We spent the second half of our Hawaiian honeymoon on the island of Kauai. Kauai is the geographic oldest of the Hawaiian islands and is sometimes called the Garden Island. Although Kauai is not very big, a rental car is a requirement to get around. There’s tons to do and we loved being able to hop into the Jeep and explore.
We made several trips to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon. This is a must do while in Kauai. There are tons of hikes and viewpoints. We hiked three trails at Waimea Canyon, although we never completed a full hike. Two of those hikes were into the actual canyon. You can hike all the way in although I think you need a permit. The third hike was the Kalalau Viewpoint trail which offered amazing views of the Napali coastline. Unfortunately we could not complete this hike because it was terrifying. Seriously, I have done some scary hikes in my life. This trail was basically on the edge of a cliff the entire way. I was crawling in parts of it.
Jonathan surprised me by booking a horseback ride on the beach. My sister and I used to ride horses when we were young but it had been years since I’d been on a horse. The tour, run by CJM Stables, took us along the east coast of Kauai. Riding along the beach with waves splashing my feet was such a great experience!
On one of my favourite days in Kauai we rented snorkel gear from Snorkel Bob’s and drove to Tunnels (Makua) Beach. We had heard that this was a great place to spot sea turtles and thought we’d try our luck. Although we never saw any sea turtles, we had such a fun day splashing about in the waves and playing with our new Go Pro. Tunnels beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen and it’s worth the drive to get there. If you do plan on snorkeling while in Kauai I would highly recommend a stop at Snorkel Bob’s. Not only is it a great place to rent gear but the staff are really informative. They gave us lots of great information about safe snorkeling, provided maps of the best beaches, and helped us out with some gear issues we’d been having on other snorkel trips.
If you drive to the end of the road in Kauai you will reach Ke’e Beach and the Kalalau Trailhead. I have wanted to hike the Kalalau Trail since seeing it in a movie years ago. We didn’t have time (or permits) to hike the entire trail so we just hiked a section of it. This trail was insanely beautiful. As you hike in the scorching heat you are treated to stunning views on the Napali Coastline on one side and lush, tropical jungle on the other. You can day hike from Ke’e Beach to Hanakapi’ai Falls without a permit. If you are planning on attempting this hike pack lots of water, snacks, and bug spray! I got eaten alive by mosquito’s on the muddy trail leading to the waterfall. Unfortunately an existing injury of mine kept us from making it all the way to the waterfall but it was still a spectacular hike. At the end of the hike we treated our muddy, sweaty selves to a dip in the ocean at Ke’e beach. With the sun starting to set in front of us and the volcanic mountains behind us it was hard to imagine that a week ago we’d been sitting at our desks in the rainy Pacific Northwest. I cannot recommend this hike enough and hope to one day complete the entire Kalalau Trail.
A visit to Kauai would not be complete without eating a Puka Dog. We seriously ate there more than anywhere on our trip. Their non-GMO veggie dogs come with homemade hot sauce, your choice of tropical relish, and are served on a freshly baked bun.
If you are a dessert person you will love Jo Jo’s Shave Ice. I’m not big on sweets but Jonathan couldn’t get enough!
For something a little more romantic than a hot dog stand we ate at Beach House Restaurant in Poipu. Apparently you can sometimes see sea turtles on the beach as you dine. I would strongly recommend a reservation as you’ll want to get a table right by the beach!
We had originally booked an economy car but when we arrived Jonathan upgraded to a Jeep convertible. I am so glad he did this! While the road’s in Kauai are quite safe, if you plan on driving to Ke’e Beach you will want a 4×4. We saw more than a few rental cars getting stuck or unable to manoeuvre the muddy parking lots and bumpy roads.
That’s it for our Hawaiian honeymoon. Thanks for reading and aloha!