Kauai. It’s a little bit of everything if you ask me. Being born and raised in Hawaii I’ve always loved the island. It’s beautiful for one. Endless beaches in nearly every direction, clear mountain views stretching for miles. It’s paradise alright and the beauty makes it all worth it.
Kauai is a small island in the state of Hawaii. There are around 72,000 people living on this island and we live just like everyone else. Some believe that Hawaiians still live in grass shacks on the beach, but let me assure you, this is false. We live and breathe, we work hard to make ends meet. Kauai is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
One of my favorite things about being an island girl is the culture. We are taught to be kind and welcoming. Since the population is so small we learn to know each other and become a ohana ‘family.’
Kauai has some of the most caring and open-hearted people I have ever met. When someone needs help, many are right there to assist.
Kauai is simply original and has taught me so much in itself.
Over the years I have made it my mission to seek out nearly every hot spot on the island. It was adventurous and uplifting.
When you visit Kauai you are given some ‘must see’ destinations and of course everyone has a different set of favorites but I’m going to tell you my top 5:
Far North of the island is a small, yet adventurous town called Hanalei. This spot on the island has one of the best beaches that people come from all over the world to sink their toes in the white sand. My favorite spot in Hanalei is Hanalei Pier. A few years ago the pier was renovated, so there is a beautiful open ocean view with picnic tables and areas where families can jump off into the crystal clear water while being protected from having too much sun. Many families with young children can be found daily stretched along this mile long beach, while the keiki play in the calm ocean. In the distance you can enjoy surfers, paddle boarders and if you stay for the sunset, you’ll catch a pretty mind-blowing sunset. Hanalei has many shops to grab snacks, meals, drinks and even do some shopping if you’d like.
Menehune Fishpond Lookout
If you are a photographer this is the spot. Right in Nawiliwili is the Harbor, minutes outside of Lihue and from the airport. There will be small signs taking you the the fishpond. Head over about 30 minutes before the sunset and pull off to the side of the road. There isn’t much parking but there will be a spot. Just enjoy the view and right as the sunset starts to drop, the sky will change colors and the fishpond will change with the sky. You’ll be left with a picture-perfect view. This is a spot that you can turn into on your way to eat dinner, back to the hotel or on your way into town. The view will last for a few minutes with the glow, once the sun drops behind the mountain wait a bit then drive carefully down the hill to avoid leaving at dark. This may be a quick stop, but it’s definitely worth the drive!
Wai Koa Loop Trail
When visiting Hawaii, besides hitting the beaches you must try to take at least one hike. This hike is my absolute favorite. It’s a 5 mile hike in a lush garden setting. You’ll see miles of trees and bamboo stocks, you’ll see horses, a lily pond, clear mountain views and even a dam with a waterfall and if the water is clear, there is a rope swing and the opportunity to jump in. Now don’t get discouraged with it being 5 miles. Take your time, this hike isn’t steep, there is rarely any major up or down hills, so it will not be strenuous at all. Watch the weather when you go, be sure it hasn’t rained in at least a few days, as the trail will be muddy and hard to maneuver. You can call the trail help desk, if you’d like to know the weather conditions for the day or to ask about the trail.
Kauai Mini Golf
This spot is a must-go. It’s the best, most affordable fun for the whole family, beside a day at the beach of course! Kauai Mini Golf is located in Kilauea on the North, and it’s actually the home of the Wai Koa Loop Trail. So what we have done many times, is start early. Take the family golfing then hit the trail. This mini golf takes you through a fun course with ponds, endangered flowers, tips about the island and even some delicious gelato and pizza lunches served at the deli. You can go in just for fun or ask for a log sheet to keep track of your hole-in-ones. It is definitely an ideal place to take the whole family, so everyone can have fun.
Kokee State Park
Last but not least is Kokee State Park. I saved the best for last, as this is truly the hidden gem on Kauai. South of the island in Waimea you’ll see a sign just right off the highway taking you to Kokee. Kokee is a highly elevated forest area with campgrounds, many overlooks, trails and even a restaurant. Ever since I was a child I’ve enjoyed visiting Kokee. The cool mountain air, the rustic cabins, the beautiful scenic overlooks. There is so much to do in Kokee. There are many cabins that visitors can rent for a few days, most of the cabins are newly remodeled and have fireplaces and kitchen areas. Be sure to call in advance as these rentals fill up quickly. When in Kokee plan out your day. It’s a whole adventure in itself. Plan with trails to visit, which overlooks to see and be sure to take time to enjoy the large grassy fields to have picnics, play games and more. Don’t have the time to rent a cabin, don’t fret. You can easily and freely drive up to Kokee for just a few hours to catch some of the views. There is no charge to enjoy the beauty.
As I said, life on Kauai is like nowhere else. It is magical. There are so many things to do to make your vacation a memory of a lifetime. If you plan to visit Kauai or have any more questions about the island and culture, feel free to reach out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A hui hou ‘until we meet again.’