Travel Diaries: Kauai, HI

It's been awhile since I did a travel diaries post but this trip to Kauai was major! 

We visited the beautiful island for our honeymoon early August and it was an absolute dream. We initially wanted to do a big Europe trip but instead, we decided to go to a place where we can just relax and recover from all the wedding madness. We just wanted the beach and some sun so Hawaii was the perfect spot. Knowing that we'd be surrounded by incredible scenery, we tried to squeeze in as much outdoor activities as we could. We went hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, and went on a couple great tours that allowed us to further explore the beautiful island. 

Our trip was a little over a week so we decided to stay at Kiahuna Plantation, which is like a condo located at the very South side of Kauai. I would definitely recommend this place for anyone staying there for more than 5 days because it has all the utilities you need. I loved that they had a fully stocked kitchen so we could make coffee and breakfast in the morning. They also had a balcony with poolside chairs so we could chill with a glass of wine after a long day of doing nothing ;) Another major perk was that our room was a 5 minutes walk from Poipu Beach, which had the softest sand. We could just walk over and take a quick dip and snorkel or return in the evening to enjoy the sunset. 

One of our hikes that we went on had a trail that was sandwiched between the ocean and a golf range. It was one of my favorite hikes of all time because they had everything from dry land, lots of lush greeneries, cliffs and of course, the ridiculously blue ocean. Every corner was an eyeful and it was easy enough to hike in flip flops! 

We went on a helicopter tour and saw the depths of the island from above. Our tour guide was knowledgable with each section and pointed out places where famous movies were filmed. I knew that Jurassic Park and Jurassic World was shot in Kauai but I had no idea they also filmed King Kong, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Avatar! After seeing the island from a birds eye view, we went on a boat tour and got to see the same scenic grounds from a lower perspective. I personally thought being on a boat was a greater experience because you can see the massive scale of the mountains and actually touch the waterfall. The ocean was a unreal, vibrant turquoise color and we even saw sea turtles and dolphins! When returning back to shore, we got to enjoy the sunset while eating tacos and drinking champagne. It was pretty sweet. I would definitely recommend doing at least one of these tours because a large part of the island is difficult to get to by foot or car and you wouldn't want to miss all the beautiful sights!

For our last outdoorsy activity, we went on a kayak tour that led to a hike. It was a sunny morning but right when we took the kayaks out to the river, it immediately began to pour. By the time we reached our hiking spot, we were drenched from head to toe and the trail was completely muddy. We kept slipping and losing our shoes in the mud so we decided to hike barefoot. By the time we got the waterfall, we were completely covered in mud and it was AWESOME. By the end of the hike, my white shirt was no longer white and my flip flops were ruined but it was totally worth it! There's something so gratifying about being covered in rain, sweat and dirt :)

& lastly, we can't forget about the food!

We obviously had to get some Hawaiian poke during our stay. We loved Koloa Fish Market and got an assortment of different poke including wasabi, maui seaweed, shoyu and seared ahi. We also got a coconut turn over that was seriously the best turnover I had and I regret not buying a dozen to bring back home with me. We also loved this place called Puka Dog that had mango and pineapple relished hot dogs, bomb! For dessert, my favorite was Loco Coco Shave Ice. I got blood orange and mango flavor in a coconut cup that was amazing. Apparently, the owner sources all of the fruits locally and makes homemade honey from his own beehive!

Since we cooked breakfast and lunch at home most days, we went all out for dinner. Our favorite restaurant was Eating House 1849 Koloa. The entire menu was created by Chef Roy Yamaguchi and every dish we tried was AMAZING. They had this Kailani Kale salad that was so unique and flavorful and I also loved their ahi soba salad with mustard butter sauce. It was so good that we went twice in one week! We also went to Tidepools at the Grand Hyatt hotel. We were seated by the window which was right by the tide pool so we could see koi fish and swans swimming around. The ambience was great but I personally thought the food was overpriced and mediocre compared to Eating House 1849. 

All in all, Kauai was incredible and Patrick and I had the best time! We would return in a heartbeat and can't wait to go back. We have a few more trips planned this year so stay tuned for more Travel Diaries!