I’m so excited to finally share my Kauai travel guide! Back in May, I went to Kauai with my boyfriend and his parents, and it was the first time I had been to Hawaii since fourth grade! It was so different experiencing it as an adult (I also barely remember anything from last time haha).
If you’re not familiar with Kauai, it’s the more green and rural island of the Hawaiian islands. It’s also the island that gets the most rain, but is still pretty consistently in the low 80s, making it SUPER humid. Like we walked around outside for just a couple minutes and I was already sweating 😅
Anyways, I wanted to do a round up of where we stayed, what we saw, and where we ate, plus a couple things we didn’t get to do, but are on our list for next time. I can’t even tell you how many times we’ve said “NEXT TIME!”
I went to Kauai with my boyfriend, Colton, and his parents, who have a timeshare at the Kaua’i Marriott Resort in Lihue (just a few minutes away from the airport), so lucky for me, I didn’t have to pay for a hotel! 🙂 Their timeshare was 2 rooms, one with a king bed (where his parents slept), and the other with a pull down bed that I slept in, and then we had a cot rolled in for Colton (sorry, babe 😉
The rooms that we stayed in were newly remodeled, which was nice. Probably the best part of the hotel though was the pool! It’s in the shape of a flower with 5 jacuzzis surrounding it. We spent a good amount of time circling around the pool and lounging in the sun.
There’s also a beach right in front of the hotel. Despite the fact that it’s in a little bay, it gets some pretty good waves sometimes! Not like 8 feet or anything, but for sure big enough to surf. We went swimming in there once, but I got a little too freaked out, so we stuck with the pool from then on.
THINGS TO DO & SEE
Capt Andy’s Sailing Adventures
This is a MUST if you visit Kauai!! We went on a 4.5 hour dinner cruise up to the Na Pali coast and it was gorgeous!! Read my full review HERE!
This is for sure a MUST! It’s known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and is ten miles long, one mile wide, and more than 3,500 ft deep. It’s absolutely gorgeous. There are a few different lookout spots, but we went to the main one, which is called Waimea Canyon Lookout. There are also two others called the Puu Ka Pele lookout (a smaller lookout near mile marker 13 on Hwy. 550) and Puu Hinahina Lookout (between mile markers 13-14 on Hwy. 550). If you want to get a good look at the waterfall, definitely check out the Puu Hinahina lookout.
All I really wanted on this trip was to see some gorgeous turquoise water! There were a couple beaches that I found through Instagram that looked gorgeous at the northern part of the island, but unfortunately there was a road closure that kept us from getting there. So we asked the concierge at our hotel for some recommendations, and she told us to go to Anini Beach! It’s a super flat and shallow beach with some reef where you can snorkel and see some sealife (we didn’t have gear so we couldn’t do that), but we hung out in the water for a bit and it was so nice!
We were intending to go to Wailua Falls, but stopped here first and ended up not making it to Wailua Falls. It was still gorgeous though!
This is a great spot to watch the sunset! The palm trees plus the beautiful colors in the sky make for a gorgeous view before heading off to dinner. We also saw a couple sea turtles while we were there, and apparently this is one of their favorite places to hang out!
We came here for dinner one night (see Hualani’s below) because a couple people had told us it was gorgeous and we had to go there! It was actually the property right next to the Marriott (still a few minute drive). The decor of this place is so on point, and the view is unbelievable. We were saying it’s kind of a millennial’s paradise at a rich man’s price 😂 Important note: Timbers is not a hotel, but a collection of luxury residences. So if you want to visit, just say you are there to go to the restaurant!
WHERE TO EAT
Brennecke’s Beach Broiler – We went here for dinner the second night of the trip. This place is known for their Mai Tais and for good reason! I was feeling it just within the first few sips 😬 but it was so delicious! For sure the best Mai Tai I had all week. I also ordered the fish & chips which came with beer battered fresh ono, which is a local Hawaiian fish. This place is also right next to Poipu Beach where we watched the sunset before dinner.
Duke’s – This restaurant is connected to the hotel we stayed at and has two levels. The first level is a more casual place to get burgers, drinks, happy hour, etc. and the second level is a “fancier” restaurant. What Duke’s is most known for is their Hula Pie! It’s a giant slice of ice cream pie with an Oreo crust, vanilla ice cream, macadamia nuts, hot fudge, and whipped cream. They also had the chef’s special which was cookies & cream!!! We got this twice during our trip because it was so freaking good. Honestly the BEST dessert I’ve ever had!!!
Hualani’s – Located on the Timbers Kauai property; Hualani’s offers a bit more upscale dining experience. With a wide selection of drinks as well as food options from both land and sea, it is a meal you will for sure not want to miss. I ordered the Summer Squash “Spaghetti” and Colton ordered the Big Kahuna Burger which was absolutely massive. If you don’t come for the food, come for the views as the property overlooks the coastline.
Bubba Burger – We stopped here on our way up to Anini Beach. If you are looking for a quick bite to eat then this is a great option. For us this is Kauai’s In-N-Out. It is quite simply one of the best burgers on the Island. Pair a burger up with some fries or onion rings and you will be extremely happy. With a couple of locations in Kapaa and Poipu, you should not miss out on this place.
Kalapaki Beach Hut – This little place is right next to the hotel property and has great breakfast and lunch food! It is the perfect place to walk and enjoy breakfast on the beach if you are staying at the Kauai Marriott. Their prices are relatively cheaper than most places and you’ll get a good amount of food as well. We got a couple breakfast meals here and just walked right over to the beach and ate pancakes. How can life be any better?
Aloha ‘Aina Juice Cafe – I saw this on @aspynovard’s Kauai Vlog from a few years ago and she said this was the best açaí bowl place on the island, so I wanted to try it out. Well, she was right! I’ve never had an açaí bowl as good as this one! I ordered the Pitaya Tropical and it had chia pudding in it which I had never had before, and it was so delicious 🤤Colton ordered one with peanut butter and chocolate which also looked really good!
Skinny Mike’s Shaved Ice – This is probably the best shaved ice on the island! It’s so massive and there are endless ways to order. We went with pineapple, mango, and guava with a snow cap and pineapple cream ice cream on the bottom… SO GOOD! We went a second time and got banana instead of guava, but it wasn’t as good as the first time.
Kauai Juice Co. – This juice shop is probably most known on Instagram for its super cute pineapple wall, but their juices are even sweeter! 😉 Colton’s parents had actually been doing the celery juicing at home, so they called Kauai Juice Co before the trip to see if they had celery juice, and they offered to make some just for them even with the celery shortage (lol)! These are the juices that I ordered throughout the week: Glow, Green Bottle, Starburst, and another fruity one that I can’t remember the name of 😬But it was some of the best fresh juice I’ve had!
Whew, that was a lot! I hope you enjoyed this travel guide though, and if you’re going to Kauai and visit one of these places let me know! I’d also love to know if you want to see more of these types of in-depth travel guides 🙂