulged in fresh coconut water and a lovely fruit stand.
Queen's Bath: I've never seen such blue water in my life! These baths are in Princeville and the hike down to them is not bad at all. Just be careful walking along the lava rock to get to the baths, and be picky about what bath you choose to relax in -- the fully enclosed baths are key.
Spouting Horn: we stopped off here on our day in Poipu to visit the rumbling water hole and scenic ocean views, if you're in the area, it's worth seeing.
Tunnels Beach/Cave: we sort of stumbled across Tunnels on a drive one day and decided to venture into the caves across from the beach, what a crazy feeling it is to be underneath a volcanic mountain inside a lush cave.
Wailua Falls: you can't visit Kauai without soaking in a view of one of the many waterfalls on the island. This viewpoint was breathtaking and a photo can't do this view justice.
Java Kai: my favorite food spot on the island, a lovely breakfast/lunch/coffee shop with the cutest atmosphere and BEST breakfast sandwiches and breakfast bowls. This became a daily stop for us.