This month I took my first ever trip to the island of Kauai! ALOOOHA! I was so excited to finally have the opportunity to visit the garden island. The trip was filled with lots of adventure, incredible scenery, wild horses and chickens galore, and the world’s best sunsets. Out of the three Hawaiian islands I have visited, Kauai is definitely my favorite.
We stayed in Kapaa for the week at the Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach. It was a great central location to explore the North and South sides of the island. The only downside of this area was the cell reception. If you want to getaway and relax with no cell service then this is a great hotel! In our case, the trip was a “workation” so I needed to answer emails and take customer phone calls. The lack of cell service made it really difficult but we did have free wifi. The hotel also has an awesome outdoor area with great food and cozy hammocks. Perfect for afternoon beach naps! We ate most breakfasts here and quite a few dinners too. The food was always good and we got free mai tais every day. It was a good mix of a resort feel and laid back vibes. You can walk right down to an empty beach with gorgeous views and relax on their beach chairs.
Enjoying a Mai Tai on Coconut Beach.
A better view of our hotel. Lots of cozy places to sit and relax and great service!
The North Shore
We spent a lot of the trip driving around just to explore the island! The scenes were incredibly gorgeous so we didn’t mind sitting in the car. All of the Kauai speed limits are slow so it was nice to be able to cruise around and take a little break from the sun. The northern part of Kauai was full of waterfalls, green valleys, adorable beach towns, and empty beaches. I would definitely say the farther north you go, the more secluded and less touristy it gets.
Is this not the most perfect thing you’ve ever seen. Mahalo to our hotel for lending us beach towels!
We stopped in Hanalei on our trip north to grab some lunch. We stumbled upon the cutest roadside juice bar with fresh and delicious acai bowls and smoothies. Aloha Juice Bar is a must!
Hanalei Valley Overlook. Feeling happy in Hanalei.
Not too far from there is Queen’s bath which was one of my favorite spots on the trip. It’s a little hard to find because the area is residential and there really isn’t much parking but it is totally worth the hassle. You take this little hidden path down through the jungle and past miniature waterfalls and streams and eventually hit the ocean. Once on the lava rock, head to the left and you will run right into Queen’s bath. Be careful though because it can be a little slippery getting down there and the currents can be strong so really be careful if you are going to swim in the ocean. Don’t worry, the actual bath is fully enclosed so you are safe to swim freely. While we were down there it was raining on and off and it was near sunset so the view was just spectacular. Daring teens jumped into the ocean (they have great jumping rocks here) and the low key crowd floated in the bath. The water in the bath is really warm and easy to float in so its actually really relaxing. I loved our time here and will definitely be coming back the first chance I get.
A fisherman and his dog at Queen’s Bath. These rocks make for a great jumping spot when the water isn’t rough!
Wailua Falls & Shipwreck Beach
The next day we explored the south side and spent the day swimming and watching the body surfers at Shippies. On the way there we stopped by Wailua falls and pet the horses along the side of the road. Its a really neat little stop so if you are near it I would definitely check it out! A local told me that you can also hike down to Wailua falls and spend the day down there. We didn’t have time to check it out but it looked amazing. Shippies was a really fun spot to people watch and swim in some decent sized waves. This is another great jumping spot or lookout spot and such a fun beach to watch the boogie boarders. Even though it sits right next to the big resorts, Shipwreck beach had a local vibe.
Stop to pet the horses on the way to Wailua Falls! They are so friendly and the view is breathtaking.
There is literally something beautiful around every corner here. This may just be my favorite island so far.
Shippies! This was one of my favorite beaches on the south side. Way more action than the mellow North Shore.
Sailing the Na Pali Coast
Sailing the Na Pali Coast was definitely a highlight of the trip. We decided to book a sail with Captain Andy’s and they did not disappoint. We took a catamaran along the coast and experienced the most incredible views while learning a lot about the island. The crew was incredibly friendly and nice so overall it was a great time. We were served dinner and drinks before slowly sailing back. The aloha spirit was alive and well on our cruise – good music, good vibes, good drinks, and great company. I had an absolute blast with Captain Andy’s and I would absolutely recommend booking one of their sails.
More incredible views. It just keeps getting better and better.
The good views kept on coming on our trip to the garden island and Waimea Canyon was no exception. Imagine a smaller version of the Grand Canyon but Hawaii style.
The views were incredible at Waimea Canyon.
We found a little waterfall of the side of the road. 🙂
When you are driving to see Waimea Canyon, keep going! Kalalau lookout is at the very end of the road and it is worth every minute of the drive.
Here are a few more photos from the trip. Kauai was a dream destination for me so I felt so lucky to be able to go. The views are incredible and there is something to see everywhere you go. I was able to experience so much on my week long trip but there is so much more to see and do. If you are looking for that jungle vibe and laid back days then Kauai is the island for you. It may be small but it has a ton to offer.