The Ultimate Kauai Travel Guide
The Ultimate Kauai Travel Guide
Hawaii. It’s still a part of the United States, but yet it feels like its’ own country.
They have a whole other culture, way of life, and language.
I secretly (not so secretly) wish I was from there so I could consider myself a local.
Visiting Hawaii has always been top on my bucket list and I decided to go for my 24th birthday!
Now for the tough decision: which island do you decide to pick if you do not have enough time to island hop?
I eventually will end up visiting all of them, but this time around I chose Kauai and I did not regret it.
Travel day.I flew into Honolulu and then took Hawaiian Airto Lihue.
The total amount of flight time between the two was about 11 hours, give or take a little. Make sure you are prepared for the long flight! Have lots of Vitamin C ready to go, and click here for my tips about airplane 101 and here for travel and packing tips.
Once in Lihue, I went directly to the rental car pick up and had the best surprise! The staff was just over-the-top friendly and extremely welcoming! The moment he found out it was my first time to Hawaii and I was there for my birthday, he upgraded me to a convertible!
Now, I’m not one to boast about boujee cars, but after my experiences I highly recommend a convertible of some sort while driving around the island. It was GORGEOUS. My birthday is in March, so the air was crisp and cool!
I drove to my AirBnB and I was staying in a cute little guesthouse with luscious green mountain views in Kapaa. I got settled in and drove to a hole-in-the-wall taco shop called, Da Crack. Oh my, Oh myyyyy. It was so super tasty! I have high standards for tacos because they are one of my favorite foods and I would go back to this place in a heartbeat. I took them with me to have a picnic in Poipu to watch the sunset.
Even just driving around was incredible. I felt so magical the entire time I was there. It’s in the air. Anyway, the sunset was phenomenal. They never cease to amaze me. Sunsets happen every day, yet they are always completely different. It’s inspiring for new growth every day.
Goal for the day: Venture around Waimea Canyon. They call it the Grand Canyon of Hawaii. I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon yet, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. First things first: coffee and brekky. I tried the highly rated, loco moco. It’s filling (that’s for sure) yet delicious. I would suggest sharing it!
The views from the top of Waimea Canyon are absolutely breathtaking. Even thinking about it makes me speechless. Looking out makes you feel invincible as the canyon valleys wind around and seem endless. Every once in a while you’ll get a peep of a waterfall.
Also, as you stop at all the lookout points, there is a section where you can see part of the Na pali Coast. Keep in mind that because this island is so luscious that it’s misty and rainy at higher altitudes. You might not always get a good view of the coast unless you go super duper early in the morning.
That night I attended a Luau. The one I recommend is Luau Kalamaku, it did not disappoint. The staff was so friendly and extremely entertaining. When you first enter they take your picture with the hula dancers, which you can look at later. Then before the show starts you can go to the open bar and walk around local vendors. Let alone the staff, even the people surrounding you were so inviting and kind.
Hawaii makes everyone feel refreshed and joyful! Then the actual performance was something I would never forget. You get to watch the entertainment while eating the local cuisine! I tried a traditional “pudding-like” substance called poi. It was a little different and kind of bland, but definitely not disgusting!
They also had a HUGE buffet with tons of pineapple chicken. You're going to be stuuuuuffffeeeeddd after this night, and you're probably going to need some help bloating, I highly recommend Pre&Pro-biotics from Ora Organics.
DON’T GO CHASING WATERFALLS, unless you’re in Kauai.
There’s Wailua Falls, Opaekaa Falls, secret Falls, Hanakoa Falls, Waipoo Falls (which is in Waimea Canyon), and many more. The best part is that they’reall beautiful.
I went and hiked to Opaekaa Falls. Jokes on me! It had just rained and the trail was so muddy. Then when I was hiking back it started raining on me, haha! I still would suggest going! It was a blast! Who cares if you get a little dirty?
I then had booked the Kauai Backcountry Adventures: Mountain Tubing. This was the thing I was most excited for, and then it was my least favorite part of the whole trip. If you’re a person that can handle freezing cold water and spinning around in a tube in the dark then I would suggest going.
Maybe I hyped it up in my head too much? Don’t get me wrong; the staff was freaking awesome and incredibly fun and helpful. It is a very family-oriented tour, so if you’re traveling with children then it will be a good idea. I was just wanting for more of a thrill. Majority of the tour was taking the bus to an overlook and then walking around the trails to get to where you put your tube in the water.
I also had Kauai Juice Company this day. I ordered a delicious Strawberry Guava Kombucha and a green juice. They have high standards when it comes to juicing. You’ll only get the highest quality juice, here.
I went to the downtown Kapaa location. There are adorable little shops around it, which are wonderful to walk around for a lovely evening. I took this night to go exploring around some local stores and bars.
I had scrumptious macadamia nut waffles for breakfast! This was my last day in Kauai! I was so sad! I woke up extra early to watch the sunrise. It is worth it to witness at least once during your trip; annnnd I saw so many roosters walking around with me.
Then I began my drive towards the Na Pali Coast.I stopped by an adorable brunch house called Kalaheo Café and Coffee Company. Their coffee blend was perfect. I cannot wait to go back to have it again. The place was also PACKED. That’s how you know it’s a good pick.
The Na Pali Coast Park was still kind of muddy, so you have to make sure you wear good shoes and be careful on the trails. The lookouts are just unreal! I only went on the trail for about a mile because there was so much I wanted to see! Another check off of the bucket list.
I then made my way towards the Queens Bath.You have to be careful on what time of day you decide to do this hike because if the tides and winds are strong most of the rocks might be covered! There is only a select few parking spots at the trailhead so expect to wait a little bit before getting your turn.
After staying out hiking as long as I possibly could, it was time to go back and pack up. And just like that my first trip in Hawaii ended as I took the red-eye home.
Is Kauai worth the travel? UHHH HELL YES! Definitely one of my favorite vacations thus far. Four days was NOT nearly long enough. I could’ve spent at least another week there!
If you go I HIGHLY recommend driving around the entire island. That was definitely my favorite part. Kauai is just mesmerizing.
Sidenote: the next time I go I would love to take a boat tour and see the Na Pali Coast from the water!
I cannot wait to venture around the other islands!Which one is your favorite and why?