12 Must-do’s on Kauai!
a few of my favorite places, restaurants, hikes and sunset spots! enjoy!
1. Hanakapiai Trail to the beach or falls and Ke’e Beach at Sunset
– This is one of my favorite things to do on Kauai. You can either do 1 mile to the first lookout, 4 miles to the beach (worth it!!) 8 miles to Hanakapiai Falls. If you’re a hiker, the falls is totally worth it but the last 2 miles can be a little tedious with lots of rock jumping and stream crossings. Any part of this trail is my number 1 must do for Kauai!
2. Hanalei and Tunnel’s Beach views. Enjoy Happy hour and my favorite cheap fish Tacos (only on Monday’s and Thursdays!) at Hanalei Gourmet.
– Enjoy a day at Tunnels Beach and be sure to walk down to the far end to get the view of the Bali Hai mountains. Hanalei is a cute little surfer town that has some great shops in the village and the peir has stunning views of the mountains. Monday’s and Thursdays are Taco nights at Hanalei Gourmet with great drinks at Happy Hour!
3. Go to the Canyon and hike in the Na Pali and see the canyon (Awa’awa’puhi or Pihea Trails) – West Side Sunset
– Head up to the canyon and explore the Na Pali. Awa’awapuhi is one of my very favorite trails up there, it’s easy on the way there, all downhill for 4 miles and then a grueling butt burner on the way up with 4 miles uphill all the way, but the view at the very end is definitely worth it! Walk out to the end if you’re not scared of heights, just be careful and remember you are on the side of a cliff. (photography tip, bring a wide angle lens to get the panoramic view of the cathedral mountains from this spot!)
-After your hike, enjoy a sunset on the west side, the beaches there are perfect white sand and the colors in the sky can’t be beat!
4. Na Pali Boat tour with HoloHolo or Captain Andy’s –
– There are other companies like Blue Dolphin and many more that are awesome too, I have personally only been on HoloHolo and Captain Andy’s. It might seem pricy but it’s worth every penny and we try to go as often as we can. The views are unbeatable, free beers and a great lunch and snorkeling adventure with almost a guarantee to see dolphins on the morning tours. If you splurge to do anything on Kauai, do this!! (Weather dependent, double check they are going on the Na Pali when you book and board!)
5. Get fresh Poke from Poipu Fish Market in Koloa and enjoy sunset from the lawn at Kukuiula Harbor.
– One of my favorite low-key things to do. The Koloa Fish Market is a little tiny building in the Old Koloa Town, they are cash only and have the best poke selection on the south side. I love the Avocado Poke, and it’s perfect for a sunset picnic at the Harbor on Lawai Rd!
6. Eat at La Spezia in Old Koloa Town!
– One of our very favorite restraints on Kauai! This little locally owned family Italian place is a cute little spot in Old Koloa Town. They have a great wine selection and amazing food. They also have THE BEST breakfast ever. Bacon and Brie French Toast? Yes please.
7. Sushi and Thai for Open Mic or Karaoke at Bangkok Happy Bowl
– If you’re looking for nightlife this is the closest thing to it! A local hangout with live music every night, and Tuesday nights they do Open Mic Night where talented musicians come to sing, and Thursdays is Karaoke! We just spent a month in Thailand and Pete and I both agreed that this restaurant is just as good as being in Thailand. And their sushi is some of the best too!
8. Walk the Shipwrecks Cliffs to Mahaulapu
– I love doing this walk in the mornings, and especially in the winter if you keep an eye out you’ll likely see whales! It’s a great walk but wear sunscreen because there is no shade. Beautiful cliffs and mountain views and once you get to Mahaulapu Beach is picture perfect.
9. Wednesday Farmers Market at Kukuiula for live music, beer gardens and fresh eats
– This is always a fun thing to do with good energy and great food and drinks. Merriman’s and Tortilla Republic have little drink stations set up outside and there is live music and farmers market vendors set up everywhere. Worth checking out if you feel like a lilikoi margarita or a famous Merrimans Maitai!
10. Sleeping Giant Trail (East Side), then lunch at Street Burger
– I love this little trail!! This is a perfect half day hike, if you go in the morning before it gets to hot you’ll be done before lunch time. The view at the top is so incredible, once you get to the picnic tables keep going as far as your comfortable and you can see 360 degrees around you. The best part about hiking sleeping giant is that Street Burger is right there. A draft beer and gourmet burger spot with the most interesting and delicious burger combos- My favorite is the Frenchie!
11. Go paddle boarding out infront of the Wiohai in the morning!
– One of my favorite things to do on a calm morning with no wind. You’ll see turtles and the color of water blows my mind everytime. If you go out past the break, the visibility of the water is amazing! You can rent SUP boards right there at the beach:)
12. Happy Hour at the Honu Bar for sunset.
– We do this too often I think! 😉 The Honu Bar is down on the south side connected to the Waiohai by Marriott Resort. If you park in the furthest parking lot for Poipu beach you can walk down the sidewalk right to it:) The perfect outdoor beach bar to sit and have a maitai and watch the sun go down. They have a pretty reasonable happy hour deal and great nachos! (I love swimming right out front of here in the mornings when it’s calm too! The water is so clear and beautiful!)
**Bonus: Girls bring back some Ocean Jewelry from my incredibly talented friend Kelsey at Electric Ocean – Find her on Instagram here