Oh, Kauai. While I usually choose to head to a more remote or off the beaten path destination Kauai completely surprised me with its beauty. I didn't need to plan a thing and just kicked back, relaxed, and found my Aloha....every single day.
--Getting around the island
Kauai, the garden state, is an insanely lush and small green island that you can drive around in about 2.5 or so hours depending on traffic. There is basically one road that takes you around the whole thing, okay well not the whole thing as you can't drive through the Nā Pali Coast(more on that later), so keep this in mind when you're getting back to the airport or anywhere you need to be on time. We did not as ended up getting a little stressed trying to catch our flight home because we were so blissed out that the thought of traffic on one road didn't even cross our minds. Oops!
I can't remember how I stumbled across the Palmwood but it was likely in an Instagram rabbit hole desperately trying to find a place to stay that was private, beautiful, and charming on an island that mostly has large resorts. We couldn't recommend the Palmwood enough. With only three rooms set in a large house on multiple acres it manages to feel both grandiose and private at the same time. Each room is decorated beautifully with sweet little local touches such as Kauai made lotions, soaps, and shampoo. Our room had a beautiful outdoor shower so we didn't set foot inside our indoor one once! Each morning our host Edi whipped up the most incredible breakfast which was hands down the best food we had on the island and we would wake up excited about what we were going to be served next. We think it would be the perfect spot to host an intimate wedding or elopement. If you're heading to Kauai you must stay at The Palmwood.
We headed to Waimea Canyon one day to do some hiking. It's located on the other side of the island and because you can't drive through the Nā Pali Coastyou must drive all around Kauai in order to get there from the North Shore. Once there the views are epic and it makes total sense that it's called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific because, well, it totally looks like it right? We hiked a few miles below the rim and swam in a crispy cold waterfall. It ended up taking us 2 hours to get back (with traffic) but that's okay because we were able to stop at The Fresh Shave. I had been following them for months on Instagram in anxious anticipation of mounds and mounds of fluffy shave ice. Side note: Evan and I ate shave ice every single day we were there. We justified this by sharing one which made me feel better but I think left Evan a little disgruntled if he were being honest...
A beautiful natural tide pool in the middle of volcanic rocks that is constantly being refreshed by waves from the ocean. Too dangerous to go to during the winter months but fairly safe in the summer. Super crowded but still fun to see.
---Nā Pali Coast
Crazy beautiful coastline of the North Shore of Kauai and home to the famous Hanakapi'ai Beach trail which is a roughly 8 mile roundtrip hike but takes most people 8 hours each way. We viewed the trail by boat but will be hiking and camping it next time we head to Kauai.
---Hanalei Bay Pier
A lovely spot to catch a boat tour and watch a killer sunset.